This paper against the dissenters was draughted by Sidney Rigdon, and is as follows:
"FAR W EST , June, 1838.
"To Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, John Whitmer, William W. Phelps, and Lyman E, Johnson, greeting:
"Whereas the citizens of Caldwell county have borne with the abuse received from you at different times, and on different occasions, until it is no longer to be endured ; neither will they endure it any longer, having exhausted all the patience they have, and conceive that to bear any longer a vice instead of a virtue.
We have borne long, and suffered incredibly; but we will neither bear nor suffer any longer; and the decree has gone forth from our hearts, and shall not return to us void. Neither think, gentlemen, that, in so saying, we are trifling with either you or ourselves; for we are not.
There are no threats from you -- no fear of losing our lives by you, or by any thing you can say or do, will restrain us; for out of the county you shall go, and no power shall save you .
THREE DAY NOTICE
And you shall have three days after you receive this communication to you, including twenty-four hours in each day, for you to depart with your families peaceably; which you may do undisturbed by any person; but in that time, if you do not depart, we will use the means in our power to cause you to depart; for go you shall. We will have no more promises to reform , as you have already done, and in every instance violated your promise, and regarded not the covenant which you made , but put both it and us at defiance.
SOLEMN WARNING FATAL CALAMITY
We have solemnly warned you , and that in the most determined manner, that if you do not cease that course of wanton abuse of the citizens of this county, that vengeance would overtake you sooner or later, and that when it did come it would be as furious as the mountain torrent, and as terrible as the beating tempest; but you have affected to dispise our warnings , and pass them off with a sneer, or a grin, or a threat, and pursued your former course; and vengeance sleepeth not, neither does it slumber; and unless you heed us this time, and attend to our request, it will overtake you at an hour when you do not expect, and at a day when you do not look for it; and for you there shall be no escape; for there is but one decree for you, which is depart, depart, or a more fatal calamity shall befall you .
After Oliver Cowdery had been taken by a state warrant for stealing, and the stolen property found in the house of William W. Phelps; in which nefarious transaction, John Whitmer had also participated. Oliver Cowdery stole the property, conveyed it to John Whitmer, and John Whitmer to William W. Phelps; and then the officers of law found it.
While, in the hands of an officer, and under arrest for this vile transaction, and, if possible, to hide your shame from the world, like criminals (which indeed you were), you appealed to our beloved presidents, Joseph Smith, jr. and Sidney Rigdon, men whose characters you had endeavored to destroy by every artifice you could invent, not even the basest lying excepted; and did you find them revengeful?
No; but notwithstanding all your scandalous attacks, still such was the nobleness of their character, that even vile enemies could not appeal to them in vain. They enlisted, as you well know, their influence, to save you from your just fate; and they, by their influence, delivered you out of the hands of the officer.
While you were pleading with them, you promised reformation; you bound yourselves by the most solemn promises that you would never be employed again in abusing any of the citizens of Caldwell; and by such condescensions did you attempt to escape the work house.
But now for the sequel. Did you practice the promised reformation? You know you did not; but, by secret efforts, continued to practise your iniquity, and secretly to injure their character, notwithstanding their kindness to you. Are such things to be borne?
OLIVER COWDERY, DAVID WHITMER
DISGRACED THEIR TESTIMONIES
You yourselves would answer that they are insufferable, if you were to answer according to the feelings of your own hearts. As we design this paper to be published to the world, we will give an epitome of your scandalous conduct and treachery for the last two years. We wish to remind you, that Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer were among the principal of those who were the means of gathering us to this place, by their testimony which they gave concerning the plates of the Book of Mormon , that they were shown to them by an angel, which testimony we believe, now, as much as before you had so scandalously disgraced it.
You commenced your wickedness by heading a party to disturb the worship of the saints in the first day of the week, and made the house of the Lord, in Kirtland, to be a scene of abuse and slander, to destroy the reputation of those whom the church had appointed to be their teachers, and for no other cause only that you were not the persons.
