Discourse, 3 October 1841, as Reported by Willard Richards
JS, Discourse, , Hancock Co., IL, 3 Oct. 1841; handwriting of ; five pages; Historian’s Office, General Church Minutes, CHL.
Two bifolia, each measuring 7⅞ × 5¾ inches (20 × 15 cm). The discourse is written in very faint graphite, making significant portions of the text illegible.
The discourse is part of a larger collection of general church minutes created or collected by scribes affiliated with the Church Historian’s Office. It is uncertain exactly when this discourse was included in the general church minutes. However, worked on JS’s history as early as 1842. Likely around that time, he added his records of JS’s sermons and writings to a compilation of documents about JS and the church. The featured document has likely remained in institutional custody since its creation.
On the morning of 3 October 1841, at a session of a general in , Illinois, JS gave a discourse on the doctrine of for the dead, whereby church members were baptized vicariously for their deceased relatives. attended this meeting and wrote down fragmentary notes from JS’s sermon in an apparent attempt to capture the church ’s words as he spoke. The text featured here is one of two extant versions of JS’s 3 October 1841 discourse; the other is a printed, more polished version found in the 15 October 1841 issue of the Times and Seasons. The printed version, along with additional historical context and annotation, is found in Minutes and Discourse, 1–5 October 1841.
[Text in top third portion of page 3 is illegible]
born of water by proxy— A man is judged according to [2 words illegible]
Pulling them out of the fire—
Martin Luther & .
2d. acts— no Holy Ghost
of the fullness of times which reveals in that dispensations all those dispensat[ions] all things not before revealed— Adam did not attend to his progenitors <partriarchal>— Eligah [illegible] Israel out of the groves. by the Keys what Paul did not.— hearts of the children to their fathers &c— &— all things attended to from Adam down— every genten [generation] that have rejected the children fathers must be denied. with [2 words illegible] fathers— Baptismal font Geneoly the Dead neglected their dead. doc◊◊◊ed [3 words illegible] [p. 3]
Martin Luther was a German theologian who opposed the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings and emerged as a central figure in the Protestant Reformation of the early 1500s. Alexander Campbell led a sizable religious group in the United States known as the Disciples of Christ. Campbell was an ardent opponent of JS and the teachings of the Latter-day Saint faith. (Bainton, Here I Stand, chap. 4; Brady, German Histories, 146–152; “Delusions,” Millennial Harbinger, 7 Feb. 1831, 85–95; Campbell, Delusions, 6–11; Letter to Oliver Cowdery, 24 Sept. 1834.)
Brady, Thomas A., Jr. German Histories in the Age of Reformations, 1400–1650. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Campbell, Alexander. Delusions. An Analysis of the Book of Mormon; with an Examination of Its Internal and External Evidences, and a Refutation of Its Pretences to Divine Authority. Boston: Benjamin H. Greene, 1832.
The printed version of this discourse clarifies, “Those saints who neglect it”—meaning baptism for the dead—“in behalf of their deceased relatives, do it at the peril of their own salvation.” (Minutes and Discourse, 1–5 Oct. 1841.)