John Whitmer, History, 1831–circa 1847

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  • Historical Introduction

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Chapter 1
The Book of , <​ kept by Comma[n]d​>
I shall proceed to continue this record, being commanded of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to to write the things that transpire in this church, (inasmuch as they come to my knowledge,) in these last days. It is now June the twelfth one thousand eight hundred and thirty one years, since the coming of our Lord and Savior, in the flesh,
Not many days after my brethren, , , and : Received a commandment of the Lord, through Joseph Smith Jr., to take their Journey to the Lamanites, and preach the gospel of our Lord and Savior, among them, and establish the church of Christ among them. They journeyed as far West as the State of ; and through the divine influences of the Holy Spirit, by the assistance of the Lord, they built a branch of the church, in State of Ohio, which consisted of about one hundred and thirty members.
And now it came to pass, that before they proceded, on their Journey from this place, There was a man whose name was , he having been an instrument in the hands of the Lord of doing much good. He was in search of truth, consequently he receivd the fulness of the gospel with gladness of heart, even the book of Mormon; it being what he was in search after, notwitstanding it was some days before he obtained a witness, from the Lord, of the truth of his work. After several days the Lord heard his cries, and answered his prayers, and by vision showed to him, that this eminated from him and must remain: it being the Fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ: first unto thee Gentiles and then unto the Jews.
Now it came to pass, after , <​was​> and recived into this church, that he was ordained an elder, under the hands of . He having much anxiety to see Joseph Smith Jr. the Seer which <​whom​> the Lord had raised up in these last days. Therefore he took his Journey to the State of , where Joseph. Resided.
There was another man whose name is , [p. 1] who was also desirous, to see the Seer, Therefore, he accompanied , and journeyed with him, to behold this man of God! even Joseph Smith Jr. he being desirous to know the truth of these things: But not having confidence enough to enquire at the hand of God, Therefore he sought testimony of man, and he obtained it, and received the truth and obeyed the divine requirements, and was also ordained an Elder unto this church, to preach repentance and remission of sins, unto this idolertrous generation.
Wherefore, after had been at he a few days he proclaimed the gospel, in those regions rount about, at which the people stood trembling and amazed, so powerful were his words, and some obeyed, the gospel, and came forth out of the water, rejoicing with Joy which is <​unspeakable and​> full of glory. From thence he journey[ed] to , where Joseph lived, and there he also proclaimed the gospel, and in the regions round about <​and​>. there were members added.
Now in these days was desirous to have the Seer enquire of the Lord, to know what the will of the Lord was concerning him. Accordingly Joseph enquired of the Lord, and these are the words that were spoken to him, saying:
Listen to the Lord your God, even Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, whose course is one eternal round, the same to day as yesterday and for ever. I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was crucified for the sins of the world, even as many as will believe on my name, that they may become the sons of God, even one in me as I am in the Father, as the Father is one in me, that we may be one.
Behold, verily, verily I say unto my servant , I have looked upon thee and thy works. I have heard thy prayers and prepared thee for a greater work. Thou art blessed, for thou shalt do greater things. Behold thou wast sent forth even as John, to prepare the way before me, and before Elijah which should come, and thou knew it not. Thou didst baptize by water unto repentanc[e], but they received not the holy Ghost; but now I give unto you a commandment, that thou shalt baptize by water, [p. 2]
and they shall receive the Holy Ghost, by the laying on of the hands, even as the apostles of old.
And it shall come to pass, that there shall be a great work in the land even among the Gentiles, for their folly and abominatio[ns] shall be made manifest, in the eyes of all people: for I am God and mine arm is not shortened and I will show signs miracles, signs and wonders, unto all those who believe on my name. And whoso shall ask it in my name, in faith, they shall cast out devils; they shall heal the sick; they shall cause the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak, and the lame to walk: and the time speedily cometh that great things shall be shown unto the children of men: but without faith shall not any thing be shown forth, except desolation upon Babylon, the same which has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And there are non[e] that doeth good except those who are ready to receive the fulness of the gospel, which I have sent forth to this generation.
Wherefore, I have called upon the weak things of the world, those who are unlearned and despised, to thresh the nations by the power of my Spirit: and their arm shall be my arm, and I will be their shield and their buckler, and I will gird up their loins, and they shall fight manfulley for me: and their enemies shall be under their feet; and I will let fall the sword in their behalf; and by the fire of mine indignation will I preserve them. And the poor and the meek shall have the gosple preached unto them, and they shall be looking forth forth for the time of my coming, for it is nigh at hand: and they shall learn the parable of the figtree: for even now already summer is nigh, and I have sent forth the fulness of my gospel by the hand of my servant Joseph: and in weakness have I blessed him, and I have given unto him the keys of the mysteries of these things which have been sealed, even things which were from the foundation of the world, and the things which shall come from this time until the time of my coming, if he abide in me, and if not, another will I plant in his stead. [p. 3]
Wherefore, watch over him that his faith fail not, and it shall be given by the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, that knoweth all things: and a commandment I give unto thee, that thou shalt write for him: and the scriptures shall be given <​even​> as they are in mine own bosom, to the salvation of mine own elect: for they will hear my voice, and shall see me, and shall not be asleep, and shall abide the day of my coming, for they shall be purified even as I am pure. And now I say unto you, tarry with him and he shall journey with you: forsake him not and sur[e]ly these things shall be fulfilled. And inasmuch as ye do not write, behold it shall be given unto him to prophesy: and thou shalt preach my gospel, and call on the holy prophets to prove his words, as they shall be given him.
