30477

Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson County, Missouri, 25 June 1833

be taught no more in 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
— We sanction the decission of the Bishop

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 his council

A governing body comprising a bishop and his counselors. The bishop’s council was charged with overseeing the temporal affairs of the church, administering goods under the law of consecration, and assisting the poor. The bishop’s council had authority to ...

View Glossary
in relation to this doctrine being a bar of communion46

The bishopric’s decision is not recorded in the Missouri minute book (Minute Book 2).  


The number of disciples 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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is, about 15047

Although this may be an accurate number for Kirtland proper, there were also many members in nearby settlements. In contrast, approximately 1,200 church members resided in Missouri at this time. (“The Elders Stationed in Zion to the Churches Abroad,” The Evening and the Morning Star, July 1833, 110–111.)  


We have commenced building the House of the Lord

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1831, directed Latter-day Saints to migrate to Ohio, where they would “be endowed with power from on high.” In Dec. 1832, JS revelation directed Saints to “establish . . . an house of God.” JS revelation, dated 1 June 1833, chastened...

More Info
in this place, and it goes on rapidly—48

Work on the Kirtland temple commenced on 7 June 1833, less than three weeks earlier. (Hyrum Smith, Diary, 7 June 1833, [15]; see also Minutes, 6 June 1833.)  


Good news from the East and South, of the success of the Labourers is often saluteing our ears, a general time of health among us, families all well and day and night we pray for the salvation of Zion. We deliver Bro Ziba Peterson

Ca. 1810–1849. Teacher, farmer, law officer. Born in New York. Lived in Macedon, Wayne Co., New York, ca. 1830. Baptized into LDS church. Ordained an elder, by 9 June 1830. Served mission to Ohio and Missouri, 1830–1831. Stripped of office of elder, Aug. ...

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over to the buffetings of Satan

A fallen angel, or son of God, known by many names, including Lucifer, the devil, the father of lies, the prince of darkness, perdition, and the adversary. In the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and JS’s Bible revisions, Satan was described as a tempter of men...

View Glossary
in the name of the Lord, that he may learn not to transgress 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 God.49

For earlier references to the “buffetings of Satan,” see Revelation, 1 Mar. 1832 [D&C 78:12]; and Revelation, 26 Apr. 1832 [D&C 82:21]. What specifically prompted disciplinary action against Peterson is unknown. In August 1831, Peterson was chastened and was apparently stripped of his authority as an elder. He then promptly confessed his sins at a special church conference on 4 August, at which time he was forgiven. In October the next year, another disciplinary matter concerning Peterson was discussed before a conference of high priests and elders, which decided that Lyman Wight should reordain Peterson as an elder. (Revelation, 1 Aug. 1831 [D&C 58:60]; Minutes, 4 Aug. 1831; Minute Book 2, 2 Oct. 1832.)  


We conclude our letter by the usual salutation in token of the new and everlasting 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
We hasten to a close because the mail is just going
Joseph Smith Jr
Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

View Full Bio
F, 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...

View Full Bio
Martin Harris

18 May 1783–10 July 1875. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married first his first cousin Lucy Harris, 27 Mar...

View Full Bio
50

Martin Harris had been imprisoned in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, and was in the Springville area of Susquehanna County as late as May 1833. Consequently, he had been in Kirtland only a short time when he signed this letter. According to a letter from his brother Emer Harris, Martin had been incarcerated at Montrose, Susquehanna County, for a few days in January 1833 on “a fals charge of slander” until “we got Bail to answer to Cort the Last Monday in Apriel.” The court postponed Harris’s trial date from 30 April to 3 September; though he was not present at the later trial, the court judged in his favor. Apparently neither JS nor any other church member in Kirtland was aware of Harris’s whereabouts or imprisonment. In late March, Sylvester Smith and Harpin Riggs were tasked to “Journey eastward” to find Martin Harris “and make known to him what the Lord is doing in this place.” Emer and Martin were still in the Springville area on 7 May 1833, though they probably left for Kirtland shortly thereafter. Why Martin Harris signed this letter along with the three men who constituted the presidency of the high priesthood is not known. He may have signed it because it discussed matters pertaining to the United Firm, of which Harris was a member, and the publishing activities of the Literary Firm, in which he had an interest. (Emer Harris, Springville, PA, to “Dearly Beloved Brethern,” Brownhelm, OH, 7 May 1833, Harris Family Papers, BYU; Minutes, 23 Mar. 1833–B; Nelson and Harper, “Imprisonment of Martin Harris in 1833,” 113–119.)  


