-- Aug 25, 1844
[Brigham Young Journal] Sunday 25 went to the Stand Br Woodruff Preached I spoke to the saints 3/4 of an our had a good meeting gave much instruction to the saints and liberty to Baptize the saints for there dead relitives Brs. Hyde P. P. Pratt Cahoon and Phelps Bore testamona (1)
-- Aug 26, 1844
[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] 26th I went to the River in Company with Mrs Woodruff to be baptized for some of our dead friends. I was baptized for five of my friends under the hands of G. A. Smith, & confirmed under the hands of Elder Richards. Their names were Cyrus Thompson, Sylva Thompson Hyram Barber Arena Hart, Electa Woodruff.
Phebe W. Woodruff was baptized for five of her friends under the hands of W. W. & confirmed by W. Richards. Olive Libby, Sarah Pierce, Ezra Carter, Sophia Carter, Rachael Smith.
W. Woodruff baptised & confirmed by G.A.S. on the 26th of Aug. for: Asahel Hart, wife, Asahel Hart, Joseph Hart, Sophrona Hart, Adna Hart, Eunice Hart, Robt. Mason, Erastus Hart, Milla Woodruff, Hellan Woodruff, Henry Woodruff, Laura Hoskins, Marietta Hoskins, Wakerman Standley. (2)
-- Dec 5, 1844. Thursday.
[William Clayton Journal] ...I was at the office all day. At noon we had some conversation concerning recorders for the Baptism of our dead &c. We feel very anxious on the matter but have little prospect of anything being done very speedily. I feel very anxious on the subject myself, inasmuch as the Records of our Baptisms for our dead have not been kept in order for near 2 years back. The minutes have been kept on loose slips of paper and are liable to be lost and they have not been kept according to the order of God. There is so much treachery in man that it is hard to find a man who can be trusted with those Records for they cannot be public property. Inasmuch as they will have to contain histories pertaining to the transactions of individuals which never must be public. Dr. Richards remains very sick and I fear if he do not change his mode of living he will die...Brother Kimball asked President Young concerning D[iantha] Farr. He gave full consent and ordered Brother K[imball] to attend to it. I feel humbly grateful for this grant. And feel to ask the father in the name of Jesus to give me favor in her eyes and the eyes of her parents that I may receive the gift in full. (3)
-- Jan 8, 1845
[Brigham Young Sermon] Meeting of the Richards and Young families am President Brigham Young said, in substance:
As I do not know where to begin, I will begin in the middle and work both ways. With regard to our circumstances of being here this day I would have been happy to have seen the whole family. We have recorded up 120 or 130 of Father Young's family now living, and there is not one-third part of the family present. There are only a few of them here. There must be 60 or 80 in the church. Almost all the posterity are members. There are some things I will talk about. When we come to the connections we discover that we all sprung back to the settlement of New England about 200 years ago. It is but a little more than that time when Father Smith, the Goddards, Richards, Youngs and Kimballs were all in one family - as it were. We are all relations. It is only three generations back that Brother Joseph Smith's family were related to this family. There are only three children of Grand father and Grand mother Howe - that is, only three families who have embraced the Gospel, but the others must, because the decree has gone forth. I have preached to them myself, I have done my duty and now I have handed them over to other powers for a time. There is a great deal might be explained here this day. I will first set in order before these relations the true order of the Kingdom of God and how the families hereafter will be organized; you have heard Joseph say that the people did not know him; he had his eyes on the relation to blood-relations. Some have supposed that he meant spirit, but it was the blood-relation. This is it that he referred to. His descent from Joseph that was sold in to Egypt was direct, and the blood was pure in him. That is why the Lord chose him and we are pure when this blood - strain from Ephraim comes down pure. The decrees of the Almighty will be exalted - that blood which was in him was pure and he had the sole right and lawful power, as he was the legal heir to the blood that has been on the earth and has come down through a pure lineage. The union of various ancestors kept that blood pure. There is a great deal the people do not understand, and many of the Latter-day Saints have to learn all about it. In all the Kingdoms of the World you will find that there will be only one King, and all will be governed as one family, every man will preside over his own family. We will have to work out some of the impurities. There is a great deal that I have to say and the brethren will have patience. Mother Smith is here - she is our Mother, we hold her in a three-fold bond, for we hold her by blood, by the spirit, and by the Gospel. We are connected together. The human family will find out who are the saviors of the Earth. The world knew nothing of the office of saviors upon Mount Zion. If Joseph Smith is not the man on whom the Keys of the Kingdom rest, I would not give the ashes of a rye straw for our Salvation. If I teach my family correct principles and show them the way of Salvation I am in a sense their savior. There is the same blood of Ephraim running in the veins of this family - and I know who has the blood and the Priesthood to carry the keys to the world. The decree of the Almighty is so pure that it would seem like blunders in the eyes of the world; but the keys will rest upon the Prophet and there is no power on earth or in hell to take it from him. This is a subject relating to the baptism for the dead. We will tell you when the temple is finished how to redeem your dead. I want to tell you now don't be scared, don't be frightened, at what I tell you. The Church does not understand the doctrine that Joseph taught - yet it is plain as the sun at noonday - the order of redeeming our relatives originated in the Kingdom of Heaven. If our progenitors had kept their records as the Jews anciently did they would be able to tell exactly where they came from -- and see where they run down in one straight line. We have hundreds ready to be baptized for the dead. Nauvoo, Illinois UGHM 11:109-113 pm Brigham Young again spoke in substance as follows:
