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1.2.11 May 27, 1842

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May 27, 1842 • Friday

Minutes of the Proceedings of the

Tenth Meeting of the Society.

May 27th.

Meeting in the Grove— open’d with singing— prayer by Prest E. Smith.

Prest. E. Smith arose and address’d the congregation, said all must have grace for themselves &c.— that the first business is to finish the business commenc’d yesterday— requested if any were present who came to make ridicule of the Society, that they would withdraw.

The following persons were receiv’d. to wit.

Nancy Flemming

Almena Haskins

Sophia A. [Bundy] Packard

Sarah Powers

Elizabeth Barnum

Sarah Lyons

Marcia A. Root

Mary Ann Bigler

Elizabeth Bullard [Ballard]

Sally Hawley

Eliza Odercark [Odekirk]

Asenath Janes1

[p. [54]]

Lillis Barney

Sarah Ames

Eliza Kelley [Kelly]

Sarah Dodley [Dudley]

Mary Jinkins [Jenkins]

Lovina Dodge

Anna M. Hulett

Dorcas Averett

Mary Pearsons [Parsons]

Catharine Raymond

Mary C. Rawson

Mary Asherley [Ashley]

Martha Murdock

Loisa Stout

Eliza Pace

Mary Wilson

Jane V. Lee

Almira [Lucy Almira] Atwood

Lydia Stewart

Violette O. Harding

Celinda Hoyt

Thomazin Downing

Sally McArthur

Sarah Brinton

Mary Ann Call

Lucy Ann W. Cutler

Hannah Ames

Clarinda Cutler

Elizabeth Ames

Amanda Babcock

Betsey Arnold

Asenath Babcock

Nancy M. [Case] Winchester

Sarah Morrison

Patience Johnson

Eunice Warnuth [Wormonth]

Clarissa J. More

Nancy Wilson

Dolly Wightman

Sally Baker

Rebecca Reed

Phebe Harding

Elizabeth Pilkington

Eliza Harvey

Caroline Partridge

Frances Humphrey

Eliza Delany

Betsey Rhodabank

Charlotte Allen

Frances Kelley [Kelly]

Rachel McCall

Sophrona Daviss [Davis]

Lydia M. Brown

Mary Johnson

Desdemona Gleason

Juliet Johnson

Sylvia Vanfleet

Beulah A. Clark

Esther Russell

Margaret Carn [Garn]

Nancy Baldwin

Esther Huse

Mary Ann Dimick

Mary Lower

Sarah Hadfield

Polly Ann Butler

Phebe Curtiss [Curtis]

Jemima Johnson

[p. [55]]

Ann Powers

Sarah L. Hoyt

Susanna C. Perry

Caroline Butterfield

Christianna Lytle

Olive Newell

Deborah Houghton

Sarah Strong

Mary M. Carpenter

Elizabeth Walker

Mary Houghton

Katharine Huntsman

Charity Riley

Julia Ann Shumway

Mary Hardman

Sarah Burket

Abigail Bentley

Lavinia Clough [Lavina Cluff]

Mary Winnegar [Winegar]

Martha Nelson

Isabel Strickland

Rhoda Nelson

Melissa J. Bigler

Betsey Stephen

Margaret Moon

Susannah Cummings

Mary Okey

Mabel Sharp

Ann Birch

Mary Parsons

Eliza A Allen

Mary Wilcox

Julia Ann Chapman

Mary Aldridge

Elizabeth Ann Dort

Hannah Henderson

Sarah Wild

Mary Ann Dixon [Dickson]

Abigail Abbott

Levina W. Murphy

Anna Gifford

Polly M. Colton

Lucy Parker

Albina Merrill

Maria Empey

Caroline E. Grover

Mary Ann Empey

Nancy Timmon

Ellen Parker

Sophronia Drake

Lorena Barrows

Flora Drake

Hannah B. Merriam

Dolly [Polly] Daniels

Rebecca Hodge

Sarah Earl

Delecta Clark

Mary Ann Coons

Huldah M. Clark

Polly Vaughn

Elizabeth H. Hyde

Elizabeth Stewart

Prudence Miles

Melinda Stewart

Lucy Atwood

Rebecca W. Holman

Terissa Judd

Ann Bosley

[p. [56]]

