30485

Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson County, Missouri, 18 August 1833

and bear with patience the Great affliction that is falling upon us on all sides for we are no safer here 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...

More Info
then you are in 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
the cloud is gethering around us with great fury and all pharohs host24

See Exodus 14:4.  


or in other words all hell and the combined powers of Earth are Marsheling their forces to overthrow us and we like the chilldrn children of Issarel Israel with the red Sea before them and the Egyptions ready to fall upon them to distroy them and no arm could deliver but the arm of God26

See Exodus chap. 14.  


and this is the case with us we must wait on God to be gratious and call on him with out ceaseing27

See 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Acts 12:5; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 211, 495 [Mosiah 26:39; 3 Nephi 19:30].  


to make bare his arm28

See Isaiah 52:10; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 57 [1 Nephi 22:10].  


for our defence for naught but the arm of the almighty can Save us we are all well here as can be expected yea altogether so with the exception of some little ailments feavers &c.——
Brother 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
is now Sitting before me and is faithful and true and his heart bleeds as it were for 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
yea never did the hart pant for the cooling streem29

See Psalm 42:1. A hart is “a stag or male deer.” (“Hart,” in American Dictionary.)  


as doth the heart of thy Brother Oliver

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
for thy salvation yea and I may say this is the Case with the whole Chirch

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

View Glossary
and all the faithful Oliver

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
will or aught rather to stay with me or in this land until I am permitted to Come with him for I know that if God shall spare my life that he will permit me to settle on an inheritance

Generally referred to land promised by or received from God for the church and its members. A January 1831 revelation promised church members a land of inheritance. In March and May 1831, JS dictated revelations commanding members “to purchase lands for an...

View Glossary
on the land of 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
in due time but when I do not know but this I do know that I have been keept from going up as yet for your sakes and the day will come that Zion will be keept for our sakes therefore be of good cheer and the cloud shall pass over and the sun shall shine as clear and as fair as heaven itself and the Event shall be Glorious Oliver

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
can stay here to good advantage and have his wife

22 Jan. 1815–7 Jan. 1892. Born in Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Daughter of Peter Whitmer and Mary Musselman. Baptized into LDS church by Oliver Cowdery, 18 Apr. 1830, in Seneca Co. Moved to Jackson Co., Missouri, by 1832. Married Oliver Cowdery, 18 Dec....

View Full Bio
come to him31

Oliver Cowdery’s wife, Elizabeth Ann Whitmer Cowdery, still had not arrived in Kirtland by spring 1834. In a letter to her on 4 May 1834, Oliver registered his disappointment and told her that “Brother Joseph will bring you down, and provide every thing for your comfort. . . . Should anything transpire to hinder brother Joseph from bringing you, he and brother Frederick [G. Williams] will arrange that you may come with some one else, who will see that you are treated with kindness. So I shall expect you the latter part of the summer or fall.” It is unknown how or when Elizabeth Ann finally traveled to Kirtland. She likely arrived before the year’s end since she gave birth to their first child, Maria, on 21 August 1835 in Kirtland. (Oliver Cowdery, Kirtland, OH, to Elizabeth Ann Whitmer Cowdery, 4 May 1834, in Cowdery, Letterbook, 44–45; JS History, 1834–1836, 11.)  


and he can be instrumental of doing great good in this place and god will give Brother 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,...

View Full Bio
more help and Grace to stand as an ensign to the people33

See Isaiah 11:10; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 98 [2 Nephi 21:10]; and Revelation, 11 Sept. 1831 [D&C 64:42].  


for it must be lifted up—34

On 20 July 1831, JS dictated a revelation that commanded William W. Phelps to settle in Independence and establish a printing press there for the church. However, a Jackson County mob destroyed Phelps’s home and printing shop on 20 July 1833, scattering the type and damaging the press. Cowdery had been assisting Phelps in the Missouri printing office prior to Cowdery’s departure for Kirtland. Cowdery later helped establish a replacement printing office in Kirtland. (Revelation, 20 July 1831 [D&C 57:11]; Corrill, Brief History, 19; Whitmer, History, 43; Phelps, “Short History,” [3]; Minutes, 11 Sept. 1833.)  


