Pittsburgh, May 1, 1845.
Of a Conference of the Church of Christ, held in the city
of Pittsburgh commencing on the 6th and ending
on the 11th of April, A. D. 1845.
Wednesday Morning, 9 o'clock, April 9.
Conference met agreeable to adjournment, and was called to order by Austin Cowles, president of the High Priests
Quorum, the first presidency not being present, the morning was spent in singing, prayer and exhortation, until
the usual hour of adjournment. Conference then adjourned until 2 o'clock.
Wednesday Afternoon, 2 o'clock.
Conference met pursuant to adjournment, and was called to order by Austin Cowles; the first presidency of
the high Quorum entered and took their seats. President Rigdon arose and read Hymn on page 104. "Arise, arise,
with joy survey," which was sung by the conference.
After which, President Rigdon said, since the commencement of this conference, I have had one unceasing desire,
deep, and intense, that was, to have the matter forever put at rest, whether God would accept our work. --
The Spirit whispered me this morning to set apart some brethren, and consecrate them to God, in a room in my
own house, which I did; (which was the reason I was not with you this morning,) and after the washing and
anointing, and the Patriarchial seal, as the Lord had directed me, we kneeled, and in solemn prayer we asked God
to accept the work we had done; during the time of prayer there appeared over our heads, in the room, a ray of
light forming a hollow square, inside of which, stood a company of heavenly messengers, each with a banner in
his hand, with their eyes looking downward upon us, their countenances expressive of the deep interest they felt
in what was then passing on the earth; there also appeared heavenly messengers on horseback with crowns upon
their heads, and plumes floating in the air, dressed in glorious attire until, like Elisha, we cried in our
hearts, "the chariots of Israel, and the horsemen thereof;" even my little son of fourteen years of age saw the
vision; and gazed with great astonishment, saying, that he thought his imagination was running away with him,
after which we arose and lifted our hands to heaven in holy convocation to God, at which time, it was shown
an angel in heaven registering the acceptance of our work, and the decrees of the Great God, that the kingdom
is ours, and we shall prevail; my anxieties therefore, in relation to our work in organizing the kingdom, and
the acceptance of that organization, by our heavenly Father, is now forever at rest.
Elder Wm. E. McLellin, then arose and bore testimony to the manifestation of the power of God in the heavenly
vision; he then gave the substance of a revelation given in the morning, relative to the opening ceremony of
the consecration; after which he kneeled and dedicated the conference by prayer. He then arose, and said,
brethren, I wish to say some things to you which will benefit you on the present occasion, he set forth in a
clear manner, the principles which constitute the fulness of human happiness, giving much important instruction
in relation to it.
President Rigdon then proceeded to ordain Hiram Falk and Curtis Hodges to the office of High Priests. After
which several bottles of oil were presented and consecrated to the Lord.
The quorums then proceeded to the holy consecration by washing and anointing. Elder J. M. Cole, washed the quorum
of the Twelve, and President E. Robinson the Presidents of the High priests quorum, who were anointed by President
S. Rigdon. The washing and anointing continued to the hour of adjournment, when conference adjourned by singing
and prayer, till to-morrow morning at 9 o'clock.
Thursday, April 10, 9 o'clock, A. M.
Conference met pursuant to adjournment, and was called to order by president Austin Cowles, after which the first
presidency and high quorum entered, when the conference was opened by singing an hymn.
The president then addressed the conference on the subject of covenants, setting forth upon what principle it was the
hearts of the fathers were turned to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers, showing that this
power belongs to the kingdom of God alone, and also, the necessity of having the kingdom of heaven organized in
addition to the church, in order that this covenant of binding the hearts of the to the children and the hearts of
the children to the fathers might be entered into, before God, that the way of the coming of the Savior might be
prepared, and that the whole earth might not be smitten with a curse when he comes. And also, upon the Priesthood
which pertains to the kingdom of God, shewing its relation to the heavens and also, to the earth, setting forth the
power of that priesthood on relation to the salvation of the fathers who have died before, and of the children who
should come after; and without that priesthood, no person who now lives, or who have lived before, or who shall live
hereafter, could be saved.
He spoke of baptism for the dead showing that it was of no avail, unless the persons being baptized for the dead,
should maintain their integrity and power before God, until they obtained the priesthood of the kingdom, and through
that priesthood bare off the kingdom triumphant, and through these means present themselves before God triumphant,
with their dead with them. And unless they did that they would be cut iff, and perish, and their dead with them.
Elder Joseph M. Cole then kneeled and dedicated the Conference by prayer, during which prayer, at a fixed period,
the right hand of each member of the Conference, was lifted to heaven, and a solemn covenant, by which we bound
ourselves and families to God, was pronounced, which was sealed by a loud amen, by every individual. After
which an hymn was sung, and the Conference proceeded to the washing and anointing of the rest of the quorums.