Keep all the commandments and covenants by which you are bound, and I will cause the heavens to shake for your good: and Satan shall tremble; and Zion shall rejoice upon the hills, and flourish; and Israel shall be saved in my own due time. And by the keys by which <​I​> have been given, shall they be led and no more be confounded at all. Lift up your hearts and be glad; your redemption draweth nigh. Fear not little flock, the kingdom is yours until I come. Behold I come quickle, even so: Amen.
Now, after the Lord had made known, what he would that his servant should do, he went to writing the things which the Lord showed unto his servant the seer. The Lord made known, some of the hidden things of the <​his​> kingdom of God; for he unfolded the prophesy of Enoch the sevanth from Adam. After they had written this prophecy, they the Lord spake to them again, and gave further directions.
Behold I say unto you, that it is not expedient in me that ye should translate any more until ye shall go to the ; and this because of the enemy and for your sakes. And again, I say unto you, that ye shall not go until ye have preached th <​my​> gospel in those parts, and have strengthened up the church withersoever it is found, and more especially in for behold they prey unto [p. 4]
me in much faith.
And again, a commandment I give unto the church, that it is expedient in me that they should assemble together at the , against the time that my Servant shall return unto them. Behold here is wisdom, and let every man choose for himself until I come; even so: Amen.
After thee above directions were received, Joseph and went to the several churches preaching and propheceing wherever they went, and greatly strengthened the churches that were built unto the Lord. Joseph prophecied saying: God is about to destroy this generation, and Christ will descend from heaven in power and great glory, with all the holy angels with him, to take vengeance upon the wicked, and they that know not God: preached the gospel and proved his words from the holy prophets: and so powerful were thier words, that the people who heard them speak were amazed, and trembled, and knew not whereunto this thing would grow. The adversary of all righteousness being crafty, and beguiled the people, and stirred them up to anger, against the words spoken, and has blinded their eyes and is leading them down to darkness, and misery and wo! This generation abounds, in ignorance, superstition, selfishness, idolitry, and priestcraft, for this generation is truly lied led by priests, even hireling priests whose god is the substance of this worlds goods which waxeth old and is begining to fade away: who look for their hire every one from his quarter.
Because of the abominations that are abroad in the world, it is hard for those who receive the fulnes of the gospel, to and came into the new and everlasting covenant, <​to​> get clear of the traditions of their forefathers: and are to be made to believe the commandments that came forth in these last days for the upbilding of the kingdom of God, and the salvation of those who believe.
The time had now come for the general conferance to be held. Which was the first of January 1831, <​and​> according to this appointment the saints assembled themselves together. After [p. 5] transacting the necessary business, Joseph the seer addressed the congregation, and exhorted them to stand fast, looking forward considering the end of their salvation. The solemnities of eternity rested on thm the congregation, and having previou[s]ly received a revelation to go to , they desired to know somewhat more concerning this matter. Therefor the Seer enquired of the Lord in the presence of the whole congregation, and thus came the word of the Lord saying:
Thus saith the Lord God, even Jesus Christ the great I AM, Alpha and Omega, the begining and the end. The same which looked upon the wide expance of eternity, and all the seraphic host of heaven, before the world was made; the same which knoweth all things, for all things are present before his mine eyes. I am the same which spake and the world was made, and all things came by me: I am the same which have taken the Zion of Enoch into mine own bosom, and verily I say, even as many as have believed on my name, for I am Christ, and in my own name by the virtue of the blood which I have spilt, have I plead before the Father for them; But behold the residue of the wicked have I kept in chains of darkness until the Judgment of the great day, which shall come at the end of the earth. and even so will I cause the wicked to be kept, that will not hear my voice but harden their hearts, and wo, wo, is th wo is their doom.
Behold, verily, verily I say unto you, that mine eyes are upon you; I am in your midst and ye cannot see me, but the day soon comeeth that ye shall see me and know that I am: for the veil of darkness shall soon be rent, and he that is not purified shall not abide the day: wherefore, gird up your loins and be prepared. Behold the kingdom is yours and ye <​enemy​> shall not overcome.
Verily I say unto you, ye are clean but not all; and there is none else with whom I am well pleased, for all flesh is corruptable before me, and the powers of darkness prevail [p. 6]
upon the earth, among the children of men, in the presence of all the hosts of heaven, which causes silence to reign, and all eternity is pained; and the angels are waiting the great commands to reap down the earth, to gather the tares that they may be burned: and behold the enemy is combined.
And now I show unto you a mystery, a thing which is had in secret chambers, to bring to pass even your destruction, in process of time, and ye knew it not, but now I tell it unto you, not because of your iniquity, neither your hearts of unbelief, for verily some of you are guilty before me; but I will be merciful unto your weakness. Therefore be ye strong from henceforth; fear not for the kingdom is yours: and for your salvation I give unto you a commandment, for I have heard your prayers, and the poor have complained before me, and the rich I have I made, and all flesh is mine, and I am no respector of persons. And I have made the earth rich, and behold I have made the earth rich, it is my footstool: wherefore, again I will stand upon it: and I hold forth and deign to give unto you greater riches, even a land of promise; a land flowing with milk and honey, upon which there shall be no curse when the Lord cometh: and I will give it unto you for the land of your inheritance, if you seek it with all your hearts; and this shall be my covenant with you, ye shall have it for the land of your inheritance, and for the inheritanc[e] of your children for ever, while the earth shall stand, and ye shall possess it again in eternity no more to pass it away.
