or fifteen hundred seventies to carry out our measures and I dont feel in a hurry, for if we should live fifty years, we shall not begin to carry out all that we have got to do. I feel as though there was something deficient all the time when I reflect that we have not yet sent out men to find a location, where can erect the standard of liberty. When we get that done the nations will begin to flock to it and many of us will live to see it. While these men are finding this location the will be finished and the saints get their endowment, then we can go and set up the standard and execute the law of God. The time will be when the Twelve will not have a resting place here, and they want to have a place prepared where they can go and be sustained. We have no safety here. We cannot go together in the [p. ]
Beginning in October 1844 Brigham Young and other church leaders had rapidly expanded the number of men ordained as seventies. At the church’s conference on 7 October, Brigham Young announced that the agenda for the next day’s meetings would be “to ordain the presidents of the seventies and then fill the quorum of seventies from the elders quorum.” The next day, church members accepted George A. Smith’s motion that all worthy and willing elders under the age of thirty-five be ordained as seventies. Heber C. Kimball recommended that this motion also include men ordained to other priesthood offices (priest, teacher, and deacon) as well as men not yet ordained to any office. John D. Lee noted that around four hundred elders were ordained seventies that day. By March, at least twenty-one quorums of seventies had been organized. (“October Conference Minutes,” Times and Seasons, 1 Nov. 1844, 5:695–696; Record of Seventies, bk. B, 8 Oct. 1844 and 2 Mar. 1845.)
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.
Record of Seventies / First Council of the Seventy. “General Record of the Seventies Book B. Commencing Nauvoo 1844,” 1844–1848. Bk. B. In First Council of the Seventy, Records, 1837–1885. CHL. CR 3 51, box 2, fd. 1.
During this time period, church leaders often expressed fears for their safety in Nauvoo. For instance, the day following this council meeting, George Miller, president of the high priests quorum, told the high priests, “Our worst foes are those who have been in our midst, and pretended to be one with us. These people are always aiming to destroy the heads of this church— They begun with Joseph—and will endeavor to destroy all the rest.” (High Priests Quorum Record, 2 Mar. 1845.)
Nauvoo High Priests Quorum. Record, 1840–1891. CHL. CR 1000 2.