and cursed shall every man be that lifts his arm to hinder this great work and god is my witness of this truth it shall be done and let all the saints say amen——
Dear Brotheren we must wait patiently until the Lord comes36

See James 5:7–8.  


and restores unto us all things37

See Acts 3:21; and Revelation, 6 Dec. 1832 [D&C 86:10].  


and build the waist places again for he will do it in his time and now what shall I say to cumfort your hearts well I will tell you that you have my whole confidence yea there is not one doubt in my heart not one place in me but what is filld with perfect confidence and love for you and this affliction is sent upon us not for your sins but for the sins of the chirch and that all the ends of the Earth may know that you are not speculiting speculating with the for Lucre but you are willing to die for the cause you have espoused you know that the chirch have treated lightly the commandments

Generally, a divine mandate that church members were expected to obey; more specifically, a text dictated by JS in the first-person voice of Deity that served to communicate knowledge and instruction to JS and his followers. Occasionally, other inspired texts...

View Glossary
of the Lord and for this cause they are not worthy to receive them38

In September 1832, JS dictated a revelation that chastised church members: “This condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion even all, and thay shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant even the book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them.” A few months later, in January 1833, a conference of high priests held in Kirtland appointed Hyrum Smith and Orson Hyde to write a letter to the members of the church in Missouri to call them to repent and to remember “the new covenant even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which the Lord had given them.” David Pettegrew remembered that just after he arrived in Missouri in early 1833, church members were chastised by leaders in Kirtland “for treating lightly the book of Mormon and the former revalations.” As a result Bishop Edward Partridge held several solemn assemblies throughout the branches of the church in Missouri. A revelation JS dictated on 6 August 1833 likewise chastised the members of the church living in Ohio. (Revelation, 22–23 Sept. 1832 [D&C 84:56–57]; Letter to Edward Partridge et al., 14 Jan. 1833; Pettegrew, “History,” 15; Revelation, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98:19–21].)  


yet god has suffered it not for your sins but that he might preprare you for a grateer greater work that you might be prepared for the endowment

Bestowal of spiritual blessings, power, or knowledge. Beginning in 1831, multiple revelations promised an endowment of “power from on high” in association with the command to gather. Some believed this promise was fulfilled when individuals were first ordained...

View Glossary
from on high39

Even before they left New York in 1831, church members had been promised they would be “endowed with power from on high” in Ohio. In recent months, JS revelations had linked this endowment to the temple the Saints had been commanded to build. (Revelation, 2 Jan. 1831 [D&C 38:32]; Revelation, 1 June 1833 [D&C 95:8].)  


we cast no reflections upon you we are of one heart and one mind on this subject which I speak in the name of the chirch all seem to wax strong as they see the day of tribulation approcing approaching and if our kingdom were of this world then we would fight but our weapons are not carnal yet mighty and will bind satan ere long under our feet40

Nearly two weeks before JS wrote this letter, he dictated a revelation that directed members of the church to “renounce war and proclaim peace.” (Revelation, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98:16]; see also John 18:36; 2 Corinthians 10:4; Revelation 20:1–3; and Revelation, 22–23 Sept. 1832 [D&C 84:100].)  


we shall get a press immediately in this place and print the Star until you can obtain deliverence and git up again if god permit and we believe he will41

This letter makes it clear that JS and others hoped to eventually reestablish a press in Jackson County. But under current circumstances—with the shop destroyed and editor William W. Phelps having agreed to leave Jackson County by January 1834, and with the prevailing hostility toward Mormon publication in that county—the only realistic possibility for a church press for the time being was in Ohio. Less than a month later, on 11 September 1833, members of the United Firm living in Kirtland decided to procure and establish a new press under the firm of F. G. Williams & Co. (See Minutes, 11 Sept. 1833.)  


we think it would be wise in you to try to git influence by offering to print a paper in favor of the goverment43

