This item is reproduced by permission of The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Letter to J. G. Fosdick, 3 February 1834

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 24
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and come into the again if he desire so to do. The instructions which you desire relative to church gov. &c. the extent of the power of a over any of the church, are subjects which will be investigated in the next no. of the Star. Time will not allow us to write the subjects at full length now; suffice it, therefore, to say that there is no office in this Church which can be placed upon the head of any man that will place him beyond the power & control of any branch of the church where he may be guilty of transgression, even if there is not another member in the church, let the church appoint some brother to preside and let them do as one church did in ancient days “try them who say they are and are not, but are liars,” then let them demand their , raise their hands against them and thus they are expelled from the communion of the church. It requires all the members of the church to constitute the body of Christ. One man is not the body, nor are the children of <the> Kingdom to be tantalized by men who may hold licenses and have authority to preach the gospel; such have the more need to be discreet and humble. Should the individual, after being thus dealt with be dissatisfied with the decission of the church he can appeal to a , and should he there be judged guilty, he can yet appeal to a court of and this is an end of all disputes and controversies in the Church of God on earth.
Brethren in the , Farewell.
SignedJoseph Smith Jr. (Moderator
(Clerk of Coun[cil]
Copied by direction of the , by [p. 24]
and come into the again if he desire so to do. The instructions which you desire relative to church gov. &c. the extent of the power of a over any of the church, are subjects which will be investigated in the next no. of the Star. Time will not allow us to write the subjects at full length now; suffice it, therefore, to say that there is no office in this Church which can be placed upon the head of any man that will place him beyond the power & control of any branch of the church where he may be guilty of transgression, even if there is not another member in the church, let the church appoint some brother to preside and let them do as one church did in ancient days “try them who say they are and are not, but are liars,” then let them demand their , raise their hands against them and thus they are expelled from the communion of the church. It requires all the members of the church to constitute the body of Christ. One man is not the body, nor are the children of the Kingdom to be tantalized by men who may hold licenses and have authority to preach the gospel; such have the more need to be discreet and humble. Should the individual, after being thus dealt with be dissatisfied with the decission of the church he can appeal to a , and should he there be judged guilty, he can yet appeal to a court of and this is an end of all disputes and controversies in the Church of God on earth.
Brethren in the , Farewell.
SignedJoseph Smith Jr. (Moderator
(Clerk of Council
Copied by direction of the , by [p. 24]
Page 24