COWDERY WAS A DULY ELECTED OFFICIAL
"The saints in Kirtland, having elected Oliver Cowdery to be a justice of the peace, he used the power of that office to take their most sacred rights from them, and that contrary to law.
"He supported a parcel of blacklegs, and disturbing the worship of the saints; and when the men whom the church had chosen to preside over their meetings endeavored to put the house to order, he helped (and by the authority of his justice's office, too) these wretches to continue their confusion; and threatened the church with a prosecution for trying to put them out of the house; and issued writs against the saints for endeavoring to sustain their rights; and bound themselves under heavy bonds to appear before his honor; and required bonds which were both inhuman and unlawful; and one of these was the venerable father, who had been appointed by the church to preside -- a man upwards of seventy years of age, and notorious for his peaceable habits.
COUNTERFEITER, LIAR, THIEF
Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Lyman E. Johnson, united with a gang of counterfeiters, thieves, liars, and blacklegs of the deepest dye, to deceive, cheat, and defraud the saints out of their property , by every art and stratagem which wickedness could invent, using the influence of the vilest persecutions to bring vexatious law suits, villainous prosecutions, and even stealing not excepted. In the midst of this career, for fear the saints would seek redress at their hands, they breathed out threatenings of mobs, and actually made attempts with their gang to bring mobs upon them.
COWDERY CHURCH GANG
Oliver Cowdery and his gang (such of them as belonged to the church) were called to an account by the church for their iniquity. They confessed repentance, and were again restored to the church; but the very first opportunity they were again practising their former course.
While this wickedness was going on in Kirtland, Cowdery and his company were writing letters to Far West, in order to destroy the character of every person that they thought was standing in their way; and John Whitmer and William W. Phelps were assisting to prepare the way to throw confusion among the saints of Far West.
During the full career of Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer's bogus money business, it got abroad into the world that they were engaged in it, and several gentlemen were preparing to commence a prosecution against Cowdery; he, finding it out, took with him Lyman E. Johnson, and fled to Far West with their families; Cowdery stealing property, and bringing it with him, which has been, within a few weeks past, obtained by the owner, by means of a search-warrant; and he was saved from the penitentiary by the influence of two influential men of the place.
He also brought notes with him, upon which he had received pay, and made an attempt to sell them to Mr. Arthur, of Clay county. And Lyman E. Johnson, on his arrival, reported that he had a note of one thousand dollars, against a principal man of the church; when it was a palpable falsehood, and he had no such thing; and he did it for the purpose of injuring his character.
Shortly after Cowdery and Johnson left Kirtland for FarWest, they were followed by David Whitmer; on whose arrival a general system of slander and abuse was commenced by you all, for the purpose of destroying the characters of certain individuals, whose influence and strict regard for righteousness you dreaded; and not only yourselves, but your wives and children, led by yourselves, were busily engaged in it.
Neither were you content with slandering and vilifying here, but you kept up a continual correspondence with your gang of marauders in Kirtland, encouraging them to go on with their iniquity; which they did to perfection, by swearing falsely to injure the character and property of innocent men; stealing, cheating, lying; instituting vexatious lawsuits; selling bogus money, and also, stones and sand for bogus; in which nefarious business, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmar, and Lyman E. Johnson, were engaged while you were there.
Since your arrival here, you have commenced a general system of that same kind of conduct in this place. You set up a nasty, dirty, pettifogger's office, pretending to be judges of the law , when it is a notorious fact, that you are profoundly ignorant of it, and of every other thing which is calculated to do mankind good, † or if you know it, you take good care never to practise it. And, in order to bring yourselves into notice, you began to interfere with all the business of the place, trying to destroy the character of our merchants, and bringing their creditors upon them, and break them up.
