Hurricane Utah Adult Religion Class Doctrine and Covenants Sections 121
123 Week 25, Page 2© 2013, Mike Parker http://bit.ly/ldsarc For personal use only. Not a Church publication.
In this sermon he likened the dissenter
s to the ―salt‖ spoken of by Jesus in theSermon on the Mount: ―If the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted?
It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot
of men.‖ (Matthew 5:13.)
Two days later 83 Latter-day Saints signed a statement warning the dissenters to
depart the area within three days or ―
vengeance [will] overtake you sooner orlater
The dissenters and their families interpreted these words as threats, and they quickly left Caldwell County.(3)
Sidney Rigdon followed up with a second sermon at the 4 July 1838Far West Temple groundbreaking ceremony, declaring independence against
and anti-Mormon persecution:
We take God and all the holy angels to witness this day, that we warn all menin the name of Jesus Christ, to come on us no more forever. for from this hour,we will bear it no more, our rights shall no more be trampled on with impunity.The man or the set of men, who attempts it, does it at the expense of theirlives. And that mob that comes on us to disturb us; it shall be between us andthem a war of extermination; for we will follow them till the last drop of theirblood is spilled, or else they will have to exterminate us: for we will carry theseat of war to their own houses, and their own families, and one party or theother shall be utterly destroyed.
Remember it then all M
.We will never be the agressors, we will infringe on the rights of no people; butshall stand for our own until death. We claim our own rights, and are willingthat all others shall enjoy theirs.No man shall be at liberty to come into our streets, to threaten us with mobs,for if he does, he shall attone for it before he leaves the place, neither shall hebe at liberty, to villify and slander any of us, for suffer it we will not in thisplace.
Rigdon‘s sermon expressed the frustration and resolve of many of the Saints
who had suffered persecution in Jackson County and Ohio, but his appeal to vigilantism alarmed local non-Mormons and further stoked anti-Mormonsentiment throughout northwestern Missouri.(i)
Brigham Young later referred to this sermon as ―
the prime cause of ourtroubles in Missouri
About this same time, a group of around 300 Latter-day Saints organized under thedirection of Sampson Avard into a paramilitary group called the
Letter to Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, John Whitmer, William W. Phelps, and Lyman E, Johnson; June 1838.
Oration Delivered by Mr. S. Rigdon. On the 4th of July, 1838. At Far West, Caldwell County, Missouri.
Missouri: The [Elders‘] Journal Office
, 1838), 12 (
Remarks by Brigham Young, September 1844. ―Continuation of Elder Rigdon‘s Trial,‖
Times and Seasons
5/18 (1October 1844), 667 (
For a brief treatment of the Danites, see
Encyclopedia of Mormonism
(New York, New York: Macmillan, 1992), s.v.
). For a longer, more comprehensive history see Leland H.
Gentry, ―The Danite Band of 1838,‖
14/4 (Summer 1974), 421