10 years ago today - August 19

[Proposition-8]
The controversial authors name is stripped from "nine consequences" and an anonymous document, called "Six Consequences if Prop. 8 Fails" begins circulating the internet, mostly on Mormon-related blogs. The document was filled with dishonest claims that are later rebutted for the few who would listen. Some blogs reference that it was provided by Mormon Gary Lawrence, the California "LDS Grassroots Director" for Prop 8. "Six Consequences" also starts to become widely available within Mormon congregations and as handouts during canvassing.

[Source: Latter-Day Army: Details of Mormons and Prop 8, http://www.stopthemormons.com/?p=486]

85 years ago today - Aug 19, 1933

Mary Ellen Wood (Smoot), later the thirteenth general president of the Relief Society, is born in Ogden, Utah.

130 years ago today - Aug 19, 1888

[Abraham H. Cannon]
"Had quite a time with Junior (his son of Sarah), who refused to say "Amen" after I had asked the blessing. After whipping and scolding him for about 20 minutes, he yielded and obeyed. He shows great firmness in his resolves, which will, I hope, always be good."

[Source: Abraham H. Cannon Journal Excerpts, http://www.amazon.com/Apostles-Record-Journals-Abraham-1889-1896/dp/B000MFD1K4]

175 years ago today - Aug 19, 1843 - Saturday

[Joseph Smith]
<about> 200 citezins assembled in Carthage to consult about the Mormons. [[This "great meeting of anti-Mormons . . . without distinction of party" had been called the previous Saturday to consider whether Mormons who had been elected to various county offices should be allowed to retain those offices.]]

[Source: "President Joseph Smith’s Journal," Journal, 4 vols., Dec. 1842â€"June 1844 (Williard Richards)]

175 years ago today - Aug 19, 1843

[Brigham Young]
Brother George A. and I stayed overnight with Brother Atkinson, who lived in a very large frame house, said to have stood 150 years, which was so infested with bedbugs that we could not sleep. Brother George A. Smith gave it as his legal opinion that there were bedbugs there which had danced to the music at the Battle of Trenton, as their heads were perfectly grey. We took our blankets and retreated to the further end of the room, and, as the bugs followed us, I lit a candle, and as they approached, caught them and burnt them in the candle, and thus spent the night.

[Source: Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1801-1844, ed. Elden Jay Watson (Salt Lake City: Smith Secretarial Service, 1968).]

40 years ago today - 40 years ago - Aug 18, 1978-Friday

[Leonard Arrington]
Earl Olson telephoned this morning to say that Elder Boyd Packer had telephoned him to say that he had read the Primary manuscript, thought it was fine, but did have one principal concern, which was that we need to suggest or to say throughout that the Primary operated under the guidance and direction of the priesthood. I told Earl I would take care of it, and I told Carol [Cornwall Madsen] to put at least one phrase to that effect in every chapter in the book. She agreed to do so. Usually when people keep wanting things like this to be said in a secular institution, this would suggest a certain insecurity. Maybe the priesthood do feel insecure about innovations being made and policies being determined without explicit recognition of the role of the priesthood in doing so.

Swearing Elders-Reminiscences

... Sometime in the late 1940s, possibly about 1949, Sterling McMurrin and some friends at the University of Utah began meeting once a month at lunchtime to talk about the Church. Since the Church does not have an avenue for intellectual discussion about the gospel in Sunday School or priesthood or sacrament meetings, they simply got together to discuss their research and writing and thought about theology, history, practice, and other aspects of Mormonism. Above all, they wished to provide an opportunity for people writing master's and doctor's theses and books and articles to present these, or summarize these, before a group of interested peers.

