1: What is your full name?
2: Where do you reside?
Where do I?
3: Yes sir, – where do you reside?
In Page County at Shenandoah.
4: In Page County where?
5: What state is that in?
6: What is your age Mr Griffith?
If I live to see the 16th day of this month I will be 78 years of age. I will be 78 the 16th day of August.
7: How long have you lived where you are now?
I have lived there about eleven years.
8: And prior to that time where did you live?
Well it is hard to say, – I lived in different places.
9: Well where have you lived?
I have lived in Illinois, in Wisconsin and in Iowa.
10: Are you a member of the Re-organized church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?
11: How long have you been a member of that church?
Of the re-organized church?
12: Yes sir, – how long have you been a member of the re-organized church?
I became a member of it about a year about its organization.
13: Can you state what year that was?
Well I don’t know that I can state what year that was. I don’t know that I can exactly, – I don’t know that I can remember the date.
14: When did you say you joined it?
Well that is what I can’t tell you.
15: Well about when was it you joined it?
Well I think it was about a year after its organization.
16: About a year after the re-organization?
17: How long have you been connected with the Mormon church?
Since ’31, sixty one years past I have belonged to the church.
18: Where did you become identified with the church?
19: At what place in Ohio did you join the church?
Well it was at Fremont, in Fremont County I mean at Amherst.
20: It was in Fremont county Ohio?
21: That you joined the church?
22: Was there a church organized there at that time?
Yes sir. It was a branch as we termed it.
23: Where was the head of the church at that time?
At the time I joined it?
24: Yes sir?
25: That was in Ohio also?
26: Did you hold any position in the church?
27: What was the position you held in the church?
It was that of an elder sir.
28: How long after you became connected with the church was it that you became an elder?
Well it was about eight or nine years.
29: At what place were you ordained and elder in the church?
In Indianna, I was ordained an elder in the church there and presided over the branch there.
30: From what place did you go to Ohio? I mean from what place did you go to Indiana?
What is that?
31: From Indiana where did you go to?
Where did I go when I left there?
32: Yes sir?
I went to Illinois to Nauvoo.
33: When were you at Nauvoo?
I went there in the fall of 1849.
34: Are you not mistaken about that?
Yes sir, I was mistaken I meant in the fall of 1841.
35: You went to Nauvoo in the fall of 1841?
36: You were acquainted with Joseph Smith?
Yes sir. Counsel for the defendants objects to the question asked the witness on the ground that it is leading.
37: Well were you acquainted with Joseph Smith?
38: Do you remember the circumstances connect with the death of Joseph Smith?
39: Were you there at the time?
Yes sir, for I lived within eighteen miles of there at a town called Layhart in the same county. That is where I lived at that time.
40: I believe that you have just stated that you were acquainted with Joseph Smith?
Yes sir, I was quite well acquainted with him.
41: When was Joseph Smith Killed, if at all?
In June 1844.
42: How long did you remain at Nauvoo?
I was there until 1846, I left there in the spring of 1846.
43: You left there in the spring of 1846?
44: When did you say you went there?
I went there in 1841
45: And lived there until the spring of 1846?
No sir not all the time. I wintered there. But in the summer time I lived out about eighteen miles. I never summered there in Nauvoo, but I wintered there for three winters.
47: Well you say you left Nauvoo in the Spring of 1846?
48: Now when you left Nauvoo, to what place did you go?
49: To what part of Wisconsin did you go?
To Racine County.
50: To Racine County?
51: Did they have a church organization there?
Yes sir. They had what they called a church organization.
52: That was in Wisconsin?
53: Who was the leader of that organization, – who was at the head of it?
It was headed or lead by a man named Strang.
54: J.J. Strang?
55: Was it because of the organization there at that time that you went there?
Yes sir. 56 (This number is missing)
57: Did the church have a considerable following there at that place?
AT what place?
58: There in Racine County, Wisconsin?
Yes sir, considerable of the membership had drifted that way.
59: How many members were connected with the church there at that place?
At what place, – – -?
60: how many members did you say there was?
Well I could not really say, but I should say that there was likely at that place in Voree as they called it, and that was the name they had given the town in the beginning when they had built it, – I should say that there was perhaps one hundred or a little over that number perhaps.
61: That would be your estimate of the membership?
Yes sir I should say about that many, – that would be my estimate of the number, but then I could not say exactly, but that is about what I think making a guess.
62: Who was the recognized head of that church?
63: Well what position did he hold?
In what way.
64: Well what position did he sustain with relation to the church of which he claimed to be the head?
Well he claimed to be the successor of Joseph the Martyr after his death, – that is after the martyrdom of Joseph, – the assassinated Joseph, – he claimed to be the leader and head of the church after Joseph. He claimed to be the successor of Joseph Smith by virtue of an appointment that Joseph had made before his death appointing Strang as his successor, – that is what he held out.
65: Did you hold a position at that place in that church?
In Wisconsin do you mean?
66: Yes sir?
67: What was the office that you held?
I held the office of. Well I was Mr Strang’s Privy Counsellor, or in Mr Strang’s Privy Council in the office that he held there, and in that covenant that they held there.
68: Well now please explain the nature of that covenant.
Well it was of a peculiar nature, and a very greatly binding covenant, and you signed your name in your own blood. It was a covenant that was considered to be quite important.
69: Well what was its nature?
The nature of the covenant was to bind them together in one bond of brotherhood, –
70: Please explain who were to be bound?
All who where there and took the covenant in their own blood, – in blood drawn from their own veins, and it was considered that they covenanted amongst themselves that they were to be by it bound in one covenant of brotherhood, – one bond of brotherhood, and that we should stand up for each other right or wrong.
71: Right or wrong?
72: Where did that covenant originate? Counsel for the defendants objects to the question asked the witness on the ground and for the reason that it assumes a fact not in proof.
73: Well I will change that question, – what is it called did you say?
It was called a covenant.
74: It was called “a covenant”?
Yes sir, or “the covenant”.
75: Do you know anything about the origin of that covenant?
76: What do you know about it?
Well it originated there.
77: There at Voree?
Yes sir, at any rate that was the first I ever heard of it any way. Now that is my opinion about it, if it is proper to give an opinion, that is that it originated there, but I am not prepared to say that it originated there.
78: Do you know anything about who originated that covenant as it was called?
Well I can’t say, but it is my opinion that John C. Bennett and Mr. Strang originated that covenant.
79: Was it a regularly formulated covenant?
Yes sir. We took the covenant, but I could not now repeat very much of that covenant but it was a regularly formulated covenant, and it was very stringent and binding in its terms. I remember that it was to the effect that we who took it were to be true to each other, etc., right or wrong.
80: Was it ever printed?
Yes sir, I printed it.
81: Have you any copy of it?
No sir, I have not, for I never retained a copy of it at all, but I had that covenant and published it.
82: You say you published it yourself?
83: Are any of these publications in existence?
I don’t know, there may be some existing. I understood that there were. I understood that there was one in my neighborhood close by, but that I don’t know to be a fact, but I never retained one for I did not consider that it was of any great value or importance, or else I should have done so.
84: Could you not give a little more fully the nature or object of that covenant?
The nature and object of the covenant was to explain the same. I don’t know that I can explain it, but I was present at the initiating of the great many members, and the object of the covenant as I told you was to bind them together in a bind the obligations of which it was conceived could not be broken. The ones who were initiated were required to sign their names in their own blood, and I could not repeat much of the covenant verbatim, it all was long ago these things occurred, and I can not charge myself now with what occurred then, as I have allowed it to pass from my mind, as I am some what forgetful.
85: Well what penalty was there for a violation of that covenant?
You would be disfellowshipped from the church and considered to be an outcast, and not to be recognized by the church as the covenant members who were faithful and true to their covenant.
86: Was a violation of the obligations of that covenant to be attended with any personal violence?
87: Well what was it?
They were to be jeopardized, and their persons and property were to be placed at the will, and to be outraged by any one who belonged to that covenant. They undertook to carry out that measure, but their forces were not strong enough to do so, and they had quite a rough time there about the time it was played out.
88: Well you have not answered my question, was there anything violent connected with a violation of the secrets of that covenant?
Well I don’t know that there was personally, but it was generally understood that you were to be an outcast.
89: It was generally understood that you would be an outcast, – by that you mean that the person who revealed or divulged the formula of the endowment would be an outcast?
90: Well was the outcast to-be banished in anyway?
In what manner, –
91: What was to be done with the outcast, – what was to be the punishment inflicted upon him, – was he to be banished in any way?
Only he would be excommunicated from the church, – that was all that I knew anything about. He was to be excommunicated from the church and covenants both.
92: That is all?
93: He was not to be banished in any other way?
No sir, – not in any particular.
94: How long after the inception of that covenant was it before it was exposed and abandoned?
It was not very long.
95: Well about how long?
Well I should think it was about eight months.
96: About eight months?
Yes sir, – something like that bout, I should think.
97: Now you say it was exposed and then abandoned?
Yes sir. Well no I don’t say that it was abandoned in the sense that it was finally given up, but it was exposed, and then it was discontinued for a while. They discontinued having their meetings there, and then they made their preperations to go to Beaver Island. They sent a committee out to hunt a place to go and the committee after making its investigations reported on Beaver Island as the best place to locate, and then they began making their preperations to go there.
98: No you say that the covenant was exposed?
99: Who made that exposure?
I was the first one.
100: What was the result?
I proposed to speak on the covenant, and they knowing my position and knowledge of it by reason of being Strang’s privy counsellor, and I gave out there an appointment in which I proposed to explain that covenant, and that was held in a private house, that is the meeting was in which I explained it, and after that eighteen of the most prominent members said that they would stand by me, and so we put our shoulders to the wheel, and as my self and a sister remembered the covenant verbatim, we wrote it out and sent it to Elkhorn, and had it published and throwed it around promiscuously, – broad cast you might say.
101: That was what you did?
102: Well now you have told what was done, – what was the result?
Well the result was that it pretty much broke up their taking of the covenant there, – it pretty much broke up their organization there, and then they began to make their preperations to move to Beaver Island as I said before.
103: You say “they”, – whom do you mean by “they”?
I mean Strang’s followers, and they went with quite a number of the old Latter Day Saints to Beaver Island.
104: Well did you go with them?
No sir I did not go.
105: Well what proportion went with Strang to Beaver Island?
Of those that were there at Voree?
106: Yes sir?
Well they all went you might say that believed in Strang, – there were so many that there was no branch left there to organize.
107: About all the members that were there went to Beaver Island with Strang?
Yes sir, after they left there was not enough Latter Day Saints left there to organize a branch.
108: Did you remain there all the time?
No sir, – I moved about a mile from Voree to Burlington, – that was about a mile from Voree and was where Strang first located.
109: Did you organize a branch of the church there at Burlington?
No sir there was no organization of the church there, but there was a great many of the old Latter Day Saints that were with Strang that settled around there for immediate quarters, but they finally settled all over as they got scattered around.
110: Did you ever hear of the practice of polygamy in the church?
111: Where did you hear first of it?
Well I heard of it after we got there.
112: After you got there?
Yes sir, – after it got there I should say.
113: After it got there?
114: Well you don’t know when it got there?
No sir I can’t say that I do just know the date that it got there.
115: Well when did you first hear of its being there with reference to the time that you got there?
Well I never heard of it until a little over a year after I got there. I never heard of polygamy or the doctrine of plural wives until then I think. No it was a little over a year after Joseph Smith’s death.
116: It was a year after Joseph Smith’s death?
Yes sir, about that, – a little over a year perhaps.
117: Well where did you hear of it then?
As I said before I believe I lived about eighteen miles from Nauvoo at the first, and then I moved into Nauvoo in the winter, and wintered there.
118: That is where you first heard of polygamy?
119: Do you know how it originated?
Well I have my opinion, whilst I cannot say that I know it I have my opinion all the same. I believe I have my opinion pretty well grounded too from observation, and know how it originated and who was the originator of polygamy.
120: Well you may state it?
121: Answer the question?
I believe the originator was Williard Richards and Parley Pratt.
122: Did they hold any office in the church at that time?
Yes sir they were members of the Quorom of Twelve as it existed then. I believe that Parley Pratt was the prime originator of the system of polygamy.
123: What reason have you for believing that?
I believe he was the first man that started and headed it, and I think his after history proves that fact. He wrote a book, – at least I was satisfied that he wrote a book called Father Jacobs, and that introduced polygamy in a round about way.
124: What kind of a book was that?
It was rather an obscene book for I read it, and I know.
125: You say you read that book?
I was pretty well acquainted with one of the sisters, and she had it, and let me have it, and its existence was kept pretty well secret in the church, – that is every body in the church did not know of its existence, but one of the sisters in the church who occupied a pretty prominent place in the female councils of the church had the book and she let me have it, and it was rather on the obscene order. It was distributed around amongst the leading sisters, and it taught the introduction of this institution amongst the younger sisters. Now that is my opinion, – that Parley Pratt was the founder or originator of that institution of polygamy, and while that is my belief I could not prove it.
126: When did you see that book?
What time do you mean?
127: Yes sir?
It was in 1845, – it was in the winter of 1845 and the spring of 1846.
128: And that was at Nauvoo?
129: Now you said that you were an elder in the church while you were at Nauvoo?
130: Was or was it not the practice of Joseph Smith to call the elders together and talk to them on doctrinal points?
Shall I answer that question?
131: Yes sir, you may answer it?
I don’t know that I ever knew him to call them together as a body, and talk to them.
132: He never called them together as a body, and talked to them on doctrinal points?
No sir I never knew him, that I remember of, to call them together as a body, but I have often heard him talk to them from the stand.
133: Well to whom would he talk, – would it be to a congregation?
Yes sir. That would be as he preached on ordinary occasions. I never knew him to call the eldership together specially, however. I knew that to be the practice after his death, but never before his death.
134: Have you ever conversed with him on any doctrinal points?
Conversed with whom?
135: Conversed with Joseph Smith?
136: On doctrinal points?
Well not specially, – not specially. I have conversed with him, but not specially on these points.
137: As an elder in the church at that time, – that is before the time of the death of Joseph Smith, do you know what the doctrines of the church were at that time?
Yes sir I did. I did both before Joseph Smith’s death and afterwards, for I had some experience in both, and it was quite the reverse after his death. There was quite a decided change after his death, for after his death we were called together by the Twelve as it was then constituted, and as I belonged to a quorom our quoroms were called together and questioned by the President of the quoroms, as to whether they could or would preach such and such doctrines if they were sent out, and that was done to know and asertain: if they would be competent to be sent out and represent the church in the field, so to speak, and preach all that was taught by the Presidency and the Twelve.
138: Were you questioned in that way?
Yes sir, I was along with my quorom.
139: Well were you asked to preach the doctrine of polygamy?
140: You were?
Yes sir. I was.
141: At what time was that?
That I was asked these questions?
142: Yes sir?
Well that was in 1845, In the winder of 1845 or the spring, – yes sir I think it was in the winter of 1845.
143: Had you ever been called upon, prior to that time, to preach the doctrine of polygamy?
No sir. Not before that time.
144: At what place was this that you were called upon to preach polygamy?
145: Who was then the recognized head of the church at Nauvoo?
Well it was Brigham Young.
146: At that time he was recognized as the head of the church at there at Nauvoo?
Yes sir. It was Brigham Young and his Council.
147: Were you a member of his Council?
148: What was this gathering that you attended?
In what way?
149: You said you attended this gathering that was held there at that time when you were questioned as to your willingness to get out and preach and teach polygamy?
Yes sir, I attended with my quorums. You must understand that there were different quorums in the church and they were all called together in the same way and questioned.
150: Well they asked you to preach polygamy, – is that not what you stated?
151: Well did you consent to do so?
I have already stated that I did not.
152: Well what occurred then?
