Letter to the Church, 23 June 1842

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Page 841
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deed, by Joseph Smith; and that he never knew the said Smith to countenance any improper conduct whatever, either in public or private; and that he never did teach to me in private that an illegal illicit intercourse with females was, under any circumstances, justifiable; and that I never knew him so to teach others.
.
Sworn to, and subscribed, before me, this 17th day of May, A. D. 1842.
, Alderman.
The following conversation took place in the City Council, and was elicited in consequence of its being reported that the had stated that I had acted in an indecorous manner, and given countenance to vices practised by the , and others:
Dr. , ex-Mayor, was then called upon by the Mayor to state if he knew aught aganst him; when replied: “I know what I am about, and the heads of the Church know what they are about. I expect I have no difficulty with the heads of the church. I publicly avow that any one who has said that I have stated that General Joseph Smith has given me authority to hold illicit intercourse with women is a liar in the face of God, those who have said it are damned liars; they are infernal liars. He never, either in public or private, gave me any such authority or license, and any person who states it is a scoundrel and a liar. I have heard it said that I should become a second by withdrawing from the church, and that I was at variance with the heads and should use an influence against them because I resigned the office of Mayor; this is false. I have no difficulty with the heads of the church, and I intend to continue with you, and hope the time may come when I may be restored to full confidence, and fellowship, and my former standing in the church; and that my conduct may be such as to warrant my restoration—and should the time ever come that I may have the opportunity to test my faith it will then be known whether I am a traitor or a true man.”
Joseph Smith then asked: “Will you please state definitely whether you know any thing against my character either in public or private?”
answered: “I do not; in all my intercourse with Gen. Smith, in public and in private, he has been strictly virtuous.
Aldermen. ,
, ,
, ,
, ,
GUST[avus] HILLS, ,
, ,
Counsellors. ,
,
, City Recorder.
May 19, 1842.
After I had done all in my power to persuade him to amend his conduct, and these facts were fully established, (not only by testimony, but by his own concessions,) he having acknowledged that they were true, and seeing no prospects of any satisfaction from his future life, the hand of fellowship was withdrawn from him as a member of the church, by the officers; but on account of his earnestly requesting that we would not publish him to the world, we concluded not to do so at that time, but would let the matter rest until we saw the effect of what we had already done.
It appears evident, that as soon as he perceived that he could no longer maintain his standing as a member of the church, nor his respectability as a citizen, he came to the conclusion to leave the place; which he has done; and that very abruptly; and had he done so quietly, and not attempted to deceive the people around him, his case would not have excited the indignation of the citizens, so much as his real conduct has done. In order to make his case look plausible, he has reported, “that he had withdrawn from the church because we were not worthy of his society;” thus instead of manifesting a spirit of repentance, he has to the last, proved himself to be unworthy the confidence or regard of any upright person, by lying, to deceive the innocent, and committing adultery in the most abominable and degraded manner.
We are credibly informed that he has colleagued with some of our former wicked persecutors, the Missourians, and has threatened destruction upon us; but we should naturally suppose, that he would be so much ashamed of himself at the injury he has already done to those who never injured, but befriended him in every possible manner, that he could never dare to lift up his head before an enlightened public, with the design either to misrepresent or persecute; but be that as it may, we neither dread him nor his influence; but this much we believe, that unless he is determined to fill up the measure of his iniquity, and bring sudden destruction upon himself from the hand of the Almighty; he will be silent, and never more attempt to injure those concerning whom he has testified upon oath he knows nothing but that which is good and virtuous.
Thus I have laid before the Church of Latter Day Saints, and before the public, the character and conduct of a man who has stood high in the estimation of many; but from the foregoing facts it will be seen that he is not entitled to any credit, but rather to be stamped with indignity and disgrace so far as he may be known. What I have stated I am prepared to prove, having all the [p. 841]
deed, by Joseph Smith; and that he never knew the said Smith to countenance any improper conduct whatever, either in public or private; and that he never did teach to me in private that an illegal illicit intercourse with females was, under any circumstances, justifiable; and that I never knew him so to teach others.
.
Sworn to, and subscribed, before me, this 17th day of May, A. D. 1842.
, Alderman.
The following conversation took place in the City Council, and was elicited in consequence of its being reported that the had stated that I had acted in an indecorous manner, and given countenance to vices practised by the , and others:
Dr. , ex-Mayor, was then called upon by the Mayor to state if he knew aught aganst him; when replied: “I know what I am about, and the heads of the Church know what they are about. I expect I have no difficulty with the heads of the church. I publicly avow that any one who has said that I have stated that General Joseph Smith has given me authority to hold illicit intercourse with women is a liar in the face of God, those who have said it are damned liars; they are infernal liars. He never, either in public or private, gave me any such authority or license, and any person who states it is a scoundrel and a liar. I have heard it said that I should become a second by withdrawing from the church, and that I was at variance with the heads and should use an influence against them because I resigned the office of Mayor; this is false. I have no difficulty with the heads of the church, and I intend to continue with you, and hope the time may come when I may be restored to full confidence, and fellowship, and my former standing in the church; and that my conduct may be such as to warrant my restoration—and should the time ever come that I may have the opportunity to test my faith it will then be known whether I am a traitor or a true man.”
Joseph Smith then asked: “Will you please state definitely whether you know any thing against my character either in public or private?”
answered: “I do not; in all my intercourse with Gen. Smith, in public and in private, he has been strictly virtuous.
Aldermen. ,
, ,
, ,
, ,
GUSTavus HILLS, ,
, ,
Counsellors. ,
,
, City Recorder.
May 19, 1842.
After I had done all in my power to persuade him to amend his conduct, and these facts were fully established, (not only by testimony, but by his own concessions,) he having acknowledged that they were true, and seeing no prospects of any satisfaction from his future life, the hand of fellowship was withdrawn from him as a member of the church, by the officers; but on account of his earnestly requesting that we would not publish him to the world, we concluded not to do so at that time, but would let the matter rest until we saw the effect of what we had already done.
It appears evident, that as soon as he perceived that he could no longer maintain his standing as a member of the church, nor his respectability as a citizen, he came to the conclusion to leave the place; which he has done; and that very abruptly; and had he done so quietly, and not attempted to deceive the people around him, his case would not have excited the indignation of the citizens, so much as his real conduct has done. In order to make his case look plausible, he has reported, “that he had withdrawn from the church because we were not worthy of his society;” thus instead of manifesting a spirit of repentance, he has to the last, proved himself to be unworthy the confidence or regard of any upright person, by lying, to deceive the innocent, and committing adultery in the most abominable and degraded manner.
We are credibly informed that he has colleagued with some of our former wicked persecutors, the Missourians, and has threatened destruction upon us; but we should naturally suppose, that he would be so much ashamed of himself at the injury he has already done to those who never injured, but befriended him in every possible manner, that he could never dare to lift up his head before an enlightened public, with the design either to misrepresent or persecute; but be that as it may, we neither dread him nor his influence; but this much we believe, that unless he is determined to fill up the measure of his iniquity, and bring sudden destruction upon himself from the hand of the Almighty; he will be silent, and never more attempt to injure those concerning whom he has testified upon oath he knows nothing but that which is good and virtuous.
Thus I have laid before the Church of Latter Day Saints, and before the public, the character and conduct of a man who has stood high in the estimation of many; but from the foregoing facts it will be seen that he is not entitled to any credit, but rather to be stamped with indignity and disgrace so far as he may be known. What I have stated I am prepared to prove, having all the [p. 841]
Page 841