On the Potter’s Wheel
Stanley B. Kimball, editor

Chapter 3
Diary Two, Part Two
10 June-19 October

[p.49]Two years and three months elapse between parts one and two of diary two. Before concluding his second mission to England (recorded in part one), Kimball attended a conference of the church in Manchester. During this meeting, he learned that the church in England had 5,814 members, in addition to about 800 who had already emigrated to the United States; that 5,000 copies of Book of Mormon, 3,000 hymnals, 50,000 tracts, and 2,500 copies of the Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star had been printed; and that a permanent shipping agency had been established for the emigrating converts. This Manchester conference marked the conclusion of the mission of the twelve apostles in England. On 21 April, Kimball and six other apostles left Liverpool with a company of 130 emigrants on the Rochester. Thirty days later they arrived in New York City and by 1 July 1841 were back in Nauvoo.

Kimball lived in Nauvoo nearly three years before recommencing his diaries.1 During this time he provided better housing for [p.50]his family and attended to church duties. In 1842 he received a patriarchal blessing, helped to organize a Masonic lodge and the Young Gentlemen and Ladies Relief Society, received his endowments, and was introduced to the doctrine of plural marriage, taking his first plural wife that same year. The following April he was appointed to go on yet another mission, this time to the eastern states to collect tithing from members. His diary entries begin again at this point with an account of his departure.

June the /10th 1843/. This day I left my home at Nauvoo in company with my wife and fore of my Children, Sister Noon2 Sister Billin[g]s, on the 10 /11th/ Preached at Lima, on the /12th/ reached Quincy. I had a preshus [precious] tim[e] with my dear Wife [Vilate]. O God the Eternal Father in the name of Jesus Christ wilth Thou bless hur with peas [peace] and with a long life and when Thou shall see fit to take hur let Thy servent go with hur and dwell with earch other through out all Eternity that now [no] power shall ever sepperrate us from each other. For Thou O God knowest we love each other with pur[e] harts. Still we are willing to leave each other from time to time to preach Thy word to the children of men. Now O God hear Thy Servent, and let us have the desires of our hearts fore we want to live to gether and die and be burred [buried] and rise and Reign to gether [p.51]in Thy Kingdom with our dear Chidren. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nasruss [Nazareth] amen.On the 11 I took passage on the Missoria packet, a fine boat. $2.50 was my fare. I took leave of dear Vilate. O my God bless hur dear soul.

June the 15. I reached St. Lewis a litle past ten. In a few moments I found Elder [Lorenzo] Snow3 at Father Connors. We directly tooch [took] passage on the Meridian four Sincinatia [Cincinatti]. Fare was five dollars. When we left St. L[e]wis at half past five and reached Cairo nine next morning.

June the 15. We left St. Lewis for Sincenata haf pas five in the after noon reached Cairo half past nine of the next morning. On the 18 we reached Lwisvill [Louisville] ten in the morning. We were prosperd.

Elder Snow and my self had a preshious time. On the 17[th] our minds were opened on things pertaining to our furture State. Sush as laying a good foundation fore here after and to do all things in view of Eternity. Fore all things that are only done [for] time will desolve when the body does. Tharefore our works will be veign [vain]. I feel a great Zeal this morning to press my way forward and have all things made shure fore time. O God the Eternal Father in the name of Jesus Christ of Nasreth wilth Thou fore give me all the sins that I have ever done since I have come here on this Thy foot stool, and let my heart be pure in Thy sight and my hands clean all the days I shall live in this probation, that my feet may never slip, that I may be filled with Zeal and that acording to /the/ knowledg and that knowledg that proceeds from the Father keep Thy servent from Evry veign thing, and as-[p.52]sist me to be true to The[e] and to all that love Thy name that treacherry may never have a place in my heart or ever be known among my posturity. Let peas beat down upon my dear Vilate that sorrow may pass away, and pease take the seat. Let Health be and abide with them and all that belongs to me. Even so Amen.

We reached Sincenata on Mondy morning about sun rise. This /was/ on the Ninteenth all well. Found the Saints in tolarble Spirrits. Frances Higbey4 come to us on the 22 and on the tw[e]nty third he left us. I sent a leter to my son Wm. and one to my wife. O that I was such a man as I would desire to be, and Thou O God knowest I wish [to] be pure in hart, that all of /my/ sins may be bloted out that no one of them may ever appear before me in time or through out /all/ Eternity, or Ever sepperate me from my dear Vilate or anny of those that are con[ne]cted to /me/ by the ties of Na[t]ure. Thou knowest I Love my dear family, and may it increas more and more, that now [no] power can sepperate us from Each other, that we may dwell to gether through out all Eternity, and thare be in thrond [enthroned] on worlds, to propragate that thare may be no end to us or our Seeds. I desire to be wise and filled with Knowledge, even the knowledge of God. Let not Thy servent feet slip or do anny thing to bring a stane on his caricter or on the caus of Christ which he has imbraced. Now Father in Heaven I ask The[e] to seel these blessing on my head and all that belongs to me, and Thy nam shall have all the glory through Jesus Christ Amen.

