Journal, 1832–1834

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 85
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Editorial Note
JS and other volunteers of the armed expeditionary force that had been recruited for “the restoration and redemption of Zion” departed for on 5 May 1834. A smaller contingent started from Pontiac, Michigan, and joined them at Allred settlement, Monroe County, Missouri. After learning on 15 June that Missouri governor would not order the state’s militia to escort the Mormons to their lands as the Mormons had hoped, JS’s company, now numbering some two hundred, nevertheless continued their march to , Missouri. Their approach prompted negotiations between Mormons exiled from Jackson County—now living in Clay County—and Jackson County residents. Compromise proved impossible given the entrenched positions of both sides: the Mormons insisted on maintaining their rights to return to their property and refused to sell, and Jacksonites refused to have the Mormons live among them. Local residents also prepared for armed confrontation with the advancing Mormons. When questioned about his intentions, JS disavowed any military offensive, and no armed confrontation materialized.
In mid-June a cholera epidemic began to make inroads among JS’s company. On 22 June, JS announced a revelation postponing the redemption of Zion “for a little season.” Zion would be redeemed only after the Latter-day Saints purchased additional land in and vicinity; after their leading elders were “endowed with power from on high” in ; and after the Mormons in found “favor in the eyes of the people, until the army of Israel becomes very great.” Thus JS maintained long-term hopes for a temporarily failed enterprise. The cholera-decimated Mormon troops were dispersed and soon discharged to remain in or—in most cases—to return eastward to their homes. JS organized a standing high council for the Missouri Mormons and selected a number of Missouri church leaders to be endowed in the then under construction in . JS and other members of the Camp of Israel expedition, which later became known as Zion’s Camp, returned to Ohio in early August. While JS did not keep a personal record during this time, he assigned to send periodic reports of their journey to in Kirtland. However, no such reports have survived. JS later oversaw the creation of a history that drew on others’ accounts to create a narrative of the journey.
In the wake of the failure to effect a return of Mormon refugees to , the Latter-day Saints’ highest priorities became completing the construction of their in and purchasing land in the vicinity of Jackson County. Both endeavors were understood to be prerequisites to returning to their Zion; both would impose great financial burdens.

21 August 1834 • Thursday

August 21st 1834.  This day brother returned from   and told us con cerning the plague, and  after much consultation  we agreed that should go to and commence admin istering to the sick, for the  purpose of obtaining  means <blessings for them, and> for the work of  <glory of> the Lord: Accordingly, we,  Joseph, , and  Oliver [Cowdery] united in prayer  before the Lord for this  thing. [p. 85]

Editorial Note
JS and other volunteers of the armed expeditionary force that had been recruited for “the restoration and redemption of Zion” departed for on 5 May 1834. A smaller contingent started from Pontiac, Michigan, and joined them at Allred settlement, Monroe County, Missouri. After learning on 15 June that Missouri governor would not order the state’s militia to escort the Mormons to their lands as the Mormons had hoped, JS’s company, now numbering some two hundred, nevertheless continued their march to , Missouri. Their approach prompted negotiations between Mormons exiled from Jackson County—now living in Clay County—and Jackson County residents. Compromise proved impossible given the entrenched positions of both sides: the Mormons insisted on maintaining their rights to return to their property and refused to sell, and Jacksonites refused to have the Mormons live among them. Local residents also prepared for armed confrontation with the advancing Mormons. When questioned about his intentions, JS disavowed any military offensive, and no armed confrontation materialized.
In mid-June a cholera epidemic began to make inroads among JS’s company. On 22 June, JS announced a revelation postponing the redemption of Zion “for a little season.” Zion would be redeemed only after the Latter-day Saints purchased additional land in and vicinity; after their leading elders were “endowed with power from on high” in ; and after the Mormons in found “favor in the eyes of the people, until the army of Israel becomes very great.” Thus JS maintained long-term hopes for a temporarily failed enterprise. The cholera-decimated Mormon troops were dispersed and soon discharged to remain in or—in most cases—to return eastward to their homes. JS organized a standing high council for the Missouri Mormons and selected a number of Missouri church leaders to be endowed in the then under construction in . JS and other members of the Camp of Israel expedition, which later became known as Zion’s Camp, returned to Ohio in early August. While JS did not keep a personal record during this time, he assigned to send periodic reports of their journey to in Kirtland. However, no such reports have survived. JS later oversaw the creation of a history that drew on others’ accounts to create a narrative of the journey.
In the wake of the failure to effect a return of Mormon refugees to , the Latter-day Saints’ highest priorities became completing the construction of their in and purchasing land in the vicinity of Jackson County. Both endeavors were understood to be prerequisites to returning to their Zion; both would impose great financial burdens.

21 August 1834 • Thursday

This day Brother returned from and told us concerning the plague, and after much consultation we agreed that should go to and commence administering to the sick, for the purpose of obtaining blessings for them and for the glory of the Lord. Accordingly we, Joseph, , and Oliver Cowdery, united in prayer before the Lord for this thing. [p. 85]
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