30486

Letter to Vienna Jaques, 4 September 1833

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
Sept 4th 1833——
Dear Sister

10 June 1787–7 Feb. 1884. Laundress, nurse. Born in Beverly, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Daughter of Henry Jaques and Lucinda Hughes. Lived in Boston, 1827–1830. Baptized into LDS church by E. Harris, 12 July 1831. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1833....

View Full Bio
Having a few Leisur moments I sit down to communicate to you a few wordes which I know I am under obligation to improve to your Satisfaction if it should be a satisfaction for you to receive a few words from your unworthy brother in Christ, I received your Letter some time since containing a history of your Journey and your safe arival for which I bless the Lord1

In response to an early report of Jaques’s safe arrival, the presidency of the church remarked, “We rejoiced greatly to hear of the safe arival of Sister Viana and brother William [Hobert] and thank our heavenly father that their lives have been spared them till their arival.” (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 2 July 1833.)  


I have often felt a whispering since I received your letter like this Joseph thou art indebted to thy God for the offering of thy Sister Viana Vienna Jaques

10 June 1787–7 Feb. 1884. Laundress, nurse. Born in Beverly, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Daughter of Henry Jaques and Lucinda Hughes. Lived in Boston, 1827–1830. Baptized into LDS church by E. Harris, 12 July 1831. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1833....

View Full Bio
which proved a Savior of life as pertaining to thy pecunary concern therefor she should not be forgotten of thee for the Lord hath done this and thou shouldst remember her in all thy prayers and also by letter for she oftentimes calleth on the Lord saying O Lord inspire thy Servant Joseph to communicate by letter some word to thine unworthy handmaid canst thou not speak peaciably unto thine handmaid2

See Revelation, 8 Mar. 1833 [D&C 90:28].  


and say all my sins are forgiven and art thou not content with the chastisement wherewith thou hast chastised thy handmaid yea sister this seams to be the whisperings of a spirit and Judge ye what spirit it is I was sensable, when you left 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
that the Lord would chasten you3

Members of the Church of Christ viewed chastisement as a manifestation of divine love that had a salutary, disciplining effect, turning ordinary believers into true disciples. Several months earlier, a revelation expressed this idea: “Verily thus saith the Lord unto you whom I love, and whom I love I also chasten that their sins may be forgiven, for with the chastisement I prepare a way for their deliverance in all things out of temptation and I have loved you.” (Revelation, 1 June 1833 [D&C 95:1]; see also Hebrews 12:5–11.)  


but I prayed fervantly in the name of Jesus that you might live to receive your 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
agreeable to the commandment

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
which was given concerning you4

Revelation, 8 Mar. 1833 [D&C 90:28–31].  


I am not at all astonished at what has happened to you neither to what has happened 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
5

In the weeks before this letter was drafted, JS wrote to church leaders in Missouri in a more sympathetic tone. He encouraged them to “be of good cheer” and hoped that his letters would “refresh the hearts and revi[v]e the spir[i]ts” of those afflicted. (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 10 Aug. 1833; Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 18 Aug. 1833.)  


and I could tell all the why’s & wherefores of all there calamities6

The “why’s & wherefores of all there calamities” were later explained in a December 1833 revelation: “Behold I say unto you there were jar[r]ings and contentions envyings and strifes and lustful and covetous desires among them Therefore by these things they poluted their inheritances they were slow to hearken unto the voice of the Lord their God Therefore the Lord their God is slow to hearken unto their prayers to answer them in the day of their trouble In the day of their peace they esteemed lightly my council but in the day of their trouble of necessity they feel after me.” (Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:6–8]; for examples of this behavior during the previous two years, see Letter to William W. Phelps, 31 July 1832; Letter to William W. Phelps, 11 Jan. 1833; and Letter to Edward Partridge et al., 14 Jan. 1833.)  


but alas it is in vain to warn and give precepts for all men are naturally disposed to walk in their own paths as they are pointed out by their own fingers and are not willing to considder and walk in the path which is pointed out by another saying this is the way walk ye in it7

See Isaiah 30:21.  


altho he should be an unerring director and the Lord his God sent him8

JS issued a similar warning in a January 1833 letter: “Repent, is the voice of God, to Zion, & yet strange as it may appear, yet it is true mankind will presist in self Justification until all their eniquity is exposed & their character past being redeemed, & that which is treasured up in their hearts be exposed to the gaze of mankind.” (Letter to William W. Phelps, 11 Jan. 1833; see also Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 1:13–16].)  


nevertheless I do not feel disposed to cast any reflections but I feel to cry mightily unto the Lord9

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 453 [3 Nephi 1:12].  


that all things might work together for good which has happened10

See Romans 8:28; Revelation, 8 Mar. 1833 [D&C 90:24]; and Revelation, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98:3]. One month after this letter was written, another revelation similarly stated, “Therefore let your hearts be comforted for all things shall work together for good to them that walk uprightly and to the sactifycation [sanctification] of the church for I will raise up unto myself a pure people that will serve me in righteousness and all that call on the name of the Lord and keep his commandments shall be saved.” (Revelation, 12 Oct. 1833 [D&C 100:15–17].)  


yea I feel to say O Lord let 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
be comforted let her waste places be built up and established an hundred fold11

See Isaiah 51:3.  


