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Church History Vol. 3 Chapter 4 Page 110


110 CHAPTER 4.

THE numerical strength of the church at the death of the martyrs has been variously stated. Joseph Smith in a sketch of history published in 1844 estimated the number at 150,000 or more. But there is a wide difference between this estimate and the estimate of Elder F. D. Richards, Historian of the Utah Church. (See correspondence on page 25 of this work.)

Deducting those known to have rejected the leadership of Brigham Young from Mr. Richards' estimate, there was quite a small minority left to follow the Twelve. In any event, the Twelve, or the nine of them before mentioned, assumed control in Nauvoo, and urged on the building of the temple and other improvements.

On August 15, 1844, the Twelve issued an epistle signed by their President (see this volume, pp. 13-17), which, taken in connection with the circumstances and current events, has considerable historical significance.

In it the claim is made that no one will attempt to occupy Joseph's place, and the promise is made that the Twelve would always remain in their own place.

We have seen in a former chapter how this promise was violated in December, 1847. Such instruction was given concerning the building of the temple and the building up of the city as to indicate that a removal of the church west was not then contemplated, but that the intention was to make Nauvoo a manufacturing center from whence manufactured articles could be shipped to markets abroad. A further indication that they did not then contemplate withdrawing from the United States is found in the advice that the States and adjoining provinces were to be put under more perfect

(page 110)

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