History, 1838–1856, volume C-1 [2 November 1838–31 July 1842]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 911
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<​April 4 Joseph’s Epistle from ​> generation and to all the pure in heart, which there are many yet on the Earth, among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and only kept from the truth, because they know not where to find it, therefore that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them, and they are truly manifest from Heaven. These should then be attended to with great earnestness, let no man count them as small things for there is much which lieth in futurity, pertaining to the Saint, which depends upon these things, you know brethren, that a very large ship is benefited very much by a very small helm in the time of a storm by being kept work ways with the wind and the waves. Therefore dearly beloved brethren let us cheerfully do all things that lieth in our power, and then may we stand still with the utmost assurance to see the Salvation of God and for his arm to be revealed. And again I would further suggest the impropriety of the organization of bands or companies by covenant or oaths, by penalties or secrecies, but let the time past of our experience and sufferings by the wickedness of suffice, and let our covenant be that of the Everlasting Covenant as is contained in the Holy Writ, and the things that God hath revealed unto us. Pure friendship always becomes weakened the very moment you undertake to make it stronger by penal oaths and secresy. Your humble servant or servants intend from henceforth to disapprobate every thing that is not in accordance with the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and is not of a bold and frank, and an upright nature, they will not hold their peace— as in times past, when they see iniquity begining to rear its head,— for fear of traitors, or the consequences that shall follow by reproving those who creep in unawares that they may get something <​with which​> to destroy the flock. We believe that the experience of the Saints in times past, has been sufficient that they will from henceforth be always ready to obey the truth without having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage, it is expedient that we should be aware of such things. And we ought al[HC 3:303]ways to be aware of those prejudices which sometimes so strangely presented themselves and are so congenial to human nature, against our friends, neighbors, and brethren of the world who choose to differ with us in opinion and in matters of faith. Our religion is between us and our God. Their religion is between them and their God. There is a tie from God that should be exercised towards those of our faith. who walk uprightly which is peculiar to itself; but it is without prejudice, but <​It​> gives scope to the mind, which enables us to conduct ourselves with greater liberality towards all others that are not of our faith, than what they exercise towards one another, these principals approximate nearer to the mind of God, because it is like God or God like— There is a principle also, which we are bound to be exercised with, that is in common with all men. such as governments, and laws and regulations in the civil concerns of life. This principle guarantees to all parties sects and denominations, and classes of religion equal, coherent [p. 911]
April 4 Joseph’s Epistle from generation and to all the pure in heart, which there are many yet on the Earth, among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and only kept from the truth, because they know not where to find it, therefore that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them, and they are truly manifest from Heaven. These should then be attended to with great earnestness, let no man count them as small things for there is much which lieth in futurity, pertaining to the Saint, which depends upon these things, you know brethren, that a very large ship is benefited very much by a very small helm in the time of a storm by being kept work ways with the wind and the waves. Therefore dearly beloved brethren let us cheerfully do all things that lieth in our power, and then may we stand still with the utmost assurance to see the Salvation of God and for his arm to be revealed. And again I would further suggest the impropriety of the organization of bands or companies by covenant or oaths, by penalties or secrecies, but let the time past of our experience and sufferings by the wickedness of suffice, and let our covenant be that of the Everlasting Covenant as is contained in the Holy Writ, and the things that God hath revealed unto us. Pure friendship always becomes weakened the very moment you undertake to make it stronger by penal oaths and secresy. Your humble servant or servants intend from henceforth to disapprobate every thing that is not in accordance with the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and is not of a bold and frank, and an upright nature, they will not hold their peace— as in times past, when they see iniquity begining to rear its head,— for fear of traitors, or the consequences that shall follow by reproving those who creep in unawares that they may get something with which to destroy the flock. We believe that the experience of the Saints in times past, has been sufficient that they will from henceforth be always ready to obey the truth without having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage, it is expedient that we should be aware of such things. And we ought al[HC 3:303]ways to be aware of those prejudices which sometimes so strangely presented themselves and are so congenial to human nature, against our friends, neighbors, and brethren of the world who choose to differ with us in opinion and in matters of faith. Our religion is between us and our God. Their religion is between them and their God. There is a tie from God that should be exercised towards those of our faith. who walk uprightly which is peculiar to itself; but it is without prejudice, It gives scope to the mind, which enables us to conduct ourselves with greater liberality towards others that are not of our faith, than what they exercise towards one another, these principals approximate nearer to the mind of God, because it is like God or God like— There is a principle also, which we are bound to be exercised with, that is in common with all men. such as governments, and laws and regulations in the civil concerns of life. This principle guarantees to all parties sects and denominations, and classes of religion equal, coherent [p. 911]
Page 911