[Minutes of the Seventies]
... Pres Jos. Young then took the stand and spoke upon the wisdom and economy of the Members of this church, he brought up for example, the teaching of A certain Elder a Pres of one of these quorums, which was dangerous in its effects, telling the People that he considered the Twelve to be god to us, endangering the lives of these men by their imprudences the same things were said of Jos. and the reply of the Mob was well, if Jo. Smith is their god, come we will kill their god. & so they did, and just so it will be with the Twelve. ...
Pres Brigham Young arrose and said that he would speak on the principle of Salvation. When men have come into our midst who were as corrupt as the devil himself, many have supposed it would have been better to have cut their throats with a feather and exposed their sink of corruption, and let them go to hell where they belonged, than to have borne with them as Brother Joseph Smith did; but this course would meet with a conflicting argument. To stop a man in his career would be taking away his agency. Cain was permitted to live, peradventure, he might repent of his wickedness, and redeem a portion of his time, and thereby obtain a glory and salvation, though not a full salvation; and this is the reason that Brother Joseph bore so long with Jackson and others, that peradventure they might, notwithstanding they had been guilty of murder and robbery, come to the waters of baptism through repentance, and redeem a part of their allotted time. If they were cut off from the earth they might with propriety come up in the day of judgment and say we took away their agency, which if we had let alone, they would have repented of their sins and redeemed a part of their time.
[Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, Privately Published, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2015, Appendix 1: Minutes of the Seventies, 1837-1933, Excerpts]