History, 1834–1836

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 60
image
tion, and that profession be a vain one, was calculated, in its  verry nature, the more it was contemplated, the more to aro use the mind to the serious consequ[e]nces of moving  hastily, in a course fraught with eternal realities. To say  he was right, and still be wrong, could not profit; and  amid so many, some must be built upon the sand.
In this situation where could he go? if he went to one he  was told they were right, and all others were wrong—if to  another, the same was heard from those: All professed to be  the true church; and if not they were certainly hypocritical,  because, if I am presented with a system of religion, and  enquire of my teacher whether it is correct, and he informs  me that he is not certain, he acknowledges at once that he  is teaching without authority, and acting without a commis sion! If one
If one profess a degree of authority or preference in conse quence of age or right, and that superiority was without evid ence, it was insufficient to convince a mind once aroused  to that degree of determination which at that time operated  upon him. And upon fa[r]ther reflecting, that the Saviour  had said that the gate was strait and the way narrow  that lead to life eternal, and that few entered there; and  the way was broad, and the gate wide which lead to destruc tion, and that many crowded its current, a proof from some  source was wanting to settle the mind and give peace  to the agitated bosom. It is not frequent that the minds of  men are exercised with proper determinations relative  to obtaining a certainty of the things of God.— They are  too apt to rest short of that assurance which the Lord  Jesus has so freely offered in his word to man, and  which so beautifully characterizes his whole plan of sal vation, as revealed to us.
 
Oliver Cowdery, “Letter IV,” February 1835
Letter IV.
To , Esqr.
Dear Brother:—
In my last, publis hed in the 3d No. of the Advocate I apologized for the brief  manner in which I should be obliged to give, in ma ny instances, the history of this church. Since then yours [p. 60]
tion, and that profession be a vain one, was calculated, in its verry nature, the more it was contemplated, the more to arouse the mind to the serious consequences of moving hastily, in a course fraught with eternal realities. To say he was right, and still be wrong, could not profit; and amid so many, some must be built upon the sand.
In this situation where could he go? if he went to one he was told they were right, and all others were wrong—if to another, the same was heard from those: All professed to be the true church; and if not they were certainly hypocritical, because, if I am presented with a system of religion, and enquire of my teacher whether it is correct, and he informs me that he is not certain, he acknowledges at once that he is teaching without authority, and acting without a commission!
If one profess a degree of authority or preference in consequence of age or right, and that superiority was without evidence, it was insufficient to convince a mind once aroused to that degree of determination which at that time operated upon him. And upon farther reflecting, that the Saviour had said that the gate was strait and the way narrow that lead to life eternal, and that few entered there; and the way was broad, and the gate wide which lead to destruction, and that many crowded its current, a proof from some source was wanting to settle the mind and give peace to the agitated bosom. It is not frequent that the minds of men are exercised with proper determinations relative to obtaining a certainty of the things of God.— They are too apt to rest short of that assurance which the Lord Jesus has so freely offered in his word to man, and which so beautifully characterizes his whole plan of salvation, as revealed to us.
 
Oliver Cowdery, “Letter IV,” February 1835
Letter IV.
To , Esqr.
Dear Brother:—
In my last, published in the 3d No. of the Advocate I apologized for the brief manner in which I should be obliged to give, in many instances, the history of this church. Since then yours [p. 60]
Page 60