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.
except she repent and serve God and obey the with this explanation the sanctions Bro Joseph letter— Brethren the conference meets again this evening to hear this Letter read and if it meets their minds we have all agreed to kneel down before the Lord and cry unto him with all our hearts that this epistle & Bro Js. and the revelations also may have there desired effect and accomplish the things whereunto they are sent and that they may stimulate you to cleans that she mourn not, Therefore when you get this know ye that a conference of 12 have cried unto the Lord for you and are still crying saying spare thy peopl[e] O! Lord and give not thy heritage to reproach, We now feel that our garments are clean from you, and all men, when we have washed our hand & our feet & hands according to the We have written plain at this time but we believe not harsh, Plainly Plainness is what the Lord requires and we should not feel ourselves clean unless we had done so, and if the things we have told you be not attended to you will not long have occasion to say or to think rather that we may be rong in what we have stated Your unworthy brethren are determined to pray unto the Lord for as so long as we can shed a tear the sympathising tear, or feel any spirit of to supplicate a throne of Grace in her behalf, will commence if the Lord will in 2 or 3 days, a general time of health with us the cause of God seems to be rapidly advancing in the eastern country countries, the gifts begining to break forth so as to astonish the world, and even believers marvel at the power and goodness of God, Thanks be rendered to his holy name for what he is doing, We are your unworthy brethren in the Lord & may the Lord help us all to do his will that we may at last be saved in his kingdom——