Letter to Edward Partridge and Others, 14 January 1833
and , on behalf of “a of 12 ” (including JS), Letter, , Kirtland Township, OH, to “the his councel and the inhabitents of ,” [, MO], 14 Jan. 1833. Retained copy, [ca. 14 Jan. 1833] in JS Letterbook 1, pp. 20–25; handwriting of ; CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for JS Letterbook 1.
A “ of ,” including JS, met in , Ohio, on 13 January 1833, in part to assign and to write a letter to the leaders of the church in . Hyde and Smith composed the letter on 14 January, after which the conference reconvened so that participants could review and approve what they had written. The letter described Kirtland leaders’ objections to the tone and content of several letters from Missouri leaders. It also reaffirmed the conference’s desire to see church members living in repent, thereby forestalling calamities that awaited the disobedient.
This was the latest letter in a series of correspondence between and church leaders. JS and others had been attempting for some time to curb what they perceived as a spirit of rebellion in Missouri. Such perceptions arose from JS’s interactions with Missouri leaders during a trip to , Missouri, in the spring of 1832, as well as from several letters, none of which are extant, sent to JS between June 1832 and January 1833 from Missouri leaders such as , , and . In answer to these communications, JS sent letters to Phelps on 31 July 1832, 27 November 1832, and 11 January 1833, calling the Missouri leaders to repentance. Because and ’s letter addressing the discord came at the behest of this conference of twelve high priests, it may have served as an even stronger chastisement than JS’s letters. According to a later JS history, the transmission of Hyde and Smith’s letter, JS’s 11 January 1833 letter to Phelps, and a revelation of 27–28 December 1832, which JS described as “the Lords message of peace to us,” caused the Missouri leaders to evince a spirit of repentance. On 26 February 1833, a special council of high priests convened in Missouri and resolved that a committee “write an epistle to our brethren in Kirtland,” apparently in response to the letters from Hyde and Smith and JS. At that February conference, the high priests in attendance “all kneeled before the Lord & asked him to effect a perfect harmony between us & our brethren in Kirtland which was the desire of our hearts.” Such actions, according to the later JS history, were “satisfactory to the presidency and church at Kirtland.”
The original letter is no longer extant. copied the letter into JS’s letterbook, probably soon after its creation.
15th and carefully read, and it betrays a lightness of spirit that ill becomes a man plased in the important and responsable station that he is placed in;— If you have fat beef and potatoes eat them in singleness of heart. and boast not yourselves in these things think not Brethren that we make a man an offender for a word this is not the case, but we want to see a spirit in by which the Lord will build it up, that is the plain solem and pure spirit of Christ; requested in his last letter that Bro Joseph should come to , but we say that Br J. will not settle in until she repent and purify herself & abide by the , and remember the which have been given her, to do them as well as say them You may think it strange that we manifest no cheerfulness of heart upon the reception of your letters, you may think that our minds are pregudiced so much that we can see no good that comes from you, but rest assured brethren that this is not the case, We have the best of feelings, and feelings of the greatest anxiety for the welfare of we feel more like weeping over than we do like rejoicing over her, for we know the judgments of God that hang over her and will fall upon her except she repent and purify herself before the Lord and put away from her evry foul spirit— we now say to thisonce in the name of the Lord, Repent! Repent! Awake! Awake! put on thy beautiful garments before you are made to feel the chastning rod of him whose anger is kind[l]ed against you, let not tempt you to think we want to make you bow to us to domaneur over you for God knows this is not the case our eyes are watered with tears and our hearts are poured out to God in prayer for you that he will spare you and turn away his anger from you, There is are many things in the last letters from Brs and that are good and we esteem them much, The Idea of having certain ones appointed to regulate and travling have nothing to do with this part of the matter is something that we highly approbate, and you will doubtless know before this reaches you why opposed you [p. 22]
In his letter to Phelps, JS stated, “The Brethren in Kirtland pray for you unceasingly, for knowing the terrors of the Lord, they greatly fear.” He also explained that “if the fountain of our tears are not dried up we will still weep for zion, this from your brother who trembles greatly for Zion,— and for the wrath of heaven which awaits her if she repent not.” (Letter to William W. Phelps, 11 Jan. 1833.)