The "Danites" are organized during a clandestine meeting when Jared Carter, George W. Robinson, and Sampson Avard, "under the instruction of the [First] [P]residency, formed a secret military society, called the 'daughter of Zion.'" Avard instructs the newly inducted members: "As the Lord had raised up a prophet in these last days like unto Moses it shall be the duty of this band to obey him in all things, and whatever he requires you shall perform being ready to give up life and property for the advancement of the cause[.] When any thing is to be performed no member shall have the privilege of judging whether it would be right or wrong but shall engage in its accomplishment and trust God for the result[.]" The next month Joseph Smith's scribe writes in "The Scriptory Book of Joseph Smith, Jr.": "[W]e have a company of Danites in these times, to put right physically that which is not right, and to cleanse the Church of verry great evils which hath hitherto existed among us inasmuch as they cannot be put to right by teachings & persuas[ions]."
[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com]