... I did not see this group as anti-Mormon or anti-gospel or anti-religion in any sense. To me, the discussions provided intellectual support for our traditional beliefs and practices. To say this another way-and it may sound incredible-my own testimony was bolstered as the result of attending these sessions. I found there was an intellectual side to Mormonism and took pleasure in learning more about it. I learned much from these brethren. ... One member of the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder Adam S. Bennion, knew of the group and was sympathetic with it, and I remember one glorious evening when he agreed to meet with us and give us a talk. He chose to build bridges between some members of our group and some of the more critical "orthodox" Brethren. As to the name "Swearing Elders," I think that was simply a joke. The notices of meetings which I received used the term "Mormon Seminar." Some people referred to it as McMurrin's Seminar, since he was either the original organizer or a leading member. I think the term "Swearing Elders" was probably a take-off on an expression which had been used in Mormon folklore for a long time, "Smoking Deacons." ...

As the years passed by, the major concern of these people seemed to be the problems which arose out of the denial of priesthood to blacks. This certainly was a preoccupation of McMurrin and Lowell Bennion. This, as I recall, was in the late '50s. At any rate, I do not know that the group continued into the '60s. It served its purpose at the end of World War II, and as the years went by some dropped out of the Church, some moved away, some came to hold administrative offices and couldn't spare the time; then of course Dialogue was founded and provided a forum without these meetings. Similarly the Mormon History Association was organized. I do not know of any meetings of this group after, say, 1965. ...

[Source: Confessions of a Mormon historian : the diaries of Leonard J. Arrington, 1971-1997, Gary James Bergera, editor, Signature Books, 2018]

40 years ago today - 40 years ago - Aug 18, 1978

Mormon feminist Sonia Johnson cables Utah Senators Orrin Hatch and Jake Garn: "Since you have announced your intention to filibuster when the ERA extension bills comes before the Senate, I am announcing my intention to begin fasting on the Capitol steps in Washington as soon as the filibuster begins-a genuine Mormon fast, without food or liquid-and to continue until you stop talking or I die." Johnson later applies for a permit to stand on the front steps of the Capitol building. "Mormons Against ERA" in reply announce their intentions to hold family home evening on the Capitol steps. Garn and Hatch decide not to filibuster. Johnson writes "I rather think that neither the church nor the Utah senators were willing to chance the sensational headlines: 'Mormon Woman Dies of Mormon Senator's Prolixity.'" Fifteen months later Johnson is excommunicated.

In a talk at BYU Apostle Bruce R. McConkie discusses the recent revelation granting "all worthy males" the priesthood. "The Lord could have sent messengers from the other side to deliver it, but he did not. He gave the revelation by the power of the Holy Ghost. Latter-day Saints have a complex: many of them desire to magnify and build upon what has occurred, and they delight to think of miraculous things. And maybe some of them would like to believe that the Lord himself was there, or that the Prophet Joseph Smith came to deliver the revelation (see Time, 7 Aug. 1978, p. 55), which was one of the possibilities. Well, these things did not happen." He further states, "Forget everything that I have said, or what President Brigham Young or President George Q. Cannon or whomsoever has said in days past that is contrary to the present revelation. We spoke with a limited understanding and without the light and knowledge that now has come into the world. We get our truth and our light line upon line and precept upon precept. We have now had added a new flood of intelligence and light on this particular subject, and it erases all the darkness and all the views and all the thoughts of the past. They don't matter any more. It doesn't make a particle of difference what anybody ever said about the Negro matter before the first day of Jun of this year."