Well sir I was expelled from my quorum at that time. I was not immediately expelled for I was given one weeks grace to make up my mind and finally decide whether I would do it or not, and as I persisted in my refusal to do so I was finally expelled. The next time we were called together afterr the expiration of that period of grace, I was of the same opinion still, and so they then struck my name off the membership of the quorum.
153: From the position which you held in the church, – First, I will ask you if you have held to that doctrine ever since?
154: The doctrine of polygamy?
Yes sir, I have never held to it, and never believed in it, and have always been strongly in opposition to that doctrine, and that was the reason I left their organization there at Nauvoo – in consequence of my opposition to that doctrine of polygamy. Well it was not that alone, for there was many other doctrines, that I objected to and would not accept.
155: That was not the only reason of your leaving that organization they had there at Nauvoo after the death of Joseph Smith?
Yes sir, for there were many appendages to the doctrines added there, that I did not consider to be the true doctrine of the church, or the original doctrine of the church, and as I was asked to embrace them and refused to do so, I was read out of the church, or left it of my own free will, – I don’t hardly know which. Now I was not expelled from the church, but from my quorum, understand me.
156: Well now did not Strang teach polygamy?
He did not to my knowledge sir.
157: You do not know then as a matter of fact whether he taught it or not?
No sir not from personal observation, but I am well satisfied from the facts that he did preach it and practice it too. There is not the least doubt in my mind about that sir.
158: You are satisfied that he practiced it?
Yes sir there is no doubt of my mind about that.
141: At what time was that? A :That I was asked these questions?
142: Yes sir?
Well that was in 1845, -In the winter of 1845 or the spring, yes sir I think it was in the winter of 1845.
143: Had you ever been called upon, -rior to that time, to preach the doctrine of polygamy?
No sir. Not before that time.
144: At what place was this that you were called upon to preach polygamy?
145: Who was then the recognized head of the church at Nauvoo?
Well it was Brigham Young.
146: At that time he was recognized as the head of the church there at Nauvoo?
Yes sir. It was Brigham Young, and his Council.
147: Were you a member of his Council?
148: What was this gathering that you attended?
In what way?
149: You said that you attended this gathering that was held there at that time when you were questioned as to your willingness to get out and preach and teach polygamy?
Yes sir, I attended with my quoroms,. You must understand that there were different quoroms in the church and they were all called together in the same way and questioned.
150: Well they asked you to preach polygamy, -is that not what you stated?
151: Well did you consent to do so?
I have already stated that I did not.
152: Well what occurred then?
Well sir I was expelled from my quorom at that time. I was not immediately expelled for I was given one weeks grace to make up my mind and finally decide whether I would do it or not, and as I persisted in my refusal to do so I was finally expelled. The next time we were called together after the expiration of that period of grace, I was of the same opinion still, and so they then struck my name off the membership of the quorom.
158: From the position which you held in the church, First, I will ask you if you have held to that doctrine ever since?
154: The doctrine of polygamy?
Yes sir, I have never held to it, and never believed in it, and have always been strongly in opposition to that doctrine, and that was the reason I left their organization there at Nauvoo- in consequence of my opposition to that doctrine of polygamy. Well it was not that alone, for there was many other doctrines, that I objected to and would not accept.
155: That was not the only reason of your leaving that organization they had there at Nauvoo after the death of Joseph Smith?
Yes sir, for there were many appendages to the doctrines added there, that I did not consider to be the true doctrine of the church, or the original doctrine of the church, and as I was asked to embrace them and refused to do so, I was read out of the church, or left it of my own free will, -I don’t hardly know which. Now I was not expelled form the church, but from my quorom, understand me.
156: Well now did not Strang also teach polygamy?
He did not to my knowledge sir.
157: You do not know then as a matter of fact whether he taught it or not?
No sir not from personal observation, but I am well satisfied from the facts that he did preach it and practice it to. There is not the least doubt in my mind about that sir.
158: You are satisfied that he practiced it?
Yes sir, there is no doubt in my mind about that.
At Voree and Beaver Island both.
160: You are satisfied that he practiced it at both of these places?
Yes sir,-I am satisfied that he did from the history that I have of Mr. Strang, but I don’t know this of my own knowledge, for I did not see him practice it.
161: Well I don’t want you to state anything that you don’t know of your own knowledge,-just state what you have personal knowledge of yourself, and nothing else?
Well that is the way I do, when I don’t know a thing I tell you I do not know it.
162: Well now you stated that when you were requested to preach polygamy or teach it by the Quorum of Twelve, that you refused, and that you were given a week to consider the matter?
Yes sir, about such a matter,-I was given to the next meeting to consider it, and then when I was asked again to do so and persisted in my refusal I was stricken from my quorum, together with some other members who refused along with me. That is what we were expelled for,-because we would not edorse the doctrine of polygamy and would not teach it if we were sent out.
How many members of the quorum took the same stand you did, and were expelled from the quorum?
I think there was one, yes, it was only one.
164: What was his name?
I don’t remember his name sir.
165: From the position you held in the church at that time, if Joseph Smith the prophet and seer, had ever taught or practiced polygamy, would you have known of it?
I think I would have know of it. I was acquainted with the church from almost its first origin, and with al the old members in the church,-that is the first members who-were considered to be in good standing, etc, and I think I should have known something about it if he had.
166: Well did he?
I don’t think he did, I don’t think there is any question about that?
167: There is no question about that?
No sir, not the slightest question about it, for my opportunities were such that I would certainly have know about it. My opportunities were such that I would have found it out.
168: Did you know, or do you know of any one at that time connected with the church in an official capacity, who ever taught or practiced polygamy at any time during the life of Joseph Smith?
169: You don’t of any one?
170: What if any thing, do you know about the ordinance of the endowment in the church at that time?
At what time?
171: Well say at any time?
The endowments that they had in Nauvoo do you mean?
172: At any place, or at any time?
I don’t know much about them, for I never attended any of the endowments. I refused to go into the temple at Nauvoo or have anything to do with it, for I got quite disgusted with my observations on the way things wer going in the church. I had paid my tithes and I was invited to go in for we paid by wards, and I refused to go in with my ward.
173: When was that?
That was in the winter of 1845 or 1846.
174: Was that practiced before Joseph Smith’s death?
175: It was after his death?
Yes sir it was two years,-yes it was a little over two year after his death, that that was done. That is when this took place,-a little over two years after Joseph Smith’s Death, that the endowment took place,. That is the endowment where they sealed.
176: Well that was in the winter of 1845 or 1846?
Yes sir, -it was the last winter that they lived in Nauvoo.
177: Were you informed as to where that practice originated?
Well I don’t know as I said before. I gave you the name of the party who I thought originated polygamy. They originated the practice of it that winter, by the proclamation of Brigham Young’s, who declared the year of jubilee, and that proclamation declared that all those who chose were free to choose for eternity, and that constituted the introduction of polygamy, for they were free to choose one or more wives if they saw fit for eternity.
178: That was in accordance you say with a proclamation issued by Brigham Young?
179: In which he declared the year of jubilee?
180: Now can you fix the time when that was done?
Well it was early in the fall of 1845, and it run on through the winter of 1846 I am not sure of the date but it was the last winter they were there, and they left there in the spring or summer of 1846 some time.
181: Did they have an endowment house there?
No sir they used the temple, and you could perhaps call that an endowment house. The temple was partly finished at that time, -at all events sufficiently so as to enable them to attend to that part of their ceremonies in it.
182: Well did they have any separate house in which these endowments were given?
No sir, not that I know anything of. If they did I don’t know anything of it, for I understand that the endowments and sealing were all done in the temple. That was what I was informed, and I guess there is no doubt but that my information is correct.
183: Well you did not take any part in it?
No sir, although I was advised, or invited to take part along with my ward, I refused to do so, for I did not want to have anything to do with the endowments for I believed it to be an innovation on the doctrines of the church, and I had no faith or belief in it.
184: Well what was the nature and extent of the endowments as you understood it at that time?
Well there was a ceremony that they had there, and went through with that I understood to be, that they were to live entirely by the counsel of their superiors, -that is they were to follow their counsel in everything. They taught that there publicly in the temple hall that the book of covenants was like a steam boat that had gone up, and they had no use for it but we were to be governed and live by the counsel of our superiors. The principle teaching that they sought to impress upon the membership was to obey the council, and they had no more use for the book of Covenants as they termed it.
185: Do you mean to say that they taught that the book of Covenants was to be discarded?
Yes sir, and there was to be no more attention paid to it by those that endorsed Brigham’s theory.
186: Did they refer to the book of Mormon in any way?
Well they endorsed the book of Mormon.
187: They endorsed the book of Mormon then?
Yes sir I expect so for I never heard anything to the contrary.
188: What place if any, was set apart for conferring these endowments before Joseph Smith’s death?
I don’t know of any place. I never heard of any place. 189 (Written as 169)
188: Were they conferred before the death of Joseph Smith?
I have said that they were not that I knew anything of, and from the relation I sustained to the church I don’t believe they could have been conferred without my knowing it, therefore I say they were not.
190: That is all, – take the witness.
191: Your name is William Griffith?
No sir, – Williard Griffith.
192: And you are now a member of the re-organized church.
193: Mr Griffith what position do you hold at the present time in the reorganized church?
I don’t hold anything at all in the way of an office. I don’t hold anything more than my membership in the re-organized church.
194: How long have you been a member of the re-organized church?
195: How long, I asked you, have you been a member of the re-organized church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?
Well I became a member about a year after it was re-organized.
196: That is not an answer to my question, for I asked how long you have been a member of the re-organized church?
Well I joined it with about a year after it was re-organized.
197: Can you state about when that was, on reflection?
Well I cannot say positively, but it was about twenty-four years ago, or something like that, but as to the dates or lengths of time that I have belonged to the church I don’t remember more about it if I thought over it more.
198: Do you remember the time that it was re-organized?
I don’t know that I do remember the date that it was re-organized for I was not present at the time, but I would say that it was not far from twenty five years ago that it was re-organized.
199: You would say that it was not far from twenty five years since the re-organized church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was organized?
200: Was the time you speak of becoming a member of that organization after 1860?
I don’t know as I rightly understood you.
201: Did you become a member of the re-organized church after 1860?
Yes sir I think I did.
202: You think you did?
203: Was it before or after the war that you first became a member of the re-organized church?
It was after the war.
204: How long after the war?
It was immediately after the war.
205: After the war it was?
206: You are sure of that?
Yes sir, it was after the war, or immediately after the close of the war, or about the close of the war.
207: Were you a priest at the time you joined the re-organized church?
I don’t know what I claimed any official authority after the church broke up at Nauvoo, for the reason that I joined Mr Strangs church which lost me my membership in the old church.
208: It did?
Yes sir I claim it did.
209: Did you ever get a certificate of dismission from the church at Nauvoo?
210: You never did?
211: Were you ever tried for any offence against the laws of the church at Nauvoo?
212: You were not?
213: Were you at any time expelled from that church at Nauvoo?
Not that I am aware of. I seperated my self from it but I was never expelled that I know anything about.
214: Were any charges ever brought against you for the seperation of which you speak?
215: Did you ever authorize any one to take your name off the church roll there at Nauvoo?
216: Have you ever authorized any one to take your name off any church roll since that time?
217: What was your position in the church there at Nauvoo?
Before I left Nauvoo?
218: Yes sir, – what was your position in the church before you left Nauvoo?
I was a “seventy”.
219: What is that?
I belonged to the Quorom of “seventy”. I was a number of that quorom then.
220: Did you have a quorom of seventy there then?
221: You did?
222: How many was there?
There was twenty odd quoroms of seventy.
223: There was twenty odd quoroms of seventys?
224: That was under Brigham’s regime?
225: Did you belong to a quorom of seventy under Brigham.
226: Was that the quorom that you were called before the Presidency with to receive instruction on the question of doctrine of polygamy?
227: About what time were you appointed to that quorom?
I think it was in the fall of 1845 that I was ordained to that quorom. If I am not mistaken that was the time.
228: By whom?
Who ordained us?
229: Yes sir?
I don’t remember who it was that laid their hands on us. There was a string of us there that would reach across this room and we were all ordained at the one time, for there were men set apart to ordain us, and they berformed the ordinations, but I don’t remember who it was superintended the ordination ceremonies or who laid hands on us.
230: That was in the fall of 1845 you say?
231: What about time was it in the fall that this ordination occured?
I could not say.
232: Was there any record made of that, if you know?
Well I suppose they did, for they usually kept a record of these things. Each quorom was organized seperately, and they organized and elected their president, and the president of each quorom kept his own records, and then there was a President over all the quoroms.
233: You say there was a record kept of that meeting?
Yes sir. I say I suppose there was.
234: Do you know where that record went?
I suppose it went to Utah?
235: You suppose it went to Utah?
236: Do you know whehther it went there or not?
I don’t know anything about it, but I suppose it went to Utah. I don’t know what became of it, as I did not care anything about it.
237: Well, it appears that you became a member of the quorum of seventy in the fall of 1845?
238: Well what position did you occupy in the church prior to the death of Joseph Smith?
Before the death of Joseph Smith?
239: Yes sir, what position did you hold in the church prior to his death?
I was an elder, sir.
240: By whom were you ordained?
By two men. By a man named William Miller and William Redfield.
241: These mean were the ones that ordained you?
242: By whom were you apointed?
I was propsed by a branch for ordination, and by introduction was accepted, and then they ordained me on that, and then I presided over a branch after I was ordained of course.
243: What branch was it, that you presided over?
A branch in Indiana, at Warwick.
244: Was that the case at the time that you were selected and ordained as one of the quorum of seventy?
What is that?
245: Did you still continue to preside over that branch at the time you were ordained a member of the quorum of seventy?
No sir. It was after that a good while that I was made a member of the quorum of seventy, for I was ordained in the winter of 1849 – ’39 I mean.
246: In the winter of ’39?
Yes sir. 247:
246: You were ordained an elder?
248: How far then at that time did you live from Nauvoo?
Some three hundred of four hundred miles from there.
249: Where were you located at that time?
250: How long did you ramin there?
I remained there something over two years.
251: When did you leave Indiana?
I left there in the fall of 1841 and then I moved to Nauvoo in Hancock County, Illinois.
252: Did you move to Nauvoo, or was it within eithteen miles of Nauvoo?
I was living out of Nauvoo for ahile, about eighteen miles from Nauvoo, and I used to work out there in the summer time and come into Nauvoo to winter as I stated before. I only lived out there a part of the time, an the balance of the time up to the time I finally left Nauoo, I lived in the town.
253: When did you first winter, or live in Nauvoo?
It was in the winter of 1841.
254: Where did you live in Nauvoo?
The first winter I lived there I lived in a house there with a brother of mine–I mean a brother in law of mine. I lived with him the first winter I was in Nauvoo.
I say in Nauvoo
256: What winter was that?
It was the winter I moved thaere, and I came there in the fall late, or in the winter, of 1841.
257: In the fall of 1841?
Yes sir, I think so.
258: And you lived with your brother in law?
259: Who was your brother in law?
My brother in law’s name was Henry Wilcox.
260: You were a married man then?
261: And had children?
262: How long had you been married at that time?
I was married in ’38.
263: Where were you married?
264: You were a member of the church at the time you were married?
That is what you say?
265: Well were you or were you not?
266: was your wife also a member of the church at the time she married you?
267: She was?
268: Yes sir?
No sir she was not a member of the church at that time.
269: Is she still living?
270: You are living together at home?
271: Now you said you were acquainted with Joseph Smith?
Yes sir. I was well acquainted with him.
272: When did you first become acquainted with Joseph Smith?
When did I first make his acquaintance?
273: Yes sir?
Well it was in ’30. That was the first time I had any acquaintance with him or seen him, it was in the year ’30.
274: And when did you become a member of the church?
It was in ’31 that I joined the church.
275: Where did you first make the acquaintance of Joseph Smith?
I made my acquaintance with him sir in Kirtland.
276: Kirtland, Ohio?
277: That was the head quarters of the church at that time?
Yes sir. 276:
277: How long did you remain in Kirtland, Ohio, after you made his acquaintance?