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, ...

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Clk for the presidency

Both the office of the president of the high priesthood and the body comprising the president and his counselors; the presiding body of the church. In November 1831, a revelation directed the appointment of a president of the high priesthood. The individual...

View Glossary
51

On 6 June 1833, a conference of high priests nominated and voted to accept Orson Hyde as “a Clerk for the presidency of the High priesthood.” This appears to be the first letter to which Hyde’s name is attached as clerk for the presidency and likely the first time that church leaders in Missouri would have learned of Hyde’s new position. (Minutes, 6 June 1833.)  


P.S. We feel gratified with the way in which Bro William

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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is conducting the Star at present we hope he will seek to render it more and more interesting.52

In January 1833, JS urged Phelps, as the editor of The Evening and the Morning Star, to include more history to help make the Star “more interesting” and warned, “If you do not render it more interesting than at present it will fall.” (Letter to William W. Phelps, 11 Jan. 1833.)  


In relation to the size of Bishopricks

Initially referred to a bishop’s ecclesiastical jurisdiction, but eventually described the ecclesiastical body comprising the bishop and his assistants, or counselors. John Corrill and Isaac Morley were called as assistants to Bishop Edward Partridge in 1831...

View Glossary
when 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
is once properly regulated there will be a Bishop

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. JS appointed Edward Partridge as the first bishop in February 1831. Following this appointment, Partridge functioned as the local leader of the church in Missouri. Later revelations described a bishop’s duties as receiving...

View Glossary
to each to each square of the size of the one we send you with this; but at present it must be done according to wisdom.54

The presidency instructed that after the plat of Zion sent with this letter was properly “laid off and supplied,” church members were to then “lay off another in the same way and so fill up the world in these last days and let every man live in the City for this is the City of Zion.” Each additional settlement was to have a bishop to oversee the consecration-based economy. (Plat of the City of Zion, ca. Early June–25 June 1833.)  


It is needful Brethren that you should be all of one heart and of one mind in doing the will of the Lord.55

See Acts 4:32; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 61 [2 Nephi 1:21]; and Old Testament Revision 1, p. 16 [Moses 7:18].  


there should exist the greatest freedom and familiarity among the Rulers 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
. We were exceeding sorry to hear the complaint which was made in Bro Edward

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
s letter that the letters attending the olive leaf had been kept from him56

The “olive leaf” refers to a revelation dictated six months earlier and sent to Jackson County church leaders in January 1833. Two letters of rebuke were also sent with the revelation. On 2 May 1833, JS replied to a previous letter of complaint from Partridge, “begging your pardon for not having addressed you, more particularly in letters which I have written to Zion, for I have always felt, as though a letter written to any one in authority in Zion, would be the property of all, & it mattered but little to whom it was directed.” A subsequent letter from Partridge, the one referred to here (and no longer extant), apparently pointed out specific letters from the presidency to church leaders in Jackson County that had not been shown to him. (Revelation, 27–28 Dec. 1832 [D&C 88:1–126]; Letter to William W. Phelps, 11 Jan. 1833; Letter to Edward Partridge et al., 14 Jan. 1833; Letter to Edward Partridge, 2 May 1833.)  


as it is meet that he should know all things in relation 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
as the Lord has appointed him to be a judge in Zion. We hope dear Brethren that the like circumstance will not take place again— When we direct letters 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
to any of the High Priests

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. Christ and many ancient prophets, including Abraham, were described as being high priests. The Book of Mormon used the term high priest to denote one appointed to lead the church. However, the Book of Mormon also discussed...

