Letter from Thomas B. Marsh, 15 February 1838

this minority only wished them to continue  in offioe [office] a little longer, or until Joseph Smith jr.  came up.
In S. Carter’s settlement, the saints as sembled, agreeable to appointment, on the 6th  inst. when they unanimously rejected the  three above named presidents.
Also, on the 7th, the saints assembled at  Edmond Durfey’s [Durfee’s] agreeable to appointment,  where the above named presidents were unan imously rejected.
Also, on the 8th, at Nahom Curts’ [Nahum Curtis’s] dwell ing house, they were unanimously rejected  by the assembly.
Also, at Hauns’ mill, on the 9th, the Saints  unanimously rejected them.
At a meeting of the High Council, the  Bishop and his Council, Feb. 10, 1838, it was  moved, seconded and carried, that Oliver  Cowdery, William W. Phelps and John  Whitmer, stand no longer as Chairmen and  Clerk, to sign and record liscences.
Also, voted that Thomas B. Marsh and  David W. Patten be authorized to attend to  said business for the time being.
Also, voted that Thomas B. Marsh and  David W. Patten be Presidents, pro tempore,  of the church of Latter Day Saints in Mis souri, or until Presidents J. Smith Jr. and  S[idney] Rigdon arrives in the land of Zion.
Beloved Brother Joseph:
You will see by the  above, that quite a change has taken place  among us, of late, and we hope it is for the  better; and we rejoice that we have a pros pect of having things in a good degree straight ened by the time you arrive here. We saw  plainly, from the movement of things that the  church was about to go to pieces, in conse quence of the wickedness of those men, we  therefore have done what we have; which  thing has given the church general satisfac tion, they also appear to be well united, and  determined to cleave to the first presidency,  that is, the three first.
Had we not taken the above measures, we  think that nothing could have prevented a re bellion against the whole high council and  bishop; so great was the disaffection against  the presidents, that the people began to be  jealous, that the whole authorities were in clined to uphold these men in wickedness,  and in a little time the church, undoubtedly,  would have gone, every man to his own way,  like sheep without a shepherd.
We concluded, that as you were coming up  soon, it would be well to not appoint regular  presidents of this branch; as probably more  satisfaction would be had among the people,  to have none but the three first.
The High Council are well united together,  and with yourself. The Bishop and his coun cil are united with us now, and all misunder standing removed. We believe that brother  [John] Corrill intends to be with you and us; al though he was not with us in the meetings.
We hear that the above men intend to call  the church together again, for a rehearing;  but as they have no authority now, we think  that their influence will not be sufficient to  bring the people together. We know that  such an attempt would be to divide and scat ter the flock; and we intend to be faithful to  warn the people of this thing. The people  seem to wish to have the whole law of God  lived up to; and we think that the church  will rejoice to come up to the law of conse cration, as soon as their leaders shall say the  word, or show them how to do it. In a word,  we are persuaded that the most part of the  people wish to become sanctified by the law  of God. Dear Brother, may our God speedi ly open the way for you and your father’s  family, with our beloved brother S[idney] Rigdon,  to come among us. Your presence is abso lutely necessary for the salvation of this  church: Do hasten therefore, to our relief,  our enemies are bitter against us, and will do  all the injury they can to you, to us, and to  the church.
In the name of the church, we say hold us  by your faith, until you get here. We flatter  ourselves that you will have the church in  Kirtland, in a situation to leave them as soon  as the rivers open. Although these men  speak against your proceedings, they are  mute when you are present, and the great  body is determined to follow you.
Agreable to your request, brother [George W.] Harris  and myself wrote, and sent to you our testi mony, relative to what Oliver Cowdery said  about the girl, and mailed it on the 4th inst.  but lest that letter should not reach you  through the iniquity of men, I here send you  the same, with the addition of brother [George M.] Hin kle’s testimony. They may not be the same  words as the other, for we have not a copy of  the former letter, however, this is the same  in substance, with some addition.
This may certify, that I heard O. Cowdery  say to Joseph Smith Jr., while at George W.  Harris’ house, in Far West, that he (Joseph)  never confessed to him, (Oliver) that he was  guilty of the crime alledged to him. And O.  Cowdery gave me to understand that Joseph  Smith Jr. never acknowledged to him, that  he ever confessed to any one, that he was  guilty of the above crime.
This may certify, that I heard Oliver Cow dery say, in my house, that Joseph Smith Jr.  never confessed to him, that he was guilty of  the crime alledged against him, and Joseph  asked if he ever said to him, (Oliver) that he  confessed to any one that he, (Joseph) was  guilty of the above crime, and Oliver, after  some hesitation, answered, no.
This may certify, that having heard the re port about the crime above referred to, I asked  Oliver Cowdery, last fall, when Joseph Smith  was in the Far West, if the report was true,  for said I, if it is, as he is to be presented be fore the church, I wish to know of the truth  of this matter before hand. And he gave me  to understand, either in plain words or impli cations, that it was false. I bear this testi mony for the good of the honest hearted in  the east, and else where, and for the good of  brother Joseph Smith Jr. Brother Marsh  will please copy this in the letter to the east,  and keep the original here.
Far West, Feb. 15, 1838.
Dear Brother, we lament that such foul and  false reports should be circulated in Kirtland  concerning yourself. We are persuaded that  none but those who wish your overthrow, will  believe them, and we presume that the above [p. 45]
Thomas B. Marsh, letter, Far West, MO, to JS, en route to Missouri from Ohio, 15 Feb. 1838; Elders’ Journal, July 1838, pp. 44–46.