It is unclear from this statement whether JS knew that the press itself in Independence was still salvageable for printing purposes but that the type, having been scattered in the street, was not. Oliver Cowdery likely witnessed the destruction of the printing office, but he may not have been able to assess the extent of the damage to the printing equipment before departing for Kirtland. The church’s printing press was later sold by members of the mob to Robert Kelly and William Davis, who published the Upper Missouri Enquirer in Liberty, Clay County. (Oliver Cowdery, Kirtland, OH, to William W. Phelps and John Whitmer, Clay Co., MO, 21 Jan. 1834, in Cowdery, Letterbook, 22; JS History, vol. A-1, 412; Masthead, Upper Missouri Enquirer, 11 Jan 1834, [1].)  


as you know we are all friends to the Constitution yea true friends to that Country for which our fathers bled44

About two weeks before writing this letter, JS dictated a revelation that expressed support for the United States Constitution. (Revelation, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98:4–8].)  


in the mean time god will send Embasadors to the authorities of the government and sue for protection and redress that they may be left with out excuse that a ritious righteous Judgement might be upon them45

The Missouri members of the church proceeded to take legal action and made efforts to obtain redress soon after receiving this letter. (See “To His Excellency, Daniel Dunklin,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 114–115; [Edward Partridge], “A History, of the Persecution,” Times and Seasons, Dec. 1839, 1:19; and Orson Hyde, Jefferson City, MO, to Daniel Dunklin, Jefferson City, MO, 7 Oct. 1833, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL.)  


[p. [2]]
and bear with patience the Great affliction that is falling upon us on all side[s]22

TEXT: “side[page torn]”.  


 for we <are> no safer here 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...

More Info
then you are in 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
the cloud is gethering arou[nd]23

TEXT: “arou[page torn]”.  


us  with great fury and all pharohs host24

See Exodus 14:4.  


or in other words all hell and the com[bined]25

TEXT: “com[page torn]”.  


 pow[e]rs of Earth are Marsheling their forces to overthrow us and we like the chilldr n [children] of Issarel [Israel] with the red Sea before us them and the Egyptions ready to fall  upon them to distroy them and no arm could deliver but the arm of God26

See Exodus chap. 14.  


 and this is the case with us we must wait on God to be gratious and call  on him with out ceaseing27

See 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Acts 12:5; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 211, 495 [Mosiah 26:39; 3 Nephi 19:30].  


to make bare his arm28

See Isaiah 52:10; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 57 [1 Nephi 22:10].  


for our defence for naught but  the arm of the almighty can Save us we are all well here as can be expe cted yea altogether so with the exception of some little ailments feavers &c.——
Brother 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
is now Sitting before me and is faithful and true and his heart  bleeds as it were for 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
yea never did the hart pant for the cooling streem29

See Psalm 42:1. A hart is “a stag or male deer.” (“Hart,” in American Dictionary.)  


 as doth the heart of thy Brothe[r] Oliver

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
for thy salvation yea and I  may may say this is the Case with the whole Chirch

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

View Glossary
and all the faithful  Oliver

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
will or aught rather to stay with me or in this land  until I am permitted to Come with him for I know that if God  shall spare my life that he will permit me to settle on an inhe[r]i tance

Generally referred to land promised by or received from God for the church and its members. A January 1831 revelation promised church members a land of inheritance. In March and May 1831, JS dictated revelations commanding members “to purchase lands for an...

View Glossary
on the land of 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
<in due time> but when I do not know but this I do know  that I have been keept from going <up> as yet for your sa[k]es30

TEXT: “sa[hole in paper]es”. It appears church members living in Independence had requested JS live among them in Jackson County. However, on 14 January 1833, Orson Hyde and Hyrum Smith wrote, “Bro Joseph will not settle in Zion except she repent and serve God and obey the new covenant.” (Letter to Edward Partridge et al., 14 Jan. 1833.)  


and the day  will come that Zion will be keept for our sakes therefore be of  good cheer and the cloud shall pass over and the sun shall shine  as clear and as fair as heaven itself and the Event shall be  Glorious Oliver

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
can stay here to good advantage and have his wife

22 Jan. 1815–7 Jan. 1892. Born in Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Daughter of Peter Whitmer and Mary Musselman. Baptized into LDS church by Oliver Cowdery, 18 Apr. 1830, in Seneca Co. Moved to Jackson Co., Missouri, by 1832. Married Oliver Cowdery, 18 Dec....

