Appendix 2: Letter to the Saints Scattered Abroad, June 1835

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

TO THE SAINTS SCATTERED ABROAD.
Dear Brethren:—It is a duty which every saint ought to render to his brethren freely—to always love them, and ever succor them. To be justified before God we must love one another: we must overcome evil; we must visit the fatherless and the widow in their affliction, and we must keep ourselves unspotted from the world: for such virtues flow from the great fountain of pure religion. Strengthening our faith by adding every good quality that adorns the children of the blessed Jesus, we can pray in the season of prayer; we can love our neighbor as ourselves, & be faithful in tribulation, knowing that the reward of such is greater in the kingdom of heaven. What a consolation! What a joy! Let me live the life of the righteous, and let my reward be like his!
According to the order of the kingdom begun in the last days, to prepare men for the rest of the Lord, the in , or in her immediate region, have no authority or right, to meddle with her spiritual affairs, to regulate her concerns, or hold for the expulsion of members, in her unorganized condition. The has been expressly organized to administer in all her spiritual affairs; and the and his , are set over her [p. 137] temporal matters: so that the acts are null and void. Now the Lord wants the tares and wheat to grow together: for must be redeemed with judgments, and her converts with righteousness.
Every that can, after providing for his family (if he has any) and paying his debts, must go forth and clear his skirts from the blood of this generation. While they are in that region instead of trying members for transgressions, or offenses, let every one labor to prepare himself for the vineyard, sparing a little time to comfort the mourners; to bind up the brokenhearted; to reclaim the backslider; to bring back the wanderer; to re-invite into the kingdom such as have been cut off, by encouraging them to lay to while the day lasts, and work righteousness, and, with one heart and one mind, prepare to help redeem Zion, that goodly land of promise, where the willing and the obedient shall be blessed. Souls are as precious in the sight of God, as they ever were; and the elders were never called to drive any down to hell, but to persuade and invite all men every where to repent, that they may become the heirs of salvation. It is the acceptable year of the Lord: liberate the captives that they may sing hosanna.
The , too, should not be idle: their duties are plain, and unless they do them diligently, they cannot expect to be approved. Righteousness must be the aim of the saints in all things, and when the covenants are published, they will learn that great things must be expected from them. Do good and work righteousness with an eye single to the glory of God, and you shall reap your reward when the Lord recompenses every one according to his work.
The and are the standing ministers of the , and in the absence of other officers, great things, and a holy walk, are required of them. They must strengthen the members’ faith; persuade such as are out of the way to repent, and turn to God and live; meekly persuade and urge every one to forgive one another all their trespasses, offences and sins, that they may work out their own salvation with fear and trembling. Brethren, bear and forbear one with another, for so the Lord does with us: Pray for your enemies in the church, and curs[e] not your foes without: for vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, and I will repay.
To every member and to all we say, be merciful and you shall find mercy. Seek to help save souls, not to destroy them: for verily you know, that “there is more joy in heaven, over one sinner that repents, than there is over ninety and nine just persons that need no repentance.” Strive not about the mysteries of the kingdom; cast not your pearls before swine, give not the bread of the children to dogs, lest you and the children should suffer, and you thereby offend your righteous Judge.
Your brethren, who leave their families, with whom they have enjoyed an earthly measure of peace and joy, to carry glad tidings round the world, expect great things of you, while you are privileged to enjoy the blessings of the saints’ society. They pray our heavenly Father, that you may be very prayerful, very humble, and very charitable; working diligently, spiritually and temporally for the redemption of Zion, that the pure in heart may return with songs of everlasting joy to build up her waste places, and meet the Lord when he comes in his glory. Brethren, in the name of Jesus, we entreat you to live worthy of the blessings that shall follow, after much tribulation, to satiate the souls of them that hold out faithful to the end.
[p. 138]

Footnotes

  1. 1

    See Romans 12:21.  

  2. 2

    See James 1:22, 27.  

  3. 3

    See Revelation, 1 Aug. 1831 [D&C 58:2].  

  4. 4

    The original letter has “nor.” (Letters to John Burk, Sally Waterman Phelps, and Almira Mack Scobey, 1–2 June 1835.)  

  5. 5

    Although a high council and presidency had been established in Missouri, most of the leaders were in Kirtland or on missions at this time, which may be one reason why Zion is referred to as being in an “unorganized condition.” (See Historical Introduction to Letters to John Burk, Sally Waterman Phelps, and Almira Mack Scobey, 1–2 June 1835.)  

  6. 6

    The original letter has “organized expressly.” (Letters to John Burk, Sally Waterman Phelps, and Almira Mack Scobey, 1–2 June 1835.)  

  7. 7

    The original letter has “thus” instead of “that.” (Letters to John Burk, Sally Waterman Phelps, and Almira Mack Scobey, 1–2 June 1835.)  