This I rote on the 23 of June.

[p.53]June the 29. I left Sancin [Cincinatti] one o clock on the Alps in company with P[hineas]. Young,5 [Orson] Pratt, L. Snow, and Sister Clark. We reached Portsmouth, [Ohio] at ten left in half an hour—saw Charls Hurd.

July 28, 1843. Last Evning Elders Young, Smith, and Woodruff come in to our meeting. A Elder Page6 was preacing. I must say I was glad to see them as Elder O. Pratt and myself have been hear in the City of Pitsburgh near fore [nearly four] weeks wating fore our Brethren. Now they have come I am glad and I thank my Father in Heaven. I have the privledg of hearing from my dear brethren and sisters and family. I recieved three leters one from my dear Vilate, one from my son Wm. and [daughter] Hellen. How pressous to hear from my dear wife and chilren in whome I love, and prize above all other things here on Earth, but I leave all these things fore Christ sake and the Gospell. Y[e]a the Lord knows why I do this. O Lord my God help Thy poor servent to stand fast in The[e]. that he may be true and faithfull to The[e] and his Brethren, all of his days, that thou O God would spare the Love of my Youth that we may be one in the all of /our/ days. and come forth in the Etearnal worlds to gether with our dear Children and friends. Amen.

August the 3. We left Pitsburgh by coash [coach] to Cumberland, [Maryland]. 125 [miles] most of the way on Rayl [rail] by the National Road. At Cumberland we took the [railroad] cars to Baltimore 140, we took a steem boat fore Phillidelpha. 65 by Steam and 14 by Rail way, then fifty by steam, first waters. 65 miles was [on] the Chesepeake Bay. The other was Delaware River 50 miles [p.54]we stade in P – – – [Philadephia] two weeks. Left on the 18 twok [took] steam boat fore Burlington [New Jersey] whare we twok coash fore Mount Holly [New Jersey] – at Judg Richards. He twok his cask [coach?] and Caried us to a place called the Square in Burlentown [Burlington] whare we held a woods meting on.

On the 21 we left fore New York. We took cars at Bording town [Burlington?]. Reached New York at six in the after noon.

A Bill of Expenses from Nauvoo, to city of New York

to St. Lewis…….. $ 2 50
to Sincinata……… 5 00
to Pitsburgh……… 4 00
to Phelidelpha……. 13 00
to New York……… 3 00
  $28 00

Left New York on the forth of Sept. reachede [Boston?] on the 5. On the 6 Elder Young and my self went to Salem. In Evning went to Marble Head hurd Elder P[ratt]. Preach. On the 7 we returned to Salem whare we stade one night then went back to Bosten held our confrance on the 19 in Boston. Eight of the twelve present. We left the 23 of Sept. that is Elder G[eorge]. A. Smith and myself, to New York. Left on the 27 fore Ph – – while thare went to Mount Holly on the 28 stade one night then returned on the next day left Ph – – on the third of Oct. reached Pitsburgh on the 7. Left on the Eight. Took the Steam boat Rariton. Got fast [fastened?] on a sand bar on the 8, 12 miles below and held fast till the 9, Eight in the morning.

We stopt two days in Sincinata. Left on the 14. which was Sartaday on the Steamer, Nautilus. We reached Lewisvill on Sundy morning at 3 O Clock. Left the same [p.55]day in the after Noon. Past threw the Lock. Sun one hour high. On the 17 we reached Cairo, the mouth of the Ohio River in the fore part of the day weather pleasent. On the 19, we lay still in the morning on the acount of Fog within 14 miles of St. Lewis.

This part of the diary abruptly ends at this point and several miscellaneous items are added, including an 1847 poem by Kimball’s first wife, Vilate, in her own hand:

Winter Quarters Jan 17th 1847

No being round the spacious Earth
Beneath the vaulted arch of heaven
Divides my love, or draws it thence
from him to whom my heart is given

Like the frail ivy to the oak
Draun closer by the temptest [d]riven
Through sorrows flood he’ll bear me up
And light with smiles my way to heaven

The gift was on the alter laid
The Plighted vow, on earth was given
The seal eternal has ben made
And by his Side, I’ll reign in heaven

Lines writen by Vilate Kimball
to her companion Heber C. Kimball

This poem is followed by five “Strange Events” in Kimball’s hand pertaining to temple work for the period 1842-45.

