Chapter 14 – “The Voice of Truth” Compiled

Late in 1843 Joseph Smith sent letters to various government leaders campaigning to be elected as President of the U.S. asking what they would do if elected to assist the Church in their redress petitions sent to Congress concerning the Missouri lands taken from the Saints.  Calhoun, Clay and all the others offered no real support.  In February, 1844 Joseph Smith had William Phelps help him to draft Joseph’s “Views on Government”.  1500 Copies were printed and sent to government officials throughout the country.  In March the prophet wrote “A Friendly Hint to Missouri” asking for their support for justice.  In that letter he mentioned that the conduct of several Missouri officials had been against the law and several mob leaders should be subject to confinement in jail and severely fined for their illegal actions.

Also in February, George Miller and Lyman Wight wrote to Joseph Smith suggesting that the workers of the Pinery project in Wisconsin could go to Texas to begin building the Kingdom of God.  Lumber had been harvested in Wisconsin to provide building materials for the Nauvoo Temple and the Nauvoo House.  Indian agents in Wisconsin were attempting to shut down their lumbering operations there.  Joseph Smith called together a group later referred to as the “Council of Fifty” to consider their suggestions.

After the Thomas Reddick heirs prevailed in their lawsuit against the New York Land Company for lands in Montrose the New York partners filed an appeal.  Edward Brooks representing the Reddick heirs was an insurance representative in St. Louis with close ties to the Chouteau’s, Senator Benton and other prominent St. Louis merchants.  Brooks was also friends with several of the principals of the St. Louis Land Company who were planning to take over a large amount of lands under the partition agreement.

In June 1844 a new pamphlet, “The Voice of Truth” written by William Phelps and Joseph Smith was printed by John Taylor.  This publication included Joseph’s Views on Government and the correspondence between Calhoun and Clay and other key documents.  The prophet’s tone in these writings contained harsh criticisms of the previous Van Buren administration.  The prophet also warned in this publication that Senator Benton and Van Buren would push for extermination of the Church if Van Buren returned to power.