I joined the church then. That time I was there I joined the church.
278: Well how long did you remain in Kirtland, Ohio, after you joined the church?
Well I remained there until the fall of ’38.
280: Well where did you go from there?
Well sir I wintered the first winter after I left there in the city of St. Charles, Missouri.
281: You came from Ohio there?
282: And wintered the first winter there in St. Charles?
283: Then where did you from there?
I went form there to Indiana.
284: Did you go any time to the town of Independence, in Jackson County, Missouri?
285: You never were there?
286: Or did you at any time go to Ray County, Missouri, or to Far West?
I was on my way there from Ohio and was about one days drive from St. Charles when I was intercepted and informed that the Saints had been driven out of that state, and no more were to be permitted to come in, and so I stopped there in St Charles and wintered there. The Missouri river was low at that time, and so I with another gentleman that was with me hired a team and we moved into St Charles and wintered there.
287: Who was with you?
288: Well who was this other gentlemen that you say was with you?
Mr. Lover Granger.
289: Now what was there about this team that you say you hired?
Well we hired the team as I say, and started from St Charles, and went out about two days drive from the town, for we hired the team to take us on, and when we stopped at an hotel for the night,- It was just a country hotel that we put up at, and while were there the land lord asked me where we were going and I told him, and then he said “these men that are here, are picket guards, and they will not allow you to go any further, and in the morning I turned around and hired this same team to take me back to St Charles, and **NOTE** the numbering is skewed around 276 I stayed there at St Charles all that winter.
290: That was down there at St Charles, Missouri?
291: Well where did you go from there?
292: At what point in Indiana did you locate then?
Well sir I landed at Evansville on the Ohio river.
293: Did you remain there any length of time?
Yes sir, for a time.
294: How long did you remain there?
Well I stayed there about two and a half years.
295: Where did you go from there?
296: Did you ever see Joseph Smith at any time after 1831, or from that time up to the time that you went to Nauvoo?
I don’t know that I understand your question.
297: Did you ever see Joseph Smith at any time after 1831 the time that you saw him at Kirtland, and from that time on up to the time that you went to Nauvoo?
Do you want to know if I saw him at any time from ’31 until I went to Nauvoo?
298: Yes sir?
Oh yes I saw him there at Kirtland often, and heard him preach many a time.
299: But how could that be fore you left Kirtland at an early date?
No sir I lived there several years.
300: When did you leave Jirtland?
I left there in ’38, – in the fall of ’38, and in 1841 I came to Nauvoo, and I heard him preach there at Nauvoo after 1841, as well as in Kirtland during ’38 and before that time.
301: Well did he speak there in Kirtland and all the time from ’31 to ’38, – was he there all the time?
Well I heard him many a time, for he was not thee all the time for he was backwards and forwards, and was in Missouri once I – believe, and he was out some times on missions, and I heard him preach often during that period in Kirtland. You must remember that I was born and raised within about five miles of Kirtland and I heard him preach there from about the time they first came there with the church.
302: Now you have testified here that you understand the doctrines of the church at Nauvoo, and the doctrines of the church while at Kirtland, have you not?
Of course I understand it. I think I understand it pretty well at any rate.
303: Will you state what the doctrines of the church were?
304: You may answer the question?
Of course I know the cardinal principles of the doctrines of the church.
305: Well state what they are?
The resurrection and laying on of hands, –
306: And baptism?
307: Is that all?
308: What more is there?
Faith and repentance.
309: Had they a resurrection?
310: What else?
And an eternal judgement.
311: You said there was five points of doctrine, baptism was one, faith, and the resurrection was another?
Faith and repentance was what I said.
312: Then what?
The resurrection and eternal judgement was another.
313: Resurrection and eternal judgement?
314: Then what else?
We had incorporated the laying on of hands some years before this as one of the ordinances of the church.
315: Well are the five points, first, – baptism, then faith, – do you call faith and repentance one?
Well they are in harmony, the one belongs to the other.
316: They are two separate principles?
317: Then there is a baptism, faith and repentance, the resurrection, and eternal judgement, – are these the five points of doctrine?
Yes sir these are the five points.
318: Did the church prior to 1844 we will say, adopt any other doctrine?
What is the question?
319: Had the church any other doctrines other than these you have ennumerated, prior to 1844?
Not any new doctrines before that that I ever knew any thing about, but I have heard of doctrines, and doctrines and schisms and everything in the church since that time.
320: Well I am asking you as to what the doctrines of the church prior to 1844?
Well sir that was the doctrine of the church at the time I joined it and embraced these doctrines, and what I considered to be the doctrine of the church that I now belong to.
321: That is your opinion?
No sir, that is my knowledge.
322: Do you know upon what books the doctrine of the church was based?
323: Yes sir?
In what way?
324: Will you say upon what books the doctrine of the church is organized or based?
325: Well what are they?
Well sir the doctrine of the church is organized according to the new testament doctrine.
326: Well then the new testament is one of the book upon which the doctrine of the church is based?
327: What else is there?
That is all. It was organized upon the new testament system, also the prophets, etc.
328: Is there any other book besides the new testament that is an authority in the church?
329: What is it?
330: What is it?
We believe the book of Mormon to be a true history.
331: Anything else?
Yes sir, – we believe the book of Doctrine and Covenants to be an inspired book, – that is we believe its contents to have been inspired. We believe it is inspired for the doctrine of the church.
332: Well is there any other book?
333: That is all?
Yes sir, that is all.
334: What church do you speak of now?
I am speaking of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
335: At what time?
Now, ever since it was organize, and for all time.
336: That is your belief?
337: Do you know whether there is, – whether as a matter of fact, there is any other book that the re-organized church believes in, and holds to as a basis for its doctrine?
338: You don’t know of any other?
I don’t know of any other book sir.
339: There is just the new testament, the book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants?
I don’t know of any other sir, besides the ones you have mentioned, but the bible.
340: What is that?
The bible, – the old and the new testament.
341: Do you know of any book that is held as an authority in the reorganized church, called, or know as the “inspired translation”?
Oh yes sir.
342: Well what is that?
That is what we call the bible, – that is what we term the bible.
343: Do you accept that?
Yes sir, I endorse the inspired translation, and believe it to be correct.
344: You endorse it and believe it to be correct?
345: Does the church also accept it as correct and endorse it?
I could not say as to that, but I believe they do sir.
346: Did you have that inspired translation in the church prior to – 1844?
347: What is that?
I said no.
348: When did you first find it as an authority?
Well really I can’t tell you when I read the new translation. It was translated in Joseph’s day, but it was not printed then.
349: Do you know whether or not it was ever adopted by the re-organized church?
I think that it was adopted by the re-organized church, but when and at what time it was adopted and endorsed by the re-organized church I don’t know. I don’t know that there was any special time that it was adopted by any conference or gathering of the church but it was endorsed by a divine inspiration, but what effect that endorsation had, I don’t know.
350: Was it or was it not endorsed after 1845 and before 1847 by the authorities there then?
351: Yes sir?
I don’t know as it was endorsed in Kirtland at all.
352: I am not talking about what occured at Kirtland, – I am talking about at Nauvoo, and what occured there.
What is that.
353: I say I am talking about Nauvoo?
Do you refer to this translation?
354: Yes sir?
It was talked of as a re-translation of the bible but it was not published or printed in Nauvoo.
355: Not even by Brigham Young was it?
No, I don’t think it was.
356: What was the “seventy” to which you were introduced, and belonged?
What was it?
357: Yes sir?
I don’t understand what you mean, -explain yourself?
358: What seventy was it?
The 16th seventy sir.
359: What, – when do you say that you first heard of the doctrine of polygamy?
Well the first that I ever heard of the doctrine of polygamy, was in the fall or spring of ’35.
360: The fall or spring of ’35?
No that is a mistake, – I mean 1845.
361: Well in the fall or spring which was it?
Well it was either in the fall or winter of 1845 or the spring of 1846.
362: Well why did you not, – first I will ask you to state which it was, the fall of 1845 or the fall of 1846?
Well it was in the fall of 1845 and through the winter and along up the spring of 1846. It was introduced about a year after the death of Joseph Smith.
363: About a year after the death of Joseph Smith?
Yes sir, I think so.
364: About what time of the year was Joseph Smith killed.
He was killed in the fall.
365: Of what year?
366: Joseph Smith was killed in the fall of 1844?
Yes sir I think it was. It was in the fall or summer some time.
367: Do you recollect the time that he was killed?
I recollect the circumstance, but of course I was not present at the time he was killed.
368: Where were you at the time he was killed?
I was at Layhart.
369: Where is that?
That is in Illinois, eighteen miles from Nauvoo and sixteen miles from Cathage where he was assassinated.
370: Can you remember the kind of weather it was at the time he was assassinated?
Well I don’t know that I can. I can’t remember that there was any extra-ordinary kind of weather at that time.
371: Well was it not in fact in the summer time?
No sir I think not, – not early in the summer any way. I rather think it was in August or September. I think it was some where along about there, but I am not positive about it.
372: Well was it not in fact in June?
I can’t say. I don’t think it was.
373: It was not in June?
I think not. I am kind of forgetful about these things, and I don’t remember the month. It might have been in the summer.
374: Did you see Joseph Smith after his death?
Yes sir I saw him after he was assassinated.
375: How did you happen to see him?
I went there to Nauvoo to see – him sir, and I did see him
376: When was that?
That was right away after he was assassinated, after they got him back to Nauvoo of course, we got the news. there at our place that he was assassinated, and of course immediately there was a great rush to Nauvoo, and I went to and saw him. It was right away after they brought him back to – Nauvoo that I saw him because it was before he was laid out.
377: Now you said that after the death of Joseph Smith you became a member of the quorom of seventy?
378: It was the 16th quorom of seventy’s?
379: At what date in the fall was it that you became a member of the quorom of seventy?
I am not positive I could not give it a date because my memory would not let me. That is something I cannot answer sir.
380: Well was it in the fall?
381: Of 1845?
382: Where was it that you first heard this question of polygamy discussed or spoken of?
Where did I first hear of it?
383: Yes sir?
I was in Nauvoo sir. I have stated that at least ten times since I began here to day.
384: Well I don’t think you stated it to me before, and you know I have a right to it?
Well it was at Nauvoo.
385: At what season of the year was it that you heard it discussed first?
I was called in there to Nauvoo with all the surrounding branches by Brigham Young’s proclamation, at the time that the people not members of the church were gathering in mobs for the purpose of doing violence to the Saints and persecuting them, for at that time we were advised together into Nauvoo so that we could the better protect ourselves from the violence of the mob, and so I went in there for winter quarters in the fall of 1845, and I lived there through that winter and in the spring of 1846 I left there?.
386: Well what time in the fall of 1845 did you go in there?
Well I can’t say but it was along in the fall some time, – I think in the latter part of September.
387: How long had you been there at Nauvoo before you were made a member of the quorom of seventy?
Not a great while.
388: Well about how long?
I can’t say, but it was not a great while.
389: Now on what occasion did you first hear of this doctrine of polygamy?
Well I can’t say. I can’t say what was the first I heard of it, but the first positive evidence I had of its being the doctrine taught by Brigham’s organization, was when it was presented to my quorom. I had heard rumors of it before that time, but that was the first I ever heard of its being the doctrine of the organization they had there that Brigham Young was the head of it.
390: Well I asked you on what occasion did you first hear of the doctrine of – polygamy?
Well that would be hard to say, for I heard of it from a great many sources. From any source you might say or it was a matter of common talk – there during the winter, – It was marrying gor eternity, so as to get the right wife I supposed,
391: Well now I want you to locate the time you first heard of it?
About plural wives? –
392: Yes sir?
Well I have told you about that
393: Now you say that you heard of it in your quorom of seventy, and now I want to know if you heard of it before that time, and if so tell me from whom you heard it?
I have told you time and time again that it was a matter of common talk there in Nauvoo during that winter, and I stated that I had heard rumors of it before it was officially presented in the quorum, but I cannot begin to tell you who I heard speak of it, that is something beyond my power, for I do not remember it. Now when I come to think of it I don’t think that I did hear of it. I might have heard rumors of it before I went on that quorum of seventy, but I rather think I did not, but at any rate pretty soon after I went on that quorum we were called together and instructed that that was a doctrine that we would have to preach if we were sent out, and I repudiated it, and then I was cut off for my action.
394: That is what you were expelled from the quorum for?
395: For your refusal to agree to teach polygamy?
396: How long did you belong to the quorum?
Not a great while.
397: Well about how long?
Just a few months.
398: Well state about how many months you belonged to it?
Well may be five or six months, something like that.
399: Did you hear it preached at the time you joined the quorum?
I said a while ago that I had, but that was owing to the fact that I misunderstood the question, for I never heard it preached.
400: Did you hear of, did you hear it talked of at the time, or prior to the time that you joined that quorum?
No sir, but I heard of the doctrine of sealing one woman to a man for eternity. I heard of that but not about polygamy.
401: When did you hear that talked of?
At the introduction of polygamy.
Well at that time, just a little before it, for that was introductory to polygamy.
403: I understand you to say that you heard of the circumstance of women being sealed to mean before you heard the doctrine of polygamy openly advocated?
I never heard the doctrine of polygamy publicly advocated in the world. Never.
404: You never heard of it publicly?
No sir, I never heard it publicly advocated at all.
405: Well how did you hear it?
I heard it in the quorum at the time that I spoke of, but that was just to the quorum, and then I heard it talked about in a great many circles. It was a matter of common chat amongst the people in a private way that winter, but I did not hear it publicly.
406: Well you did hear it taught in the quorum?
407: When did you hear it taught in the quorum?
408: Yes sir.
Well that was in the spring of 1845, I think. I joined the quorum in 1845, and I think it was in the spring that it was taught to us there.
409: If you joined the quorum in the fall of 1845, it must have been in the spring of 1846 that you heard it taught in the quorum, and not in 1845?
Yes sir it was in 1846 and not in 1845.
410: When did you join the quorum?
I think it was in the spring of 1845.
411: That was the time that you joined the quorum?
412: Well now the reason I asked you that question is because,
Well 1845 was the first time I ever heard of it, that is heard of polygamy.
413: Well what season in the year was it that you first heard of it?
Well it was in the spring or winter. I don’t make any, dates on it, for I don’t remember, I might possibly be mistaken about that.
414: Now you say now that you became a member of the quorom in the spring of 1845
Yes sir, I think that was the time.
415: Well I understood you a moment ago to say that you became a member of that quorom in the fall of 1845?
Well that was the time I joined the quorom, -I did not understand what you meant, -I thought you referred to the time I first heard polygamy spoken of, and that was the time. I can’t remember these things as to the dates that I heard this and that for I did not charge my mind with it.
416: Well answer me this question, -did you hear polygamy spoken of before you were a member of the quorom of seventy?
417: You are positive of that?
Yes sir, for there was nothing known about polygamy–at the time that I became a member of the quorom., but it was not long after that that it was introduced as a subject of conversation, or common chat.
418: Well you know say you joined the quorom of seventy in the spring of 1845?
I think it was.
419: Well I want you to be as nearly accurate about that as you possibly can be?
Well I think it was some where near that time. I can’t be positive, but I think it was some where near then.
420: Then you must have become a member of the quorom of seventy in the spring of 1845 and not in the fall of 1845?
In the spring?
421: Yes sir, I say you must have become a member of the quorom which you joined in the spring of 1845 instead of in the fall?
Well I am not positive as to whether it was in the spring or in the fall. I could not say positively as to that sir.
422: Is there not something that will enable you to fix the time with reference to the season of the year that you joined that quorom?
I can’t say, -I can’t tell you positively when it was.
423: Well can’t you call to mind something with reference as to what kind of weather it was, that will enable you to fix more definitely the time of year it was?
It was a long time ago-that all this occured, and I am a little forgetful about these things, and I don’t know that I can recall anything that will help to fix that in my mind. I don’t know that I can recall anything that will fix it in the spring or in the fall.
