Letter to the Presidency in Kirtland, 29 March 1838
JS, Letter, , Caldwell Co., MO, to “the Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Kirtland,” , Geauga Co., OH, 29 Mar. 1838. Featured version copied [ca. mid- or late Apr. 1838] in JS, Journal, Mar.–Sept. 1838, pp. 23–26; handwriting of ; CHL. Includes use marks. For more complete source information, see the source note for JS, Journal, Mar.–Sept. 1838.
About two weeks after JS’s arrival in , Missouri, he wrote the following letter to the of the church in , Ohio: , president, and and , assistant presidents. In the letter, JS recounted the difficulties of the journey from Kirtland in the middle of winter, his safe arrival in Far West, and information regarding and his family, who had stopped traveling for several days because of illness. JS and his family had pushed on, arriving in Far West on 14 March. , Rigdon’s son-in-law, arrived two weeks later, on 28 March, with news that Rigdon would probably arrive soon.
JS’s letter to the presidency also reported that the problems with and , former members of the presidency, had been recently “a[d]justed” by and in collaboration with the . JS conveyed expressions of friendship for those in Kirtland and relayed a vision he had seen of , which JS interpreted as an indication that God would deliver Marks from his enemies. JS requested that the Saints migrating to bring seeds for vegetables, fruit trees, and hay and bring well-bred cattle and horses. With the letter, JS enclosed a copy of the “Motto of the Church of Christ of LatterdaySaints,” which he had composed for the church upon arriving in .
Although the original letter sent to the presidency is apparently not extant, made a copy of the letter in JS’s “Scriptory Book.” Robinson apparently made this transcript from a retained copy of the letter sometime in mid- or late April.
John Smith and Clarissa Lyman Smith, Kirtland, OH, to George A. Smith, Shinnston, VA, 1 Jan. 1838, George Albert Smith, Papers, CHL; Hepzibah Richards, Kirtland, OH, to Willard Richards, Bedford, England, 18–19 Jan. 1838, Willard Richards, Papers, CHL.
Smith, George Albert. Papers, 1834–1877. CHL. MS 1322.
Richards, Willard. Journals and Papers, 1821–1854. CHL.
The letter references the enclosure of the motto, stating that the motto was transcribed in the Scriptory Book. This indicates that the Scriptory Book, which begins in and is almost entirely in Robinson’s handwriting, was started sometime between Robinson’s arrival in Far West on 28 March and JS’s composition of the letter on 29 March. Although Robinson began the book at this time, with an account of JS’s arrival in Far West and a copy of the motto, he apparently did not add anything further to the book until the middle of April, at the time of the excommunications of Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer. The title page of the Scriptory Book is dated 12 April 1838, the date of Cowdery’s church trial, and editorial notes between the various documents that Robinson transcribed into the book explain how the events documented in the various transcripts led up to the excommunications of Cowdery and Whitmer. (JS, Journal, Mar.–Sept. 1838, pp. 15–32.)
Dear & well beloved brotheren. Through the grace & mercy of our God, after a long & tedious journey of two months & one day, I and my family arrived in th[e] City of Having been met at 120 Miles from this by brotheren with teams & money to forward us on our Journey When within eight miles of the City of We were met by an [p. 23]