President Rigdon then proceeded to ordain Austin Cowles, president of the high priest quorum, to preside over the
councils of the whole church, in the absence of the first presidency; and to be the first president unto the church,
in his absence.
The president then ordained Solomon Rumfield an elder in the church.
The hour of adjournment having arrived, and the washing and anointing not yet completed, after a few remarks by
president Rigdon, the conference adjourned to 2 o'clock this afternoon. Benediction by Austin Cowles.
2 o'clock, P. M.
Conference met pursuant to adjournment, and opened by singing, and prayer by president S. James.
Thursday, April 10, 9 o'clock, A. M.
The washing and anointing was continued, until all the official members present were anointed. After having finished
the anointing, president Rigdon read a hymn which was sung; after which all the quorums took their seats in proper
order, to receive their Patriarchial seal. The Patriarch then proceeded to place his Seal upon their heads, sealing
upon them all the promises and propheseyings pronounced upon them, during their washing and annointing, commencing
with the quorum of the Twelve; next in order cames the presidents of the Stake of Pittsburgh, and the High Council.
After these quorums had received their Patriarchial Seal, the Conference adjourned until to-morrow morning at
9 o'clock. Benediction by President S. Rigdon.
This was the afternoon of the great fire which desolated our city. While we were thus organizing the Kingdom of
our God, and consecrating the officers thereof, to the Most High, our city was fast laying in ruins by the
violence of fire; and our friends and neighbors in the midst of sorrow, distress and confusion, were flying for
their lives, amidst the ragings of the devouring elements, to places of safety, and leaving their all to perish
in the common ruin. In the closing prayer, for the adjournment, president Rigdon presented before the Lord the
deep distress and great calamity which was then befaling the inhabitants of the city; presenting before the
heavens the widow and the fatherless, and the sufferings and deep afflictions that were overwhelming our city;
praying God to stay the violence of fire, that our whole city be not laid in ruins -- in which prayer the
Conference joined with all the feelings of their soul. During this prayer, an escort of heavenly messengers that
had hovered around as during the time of this Conference, were seen leaving the room, the course of the wind
was instantly changed, and the violence of the flames were stayed, and our city saved from an entire overthrow.
Friday morning, 9 o'clock, April 11,
Conference met pursuant to adjournment. -- President Rigdon read a hymn from page 147. "How oft in sweet meditation
my mind," which was sung. Prayer by President Cowles.
The President said this Conference is drawing to a close, and the most solemn part is now coming; which is that
of covenant making. We have covenanted with each other; it is now our our duty to covenant with heaven. To complete
The victory of this Kingdom, we must bind the heavens by a covenant. It is the power of this Kingdom to bind the
heavens. From the earliest period of the history of God's dealing with men, there was one promise handed down from
generation to generation, that whenever there were any people found on earth, who would obtain and organize the
Kingdom of God, God promised to that people, that he would bear them off triumphant, with the Kingdom they had
organized, and with it give them all things.
In all past time, God bound men on earth, but now, by virtue of the promise which God has made us, respecting his
Kingdom, we must turn aroiund and bind the heavens, the the promises which God has made us, respecring his
Kingdom, may be fulfilled upon our heads, inasmuch as we have obtained the power, and organized the Kingdom of
In explanation of this covenant by which we bind the heavens, let me ask a question: Upon what principle did this
Kingdom come into existence? It was by one man alone, -- between him and his God, where there was no eye to see
him, or ear to hear him, but that of Jehovah's alone, decreeing in his heart in the presence of God, and calling
upon heaven to witness the decree, that if the kingdom of promise, spoken of by Daniel did not come into existence
on this generation, it should not be the fault of him who now presented himself before the heavens for this purpose;
and who now was in the presence of God, decreeing before the heavens in his heart, and ready to do the will of his
God, whenever made known, thus binding the heavens to that promise, to set up and organize that kingdom; after which
he declared to the heavens, that if they would send to him at the time appointed (which was the 6th of April, 1845,)
the persons necessary and sufficient to organize that Kingdom according to the pattern which he had received; and
that he would use such persons for that purpose, as the Lord might send him, let them come from what nation or
kindred soever they might, as the Spirit of the Lord might designate; leaving the whole work in the hands of God, so
that it might be done according to his will. According to this covenant, thus made with the heavens, and this bond
wherewith the heavens were bound, you are here from almost every part of the United States, and Europe; strangers
to each other in the flesh, of different religious opinions, each one for himself declaring, "the Lord had sent him;"
many of you not knowing for what, until you came; and few, if any, understanding the great object for which you
were sent: the you may understand why it was the Lord operated upon your minds to come hither, we have given you
the account of the foregoing covenant before our God, the result of which is, the organization of the kingdom of
promise, of which you, individually, form a part.
