History, 1838–1856, volume C-1 [2 November 1838–31 July 1842]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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<December 16  Joseph’s Letter in  Liberty Jail> of a better hope than that of our persecutors, therefore God hath made broad our Shoulders  for the burden, We glory in our tribulation because we know that God is with us,  that he is our friend, and that he will save our souls. We do not care for them  that can kill the body; they cannot harm our souls; we ask no favors, at the  hands of Mobs, nor of the world, nor of the Devil, nor of his Emissaries the  Dissenters. and those who love, and make, and swear falsehoods to take away  our lives— We have never dissembled, nor will we for the sake of our lives,  Forasmuch then as we know that we have been endeavoring with all our  minds, mights and strength to do the will of God, and all things whatsoever  he has commanded us— And as to our light speeches which may have  escaped our lips from time to time, they have nothing to do with the fixed  purposes of our hearts. Therefore it sufficeth us to say, that our souls  were vexed from day to day. We refer you to Isaiah who considers  those who make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for  him that reproveth in the gate. We believe that the Old Prophet verily  told the truth, we have no retraction to make, we have reproved in the Gate  and men have laid snares for us, we have spoken words and men  have made us offenders, and notwithstanding all this our minds are  not yet darkened but feel strong in the Lord. But behold the words  of the Savior “If the light which is in you become darkness, behold how  great is that darkness”, look at the Dissenters. Again if you were of the  world, the world would love its own. Look at a Wolf in  Sheep’s clothing, Look at his brother Look at the beloved brother  , who aided him in leading us, as the Savior was led, into  the Camp as a Lamb prepared for the Slaughter, as a Sheep dumb  before his Shearers, so we opened not our mouths. But these men like  Balaam being greedy for reward, sold us into the hands of those who  loved them, for the world loves his own. I would remember  who comes up to us as one of Job’s Comforters, God suffered such kind of beings  to afflict Job, but it never entered into their hearts that Job would get out of it all.  This poor man who professes to be much of a Prophet has no other dumb ass  to ride, but , to forbid his madness when he goes up to curse Israel  and this ass not being of the same kind as Balaams, therefore the angel  notwithstanding appeared unto him, yet he could not penetrate his understanding  sufficiently so, but what he brays out cursings instead of blessings, Poor Ass  whoever lives to see it, will see him and his rider perish like those who perished  in the gainsaying of Core, or after the same condemnation, Now as for these  and the rest of their Company we will not presume to say that the world  loves them, but we presume to say they love the world, and we classify them  in the error of Balaam, and in the gainsaying of Core, and with the company  of Cora, Dathan, and Abiram. Perhaps our brethren may say, because  we thus write, that we are offended at these Characters! if we are, it is not for a  word, neither because they reproved in the gate, but because they have been the  means of shedding innocent blood. Are they not murderers then at heart? Are [p. 869]
December 16 Joseph’s Letter in Liberty Jail of a better hope than that of our persecutors, therefore God hath made broad our Shoulders for the burden, We glory in our tribulation because we know that God is with us, that he is our friend, and that he will save our souls. We do not care for them that can kill the body; they cannot harm our souls; we ask no favors, at the hands of Mobs, nor of the world, nor of the Devil, nor of his Emissaries the Dissenters. and those who love, and make, and swear falsehoods to take away our lives— We have never dissembled, nor will we for the sake of our lives, Forasmuch then as we know that we have been endeavoring with all our minds, mights and strength to do the will of God, and all things whatsoever he has commanded us— And as to our light speeches which may have escaped our lips from time to time, they have nothing to do with the fixed purposes of our hearts. Therefore it sufficeth us to say, that our souls were vexed from day to day. We refer you to Isaiah who considers those who make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate. We believe that the Old Prophet verily told the truth, we have no retraction to make, we have reproved in the Gate and men have laid snares for us, we have spoken words and men have made us offenders, and notwithstanding all this our minds are not yet darkened but feel strong in the Lord. But behold the words of the Savior “If the light which is in you become darkness, behold how great is that darkness”, look at the Dissenters. Again if you were of the world, the world would love its own. Look at a Wolf in Sheep’s clothing, Look at his brother Look at the beloved brother , who aided him in leading us, as the Savior was led, into the Camp as a Lamb prepared for the Slaughter, as a Sheep dumb before his Shearers, so we opened not our mouths. But these men like Balaam being greedy for reward, sold us into the hands of those who loved them, for the world loves his own. I would remember who comes up to us as one of Job’s Comforters, God suffered such kind of beings to afflict Job, but it never entered into their hearts that Job would get out of it all. This poor man who professes to be much of a Prophet has no other dumb ass to ride, but , to forbid his madness when he goes up to curse Israel and this ass not being of the same kind as Balaams, therefore the angel notwithstanding appeared unto him, yet he could not penetrate his understanding sufficiently so, but what he brays out cursings instead of blessings, Poor Ass whoever lives to see it, will see him and his rider perish like those who perished in the gainsaying of Core, or after the same condemnation, Now as for these and the rest of their Company we will not presume to say that the world loves them, but we presume to say they love the world, and we classify them in the error of Balaam, and in the gainsaying of Core, and with the company of Cora, Dathan, and Abiram. Perhaps our brethren may say, because we thus write, that we are offended at these Characters! if we are, it is not for a word, neither because they reproved in the gate, but because they have been the means of shedding innocent blood. Are they not murderers then at heart? Are [p. 869]
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