But verily I say unto you, that in time ye shall have no King nor ruler, for I will be your King and watch over you— Wherefore, hear my voice and follow me, and ye shall be a free people, and ye shall have no laws but my laws, when I come, for I am your Lawgiver, and what can stay my hand? But verily I say unto you, teach one another according to the office wherewith I have appointed you, and let every man esteem his brother as himself, and practice virtue and holyness before me. And again I say unto you, let every man esteem his brother as himself; for [p. 7]
what man among you having twelve sons, and is no respector to them, and they serve him obediently, and he saith unto the one, be thou clothed in robes and sit thou here; and to the other, be thou clothed in raggs and sit thou there, and looketh upon his sons and saith I am Just.
Behold, this I have given unto you a parable, and it is even as I am: I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one, ye are not mine. And again I say unto you, that the enemy in the secret chamber seeketh your lives; Yea Ye hear of wars in far countries, and you say there will soon be great wars in far countries, but ye know not the hearts in of them in your own land: I tell you these things because of your prayers: Wherefore treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, lest the wickedness of men reveal these things unto you, by their wickedness in a manner which will <​shall​> speak in your ears, with a voice louder than that which shall shake earth: but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.
And that you ye might escape the power of the enemy, and be gathered unto me a righteous people, without spot and blameless: wherefore for this cause I gave unto you the commandment, that ye should go to the : and there I will give unto you my law; and there you shall be endowed with power from on high, and from thence, whomsoever I will shall go forth among all nations, and it shall be told them what they shall do: for I have a great work laid up in store: for Israel shall be saved, and I will lead them whithersoever I will, and no power shall stay my hand.
And now I give unto the church in these parts, a commandment, that certain men among them shall be appointed, and they shall be appointed by the voice of the church; and they shall look to the poor and administer to their releaf, that they shall not suffer; and send them forth to the place which I have commanded them; and this shall be their work, to govern the affairs of the property of this church. And they [p. 8]
that have farms that cannot be sold, let them be left or rented, as seemeth them good. See that all things are preserved, and when men are endowed with power from on high, and sent forth, all these things shall be gathered unto the bosom of the church.
And if ye seek the riches which it is the will of the Father to give unto you, ye shall be the richest of all people; for ye shall have the riches of eternity; and it must needs be that the riches of the earth is mine to give; but beware of pride, lest ye become as the Nephites of old. And again I say unto you, I give unto you a commandment, that Elder, Priest, Teacher, and people, also member, go to with his might, with the labor of his hands, to prepare and accomplish the things which I have commanded. And let your preaching be the warning voice, every one to his neighbor, in mildness and in meekness. And go ye out from among the wicked. Save yourselves. Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord; even so: Amen.
After the Lord had manifested the above words through Joseph the Seer, there were some divisions among the congregation, some would not receive the above as the word of the Lord: But that Joseph had invented it himself to deceive the people that in the end he might get gain. Now this was because their hearts were not right in the sight of the Lord, for they wanted to serve God and man; but our Savi[o]r has declared that it was impossible to do so.
The conference was now closed, and the Lord had manifested his will to his people. Therefore they made preperations to Journey to the , with their wives, and children and all that they possessed, to obey the commandment of the Lord. After these things were in done Joseph and went to to do the will of the Lord in that part of the land: and to strengthen the disciples in that part of the vineyard, and preach the gosple to a hardened and a wicked people, and it is fearful that they are all delivered over to the hardness of h[e]art and blindness of [mind?] [p. 9] so that they cannot be brought to repentance. For when and the Revelator arrivd there, they held prayer meetings, among the disciples, and they also held public meetings but it was all in vain, they threatend to kill them. Therefo[r]e, they knew that they were not fit for the kingdom of God, and well nigh ripe for destruction. The Spir[i]t of the Lord fell upon and he spoke with boldness, and he preached the gospel in its purity; but they laughed him to scorn, he being filled, with the Holy Spirit, he cried aloud O ye heavens give ere and ye angels attend, I bear witness in the name of Jesus Christ that this people is sealed up to everlasting destruction. And immediately he left them and escaped out of their hands. And his enemies were astonished and amazed at the doctrine which he preached, for they taught as men having authority and not as hireling priests.
After Joseph and returned from to . The Lord manifested himself to Joseph the Revelater and gave commandment for to go to the , and carry the commandments and revelations, with me, to comfort and strengthen my brethren in that land. The disciples had increased in number about three hundred. But the enemy of all righteous had got hold of some of those who profesed to <​be​> his followers, because they had not sufficent knowledge to detect him in all his devices. He took a notion to blind their minds of some of the weaker ones, and made them think that an angel of God appeard to them, and showed them writings and on the outside cover of the Bible, and on parchment, which flew through the air, and on the back of their hands, and many such foolish and vain things, others lost their strength, and some scooted <​slid​> and on the floor, and such like maneuvers, which proved greatly to th[e] injury of the cause.
The Lord also worked and many embrasd [embraced] the work, and the honest in heart stood firm and immovable. It was very [p. 10] ne[ce]ssary that this people should have instruction, and learn to decern between the things of God and the works of Satan. For the inhabitants of the earth knew nothing of the working of the Spirit of the Lord, at in these days.
