30484

Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson County, Missouri, 10 August 1833

will be saved, & Zion

A specific location in Missouri; also a literal or figurative gathering of believers in Jesus Christ, characterized by adherence to ideals of harmony, equality, and purity. In JS’s earliest revelations “the cause of Zion” was used to broadly describe the ...

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will be the joy of all saints & they will possess her forever & ever; & though the atmosphere looks dark yet the Son of righteousness will soon appear with healing in his wings,17

See Malachi 4:2; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 505 [3 Nephi 25:2].  


& he will spare his people as a man spareth his own Son who serveth him.18

See Malachi 3:17; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 504 [3 Nephi 24:17].  


Our brethren here have sent you three revelations concerning Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

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two of them dated the second of Aug. & the other the sixth.19

The three revelations—Revelation, 2 Aug. 1833–A [D&C 97]; Revelation, 2 Aug. 1833–B [D&C 94]; and Revelation, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98]—were the primary contents of a letter sent to Missouri just three days prior to Cowdery’s arrival. (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 6 Aug. 1833.)  


Read them carefully & keep them from false brethren & tatlers,20

Two of the three revelations—Revelation, 2 Aug. 1833–A [D&C 97]; and Revelation, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98]—had content that would have been inflammatory to already alienated Missourians. The first revelation urged the construction of a House of the Lord in Jackson County and portrayed a potentially glorious future for Zion and destruction for the ungodly. The 6 August revelation directed the church members to sue for peace at the hands of their enemies but also authorized them to take up arms in self-defense should repeated attempts at peaceful negotiations fail. (Revelation, 2 Aug. 1833–A [D&C 97]; Revelation, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98].)  


& all things concerning Zion will come to pass in the due time of the Lord.— They also sent you a draft for the house of the Lord

Plans for Far West included temple on central block. Latter-day Saints in Caldwell Co. made preparations for construction and commenced excavating for foundation, 3 July 1837. However, while visiting Latter-day Saints in Far West, 6 Nov. 1837, JS gave instructions...

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, & a plan of the city. I mention this that you may know that such things have been sent should any accident happen that you do not obtain them,21
I want br. Wm

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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to write a circular for an “Extra Star” & send the manuscript immediately to me that I may go to some one of the printing offices here & publish it. Set forth the circumstances why the star is stopped &c. & I will assist all I can when your manuscript arrives, write close on a large sheet, you will have to write me the names of our former subscribers, their places of residence &c. so that I can mail them each an “extra” This you can do in a fine plain hand. Although it will be troublesome yet it looks to be necessary. I expect you have written me as many as two letters ere this. & when I receive the first I shall write again, Don’t fail to write once a week for you know my anxiety,23

Cowdery had earlier expressed eagerness to receive regular correspondence from his associates when he was part of a party proselytizing to Indians in Missouri in early 1831. (Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 8 Apr. 1831; Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 7 May 1831.)  


tell me who apostatizes when you write,24

In a letter then en route, John Whitmer reported that “there are but very few that have denied the faith in consequence of this transaction.” (Letter from John Whitmer, 29 July 1833.)  


The brethren here are lifting up their voices in your behalf continually. Don’t be discouraged but be patient.— you may be under the necessity to sell some of our lands, but be wise, hold on to the sacred places.25

A week later, JS revised this instruction to forbid the sale of Jackson County land to anyone outside the church: “it is the will of the Lord that . . . not one foot of land perchased should be given to the enimies of God or sold to them but if any is sold let it be sold to the chirch.” The following summer in an appeal to “the people and constituted authorities of this nation,” church leaders declared that to sell their land in Jackson County “would amount to a denial of our faith, as that land is the place where the Zion of God shall stand, according to our faith and belief in the revelations of God.” (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 18 Aug. 1833; “An Appeal,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Aug. 1834, 183.)  


I am in great haste to get this into the mail to day therefore must be short: I shall write again as I said, I am truly your br. in the New covenant

Generally referred to the “fulness of the gospel”—the sum total of the church’s message, geared toward establishing God’s covenant people on the earth; also used to describe individual elements of the gospel, including marriage. According to JS, the everlasting...

View Glossary
O— C— Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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PS Brethren if I were with you I should take an active part in your sufferings & although nature shrinks yet my spirit would not let me forsake you unto death God helping me Oh be of good cheer27

See John 16:33.  


for our redemption draweth near28

See Luke 21:28; and Revelation, 7 Dec. 1830 [D&C 35:26].  


Oh God save my Brethren in Zion Oh brethren give up all to God forsake all for Christ sake29

For examples of similar sentiments, see Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 18 Aug. 1833.  


J— S— [p. [2]]
will be saved, & Zion

A specific location in Missouri; also a literal or figurative gathering of believers in Jesus Christ, characterized by adherence to ideals of harmony, equality, and purity. In JS’s earliest revelations “the cause of Zion” was used to broadly describe the ...

View Glossary
will be the joy of all saints & they will  possess her forever & ever; & though the atmosphere looks dark  yet the Son of righteousness will soon appear with healing in  his wings,17

See Malachi 4:2; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 505 [3 Nephi 25:2].  