424: Well you say that you heard it spoken of after you joined the quorom of seventy?
425: Now did you hear it spoken of in a meeting of the quorom?
426: How did it come up in the quorom?
The quorom was called together specially for that matter to be presented to them, and that question was propounded to the quorom that I belonged to by its President, and he wanted to know if the members of the quorom would agree to teach that principle, -that is the principle of plural marriage or polygamy as it is called, in case they were sent out to preach the faith as it then existed, and the statement was made by the (President of the) quorom if there was any body there that would not agree to preach and each it they would be expelled. That is what I know occured in the quorom that I belonged to, and I understand that all the other quoroms were called together, and asked the same question.
427: Who was the first man that approaced you on the subject?
Upon the question of polygamy?
428: Yes sir?
Well that was the time, but I had heard it talked of before.
429: You had heard of it before?
Yes sir I had heard rumors, but nothing that I could call definite.
430: Now when did you first hear it spoken of?
Well I could not tell you that. I could not say, for for a while there was not much else talked of.
431: Well I think it is hardly necessary to ask you for the name of the first man or person you heard speak of it?
Well I could not tell you if you did.
432: Well can you give me the names of some of the first persons you heard speak of it?
Heard speak of it? In what way?
433: That spoke to you on the question of polygamy?
Well I talked with Reynolds Cahoon of the temple Committee, and I was pretty well acquainted with him, and I talked with him in the winter of 1846, and I talked with others, – quite a good many men of considerable distinction upon the subject, – that is I talked with quite a considerable number of men of distinction in the church, whose names I can’t give you now, but I talked with them on the subject, and some of them agitated every extreme action.
434: Now you have mentioned Reynolds Cahoon?
435: And thee was others?
Yes sir, there were others whose names I cannot remember.
436: Well who did you hear else?
Well I heard Brigham Young preach advocating polygamy at Layhart.
437: You heard Brigham Young preach at Layhart?
438: When was that?
That was in the fall of 1845, – he preached a sermon there that was very much contaminated with polygamy.
439: Now you took a covenant there did you not, – there at Nauvoo?
440: Well when did you take that?
Well that was about the same to me.
441: To go back, I will ask you for the time you had your first conversations with any one on that subject, – that is on the subject of polygamy?
Well I can’t say for I suppose I have talked with fifty people on that question, and I could not begin to tell you when I had the first talk on the matter.
442: You say you do not remember the name of the first man that spoke to you on that question?
I can’t remember the name.
443: Now is it not the likely that you would be able to remember the name of the first man who approached you on a subject of such grave importance to the church as the question of polygamy was?
Well I learned from those who went into the endowments that it was introduced there as one of the ceremonies in 1846.
444: Well I am talking about the matter of polygamy?
I can’t give you the name of the first person who spoke to me about it.
445: Now with reference to the endowments, – can’t you give me the name of the first man that spoke to you on that question?
446: Well I will ask you if it is not likely that you would remember the name of the person who first poke to you upon a question of such great importance to the church?
I cannot remember, but as I said before I talked with some persons who took the endowment there, and they informed me that they were introduced as a part of the ceremonies in the church in 1846, I have talked with different ones who have been through the endowments, and some of them were sealed.
447: Well I will ask you if it would not have shocked you for some
One to approach-you on the question of polygamy,-if such an approach would have been shocking to you?
Well it was not on the streets.
448: Well I am not asking you anything about the streets or what occurred on the streets,-I asked you if it would not have shocked you for some one to approach you on the question of polygamy?
Well sir I want you to understand that, I was never approached to endorse the system at all.
449: Well I am not asking you that either. I asked you if it would not have shocked you, and did it not have that effect on you when the question was first broached in your presence?
I did not like it I can assure you,-it was not a very-palatable to me,-on the contrary it was very distasteful to me.
450: Well if it had that effect on you why is it that you cannot remember who it was first spoke of it?
Well as I before told you I don’t know what I can give you the date of time that it was first spoken of in my presence, or the name of the party who first spoke of it,-in fact I am sure that I cannot do that, but it was some thing like eighteen months or such a matter after Joseph’s death. Well perhaps it was not much over a year after Joseph’s death that polygamy was introduced, or became talked about as a matter of more or less general conversation.
451: Well how does it come that you can state it was over a year, or within a year after Joseph Smith’s death that you heard it,-that it became talked about and you cannot state when it was first talked about?
Well I can remember these things in a general way of course, but all this occurred so long back,-nearly fifty years ago it was,-that I cannot remember who I first heard talk about it, or when I first heard it talked about only in a general way.
452: Well I will ask you if such a revolting doctrine did not make an impression on your memory?
Certainly. I remember right well the fact that it was spoken of to me and that I did not approve of it, and so expressed myself at the time. I would not remember however that I heard it at such and such a time.
453: Would it not be impressed upon your memory so that you could specify the names of the persons whom you fist heard speak of it?
Well I could specify the names of a great many men if I felt so disposed.
454: What is that?
I say I could state the names of a great many men I heard speak about it if I felt so disposed.
455: Well are you disposed to state their names?
Yes sir. 456 Well who are they?
I heard Phineas Young and quite a number of different men that I was associated and acquainted with talk about it. It was not a matter that was kept secret,-it was a matter that was talked of there freely.
457: Well now you have mentioned two men,- E Cahoon and Young as being parties whom you heard speak of this doctrine?
458: Well now can you mention any other?
Well sir I could mention the whole community if I could think of their names, but there was but very few stayed where I did at the time in that community at that time.-
459: Stayed where you did,-what do you mean by that?
I meant to say that there was but few that stood where I did in the repudiation of that doctrine, for I repudiated it and would not have anything to do with it whatever.
460: Well how many did stand at that time where you did?
Well there was not many”.
461: Well about how man?
Well there was not more than one in ten.
462: How many would you put the number at that repudiated that doctrine?
I can’t say, but there was now and then one that would not endorse that doctrine.
463: Well was there one hundred at Nauvoo that would not endorse it?
464: Well was there more than one hundred?
Yes sir I think there was.
465: Well about how many was there that repudiated that principle?
In Nauvoo do you mean?
466: Yes sir?
Well there was probably two times that amount.
467: May be there was two hundred at Nauvoo that refused to accept or endorse that doctrine?
468: That would not endorse the doctrine of polygamy?
469: Do you mean also the sealing of wives?
470: Now you have spoken of the endowments there at Nauvoo?
471: There was endowments conferred there?
472: I believe you stated that you never took any of the endowments there?
473: You did not take any of them?
474: Were you ever invited to do so?
476: In what part of 1846?
In the winter of 1846.
477: You have said that you did not know of any endowments being practiced prior to that time have you not?
I said I did not know of any endowments in the old church but the endowments at Kirtland temple, for they had an endowment that at one time, and I know of no other endowment that was ever practiced in the church except the endowment at Kirtland temple after, – I mean at the temple at Nauvoo, after the death of Joseph Smith. That is what I said I think, and if I did not say it, that is what I intended to say.
478: How can you say that the endowments that were practiced in 1845 and 1846 had not been practiced in 1844?
Because I know nothing of it in 1844 but I did in ?46.
479: And that is the only reason why you say it was not practiced in 1844
480: Because you had not heard of it?
No sir, and I will say that I think it could not have been practiced without my hearing of it. I never heard it, and I think I should have known of it if I had heard of it.
481: Is there any record of these endowments that were practiced in Kirtland?
There is no record that I know anything of.
482: And so you did not know of nor hear of any endowment that was practiced in the church from the time of the endowments at Kirtland until the time of the Nauvoo endowments?
No sir I did not know of any endowments being practiced in the church before the time of the Kirtland endowments, until the time that the endowments were practiced at Nauvoo, after the death of Joseph Smith.
483: When did you say that the endowments were practiced in Nauvoo?
That was in the winter of 1846 that they were practiced there. That is when they were practiced there in Nauvoo.
484: Can you say also on the same principle that any one practiced polygamy in Nauvoo in 1845?
485: I asked you if you could say from the same principle that any one practiced polygamy in Nauvoo in the year 1845?
In the fall of 1845, – the winter of 1845 I believe it was, but there was a few of them practicing polygamy.
486: You know that to be a fact?
I have the best reason in the world to believe that it is a fact.
487: Could you say as a matter of fact that they had not been practicing it long prior to that time?
I could not say.
488: Well would you say that they had not been practicing it long prior to that time?
I say I couldn’t say for if they had been at it before that time it was done on the sly and was not openly and publicly advocated as a public doctrine.
489: Then what you mean to say is that polygamy was not advocated publicly, prior to the fall of 1845?
490: That is what you mean to say?
491: Now do you mean to say that it was not practiced privately, by the head men of the church prior to that time?
No sir, I mean to say that I don’t believe it was. I don’t believe it would be so and I not have heard of it, but if it was it was done mighty sly, and they took might good care to keep it secret, – and not let it get out, but I don’t believe there is anything in that. I know I never heard of it before 1845 and way.
492: And you say the same with reference to the endowments if they were practiced in the church prior to 1845?
493: Would you have heard of the endowments also if they had been practiced in the church prior to the death of Joseph Smith?
Yes sir, I think I would.
494: And what you say is that you did not hear of them before that time?
Yes sir, and I believe they were not practiced until then either.
495: Was it not publicly known that you were opposed to these principles or practices?
It could not have been known for I had not heard anything of it until that time, therefore it could not be known how I felt about it as there was no occasion for me to express myself.
496: Well at the time it was first talked about it was well known that you were opposed to them was it not?
In 1846 – it was.
497: Well was it not also known prior to that time that you were opposed to it?
No sir, for I did not know anything about it. I never heard of these things until in 1846 or just previous to that.
498: You cannot say either that it was not practiced prior to 1844 privately and extensively?
No sir I cannot say as to that for I don’t know, and I don’t believe that it was.
499: Did you know anything about Bennett’s secret wife system?
500: Yes sir?
Well no, – I don’t know anything about his secret wife system?
501: You say you don’t know anything about that?
502: Did you ever hear it spoken of there in Nauvoo?
No sir, I never heard of a secret wife system.
503: Did you ever hear of a secret wife system of any body’s there in Nauvoo?
No sir, no more than plurality, and the common practice of sealing in the temple, – sealing man and wife.
504: Did you ever hear of any secret wife system prior to 1844?
I think it was early in 1845 that John C Bennett was expelled from the church there on a complaint of intimacy with a woman, and he then turned a persecutor of the church, and wrote a pamphlet in opposition to the church, demeaning the church, etc.
505: He wrote a pamphlet against the church?
Yes sir, and there was one sent against him in reply I think. It was not particularly on the spiritual wife doctrine, but it was on account of John C Bennet’s conduct with a certain lady, and that circumstance created quite a stir for Mr Bennett was quite a conspicuous character in Nauvoo at that time.
506: What was it created the stir?
His expulsion from the church and that was for the reason of is conduct with this woman, and that matter created a great deal of comment in the church on account chiefly of the conspicuous place that Mr. Bennett occupied in the church.
507: Now in what year was that?
That was I think early in 1845.
508: How long, with reference to that time was it, before you heard of the doctrine of polygamy?
It was quite a while, – I can’t say just how long it was, but it was quite a while.
509: Well about how long was it afterwards before you heard the question of polygamy talked of or agitated in the church?
Well as I say I could not state the time exactly, but it was nearly a year after that. It was nearly or quit e a year after that before I heard any thing about polygamy.
510: Nearly a year after this trouble with Bennett?
Yes sir, about that time I think.
511: What was the definite cause of that trouble?
Well that trouble with Bennett was cause by his living in a house with a woman by the name of Mrs. Orson Pratt. They accused him of undue intimacy with Mrs Pratt, and there was quite a row among the dignaries. I can’t recollect just how it all was, but any way the up show of it was that he was turned out of the church, and after he was out of the church in revenge I suppose he turned around and wrote against the church.
512: Who did you say this woman was that he was accused of being unduly intimately with?
Mrs Orson Pratt.
513: Was that Orson Pratt’s wife?
514: Where was Pratt at that time?
He was in England.
515: Do you remember about the time of the destruction of the Expositor?
516: You remember that circumstance?
517: Well when would you place that date?
of the destruction of that paper, or its office?
518: Yes sir?
Well that was but a short time I think before Smith’s death. That was in 1843 I think or probably in the early part of 1844. Now as I said before with reference to these dates. It is something I can’t remember, and I only give the dates as nearly as I can remember.
519: Well about how long before his death was it?
I can’t say, but my impression is that it was only a short time before it. He was the Mayor of the city at the time it occured, – that is at the time of the destruction of the Expositior.
520: Do you remember anything about the reason the Expositior was destroyed?
521: Well why was it destroyed if you know?
It was declared a nuisance by the city council, and Joseph Smith as notified as Mayor of the City to have it destroyed or suppressed, and he objected so I understand, for recollect I am not stating what I have been informed, – he objected to doing so, so I was informed, but they insisted upon it, and so it was distroyed.
522: Who insisted upon it?
523: Answer the question?
The city council.
524: And so it was destroyed?
Yes sir. 525 (Written as 529 – in pencil at bottom of page)
524: Why was it destroyed?
They destroyed it as a nuisance.
526: Do you know what was the matter with it?
527: Well what was the matter with it?
Well it was a nuisance.
528: Well what made it a nuisance?
Well there was written and published in that publication slanderous stories about A, B and C and others, and these slanderous stories were written by parties who has left the church.
529: What was the nature of the stories or exposures?
Every kind of a slander was charged that they could bring upon the church, – everything vile and slanderous that they could bring against the church they did so.
530: Did you ever see a copy of the Expositor?
531: Did you ever see the last copy of the Expositor?
I could not say whether I did or not.
532: Do you know how many copies of it were published?
I don’t know.
533: You don’t know how many copies of it were published?
534: Do you know whether or not there was more than one?
I rather think there was more than one published, but I could not say positively, for I did not charge my mind with it, but I think there was more than one.
535: Did you ever see a copy of it?
Yes sir, I did.
536: Do you know what was in it?
No sir. I read it but it has all passed out of my mind, and I cannot say what was in it, or what it contained.
537: You remember that it was slanderous?
Yes sir, and that these slanders were particularly aimed at Joseph Smith. I remember that.
538: Did you read it about the time that it was published?
539: Look at the paper I hand you, and state whether or not that is it?
Well yes sir it was a paper about the size of this one, and probably this is it. If I read anything in that paper I don’t recollect what it was. I remember that it was called the Expositor and I remember the strain of the paper, and they slandered everything that they considered derogatory to their views, as they were the dissenting party in the church, and it was published and sustained by the parties that had been disfellowshipped by Joseph Smith.
540: Who were these parties?
Well there were such parties as Dr Foster, and Law, and a few others that got tohether of that same stripe, and they were the institutors of that paper, and they made it their business to slander everybody that had anything to do with the church.
541: Was William Law one of these parties that you spoke of?
I think he was.
542: Well do you know whether he was or was not?
I say I think he was then, but if he was not at that time he was soon afterwards. It was not long after that that he went with them if he was not acting with them then.
543: He acted against Joseph Smith then?
Yes sir he became a bitter enemy of Joseph Smith.
544: Was Austin Cowles one of these parties?
That engaged in this enemity to Joseph?
545: Yes sir, if you desire to put it that way?
546: Was Jane Law in any way connected with it?
Well now I don’t know that he was.
547: I said Jane Law?
Jane R Law?
548: Yes sir, the wife of William R Law?
What do you want to knw about her?
549: Was she engaged in it in any way?
Not that I know of sir, but she might be mentioned in it too. I don’t know how that is sir, but I don’t recollect about her having anything to do with it.
550: Do you recollect whether any of these slanders you refer to had any reference to a revelation?
551: I asked you whether any of these slanders you offer to, referred to an alleged revelation by Joseph Smith?
No sir. I don’t know that I know it, I don’t know that I do.