Chapter 2
Chapter II
About these days Joseph the Prophet and arrived at to the joy and satisfaction of the Saints. The disciples had all things common, and were going to destruction very fast as to temporal things: for they considered from reading the scripture that what belonged to one man, bel a brother belonged to any of the brethren, therefore they would take each others clothes and other property and use it without leave: which brought on confusion and disappointments: for they did not understand the scripture. After Joseph lived here a few days the word of the Lord came saying:
Hearken and hear O ye my people, saith the Lord and your God, ye whom I delight to bless with the greatest blessings; ye that hear me; and ye that hear me not will I curse, that have professed my name, with the heav[i]est of all cursings. Hearken O ye Elders of my church whom I have called, behold I give unto you a commandment, that you shall assemble yourselves together to agree upon my word, and by the prayer of your faith ye shall receive my law, that ye may know how to govern my church, and have all things right before me.
And I will be your Ruler when I come: and behold I come quickly; and ye shall see that my law is kept. He that receiveth my law and doeth it the same is my disciple; and he that saith he receiveth my law and doeth it not is not my disciple, and shall be cast out from among you: for it is not meet that the things which belong to the children of the kingdom, should be given to them that are not worthy, or to dogs, or the pearl to be cast before swine.
And again, it is meet that my servant Joseph Smith Jr. should have a house built, in which to live and translate. And again, [p. 11]
it is meet that my servant should live as seemeth him good, inasmuch as he keepeth my commandments. And again I have called my servant , and give a commandment, that he should be appointed by the voice of the church, and ordained a bishop, unto the church, to leave his merchandise and to spend all his time in the labors of the church; to see to all things as it shall be appointed unto him, in my laws in the day that I shall give them. And this because his heart is pure before me, for he is like Nathaniel of old, in whom there is no guile. These words are given unto you, and they are pure before me: wherefore beware how you hold them, for they are to be answered upon your souls in the day of Judgment; even so: Amen.
Behold after this revelation was receivd the Elders were called together, and united in mighty prayer, and were agreed as touching the reception of the Law; therefore; Thus saith the Lord: your God, even Jesus Christ, the great I AM,
Hearken, O ye E[l]ders of my church who have assembled themselves together, in my name, even Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, the Savior of the world; inasmuch as they believe on my name and keep my commandments; again, I say unto you, hearken and hear and obey the law which I shall give unto you: for verily I say, as ye have assembled yourselves together, according to the commandment wherewith I commanded you, and are agreed as touching this one thing, and have asked the Father in my name, even so ye shall receive.
Behold, verily I say unto you, I give unto you this first commandment, that ye shall go forth in my name, every one of you, excepting my Servant Joseph Smith Jr. and . And I give unto them a commandment, that they shall go forth for a little season, and it shall be given by the power of the Spirit when they shall return, and ye shall go forth in the power of my Spirit, preaching my gospel, tow [two] by two, in my name, lifting up your voices as with the voice of a trump, declaring my word like unto angels of God: and ye shall go [p. 12]
forth baptizing with water, saying, Repent ye, repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
And from this place ye shall go forth into the regions westward, and inasmuch as ye will find them that will believes recieve you, ye shall build up my church in every region, until the time shall come when it shall be revealed unto you, from on high, when the City of the New Jerusalem shall be prepared that ye may be gathered in one, that ye may be my people and I will be your God. And again, I say unto you, that my Servant shall stand in the office wherewith I have appointed him. And it shall come to pass, that if he transgress another shall be planted in his stead; even so. Amen.
Again I say unto you, that it shall not be given to any one to go forth to preach my gospel, or to build up my church, except he be ordained by some one who has authority, and has been regularly ordained by the heads of the church.
And again, the Elders, Priests and Teachers of this church, shall teach the principles of my gospel which are in the Bible and the book of Mormon, in the which is the fulness of the gospel; and they shall observe the covenants and church articles to do them, and these shall be their teachings, as they shall be directed by the Spirit: and the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith, and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach. And all this ye shall observe to do as I have commanded, concerning your teaching, until the fulness of my scripture are given.
And as you shall lift up your voices by the Comforter, ye shall speak and prophecy as seemeth me good; for behold the Comforter knoweth all things, and beareth record of the Father and of the Son.
And now, behold I speak unto the church: Thou shalt not kill; and he that kills shall not have forgiveness, in this world nor in the world to come.
And again, I say, thou shalt not kill; but he that killeth shall die. Thou shalt not steal, and he that stealeth and will not [p. 13]
repent, shall be cast out. Thou shalt not lie; he that lieth and will not repent, shall be cast out. Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her with all and none else; and he that looketh upon a woman to lust after her, shall deny the faith, and shall not have the Spirit, and if he repents not he shall be cast out. Thou shalt not commit adultery; and he that committeth adultery and repenteth not, shall be cast out; but he that has commited adultery and and repents with all his heart, and forsaketh it and doeth it no more, thou shalt for give; but if he doeth it again, he shall not be forgiven, but shall be cast out. Thou shalt not speak evil of the thy neighbor, nor do him any harm. Thou knowest my laws concerning these things are given in my Scriptures: he that sinneth and repenteth not, shall be cast out.
If thou lovest me, thou shalt serve me and keep all my commandments. And behold, thou wilt remember the poor, and consecrate of thy properties for their support, that which thou hast to impart unto them, with a covenant and a deed which cannot be broken and inasmuch as ye impart of your substance unto the poor, ye will do it unto me, and they shall be laid before the Bishop of my church, and his counsellors, two of the elders, or high priests such as he he shall or has appointed and set apart for that purpose.