In addition to this, you stirred up men of weak minds to prosecute one another, for the vile purpose of getting a fee for pettifogging from one of them. You have also been threatening continually to enter into a general system of prosecuting, determined, as you said, to pick a flaw in the titles of those who have bought city lots and built upon them -- not that you can do any thing but cause vexatious lawsuits.
"And, amongst the most monstrous of all your abominations, we have evidence (which, when called upon, we can produce,) that letters sent to the post office in this place have been opened, read, and destroyed, and the persons to whom they were sent never obtained them; thus ruining the business of the place.
We have evidence of a very strong character, that I you are at this time engaged with a gang of counterfeiters, coiners, and blacklegs, as some of those characters have lately visited our city from Kirtland, and told what they had come for; and we know, assuredly, that if we suffer you to continue, we may expect, and that speedily, to find a general system of stealing, counterfeiting, cheating, and burning property, as in Kirtland -- for so are your associates carrying on there at this time; and that, encouraged by you, by means of letters you send continually to them; and, to crown the whole, you have had the audacity to threaten us, that, if we offered to disturb you, you would get up a mob from Clay and Ray counties.
For the insult, if nothing else, and your threatening to shoot us if we offered to molest you, we will put you from the county of Caldwell: so help us God."
The above was signed by some 84 Mormons.
PRESIDENT RIGDON'S SALT SERMON
About the time the dissenters fled, President Rigdon preached a sermon from the text, "Ye are the salt of the earth; but if the salt hath lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and be trodden under foot of men" -- commonly called the salt sermon; in which the dissenters were called the salt that had lost its savor, and that they should be trampled upon and driven out by the saints; which was well understood by the Danites to be part of their duty to do.
When General Lucas's men marched up to Far West, Smith told me, as I understood him, that he had said it to one of the militia captains not to come any farther, as he might get into danger. Smith, after erecting his bulworks, (the night after General Lucas arrived,) asked me if I did not think him pretty much of a general; and I answered in the affirmative. We were advised, all the time, to fight valiantly, and that the angels of the Lord would appear in our defence and fight our battles.
In reference to Bogart's battle, I know but little, personally, as to the start of the troops to fight Bogart. I was called upon to go along with the company (which was commanded by Patten) as surgeon. This was about mid-night; but as I thought a little sleep would do me more good than fighting, I remained at home. In the morning of the fight, about 6 o'clock, I was called upon by a Mr. Emmett, who informed me that Captain Fearnaught was wpunded mortally. I went to Patten, about three miles from the battle-ground, where I found Jos. Smith, jr., present, laying hands on the wounds, and blessing them to heal them. A Mr. O'Bannion was also mortally wounded. I heard the following of the prisoners say he was present in the fight, to wit: Norman Shearer --
REMAINDER OF DR. AVARD'S TESTIMONY
I never heard Hiram Smith make any inflamatory remarks...
GEORGE HINKLE'S TESTIMONY
George M. Hinkle, a witness for the State, produced, sworn and examined, deposeth and saith:
I was in Far West when the last Mormon expedition went to Daviess county. We heard of a great number of men gathering in Daviess, (mob;) I went down without being attached to any company, or without having any command; I found there were no troops (mob) gathered there.
The Mormon forces consisted of about three hundred, as I suppose; they were engaged in scouting parties; some, it is said, went to Gallatin, and much mysterious was had in camp about goods, and that they were much cheaper than in New York. This last remark was made by Parley P. Pratt. I saw goods of various kinds; but know not from whence they came. It was a common talk in camps that the mob were burning their own houses and fleeing off .
There was much mysterious conversation in camps, as to plundering and house-burning; so much so, that I had my own notions about it; and, on one occasion, I spoke to Mr. Smith, jr., in the house, and told him that this course of burning houses and plundering, by the Mormon troops, would ruin us; that it could not be kept hid, and would bring the force of the State upon us; that houses would be searched, and stolen property found.
Smith replied to me, in a pretty rough manner, to keep still; that I should say nothing about it; that it would discourage the men; and he would not suffer me to say any thing about it...