110 years ago today - Aug 18, 1908

[George F. Richards]
At this meeting the place of burial of Joseph & Hyrum Smith was discussed. Pres[ident]. Jos[eph]. F. Smith said they were first buried in the Nauvoo House or Mansion, I do not just know which not having been there, They were afterward at the instance of _________ moved to the old Smith Home/basement Lot. Afterward at the instance of Emma Smith they were moved to a grove some distance either up or down the river I forget the name of the grove & whether up or down the river. Hibbard grove. They were afterward moved back to the Smith Lot where there are others of the family buried. pres[ident]. Smith's mother was an eye witness to the burial moving of the bodies from the Smith Lot to the Hibbard grove mentioned which event took place in the night. Emma had told the Patriarch's wife that she intended to have it done that night and the day previous told her it would not be done but about eleven o'clock that night the Patriarch's wife, Jos[eph]. F. Smith's mother felt impressed & following those impressions went to the spot and found them in the act of removing the bodies. The following day Pres[ident]. Jos[eph]. F. Smith then a boy went to the place and found the open graves of as I remember it Don Carlos Smith. A corner of the lid was broken in and he looked into the casket and saw the face and the worms crawling. Some years ago when Jos[eph]. Smith [III] the Son of the Prophet and head of the Re-organite Church moved to Independence he wrote to John Smith the Eldest living Son of the Patriarch Hyrum stating his intention to move his father's bones to Independence [Missouri] and asking permission to move Hyrum's remains. John & Jos[eph]. F. [Smith] half brothers conferred to-gether and answered that if he Joseph wished to move his father they supposed he had a right to but that he was not to move the remains of their father but should he Joseph decide to move his father's remains they desired to be notified for the time that they might have a representative there and they would move the remains of their father Hyrum to Utah. Nothing more came of it. At the time of Emma Smith's burial a certain man, I forget his name, said he saw Joseph slip off the distances to determine where the Prophet was buried and when they came to dig the grave they dug too close the Prophet's grave and uncovered a part of the casket. All this shows the buried to be at that place in Nauvoo [Illinois]. The purpose of Emma having the bodies of the Prophet and Patriarch moved from the Home lot to the grave and of deceiving the wife of the Patriarch was to keep the knowledge of the whereabouts of their burial from the Twelve.

[Source: George F. Richards, Diary, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

175 years ago today - Aug 18, 1843. Friday.

[William Clayton]
President Joseph instructed S[amue]l James in the order of the Holy Priesthood [IE plural marriage] ... I had some conversation with Brother [Newel] Whitney and have learned that Farrs family are conspiring with Walkers boys and girls and they with E[mma Smith] to accomplish my downfall. I find they are my secret enemies but I fear them not for God who knows the secrets of all hearts knows mine also. I told M[argaret] of this and ascertained that she had acknowledged to A[aron] that I had slept with her and if it never had been done (our union) it should not be. This of course has given him a plea and a weapon against me. [William had taken Aaron's finance' Margaret as a plural wife while Aaron was on a mission.]

[Source: George D. Smith, An Intimate Chronicle; The Journals of William Clayton, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1995, http://bit.ly/WilliamClayton]

175 years ago today - Aug 18, 1843

Joseph Smith instructs Samuel James in the principle of plural marriage.

[Source: Hales, Brian C., Joseph Smith's Polygamy: History and Theology, 3 vols., Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2013 (www.JosephSmithsPolygamy.com)]

10 years ago today - August 17

[Proposition-8]
A somewhat mysterious and hard to decipher group called the Eagle Foundation joins the Prop 8 forces. It apparently is the evolution of the Eagle PAC which was formed to get Mormons financially involved in politics. One of the main players in Eagle, Bart Marcois, founded and chaired the RNC Advisory Council on LDS Outreach, and was responsible for massive volunteer surge team deployments nationwide in the 2004 and 2006 campaign cycles. He apparently used his talent for grass-root Mormon organizing for the Prop 8 campaign. The Prop 8 campaign reportedly paid Eagle $130,000 in October.