Strange Events, June 1842. I was aniciated [initiated] into the ancient order was washed and annointed and Sealled and ordained a Preast, and so forth in company with nine others, Viz. Josph Smith, Hiram Smith, [p.56]Wm. Law,7 Wm. Marks,8 Judge [James] Adams, Brigham Young, Willard Richrds, George Miller,9 N. K. Whitney.10

January 1844. My wife Vilate and menny feemales was recieved in to the Holy Order,11 and was washed and inointed [anointed] by Emma.12

February the first 1844. My self and wife Vilate was announted Preast and Preastest [Priestess] unto our God under the Hands of B[righam]. Young and by the voys [voice] of the Holy Order.

Apriel the first 4 day 1844. I Heber C. Kimball recieved the washing of my feet, and was annointed by my wife Vilate fore my burial, that is my feet, head, Stomach. Even as Mary did Jesus, that she mite have a claim on Him in the Reserrection. In the City of Nauvoo.

In 1845 I recieved the washing of my feet by \[what follows is in Vilate’s hand:]\

I Vilate Kimball do hereby certify that on the first day of April 1844 I attended to washing and anointed the head, /Stomach/ and feet of my dear companion Heber [p.57]C. Kimball, that I may have claim upon him in the morning of the first Reserrection.

Vilate Kimball.13


1. Kimball may have kept a diary covering this period of his life which is no longer extant. William Clayton recorded on 23 April 1843, “At bro Kimballs this fore noon assisting him to arrange his history” (cited in James B. Allen, Trials of Discipleship: The Story of William Clayton, a Mormon [Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987], p. 99). More likely, however, Clayton’s comment explains some of the attempted corrections scattered throughout diary one.

2. Sarah Peak Noon (1811-73), usually referred to as Sarah Peak, was Kimball’s first plural wife. Her first husband, William S. Noon, deserted her in Nauvoo, and she married Kimball sometime in 1842.

3. Lorenzo Snow (1814-1901) became an apostle in 1847 and president of the LDS church in 1898.

4. Francis Higbee (ca. 1820-after 1846) would excommunicated for apostasy.

5. Phineas Young (1799-1879) was a brother to Brigham Young.

6. This is probably John E. Page (1799-1867) who became an apostle in 1841 and was excommunicated in 1844.

7. William Law (1809-92), second counselor to Joseph Smith in 1841, was excommunicated for apostacy in 1844.

8. William Marks (1792-1872), a Nauvoo stake president, was called a traitor after Joseph Smith’s death, in part, because of his opposition to plural marriage.

9. George Miller (1794-?) became second bishop of the church in 1844.

10. Newell Kimball Whitney (1795-1850), the first bishop of the church in 1844, was the father of one of Kimball’s plural wives, Sarah Ann Whitney (1825-73).

11. This is a reference to Joseph Smith’s private prayer circle in which members were instructed in ceremonies later administered in the Nauvoo Temple (see Allen, Trials of Discipleship, pp. 125, 127).

12. This is most likely a reference to Emma Smith (1804-79), the first wife of Joseph Smith (1805- 44).

13. At this point, for the sake of continuity, diary two—which jumps from 19 October 1843 to 28 May 1845—will be interrupted by diary three. Diary two, part two, ends with Kimball near St. Louis enroute to Nauvoo, which he reached 22 October 1843. Kimball would have seven months at home before being called on his eighth and last mission. “I remained in Nauvoo all winter,” he later related, “enjoying the teaching of the Prophet, attending council, prayer meetings … preaching in Nauvoo and branches round about, and doing all I could to strengthen the hands of the First Presidency” (“Synopsis of the Life of Heber C. Kimball,” Deseret News, 20 April 1858). Politics were also important in 1844, an election year. The Mormons debated whether to support the Democratic president, Martin Van Buren, or the Whig, Henry Clay. Since both candidates had refused to do anything to help the Mormons secure redress for Missouri’s wrongs, a proposal came to nominate Joseph Smith as a candidate for the presidency. This was done at the annual April conference of the church, and on 17 May 1844 a convention was held in Nauvoo at which Kimball and 343 Elders were appointed to go throughout the states to stump for Joseph Smith. This is the point at which diary three starts.