SAW A GREAT DEAL OF PLUNDER
I saw a great deal of plunder and bee-stands brought into camp; and I saw many persons, for many days, taking the honey out of them; I understood this property and plunder were placed into the hands of the Bishop at Diahmon, named Vincent Knight, to be divided out among them, as their wants might require.
JOSEPH SMITH INSPECTED ALL PLUNDER
There were a number of horses and cattle drove in; also, hogs hauled in dead with the hair on; but whose they were, I know not. They were generally called consecrated property. I think it was the day Gallatin was attacked. I saw Colonel Wright [sic] start off with troops, as was said, to Millport; all this seemed to be done under the inspection of Joseph Smith, jr. I saw Wright, when he returned; the troops from Gallatin returned about the same time; and I heard Smith find fault with Wright for not being as resolute as to serve Millport as they had served Gallatin; this was remarked to me alone. [end of testimony]
THOMAS MARSH TESTIMONY
Corroborated Avard's Testimony
The chief points in the affidavit of Thomas B. Marsh, referred to in the text, are as follows [History of the Church, Vol.3, p.167, Footnotes]:
"They have among them a company, considered true Mormons, called the Danites, who have taken an oath to support the heads of the Church in all things that they say or do, whether right or wrong . Many, however, of this band are much dissatisfied with this oath, as being against moral and religious principles.
On Saturday last, I am informed by the Mormons, that they had a meeting at Far West, at which they appointed a company of twelve, by the name of the 'Destruction Company,' for the purpose of burning and destroying, and that if the people of Buncombe came to do mischief upon the people of Caldwell, and committed depredations upon the Mormons, they were to burn Buncombe; and if the people of Clay and Ray made any movement against them, this destroying company were to burn Liberty and Richmond. * * * *
The Prophet inculcates the notion, and it is believed by every true Mormon, that Smith's prophecies are superior to the laws of the land. I have heard the Prophet say that he would yet tread down his enemies, and walk over their dead bodies; and if he was not let alone, he would be a second Mohammed to this generation, and that he would make it one gore of blood from the Rocky mountains to the Atlantic ocean; that like Mohammed, whose motto in treating for peace was, 'the Alcoran or the Sword.' So should it be eventually with us, 'Joseph Smith of the Sword.'
These last statements were made during the last summer. The number of armed men at Adam-ondi-Ahman was between three and four hundred.
"THOMAS B. MARSH
"Sworn to and subscribed before me, the day herein written.
"J. P. Ray county, Missouri.
"Richmond, Missouri, October 24, 1838."
"AFFIDAVIT OF ORSON HYDE.
"The most of the statements in the foregoing disclosure I know to be true; the remainder I believe to be true.
"Richmond, October 24, 1838.
"Sworn to and subscribed before me, on the day above written.
"The most of the statements in the foregoing disclosure I know to be true; the remainder I believe to be true."
JOHN CORRILL TESTIMONY
Corroborated Avard's Testimony
Like Avard and Marsh, Corrill testified for the state turning states evidence against his brother Danites:
"President Rigdon last summer preached a sermon commonly called the Salt sermon, which seemed to have for its object to produce a feeling among the people to get rid of the dissenters, for crimes alleged, and because they disagreed with them…. I was afterwards invited to one of these meetings, where an oath, in substance the same as testified by Dr. Avard, was administered…. I took exceptions only to the teaching as to the duties of that society, wherin it was said, if one brother got into any kind of a difficulty, it was the duty of the rest to help him out, right or wrong.
At the second, or at least the last meeting I attended, the presidency, [to wit: Joseph Smith, jr., Hiram Smith, and Sidney Rigdon,] and also George W. Robinson, was there. There was at this meeting a ceremony introducing the officers of the society to the presidency, who pronounced a blessing on each of them, as introduced exhorting to faithfulness in their calling, and they should have blessings.
