30489

Letter to Moses Nickerson, 19 November 1833

be suffered to execute their threats we know not,15

Six days after this letter was written, Orson Hyde and John Gould arrived in Kirtland from Jackson County and “brough[t] the melencholly intelegen [intelligence] of the riot in Zion” that drove the Mormons from Jackson County. (JS, Journal, 25 Nov. 1833.)  


but we trust in the Lord, and leave the event with him to govern in his own wise providence.
I shall expect a communication from you on the reception of this, and hope you will give me information concerning the brethren, their health, faith, &c. Also inform me concerning our friends with whom we formed acquaintance.16

On 29 December 1833, Moses Nickerson wrote a letter to Sidney Rigdon giving an update on the church at Mount Pleasant. He told Rigdon that “your friends in Canada often speak of you and brother Joseph.” (Moses Nickerson, Wendhom, Canada, to [Sidney Rigdon], 29 Dec. 1833, in The Evening and the Morning Star, Feb. 1834, 134.)  


You are aware, no doubt, dear brother, that anxieties inexpresible croud themselves continually upon my mind for the saints, when I consider the many temptations with which we are subject from the cunning and flattery of the great adversary of our souls. And I can truely say, that with much fervency I have called upon the Lord in behalf of our brethren in Canada

In late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Canada referred to British colonies of Upper Canada and Lower Canada. Divided into Upper Canada and Lower Canada, 1791; reunited 10 Feb. 1841. Boundaries corresponded roughly to present-day Ontario (Upper...

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. And when I call to mind with what rediness they received the word of truth17

See Acts 17:11. In his journal, JS described the people of the Mount Pleasant area as “very attentive” and “deeply impressed,” adding that “great excitement prevailes in every place where we have been.” A later history also noted that at one service presided over by JS and Rigdon in Mount Pleasant, “a large and attentive audience listened to all that was said, and at the close of the meeting several persons came forward and requested baptism.” (JS, Journal, 20–25 and 27–28 Oct. 1833; Gates, Lydia Knight’s History, 20.)  


by the ministry of bro. Sidney

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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and myself, I am truely under great obligation to humble myself in thankfulness before him.
When I contemplate the rapidity with which the great and glorious day of the coming of the Son of Man advances,18

JS interpreted the recent and spectacular display of the Leonid meteor shower on 13 November 1833 as a confirmation of his millenarian expectations. He wrote that early that morning he “arrose and beheld to my great Joy the stars fall from heaven yea they fell like hail stones a litteral fullfillment of the word of God as recorded in the holy scriptures and a sure sign that the coming of Christ is clost at hand.” (JS, Journal, 5–13 Nov. 1833; see also Matthew 24:29; Revelation 6:12–13; and Revelation, Sept. 1830–A [D&C 29:14].)  


when he shall come to receive his saints unto himself where they shall dwell in his presence and be crowned with glory & immortality;19

See Revelation, 25 Jan. 1832–A [D&C 75:5].  


when I consider that soon the heavens are to be shaken, and the earth tremble and reel to and fro;20

See Isaiah 24:20; and Revelation, 7 May 1831 [D&C 49:23].  


and that the heavens are to be unfolded as a scroll when it is rolled up, that every mountain and island are to flee away21

See Revelation 6:14; and Isaiah 34:4; see also Revelation, 27–28 Dec. 1832 [D&C 88:95].  


I cry out in my heart, What manner of person ought I to be in all holy conversasion and godliness!22

See 2 Peter 3:11.  


You remember the testimony which I bore in the name of the Lord Jesus, concerning the great work which he has brought forth in the last days. You know my manner of communication, how that in weakness and simpleness I declared to you what the Lord had brought forth by the ministering of his holy angels to me, for this generation.23

A later account of JS’s preaching in Upper Canada stated that JS “told how the angel visited him, of his finding the plates, the translation of them, and gave a short account of the matter contained in the Book of Mormon. . . . The Prophet bore a faithful testimony that the Priesthood was again restored to the earth, and that God and His Son had conferred upon him the keys.” (Gates, Lydia Knight’s History, 18.)  


I pray that the Lord may enable you to treasure these things up in your mind; for I know that his Spirit will bear testimony to all who seek diligently after knowledge [p. 64]
be suffered to execute their threats we know not,15

Six days after this letter was written, Orson Hyde and John Gould arrived in Kirtland from Jackson County and “brough[t] the melencholly intelegen [intelligence] of the riot in Zion” that drove the Mormons from Jackson County. (JS, Journal, 25 Nov. 1833.)  


but  we trust in the Lord, and leave the event with him to  govern in his own wise providence.
I shall expect a communication from you on the  reception of this, and hope you will give me in formation concerning the brethren, their health, faith,  &c. Also inform me concerning our friends with whom  we formed acquaintance.16

On 29 December 1833, Moses Nickerson wrote a letter to Sidney Rigdon giving an update on the church at Mount Pleasant. He told Rigdon that “your friends in Canada often speak of you and brother Joseph.” (Moses Nickerson, Wendhom, Canada, to [Sidney Rigdon], 29 Dec. 1833, in The Evening and the Morning Star, Feb. 1834, 134.)  