View Full Bio
 come to him31

Oliver Cowdery’s wife, Elizabeth Ann Whitmer Cowdery, still had not arrived in Kirtland by spring 1834. In a letter to her on 4 May 1834, Oliver registered his disappointment and told her that “Brother Joseph will bring you down, and provide every thing for your comfort. . . . Should anything transpire to hinder brother Joseph from bringing you, he and brother Frederick [G. Williams] will arrange that you may come with some one else, who will see that you are treated with kindness. So I shall expect you the latter part of the summer or fall.” It is unknown how or when Elizabeth Ann finally traveled to Kirtland. She likely arrived before the year’s end since she gave birth to their first child, Maria, on 21 August 1835 in Kirtland. (Oliver Cowdery, Kirtland, OH, to Elizabeth Ann Whitmer Cowdery, 4 May 1834, in Cowdery, Letterbook, 44–45; JS History, 1834–1836, 11.)  


and he can be instrumental of doing great good in this pla[ce]32

TEXT: “pla[page torn]”.  


 and god will <give> Brother 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,...

View Full Bio
more help and Grace to stand as and  ensign to the people33

See Isaiah 11:10; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 98 [2 Nephi 21:10]; and Revelation, 11 Sept. 1831 [D&C 64:42].  


for it must be lifted up—34

On 20 July 1831, JS dictated a revelation that commanded William W. Phelps to settle in Independence and establish a printing press there for the church. However, a Jackson County mob destroyed Phelps’s home and printing shop on 20 July 1833, scattering the type and damaging the press. Cowdery had been assisting Phelps in the Missouri printing office prior to Cowdery’s departure for Kirtland. Cowdery later helped establish a replacement printing office in Kirtland. (Revelation, 20 July 1831 [D&C 57:11]; Corrill, Brief History, 19; Whitmer, History, 43; Phelps, “Short History,” [3]; Minutes, 11 Sept. 1833.)  


and cursed sha[ll]35

TEXT: “sha[page torn]”.  


 every man be that lifts his arm to <hinder> this great work and god is my  witness of this truth it shall be done and let all the saints say  amen——
Dear Brotheren we must wait patiently until the Lord come[s]36

See James 5:7–8.  


and resto[res]  unto us all things37

See Acts 3:21; and Revelation, 6 Dec. 1832 [D&C 86:10].  


and build the waist places again for he will do it in  his time and now what shall I say to cumfort your hearts well I  will tell you that you have my whole confidence yea there is not  one doubt in <my heart> not one place in me but what is filld with perfect  confidence and love for you and this affliction is sent upon us  not for your sins but for the sins of the chirch and that all the  ends of the Earth may know that you are not speculiting [speculating] with the◊◊  for Lucre but you are willing to die for the cause you have  espoused you know that the chirch have tre[a]ted lightly the com mandments

Generally, a divine mandate that church members were expected to obey; more specifically, a text dictated by JS in the first-person voice of Deity that served to communicate knowledge and instruction to JS and his followers. Occasionally, other inspired texts...

View Glossary
of the Lord and for this cause they are not worthy  to receive them38

In September 1832, JS dictated a revelation that chastised church members: “This condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion even all, and thay shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant even the book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them.” A few months later, in January 1833, a conference of high priests held in Kirtland appointed Hyrum Smith and Orson Hyde to write a letter to the members of the church in Missouri to call them to repent and to remember “the new covenant even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which the Lord had given them.” David Pettegrew remembered that just after he arrived in Missouri in early 1833, church members were chastised by leaders in Kirtland “for treating lightly the book of Mormon and the former revalations.” As a result Bishop Edward Partridge held several solemn assemblies throughout the branches of the church in Missouri. A revelation JS dictated on 6 August 1833 likewise chastised the members of the church living in Ohio. (Revelation, 22–23 Sept. 1832 [D&C 84:56–57]; Letter to Edward Partridge et al., 14 Jan. 1833; Pettegrew, “History,” 15; Revelation, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98:19–21].)  


yet god has suffered it not for your sins but  that he might preprare you for a grateer [greater] work that you might be  prepared for the endowment

Bestowal of spiritual blessings, power, or knowledge. Beginning in 1831, multiple revelations promised an endowment of “power from on high” in association with the command to gather. Some believed this promise was fulfilled when individuals were first ordained...

