53991957

Letter to Silas Smith, 26 September 1833

Kirtland Mills

Located in Newel K. Whitney store in northwest Kirtland on northeast corner of Chardon and Chillicothe roads. Whitney appointed postmaster, 29 Dec. 1826. JS and others listed “Kirtland Mills, Geauga County, Ohio” as return address for letters mailed, 1833...

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, Ohio, Sept 26th, 1833
Respected Uncle Silas

1 Oct. 1779–13 Sept. 1839. Farmer. Born in Derryfield (now Manchester), Hillsborough Co., New Hampshire. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Moved to Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts, by 1790. Moved to Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont, by 1800. Married first...

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:—1

Silas Smith was the seventh child and fifth son of Asael and Mary Duty Smith, JS’s grandparents on his father’s side.  


It is with feelings of deep interest for the welfare of mankind2

Earlier in the year, JS wrote to a newspaper editor in Rochester, New York, that he felt a similar “deep intrist [interest] in the cause of Zion and in the happiness of my brethren of mankind.” (Letter to Noah C. Saxton, 4 Jan. 1833.)  


which fill my mind on the reflection that all were formed by the hand of Him who will call the same to give an impartial account of all their works in that great day to which you and myself in common with them are bound, that I take up my pen and seat myself in an attitude to address a few though imperfect lines to you for your perusal.3

In other letters, JS also commented on his writing abilities. For instance, in a letter to his wife Emma, he apologized for his “inability in convaying my ideas in writing.” In a letter to Noah C. Saxton, JS similarly wrote that he believed his message to be of such great importance that he would “overlook [his] own inability and expose [his] weakness to a learned world.” (Letter to Emma Smith, 6 June 1832; Letter to Noah C. Saxton, 4 Jan. 1833.)  


I have no doubt but you will agree with me that men will be held accountable for the things they have, and not for the things they have not, or, that all the light and intelligence communicated to them from their Beneficent Creator, whether it is much or little, by the same they in justice will be judged; and that they are required to yield obedience to,4

The word “to” is missing at this location in the copy in Lucy Mack Smith’s history. (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1845, 228.)  


and improve upon that, and that only, which is given;5

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 81 [2 Nephi 9:25]; Luke 12:48; and Revelation, 26 Apr. 1832 [D&C 82:3].  


for man is not to live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.6

See Matthew 4:4; and Deuteronomy 8:3. Instead of “the Lord,” the copy in Lucy Mack Smith’s history has “God.” (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1845, 229.)  


Seeing that the Lord has never [p. 2]
Kirtland Mills

Located in Newel K. Whitney store in northwest Kirtland on northeast corner of Chardon and Chillicothe roads. Whitney appointed postmaster, 29 Dec. 1826. JS and others listed “Kirtland Mills, Geauga County, Ohio” as return address for letters mailed, 1833...

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, Ohio, Sept 20 26th, 1833
Respected Uncle Silas

1 Oct. 1779–13 Sept. 1839. Farmer. Born in Derryfield (now Manchester), Hillsborough Co., New Hampshire. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Moved to Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts, by 1790. Moved to Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont, by 1800. Married first...

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:—1

Silas Smith was the seventh child and fifth son of Asael and Mary Duty Smith, JS’s grandparents on his father’s side.  


It is with feelings of deep interest for  the welfare of mankind2

Earlier in the year, JS wrote to a newspaper editor in Rochester, New York, that he felt a similar “deep intrist [interest] in the cause of Zion and in the happiness of my brethren of mankind.” (Letter to Noah C. Saxton, 4 Jan. 1833.)  


which fill my mind on the reflection that  all were formed by the hand of Him who will call the same to give  and an impartial account of all their works in that great day to  which you and myself in common with them are bound, that I  take up my pen and seat myself in an attitude to address a  few though imperfect lines to you for your perusal.3

In other letters, JS also commented on his writing abilities. For instance, in a letter to his wife Emma, he apologized for his “inability in convaying my ideas in writing.” In a letter to Noah C. Saxton, JS similarly wrote that he believed his message to be of such great importance that he would “overlook [his] own inability and expose [his] weakness to a learned world.” (Letter to Emma Smith, 6 June 1832; Letter to Noah C. Saxton, 4 Jan. 1833.)  


I have no  doubt but you will agree with me that men will be held account able for the things they have, and not for the things they have not, or,  that all the light and intelligence communicated to them from  their Beneficent Creator, whether it is much or little, by the same  they in justice will be judged; and that they are required to yield obe dience to,4

The word “to” is missing at this location in the copy in Lucy Mack Smith’s history. (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1845, 228.)  


and improve upon that, and that only, which is given;5

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 81 [2 Nephi 9:25]; Luke 12:48; and Revelation, 26 Apr. 1832 [D&C 82:3].  


for  man is not to live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds  out of the mouth of the Lord.6

See Matthew 4:4; and Deuteronomy 8:3. Instead of “the Lord,” the copy in Lucy Mack Smith’s history has “God.” (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1845, 229.)  


Seeing that the Lord has never [p. 2]
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JS, Letter, Kirtland Township

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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, Geauga Co., OH, to Silas Smith

1 Oct. 1779–13 Sept. 1839. Farmer. Born in Derryfield (now Manchester), Hillsborough Co., New Hampshire. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Moved to Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts, by 1790. Moved to Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont, by 1800. Married first...

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, Stockholm

Located in northern New York, about seventy miles southeast of Montreal and about fifteen miles southeast of St. Lawrence River. Landscape hilly and densely forested, with fertile soil. Region drained by St. Regis River. Area settled, by 1803. Formed from...

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, St. Lawrence Co., NY, 26 Sept. 1833. Featured version copied [ca. Oct. 1855] in Jesse Smith, Autobiography and Journal, 2–5; handwriting of Jesse Smith; CHL.
Jesse Smith’s autobiography and journal was inscribed in a large, commercially produced blank book. The book’s ledger paper is horizontally ruled with two red lines above forty faint blue lines on each page. The book underwent conservation efforts in the mid-1990s. The leaves measure 14 × 8⅝ inches (36 × 22 cm). The volume measures 14½ × 10 × 2¼ inches (37 × 25 × 6 cm). The volume contains 655 inscribed pages followed by 31 blank pages. The first 23 pages contain Smith’s autobiography and his family history. Included in those 23 pages are a transcript of the letter featured here; the conversion story of his father, Silas Smith

1 Oct. 1779–13 Sept. 1839. Farmer. Born in Derryfield (now Manchester), Hillsborough Co., New Hampshire. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Moved to Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts, by 1790. Moved to Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont, by 1800. Married first...

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; a copy of Jesse’s patriarchal blessing; and Jesse’s family history to October 1855. In October 1855, Jesse Smith began using the ledger as a journal. This volume was used as Smith’s personal journal in Utah and Arizona from 1855 until his death in 1906. The last entry is dated 5 June 1906.
It is likely that Silas Smith

1 Oct. 1779–13 Sept. 1839. Farmer. Born in Derryfield (now Manchester), Hillsborough Co., New Hampshire. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Moved to Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts, by 1790. Moved to Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont, by 1800. Married first...

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passed the original letter to his son Jesse Smith, who kept it but wanted to make a second copy. It is unknown when Jesse Smith’s volume was donated to the Church History Library or by whom. This journal was labeled “Journal #174” by staff of Church History Library and was received by the Church Historian’s Office prior to the 1940s when clerk Alice M. Rich transcribed its contents.1

Jesse Smith, Autobiography and Journal, typescript, CHL.  


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