And it shall come to pass, that after they are laid before the Bishop of my church, and after that he has received these testimonies concerning the consecrations of the properties of my church, that they cannot be taken from the church, agreeable to my commandments, every man shall be made accountable unto me, a steward over his own property, or that which he has receivd by consecration, inasmuch as is sufficient for himself and family.
And again, if there <​shall be​> properties in the hands of the church, or any individuals of it, more than is necessary for their support, after this first consecration, which is a residue, to be conse [p. 14]
crated unto the bishop, it shall be kept to <​ad​>minister to those who have not, from time to time, that every man who hath need may be amply supplied, and receive according to his wants. Therefore, the residue shall be kept in my storehouse, to administer to the poor and the needy, as shall be appointed by the high counsel of the church, and for the purpose of purchasing lands for the public benefit of the church, and building houses of worship, and building up the New Jerusalem which is hereaftr to be revealed, that my covena[n]t people may be gathered in one in the day when I shall come to my temple. And this I do for the salvation of my people.
And it shall come to pass, that he that sinneth and repenteth not, shall be cast out of the church, and shall not recive again that which he has consecrated unto the poor and the needy of my church, or in other words unto me, for inasmuch as ye do it unto the least of these ye do it unto me—for it shall come to pass, that which I spake by the mouths of my prophets, shall be fulfilled; for I will consecrate of the riches of those who embrace my gospel among the Gentiles, unto the poor of my people whos are of the house of Israel.
And again, thou shalt not be proud in thy heart, let all thy garments be plain, and their beauty the beauty of the work of thine own hands, and let all things be done in cleanliness before me. Thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread, nor wear the garments of the laborer. And whosoever among [you] that are sick, and have not faith to be healed, but believe, shall be nourished with all tenderness with herbs and mild food, and that not by the hand of an enemy. And the elders of the church, two or more, shall be called, and shall pray for and lay their hand on upon them, and if they die they shall die unto me, and if they live they shall live unto me. Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die, and more espescially for those who <​that​> have not hope of a glorious resurrection. And it shall come to pass, that those that die in me, shall not taste of [p. 15]
death, for it shall be sweet unto them, and they that die not in me, wo unto them for their death is bitter.
And again, it shall come to pass, that he that has faith in me, to be healed, and is not appointed unto death, shall be healed: he who has faith to see shall see: he who hast faith to hear shall hear: the lame who have faith to leap shall leap: and they who have not faith to do these things, but believe in me, have power to become my sons: and inasmuch as they break not my laws, thou shalt bear their infirmities.
Thou shalt stand in the place of thy stewardship: thou shalt not take thy brother’s garment; thou shalt pay for that which thou shalt receive of thy brother; and if thou obtainest more than that which would be for they thy support, thou shalt give it in my storehouse, that all things may be done according to that which I have said.
Thou shalt ask, and my scriptures shall be given as I have appointed, and they shall be preserved in safety; and it is expedient that thou shouldest hold thy peace concerning them, and not teach them until ye have receivd them in full. And I give unto you a commandment, that then ye shall teach them unto all men; for they shall be taught unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people.
Thou shalt take the things which thou hast received, which have been given unto thee in my scriptures for a law, to be my law, to govern my church; and he that doeth according to these things, shall be saved, and he that doeth them not shall be damned, if he continue.
If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation; knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peacable things; that which bringeth Joy, that which bringeth life eternal. Thou shalt ask at and it shall be revealed unto you in my own due time, where the New Jerusalem shall be built.
And behold it shall come to pass, that my servants shall be sent forth to the east, and to the west, to the north and to the south; and even now, let him that goeth to the east, teach them that shall be converted to flee to the west, and this in [p. 16]
consequence of that which is coming on the earth, and of secret combinations. Behold thou shalt observe all these things, and great shall be thy reward; for unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom, but unto the world it is not given to know them. Ye shall observe the laws which ye have received, and be faithful. And ye shall hereafter receive church covenants, such as shall be sufficient to establish you, both here and in the New Jerusalem. Therefore he that lacketh wisdom, let him ask of me, and I will give him liberally, and up[b]raid him not. Lift up your hearts and rejoice, for unto you the kingdom, or in other words, the keys of the church, have been given; even so. Amen.
The priests and teachers shall have their stewardships, even as the members, and the elders, or high priests, who are appointed to assist the bishop as counsellors, in all things are to have their families supported out of their properties property which is consecrated to the bishop, for the good of the poor, and for other purposes, as before mentioned; or they are to receive a stewerdship Just remuneration for all their services; either a stewardship, or other wise, as may be thought best or decided by the counsellors and bishop. And the bishop also, shall receive his support, or a Just remuneration for all his services, in the Church.
Chapter 3
Chapter III
After the above law or Revelation was receivd, the elders went forth to proclaim repentance according to commandment, and there were numbers added to the church. The Bishop visited the church in is its several branches, there were some that would not receive the Law. The time has not yet come that the law can be fully established, for the disciples live scattered abroad and are not organized, our numbers are small, and the deciples untaught, consequently they understand not the things of the Kingdom. There were some of the disciples who were flattered into this church because [p. 17] they thought that all things were to be common, therefore they thought to glut themselves upon the labors of others.