View Glossary
from on high39

Even before they left New York in 1831, church members had been promised they would be “endowed with power from on high” in Ohio. In recent months, JS revelations had linked this endowment to the temple the Saints had been commanded to build. (Revelation, 2 Jan. 1831 [D&C 38:32]; Revelation, 1 June 1833 [D&C 95:8].)  


we cast no reflections  upon you we are of one heart and one mind on this subject which  I speak in the name of the chirch all seem to wax strong as  th[e]y see the day <of> tribulation approcing [approaching] and if our kingdom were  of this world then we would fight but our weapons are not  carnal yet mighty and <will> bind satan ere long under our feet40

Nearly two weeks before JS wrote this letter, he dictated a revelation that directed members of the church to “renounce war and proclaim peace.” (Revelation, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98:16]; see also John 18:36; 2 Corinthians 10:4; Revelation 20:1–3; and Revelation, 22–23 Sept. 1832 [D&C 84:100].)  


 we shall get a press immediately in this place and print th[e]  Star until you can obtain deliverence and git up again if god  permit and we believe he will41

This letter makes it clear that JS and others hoped to eventually reestablish a press in Jackson County. But under current circumstances—with the shop destroyed and editor William W. Phelps having agreed to leave Jackson County by January 1834, and with the prevailing hostility toward Mormon publication in that county—the only realistic possibility for a church press for the time being was in Ohio. Less than a month later, on 11 September 1833, members of the United Firm living in Kirtland decided to procure and establish a new press under the firm of F. G. Williams & Co. (See Minutes, 11 Sept. 1833.)  


we think it would be wise in yo[u]42

TEXT: “yo[page torn]”.  


 to try to git influence by offering to print a paper in favor of  the goverment43

It is unclear from this statement whether JS knew that the press itself in Independence was still salvageable for printing purposes but that the type, having been scattered in the street, was not. Oliver Cowdery likely witnessed the destruction of the printing office, but he may not have been able to assess the extent of the damage to the printing equipment before departing for Kirtland. The church’s printing press was later sold by members of the mob to Robert Kelly and William Davis, who published the Upper Missouri Enquirer in Liberty, Clay County. (Oliver Cowdery, Kirtland, OH, to William W. Phelps and John Whitmer, Clay Co., MO, 21 Jan. 1834, in Cowdery, Letterbook, 22; JS History, vol. A-1, 412; Masthead, Upper Missouri Enquirer, 11 Jan 1834, [1].)  


as you know we are all friends to the Constitution  yea true friends to that Country we hea for which our fathers bled44

About two weeks before writing this letter, JS dictated a revelation that expressed support for the United States Constitution. (Revelation, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98:4–8].)  


 in the mean time god will send Embasadors to the authorities of  the government and sue for protection and redress that they may  be left with out excuse that a ritious [righteous] Judgement might be upon  them45

The Missouri members of the church proceeded to take legal action and made efforts to obtain redress soon after receiving this letter. (See “To His Excellency, Daniel Dunklin,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 114–115; [Edward Partridge], “A History, of the Persecution,” Times and Seasons, Dec. 1839, 1:19; and Orson Hyde, Jefferson City, MO, to Daniel Dunklin, Jefferson City, MO, 7 Oct. 1833, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL.)  


[p. [2]]
PreviousNext
In early August, JS dictated two revelations concerning 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...

More Info
. The first of these, dated 2 August 1833, commanded

Generally, a divine mandate that church members were expected to obey; more specifically, a text dictated by JS in the first-person voice of Deity that served to communicate knowledge and instruction to JS and his followers. Occasionally, other inspired texts...

View Glossary
that a temple

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
be built 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...

More Info
.1 The second revelation, which JS dictated on 6 August, instructed the entire church that in the event that “men will smite you or your familles,” members were to “bear it patiently.”2

Revelation, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98:23].  