View Glossary
which pertains to the regulation thereof, we always design that they Should be laid before the Bishop

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
so as to enable him to perform his duty, we say say so much hopeing that it will be received in Kindness and our Brethren be careful about each others feelings and walk in love honoring one another more than themselves as is required of the Lord Yours as ever [p. [3]]
be taught no more in 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
— We sanction the decission of the Bishop

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 his council

A governing body comprising a bishop and his counselors. The bishop’s council was charged with overseeing the temporal affairs of the church, administering goods under the law of consecration, and assisting the poor. The bishop’s council had authority to ...

View Glossary
in relation to this doctrine being a bar of communion46

The bishopric’s decision is not recorded in the Missouri minute book (Minute Book 2).  


 The number of disciples in K[irtland]

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
is, about 15047

Although this may be an accurate number for Kirtland proper, there were also many members in nearby settlements. In contrast, approximately 1,200 church members resided in Missouri at this time. (“The Elders Stationed in Zion to the Churches Abroad,” The Evening and the Morning Star, July 1833, 110–111.)  


We have commenced building the  House of the Lord

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1831, directed Latter-day Saints to migrate to Ohio, where they would “be endowed with power from on high.” In Dec. 1832, JS revelation directed Saints to “establish . . . an house of God.” JS revelation, dated 1 June 1833, chastened...

More Info
in this place, and it goes on rapidly—48

Work on the Kirtland temple commenced on 7 June 1833, less than three weeks earlier. (Hyrum Smith, Diary, 7 June 1833, [15]; see also Minutes, 6 June 1833.)  


Good news  from the East and South, of the success of the Labourers is often  saluteing our ears, a general time of health among us, families all well and  day and night <we pray> for the salvation of Zion. We deliver Bro Ziba [Peterson]

Ca. 1810–1849. Teacher, farmer, law officer. Born in New York. Lived in Macedon, Wayne Co., New York, ca. 1830. Baptized into LDS church. Ordained an elder, by 9 June 1830. Served mission to Ohio and Missouri, 1830–1831. Stripped of office of elder, Aug. ...

View Full Bio
over to the  buffetings of Satan

A fallen angel, or son of God, known by many names, including Lucifer, the devil, the father of lies, the prince of darkness, perdition, and the adversary. In the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and JS’s Bible revisions, Satan was described as a tempter of men...

View Glossary
in the name of the Lord, that he may learn not to  transgress 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 God.49

For earlier references to the “buffetings of Satan,” see Revelation, 1 Mar. 1832 [D&C 78:12]; and Revelation, 26 Apr. 1832 [D&C 82:21]. What specifically prompted disciplinary action against Peterson is unknown. In August 1831, Peterson was chastened and was apparently stripped of his authority as an elder. He then promptly confessed his sins at a special church conference on 4 August, at which time he was forgiven. In October the next year, another disciplinary matter concerning Peterson was discussed before a conference of high priests and elders, which decided that Lyman Wight should reordain Peterson as an elder. (Revelation, 1 Aug. 1831 [D&C 58:60]; Minutes, 4 Aug. 1831; Minute Book 2, 2 Oct. 1832.)  


We conclude our letter by the  usual salutation in token of the new and everlasting 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
We hasten to a close because the mail is just going
Joseph Smith Jr
Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

View Full Bio
F, 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...

View Full Bio
Martin Harris

18 May 1783–10 July 1875. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married first his first cousin Lucy Harris, 27 Mar...

View Full Bio
50

Martin Harris had been imprisoned in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, and was in the Springville area of Susquehanna County as late as May 1833. Consequently, he had been in Kirtland only a short time when he signed this letter. According to a letter from his brother Emer Harris, Martin had been incarcerated at Montrose, Susquehanna County, for a few days in January 1833 on “a fals charge of slander” until “we got Bail to answer to Cort the Last Monday in Apriel.” The court postponed Harris’s trial date from 30 April to 3 September; though he was not present at the later trial, the court judged in his favor. Apparently neither JS nor any other church member in Kirtland was aware of Harris’s whereabouts or imprisonment. In late March, Sylvester Smith and Harpin Riggs were tasked to “Journey eastward” to find Martin Harris “and make known to him what the Lord is doing in this place.” Emer and Martin were still in the Springville area on 7 May 1833, though they probably left for Kirtland shortly thereafter. Why Martin Harris signed this letter along with the three men who constituted the presidency of the high priesthood is not known. He may have signed it because it discussed matters pertaining to the United Firm, of which Harris was a member, and the publishing activities of the Literary Firm, in which he had an interest. (Emer Harris, Springville, PA, to “Dearly Beloved Brethern,” Brownhelm, OH, 7 May 1833, Harris Family Papers, BYU; Minutes, 23 Mar. 1833–B; Nelson and Harper, “Imprisonment of Martin Harris in 1833,” 113–119.)  