& he will spare his people as a man spareth his  own Son who serveth him.18

See Malachi 3:17; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 504 [3 Nephi 24:17].  


Our brethren here have sent you  three revelations concerning Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

More Info
two of them dated the second of  Aug. & the other the sixth.19

The three revelations—Revelation, 2 Aug. 1833–A [D&C 97]; Revelation, 2 Aug. 1833–B [D&C 94]; and Revelation, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98]—were the primary contents of a letter sent to Missouri just three days prior to Cowdery’s arrival. (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 6 Aug. 1833.)  


Read them carefully & keep them  from false brethren & tatlers,20

Two of the three revelations—Revelation, 2 Aug. 1833–A [D&C 97]; and Revelation, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98]—had content that would have been inflammatory to already alienated Missourians. The first revelation urged the construction of a House of the Lord in Jackson County and portrayed a potentially glorious future for Zion and destruction for the ungodly. The 6 August revelation directed the church members to sue for peace at the hands of their enemies but also authorized them to take up arms in self-defense should repeated attempts at peaceful negotiations fail. (Revelation, 2 Aug. 1833–A [D&C 97]; Revelation, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98].)  


& all things concerning Zion will  come to pass in the due time of the Lord.— They also sent you a  draft for the house of the Lord

Plans for Far West included temple on central block. Latter-day Saints in Caldwell Co. made preparations for construction and commenced excavating for foundation, 3 July 1837. However, while visiting Latter-day Saints in Far West, 6 Nov. 1837, JS gave instructions...

More Info
, & a plan of the city. I mention this  that you may know that such things have been sent should any  accident happen that you do not obtain them,21
22

TEXT: Two vertical lines, possibly meant to be a pilcrow, indicate a paragraph break here, though this and the previous line are run together in the original letter..)  


I want br. Wm

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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 to write a circular for an “Extra Star” & send the manuscript  immediately to me that I may go to some one of the printing offices  here & publish it. Set forth the circumstances why the star is  stopped &c. & I will assist all I can when your manuscript  arrives, write close on a large sheet, you will have to write  me the names of our former subscribers, their places of residence  &c. so that I can mail them each an “extra” This you can  do in a fine plain hand. Although it will be troublesome yet  it looks to be necessary. I expect you have written me  as many as two letters ere this. & when I receive the first I  shall write again, Don’t fail to write once a week for  you know my anxiety,23

Cowdery had earlier expressed eagerness to receive regular correspondence from his associates when he was part of a party proselytizing to Indians in Missouri in early 1831. (Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 8 Apr. 1831; Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 7 May 1831.)  


tell me who apostatizes when you  write,24

In a letter then en route, John Whitmer reported that “there are but very few that have denied the faith in consequence of this transaction.” (Letter from John Whitmer, 29 July 1833.)  


The br[ethre]n here are lifting up their voices in your  behalf continually. Don’t be discouraged but be patient.—  you may be under the necessity to sell some of our lands,  but be wise, hold on to the sacred places.25

A week later, JS revised this instruction to forbid the sale of Jackson County land to anyone outside the church: “it is the will of the Lord that . . . not one foot of land perchased should be given to the enimies of God or sold to them but if any is sold let it be sold to the chirch.” The following summer in an appeal to “the people and constituted authorities of this nation,” church leaders declared that to sell their land in Jackson County “would amount to a denial of our faith, as that land is the place where the Zion of God shall stand, according to our faith and belief in the revelations of God.” (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 18 Aug. 1833; “An Appeal,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Aug. 1834, 183.)  


26

TEXT: Two vertical lines, possibly meant to be a pilcrow, indicate a paragraph break here, though this and the previous line are run together in the actual letter.  


I am in great haste  to get this into the mail to day therefore must be short: I shall  write again as I said, I am truly your br. in the New covenant

Generally referred to the “fulness of the gospel”—the sum total of the church’s message, geared toward establishing God’s covenant people on the earth; also used to describe individual elements of the gospel, including marriage. According to JS, the everlasting...

View Glossary
O— C— [Oliver Cowdery]

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

View Full Bio
PS Brethren if I were with you I should take an active part in your suff erings & although nature shrinks yet my spirit would not let me forsake  you unto death God helping me Oh be of good cheer27

See John 16:33.  


for our redemption  draweth near28

See Luke 21:28; and Revelation, 7 Dec. 1830 [D&C 35:26].  


Oh God save my Brethren in Zion Oh brethren give up  all to God forsake all for Christ sake29

For examples of similar sentiments, see Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 18 Aug. 1833.  


J— S— [p. [2]]
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The day before he wrote this letter, Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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had arrived in Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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, Ohio, with firsthand news of hostility against church members in Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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and of an agreement to leave Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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that church leaders there had signed under duress. Cowdery and William E. McLellin

18 Jan. 1806–14 Mar. 1883. Schoolteacher, physician, publisher. Born at Smith Co., Tennessee. Son of Charles McLellin and Sarah (a Cherokee Indian). Married first Cynthia Ann, 30 July 1829. Wife died, by summer 1831. Baptized into LDS church by Hyrum Smith...