About these days there was a woman by the name of Hubble who professed to be a prophetess of the Lord. and professed to have many revelations, and knew that the Book of mormon was true; and that she should become a teacher in the Church of Christ. She appeard very sanctimonious and deceived some, who were not able to detect her in her hypocracy: others however had a spirit of dicernment and her folies and abominations were made manifest. The Lord gave Revelation that the saints might not be decived which reads as follows.
O hearken, ye elders of my church, and give ere to the words which I shall speak unto you; for behold, verily, verily I say unto you, that ye have received a commandment for a law unto my church, through him whom I have appointed unto you, to receive commandments and revelations from my hand. And this ye shall know assuredly, that there is none other appointed unto you to receive <​commandments and​> revelations until he be taken if he abide in me.
But verily, verily I say unto you, that none else shall be appointd unto this gift except it be through him, for if it be taken from him he shall not have power, except to appoint another in his stead: and this shall be a law unto you, that ye receive not the teachings of any that shall come before you as revelations or commandments; and this I give unto you that you may not be deceivd; that you may know they are not of me. For verily I say unto you, that he that is ordained of me shall come in at the gate and be ordained as I told you before, to tea[c]h those revelations which you have receivd, and shall receive through him whom I have appointed.
And now Behold I say unto you, give unto you a commandment, [p. 18]
that when ye are assembled together, ye shall instruct and edify each other, that ye may know how to act and instruct my church how to act upon the points of my law and commandments, which I have given: and thus ye shall become instructed in the law of my church, and be sanctified by that which ye have receivd, and ye shall bind yourselves to act in all holiness before me, that inasmuch as ye do this, glory shall be added to the kingdom which ye have receivd. Purge ye out the iniquity that is among you; sanctify yourselves before me, and if ye desire the glories of the kingdom, appoint ye my Servant Joseph Smith Jr. and uphold him before me by the prayer of faith. And again, I say unto you, that if ye desire the mysteries of the kingdom, provide for him food and raiment and whatsoever he needeth to accomplish the work, wherewith I have commanded him: and if ye do it not, he shall remain unto them who have receivd him, that I may reserve unto myself a pure people before me.
Again I say, hearken ye elders of my church, whom I have appointed: ye are not appointed <​sent forth​> to be taught, but to teach the children of men the things which I have put into your hands by the power of my Spirit: and ye are taught from on high. Sanctify yourselves and ye shall be endowed with power, that ye may give even as I have spoken.
Hearkn ye, for behold the great day of the Lord is near at hand. For the day cometh that the Lord shall utter his voice out of heaven; the heavens shall shake and the earth shall tremble, and the trump of God shall sound both long and loud, and shall say to the sleeping nations: Ye Saints arise and live: Ye sinners stay and sleep until I shall call again; wherefore gird up your loins, lest ye be found among the wicked Lift up your voices and spare not. Call upon the nations to repent, both old and young, both bond and free; saying, Prepare yourselves, for the great day of the Lord; for if I who am a man, do lift up my voice and call upon you to [p. 19]
repent, and ye hate me, what will ye say when the day cometh when the thunders shall utter their voices from the ends of the earth speaking to the ears of all that live, Saying repent, and prepare, for the great day of the Lord! Yea, and again, when the lightnings shall streak forth from the east to the west, and shall utter forth their voices unto all that live, and make the ears of all tingle, that hear, these words: saying, Repent ye for the great day of the Lord is come.
And again, the Lord shall utter his voice out of heaven, sayin[g]: Hearken, O ye nations of the earth, and hear the words of that God who made you. O ye nations of the earth, how often I would have gathered you together as a hen gathereth her chicken under her wings, but ye would not!
How oft have I called upon you by the mouth of my Servants; and by the ministering of angels; and by mine own voice; and by the voice of thunderings; and by the voice of lightnings; and by the voice of tempests; and by the voice of earthquakes; and great hailstorms; and by the voice of famines, and pestilenc[e] of every kind; and by the great sound of a trump; and by the voice of Judgement; and by the voice of merrcy all the day long; and by the voice of glory, and honor, and the riches of eternal life; and would have saved your with an everlasting salvation, but ye would not! Behold the day has come, when the cup of the wrath of mine indignation is full.
Behold, verily I say unto you, that these are the words of the Lord your God; Wherefore, labor ye, labor ye, in my vineyard for the last time; for the last time call upon the inhabitants of the earth, for in mine own due time in [it] will come upon the earth in Judgment; and my people shall be redeemed, and shall reign with me on earth; for the great Millennium, which I have spoken by the mouth of my servants, shall come; shall for Satan shall be bound; and when he is loosed again, he shall only reign for a little season, [p. 20]
and then cometh the end of the earth: and he that liveth in righteousness, shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye; and the earth shall pass away so as by fire; and the wicked shall go away into unquenchable fire; and their end no man knoweth, on earth nor ever shall know, until they come before me into judgment.
Hearken ye to these words; behold I am Jesus Christ the Savior of the world. Treasure these things up in your hearts, and let the solemnities rest upon your minds. Be sober. Keep all the commandments: even so: Amen.