Now, brethren, it becomes your privilege to bind the heavens, by a similar covenant, that this Kingdom, in your
hands, may triumph; each one for himself, presenting himself before God, withe uplifted hands to heaven, declaring
in the presence of God, the holy messengers, and one another, at the same time decreeing in your hearts before
God, that if this Kingdom does not triumph and prevail, according to the promise made through the prophet Daniel,
it shall not be your fault, thus binding the heavens for a fulfilment of the promises made, concerning it. After
which the covenant was entered into before God, by all standing on their feet, with their hands lifted to heaven,
while the president pronounced the covenant, which was sealed by the loud amen, of every individual.
We have another covenant to make, that is solemn, sublime, and grand. It is to bind the hearts of the fathers to
the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers, that when the Lord comes, the whole earth may not be
smitten with a curse; and we may secure our line of progenitors and descendants, from one end of the line to the
other. It is an established principle in the kingdom of heaven, that those whom God has chosen to be ordained to
be kings and priests unto himself in his kingdom, have the right before God, to bind the heavens in solemn covenant,
to perfect their salvation, to secure unto them the salvation of those whose salvation is necessary to perfect their
own; and without which their own salvation could never be perfected.
In order to make this covenant, each one for himself must stand before God, with his hands lifted to heaven, and in
the presence of God, as a king and priest unto God, express before the heavens, his will and desire, in relation to
his fathers, and his, and their descendants, and ask God to seal in the heavens this promise and this blessing, to
be fulfilled upon their heads, when the redemption of the purchased possession shall come; thus binding the hearts
of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers; by which covenant, we bind heaven and
earth rogether; for unto this end was the dispensation of the fulness of times established, that all things in
Christ, might be gathered together, whether things in heaven, or things in earth, which dispensation of the fulness
of times is the same as the dispensation, of the kingdom spoken of by Daniel; which dispensation, God in his infinite
mercy, has been pleased to give unto us, and we, under his direction, have now organized it.
A few explanations with regard to this covenant, before entering into it. When those whom God has caused to be
ordained to this power, will, in righteousness before God, to have any thing done for their own salvation, or that of
their fellow-men, expressing that will before God, they bind themselves to observe all the laws and institutions of
heaven that God has appointed and ordained to carry that will or desire into effect. And when they do this, the
heavens are bound to fulfil this desire upon their heads; and secure unto them the thing thus willed, in
righteousness. -- Nothing could could be a higher insult to the heavens, than for the authorities of the kingdom of
God to stand before him, and there, in the solemn attitude of the servants of God, will, before him, that a certain
thing should be done for their own salvation and that of the world, and then violate all the laws and ordinances
of heaven, appointed for carrying the said will into effect. Such an indignity as this, could not fail of bringing
the judgments of God upon their own heads. An example of this we have in Nauvoo, never to be forgotten. There is a
people professing to have power before God to enter into covenant with him, and when they do so put at defiance all
the appointed ways of heaven, to carry into effect the covenant or covenants they make with their God; and in
consequence of these insults and indignities offered to the heavens, death has made ravages in their midst; mobs,
in dispite of all their covenants to the contrary, overcome, and slay their great ones; and in dispite of all their
pretended power with God, threaten destruction and entire overthrow of their city, which, if they repent not, will
speedily come upon them, and no power can prevent it. And if that city is ever overthrown, it will be because they
thus insult the heavens, and trifle with the God who made them: "for if God be with them who can be against them."
Let these be ensamples unto you, that when you make covenants before your God, you may observe to do all the laws
and instructions pertaining thereunto; that your covenants may be fulfilled on your heads, and that nothing pertaining
thereunto shall fail. Unto this end, you m,ust learn to put far from you all evil, and remember in all things, to
work righteousness, hence forth and forever.
After which, the covenant was entered into by each individual standing on his feet, with his hands lifted to
heaven, while the president pronounced the covenant, in the presence of God, and it was sealed by a loud Amen, of
every member of the kingdom.
The president then proceeded to give an item of law, by revelation, to regulate the conduct of the members of this
Kingdom, in relation to each other, to wit: that if any member of the Grand Council should disturb the deliberations
of the council at any time while conducting their business, by being under the influence of a bad spirit, thus
shewing that he had not kept himself in all righteousness before God, and the council should be called upon for a
vote of condemnation of the spirit manifested by said member, if any member of the council believing the brother to
be under the influence of a bad spirit, but out of sympathy, for fear of the evil that might befall the brother,
should refuse to vote in condemnation of the spirit manifested by the offending brother, such person, or persons,
shall be cut off, and be no longer members of said grand council, for thus "saith the Lord," in order that his kingdom
may be preserved in righteousness before him, and satan have no place in it; therefore, brethren, let this be a
solemn warning unto you, that you keep yourselves in all righteousness before God, that no foul spirit have any
dominion over you, henceforth and forever.