After this, President Smith got up… he observed to the people that they should obey the presidency, and, if the presidency led them astray they might destroy them. In the last, or in some public meeting, Joseph Smith jr., said: if the people would let us alone, we would preach the gospel to them in peace; but, if they came on us to molest us, we would establish our religion by the sword; and that he would become to this generation a second Mahomet.
About April last, I heard Joseph Smith jr., and President Rigdon [who appeared to be vexed, on account of trouble and lawsuits they had had] say that they would suffer vexatious lawsuits no longer, and that they would resist even an officer in the discharge of his duty ….
On Monday, Joseph Smith, jr., made a speech; and some resolutions were passed, purporting that those persons who would not engage in their undertaking, their property should be confiscated to the use of those who did engage in their undertaking.
On Sunday, Joseph Smith, jr., in his discourse spoke of persons taking, at some times, what at other times, would be wrong to take; and gave an example the case of David eating the shewbread, and also of the Saviour and his Apostles plucking the ears of corn and eating, as they passed through the cornfield…. It was my understanding that Dr. Avard's teaching in the Danite society proceeded from the presidency." [Senate Document, 189]
JOHN CORRILL CORROBORATED MARSH AND AVARD
In all areas of importance John Corrill agrees with previous testimonies.
JOHN CLEMINSON'S TESTIMONY
Corroborated Avard's Testimony
John Cleminson also agreed to testify for the state.
"Sometime last June, I attended two or three Danite meetings; and it was taught there, as a part of the duty of the band, that they should support the presidency in all their designs, right or wrong; that whatever they said was to be obeyed, and whoever opposed the presidency in what they said, or desired done, should be expelled from the county, or have their lives taken.
"The three composing the presidency was at one of those meetings; and to satisfy the people, Dr. Avard called on Joseph Smith, jr., who gave them a pledge, that if they led them into a difficulty he would give them his head for a football, and that it was the will of God these things should be so. The teacher and active agent of th society was Dr. Avard, and his teachings were approved of by the presidency. Dr. Avard further taught as a part of their obligation, that if any one betrayed the secret designs of the society, they should be killed and laid aside, and nothing said about it.
"…When process was filed against Joseph Smith and others, in my office as clerk of Caldwell circuit court, for trespass, Joseph Smith, jr., told me not to issue that writ; that he did not intend to submit to it; … knowing the regulation of the Danite band….
"When we first went to Davies, I understood the object to be to drive out the mob, if one should be collected there; but when we got there, we found none. I then learned the object wsa, from those who were actively engaged in the matter, to dive out all the citizens of Daviess and get possession of their property…. It was frequenty observed among the troops, that the time had come when the riches of the Gentiles should be consecrated to the Saints." [Senate Document, 189, 15-16]
As we study the language of Cleminson's statement that he was in fundamental agreement with Avard, Marsh and Corrill.
JOHN HINCKLE'S TESTIMONY
Corroborated Avard's Testimony
"There was much mysterious conversation in camps, as in plundering, and house-burning; so much so, that I had my own notions about it; and, on one occasion, I spoke to Mr. Smith, jr., in the house, and told him that this course of burning houses and plundering, by the Mormon troops, would ruin us; that it could not be kept hid, and would bring the force of the State upon us; that houses would be searched, and stolen property found.
"Smith replied to m, in a pretty rough manner to keep still: that I should say nothing about it; that it would discourage the men; and he would no suffer me to say any thing about it….
"I saw a great deal of plunder and bee-steads brought into the camp; and I saw many persons, for many days, taking the honey out of them; I understood this property and plunder were placed into the hands of the bishop at Diahmon, …
"The general teachings of the presidency were, that the kingdom they were setting up was a temporal kingdom;… Until lately, the teachings of the church appeared to be peaceable,… but lately a different idea has been advanced - that the time had come when this kingdom was to be set up by forcible means, if necessary. It was taught that the time had come when the riches of the Gentiles were to be consecrated to the true Israel.