You are aware, no doubt, dear brother, that anxieties in expresible croud themselves continually upon my mind for  the saints, when I consider the many temptations with which  we are subject from the cunning and flattery of the great  adversary of our souls. And I can truely say, that with  much fervency I have called upon the Lord in behalf of our  brethren in Canada

In late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Canada referred to British colonies of Upper Canada and Lower Canada. Divided into Upper Canada and Lower Canada, 1791; reunited 10 Feb. 1841. Boundaries corresponded roughly to present-day Ontario (Upper...

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. And when I call to mind with what  rediness they received the word of truth17

See Acts 17:11. In his journal, JS described the people of the Mount Pleasant area as “very attentive” and “deeply impressed,” adding that “great excitement prevailes in every place where we have been.” A later history also noted that at one service presided over by JS and Rigdon in Mount Pleasant, “a large and attentive audience listened to all that was said, and at the close of the meeting several persons came forward and requested baptism.” (JS, Journal, 20–25 and 27–28 Oct. 1833; Gates, Lydia Knight’s History, 20.)  


by the ministry of  bro. Sidney

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
and myself, I am truely under great obligation  to humble myself in thankfulness before him.
When I contemplate the rapidity with which the great  and glorious day of the coming of the Son of Man advances,18

JS interpreted the recent and spectacular display of the Leonid meteor shower on 13 November 1833 as a confirmation of his millenarian expectations. He wrote that early that morning he “arrose and beheld to my great Joy the stars fall from heaven yea they fell like hail stones a litteral fullfillment of the word of God as recorded in the holy scriptures and a sure sign that the coming of Christ is clost at hand.” (JS, Journal, 5–13 Nov. 1833; see also Matthew 24:29; Revelation 6:12–13; and Revelation, Sept. 1830–A [D&C 29:14].)  


 when he shall come to receive his saints unto himself where  they shall dwell in his presence and be crowned with glory &  immortality;19

See Revelation, 25 Jan. 1832–A [D&C 75:5].  


when I consider that soon the heavens are to  be shaken, and the earth tremble and reel to and fro;20

See Isaiah 24:20; and Revelation, 7 May 1831 [D&C 49:23].  


and <that>  the heavens are to be unfolded as a scroll when it is fol ded <rolled> up, that every mountain and island are to flee away <away>21

See Revelation 6:14; and Isaiah 34:4; see also Revelation, 27–28 Dec. 1832 [D&C 88:95].  


 I cry out in my heart, What manner of person ought I  to be in all holy conversasion and godliness!22

See 2 Peter 3:11.  


You remember the testimony which I bore in the name of  the Lord Jesus, concerning the great work which he has brought  forth in the last days. You know my manner of commu nication, how that in weakness and simpleness I de clared to you what the Lord had brought forth by the min istering of his holy angels to me, for this generation.23

A later account of JS’s preaching in Upper Canada stated that JS “told how the angel visited him, of his finding the plates, the translation of them, and gave a short account of the matter contained in the Book of Mormon. . . . The Prophet bore a faithful testimony that the Priesthood was again restored to the earth, and that God and His Son had conferred upon him the keys.” (Gates, Lydia Knight’s History, 18.)  


I  pray that the Lord may enable you to treasure these things  up in your mind; for I know that his Spirit will  bear testimony to all who seek diligently after knowledge [p. 64]
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Between 4 October and 4 November 1833, JS and 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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traveled to southwest New York

Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...

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and Upper Canada

British colony of Canada divided into Upper Canada and Lower Canada, 1791; reunited 1841. Upper Canada’s boundaries corresponded roughly to portion of present-day Ontario south of Hudson Bay watershed. Population in 1840 about 430,000. Immigrants mainly from...

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to preach to Freeman Nickerson

5 Feb. 1779–22 Jan. 1847. Seaman. Born at South Dennis, Barnstable Co., Massachusetts. Son of Eleazer Nickerson and Thankful Chase. Moved to Cavendish, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1800. Married Huldah Chapman, 19 Jan. 1801, at Cavendish. Served as officer in Vermont...

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’s family and friends.1

See Historical Introduction to Revelation, 12 Oct. 1833 [D&C 100].  


Their destination in Upper Canada was Mount Pleasant

First settled, 1799. Population in 1846 about 130. JS preached at Mount Pleasant and baptized several people during mission to Upper Canada, Oct.–Nov. 1833.

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, the home of Nickerson’s two sons Eleazer Freeman Nickerson

2/12 Apr. 1806–16/14 Sept. 1862. Merchant, farmer. Born at Cavendish, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Freeman Nickerson and Huldah Chapman. Moved to Dayton, Cattaraugus Co., New York, mid 1820s. Moved to Mount Pleasant, Brantford Township, Wentworth Co. (later...

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and Moses Nickerson

9 Mar. 1804–4 Mar. 1871. Tinsmith, merchant, farmer. Born at Cavendish, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Freeman Nickerson and Huldah Chapman. Moved to Mount Pleasant, Brantford Township, Wentworth Co. (later Brant Co.), Gore District (later in Ontario), Upper...