[Source: Latter-Day Army: Details of Mormons and Prop 8, http://www.stopthemormons.com/?p=486]

35 years ago today - Aug 17, 1983-Wednesday

[Leonard Arrington]
This summer Carol Lynn arranged for [her 15-year-old daughter] Emily to spend a week with some church young people in Provo Canyon, a little beyond Sun Dance. A good experience. Then Carol Lynn joined her for Sunday-a worship service They had Elder Hartman Rector to speak to them. It proved to be a disaster. He gets up to speak and tells them about all the evil forces, Satan's way: abortion, birth control, homosexuality. These are all Satanic. No birth control except willpower for birth control. Satan himself is a homosexual and homosexuality is peculiarly satanic for that reason. And so on. Emily [whose father is gay], who was sitting with other girls, got rigid, then ran over to sit by her mother and started sobbing. Her mother suggested they leave, but she wouldn't. Insisted on staying through it, sobbing. Her mother, after the meeting, tried to talk to her, explaining that Elder Rector was not necessarily preaching church doctrine, but giving his own view, etc. Her daughter finally calmed down.

[Source: Confessions of a Mormon historian : the diaries of Leonard J. Arrington, 1971-1997, Gary James Bergera, editor, Signature Books, 2018]

40 years ago today - Aug 17, 1978-Thursday

[Leonard Arrington]
Yesterday afternoon Alice Smith, our friend of many years from Logan (Mrs. W. Whitney Smith) spent a full hour talking with me about women in the Church. She has been a member of the General Board of the Relief Society for about 18 years and is fairly sure that she will be released in the near future because of this long service. She came in to see me, I suppose, because we were personal friends and because she knew I was interested in the history of women in the Church.

Alice had just returned from regional meetings in Roanoke, Virginia. This plus things she has heard the Brethren say and things she has read give her great anxiety. She is very discouraged and doesn't see any reason for hope about the future role of women in the Church. She is surely not a feminist; she is very much a traditionalist. But the tradition as she understands it gives women an equal, though not similar, role with men-equal but different. She has read through many times the early minutes of the Relief Society in which Joseph Smith made comments. She is also aware of the changes in these minutes that were made by George A. Smith in the 1850s. And it is this revised form that has been published by the Relief Society ever since. It is that revision which the Brethren have read and which they quote from. There are significant differences. [[For instance, George A. Smith changed Joseph Smith's statement to the Relief Soci- ety in April 1842, "I turn the [priesthood] key to you" to "I now turn the key in your behalf." ]] She sees the role of women being constricted from the 1850s up to the present. She thinks Joseph Smith's vision of woman and her role is what should be our guide, and she wishes somehow we could give that particular emphasis.