After this commandment was receivd, the saints came to understanding on this subject, and unity and harmony prevailed throughout the church of God: and the Saints began to learn wisdom, and treasure up knowledge which they learned from the word of God, and by experiance as they advanced in the way of eternal life. And Joseph Smith <​J[r]​> the Seer continued the translation of the holy Scriptures. And the word of the Lord came to Joseph Smith Junier: Saying:
Behold thus saith the Lord, unto you my Servants, it is expedient in me that the elders of my Church should be called together: from the east, and from the west, from the north and from the South: by letter or otherwise. And it shall come to pass, that I will pour out my spirit upon them, in the day that they assemble themselves together; and it shall come to pass, that they shall go forth unto the regions round about; and preach repentance unto this people, and many shall be converted, insomuch that ye shall obtain power to organize yourselves, according to the laws of man, that your enemies may be under your feet in all things; that ye may be enabled to keep my laws; that every band may be broken wherewith the enemy seeketh to bind you. Behold I say unto you, that you must visit the poor and the needy, and administer unto their relief, that they may be kept until all things may be done according to my law which ye have recivd. Amen.
The translation continu[e]d: And the elders were sent for according to the preceeding Revelation. [p. 21]
June <​March​> 4, 1831. This was a day appointed for a general Conference. from whence the elders were sent forth to prea[c]h the gospel and many were added of such as were determined to be saved.
About this time some were sick of various diseases, and were healed by the power of which was in them through Jesus Christ.
There was a tradition among some of the disciples, that those who obeyed the covenant in the last days, would never die: but by experiance they have learned to the contrary.
In those days the Lord blessed his disciples greatly, and he gave Revelation after Revelation, which contained doctrine, instructions, and prophecies: The word of the Lord came to the seer as follows: “published in the edition of book of doctrinee and covenants published at Ohio, 1835, Page 128. Insert the Revelation.”
Some of the Elders returned from their missions, to gain some rest and instructions. They rehersed some of the wickedness which they had seen among this generation: while they were proclaiming the gospel, and warning the people, some would cry false prophits, false christ &c. Some would receive the word gladly, until their priests would cry delusion! delusion!! for this generation abounds with priests, which they have heaped up unto themselves, and every one is teaching for hire: consequently every one is looking for his gain from his quarter. They will pursecute the disciples, and cause their followers to do likewise Out of the mixed multitude some obey the gospel of peace and bring forth fruit some an hundred fold.
The Lord is pouring forth some of his Judgments, in token of the last days. An earthquake in China destroyed about one Million of souls. But Judgments in these days as in former days serves to harden men, until it is to late to repent.
Chapter 4
Chapter IV [p. 22]
and others held a meeting in the city of Ohio, in the Masonick hall by the request of some of the Citizens of said . An opertunity which some sought to bring about their evil designs. addressed the congregation on the subject of the gospel; and warned the inhabitants of that place to flee the wrath to come.
Others followed him and while they were yet speaking One of the congregation came towards the stand and kneeled down and began to pray, a sign to the bandity [banditti] to begin their abuse, At this time they began to blow out the candles ang [and] throw inkstands and books &c at the speaker. and one of the brethren prayed that the Lord would stop the utteranc[e] of the fellow that came and kneeled at the stand and he became silent and could not rise from his knees for some time, because of the prayer of faith.
In the beginning of the church, while yet in her infancy, the disciples used to exclude unbelievers, which caused some to marvel, and converse about this matter because of the things that were written in the Book of Mormon. Therefore the Lord deigned to speak on this subject, that his people might come to understanding. and said, that he had always given to his people in Elders to conduct all meetings as they were led by the spirit. &c. See. Revelation Given March 1831. Book Doctrine and Covenants first edition printed at Ohio. Page 132 Section 16. insert the Revelation.
Chapter 5
Chapter. V.
The time drew near for the brethren from the State of to arrive at Ohio. And some had supposed that it was the place of gathering even the place of the New Jerusalam spoken of in the Book of Mormon. according to the visions and revelations received in the last days. There was no preparation made for the reception of the Saints. from the east. The being anxious to know something concerning the matter. Therefore the Lord spake unto Joseph Jr Smith Jr. as follows; [p. 23]
Thus saith the Lord, it is necessary that ye should remain for the present time in your places of abode, as it shall be suitable to your circumstances. And inasmuch as ye have lands, ye shall impart to the eastern brethren. And inasmuch as ye have not lands, let them buy for the present time in those regions round about; as seemeth them good; for it must needs be necessary that they have places to live for present time; It must needs be necessary that ye save all the money that ye can, and that ye obtain all that ye can, that in time ye may be enableed to purchase lands for inheritances: even the . The place is not yet to be revealed; but after your brethren come from the east, there are certain men to be appointed and to them <​it​> shall be given, to know the place, or to them it shall be revealed, and they shall be appointed, to purchase the lands and to make a commencement to lay the foundation of the City; and then ye shall begin to be gathered with your families, every man according to his family: according to his circumstances, and as is appointed to them by the and elders of the church, according to the laws and commandments which ye have receivd: and which ye shall hereafter receivee, and thus it is. Amen.
Chapter 6
Chapter VI
I returned from Ohio where I and had built a branch of the Church of Christ.
I was appointed by the voice of the Elders to keep the Church record. Joseph Smith Jr. said unto me you must also keep the Church history. I would rather not do it but observed that the will of the Lord be done, and if he desires it, I desire that he would manifest it through Joseph the Seer. And thus came the word of the Lord:
Behold it is expedient in me that my Servant should write and keep a regular history, and assist you my servant Joseph, in transcribing all things which shall be [p. 24]
given you, until he is called to further duties. Again, verily I say unto you, that he can also lift up his voice in meetings, when ever it shall be expedient.