552: Well did you not hear that that was the case?
No sir I never heard of it at all then.
553: Did you heard that any time?
I know that some time after his death it was alleged that he had a revelation on plurality of wives.
554: It was alleged that Joseph Smith had a revelation on that?
Yes sir, but I never believed it. I did not believe it then, and I don’t believe it now.
555: Do you know whether anything of that kind was charged against him in, that paper that you speak of, that paper or publication called the Nauvoo Expositor?
Well now I don’t remember that it was.
556: Would you say that it was not?
I cannot say.
557: Well what is your best recollection about that?
I am not conversant enough with the paper to state anything about that, and my memory is not good enough to say whether it was or was not.
558: Is your memory good enough to say that there was an affidavit appeared in that paper signed by William Law?
I don’t remember sir, but I have heard; William Laws testimony of that subject.
559: On what subject?
That is against Joseph Smith.
560: Do you remember whether or not he bore testimony before the death of Joseph Smith?
I know he did.
561: Well what do you know about it?
I know he bore testimony before the grand jury against Joseph Smith.
562: Who did?
William Law did.
563: That was before his death?
Yes sir before Joseph’s death.
564: Do you know what the charge was?
565: What was it?
I heard his oath sir for I was one of the grand jury that took his testimony, and his oath was that Joseph Smith had violated the pledges of his office in the church and other wise, at least he swore that Joseph had violated the rules of propriety, by advancing his wife immodestly and improperly.
566: How “advancing his wife”?
For advancing his wife improperly.
567: Why, how?
Well that is what he said, and you can place your own construction on it.
568: How should that be a charge before the grand jury?
Well that is one of his evidences, and the grand jury, or its foreman told him to bring his wife there, but he did not do so, for Mr. Law said that his wife would not appear before the grand jury in the state of Illinois.
567: Well I don’t understand that yet, tell us what the charge was?
Well he said he advanced his wife improperly.
568: Advanced his wife improperly?
569: Whose wife?
570: Is that all he said?
571: Well what then?
Well we told him we did not want any more of his evidence if it was second-handed.
572: Well what else did he want to bring before that grand jury?
573: William Law?
He did not bring anything else in himself.
574: Well what else was brought in?
There was another charge brought in and I think by a man by the name of Jackson.
575: Well what did he charge?
He stated that Joseph Smith kept a house for the deposit of stolen goods from Iowa, such as beef, etc, and that it was brought over from Iowa and put in his cellar.
576: Well was there anything else brought before that grand jury of which you were a member with reference to Joseph Smith’s relation to other women?
No sir. Nothing only what I told you about what Law testified to.
577: Now you stated that Law swore that Joseph Smith had advanced his, Law’s, wife?
578: Well will you explain what you mean by that?
Well we understood that Joseph Smith have advanced Law’s wife for improper intercourse?
579: Had made improper advances?
580: To whom?
To Mrs. Law.
581: That he had made someone the agent by which he had approached Mrs. Law?
No sir, that he himself had improperly advanced Mrs. Law. He did it himself. That is what Law said that Joseph Smith had improperly advanced his wife.
582: Who had done that?
Mr. Smith. Mr. Law testified to that himself but the grand jury told him he would have to bring his wife before them and let her testify herself that they could not take second handed testimony. When they told him that he must bring his wife before the grand jury then Law said he would not do it.
583: Would you be able to state what term of the court that was, whether it was the spring term or the fall term?
I think it was the fall term.
584: You say it was the fall term?
Yes sir, I think it was.
585: Well if it was the fall term, would it have been the October term?
I can’t say, but I know that it was just a short time before his death.
586: Was there, or was there not indictments found against him at that time?
587: There was not any indictments against him you say?
There was not any found against him by that grand jury.
588: Do you recognize this which I am not going to read to you, as anything you saw or read at or about the time of the publication of the Expositor?
which counsel for the defendant proposed to read, has never been identified.
289: I will read as follows, – “The May term of the Circuit Court of this county closed on the 30th ultimo, after a session of ten days. We understand that a large number of cases were disposed of, none however of a very important character. The cases wherein Joseph Smith was a party, were transferred by a change of venue to tother courts; That of a Sampson ys J Smith, for false imprisonment to Adams County; that of F.M. Higbee vs Jodeph Smith for slander, and that of C.A. Foster, vs Joseph Smith and J.W. Coolide for false imprisonment, and that of A. Davis vs Joseph Smith and J.P. Green, for trespass, were all transferred to the county of McDonough. The grand jury bound two billd against Joseph Smith, one for perjury and another for fornication and adultery; on the first of which Smith delivered himself up for trial, but the state not being ready, material witnesses being absent, was deferred to the October term. “Now do you remember of ever seeing, or hearing of that publication?
I recollect something about the circumstances mentioned there.
590: Well what do you recollect about it?
I recollect of the change of venue being taken. He was taken back to Nauvoo instead of being taken to Missouri, and he was protected there by the citizens. By the members of the church.
591: Do you recollect of seeing or hearing about that time, an affidavit of the following purport?
592: Here is what I propose to read to you, – “I hereby certify that Hyrum Smith did (in his office), read to me a certain written document which he said was a revelation from God, he said that he was with Joseph when it was received. He afterwards gave me the document to read, and I took it to my house, and read it, and showed it to my wife, and returned it next day. The revelation (so called) authorized certain men to have more wives than one at a time, in this world and in the world to come. It said this was the law, and commanded Joseph to enter into the law. And also that he should administer to others. Several other times were in the revelation supporting the above doctrines, ” signed “Wm Law”. Now I am not asking you whether what I have read is true or not, but whether you ever knew of an affidavit of this purport at the time spoken of?
593: Now did you ever hear, at or about that time, of the charge made in this affidavit which I have read?
No sir, I don’t remember of any such a charge being made. I know there was a period when they circulated this report and had him arrested, but I don’t remember anything about the kind of a statement that there is there. I know that of which I was a member.
594: Do you know whether or not this was one of the things that was objected to in the Expositor?
I don’t know.
595: Do you know anything about that?
I don’t know that that was one of the identical things that caused them to declare it a nuisance, and I don’t know that it was declared a nuisance on any specific ground, but I know that the city council did declare it a nuisance and it was destroyed, but in which direction, or how many directions it was deemed a nuisance I don’t know anything about that.
596: Well will you tell me some of the directions in which it was declared a nuisance?
I don’t know anything about it, and I don’t pretend to know anything about the reasons why they declared it a nuisance, and I don’t know that they stated the nuisance.
597: Did you not say awhile ago that you saw this paper before?
Yes sir that is what I said.
598: Did you not say that you saw it at that time it was published?
599: Well what did you say about it?
I said that I might have seen it.
600: Well what do you say about it now?
I say now that I might have seen it. It is probable that I did see it, and it is possible that I might have read something in it at that time, – it is possible that I did, but if I did I don’t remember, as I did not pay much attention to it, but there is no doubt of the fact that I saw that paper before to day.
601: Did you not say that you saw a copy of it at the time of its publication?
Yes sir I think I saw a copy of it.
602: And were you not acquainted at that time with its contents?
603: With the character of its contents?
Yes sir I was I think by general conversation. I don’t know that I read it at that time but it was something that created a great deal of a stir there at that time it was published, and I think I got more acquainted with its content by general conversation that was going on about it than in any other way. You must remember that there were two parties there in Nauvoo at that time at strife with one another, and they were at each other personally, and in the press and through the courts, and in fact in every way they could.
604: Did you know at that time that the question of plural wives was one of the questions that was agitated?
605: You did not?
No sir. I think not.
606: Did you not know that there were charges of adultery being practiced, and charges of a revelation on plural marriage having been received, and that the charge of the practice of plural wifery, were broadly asserted in that paper?
I can’t say. If I heard of it at that time I don’t remember it now.
607: Don’t you remember what you read in that publication?
No sir. I don’t remember anything about what was in it for I did not pay any attention to it, I don’t even remember of reading anything in it, for I made up my mind that it was the out groth (ibid) of the war that was raging there at the time, and so I paid no attention to it.
608: That is what you saw in answer the question I have asked you?
609: All these matters were matters that occurred prior to the death of Joseph Smith?
Yes sir. That is so, but the polygamy that I have testified I heard about was after the death of Joseph Smith.
610: You heard about it then?
Yes sir I did after Joseph’s death, it was common talk then.
611: You did not hear anything of that sort at the time of the destruction of the Expositor?
612: Did you hear of sealing being taught at that time?
613: At the time of the destruction of the Expositor?
614: What did you hear about that?
I heard of sealing a man up to everlasting life.
615: Well was that at the time of the destruction of the Expositor?
No sir, that was in the early days of the church, old Father Smith giving the patriarchial (ibid) blessing, and we called it sealing them up to eternal life, but that was not sealing a mans wife to him, for that was another thing entirely.
616: That was not the same kind of sealing as sealing a mans wife to him?
No sir, that matter of sealing a mans wife to him was quite another thing.
617: So then I understand you to testify here, that at about the time of the destruction of the Expositor, and prior to the time of the death of Joseph Smith, you never heard any charge made against him, or against any one else, in the church with reference to polygamy?
618: You never did?
No sir, I don’t know that I did.
619: Now with reference to plural marriage?
No sir, not to my remembrance I did not, I don’t remember of ever hearing anything of the kind, and I think If I had heard it I would have remembered it. Now there was a good deal of surmising going on, and some talk too in certain quarters but I paid no attention to it though.
620: Where was that going on?
Oh in certain places
621: Well state some of the places?
Oh in certain places before there were two parties there and they were abusing each other, and I had my confidence with the party that remained with the church, and I did not have a bit of confidence in the party that dissented fro the church. Now I may be predujiced (ibid) or whatever you choose to call it, but I reposed my confidence in Mr. Smith and the party that stood by him, and so I paid no attention to what this other party said for I know right wall that they would not stop at anything to attain their end which I verily believe was the ruin of the church, and they cam pretty near succeeding in their design too as it turned out. Mr. Smith had my confidence then, and the party that were with him as they have it now.
622: Well you say there was surmisings prior to his death?
Yes sir. Yes sir there was, and clear back in the origin of his history there was.
623: Well what were they?
Well he had trouble in Kirtland.
624: Well what were they?
What was what?
625: What were these surmises that caused trouble in Kirtland?
Oh different things, -some of the people were not satisfied with their position in the church and others were not satisfied with the doctrine and so forth. There was dissatisfaction there at that time for five of the quarom of Twelve apostatised at one time and left the church, but it survived it as it has survived greater troubles and perils.
626: What were these surmises concerning?
627: Well state them?
I couldn’t state all of them.
628: Well state some of them?
Well I can’t say that I can state secifically what it was only it was finding fault with this and that. They left the church but they claimed to be good church people never the less for they were good religious people, or claimed to be.
629: Were any of these surmisings with reference to the name of the church?
I believe in some instabces it was, -that was a cause of the trouble also I believe.
630: Were any of these surmisings with reference to the doctrines he held?
That Joseph taught?
831: Yes sir?
I believe they were. With reference to the doctrines, -no sir I don’t know what they were.
632: Did they suppose that he held or entertained any doctrines secretly?
What is that?
633: Did they surmise that he had doctrines which he taught to some that were not taught publicly?
They persucted him principally as I got the idea, because of his personal actions, and the people, or some of them were dis-satisfied with hid dignity, and they dissented from it, and were disfellowshiped.
634: I will ask you this question, -were there any surmisings with reference to his relations with other mens wives?
I never new anything about it until this Law occurence.
635: Now what was this “Law occurence”?
Well I have told you.
636: Well I don’t know what it was, so tell me again that I may understand it?
It was that Joseph Smith had advanced his wife improperly.
637: That was the Law occurence?
Yes sir. I have told you that four or five times, and I am not sitting here to be made a fool of either.
638: Now what made you say in your examination in chief that you had never heard of these things prior to the death of Joseph Smith?
639: I know what he said. Why did you not say in your examination in chief that you had heard of these surmises prior to the death of Joseph Smith?
I heard a great deal said about him prior to his death, and I heard things said about him from the very origin of his history, and I heard a great many things that had no grounds for being said whatever, and which were false hoods and proved to be so.
640: Did you read any religious papers at that time?
At what time?
641: While you were at Nauvoo in 1844?
I don’t understand that question.
642: I asked you if you read any religious papers while you were at Nauvoo in 1844?
643: What were they?
I took the Nauvoo paper that was published by the church there, the Times & Season.
644: You took the Times & Seasons?
645: Well did you read it?
Yes sir? I took it and read it while I lived there. I don’t know that I read everything in it, but I read it I suppose pretty well.
646: Well, were you a regular reader of that paper?
647: Was it a weekly or daily paper?
It was a weekly I think.
648: Did you read pretty much all that was in each issue of it?
Well perhaps I did. I can’t say about that, but I think perhaps I did.
649: Well when did you cease taking that publication?
Well I do not just know, but I think I continued taking it for some little time after he death of Joseph Smith, but I can’t just remember the time I stopped taking it.
650: Were you a reader of the paper about March 15th 1844?
651: Were you a regular reader of it about that time?
I think so. I don’t think there is much doubt about that.
652: Can you read without your spectacles?
Oh, I could I suppose.
653: Look at a communication purporting to have been published in that paper published March 15th 1844, and see if you can recognize it, commencing at the bottom of the page?
Is this it? 654 (Mistakenly listed as number 554)
653: Yes sir, – take your time and read it carefully?
655: You recognize that?
I recollect hearing something of the kind sir, but whether I read it or not I do not remember, but I recollect hearing something of the kind sir. I recollect hearing of an elder being rebuked on that subject sir.
656: The date of the paper containing the article witness has read is Marc h 15th 1844, and it is found on page four hundred and seventy four in exhibit “0”. Now Mr Griffith did you read that letter written by Hyrum Smith at about the time it was published?
I don’t remember whether I ever read it or not, but I recollect hearing something about it, whether I read it or not I could not say.
657: You recollect then, or hearing of the substance of what is in that letter?
658: Where did you hear the substance of that letter?
At what time?
659: Yes sir, – was it about the time of the date of its publication?
No sir, I don’t know. I don’t know I don’t know what that I can tell you anything about it sir, – that is I don’t know that I can tell you when I did hear about it, because it has passed from my mind if I ever did know.
660: Where was China Creek?
Where was China Creek?
661: Yes sir, if you know where China Creek was you may state it?
Well sir I don’t understand you though
662: Do you know where China Creek was,- a place called “China Creek”?
663: You don’t know where it was?
No sir, I don’t believe I know anything about it. I don’t believe I knew a place by that name.
664: Did you know of such a place near Lay Hart?
There was a place called Silver Creek, but I don’t know of any place by the name of “China Creek” near Layhart.
665: You don’t?
No sir I don’t know of any place by that name.
666: Did you know a gentlemen namd Richard Hewitt?
667: Yes sir,- Richard Hewitt,- did you know a man by that name
668: No sir,- Hewitt,- Richard Hewitt?
No sir I don’t believe I did.
669: You did not know a gentlemen by that name?
No sir I don’t believe I did. If I did I have forgotten him”
670: Do you remember seeing the publication of an affidavit published and signed by the members of the City Council of Nauvoo?
671: In which it was stated that John C. Bennett was not under duress at the time he testified before the city council on May 19th 1942 concerning Joseph Smith’s innocence, virtue and pure teaching,- do you ever remember of seeing an affidavit of the purport such as I have stated, signed by members of the city council of Nauvoo?
I don’t remember sir.
672: You don’t remember that?
No sir, I don’t remember of ever reading any such a thing, I don’t remember of ever reading that.
673: Do you remember of ever reading an affidavit of Hyrum Smith’s published in 1842, or about that time?
Samuel Smith did you say?
674: No sir, Hyrum Smith?
No sir I don’t know that I ever did. I heard and read a great deal, but I don’t remember anything particularly about that.
675: Will you look on page eight hundred and seventy . of exhibit “L” at an affidavit and other matter there, and say if you ever saw it before?