Cynthia Clyde

Rebecca Wight

Abigail Dow

Rachel Worthington

Rebecca Holman

Rebecca Warner

Nancy Green[e]

Sarah Lytle

Ellen Rockwood

Sarah Higgins

Sarah M’Gill [McGill]

Phebe Leavitt

Mary Newberry

Mary Peck

Clarissa C. Cutler

Mrs. John [Harriet] Luce

Nancy Gilbert

Tanor [Tamer] Washburn

Susanna Rigby

Polly McLellin [McClellan]

Maria Sc[h]oles

Melissa Bird

Eliza Ann Haven

Ann Parry

Sarah Dodge

Sarah Ann Wood

Julia E. Stone

Sally Ann Reed

Elizabeth Hugh

Amanda Higbee

Margaret Shirts

Celinda Fuller

Mary Jones

Caroline Huntington

Harriet Clark

Rhoda Pearson

Hester Myers

Phebe Madison

Elizabeth Pool

Amelia Green

Mrs. President said the case of L. A. [Lucy Ann] Munjar was put over— read a certificate and spoke [p. [57]] of dropping the subject.2 She impress’d the necessity of being united in doing good to the poor— said she had hired a poor man to plough 〈and fence〉 father Knights [Joseph Knight Sr.’s] lot at $.22,60, and solicited the Society in behalf of the payment which might be made in provision, clothing and furniture.

Prest. J. Smith and Bishop [Newel K.] Whitney then came upon the stand.

Bishop Whitney arose and after some preliminary remarks, proceeded to address the congregation by saying that he rejoic’d and did rejoice at the formation of the Society that we might improve upon our talents and to prepare for those blessings which God is soon to bestow upon us.3

In the beginning God created man male and female and bestow’d upon man certain blessings peculiar to a man of God, of which woman partook, so that without the female all things cannot be restor’d to the earth it takes all to restore the Priesthood.4 It is the intent of the Society, by humility and faithfulness; in connexion with those husbands that are found worthy. Rejoice while contemplating the blessings which will be pour’d out on the heads of the saints. God has many precious things to bestow, even to our astonishment if we are faithful. I say again I rejoice in the prospect of what lays before. It becomes us to prepare by striving for union one with another, that we may be prepar’d for the day of choosing— man will not choose but God will say who is and who is not worthy.

We must humble ourselves and live by the rule given for our practice— we must lose sight of vain things and remember that the eye of God is upon us. If we are striving to do right, altho’ we may err in judgment many times yet we are justified in the sight of God if we do the best we can according to our judgment. We need not go astray [p. [58]] if we will strive in all the energy of our souls to do right.

I rejoice that God has given us means whereby we may get intelligence and instruction. It is our privilege to stand in an attitude to get testimony for ourselves— it is as much our privilege as that of the ancients saints. We must prove all things and hold fast that which is good.5 There are blessings lying before which are worth striving to obtain. It is our duty to humble ourselves— it is our most reasonable service to do it— must proceed to receive grace for grace, light and intelligence—6 if we have intelligence we have pow’r— knowledge is power: if we understand all things we shall not be barren or unfruitful in the knowledge of God.7 I desire all evil things may be done away; but far as possible throw the vail of charity over failings— when we see one out of the way, we ought in humility to go to, and counsel, and strive to bring back those who have stray’d from the holy principles— we must do as we would wish to be done by, this is the way to win souls and bring them back. There are many things to be taken into consideration. Far be it from me to harbor iniquity and outbreaking sins. We may have different views of things, still there is some criterion which all may come to, and by bringing our minds and wills into subjection to the law of the Lord, may come to unity.

It is impossible while finding fault with one another to be united. Would to God I had pow’r to bridle my tongue— We are 〈am〉 too apt when I hear anything, to make remarks, but of late have decreed to set a double watch on my tongue and not offend one of the little ones. I wish nobody harm— wish it were in my pow’r to save all within the reach of mercy— would glory in it. Perhaps some would say from my past life that I had not been so faithful as I might have heen, or my voice would [p. [59]] oftener have been heard in the congregation of the saints, but I rejoice in God that it is as well with me as it is. I assure you there are great blessings before, that would astonish you if you could behold them.8 I came here for the purpose of hearing Prest. Smith and of being instructed by him.9 I wish to encourage you to persevere in the ways of righteousness. I tell you there are blessings before to be confer’d as soon as our hearts are prepar’d to receive them.— you have my heart’s desire for the prosperity of the Society and pray my heav’nly Father that you may go on and glorify your profession.