[p. [1]]
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
Sept 4th 1833——
Dear Siste[r]

10 June 1787–7 Feb. 1884. Laundress, nurse. Born in Beverly, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Daughter of Henry Jaques and Lucinda Hughes. Lived in Boston, 1827–1830. Baptized into LDS church by E. Harris, 12 July 1831. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1833....

View Full Bio
Having a few Leisur moments I sit down to  communicate to you a few wordes which I know I am  under obligation to improve for to your Satisfaction if it  should be a satisfaction for you to receive a few  words from your unworthy brother in Christ, I received  your Letter some time since containing a history of your  Journey and your safe arival for which I bless the Lord1

In response to an early report of Jaques’s safe arrival, the presidency of the church remarked, “We rejoiced greatly to hear of the safe arival of Sister Viana and brother William [Hobert] and thank our heavenly father that their lives have been spared them till their arival.” (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 2 July 1833.)  


 I have often felt a whispering since I received your letter  like this Joseph thou art indebted to thy God for  the offering of thy Sister Viana [Vienna Jaques]

10 June 1787–7 Feb. 1884. Laundress, nurse. Born in Beverly, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Daughter of Henry Jaques and Lucinda Hughes. Lived in Boston, 1827–1830. Baptized into LDS church by E. Harris, 12 July 1831. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1833....

View Full Bio
which proved a Savior  of life as pertaining to thy pecunary concern therefor  she should not be forgotten of thee for the Lord hath  done this and thou shouldst remember her in all thy  prayers and also by letter for she oftentimes calleth on  the Lord saying O Lord inspire thy Servant Joseph  to communicate by letter some word to thine unworthy  handmaid canst thou not speak peaciably unto  thine handmaid2

See Revelation, 8 Mar. 1833 [D&C 90:28].  


and say all my sins are forgiven  and art thou not content with the chastisement wherewith  thou hast chastised thy handmaid yea siste[r] this  seams to be the whisperings of a spirit and Judge ye  what spirit it is I was sensable, when you left  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
that the Lord would chasten you3

Members of the Church of Christ viewed chastisement as a manifestation of divine love that had a salutary, disciplining effect, turning ordinary believers into true disciples. Several months earlier, a revelation expressed this idea: “Verily thus saith the Lord unto you whom I love, and whom I love I also chasten that their sins may be forgiven, for with the chastisement I prepare a way for their deliverance in all things out of temptation and I have loved you.” (Revelation, 1 June 1833 [D&C 95:1]; see also Hebrews 12:5–11.)  


but I pray<ed>  fervantly in the name of Jesus that you might live  to receive your 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
agreeable to the commandm[e]nt

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
 which was given concerning you4

Revelation, 8 Mar. 1833 [D&C 90:28–31].  


I am not at all  astonished at what has happened to you neithe[r] to what  has happened 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
5

In the weeks before this letter was drafted, JS wrote to church leaders in Missouri in a more sympathetic tone. He encouraged them to “be of good cheer” and hoped that his letters would “refresh the hearts and revi[v]e the spir[i]ts” of those afflicted. (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 10 Aug. 1833; Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 18 Aug. 1833.)  


and I could tell all the why’s &  wherefores of all there calamities6

The “why’s & wherefores of all there calamities” were later explained in a December 1833 revelation: “Behold I say unto you there were jar[r]ings and contentions envyings and strifes and lustful and covetous desires among them Therefore by these things they poluted their inheritances they were slow to hearken unto the voice of the Lord their God Therefore the Lord their God is slow to hearken unto their prayers to answer them in the day of their trouble In the day of their peace they esteemed lightly my council but in the day of their trouble of necessity they feel after me.” (Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:6–8]; for examples of this behavior during the previous two years, see Letter to William W. Phelps, 31 July 1832; Letter to William W. Phelps, 11 Jan. 1833; and Letter to Edward Partridge et al., 14 Jan. 1833.)  


