Saints build garden grove

Sunday, April 26:

This was the first Sabbath day at Garden Grove, a time for spiritual contemplation and planning. It rained in the morning, but by 9:30 the skies cleared. In the afternoon worship service, President Brigham Young spoke at length to the hundreds of Saints, mostly men, who had arrived at Garden Grove. He said that he hoped that the brethren would remain faithful to their trust and not turn back as some had already done. He prophesied that those who turn away would one day yearn for the privilege of breaking bread again with their brethren. In the late afternoon, Shadrach Roundy arrived in camp with letters from Nauvoo. Elder Orson Hyde reported that a wealthy bachelor was considering purchasing the temple for $200,000. He also wrote that the debts the Church owed were more than their liquid assets, and suggested that both the Nauvoo and Kirtland temples be sold and "with the proceeds assist the Saints to emigrate westward."In Nauvoo this very Sunday, Elder Hyde and Elder Wilford Woodruff met in council to discuss a letter received from Illinois Gov. Thomas Ford. The governor wrote that he would no longer make any attempt to protect the Mormons with the state militia. Brother Woodruff interpreted this to mean that the governor "will let the mob loose upon the remainder of the Saints." He said, "I have to keep guard at home most nights."

That evening President Young met in council with 19 other brethren. They had counted 359 able-bodied adult men in Garden Grove at this point. They made work assignments.

Monday, April 27:

It rained constantly all day.

Another council meeting was called in the morning. After sleeping on the proposition to sell the Church's two temples, the council concluded to indeed go ahead with the attempted sales. The brethren concluded that "a sale would secure

the Nauvoo TempleT from unjust claims, mobs, fire and so forth, more effectually than for the Church to retain it in their hands."

Two brethren were sent to Fort Leavenworth and then to a site 200 miles south to find Mormon Indian missionaries Lewis Dana and George Herring. These elders, who were Lamanites themselves, would then be sent immediately to Council Bluffs on the Missouri River so that they could interpret for Brigham Young and his council in communication with the Indians.

Tuesday, April 28:

It rained all night and throughout the day. There was mud from one end of the Garden Grove encampment to the other. Hosea Stout said that it was so deep that it was almost impossible to get around. Yet all the men kept at work.

Wednesday, April 29:

Hosea Stout reported: "This was an uncommonly wet rainy, muddy, miry disagreeable day. Very wet last night the ground flooded in water." Over half of the days this entire month had been similarly wet and muddy.

At noon all the men in the camp were summoned for a meeting. They were told of recent council decisions such as the desire to sell the Nauvoo and Kirtland Temples "for the purpose of getting means to help the poor saints from Nauvoo," and the outfitting of 100 young men to go over the mountains to put in crops.

Thursday, April 30:

It rained again all day. A crisis stage was reached for the Camp of Israel at the Garden Grove encampment since there was hardly any breadstuffs. The creeks were so high that teams could not cross and the mills could not grind any flour.

In Nauvoo, a number of the leading brethren, presided over by Elders Hyde and Woodruff, gathered in the evening in the sacred precincts of the Nauvoo Temple to conduct a private dedication. Elder Joseph Young offered up the dedicatory prayer.

Friday, May 1:

A survey was completed for the Garden Grove way station today. This was becoming a complete community in every way. More people were arriving every day in spite of the inclement weather.

A public dedicatory service to which all the Nauvoo Saints were invited was held at the temple. Elder Orson Hyde offered the dedicatory prayer and spoke to the congregation.

Saturday, May 2:

Work went on at Garden Grove in making rails and constructing a bridge.

Back in Illinois, Gov. Thomas Ford ordered the mustering of a militia company once more. He had learned that many Mormons would be killed outright if he did not act in this fashion. He had concluded that he didn't want this effusion of blood on his record.

Sources: Journal History; Manuscript History of Brigham Young, pp. 140-49; Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:41-42; The Journals of William Clayton, pp. 158-59, 272-73; The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:156-58; The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, p. 131.

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