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apparently went into hiding during the hostility. McLellin later remembered that, when a mob could not find them, a bounty of eighty dollars was offered for their retrieval.1

William E. McLellin, Editorial, Ensign of Liberty, Jan. 1848, 60–62; Schaefer, William E. McLellin’s Lost Manuscript, 166.  


Cowdery left Independence

Located twelve miles from western Missouri border. Permanently settled, platted, and designated county seat, 1827. Hub for steamboat travel on Missouri River. Point of departure for Santa Fe Trail. Population in 1831 about 300. Mormon population by summer...

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, Missouri, likely between 23 and 25 July 1833, to report the events to JS and other church leaders in Kirtland.2

For more information on Cowdery’s departure from Missouri, see the Historical Introduction to Letter from John Whitmer, 29 July 1833.  


As stated in this letter, Cowdery was delayed for three days during his journey from Independence to Kirtland, where he arrived on 9 August 1833, completing his hurried trip in approximately two weeks.
In this letter, Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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recommended that members in Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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“look out another place to locate on,” and he praised his associates for “the agreement to remove” the church out of the county. Conversely, Cowdery also chastised some members of the church in Independence

Located twelve miles from western Missouri border. Permanently settled, platted, and designated county seat, 1827. Hub for steamboat travel on Missouri River. Point of departure for Santa Fe Trail. Population in 1831 about 300. Mormon population by summer...

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. “This great tribulation,” he wrote, “would not have come upon Zion

A specific location in Missouri; also a literal or figurative gathering of believers in Jesus Christ, characterized by adherence to ideals of harmony, equality, and purity. In JS’s earliest revelations “the cause of Zion” was used to broadly describe the ...

View Glossary
had it not been for rebelion.” Here, Cowdery likely referred to the far-reaching “rebellion” of Missouri church leaders against JS and the Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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leadership in 1832 and early 1833.
Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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’s letter demonstrates particular concern for the loss of the printing office

JS revelations, dated 20 July and 1 Aug. 1831, directed establishment of LDS church’s first printing office in Independence, Missouri. Dedicated by Bishop Edward Partridge, 29 May 1832. Located on Lot 76, on Liberty Street just south of courthouse square....

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that William W. Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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had operated. He directed Phelps to send him an account of the circumstances that prevented publication of The Evening and the Morning Star and a list of the newspaper’s subscribers so that Cowdery could print an extra edition of the Star in Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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and mail it to regular readers. Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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referred to these requests in a letter he wrote to Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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church leaders two months later: “Oliver has writen to you for the names and residence of the subscriber[s] for the Star and if you have not sent them we wish you to send them immediately that there may be no delay in the papers going to subscribers as soon as they can be printed.”3

Frederick G. Williams, Kirtland, OH, to “Dear Brethren,” 10 Oct. 1833, in JS Letterbook 1, p. 58.  


Because of continued turmoil in Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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, Phelps was unable to send a list of the subscribers until 3 December 1833.4

Oliver Cowdery, Kirtland, OH, to John Whitmer, Missouri, 1 Jan. 1834, in Cowdery, Letterbook, 14–17.  


The list did, however, arrive in time for the mailing of the first issue of the renewed periodical published in Kirtland in December.5

A notice printed in The Evening and the Morning Star indicated that Cowdery had received W. W. Phelps & Co.’s mail book with the list of newspaper subscribers. Cowdery forwarded the December issue of the paper to those whose names were current in that book. (Notice, The Evening and the Morning Star, Jan. 1834, 128.)  


In February 1834, Cowdery finally published an extra that contained “a circular recently received from our friends in the West, which corroborates many items heretofore laid before the public,” and also an account of the “wicked and wanton manner, in which the printing office of W. W. Phelps & Co.

The corporate name of the church’s printing establishment in Independence, Missouri. The company included church printer William W. Phelps and likely John Whitmer and Oliver Cowdery, who were appointed by the Literary Firm to assist Phelps in reviewing and...

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the type, and books then publishing, the dwelling-house of said Phelps, and some furniture, were destroyed.”6

“From Missouri,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Extra, Feb. 1834, [1]; Parley P. Pratt et al., “‘The Mormons’ So Called,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Extra, Feb. 1834, [1].  


Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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rushed to complete this letter in order to post it on 10 August. In a postscript, JS added his own words of counsel, expressed sorrow and concern, and advised the recipients to be willing to “forsake all for Christ[’s] sake.” After this letter arrived in Independence

Located twelve miles from western Missouri border. Permanently settled, platted, and designated county seat, 1827. Hub for steamboat travel on Missouri River. Point of departure for Santa Fe Trail. Population in 1831 about 300. Mormon population by summer...

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, Edward Partridge

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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made a copy of it, including the postscript from JS. It is unknown when Partridge made his copy, though it was probably made soon after the original letter, which has not been located, was received in September 1833.

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