Alice says that we are gradually losing our women. She says this was clear in Virginia, where the attendance of women at Relief Society meeting and at Sacrament meeting is dropping substantially. She has obtained statistics for the whole church which show the same thing happening. Attendance of women at Relief Society is considerably lower than attendance at Priesthood meeting, and attendance of women at Sacrament meeting is lower than for men. Whereas men run around 40-45 percent, women are now averaging about 35 percent. This is compared with, say, 45 percent five years ago for the women. She attributes this to the Relief Society in particular and the Church in general not meeting the needs of the women. I asked her for particulars on this, and she feels it is not a result of particular things as much as the general attitude of women feeling inferior. Item: Women are not now permitted to pray in Sacrament meeting. Ten years ago women were permitted to close Sacrament meeting while a man was supposed to open it. Item: Women used to be permitted to bless other women. This [was] particularly true of midwives who were permitted-indeed, encouraged-to administer to women who were about to undergo childbirth or who had other illnesses. This has not been true for 30 or 40 years. Item: Few if any bishops or stake presidents would permit a woman to join or to stand as observer at the blessing of her baby. This was once permitted where the woman requested it. Item: The women once had their own magazine and therefore an avenue of communicating with each other. This has not been true since 1970. Item: The women once had their own money and therefore had a certain autonomy in what they did. It was hard to get the money; they had to hold bazaars and sponsor stands at fairs and put on plays and musicals and solicit donations, but at least they were permitted to do this and had a certain independence because they controlled their money. They have not had this privilege in the last ten years. Item: Once upon a time women were invited to speak in General Conference. No woman has been invited in recent years to speak in the open sessions; and despite the importance of women in the Welfare program, only one woman is permitted to speak in the Welfare session of General Conference; namely, the [Relief Society] president, who has seven minutes. Everybody knows that the influence of women on children and young people is stronger than that of men simply because they are around them more. Everybody knows that if the father is inactive and the mother is active, the children will be active, whereas if the father is active and the mother inactive the children will rarely be active. The influence of the mother on children and the youth is determining. If we are denigrating women and their position we will soon lose the youth, and when we lose the youth our future is dim. Sister Smith hoped that I could give her just one example of some action in recent years which has raised the position of women in the Church. If I discover any such thing now or in the days to come she wants me to write her. Some of the General Authorities are quoting statements by Brigham Young which suggest the inferiority of women. Alice says that President [Harold B.] Lee, under whom the magazine and the money were taken away from the Relief Society, was accustomed to using a quotation from President Joseph F. Smith about woman and her role, and she said that if he had used the paragraph which follows that quotation the net effect of the quotation is nullified. [[Lee believed women should support their husbands and raise children. See, e.g., "Maintain Your Place as a Woman," Ensign, Feb. 1972.]] She suggests that Belva Ashton is equally concerned on these matters but that neither Alice nor Belva have any effective voice. She says that neither the presidency nor the board members have access to the First Presidency nor to the Quorum of the Twelve. The advisors to the Relief Society now are this General Priesthood Committee with Dean Larsen as chairman and with Brother Worthlin [Joseph B. Wirthlin] as the particular Relief Society coordinator or advisor. Brother Worthlin presumably has access to Brother Larsen. Brother Larsen presumably has access to some member of the Twelve, and that member of the Twelve presumably has access to the Twelve as a group, which in turn has access to the First Presidency. But relatively speaking, things do not work that way. Brother Wirthlin passes on to Brother Larsen what he feels Brother Larsen wants. Brother Larsen passes on to the member of the Twelve what he feels the Twelve want, and the result is that what the Relief Society really wants is never seen by the First Presidency. Nor are the Relief Society presidency permitted to make an end run around to the First Presidency. There is the strongest admonition that they must not do that. The result is that the First Presidency are asked to approve policies for the Relief Society on the assumption that they are approved by the Relief Society presidency when as a matter of fact they have been watered down and are not at all what the Relief Society presidency wants. I asked Alice why it was that the Relief Society presidency did not feel like they could go directly to the [First] Presidency on some matters that they feel strongly about and let the Presidency know how they really feel. I said, "I feel sure that Belle Spafford did this." She said that is true; Belle did. She said Sister Spafford was a strong personality; she made her desires known, and she got away with it. That, however, is not the characteristic of the three members of the presidency. Janath Cannon is scared to death; Sister [Marian Richards] Boyer is not sharp enough to see all the problems and to be articulate in expressing them. Barbara Smith just is not the kind of a strong personality. Her husband [Douglas] is a strong personality and high in the circle of influential persons in the Church. And he would not be able to understand this problem

with respect to women. As for Barbara, she senses it, she feels it, but she was trained in her home and in her marriage with the idea of women being submissive and obedient. It just would not occur to her to be pushy.

I asked Alice what we could do to improve this situation-to have a helpful influence. She said that it would be helpful if we continue to stress in our historical writing the broader and more influential role of women in early Church history and the views of the Prophet Joseph Smith. But she is impatient and does not think that influence will be very strong or very immediate. What else? Well, nothing really. I guess she hoped that I would have conversations with people and might express a concern, but she surely does not realize how little influence we have in that way. Alice says that she hasn't lost her testimony in any way, but she feels depressed about the future of the Church because of the way they are treating women as inferior beings or second-class citizens. I tried to bring up the positive role of Exponent II, and she said that it has so few readers. She said the Relief Society board members were not permitted to subscribe to Exponent II, and so she and a few others who want to subscribe do so under the names of their husbands.