I have been reflecting on my life and the consequences of it and have listened to the remarks that Brother Joseph has been making. I have seen, and I know why the nations of the Earth have been left in darkness. They have rejected the Priesthood of God and have gone in the dark themselves and the rising generations have come up in darkness in obedience to their traditions. The result of it all I seldom talk about. For my reflections have been since I have been before the people as a public man, that I will build on the foundation of his (Joseph's) claims and rights. I suppose it was the first time that Joseph Smith gave to his Father the account of the finding of the records, when there was printed in the newspaper a short paragraph; it was only about a square inch, but it stated that a young man had seen an angel who had told him where to find an Indian Bible, and it went on to inquire what would happen if it should come forth; should we then know about the origin of the Indians? The night the plates were found, there was a great light in the East and it went to the West and it was very bright although there was no moon at the time. I gazed at it in company with my wife. The light was perfectly clear and remained several hours. It formed into men as if there were great armies in the West; and I then saw in the northwest armies of men come up. They would march to the South West and, then go out of sight. It was a very remarkable occurrence. It passed on, and continued perhaps about two hours. Soon after this the Book of Mormon was printed and came into our section of the country. Brother Joseph Young and Phinehas Young saw the elders, and Father Chamberlain preached to Joseph and Phinehas in such a manner that they asked him to desist. Then they went into Canada to preach. Samuel Smith brought the Book of Mormon into our district, and he preached from it. I weighted the matter for a year and a half. I looked at it on all sides. All other religions I could fathom, I could get to the bottom of all religions that I had any knowledge of, but this new one. I reasoned on month after month, until I came to a certain knowledge of its truth. I reasoned on revelation and while I was getting into it, brother Phinehas laid it by. I saw the two first Elders who preached to my brothers when I calculated to be baptized. I calculated that I would go into the Church seeing things as they were. I knew Methodism. The Methodist Preachers used to talk with children in such a manner that I have often prayed, "if there is a God in heaven, save me, that I may know all the truth and not be fooled by such doctrines." I saw them get religion all around me. Men were rolling and bawling and thumping, but it had no effect on me. I wanted to know the truth that I might not be fooled. Children and young men got religion but I could not get it till I was twenty-three years old; and then, in order to prevent my being any more pestered about it I joined Methodism. I was brought up in the midst of Methodists, Episcopalians, Quakers and Presbyterians. But when Mormonism came along I fathomed it as far as I could and then I embraced it for all day long, that I might just live and die standing straight in this work. I took my sleigh and horse and drove right off to Canada about 200 miles. John P. Greene went part way with me as a preacher--and when we were going along I told him if he didn't get snagged I'd treat. Joseph Young when he saw me believed the Book of Mormon. I preached to him first. And so I claim all of you as the fruit of my labors. I am the first one of the family that embraced it understandingly. The Prophet Joseph could not come to our neighborhood then, so I preached to my family and related the truth about the Book of Mormon. There was one, Nathan Fellows, who had not been out of doors for years, who was ill and always had his head wrapt up. When he heard the preaching of the fulness of the Gospel he threw away his coat and his stick believing it.
I was baptized in Mendon, Munroe County, New York, by Eleazer Miller April 9, 1832, and then we went preaching to the North, East, West and South and started the work. Seven months had scarce passed away when there were a dozen branches raised up. Father Smith had gone West to Missouri so we were left alone in New York. Phinehas Young and I went into Canada and I preached to my friends. If my father and mother had said goodbye I should have said goodbye without a tear; for God is my Father, Jesus is my brother and the faithful are my brothers and sisters. The Prophet Joseph told us to go and preach to our friends. We did so. We sowed the seed and now I see the fruits of our preaching. The rest of our relatives we have handed over to other powers for a season. If they must of necessity see sorrow to bring them into the Gospel then they must. If all my family and relatives were here they would be more than all that are now here today. There are only three branches of the Howe family here. Where will this Howe family grow to, when we go back to our great grand Father Goddard? If he had had the Priesthood and preached to his race how many hundreds would there not have been? My mother could sum up from 130 to 150 as her own family today, if she were here alive. If we were to take Grandfather Goddard's children and grand children what sort of a number would there be here? You would want a ten acre lot to stand them all on. Then provided great Grand Father Goddard had had the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and was permitted to reign over his posterity he would now have had a great multitude to preside over. Then come on down to our Great Grand Children and trace them back to the main stream--it is like a little fibre, it spreads itself and becomes a mighty river.