but alas it is in  vain to warn and give precepts for all men are  naturally disposed to walk in their own paths as they  are pointed out by their own fingers and are not  willing to considder and walk in the path which is  pointed out by another saying this is the way  walk ye in it7

See Isaiah 30:21.  


altho he should be an uner[r]ing  director and the Lord his God sent him8

JS issued a similar warning in a January 1833 letter: “Repent, is the voice of God, to Zion, & yet strange as it may appear, yet it is true mankind will presist in self Justification until all their eniquity is exposed & their character past being redeemed, & that which is treasured up in their hearts be exposed to the gaze of mankind.” (Letter to William W. Phelps, 11 Jan. 1833; see also Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 1:13–16].)  


neverthe less I do not feel disposed to cast any reflections but I feel to  cry mightily unto the Lord9

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 453 [3 Nephi 1:12].  


that all things might work  together for good which has happened10

See Romans 8:28; Revelation, 8 Mar. 1833 [D&C 90:24]; and Revelation, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98:3]. One month after this letter was written, another revelation similarly stated, “Therefore let your hearts be comforted for all things shall work together for good to them that walk uprightly and to the sactifycation [sanctification] of the church for I will raise up unto myself a pure people that will serve me in righteousness and all that call on the name of the Lord and keep his commandments shall be saved.” (Revelation, 12 Oct. 1833 [D&C 100:15–17].)  


yea I feel to say  O Lord let 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
be comforted let her waste places be  built up and established an hundred fold11

See Isaiah 51:3.  


[p. [1]]
Next
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...

More Info
, Geauga Co., OH, to Vienna Jaques

10 June 1787–7 Feb. 1884. Laundress, nurse. Born in Beverly, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Daughter of Henry Jaques and Lucinda Hughes. Lived in Boston, 1827–1830. Baptized into LDS church by E. Harris, 12 July 1831. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1833....

View Full Bio
, 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
, Jackson Co., MO, 4 Sept. 1833; sent copy; 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...

View Full Bio
; three pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes address, postal markings, dockets, and use marks.
Bifolium measuring 8⅛ × 6⅛ inches (21 × 16 cm). The letter was trifolded twice, addressed, and sealed with a red adhesive wafer. On the verso of the second leaf, a docket in the handwriting of Leo Hawkins reads: “Sept 4. 1833 | Joseph Smith | to | Vienna Jaques

10 June 1787–7 Feb. 1884. Laundress, nurse. Born in Beverly, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Daughter of Henry Jaques and Lucinda Hughes. Lived in Boston, 1827–1830. Baptized into LDS church by E. Harris, 12 July 1831. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1833....

View Full Bio
”.1

Though many others spelled her name “Jacques,” as well as a variety of other spellings, extant evidence indicates that Vienna consistently spelled her last name “Jaques.” (Photograph of Vienna Jaques, ca. 1867, George Albert Smith, Miscellaneous Portraits, ca. 1862–1873, CHL; Vienna Jaques, Salt Lake City, to Brigham Young, 2 July 1870, Brigham Young Office Files, CHL; Revelation, 8 Mar. 1833, in Doctrine and Covenants 84:7, 1835 ed. [D&C 90:28].)  


A piece measuring 4⅝ × 4⅜ inches (12 × 11 cm) that contained JS’s signature was cut from the second leaf. When the page was cut, the descenders of the last line of text on the recto were cut off, as well as part of the address and postage on the verso. The recto of the second leaf has a docket in the handwriting of John L. Smith written presumably at the time the signature was cut out: “This letter was sighned | by Joseph Smith own | Hand— which autograph | was cut off by Pres. B | Young March 4th 1859 | The letter was also | written by Joseph Smith’s | own hand.”2

Under the date of 4 March 1859, the Historian’s Office journal records that “Pres. Young sent over to the Historian Office after the autograph of Joseph Smith. which was furnished him from a letter that Joseph wrote himself & sent to Vienna Jaques.” (Historian’s Office, Journal, 4 Mar. 1859.)  


An equation in unidentified handwriting appears on the verso of the second leaf: “553 | 279 | 274”. The letter has undergone conservation.
The letter bears notations that match the excerpted copy of the letter found in the addenda of JS’s manuscript history.3

JS History, vol. A-1, addenda, 1–2.  


If the markings were made to prepare the letter to be copied into the manuscript history, the letter would have been in the possession of the Church Historian’s Office by the end of May 1845.4

Historian’s Office, Journal, 28 May 1845.  


The docket inscribed by John L. Smith indicates that the letter was certainly in the custody of the Historian’s Office by March 1859.5

The Historian’s Office journal includes a transcript of this letter after an entry dated 15 February 1859. (Historian’s Office, Journal, 15 Feb. 1859.)  


Facts