Alice loves the Church too much to be unconcerned about this matter. When she is released from the board, which she thinks will be soon, she then wants to publish two or three things, possibly in Exponent II, that will help to call attention to these concerns.

Alice is not at all exercised over the "priesthood question;" that, is she has never thought that women ought to hold the priesthood, and thinks that that is an extraneous issue. She thinks not [m]any women want to hold the priesthood. It is just that they be regarded as equals-as not inferior. It is just that women ought to participate in the decision-making process that affects them. They ought to have some say in the direction of the ward, the stake, and the Church generally. There is a statement which Susa Young Gates made in the Relief Society Bulletin-the predecessor of the Relief Society Magazine-in which she says, "Women do not hold the priesthood. They ought to face this calmly and express it thoroughly and calmly to their daughters."

Whatever problems the Relief Society has today, they are probably not equal to those of the 1920s when they were under the Presiding Bishopric. That, according to Jill [Mulvay Derr], who has studied that period of Relief Society history, was the most frustrating of all-worse than the situation today where they don't have direct access to the Twelve or the First Presidency. [[For more, see Beecher and Anderson, eds., Sisters in Spirit.]]

[Source: Confessions of a Mormon historian : the diaries of Leonard J. Arrington, 1971-1997, Gary James Bergera, editor, Signature Books, 2018]

65 years ago today - Aug 17, 1953

[J. Reuben Clark]
Richard G. Grant, son of Walter A. Grant who works in the PBO, called about a subject that is worrying him a great deal: woman's position in the home, in life, towards authority and toward polygamy; he cannot understand the inequality toward woman; that she cannot hold the Priesthood; whereas man can have more than one wife sealed to him, a woman can only have one husband. ...

Bro. Grant said he had worried about it until it is affecting his sanity, that he had talked it over with his bishop and others and they had not been able to satisfy them, and he just did not think it was just. Pres. Clark asked him if that was the only injustice in the world.

To the specific question of "why", Pres. Clark said: "I do not know. I do not think anybody else knows. The Lord did not set it up that way. Why he did not, you can theorize about it, but you won't get anywhere on it ... I do not worry about things that I can't understand or explain and I do not worry about things I can't change."

Bro. Grant said, "I guess that is the answer."

In the evening, Pres. Clark said that Bro. Grant had called on Luacine, that he was a friend of hers, that his problem seemed to be that he wanted to get married but the girl won't marry him, because she is afraid he will have another wife in the Hereafter besides her.

[Source: The Diaries of J. Reuben Clark, 1933-1961, Abridged, Digital Edition, Salt Lake City, Utah 2015]

125 years ago today - 17 August 1893 ¿ Thursday

[George Q. Cannon]
[A man from Provo] desired to see me, Brother Lyman communicating his wishes. He is in transgression. A young woman that he wanted to marry, but was prevented from marrying by the issuance of the Manifesto, he has become too intimate with, and she is now pregnant. We gave him counsel what to do. He expressed himself willing to make any confession that was required and to do anything, to any extent, for he truly repented of what he had done. ...

In the evening I had a meeting with my family and laid before them a little of my financial situation, and told them that I had been forced to the conclusion, owing to my financial straits, to stop the dining room and the employment of the help needed there, and for each branch of my family to do their own cooking and supply themselves, excepting flour and vegetables. ... I had regretted it exceedingly, for several reasons, but particularly because of the work that it imposed upon them, which I had been desirous to save them from and also the loss of the opportunity of meeting together morning and evening and having family prayers.