676: Answer the question?
I don’t remember of ever reading that sir.
677: After looking at the matters that you have been called to your attention, do you swear now that you never heard of the charge of plural wifery as applicable to the Nauvoo church and other organizations,- other like organizations, before the death of Joseph Smith?
You have refreshed my memory with reference to this man having been rebuked, and since my recollection has been refreshed on that point I recollect having, heard of it before, but whether I read it in the Times and Seasons or heard of it through another source I could not say.
678: Well you heard of that?
679: And you heard of it before the death of Joseph Smith did you not?
It is likely I did.
680: Well then what makes you say you never heard of polygamy in the church before the death of Joseph Smith?
Well that was not termed polygamy. That I think was the first I ever heard of it but that was not termed polygamy.
681: It was not. – What was it then?
I understood it to refer to the sin of illicit intercourse between two parties. It was something of that sort, but I don’t think it gave it the name of polygamy.
682: Well you heard of that did you not prior to the death of Joseph Smith?
Yes sir I believe I did.
683: Don’t you know that you did?
Yes sir I think so.
684: Do you remember of the doctrine, – ?
I would not like to state the reason that I do not remember anything definite between the contending parties, or between the disputing parties there at that time, as there was quite a while that there was a contest over these things existing between Bennett and contest between strong contesting forces against each other, and the contest was once over different strains, – that is on different subjects.
685: There was a charge made against Joseph Smith?
686: And was that charge something like this, – ” that a man having a certain priesthood might have as many wives as he pleases”?
I don’t recollect to have heard that definitely.
687: Well is that not what you understood it to be?
No sir I did not view it in that light.
688: Well that is what it says there?
Well that is not the way I regarded it. I never heard it that way according to my remembrance of it.
689: Well then state so that you may be understood, just what you did hear at that time?
I heard that there was a man who taught contrary to the doctrine of the church in regard to the chastity of women.
690: Who was that man?
I forget the name if the man who did that but my understanding is that he was rebuked for doing it, but I don’t think it was termed polygamy. I don’t remember that that term was given it.
691: Well was that not what it in fact was?
Well that is a matter of opinion.
692: Well when did you leave Nauvoo?
I left there in 1846. The same spring that they left to go west I left and went north.
693: You went North?
694: Who went west?
The section of the church that adhered to Brigham Young.
695: Who was your elder?
I went North under; the administration of Mr Strang, as I told you before.
696: When did you say you joined Mr Strang’s church?
It was early in the fall of 1846 or in the spring of 1847.
697: That was the time you united with Strang?
698: In the spring of 1847?
Yes sir, or in the fall of 1846.
699: Was Mr Strang a polygamist?
I believe he was.
700: Was he a polygamist at the time you united with his church?
Well there was nothing of that kind made manifest at the time that I joined his church, but it was soon after developed to that effect.
701: How long after you joined his church was it that it was developed to that effect?
Well it was not very long.
702: Well about how long?
Well not very long, some four or five months.
703: How long did you stay with him after that became manifest?
Well I remained with him something like three or four months, when I became satisfied that I was not in the right place.
704: What relation did you bear to Mr Strang and his church?
In what way do you mean?
705: What official relation did you bear to Mr Strang and his church?
Well I was a member of the church. – I was an elder when I went there. I was an elder in the original church, and I claimed that my eldership was continued in Strang who was perpetuating the church, for I went there believing that Strang was the legal successor of Joseph Smith, and after I got there he introduced this covenant, and I was chosen by Mr Strang as one of the privy council under that covenant.
706: Well that was your connection with Mr Strang and his church?
Yes sir that was my connection with Mr Strang’s church, and I remained there with them some few months, and when I saw how things were going I rejected him and his church, – I threw up the sponge so to speak and exposed his covenant, and had it published.
707: Now what led you to follow Mr Strang as the successor of Mr Smith?
What made me?
708: Yes sir what led you to do that, or what made you do it?
I believe sir that the church was built up by apostles and prophets, and I believed that if Joseph Smith was to have a successor, I believed he had the power to appoint one in his place to act in his place if he were taken away, and Strang claimed the appointment directly from Joseph Smith, and I believed him and thought it was a pretty good thing, so I went with him, believeing that he was the legal successor of Joseph to the Presidency of the church.
709: That was the reason you followed Strang?
Yes sir that was my reason, and I believe that a great many felt the same way, for there was a great many felt the same way and followed him, as I did, but when their eyes were open they did not all reject him as I did.
710: You believed that he was the successor in what way?
I believe that he was the successor to old Joseph Smith, – the original Joseph by an appointment from Joseph himself. I believed that was the doctrine of the church as set forth in the book of doctrine and covenants.
711: Are you not mistaken about that being the doctrine in the Doctrine and Covenants?
Well sir I believe this, – that if Joseph appointed him as Strange claimed to have been appointed that Joseph was very much mistaken in the man. I know that the book Covenants gave Joseph the power to appoint one in his place. There is no use asking me questions about that for you are as well aware of it as if you asked me one thousand question on that point.
712: Do you know or are you aware, upon what that claim of Strangs to be the successor of Joseph Smith was based?
Why nothing more than that he was appointed to be the successor of Joseph Smith to the Presidency of the church, and that he was so appointed by Joseph Smith to succeed him when he passed away.
713: That is your understanding of the way that Strang was appointed?
714: Do you know upon what basis that appointment was based, – that is do you know whether it was a written appointment or a verbal appointment?
It was in a written letter from Joseph Smith to Strang.
715: Did Joseph Smith write such a letter to Strang?
No sir I don’t think he ever did I think it was a forged letter, and proved to be so.
716: That is your opinion is it not?
Yes sir, and I don’t think there is the least doubt in the world but that it is correct.
717: You think that it was a forged letter?
718: That was a letter that purported to have been written by Joseph Smith to Strang appointing him as his successor in the Presidency of the church?
That is what it claimed to be according to my understanding of it.
719: Did you ever see that letter?
I don’t know that I ever have.
720: Well did you?
No sir I don’t think I ever did.
721: Did you ever see a copy of that letter?
I don’t know that I ever did. I don’t remember, – If I did I don’t remember it.
722: Then if you followed Mr Strang up there to Wisconsin, hearing that he had been appointed by a letter of appointment, why did you not call for Strang’s appointment before you accepted him?
Well he produced this letter to the hull world, showing his appointment as he claimed it. He did not make any secret of it, for he had his advocates a round to advocate his appointment, and I believed them, I had no reason to doubt them for the church had to have its head, – its prophets, seer and revelator, who would be the President of the church, and I accepted his claim, for I had no reason then no doubt it, and we were disgusted with the church there at Nauvoo, with its organization and the actions of the twelve that they had there, or the remnants of the original twelve. I know I was disgusted with Brigham Young and the set that were backing him there at Nauvoo, and so I joined Strang’s organization but the result proved that I was only jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. That is all there was to that.
723: You have stated that you thought, – that you afterwards concluded that letter was a forgery?
724: What made you arrive at that conclusion?
Well I think that was satisfactorily proven.
725: Of course you base your change of opinion upon testimony, now will you be kind enough to state what testimony was that forced you to the conclusion that that letter was a forgery?
Well from an examination I made myself, I found out that he was not the man and did not fill the bill, and I believed then as I do now that he was an imposter. It was a forged letter, and was forged for that purpose.
726: Is that the reason yiu thought the letter was forged, because he did not fill the bill?
Well that was not all the reasons, we had plenty of reasons
727: Well what were they?
We had plenty of reasons that I can’t now detail. We were satisfied then that he was an impster and proved to be an imposter.
728: How long since that time?
Since what time?
729: What year was that?
I told you that I went to Strang in 1842.
730: In what year, – what time in the year?
In 1847. In the spring of that year I joined Strang’s church, and I stayed with him about three, four or five months. I don’t remember precisely, but about that length of time I remained with him, and then I saw he was not what he pretended to be and I divulged and exposed his covenants and practices, and had it published. I don’t remember what time it was that I discontinued fellow ship with him, but I know what I am talking about for Strang was pretty friendly with me until I found out what he was, or he would not have appointed me, as one of his privy council. I know that after that time he was my strong enemy and hunted me pretty close.
731: Did you and he have any falling out?
732: In what respect did you disagree?
It was so far as we disagred it our methods of proceedure in regard to the membership of the church and the practices he was trying to force upon the church. I felt that I could not fellowship with him as a Christian for many reasons.
733: Then you were looking for a church the President of which had been appointed by Joseph the seer as you called him, – when you went to Strang?
Y I was, and when I went to Strang I supposed that he filled the bill, and that Joseph Smith had really appointed him as his successor.
734: Well will you answer my question?
I thought I did.
735: That is to say – were you looking for a church, the president of which had been appointed by Mr Smith when you went to Mr Strang?
Well I am looking for it yet, if that is what you want to know. 736 (Written as 786)
735: Answer my question with reference to the time that you went to see Mr Strang and joined his church, – wee you then seeking for a church the president of which had been appointed by Joseph Smith?
I believed that I was going to the original church which I belonged to, believing that Mr Strang had been appointed by Joseph Smith as his successor, and that Strang was then the head of the church by appointment.
737: By appointment of Joseph Smith?
738: Were you looking for that kind of a church?
739: And you believed that you had found it?
Yes sir. I believed that he was the representative of the true church, or I would not have gone there at all.
740: Well why did you not remain at Nauvoo?
I could not for they were leaving there, and then I believed that the church which had existed at Nauvoo was rejected.
741: You believed that the church there at Nauvoo was rejected?
742: At the time you left there you believed that?
743: What church was that that you believed was rejected?
The church or faction that Brigham Young presided over.
744: And then you went and joined Strang’s church?
745: And then you thought you had found that church, the true church, that had not been rejected, but afterwards you found out that you were mistaken. Is that it?
Yes sir, I have stated that at least six or eight times, and I do not see the necessity for repeating these questions over and over time and again.
746: Well did you ever find that kind of a church?
747: Answer the question?
Have I ever found that kind of a church?
748: Yes sir?
749: At any time since the death of Joseph Smith?
750: You have?
Yes sir. I believe I have.
751: Now then my question is this, – Have you ever found the church, The president of which was appointed by Joseph Smith the Seer?
752: Well where did you find it?
I believe I live in fellowship with the church now.
753: You believe you are now living in fellowship with that kind of a church now?
754: Will you detail to the reporter where and how you found that kind of a church?
I found that church in the organization of the re-organized church, so termed. At any rate I found it to my satisfaction.
755: To your satisfaction?
Yes sir, but that is not saying it is true.
756: What is it that satisfied you that that church has a President that was appointed by Joseph Smith?
757: Answer the question?
I have answered that question as correctly as I can. I can’t answer it any more definitely that I know of.
758: You think you have answered that question?
759: Well I don’t think you have?
I think so.
760: Will the reporter read that question again to the witness, and see if he has any further answer to make to it, for I think whyn you understand it you will agree with me in saying that you have not answered it. The question referred to here upon repeated to the witness as follows, – “What is it that satisfied you that that church had a President that was appointed by Joseph Smith”?
Because it filled the doctrine of the original church in every respect.
761: Because it filled the doctrine of the original church in every respect?
762: Is that your answer to that question?
Yes sir. I have no fault with it, but I believe that it fills the bill in every respect, and that the organization of the original church is perpetuated in the re-organization. I am governed by the books of arriveing at that conclusion, and I think they bear me out including that my dertermination is correct.
763: Do you find any evidence any-where of the appointment of the President of the re-organized church of by Joseph Smith, the seer?
What is that?
764: Do you find any evidence any where of the appointment of the present president of the re-organized church by Joseph Smith the seer?
765: What is it?
I have plenty of evidence that satisfies me, but that would not be evidence to this court perhaps or to any body else, but however that may be it is perfectly satisfactory to me. I have no hesitancy in this expression of my opinion in that direct, for I have all the evidence I want.
766: You have all the evidence that is necessary to satisfy your mind on that point?
767: Now you have stated that you were acquainted with the doctrines of the church prior to the death of Joseph Smith, and also since the time of his death?
768: That covers the whole period of the existence of the church?
Yes sir, and I believe that theory to be correct.
769: Well what I want to get at is what are the evidences, if any, that you find, that made, – that made you conclude that the present president of the re-organized church was appointed to that office by Joseph Smith the seer?
770: You were hunting for that sort of a church, – now what are the evidences upon which you base your conclusion that you have found it?
771: Answer the question?
Well the principle evidence would be sir, to answer your question, – would be these, – I believe in the priest hood being handed down from father to some in successorship, I believe that is the order if I understand the law and doctrine that we as a church believe in and sustain, – that the priest-hood has a right to go down from father to son, and that Joseph Smith, – “Young Joseph Smith” as you term him, was the legal successor to his father in that office.
772: Is that the doctrine which you have just now stated of he re-organized church, – is that the doctrine of the re-organized church?
I have not said it was sir, –
773: Well what do you say now about that?
I am not vouching for the doctrines of the re-organized church.
774: What are you vouching for?
I am vouching for my evidence in in believing he was the successor.
775: In believing the__ was the successor of what?
In believing that Young Joseph Smith, as you call him, is the successor to his father Joseph Smith, in the Presidency of the church?
776: Well are you, not acquainted with the doctrines of the re-organized church?
Well I am not as well posted perhaps as your Honor is.
777: Well are you or are you not?
I believe I am pretty well acquainted with it, for I understand its doctrine to be the doctrine of the original church, and I was pretty well posed in the doctrine of the original church.
778: Is that doctrine the doctrine of the re-organized church?
It is quite familiar with me.
779: I asked you if that doctrine was the doctrine of the re-organized church?
That is a principle believed by a great many.
780: Well can you state it?
He was the legal heir to the Presidency.
781: Is that the doctrine of the church?
I did not say it was. I said that was my belief.
782: Well is there anything in the book of Doctrine and Covenants that established that doctrine?
Yes sir there is a record that establishes that principle, although there is no record that specifically names Joseph Smith as the successor of his father to the Presidency. It don’t make that statement in terms, but it does in effect.
783: What record is that?
It is the section which states that the priesthood shall descend from father to son.
784: Have you stated, or do you say now that that doctrine of successorship as you have stated it, is in the book of doctrine and covenants?
Yes sir, it is spoken of there.
785: Is that the doctrine of the re-organized church?
We believe whaever is in the book of Doctrine and Covenants, – that is one of our accepted books of doctrine.
786: Well is the doctrine as stated by you in there?
Well sir I endorse the book of doctrine and covenants, – and the church does also, and when I have stated that, I have stated all there is to it.
787: Well answer me this question, – is the doctrine of the book of Doctrine and Covenants, the doctrine of the re-organized church on the question of successorship?
788: That is a fact?
789: Well then if that is the case, which is right, the doctrine of successorship, or the right of appointment by Joseph Smith to the successorship?
What is that, – I don’t understand that question.
790: I say if that is the case, – which is right, the doctrine of legal lineal successorship of the doctrine of appointment?
Well I will tell you if you are not familiar with the book of Doctrine and Covenants, – we never would have believed in that kind of an appointment, but it was at a time when we were led astray or sought to be led astray by that faction there at Nauvoo, and we were instructed that we were to obey their orders and let the book of covenants go, and we were only too glad to escape frop them their and their machinations, and it was not a time when we were prepared to-calmly think over mtters, -it was a time when we thought of only escaping from the faction there at Nauvoo, and did not examine into matters as closely as we afterwards did.
791: Do you state now that the doctrine of apportionment is one of the doctrines contained in the book of Doctrine and Covenants?
The church must receive Young Joseph Smith, or he would not be its president. He was accepted by the church in the same manner, that his father old Joseph Smith was presented to the church and accepted by it as its president, and the present president of the church was accepted in the same was as its prophet, seer and revelator.
792: Now do you state that the doctrine of appointment by Joseph Smith the seer, of Young Joseph as his successor is in the book of Doctrine and Covenants?