"This thing of taking property was considered a fulfillment of the above prophecy…. Joseph Smith, jr., made a speech to the troops who were called together, in which he said: That the troops which were gathering through the country were a damned mob; that he had tried to please them long enough; but, as to keeping the law of Missouri any longer, he did not intend to do so.
"That the whole state was a mob set; and that, if they came to fight him, he would play hell with their apple-carts…. While the last expedition was in progress in Davies county, a portion of the troops returned to Far West,… Rigdon … held in his hand a letter from Joseph Smith, jr., in Daviess county, in which, he said, there was a profound secret, and the boys who were present were sent away. The letter, as near as I can recollect it, was as follows: That our enemies were now delivered into our hands, and that wee should have victory over them in every instance. The letter stated that, in the name of Jesus Christ, he knew this by the spirit of prophecy…." [Senate Document, 189, 21-25]
As we study Hinckle's testimony, he was in agreement with the rest of the Danite band who chose to speak.
BURR RIGGS TESTIMONY
Corroborated Avard's Testimony
"In the latter part of June last, immediately after the witness and Cowdery left Far West, I fell into company with Joseph Smith, jr., and Geo. W. Robinson. Joseph Smith, jr., said there were certain men using their influence against the proceedings of the presidency, and if they were suffered to go on they would do great injury. And Smith told Robinson, the first man he heard speaking against the presidency, and against the their proceedings, he must tie him up and give him thirty-nine lashes; and if that will not do, give him thirty-nine more until he was sorry for what he had said; and Robinson said he would do it….
Two or three days before the surrender of the Mormons to the militia at Far West, I heard Jos. Smith, jr., say that the sword was now unsheathed, and should nt again be sheathed until he could go through these United States, and live in any county he pleased peaceably, … there was a meeting in Far West, in which Mr. Sidney Rigdon presided. There were present about 60 or 100 men… Mr. Rigdon said that the last man had run away from Far West that was going to; that the next man who started he should be pursued and brought back, dead or alive.
"This was put to a vote, and agreed to, without any one objecting o it. He further said, that one had slipped his wind yesterday, and had been thrown aside into the brush for the buzzards to pick, and the first man who lisped it should die." [Senate Document, 189, 30].
Rigg's testimony agreed with everyone on the key points.
JESSE KELLY'S TESTIMONY
Corroborated Avard's Testimony
"The captain asked us if we belonged to the mob, and we replied not;… the captain then said, if we did not wish to fight them, we must leave the State; for we intend said he, after we get possession of Daviess, to take Livingston; and before they stopped, they intended to have the State." [Senate Document 189, 32]
Kelly's testimony agreed with everyone on the key points.
JOHN WHITMER'S TESTIMONY
Corroborated Avard's Testimony
John Whitmer's testimony is important since he was one of the witnesses to the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. This language is important for all who trust his claims about the character of the Book of Mormon.
"About the 17th of April last, … Joseph Smith, jr., spoke in reference to difficulties they had, and their persecutions, &c., in and out of the church. Mr. Smith said he did not intend in the future to have any process served on him, and the officer who attempted it should die; that any person who spoke or acted against the presidency of the church, should leave the country or die; that he would suffer no such to remain there; that they would lose their head. George W. Harris, …observed, the head of their influence, I suppose. Smith replied, Yes, he should so modify it. Mr. Rigdon… in speaking of the head of their shoulders, called the head, and that they should be followed to the ends of the earth. Mr. Rigdon further remarked, that he would suffer no process of law to be served on him hereafter.
"Some time in June, after Mr. Rigdon had preached his 'salt sermon,' I held conversation with several Mormons on the subject of that sermon, …I also conversed with George W. Robinson, …I told him I thought it was contrary to the laws of the land to drive men from their homes; to which he replied, such things had been done of old, and that the gatherings of the saints must continue, and that dissenters could not live among them in peace.
