Letter to the Church, circa March 1834
“Elders” (including JS), Letter, , Geauga Co., OH, to “brethren in Christ, and companions in tribulation,” ca. Mar. 1834. Featured version published in “The Elders of the Church in Kirtland, to Their Brethren Abroad,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Mar. 1834, 142–144. For more complete source information on The Evening and the Morning Star, see the source note for Letter, 30 Oct. 1833.
This March 1834 letter is the second installment of a serialized epistle that instructed bearers and other church members who were then away from , Ohio. JS and other leaders in Kirtland prepared this installment for publication in the church’s newspaper, The Evening and the Morning Star. Following an exhortation to serve diligently, endure hardship, and emulate Jesus Christ, the installment featured here continued the discussion on the differences between heavenly law and human-made law that had commenced in the February 1834 issue of the Star. According to this March epistle, transgression of God’s law made it impossible for the transgressor to return to God’s presence, except through Jesus Christ, who offered redemption through faith in the efficacy of his sacrifice, and through participation in . The letter also stated that God revealed “the whole plan of the gospel,” with its ordinances, in all ages. JS and the Kirtland leaders also exhorted the readers of this letter to improve themselves, especially in the face of growing persecution, and to remain obedient to God’s law. JS and the other elders responsible for writing this letter also expounded upon several other themes, including and eternal life, the law of sacrifice, and continuing revelation.The next installment of this series appeared in the April issue of the church’s newspaper and omitted the “instruction upon the regulation of the church” that had been promised at the end of the installment featured here. Church leaders perhaps intended to discuss the topic in another issue. However, even though the third installment ended with “To be continued,” no further installments were published. The effort to redeem through recruiting volunteers and conducting the expedition to in spring and summer 1834 was undoubtedly a factor in the discontinuation of this series.