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
Clk of for the presidency

Both the office of the president of the high priesthood and the body comprising the president and his counselors; the presiding body of the church. In November 1831, a revelation directed the appointment of a president of the high priesthood. The individual...

View Glossary
51

On 6 June 1833, a conference of high priests nominated and voted to accept Orson Hyde as “a Clerk for the presidency of the High priesthood.” This appears to be the first letter to which Hyde’s name is attached as clerk for the presidency and likely the first time that church leaders in Missouri would have learned of Hyde’s new position. (Minutes, 6 June 1833.)  


P.S. We feel gratified with the way in which  Bro William

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
is conducting the Star at present  we hope he will seek to render it more and more interesting.52

In January 1833, JS urged Phelps, as the editor of The Evening and the Morning Star, to include more history to help make the Star “more interesting” and warned, “If you do not render it more interesting than at present it will fall.” (Letter to William W. Phelps, 11 Jan. 1833.)  


In  [re]lation53

TEXT: “[Hole in paper]lation”.  


to the size of Bishopricks

Initially referred to a bishop’s ecclesiastical jurisdiction, but eventually described the ecclesiastical body comprising the bishop and his assistants, or counselors. John Corrill and Isaac Morley were called as assistants to Bishop Edward Partridge in 1831...

View Glossary
when 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
is once properly regulated  there will be a Bishop

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. JS appointed Edward Partridge as the first bishop in February 1831. Following this appointment, Partridge functioned as the local leader of the church in Missouri. Later revelations described a bishop’s duties as receiving...

View Glossary
to each to each square of the size of the  one we send you with this; but at present it must be done according  to wisdom.54

The presidency instructed that after the plat of Zion sent with this letter was properly “laid off and supplied,” church members were to then “lay off another in the same way and so fill up the world in these last days and let every man live in the City for this is the City of Zion.” Each additional settlement was to have a bishop to oversee the consecration-based economy. (Plat of the City of Zion, ca. Early June–25 June 1833.)  


It is needful Brethren that you should be all of one heart  and of one mind in doing the will of the Lord.55

See Acts 4:32; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 61 [2 Nephi 1:21]; and Old Testament Revision 1, p. 16 [Moses 7:18].  


there should  exist the greatest freedom and familiarity among the Rulers 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
. We were exceeding sorry to hear the complaint which was made  in Bro Edward

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
s letter that the letters attending the olive leaf had been  kept from him56

The “olive leaf” refers to a revelation dictated six months earlier and sent to Jackson County church leaders in January 1833. Two letters of rebuke were also sent with the revelation. On 2 May 1833, JS replied to a previous letter of complaint from Partridge, “begging your pardon for not having addressed you, more particularly in letters which I have written to Zion, for I have always felt, as though a letter written to any one in authority in Zion, would be the property of all, & it mattered but little to whom it was directed.” A subsequent letter from Partridge, the one referred to here (and no longer extant), apparently pointed out specific letters from the presidency to church leaders in Jackson County that had not been shown to him. (Revelation, 27–28 Dec. 1832 [D&C 88:1–126]; Letter to William W. Phelps, 11 Jan. 1833; Letter to Edward Partridge et al., 14 Jan. 1833; Letter to Edward Partridge, 2 May 1833.)  


as it is meet that he should know all thing[s]57

TEXT: “thing[hole in paper]”.  


in relation  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
as the Lord has appointed him to be a judge in Zion. We  hope dear Brethren that the like circumstance will not take place  again— When we direct letters 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
to any of the High Priests

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. Christ and many ancient prophets, including Abraham, were described as being high priests. The Book of Mormon used the term high priest to denote one appointed to lead the church. However, the Book of Mormon also discussed...