If our Grand Father Goddard is permitted to rule as King and Priest over his posterity, and the posterity are raised up as kings and priests to rule over their posterity, our Grand-Fathers Goddard would call together a numerous host. I will show you the order of the Kingdom as regards my own family; one of my sons is placed here, another there, another there, and so on. Yet I should be their ruler, savior, dictator, and governor. They would have an innumerable posterity but all would join in harmony with my counsel; I should console, comfort, and advise them all. You and your children will rise up and administer unto your children, and you will rule over your posterity, and they may get up in tens, hundreds, thousands, and millions. Yet all will finally join with Adam who will be the King of all; Seth comes next; Seth rules under his father and over all; so this process will never end. This is the order of the Kingdom of Heaven, that men should rise up as Kings and Priests of God. We must have posterity to rule over. Uncle Haven, Phinehas, my brother Joseph, these come next and if my father were here, he would rule over all of us.
I calculate if I am blessed that I will have an innumerable host, of my own, the same as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Orson Pratt can tell you the number of the lands and of the stars; but the Lord said of the Patriarchs, "their seed will be innumerable and they shall exceed the number of the Stars, they shall never cease to all eternity." Where there is no end, it must be innumerable. You may get an eternal decrease and thus get down to nothing, but there is no end to an increase.
I'll tell you about old Israel; do you know what the curse was upon Israel for? It was for mixing their seed with the Gentile races about them. I have received a promise that is to remain with me, and the same will be upon you and upon your children. I would tell you children that inasmuch as you have received this promise, and then if you mix your blood with others I will curse you, and in relation to the Priesthood, you would be cursed, or condemned. For your children, in such mixed unions, would be high-minded and stiff necked. The nations have wandered in darkness for centuries. If they had not mixed their blood, the Priesthood would never have been taken from them. Abraham was blessed and told that in the Latter Day he would gather his seed up and cleanse and wash them. God has had regard to the blood of the covenant for his oath's sake. That promised blood has trickled down through our parents until now we are here. I know who has the right to the Keys--the Prophet has! That blood has been preserved and has been brought down through father to son, and our heavenly Father has been watching it all the time and saw the man that has received the blood pure through descent--that is what Joseph meant the Lord had regard to: and He made promises to the seed of Abraham which He would have fulfilled if it had not been mixed with the Gentiles. Ephraim is the character who has the pure blood of promise in him. The Lord has respect unto it. This doctrine is perfectly plain and simple. Those who have the right will redeem the nations of the Earth. The people who had the right to the Priesthood lost it, and the Lord has brought it forth in this our day. We shall redeem our friends and all the house of Esau will be saved by proxy, by the Priesthood. When we go into the temple after awhile we will tell you who ought to do the work and how to do it. Suppose a man and woman want to redeem their friends; perhaps they have lived without the Gospel; the man would be baptized for his father and the woman for her mother; and if the husband has the power of the Priesthood they are jointly baptized he for the father she for the mother--he is then washed for the father, she for the mother--he holding the Priesthood redeems the father and mother of the woman. Again for his father and mother--she receives the anointing for the woman, and he for the man. Then they stand as proxy to be sealed up to all eternity and then they will go through the ordinances in the same way. Then they are sealed up in the same way for others--we shall have Father Smith with his grey locks. Joseph, Hyrum, Samuel, all will stand in their order, and we shall be priests and rulers to all eternity. Let my walk and my life speak for myself. The joy of the Lord is a great deal more than any one realizes unless he has partaken thereof. I have now given you text enough for weeks. [Nauvoo, Illinois - UGHM 11:106-108] (4)
1 - Brigham Young Journal (1801-1877) Journal #2 July, 1837- Mar. 1845
2 - Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies
3 - George D. Smith, An Intimate Chronicle; The Journals of William Clayton, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1995, http://amzn.to/william-clayton
4 - Elden J. Watson, ed. Brigham Young Addresses, 1801-1877: A Chronological Compilation of Known Addresses of the Prophet Brigham Young, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: Privately published, 1971)
LDS History Chronology: Unconventional Baptisms
Mormon History Timeline: Forms of Rebaptism in LDS History