The meeting then adjourn’d.

[p. [60]]

Footnotes

  1. [1]text: Possibly “Jones”.

  2. [2]Munjar was admitted as a member March 24, 1842, and suspended as a member May 19, 1842. (Document 1.2, entries for Mar. 24 and May 19, 1842.)  

  3. [3]Whitney almost certainly was referring to blessings associated with temple rites in which he had recently participated. On May 4 and 5, 1842, Whitney and eight other men met with Joseph Smith in the upper room of Smith’s red brick store. Willard Richards participated in these events and made both a brief entry in Smith’s journal as well as a more extended description that later became part of Joseph Smith’s multivolume manuscript history. Richards recorded that Smith spent the day “instructing them in the principles and order of the Priesthood, attending to washings, anointings, endowments and the communication of Keys pertaining to the Aaronic Priesthood, and so on to the highest order of the Melchisedec Priesthood. . . . In this Council was instituted the Ancient order of things for the first time in these last days.” This marked the introduction of temple ceremonies often collectively termed “the endowment.” Because the temple in Nauvoo was still under construction, the upper room of Smith’s store was specially arranged for the ceremonies. The circle of those who received the endowment through Joseph Smith in May 1842 expanded gradually after September 1843 and became known variously as the quorum, the temple quorum, the anointed quorum, and the Holy Order. Emma Smith received her endowment September 28, 1843, the first woman to enter this temple quorum. Approximately sixty-five men and women received the endowment before Joseph Smith’s death in 1844. Whitney and other May 1842 initiates were aware that “there was nothing made known to these men but what will be made known to all Saints, of the last days, so soon as they are prepared to receive, and a proper place is prepared to communicate them.” (Historian’s Office, Joseph Smith History, Draft Notes, ca. 1839–1856, CHL, May 4, 1842; Joseph Smith, Journal, May 4 and 5, 1842, in JSP, J2:53, 54n198; Joseph Smith et al., History, 1838–1856, vols. A-1–F-1 [original], A-2–E-2 [fair copy], CHL, vol. C-1, 1328–1329 [hereafter JS History]; Joseph Smith, Journal, Sept. 28, 1843, in Andrew H. Hedges et al., eds., Journals, Volume 3: May 1843–June 1844, vol. 3 of the Journals series of The Joseph Smith Papers, ed. Ronald K. Esplin and Matthew J. Grow [Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2015], 104 [hereafter JSP, J3]; Andrew F. Ehat, “Joseph Smith’s Introduction of Temple Ordinances and the 1844 Mormon Succession Question,” [master’s thesis, Brigham Young University, 1982], 25–45; Carol Cornwall Madsen, “Mormon Women and the Temple: Toward a New Understanding,” in Maureen Ursenbach Beecher and Lavina Fielding Anderson, eds., Sisters in Spirit: Mormon Women in Historical and Cultural Perspective [Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987], 84–86.)

  4. [4]For a discussion of early Mormon marriage rituals and Newel K. Whitney’s understanding of the divine authority he and his wife possessed, see Kathleen Flake, “The Development of Early Latter-day Saint Marriage Rites, 1831–53,” Journal of Mormon History 41, no. 1 (Jan. 2015): 77–102.

  5. [5]See Thessalonians 5:21.

  6. [6]See Doctrine and Covenants 93:12, 13, 20, 36.

  7. [7]See 2 Peter 1:8.

  8. [8]Heber C. Kimball, one of the nine men who received the endowment through Joseph Smith on May 4 and 5, 1842, expressed a similar sentiment in a letter to fellow apostle Parley P. Pratt: “We have recieved some pressious things through the Prophet on the preasthood that would caus your Soul to rejoice.” (Heber C. Kimball to Parley P. Pratt, June 17, 1842, Parley P. Pratt, Correspondence, 1842–1855, CHL.)

  9. [9]Though Joseph Smith attended the meeting, he was apparently ill. His journal entry for May 27, 1842, as recorded by Willard Richards, notes: “A billious attack. at home taking medicine.” (Joseph Smith, Journal, May 27, 1842, in JSP, J2:64.)