(Excerpts from Letters)

1854  |  1855  |  1856

William B. Smith (1811-1893)

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Copyright © 1976 by Calvin P. Rudd - all rights reserved - fair use excerpts only


A Thesis

Presented to the

Department of Church History and Doctrine 

Brigham Young University

In Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Degree

Master of Arts


Calvin P. Rudd

August 1973

[ 107 ]

Southampton [Peoria Co.], Illinois,      
August 8, [1854?].      
The Honorable Brigham Young, President of the Church and Council....

You President Young are not ignorant of the matter as they now stand or exist between us. When Joseph was alive difficulties in the Church (if any there were) could be settled upon just and amicable terms to all parties concerned and I am not informed of the fact President Young that the same things cannot be done now altho changes have taken place and others have the rule stand at the head of the people....

... And as it regards the Patriarchal Office I Submitted to your Council and that of the TweIve in respect to this ordination this however was not a matter of my owne seeking and consequently I do not feel that I am so much to blame as to the results. It was upon your ashurance president Young at the time the ordination took place that no infringment should be concidered upon my rights of office (as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ) that I consented to receive the ordination It was also promised me that I should have a copy of the ordination which copy I never received for some reason not known to me altho I thought it rather strange at the time as no difficulty then to my knowledge existed between us. And as to the ordination I never was satisfied with it as I never could see the Justice of it nor the rule according to the law of god for taking one of the members of the Quorum of the Twelve and ordaining him to an office in the Church that in conjunction with his brethren of the Twelve he held Jurisdiction over previous to his being ordained This was as the Paddy said an Irishmans list a peg or two lower -- Exalted downwards instead of upwards -- this however would have all done well enough had the Council sustained me in my rights of the Apostleship as agreed upon before I was ordained -- as the case was -- it appeared to me that a sly game and an imposition had been imposed upon me -- under the cares of the Council to seduce me from my office as one of the Twelve -- for purposes best known to themselves -- This view of the Subject may not be correct -- however -- here is the starting point or first step to the principal cause of our separation....

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...

William Smith
Apostle and Patriarch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.

[ 151 ]

Springfield, Illinois,      
May 8, 1855.      
[to Brigham Young]

...I have rights, Brother Brigham, I want them and it is in regards to my apostleship. Now deal justly with me upon this matter and I am your man and true hearted friend and brother until death....

[William Smith]

[ 152 ]

Turkey River, Iowa,      
July 13, 1856.      
[to Brigham Young]

...damnable deeds and send you to Hell.... there is no use for a devle, you and your gang about you have treated me real mean....

[William Smith]

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