793: You do not say that it is in the book of Doctrine and Covenants?
794: Well is it in it?
No sir it is not in it, but the principles is there.
795: Well what is that?
The Doctrine and Covenants speaks of the power of appointment where it says that he could t appoint another in his place, but as I said before it does not make specified mention of the appointment of Young Joseph by his father to succeed to the offices which his father held.
796: What is that it says?
It says that he shall have the power to appoint another in his staed?
797: Is the doctrine of the power of appointment in the book of doctrine and covenants?
It say s he shall be appointed, and received, etc.-
798: Now is the appointment of which you speak an appointment by Joseph Smith?
799: Does the book of Doctrine and Covenants state that the appointment of a successor to Joseph Smith, is an appointment which must be made by Joseph Smith?
I believe that young Joseph was appointed and ordained the head of the church, and I suppose it was as the successor of old Joseph.
800: Was he appointed and ordained, and placed in that office by his father the original Joseph Smith?
Yes sir, and he was then received by the church and that made it complete.
801: That was done?
802: You think so?
803: Now will you please state upon what occasion that was done? Upon
what occasion he was appointed?
804: Well sir there is evidence enough to that effect in existence to satisfy me that that was done, but whether that evidence is on record or not I don’t know and I don’t care anything about it, so long as the evidence was satisfactory to me. It is a matter of indifference to me whether it would be satisfactory to you or not, for I am just simple enough to believe in it.
805: Do you know how old the present Joseph Smith was at the time of his father’s death?
Well sir I should think he was between twelve and fourteen year of age, – some where around there I should think.
806: He was between twelve and fourteen year of age you say?
Yes sir, some where about that age I should think.
807: As to that however, you cannot speak of your own knowledge?
808: As to that however, you cannot speak of your own knowledge?
809: As to the appointment that you have spoken of by Joseph Smith, – as to the appointment of Young Joseph Smith, – as to the appointment of Young Joseph by his father, – you – cannot speak of that by your own knowledge?
Of my own knowledge?
810: Can you speak of your own-knowledge of his appointment by his father to be his successor when he was twelve or fourteen years of age?
I did not say that was his age, – I asked, – you asked me the question as to how old he was when his father died, and that is what I told you, but I don’t know how old he was when he was appointed, but I understand it was not very long before his father died.
811: Well you don’t know of his appointment by his father, to be his fathers successor?
No sir I don’t know anything about that at all of my own knowledge, but never the less I have knowledge or proof that it is satisfactory to may mind that that was done, but it is hearsay and I suppose would not be admissable here.
812: You were not present when it was done?
No sir I was not present but I believe it was done all the same.
813: I believe that you have stated that you joined the re-organized church about the close of the war?
I think so.
814: Well was that the time, – you ought to know when you joined the reorganized church?
I well I am not positive as to the year, I am not positive in regard to the year, for I have not charged my mind or memory in regard to the matter at all, but I think that was the time. I know I joined it pretty soon after there re-organization was organized, but the year I cannot just state positively.
815: You say you joined it about the time the re-organization was effected?
I said it was pretty soon after that, but the year I could not state positively.
816: Were you baptized then?
817: Upon what or under what provision, where you received into the re-organized church?
818: To say what you mean? I don’t know what is
818: Answer the question?
Upon what provision?
819: Upon what profession I should say?
Well I think you ought to say what you mean?
I don’t know what that means?
820: Upon what profession were received, – what went before you reception?
Well sir I professed my readings to endorse the reorganization to be the true church and I was baptized by one of the apostled into the church. I felt like renewing my covenant in the work of the church, and upon my application and so professing and accepting the church as the true church, I was received upon it as being baptized.
821: Did they assign you any work as an elder?
No sir I am no preacher.
822: You are not even a preacher?
No sir. I have presided some – but I have never preached, for that is not in my line somehow. I am not a preacher, and do not profess to be one.
823: Well now if the re-organized church, and the old church that you spoke of, are the same, – first I will ask you if you are an elder in the reorganized church.
824: Well now if the reorganized church and the old church are the same, why are you not an elder in the reorganized church as you were one in the old original church?
Well now I did not under stand that other question you asked me, for I am, – I told you that I merely renewed my covenant of the church, – with the church I mean.
825: You were baptized into the original church?
826: Then why was it necessary to be re-baptized into the reorganized church?
Well sir I told you that I merely renewed my covenant with the church. I had wandered from the path of the true faith by joining Strang’s church, and I felt as did the reorganized church that it was necessary for me to renew my covenant with the faith and in order to do that it was necessary to be baptized anew. I felt the necessity of this myself, and so it was done.
827: Well now answer me this question, – is it not a fact that you lost your eldership by reason of your connection with Strang?
It was just this way, – it was my wish to have my eldership renewed, – at least they told me that that could be done, but I told them that I did not want it, but I was confirmed a member of the church but not an elder that is I was not formally confirmed as an elder, but I still consider that I am one, for if by my rebaptism and renewal of my covenants in that way with the church I am reinstated as a member, I consider that that carried everything with it and I am reinstated precisely in the same condition and with the same offices that I held before I fell away from the church, if I did fall away.
828: When you were with Strang did you know of, or see any plates, at any time that Strang claimed to be in possession of”?
829: Answer the question?
I don’t know that I understand your question.
830: Did you see any plates in the possession of Strang or any of his people, under his authority?
831: You did not?
No sir, I never saw any of his plates, but I saw the old brass kettle that the woman said it was cut out of. These plates that he had had became tarnished so I hear, and that was one evidence to me and many others, that his plates were now that he represented them to be, or they would not have rusted, and his plates had become very much rusted, and that was evidence to me that they were not what they claimed to be, or what he pretended they were.
832: What was that about the lady?
There was an old lady up there; that showed me the old brass kettle that he cut the plates out of. Now that is as far as I know about it.
833: You saw the kettle you say?
834: And it was a brass kettle?
835: Did you observe it closely enough to see how thick the plates would be that were cut out of it?
Well I was not specially particular to examine it to see just how think the plates would be that were cut out of it, but it was an ordinary small sized brass kettle. This lady tho – told me about it said that they had cut out several pieces and it did not please them, and they cut on again and kept on cutting until they got some pieces that suited them.
836: You saw this kettle?
Yes sir, I saw the remnants of it sir.
837: Did you not take some interest in the matter?
No sir not much. It did not bother me enough to make much of an investigation but I saw the old kettle all right.
838: You did not look to see what the thickness of the kettle was?
839: When did you see this kettle?
I did not know anything about it or see it until after I had left Strang, and then I was gratified to find out how it was, for I thought he was a fraud and that was one of the things that tended to confirm my opinion.
840: Did you look at it to see how thick the plates must be?
No sir I don’t know that I did particularly, but it was just an old ordinary brass kettle, – not very thick, just an old ordinary brass kettle like they used to have in those days.
841: Well about how thick must it have been?
I say I don’t know that I can tell you particularly but I do not think it was very thick. I did not observe it close enough to observe, – that is to say I did not have that in my mind at the time, and so I paid no attention particularly to the thickness of it.
842: Were they a quarter of an inch thick?
843: They were hit a quarter of an inch thick?
844: Were they the sixtennth of an inch thick?
I could not tell you. Don’t I say that I cannot be positive as to the thickness.
845: What was the color of the parts of the kettle that you saw?
What is that?
846: What was the color of the parts that were left?
Well sir it was just an old rusted, corroded, brass kettle, and the inside of it was brighter than the outside.
847: Well what was the color of the inside?
It was rather of a brass color.
848: Do you say that the brass had rusted?
Yes sir it had rusted on the outside, – was quite rusted on the outside.
849: And how was the inside?
The inside was brighter than the out side. The ouside had rusted it is my recollection, but the – inside was not so very much rusted. Now that is my recollection and that is all I know about that old kettle.
850: Were these pieces cut from the inside or the out side?
Well that is a queer question to ask.
851: Well answer it?
Well they were cut clean out of the kettle, – right out of the kettle and they were cut clean through it from both sides. How could you cut a piece out of a kettle with out cutting them out in that way?
852: Then they were cut all the way through?
Yes sir The pieces were cut right out of it.
853: What were the size of the pieces that were cut out?
Oh I do not know that. They varied some I suppose, – some were smaller than others.
854: Was there more than one hole?
Yes sir they had cut different sized pieces out of it out of different places for there was different holes in it.
855: Well how large were they?
I can’t say. I don’t remember.
856: Well what is your best recollection as to that?
Well I say I don’t remember, but I suppose about an inch and a half or two inches or such a matter, – may be not quite so much as that, for I don’t remember how that was.
857: Was that their length?
858: Then how wide were they?
Well they were : not all of Strangs plates that I ever saw, – there never was but two of these plates over exhibited that I ever heard anything of sir, – there was but two of these plates ever exhibited that I ever heard anything of.
859: Did you ever see them?
No sir I never saw them at all, – that is I never saw the plates that he claim- ed he got out of the hill at Voree. He never showed them to me, and I don’t believe he ever got them there and if he did I believe he put them there before hand, –
860: Well never mind that, – that is something that I am not asking you about?
Well I thought you wanted to know all about them.
861: Did you ever see the translation of these plates?
I don’t think I ever did.
862: Did you ever see what purported to be a translat- ion of them?
No sir I don’t think I did.
863: At any time I mean?
No sir, not that I recollect of.
864: Then you would not know them if you were to see them?
865: Would you know whether they were of metal similiar to the kettle out of which they were said to have been taken, if you were to see them?
Well I could not say – that I could. I rather think I could not, but if I were to see them I rather think I could judge pretty well with reference to their thickness as compared with the thickness of the kettle.
866: You think you could?
867: Well where was it you saw this book of “Father Jacob
I saw it in Nauvoo.
868: Well I understood you to say that you saw it when you were up at Voree with Strang?
869: You did not say that?
870: Then you saw it at Nauvoo?
871: At what time did you see the “Father Jacob” book?
Well it was in 1845 I think.
873: At what time in 1845 was it?
Well it was in the latter part of 1845 in the fall or in the early part of the winter.
874: Well you saw that book then?
875: How did you happen to see it?
It was as I was informed quite a secret there in Nauvoo, – that is everybody did not know that there was such a book or that it was being circulated, and there was a lady by the name of Hadlock, and I lived at that time in a part of her house, and at that time her husband was in England on a mission.
876: This woman’s husband was in England on a mission?
Yes sir, and I lived in a part of her house.
877: Did she belong to the church?
Yes sir she was a Mormon lady.
878: And her husband was gone, and you lived in a part of her house?
879: Well go ahead and state how you came to get this book?
Well she had this book, and being well acquaitned, she and I, she gave it to me and let me read it, on the condition however, that I should say nothing about it, and she said the book was designed to teach the sisters their duties to their husbands, etc.
880: Well what kind of a book was it?
Well it was quite an obsene book, and treated on that subject, – that is on the subject of a man and woman’s intimacy all the way through.
881: What was the size of that book?
Well I could not say exactly as to that but it was a book I should say pretty nearly the size of a common spelling book.
882: Were you married at that time?
883: And was your wife living there with you at that time?
Yes sir she was right there in the house with me, and she read this book also.
884: Did you read that book through?
I read it – I think clear through. I would not say positively, but my recollection is that I read it clear through.
885: Would you recognize it if you were to see it any better than these copies of the Times & Seasons that have been shown you here?
I don’t know that I would recognize it, because I did not charge my mind with it at all.
886: Well you are confident that you read it?
Yes sir and I believe that it was introductory to what came afterwards and a kind of a feeler, – that is what I believe about it, for this sister who gave me the book was pretty puch interested in it, and she was afterwards appointed to hold meetings and instruct the younger sisters as to the duties of wives toward their husbands, and she had these books for their benefits.
887: She had more than one book then?
888: And she gave you one of them to read?
889: Do you know where these books came from?
890: Do you know how the sisters obtained the books?
891: You don’t know anything about that?
No sir I don’t know that I do know anything positively.
892: Did she tell you how she obtained hers?
No sir I don’t recollect that she did.
893: Did you have any conversation with her about the book?
Yes sir we talked about it a great deal, and she was of the same opinion I was, and always remained of the same opinion. She left the church there at Nauvoo disgusted with their practices, and moved to Rock Island.
894: What became of her after that?
Well she died there I understand. I was well acquainted with her, – she was a good friend of mine, but she did not leave the church there at Nauvoo at the same time I did. She remained with it and went through with all their ceremonies and endowments, she went clear through the temple was present at a great many of their sealing ceremonies, and she afterwards told me all about it.
895: She got the endowments?
Yes sir. She went through with all those endowments and sealings ceremonies there at Nauvoo and she afterwards told me all about it and she was a truthful woman and I believed she told me the truth.
896: You say that she told you the truth?
I believe she did, and what I saw myself corroborated what she told me.
897: Well you say that all these things occured at Nauvoo?
898: Before 1846 did you say?
What is that?
899: Did you say that all these things occurred at Nauvoo? before 1846?
Yes sir. It was before that. It was during the fall of 1845 I think and the winter of 1845 and 1846 I am not very greatly mistaken. It was before they commenced to leave Nauvoo, and they began their emigration in 1846.
900: That was the time of the endowments?
Yes sir the endowment was then.
901: Do you remember what was the date of the book that you saw?
The date of the book – that that lady gave me to read, – is that what you want?
902: Yes sir?
No sir I don’t remember.
903: You do not remember who were the authors of the book?
904: Was there anything in the book to indicate who was the author of authors of the book?
No sir I don’t remember that there was. It was just called “Father Jacob’s” writings. That was all that I remember about that.
905: Do you know where it was printed?
906: You do not pay anu attention to that either?
No sir I did not bother about that. It was an obsene book, and I paid no-attention to who wrote it, or where it was published or anything of the kind.
907: Do you know where there was a copy of it?
No sir. I was furnished a copy of it, and that is all I know about it. As I have already stated it was a very obsene book. That is a hard remark to make use about anything, but at the same time that is the truth for it was a very obsene dirty book.
908: Well you say that book was circulated in that church there at Nauvoo?
Yes sir, it was circulated principally as I understand it amongst the female members of the church there.
909: Well that was before you left was it not?
Before I left what?
910: Before you left Nauvoo?
Yes sir I lived in Nauvoo at the time it was circulated, for that is the place I seen it.
911: Was this book an authority amongst the seventy then to which you belonged?
912: It was not an authority in your quorom then?
No sir, not that I know anything of. It was never presented in my quorom that I ever heard anything of at all. It certainly was not presented while I remained a member of it.
913: I asked you, and I believe you did not answer me with reference as to whether you knew where there was another copy of that book?
Whether there is, – where there is what?
914: Whether you know where there is a copy of that book.
No sir I do not.
915: Have you ever seen a copy of it since that time?
No sir I have never seen another copy of it since that time, – that is all that I ever saw about it.
916: Now you have stated that you knew what the doctrine of the church were at that time you became a member of it, and up to 1844?
I said so sir.
917: And now I will ask you what were the doctrines of the church between 1844 and 1847 at Nauvoo, and at other places?
Well the doctrines of the church were never altered in the book of Doctrine and Covenants.
918: Then the doctrines of the church remained the same?
Yes sir the doctrines of the church are the same as far as that is concerned, but the practices of the church were the very reverse of what the doctrines were, for they cut loose from the Doctrine and Covenants, and did not recognize it, and they made a whole lot of secret work that they were practicing that was not authorized by the book of Doctrine and Covenant nor anything else that I knw of that was authority in the church before the death of Joseph Smith.
919: So then I understand that you testify that the doctrines of the church were the same from 1844 to 1847 that they had been before 1844? Is that what I understand you to swear to?
I have no other answer to make further than I have, and that is that the doctrines of the church were the same as far as I understand it, but the practices of the church were vastly different. The doctrines of the church for that matter are the same now as they always have been.
920: What do you mean by the phrase “the church” in the answer that you have given to my question?
I mean what I say, – the church.
