Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
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Dialogue: Vol 18 No 2
Edwards: William B. Smith 131 This approachable statement was, however, coupled with a more assertive appraisal of his situation as he understood it: As it regards the Patriarchial office I submitted to your Council and that of the Twelve in respect to this ordination this however was not a matter of my own seeking consequently I do not feel that am so much to blame as to the [results]. It was upon your assurance President Young at the time of the ordination took place that no infringement should be considered upon my rights of office [as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ] that I consented to receive the ordination. William recalls as a matter of deep concern that he was to receive a copy of the ordination but that he had not seen it. He observed that he could not see the wisdom or the rules involved in taking a man who already was an apostle and "ordaining him to an office in the church, that in conjunction with his brethren of Twelve he held jurisdiction over previous to his being ordained" and suggests that it was a "sly game and an imposition had been imposed upon me — under the laws of the Council to silence me from my office as one of the Twelve — for purposes best known to themselves." William takes the occasion to reaffirm his position in fairly strong terms: I shall never submit willingly to suffer the disgrace of a wrong. I have never [considered] nor am I willing to relinquish claims that justly belong to me in the Church and Kingdom of God. Such a sacrifice would be dearer to me than life itself. Nor do I believe that if Joseph were alive and occupying the Presidency of the Church that he would do me the first particle of injustice in relation to this affair. And now President Young, I appeal to you to look into this matter and if a reconciliation — or a settlement of our long standing difficulties can be had — upon honorable principles in regard to all parties concerned I want that it should be done. Williams ends his appeal in the name of Christ and as the last member of the Smith family, recognizing that the salvation of thousands everywhere — "sheep without shepherds" — depends on Brigham's acceptance of the epistle. He then signs the letter "William Smith Apostle and Patriarch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints." These attempts proved unsuccessful and two years later, on 7 May 1855, he wrote to Brigham Young again, this time sending it in the care of Elder James Colburn "one of the Old Pioneers of the Church." William acknowledged that previous attempts had been unable to close the gap between them and he reaffirmed his position in the same manner — almost in the same words — as previously. There is a soft acknowledgment as well of his own outspokenness: I was not to blame but the affect was all the same to me as it produced the excitement and created the fear and as a matter of course as many men would have done under the same circumstances I have published and said a great many things which can all be [settled] when I am within [a] place that will enable me to do it with honor [both] to yourself and the Church. (Young Collection) As late as 1860 William was still making an effort to create a bond with Salt Lake City. Brigham Young's office journal of 14 May 1860 reports a conversation with Albert Carrington, later his counselor, in which Carrington read a letter from William Smith expressing a desire to come to the valley and be