  8. 8

    See Matthew 13:40; and Revelation, 6 Dec. 1832 [D&C 86:7]. The original letter includes “while in an organized states” here. (Letters to John Burk, Sally Waterman Phelps, and Almira Mack Scobey, 1–2 June 1835.)  

  9. 9

    The original letter has “by” instead of “with.” (Letters to John Burk, Sally Waterman Phelps, and Almira Mack Scobey, 1–2 June 1835.)  

  10. 10

    The original letter has “after he has provided.” (Letters to John Burk, Sally Waterman Phelps, and Almira Mack Scobey, 1–2 June 1835.)  

  11. 11

    The original letter has “if any he has.” (Letters to John Burk, Sally Waterman Phelps, and Almira Mack Scobey, 1–2 June 1835.)  

  12. 12

    The original letter has “paid” instead of “paying.” (Letters to John Burk, Sally Waterman Phelps, and Almira Mack Scobey, 1–2 June 1835.)  

  13. 13

    The original letter has “and prepare with one heart and one mind.” (Letters to John Burk, Sally Waterman Phelps, and Almira Mack Scobey, 1–2 June 1835.)  

  14. 14

    See Revelation, 11 Sept. 1831 [D&C 64:34].  

  15. 15

    The original letter has “invite and persuade men.” (Letters to John Burk, Sally Waterman Phelps, and Almira Mack Scobey, 1–2 June 1835.)  

  16. 16

    See Hebrews 1:14; and Vision, 16 Feb. 1832 [D&C 76:88].  

  17. 17

    See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 126 [Jacob 2:19].  

  18. 18

    See Articles and Covenants, ca. Apr. 1830 [D&C 20:46–52].  

  19. 19

    The original letter has “new covenants.” (Letters to John Burk, Sally Waterman Phelps, and Almira Mack Scobey, 1–2 June 1835.)  

  20. 20

    At the time, church leaders in Ohio were preparing the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants for publication. (William W. Phelps, Kirtland, OH, to Sally Waterman Phelps, Liberty, MO, 26 May 1835, William W. Phelps, Papers, BYU.)  

    Phelps, William W. Papers, 1835–1865. BYU.

  21. 21

    The original letter has “may” instead of “must.” (Letters to John Burk, Sally Waterman Phelps, and Almira Mack Scobey, 1–2 June 1835.)  

  22. 22

    See Jeremiah 50:29; Lamentations 3:64; and Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 1:10].  

  23. 23

    The original letter has “urge and persuade.” (Letters to John Burk, Sally Waterman Phelps, and Almira Mack Scobey, 1–2 June 1835.)  

  24. 24

    The original letter has “each other” instead of “one another.” (Letters to John Burk, Sally Waterman Phelps, and Almira Mack Scobey, 1–2 June 1835.)  

  25. 25

    See Philippians 2:12; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 537 [Mormon 9:27].  

  26. 26

    The original letter has “bear and forbear one with another, brethren.” (Letters to John Burk, Sally Waterman Phelps, and Almira Mack Scobey, 1–2 June 1835.)  

  27. 27

    The original letter has “God” instead of “the Lord.” (Letters to John Burk, Sally Waterman Phelps, and Almira Mack Scobey, 1–2 June 1835.)  

  28. 28

    “Cease to find fault and learn to do well” is inserted here in the original letter. (Letters to John Burk, Sally Waterman Phelps, and Almira Mack Scobey, 1–2 June 1835.)  

  29. 29

    See Romans 12:19; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 524, 533 [Mormon 3:15; 8:20]; and Revelation, 26 Apr. 1832 [D&C 82:23].  

  30. 30

    See Matthew 7:6; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 484 [3 Nephi 14:6]; and Revelation, 4 Feb. 1831 [D&C 41:6].  

  31. 31

    See Matthew 15:26; and Mark 7:27.  

  32. 32

    The original letter has “society of the sain[ts].” (Letters to John Burk, Sally Waterman Phelps, and Almira Mack Scobey, 1–2 June 1835.)  

  33. 33

    The original letter has “and” after “prayerful.” (Letters to John Burk, Sally Waterman Phelps, and Almira Mack Scobey, 1–2 June 1835.)  

  34. 34

    The original letter has “work” instead of “working.” (Letters to John Burk, Sally Waterman Phelps, and Almira Mack Scobey, 1–2 June 1835.)  

  35. 35

    The original letter has “when all the pure in heart can.” (Letters to John Burk, Sally Waterman Phelps, and Almira Mack Scobey, 1–2 June 1835, underlining in original.)  

  36. 36

    See Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:18]; and Revelation, 24 Feb. 1834 [D&C 103:11].  

  37. 37

    The original letter has “blessing.” (Letters to John Burk, Sally Waterman Phelps, and Almira Mack Scobey, 1–2 June 1835.)  

  38. 38

    See Revelation, 1 Aug. 1831 [D&C 58:3].  

  39. 39

    See Jeremiah 31:14, 25.  

  40. 40

    See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 159 [Mosiah 2:41]; and Revelation, Apr. 1829–A [D&C 6:13].