"I also conversed with Mr. J. Smith, jr., on this subject. I told him I wished to allay the [then] excitement, as far as I could do it. He said the excitement was very high, and he did not know what would allay it; but remarked, he would give his opinion, which was, that if I would put my property into the hands of the bishop and high council, to be disposed of according to the laws of the church, he thought that would allay it, and that the church after a while might have confidence in me. I replied to him, I wished to control my own property. In telling Mr. Smith that I wished to be governed by the laws of the land, he answered, Now, you wish to pin me down to the law. And further, this deponent saith not." [Senate Document, 189, 32-33]
HISTORICAL CONTEXT BEHIND WHITMER'S TESTIMONY
Whitmer's testimony placed this entire series of events into context historically. Whitmer had, in the past entrusted property and money into the Church with no success. This was the real crime of all the "dissenters." They were not so much in rebellion to the Book of Mormon or other revelations but their eyes had been opened personally that they were ill advised to trust their financial lives with Joseph Smith.
W. W. PHELP'S TESTIMONY
Corroborated Avard's Testimony
"As early as April last, at a meeting in Far West … Mr. Rigdon arose, and made an address to them, in which he spoke of having borne persecutions, and law-suits, and other privations, and did not intend to bear them any longer; that they meant to resist the law, and, if a sheriff came after them with writs, they would kill him; and, if anybody opposed them, they would take off their head. …In the forepart of July, I being one of the justices of the county court, was forbid by Joseph Smith, jr., from issuing any process against him. …A few days before the 4th of July last, I heard D. W. Patten [known by the fictitious name of Captain Fearnaught] say that Rigdon was writing a declaration, to declare the church independent, I remarked to him, I thought such a thing treasonable - to set up a government within a Government. He answered, it would not be treasonable if they would maintain it, or fight till they died. .…
"I was at the meeting the Monday before the last expedition to Daviess, … Joseph Smith, jr., I think it was, who addressed the meeting, and said, in substance, that they were then about to go to war in Daviess county; that those persons who had not turned out, their property should be taken to maintain the war. …Joseph Smith, jr., … said it was necessary to take spoils to live on. …
"I went on to Diahmon a few days after the Mormon troops had gone out. I went to the tavern, late at night, where I found Joseph Smith, jr., Hiram Smith, and other…. Wight asked J. Smith, twice, if he had come to the point now to resist the law; that he wanted this matter now distinctly understood. … Smith replied, the time had come when when he would resist all law. …I heard J. Smith remark, there was a store in Gallatin, an a grocery at Millport; and in the morning after the conversation between Smith and Wight about resisting the law, a plan of operations was agreed on, which was: that Captain Fearnaught, who was present, should take a company of 100 men, or more, and go to Gallatin, bring them to Diahmon, and burn the store. …I saw Lyman Wight parade a horse company, and start off with it towards Millport. I also saw a foot company the same day go off.
"On the same day, in the evening, I saw both these companies return; the foot company had some plunder, … I was invited to a school-house, … A guard was placed around the house, and one at the door.
"Mr. Rigdon then commenced making covenants, with uplifting hands. The first was, that, if any man attempted to move out of the county, or pack their things for that purpose, that any man then in the house, seeing this, without saying any thing to any other person, should kill him, and haul him aside into the brush; and that all the burial he should have should be in a turkey buzzard's guts, so that nothing of him should be left but his bones.
"That measure was carried off in the form of a covenant, with uplifted hands. After the vote had passed, he said, Now see if any one dare vote against it, and called for the negative vote; and there was none.
"The next covenant, that, if any persons from the surrounding country came into their town, walking about - no odds who he might be - any one of that meeting should kill him, and throw him aside into the brush. This passed in a manner as the above had passed.
"The third covenant was, conceal all these things. Mr. Rigdon then observed that the kingdom of heaven had no secrets; that yesterday a man had slipped his wind, and was dragged into the hazel brush; and, said he, the man who lisps it shall die." [Senate Document 189, 43-46]