Discourse, 29 September 1839, as Reported by James Mulholland

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

Spoke and explained concerning uselessness of preaching [p. 12] to the world about great judgements but rather to preach the simple gospel— Explained concerning the coming of the son of Man &c that all will be raised to meet him but the righteous will remain with him in the cloud whilst all the proud and all that do wickedly will have to return to the earth, and suffer his vengeance which he will take upon them this is the second death &c &c
Also that it is a false idea that the saints will escape all the judgements whilst the wicked suffer— for all flesh is subject to suffer— and “the righteous shall hardly escape” still many of the saints will escape— for the just shall live by faith— yet many of the righteous shall fall a prey to disease to pestilence &c and yet &c by reason of the weakness of the flesh and yet be saved in the kingdom of God So that it is an unhallowed principle to say that such and such have transgressed because they have been preyed upon by disease or death for all flesh is subject to death and the Saviour has said, “Judge not “lest ye be judged”. [p. [13]]


  1. 1

    See 1 Thessalonians 4:16–17; and Revelation, 27–28 Dec. 1832 [D&C 88:96–98].  

  2. 2

    See Revelation 2:11; 20:6, 14; 21:8; and Book of Mormon, 1837 ed., 137, 272, 273–274, 277 [Jacob 3:11; Alma 12:16, 32; 13:30].  

  3. 3

    See Revelation, 30 Aug. 1831 [D&C 63:34].  

  4. 4

    See Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; and Hebrews 10:38.  

  5. 5

    In discussing the connection between physical ailments and divine punishment, JS addressed a longstanding theological debate. The Bible contains several passages that ascribe physical suffering to divine punishment for sin, while other passages state that not all physical suffering occurs because of wrongdoing. During JS’s time, the notion that an unexpected and painful death indicated divine displeasure persisted in the United States, in part as a remnant of seventeenth-century Puritan theology, which informed religion in New England and throughout the northeastern part of the country. JS’s letter to the church written six months earlier from the jail at Liberty, Missouri, indicated that God sometimes physically punished the wicked but that the righteous would escape neither the calamities that would precede the Second Coming nor the vicissitudes of life. At least one previous church council had explicitly debated whether disease was “of the Devil” and had decided that it was not necessarily so. (See Deuteronomy 28:58–62; Zechariah 14:12; 1 Kings 17:17–23; John 9:1–3; Hall, Worlds of Wonder, Days of Judgment, 91, 125, 196–200; “Extracts from Heber C. Kimball’s Journal,” Times and Seasons, 15 Feb. 1845, 6:804; 15 Mar. 1845, 6:838–840; Letter to the Church and Edward Partridge, 20 Mar. 1839 [D&C 121:6, 16–20]; and Minute Book 2, 21 Aug. 1834.)  

    Hall, David D. Worlds of Wonder, Days of Judgment: Popular Religious Belief in Early New England. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990.

    Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

  6. 6

    See Matthew 7:1; and Luke 6:37.