-- During 1843 Sept.
Clarissa Merrifield dies from what is officially described as "ague [chills] and fever," but a Nauvoo diary reveals that while she was being rebaptized for health she inadvertently drowned. (1)
-- Fall, 1843
"In the fall of 1843 I went to Nauvoo to buy calves, and called on a blindman who had one to sell. I bought his calf, and being curious to learn his history, went in and saw his wife, with two little twin infants in a cradle, and great destitution. He told me that he had a nice home in Massachusetts, which gave them a good support. But one of the Mormon elders preaching in that country called on him and told him if he would sell out and go to Nauvoo, the prophet would open his eyes and restore his sight. And he sold out, and had come to the city, and had spent all his means, and was now in great need. I asked why the prophet did not open his eyes. He replied that Joseph had informed him that he could not open his eyes until the temple was finished, and then when the temple was finished he would open them, and he should see better than before! And he believed, and was waiting patiently for the last stroke to bemade on the temple." [I. R. Tull, Esq., of Pontoosue] (2)
-- Oct 30, 1843
Brigham Young baptizes Sister Cobb and Harriet Cook, possibly in preparation for his plural marriage to them two days later. (3)
-- Nov 11, 1843
[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] Nov 11th 1843 (WW PW) During the evening I walked over to Br Taylors & spent some time in conversing about the principle of the Celestial world or some of them. Br Hiram Smith was in with us & presented som ideas of much interest to me concerning Baptism for the dead, the resurrection redemption & exhaltation in the New & everlasting covenant that reacheth into the eternal world.
He sealed the marrige Covenant between me & my wife Phebe W. Carter for time & eternity & gave us the principle of it which was interesting to us. After spending the evening plesantly we returned home & spent the night. (4)
-- Dec 28, 1843
[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] 28th Mrs Woodruff was sick this morning. I went to the mill for my sheeting but did not get it. I attended meeting in the evening with Elder Young on the flat. We had the house full and a good time. The following are some of the items of doctrin that Elder Young presented:
... When the Temple is done I expect we shall be baptized, washed anointed ordained, & offer up the keys & signs of the priesthood for our dead that they may have a full salvation & we shall be a saviors on mount Zion acording to the Scriptures.
/+ I Procured 65 subscribers for the T & S & Neighbor while east & 10 in Nauvoo making in all 75 subscribers./ [Asterisk is Woodruff's.] (4)
-- During 1843
[Black History] Sometime in the Nauvoo era, Elijah Abel participates in at least two baptisms for the dead. (5)
-- Jan 21, 1844
[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] Jan 21st Sunday + A large assembly of Saints met at the Temple And herd an interesting discours deliverd By President Joseph Smith. The following is a synopsis of his discourse upon the occasion:
When I consider the surrounding circumstances in which I am placed in this day, standing in the open air with week lungs & sumwhat out of health, I feel that I must have prayers & faith of my brethren that God may strengthen me & pour out his special blessings upon me if you get much from me this day.
Their are many people assembled here. to day & throughout this city, & from various parts of the world who say that they have recieved to a certainty a portion of knowledge from God by revelation in the way that he has ordained & pointed out. I shall take the broad ground then that if we have or can receive a portion of knowledge from God by immediate revelation by the same source we can receive all knowledge.
What shall I talk about today? I know what Br Cahoon wants me to speak about, he wants me to speak about the comeing of Elijah in the last days. I can see it in his eye. I will speak upon that Subject then. The Bible says "I will send you Elijah before the great & dredful day of the Lord Come that he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the Children & the hearts of the children to their fathers lest I come & smite the whole earth with a Curse." Now the word turn here should be translated (bind or seal).
But what is the object of this important mission or how is it to be fulfilled? The keys are to be deliverd the spirit of Elijah is to come, The gospel to be esstablished the Saints of God gatherd, Zion built up, & the Saints to come up as Saviors on mount Zion. But how are they to become Saviors on Mount Zion? By building their temples erecting their Baptismal fonts & going forth & receiving all the ordinances, Baptisms, confirmations, washings anointings ordinations, & sealing powers upon our heads in behalf of all our Progenitors who are dead & redeem them that they may come forth in the first resurrection & be exhalted to thrones of glory with us, & herein is the Chain that binds the hearts of the fathers to the Children & the Children to the Fathers which fulfills the mission of Elijah & I would to God that this temple was now done that we might go into it & go to work & improve our time & make use of the seals while they are on earth.
And the Saints have none to much time to save & redeem their dead, & gather together their living relatives that they may be saved also, before the earth will be smitten & the consumption decreed falls upon the world & I would advise all the Saints to go to with their might & gather together all their living relatives to this place that they may be sealed & saved that they may be prepared against the day that the destroying angel goes forth & if the whole Church should go to with all their might to save their dead seal their posterity & gather their living friends & spend none of their time in behalf of the world they would hardly get through before night would come when no man Could work.
And my ownly trouble at the present time is concerning ourselves that the Saints will be divided & broken up & scattered before we get our salvation secure. For their is so many fools in the world for the devil to operate upon it gives him the advantage often times.
The question is freequently asked can we not be saved without going through with all thes ordinances &c. I would answer No not the fulness of Salvation. Jesus Said their was many mansions in his fathers house & he would go & prepare a place for them. House here named should have been translated (Kingdom) & any person who is exhalted to the highest mansion has to abide a celestial law & the whole law to.
But their has been a great difficulty in getting anything into the heads of this generation. It has been like splitting hemlock knots with a corn doger for a wedge & a pumpkin for a beetle; even the Saints are slow to understand. I have tried for a number of years to get the minds of the saints prepared to recieve the things of God, but we free-quently see some of them after suffering all they have for the work of God will fly to peaces like glass as soon as any thing Comes that is Contrary to their traditions. They cannot stand the fire at all. How many will be able to abide a Celestial law & go through & recieve their exhaltation I am unable to say but many are called & few are Chosen.
[ ] (4)
1 - Quinn, D. Michael, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, Appendix 7: Selected Chronology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-47, http://amzn.to/origins-power
2 - Stapley, Jonathan & Wright, Kristine, '"They Shall Be Made Whole": A History of Baptism for Health,' Journal of Mormon History, Fall 2008
3 - Quinn, D. Michael, "The Practice of Rebaptism at Nauvoo," BYU Studies (1978), 18:2:226
4 - Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies
5 - Crapo, Richley, Chronology Pertaining to Blacks and the LDS Priesthood, http://www.mormonsocialscience.org/node/62
LDS History Chronology: Unconventional Baptisms
Mormon History Timeline: Forms of Rebaptism in LDS History