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, who had immigrated to Mount Pleasant and there opened a store together. After arriving in Mount Pleasant, JS and Rigdon found the Nickersons, who were in their late twenties at the time, and others in the area receptive to their message. According to Moses’s later autobiography, after listening to JS and Rigdon’s preaching for “some days,” he investigated “the doctrine advanced by them” and “became much interested; and, finally convinced of its truthfulness.”2

“Autobiography of Moses C. Nickerson,” True Latter Day Saints’ Herald, 15 July 1870, 425.  


JS and Rigdon eventually baptized

An ordinance in which an individual is immersed in water for the remission of sins. The Book of Mormon explained that those with necessary authority were to baptize individuals who had repented of their sins. Baptized individuals also received the gift of...

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fourteen people, including Eleazer Freeman and Moses.3

Retrospective Note regarding Baptisms, in JS, Journal, 1832–1834.  


Before they left Canada

In late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Canada referred to British colonies of Upper Canada and Lower Canada. Divided into Upper Canada and Lower Canada, 1791; reunited 10 Feb. 1841. Boundaries corresponded roughly to present-day Ontario (Upper...

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, JS and Rigdon ordained

The conferral of power and authority; to appoint, decree, or set apart. Church members, primarily adults, were ordained to ecclesiastical offices and other responsibilities by the laying on of hands by those with the proper authority. Ordinations to priesthood...

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Eleazer Freeman an elder

A male leader in the church generally; an ecclesiastical and priesthood office or one holding that office; a proselytizing missionary. The Book of Mormon explained that elders ordained priests and teachers and administered “the flesh and blood of Christ unto...

View Glossary
and apparently designated him to preside over the small congregation in Mount Pleasant. Nevertheless, JS directed the letter featured here to Moses, apparently because Rigdon had promised to write to Moses but had been unable to do so. In this 19 November 1833 letter, JS informed Moses about matters 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; expressed his love and concern for the new Canadian members of the Church of Christ

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...

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; and attempted to bolster their faith.
Moses

9 Mar. 1804–4 Mar. 1871. Tinsmith, merchant, farmer. Born at Cavendish, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Freeman Nickerson and Huldah Chapman. Moved to Mount Pleasant, Brantford Township, Wentworth Co. (later Brant Co.), Gore District (later in Ontario), Upper...

View Full Bio
received the letter, and by late December he wrote a response to 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
rather than to JS. After acknowledging that he had received JS’s letter, Moses wrote that Rigdon and JS’s labors while in Canada

In late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Canada referred to British colonies of Upper Canada and Lower Canada. Divided into Upper Canada and Lower Canada, 1791; reunited 10 Feb. 1841. Boundaries corresponded roughly to present-day Ontario (Upper...

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had been “the beginning of a good work: there are 34 members attached to the church at Mount Pleasent

First settled, 1799. Population in 1846 about 130. JS preached at Mount Pleasant and baptized several people during mission to Upper Canada, Oct.–Nov. 1833.

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,” all of whom remained “much engaged” in the Church of Christ. Moses expressed gratitude “for what I have received: the scriptures have been opened to my view beyond account,” and he informed Rigdon that “your friends in Canada often speak of you and brother Joseph.” He asked Rigdon and JS to send more preachers to Mount Pleasant to relieve Eleazer Freeman

2/12 Apr. 1806–16/14 Sept. 1862. Merchant, farmer. Born at Cavendish, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Freeman Nickerson and Huldah Chapman. Moved to Dayton, Cattaraugus Co., New York, mid 1820s. Moved to Mount Pleasant, Brantford Township, Wentworth Co. (later...

View Full Bio
and noted that “the work requires competent workmen; for the harvest is truly great.”4

Moses Nickerson, Wendhom, Canada, to [Sidney Rigdon], 29 Dec. 1833, in The Evening and the Morning Star, Feb. 1834, 134. “Wendhom” is most likely Windham Township, Norfolk County, Ontario, about nine miles south-southwest of Mount Pleasant.  


Other missionaries were eventually sent to Mount Pleasant, and by summer 1834, missionary John P. Greene

3 Sept. 1793–10 Sept. 1844. Farmer, shoemaker, printer, publisher. Born at Herkimer, Herkimer Co., New York. Son of John Coddington Greene and Anna Chapman. Married first Rhoda Young, 11 Feb. 1813. Moved to Aurelius, Cayuga Co., New York, 1814; to Brownsville...

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reported that he had “baptized two persons at Mount Pleasant, which increased the church in that place to 43.”5

“Communications,” LDS Messenger and Advocate, Oct. 1834, 1:7–8.  


Later in 1834, Zerubbabel Snow

29 Mar. 1809–27 Sept. 1888. Clerk, teacher, merchant, lawyer. Born at St. Johnsbury, Caledonia Co., Vermont. Son of Levi Snow and Lucina Streeter. Baptized into LDS church by Orson Pratt and Lyman E. Johnson, 1832. Ordained an elder by JS and Frederick G....

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preached to many “attentive congregations” in Mount Pleasant and informed 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...

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“that the church in that place are prospering in the way of the Lord.”6

“A Summary,” LDS Messenger and Advocate, Dec. 1834, 1:45.  


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