[Source: The Journal of George Q. Cannon, Church Historian's Press, https://churchhistorianspress.org/george-q-cannon]

160 years ago today - Aug 17, 1858

[Hosea Stout]
... Was invited by Judge Eckles to day to his room[.] He gave me a letter from one Wm R Yancey to him stating that one John Beal had been castrated in Ogden lately for adultery with E. Lishs wife. He requested me to make the proper inquiry and ferrit the matter out and have the parties engaged in it brought to justice[.] He also spoke of several other cases of larceny which he wanted hunted up and punished

[Source: Diaries of Hosea Stout]

160 years ago today - Aug 17, 1858

Apostle George A. Smith, after extensive consultation with leaders of Mountain Meadows Massacre, writes official account which details their movements on day of massacre but not their participation in it. Begins conspiracy to obstruct justice.

[Source: The Mormon Hierarchy - Extensions of Power by D. Michael Quinn, [New Mormon History database ( http://bit.ly/NMHdatabase )]]

180 years ago today - Aug 17, 1838

It is stated in the Canton, Ohio, Repository, that this people to the number of about 200, with 57 waggons filled with furniture, cattle, &c. have left Geauga [county, Ohio], on their way to the "promised land" in Missouri. They pitch their tent in the open field at night after the manner of the ancient Israelites.

[Source: Kenney, Scott, Saints Without Halos, "Mormon History 1830-1844," http://web.archive.org/web/20120805163534/saintswithouthalos.com/dirs/d_c.phtml]

10 years ago today - August 16

[Proposition-8]
"The First of three Saturday precinct walks are to be held under the direction of the Regional Directors." Jeff Flint, a strategist with Protect Marriage, spoke about this period after the campaign, estimating that Mormons made up 80 percent to 90 percent of the early volunteers who walked door-to-door in election precincts. [ProtectMarriage coalition says 15,000 first weekend; second weekend 25,000 door-to-door walkers were out.]

[Source: Latter-Day Army: Details of Mormons and Prop 8, http://www.stopthemormons.com/?p=486]

130 years ago today - Aug 16, 1888

He [Joseph Smith] had a large roll of paper rolled up in a valise which he carried with him, which he claimed to [Joseph] Knight was a translation from these plates and constituted the revelation. He farther showed this manuscript to Knight, which he claimed was translated by himself by looking through the Urim and Thummim while he sat behind a blanket hung across a room in order that the sacred records might be kept from profane eyes, and read off the "Book of Mormon," or Golden Bible as he sometimes called it, to Oliver Cowdery who wrote it down. He showed the certificate to Knight, which was attached, and read it to him as follows. ... After reading this off to Knight[,] Smith saw he had made a convert to his new religion. He took up the silver bows and looked in them steadily for a few minutes when he says: "Lo! I see feathers! I see feathers, a stump, a fence, a field. Yes, indeed, between this and Jericho is a stump covered with feathers, at the south east side of which is a pot of gold. Perhaps the treasure was buried there by Captain Kidd." ... Well, Smith and Knight arranged to get a neighbor or two and go up there and get the treasure on the following morning. Little sleep was found in that house the remainder of that night and in the morning Knight had his men with shovels, picks and bars ready for the crusade. Before leaving Smith gave his charge to all the men, that not a word must be spoken while they were digging nor within 10 rods of the place where the treasure was, else it would vanish. They went toward Jericho, and when about three fourths of the way along Smith stopped his horse and said to the men, "This looks like the place." Knight climbed up on the fence and looking off toward the woods said, "I see a stump with feathers on it." Smith then told him "This is the place." They dug around the stump all that day but found no treasure to satisfy their craving natures, but went home tired and jaded. The following morning they returned to the toil when about noon one of the men struck his pick on something hard that gave a sound like the lid of a pot. Without consideration he said "I have struck it," when Smith exclaimed: "Fool! thou art, the pot of gold was there but thy voice hath caused it to vanish." And so as Smith said no gold or pot was found and the men returned home to reflect, not on the impossibility of gold not being there, but upon the foolishness of the neighbor.

[Source: "Impressions of the Work and Teachings of Joseph Smith, the Morman [sic], at Nineveh," Bainbridge (NY) Enterprise, 16 August 1888., as cited in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents: Bainbridge (Ny) Enterprise]