Letter from William W. Phelps, 15 December 1833
, Letter, , MO, to “Dear Brethren” (including JS), [, Geauga Co., OH], 15 Dec. 1833. Featured version published in “Later from Missouri,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Jan. 1834, 128. For more complete source information on The Evening and the Morning Star, see the source note for Letter, 30 Oct. 1833.
After being forced from , Missouri, in early November 1833, members of the scattered into several surrounding counties. In , where most sought refuge, , , and other leaders struggled to reestablish basic church operations and assist the hundreds of refugees for whose physical and spiritual welfare they were responsible. On 15 December 1833, Phelps wrote this brief missive to JS and other church leaders in , Ohio, conveying a sense of the bleak situation church members faced in . Phelps assured JS that the now homeless church members “want to do the will of God.” Phelps asked, “If the Lord will, I should like to know what the honest in heart shall do?” Although it is unknown when church leaders in Kirtland received Phelps’s letter, published it in the January 1834 issue of The Evening and the Morning Star. The day after Phelps wrote the 15 December letter featured here, JS dictated a revelation that addressed some of Phelps’s concerns. By late December 1833, and had left Kirtland for Missouri, likely carrying a copy of the revelation.On 22 January 1834, responded to ’s letter on behalf of JS and the in . Hyde directed church leaders in to again petition Missouri governor , and president Andrew Jackson if necessary, to send troops to protect church members in the event that they were allowed to resettle on their lands. Hyde also noted that the church leadership in Kirtland had sent a petition to Governor Dunklin and planned to send a petition to President Jackson in the near future. As JS had done in the past, Hyde encouraged the church in Missouri to “try every lawful means to bring the mob to Justice.” Finally, since church leaders in Kirtland had already sent one hundred dollars to help support the refugees in Missouri, Hyde noted they would not be “able to send you any more money at present unless the Lord put it into our hands unexpectedly.”