When 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
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...

More Info
, Ohio, on 9 August 1833, he gave JS a firsthand account of the hostilities against church 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...

More Info
, Missouri.3 Nine days later, on 18 August, JS personally wrote this lengthy letter of comfort and encouragement to his beleaguered brethren in Missouri. After learning of the violence in Jackson County from Cowdery, JS wrote in the 18 August letter that “we have had the word of the Lord” and then provided information that was not included in his prior revelations: “You shall [be] deliverd from you[r] dainger and shall again flurish in spite of hell.” Perhaps thinking of a revelation dictated over two years earlier that commanded 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,...

View Full Bio
to establish a press in 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
,4

Revelation, 20 July 1831 [D&C 57:11].  


JS also wrote in the letter that though the mob in Independence had razed 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....

More Info
, another “must be built.” JS added, “We shall get a press immediately in this place and print th[e] Star,” referring to the early Mormon newspaper, “until you can obtain deliverence and git up again.” Not only the printing office but also the legally purchased land and Sidney Gilbert

28 Dec. 1789–29 June 1834. Merchant. Born at New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Eli Gilbert and Lydia Hemingway. Moved to Huntington, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; to Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, by Sept. 1818; to Painesville, Geauga Co...

View Full Bio
’s store

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, directed A. Sidney Gilbert, Newel K. Whitney’s Ohio business partner, to establish store in Independence. Gilbert first purchased vacated log courthouse, located on lot 59 at intersection of Lynn and Lexington Streets, to...

More Info
in Jackson County remained vital: “It is the will of the Lord that the Store shud [should] be kept and that not one foot of land perchased should be given to the enimies of God.” JS again consoled the members of the church in Missouri by telling them that “the harder the persicution the greater the gifts of God upon his chirch.”
Following the July violence 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...

More Info
, word of the events spread quickly through local and regional newspapers. On 2 August 1833, the Western Monitor in Fayette, Missouri, published the 20 July minutes kept by the Jackson County citizens and their selected committee who on 20 July destroyed 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,...

View Full Bio
’s 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....

More Info
and tarred and feathered 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...

View Full Bio
and Charles Allen

26 Dec. 1806–after 1870. Farmer, auctioneer. Born in Somerset Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Charles Allen and Mary. Married first Eliza Tibbits, ca. 1832. Baptized into LDS church. Moved to Independence, Jackson Co., Missouri. Tarred and feathered during mob ...

View Full Bio
.5

“Mormonism,” United States Telegraph (Washington DC), 21 Aug. 1833, [2]; JS History, vol. A-1, 330.  


A St. Louis

Located on west side of Mississippi River about fifteen miles south of confluence with Missouri River. Founded as fur-trading post by French settlers, 1764. Incorporated as town, 1809. First Mississippi steamboat docked by town, 1817. Incorporated as city...

More Info
newspaper, the Missouri Republican, published a similar piece seven days later, applauding the Jackson County residents’ initiative.6

“‘Regulating’ the Mormonites,” Missouri Republican (St. Louis), 9 Aug. 1833, [3].  


The article in the Republican spread rapidly throughout the nation; it was republished in Washington DC

Created as district for seat of U.S. federal government by act of Congress, 1790, and named Washington DC, 1791. Named in honor of George Washington. Headquarters of executive, legislative, and judicial branches of U.S. government relocated to Washington ...

More Info
as early as 21 August.7

“Mormonites in Missouri,” Daily National Intelligencer (Washington DC), 21 Aug. 1833, [2].  


Within eight days of 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
’s arrival 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...

More Info
on 9 August, at least two local Geauga County

Located in northeastern Ohio, south of Lake Erie. Rivers in area include Grand, Chagrin, and Cuyahoga. Settled mostly by New Englanders, beginning 1798. Formed from Trumbull Co., 1 Mar. 1806. Chardon established as county seat, 1808. Population in 1830 about...

More Info
newspapers, the Painesville Telegraph and the Chardon Spectator, published reports of the events in Missouri.8

Report, Painesville (OH) Telegraph, 16 Aug. 1833, [3]; “Mormonites,” Chardon (OH) Spectator and Geauga Gazette, 17 Aug. 1833, [3]; see also Historical Introduction to Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 10 Aug. 1833.  