View Glossary
 which pertains to the regulation thereof, we always design that they  Should be laid before the Bishop

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
so as to enable him to perform  his duty, we say say so much hopeing that it will be received in  Kindness and our Brethren be careful about each others feelings and  walk in love honoring one another more than themselves as is  required of the Lord You[r]s as ever [p. [3]]
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In the first six months of 1833, communication characterized by accusations and chastisement between church leaders in Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

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and those 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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transitioned to messages, such as the letter featured here, that aimed at conciliation and developing a spirit of “perfect harmony.” Correspondence from Missouri, including responses to JS’s letters of 21 April 1833 and 2 May 1833, in part prompted this letter, which addressed inquiries on diverse topics, including consecration

The dedicating of money, lands, goods, or one’s own life for sacred purposes. Both the New Testament and Book of Mormon referred to some groups having “all things common” economically; the Book of Mormon also referred to individuals who consecrated or dedicated...

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, the Book of Commandments, new bishoprics

Initially referred to a bishop’s ecclesiastical jurisdiction, but eventually described the ecclesiastical body comprising the bishop and his assistants, or counselors. John Corrill and Isaac Morley were called as assistants to Bishop Edward Partridge in 1831...

View Glossary
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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, Missouri, and the United Firm

An organization that supervised the management of church enterprises and properties from 1832 to 1834. In March and April 1832, revelations directed that the church’s publishing and mercantile endeavors be organized. In accordance with this direction, the...

View Glossary
’s operations and membership.1

This 25 June letter addresses similar topics to those found in the April and May 1833 letters from Kirtland, Ohio, particularly the introduction of Frederick G. Williams as a member of the United Firm and the law of consecration. The repeated discussion of these topics suggests that, after receiving the two letters in April and May, Missouri church leaders had more questions concerning these matters and that this letter was part of an ongoing conversation. (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 21 Apr. 1833; Letter to Edward Partridge, 2 May 1833.)  


This letter also included warnings against teaching false doctrine and responded to a question as to whether JS had yet obtained any of the lost books of the Bible.
The letter was part of a package, with two other documents enclosed with it: “a draft of the City of Zion with explanations, and a draft of the house to be built immediately 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
for the presidency

An organized body of leaders over priesthood quorums and other ecclesiastical organizations. A November 1831 revelation first described the office of president over the high priesthood and the church as a whole. By 1832, JS and two counselors constituted ...

View Glossary
as well as all purposes of Religion and instruction.” This letter gave directions concerning these two other documents. The “house to be built immediately in Zion,” for instance, was to be similar to the House of the Lord

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1831, directed Latter-day Saints to migrate to Ohio, where they would “be endowed with power from on high.” In Dec. 1832, JS revelation directed Saints to “establish . . . an house of God.” JS revelation, dated 1 June 1833, chastened...

More Info
that church leaders had begun constructing 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.2 It was one of the twenty-four houses of the Lord, or temples, planned to be built 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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, according to the explanations given in the two documents that accompanied this letter.3 This letter also advised 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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church leaders that should they “not understand the explanations,” they should send any questions or concerns to leaders in Kirtland so that they “may have a propper understanding” of the city plat and the architectural plan of the House of the Lord. The drafting and sending of the documents in this package represent a significant moment in the articulation of the church presidency’s vision for the growing church 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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.
This letter and the two enclosed documents were postmarked 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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on 26 June 1833. By the time 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...

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received the package on 29 July 1833, violent confrontations with antagonistic county residents had already occurred. John Whitmer

27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...

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and 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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immediately replied to this letter to inform the Kirtland leaders of the growing unrest.4 Such events prevented 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 from following many of the directions given in this letter.
Though in the handwriting of 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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and 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, ...

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, the letter is written primarily in the first-person voice of Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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, who was writing on behalf of the presidency of the high priesthood

Both the office of the president of the high priesthood and the body comprising the president and his counselors; the presiding body of the church. In November 1831, a revelation directed the appointment of a president of the high priesthood. The individual...

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. The letter also contains a postscript from JS.

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