921: What do you mean by the term “the church”, explain what you mean by “church”?
I mean the same church that exists today, – that it was the same church or is the same church today that it was before the death of Joseph Smith. It sustains the same doctrines, and the fellowship of the same book as it did at the time of the origin of the church. It is not dead, but still lives.
922: Do you mean the church that was organized by the apostles away back at the Pentecost, – do you mean the church that has existed from that time down to the present?
I mean the church that Joseph Smith organized, and it was organized under the doctrine of the original church that is what I believe.
923: Now then I would be glad as you have state, what the doctrines of the original church were, and as you say they were the same from 1844 to 1847 save and except the matter of their practices?
Well the practices did not change the order with me.
924: Do you undertake to say now there, that whilst there was only one in ten like yourself at Nauvoo, that rejected these practices and that the others all practiced a thing they did not teach
that thing while nine tenth of the church were practicing it?
I did not say so sir.
925: You did not say that?
926: Well I will ask you if they did so?
I did not say any such a thing, and I don’t believe there was over our fourth of the population that went into this thing. 927 (Mistakenly listed at number 827)
926: What thing?
This thing called polygamy. I don’t believe there was over one fourth of the people that belonged to the church at the time of the death of Joseph Smith that went into this thing. I don’t believe that one fourth of the membership of the church took hold of that doctrine that they established and tent into it and practiced it. They proceeded and established that practice because the leaders of the church were in favor of it, and they used the power they had in their hands to established it in the way they did, but they did not get any great number of the total membership of the church to back them up in it.
928: Well do I understand you to say that they practiced something that was contrary to the doctrines of the church they preached between 1844 and 1847?
After Joseph Smith’s death Brigham Young was sustained as the leader and President of the church, he and his two-counsellors constituting the first Presidency of the church, and they proceeded to teach that the book of covenants was of no value to the church, – the book of covenants as they put it was like a steam boat that had gone up the river, – that was the illustration that was made. They were required to live by the living oracles, and pay no attention to the dead ones as they put it.
929: Well state how you know they taught it that way?
I know it sir.
930: Well how do you know it?
I heard them do so.
931: Well who did you hear?
I heard them, –
932: You heard them?
933: Well who did you hear preach that?
I heard Orson Hyde preach that in the assembly hall to the seventy.
934: Were you one of the seventy?
935: Well who else preached it?
Oh I can’t say, but it was a common thing to hear that preached, – that they were to obey the councel of the leaders of the church, and not pay any more attention to the book of covenants. 936 (Mistakenly listed as number 934)
935: After you first heard these doctrines preached that you refer to in the seventy, did you still remain with that seventy and act with it long enough to hear all these doctrines preached by others to the seventy, – I mean these doctrines that you would not accept and rejected?
No sir now after I was asked that question as to whether I would preach and teach the doctrine of plural wifery in case I was sent out to preach, and then I stated that I would not and that I could not fellowship with them any longer if they taught anything like that in the church. I told them that I could not fellowship with them in my quorom, and that I could not preach that doctrine if I was sent out, for that was the question that was asked me. 937 (Mistakenly listed as number 935)
935: Now you have given as you have stated here, what was the doctrine of the church after 1844?
Well I did not say it was the doctrine of the church. 938 (Mistakenly listed as number 936)
935: Well they have taught, – they did teach as you stated it, that the book of doctrine and covenants was not an authority any longer in the church, but that the doctrine of the church came directly through them?
937: Now how many of them did you hear that taught that?
I think I have answered that question as well as I can answer it. I don’t know that I have anything more to add to what I have already stated.
938: Well you have mentioned one name?
939: The name of Orson Hyde?
940: Well you mention another?
Another name, –
941: Yes sir the name of another man their you heard preach or teach that doctrine?
What is that?
942: Whom you heard preach that doctrine that you have referred to?
Well I don’t know that I can particularly, but I know that I have heard it preached from the stand more than twenty times.
Right there in Nauvoo. It was to be counselled by your file leaders, – that was the principle doctrine that was taught and it was very earnestly taught too.
944: Well no Mr Griffits in the doctrine of revelation through these file leaders as you call them, be true why does it not follow that what they taught you to-follow as doctrine is also true?
Well I don’t see that that would follow of necessity. I think it is a matter where every body would think for himself, and that under the rules and doctrines of the church we were not bound to accept anything that came in that way as the doctrine of the church.
945: Now then Mr Griffith if men are or were authorized to give revelations that have in the proper course become a part of the book of doctrine and covenants, why are they not authorized to give revelations or receive them after the book of doctrine and covenants is tsais made?
For the best reason in the world, – for the reason that God does not contradict himself, and these revelations or rather doctrines or practices that they attempts to force upon the church were and are directly contradictory to the book of covenants, and if they had come from God he would be contradicting himself, which he never does, therefore we know that they were not of God, and they had no authority to give them to the church.
946: Well if at one time they were authorized to give revelations that were to go into the book of Doctrine nd Covenants, what takes away that right after the book of doctrine and covenants was made?
Well the question with us, and the question at issue today is, has the Twelve a right to give revelations that are contradictory to the revelations that are in the book of Doctrine and Covenants which we know is from God. That is the question sir, and I say that these revelations that they gave authorizing these practices were directly at variance with the revelations in the book of Doctrine and Covenants that came from God through Joseph Smith, the prophet, seer and revelator. They taught a new theory of things, and taught that which the book of doctrine and covenants did not teach, and consequently they did not endorse it.
947: Well now will you tell me how, or why they were not right in the later revelation, and not wrong in the forever revelations?
Well sir because I know it.
948: Well how do you know it?
Because I know it,- I know that the revelation that were received by Joseph Smith were from God, and I had evidence of that fact in my baptism.
949: Well now don’t try to lead me where I cannot follow, and cover me up with your reasons in your own bosom?
Well sir I am attempting to answer all you questions as well as I can.
950: Well you put me at a dis-advantage when you attempt to take refuge in your own bosom?
Well sir I ask your pardon, and I will not do that if I can avoid it.
951: Now you have stated in reply to a question as to the origin of polygamy, asked you, as I remember it by the plaintiffs counsel?
Yes sir, I told that,-what I thought about it.
952: And you stated that you thought it originated with Parley Pratt and Willard Richards?
953: Now I have been over a good deal of ground in my questions to find out whether you know of any other origin for it?
Well that is my opinion,-that they originated it.
954: You do not know that to be the fact,-you have not positive knowledge on that point?
No sir that is not my positive knowledge that is I have not any knowledge that would amount to positive proof on that point, but that is my opinion, and I base that opinion upon my observation and reading that book of Father Jacobs, and from the known in ability of Brigham Young to-establish any such an institution, and Parley Pratt and Williard Richards know ability and inclination to do, therefore I laid it to them.
955: Is this your reasoning,-because they were able to do a thing of that sort, therefore they did it?
Yes sir I gave you my reasons, but recollect I did not say I knew it, for I don’t know it of my own positive knowledge.
956: When you heard that doctrine taught as you say you did, and for the teaching of which you say you left the church at Nauvoo; were, or were you not taught at the same time, that the doctrine originated with Joseph Smith?
What is that?
957: I asked you if you were not taught at the same time that that doctrine was taught you there at Nauvoo, and for the teaching if which you left the church at that time, originated with Joseph Smith?
It was rumored sir that Joseph Smith had such a revelation, but I never found the man that had seen it.
958: Now when you heard the doctrine taught in the quorum of seventy did you not always or at the same time that you heard it taught, did you not hear it also taught, that the doctrine at the back of it had the authority of Joseph Smith?
Well sir they tried to establish that fact, but they never succeeded in establishing it in a very satisfactory manner to any thinking man.
959: Is it not a fact that when they attempted to teach, you the doctrine of polygamy or spiritual wifery, or sealing in that sense,-that
they told you at the time that it was the doctrine given by Joseph Smith through a revelation?
Well of course the Brighamites when they were teaching that doctrine attempted to carry the idea that it was a revelation from Joseph Smith, but I never believed it there was a great many stood with me in that position, for I was not alone by any means in that opinion.
960: Did they not state that when you first heard of it?
What is that?
961: Did they not make that statement when you first heard of it?
Brigham Young I think stated that the original of it had been burned up, and that he had a copy of it, but we did not know whether or not it was a copy, or that there had ever been an original.
962: Well will you answer my question?
Yes sir I have answered it. I say that I don’t believe that Joseph Smith ever had any such a revelation or that there ever was any such an original. I believe that that revelation was forged after Joseph Smith’s death, and that he never had any such a revelation.
963: Well when you first began to hear of it as you have testified here, did they not also at that time begin also to teach that it was authorized through a revelation from Joseph Smith?
Of course, I say that they claimed that it was in accordance with a a revelation that Joseph Smith had received, but no body ever saw the original that I ever head of or saw.
964: Then they made some efforts to sustain the theory that Joseph Smith was the author of polygamy?
Yes sir, but there was a great many did not believe them.
965: I believe you stated that you never took any of the endowments?
No sir I did not take any of their endowments.
966: Were you ever in the temple?
967: Yes sir?
968: Were there rooms there, – was the temple arranged for the giving of the endowments?
They did not have the temple completed, but they had rooms in it sufficiently finished to receive their endowments there.
969: Then they had rooms in the temple?
Yes sir, they had rooms there to their satisfaction for that purpose, but none of them were completely finished at that time, or at any other time I understand.
970: Well as there was a room in the temple, why did you not offer yourself there for the purpose of taking the endowments?
Because I did not want to.
971: Why not?
Because I preferred not to have them sir.
972: You preferred not to have it?
973: Did you know enough about the endowments at that time to know whether you wanted them or not?
974: Well what had you seen?
Well sir I had seen them coming out of the temple drunk and the grease running off them.
975: Did you see that at Nauvoo?
976: When did you see that?
During the winter that they were giving the endowments.
977: That was during the winter of 1845 and’46 was it not?
978: Well which was it?
It was in 1845, – that was when I first saw it.
979: Well what else did you see in the same connection?
Well I saw enough to satisfy me that I had no business in there and did not want to have anything to do with it”.
980: Well were you invited to attend and take your endowments?
981: Then you were eligible to take the endowments?
Yes sir. I had paid my tithes, and I was notified that I could go through the temple and take the endowment. One of their principal men notified me of that, and I told him I did not want to go through it because I did not have any robes, and they told me that they had robes there, and then I said that I could borrow Porter Rockwell’s, – no they said I could borrow his robe if I wanted it, and I said that I did not believe that I could get it, and they thought that it was quite an evidence, –
982: Well never mind about what you said and they said, – who was he?
983: Porter Rockwell?
Oh he was quite a distinguished fellow there in the church.
984: Well the fact is that you did not take the endowments?
985: And you did not take them because you did not want to do so?
No sir, I concluded that I would have nothing to do with them. That is the reason I would not take them.
986: Now you spoke about those endowments that Strang had?
Yes sir, – it was what was called a covenant.
987: The blood covenant?
988: Did you object to taking the blood covenant with Strang?
Yes sir I did, – I took it but it was a wicked covenant, – a covenant with death, – an agreement with hell, and I dis-annuled it.
989: Well did you take it?
Yes sir, but as I say afterwards when I saw what it was I dis-avowed it.
990: How long was it after you took it before you disavowed it?
Well it was only a short time.
991: Well about how long did you live in that covenant before you dis-avowed it?
Well I guess it was about two months.
992: Was that not also a secret covenant?
993: Did you take an oath that you would not divulge it also?
Yes sir. I took an oath not to reveal the obligations, I took an oath to obey the rules of that covenant, but as I say when I found just what it was I dis-avowed it and dis-annuled the obligation they had put upon me.
994: You kept it while you were there with Strang?
No sir I did not.
995: You did not?
No sir I exposed it at the same place, – right there where Strang was living. I did not do anything behind his back, for what I did was done openly and above board.
996: How long after you had taken it did you do that?
Within two or three months afterwards?
997: You exposed it then, and you come here and expose it now?
Yes sir that is what I did, I exposed it then, and I do so now as far as I remember it. I repudiate it now just the same as I did then.
998: Well what is the Necessity for you to repudiate that covenant?
What is the necessity?
999: Yes sir?
Because I thought it was my duty to do so.
1000: Well what moved you to the performance of that which you considered your duty?
Well sir because I thought it was entirely derogatory to anything that I thought was even moral. I did not consider that there was anything in it that was consistent with good morals.
1001: Did you owe a duty to any one that caused you to make an exposure of that covenant?
I don’t know that I understand you? What do you mean?
1002: I say do you owe anyone a duty that makes it your duty to now expose that covenant, or did you owe anyone such a duty at the time that you exposed it first?
Yes sir I so considered it.
1003: To whom did you owe that duty?
I owed it as a duty to my father and my friends and neighbors, and all the world to expose it. That was a duty that I considered that I owed to my father, friends and neighbors and sisters and the common wealth.
1004: What was the moving cause that impelled you to expose that covenant which you had solemnly obligated yourself to not reveal?
Yes sir, and that was satisfactory to me, and it is a matter of indifference to me whether it is satisfactory to you or not.
1005: Then you hold that a man may go into a secret obligation, and agree that he will stand by the obligation with other parties, and afterwards he can come out and expose it to all the world?
1006: That is your position?
Yes sir, I hold that that is my privilege.
1007: What makes you take that position?
Well sir I don’t believe that any man has a right to bind me up in that way.
1008: As you may not have stated it fully, will you be kind enough to now state the particulars of that obligation?
Of that obligation?
1009: Yes sir, or of that covenant?
No sir I could not do it fully but I am informed that there is a covenant here in the house to day, but from recollection I could not state it at this time fully.
1010: Well I will withdraw that question, or I do not wish to ask you to reveal a covenant that you took an oath not to reveal, -and which you took in your own blood?
Well sir I took it in my own blood and signed my name in blood, and I disavowed the wicked compact and disavowed and dis-annuled it, because I though then, and I am satisfied now that it was a covenant that was of the Evil One, and I should not keep it, and then I did not think it should be countenanced. I took one covenant in my time that I have not divulged, and if I can live up to that I am satisfied, for I know I will be a better man by living up to it, but that was not the case with this covenant that Strang had that I exposed.
1011: What is that covenant you refer that you took, and have lived up to?
The covenant of the gospel.
1012: That is all?
1013: Mr. Griffith, if I understand you correctly, you said you were a member of the quorum of seventy?
Yes sir, of one of the quorums of seventy.
1014: I believe you stated that the number of that quorom of seventy was sixteen?
Yes sir, – it was the sixteenth quorom of seventy.
1015: You became a member of that quorom?
1016: When were you chosen a member of that quorom?
It was pretty soon after the death of the prophet Joseph Smith.
1017: How many of these quoroms were there?
There was as high as twenty seven quoroms of seventy I believe. – I would not be positive about that but I think it was some where in the neighbour hood of that that is that there twenty seven quoroms of seventy there.
1018: By whom were they organized?
By Brigham Young and his counsellors at a meeting in the grove under some shade trees out of doors. Soon after the contentions in the church there at the time as to who should preside, and who should be the leader of the church, – Sidney Rigdon or the Twelve, and then it was decided that the Twelve should be.
1019: Well what occured then?
And then Brigham ordained pretty near all the males, – About all that wore breeches wore ordained into some of those seventies. I think there were twenty seven seventies, and that took about all of them in.
1020: How many quoroms of seventy wore in existence at the time of the prophet?
How many quoroms?
1021: Yes sir?
I think there was but five quoroms of seventy existing at that time. I am not positive but I think that was it.
1022: That is all?
1023: How long after Brigham Young was church President were you, – was it until you became a member of that quorom of seventy?
When was it?
1024: Yes sir?
Through the determination of a vote of the church.
1025: I say how long after Brigham Young was chosen President, did you become a member of the quorom of seventy to which you belonged?
Right soon, – very soon afterwards.
1026: Was it within a month?
I say it was right soon afterwards, – very soon afterwards any way.
1027: That is all?