JS wrote in the following letter that “since the inteligence of the Calamity of 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
has reached the ears of the wicked,” he and the rest of the church members in Kirtland were under the necessity of watching their homes by night “to keep off the Mob[b]ers.”
JS further explained, “We are no safer here 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...

More Info
then you are in 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
.” He referred, for instance, to threats from the activities of Doctor Philastus Hurlbut

3 Feb. 1809–16 June 1883. Clergyman, farmer. Born at Chittenden Co., Vermont. “Doctor” was his given name. Preacher for Methodist Episcopal Church in Jamestown, Chautauque Co., New York. Baptized into LDS church, 1832/1833, at Jamestown. Ordained an elder...

View Full Bio
.9 During the months following his June 1833 excommunication, Hurlbut delivered anti-Mormon lectures near Kirtland, as well as in Erie County

Created from Allegheny Co., as only portion of state bordering Lake Erie, 12 Mar. 1800. County seat, Erie. Combined with four other counties for governmental purposes as Crawford Co., 9 Apr. 1801. First independent Erie Co. officers elected, 1803. Population...

More Info
, Pennsylvania, where he had previously proselytized for the church.10

Winchester, Plain Facts, 5–9; “W. R. Hine’s Statement,” Naked Truths about Mormonism (Oakland, CA), Jan. 1888, 2.  


Soon thereafter Hurlbut began soliciting funds to finance a trip east to gather information concerning a manuscript that he said JS had plagiarized to write the Book of Mormon, 1830.11

Winchester, Plain Facts, 8–11; see also Howe, Mormonism Unvailed, chap. 19.  


JS wrote in the letter featured here that because of Hurlbut, “we are suffering great persicution . . . to spite us he is lieing in a wonderful manner and the peapl [people] are running after him and giveing him mony to b[r]ake down mormanism.”
Shortly after writing this 18 August missive, JS sent Orson Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

View Full Bio
and John Gould

21 Dec. 1784–25 June 1855. Pastor, farmer. Born in New Hampshire. Married first Oliva Swanson of Massachusetts. Resided at Portsmouth, Rockingham Co., New Hampshire, 1808. Lived in Vermont. Moved to northern Pennsylvania, 1817. Served as minister in Freewill...

View Full Bio
to 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...

More Info
with the letter and other important documents, including the revised plat of the city of Zion

Also referred to as New Jerusalem. JS revelation, dated Sept. 1830, prophesied that “city of Zion” would be built among Lamanites (American Indians). JS directed Oliver Cowdery and other missionaries preaching among American Indians in Missouri to find location...

More Info
.12 The two men left no later than 4 September and arrived in Independence during the latter part of that month.13

See Letter to Vienna Jaques, 4 Sept. 1833; Knight, History, 439; Oliver Cowdery, Kirtland, OH, to John Whitmer, Missouri, 1 Jan. 1834, in Cowdery, Letterbook, 14–17; and “History of Orson Hyde,” 12, Historian’s Office, Histories of the Twelve, ca. 1856–1858, 1861, CHL.  


In the letter featured here, JS directed 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...

More Info
to “make a show as if to” prepare to leave and “wait patiently until the Lord come[s] and resto[res] unto us all things.” He also offered hope in this letter by noting that church leaders 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...

More Info
would “w[a]it the Comand of God to do whatever he ple[a]se and if he shall say go up to 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
and defend thy Brotheren by the sword we fly.” In late October 1833, church leaders 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...

More Info
“declared publicly . . . that we as a people should defend our lands and houses.” On 21 October, “the mob, or at least some of the leaders began to move.”14 Violence soon began again, and by mid-November most church members had fled north from Jackson County into Clay County

Settled ca. 1800. Organized from Ray Co., 1822. Original size diminished when land was taken to create several surrounding counties. Liberty designated county seat, 1822. Population in 1830 about 5,000; in 1836 about 8,500; and in 1840 about 8,300. Refuge...

More Info
.

Facts