The president then said, I am determined when we come to the end of our consecrations, to present the kingdom to the
heavens spotless before God, and say Father, receive it, and bear it off triumphantly, for it is thine. We have
moved cautiously since we commenced. Brethren, let me alone to-day. Let me go forward as the Lord directs, and no
evil spirit shall have dominion over us, or prevent us from accomplishing the great object before us; I have
confidence in you brethren, that you will do so. Be patient, until we get all the machinery preparede and put together,
every wheel in its place, with all its parts oiled, and then we will set it in motion, and God will make it roll
through the earth in majesty and in great power, until the glory thereof shall fill the whole earth.
Several sisters who had been baptized, the evening previous, were confirmed and withdrew.
President Rigdon then proceeded to ordain Stanley G. Flagg, and George Richards to the High priesthood; and said it
was the privilege of the sons of the members of the grand council to be ordained and set apart to the High priesthood.
President S. James spoke of the order of our moving forward, that now it was a mental struggle, but the time will
come, when it will be otherwise. He drew a figure of the officers of an army, each moving and acting in his proper
place, is the way by which they prevail. Be careful brethren, in this kingdom to each one speak only in his proper
place. -- Let God counsel through the proper channel, and all will be well.
The conference proceeded to finish their consecration, by washing and anointing. -- During the consecration,
president Rigdon ordained Edwin Stafford to the office of an Elder. After having finished the consecration, the
president read a hymn on page 145. "The great and glorious gospel light," &c. which was sung by the conference.
Wm. E. McLellin then arose, and related to the conference the substance of a revelation given to himself and
Joseph M. Cole, on last evening, while in their room at the house of president S. Rigdon, after having offered
up solemn prayer to God, which was relative to the bones of the said Joseph M. Cole; it having been shown in a
previous vision, that brother Cole should be slain before the coming of the Savior. The revelation had required
on the part of brother McLellin, that he should enter into a covenant with brother Cole to carry his bones with
him, as the bones of Joseph were carried out of Egypt, until the kingdom of God should meet Jesus upon mount
Olivet; that there, his bones might, with the bones of his brother and namesake, who was carried thither out of
Egypt, come forth together in the morn of the resurrection, to partake in the triumph and glories of the kingdom
The Book of Mormon was then received as the word of God, by the unanimous vote of the Conference.
The Book of Doctrine and Covenants, as received by the General Assembly of the Church, on Kirtland, Ohio, in August,
1835 was received by the unanimous vote of the Conference, as a revelation from God, and law to govern his church.
The Conference then stood upon their feet, with their hands lifted to heaven, and received the holy convocation,
presenting the covenants which they had entered into, before God, and all the work they had done, asking God to
register it in heaven, and place his seal of approbation upon the great work they had done before him; which
the Lord did, and bore testimony by his Spirit, that he had accepted their work, and placed his seal upon it.
Elder J. M. Cole then related to the Conference a vision of heaven, shown to him last fall, giving a history
of all the important events which shall transpire in the world until the Savior comes.
Conference adjourned to meet in tis city, on the 6th of April, 1846.
Wm. E. M'Lellin,
Joseph M. Cole,
George W. Robinson,
Note: Although Sidney Rigdon does not disclose the details of how the Kingdom of God on earth began to
"come into existence," it is reasonable to assume that the "one man alone" he speaks of in his address was
himself, and that the event he refers to occurred some years prior to 1845. A close inspection of Rigdon's
other preserved comments my prove some additional clues, as to when and where he placed this
event in his past history -- certainly it must have been prior to his excommunication at Nauvoo during the
summer of 1844. Rigdon says of this remarkable event: "It was by one man alone, -- between him and his God,
where there was no eye to see him, or ear to hear him, but that of Jehovah's alone, decreeing in his heart
in the presence of God, and calling upon heaven to witness the decree, that if the kingdom of promise, spoken
of by Daniel did not come into existence on this generation, it should not be the fault of him who now presented
himself before the heavens for this purpose." providing that the event here recollected was not a total
fabrication, concocted by President Rigdon in April of 1845, the earlier time referred to may have predated
Rigdon's baptism as a Mormon; otherwise, it is not easily explainable how he could leave out the name and office
of the "holder of the keys to the last dispensation," Joseph Smith, Jr.