And again, I say unto you, that it shall be appointed unto you him to keep the church record and historey continually, for I have appointed unto another office. Wherefor it shall be given him, inasmuch as he is faithful, by the Comforter, to write these things; even so. Amen.
has written the commencement of the church history commencing at the time of the finding of the plates, up to June 12, 1831. from this date I have written the things that I have written, and they are a mere sketch of the things that have transpired, they are however all that seemed to me wisdom to write—many things hapened that are to be lamentd because of the weakness and instability of man. The Devil having a gr[e]at hold on the hearts of the children of men, and the foolish traditions of our fathers, is to be lamented, for they count themselves the children of wisdom, and great, knowledge, in consequence of which the fulness of the gospel finds its way to but few of the hearts of this generation. Although their hearts must be penetrated, whethey they will hear or whether they will forbear.
Permit me here to remark, that , , and , were the three Witnesses, whose names are attached to the Book of Mormon according to the prediction of the Book, who knew and seen, for a surity, into whose presence the anger [angel] of God came and showed them the Plates, the ball, the directers, &c. And also other witnessees even eight Viz. , , , , , , and . are the men to whom Joseph Smith Jr showed the Plates, these witnesses names go forth also of the truth of this work in the last days. To the convincing or condemning of this generation in the last day. [p. 25]
Some of the brethren arrived from the State of , & ; who were prospered on their Journey. The disciples increased daily, and miricles were wrought daily such as healing the sick casting out devils, and the church grew and multiplied in numbers, grace, and knowledge.
one of the diciples, who was formerly a shakerquaker, he was anxious that some of the elders should go to his former brethren and preach the gospel. He also teased to be ordained to preach himself, and desired that the Lord should direct in this and all matters & thus saith the Lord:
Given at March 1831. Published in the first edition at , page 191. insert the revelation.
The above named brethren went and proclaimed according to the rev[e]lation given to them, but the shakers hearkened not to their words, and receivd not the gospel at that time; for they were bound up in tradition and priestcraft, and thus they are led away with foolish and vain imagianations.
For a perpetual memory, to the shame and confusion of the devil—permit me, to say a few things, respecting the proceedings of some of those who were disciples, and some remain among us, and will, and have come from under the error and enthusiasm, which they had fallen.
Some had visions and could not tell what they saw, Some would fancy to themselves that they had the sword of Laban, and would wield it as expert as a light dragoon, some would act like an Indian in the act of scalping, some would slide or scoot and [on] the floor, with the rapidity of a serpent, which the[y] termed sailing in the boat to the Lamanites, preaching the gospel. And many other vain and foolish manoeuvers that are unseeming, and unprofitable to mention. Thus the devil blinded the eyes of some good and honest disciples. I write these things to show how ignorant and undicerning children are [p. 26] and how easy mankind is lead as tray, notwithstanding the things of God that are written. concerning his Kingdom.
These things grievd the servants of the Lord, and some conversed together on this subject, and otheers came in and we were at Joseph Smith Jr. the seers, and made it a matter of consultation, for many would not turn from their folly, unless God would give a revelation, therfore the Lord spake to Joseph saying. Revelation gaven [given] May 1831, Printed at first edition Page 134, Section 17. insert the Revelation.
Chapter 7
Chapter VII.
About these days the disciples arrived from Yok State of . To this place state of Ohio. They had some dificulty because of some that did not continue faithful; who denied the truth and turrned into fables.
June 3, 1831, A general conference was called, and a blessing promised, if the elders were faithful, and humble before him. Therefore the elders assembled from the East and the West, from the North and the South. And also many members.
Conference of was opened and by prayer and exortation by Joseph Smith Jr. the Revelator. After the business of the church was attended to according to the Covenants. The Lord made manifest to Joseph that it was necessary that such of the elders as were considered worthy, should be ordained to the high priesthood.
The Spirit of the Lord fell upon Joseph in an unusual manner. And prophecied that John the Revelator was then among the ten tribes of Israel who had been lead away by Salmanaser King of israel, to prepare them for their return, from their Long dispersion, to again possess the land of their father’s. He prophecied many more things that a[s]king the many, he said that if [p. 27] that I have not written. After he had prophecied, he laid his hands upon to the High priesthood after the holy order of God. And the Spirit of [illegible] ord fell upon , and he prophecied, concerning the coming of Christ, he said that there were some in this congregation that should live until the Savior shoud decend from heaven, with a Shout, with all the holy angels with him. He said the coming of the Savior should be, like, the Sun rising in the east, and will cover the whole earth, so will the coming of the Son of man be. Yea, he will appear in his brightness, and consume all before him. And the hills will be laid low; and valies be exalted; and the crooked be made straight; and the rough smooth. And some of my brethren shall suffer marterdom, for the sake of the religion of Jesus Christ. and seal the testimony of Jesus with their blood. He saw the hevans opened, and the Son of man sitting on the right hand of the Father. Making intercession for his brethren. the Saints. He said that God would work a work in these Last days that tongue cannot express, and the mind of is not capable to conceive. The glory of the Lord shone around.
At this conferenc[e] these were ordained to the highpriesthood namely. , , [,] , , and were ordained by exce[p]t S Joseph Smith Jr. except .
The following by by commandments. , , , , , , , who deni[e]d the fiath deni[e]d the faith, also , Joseph Smith Jr. .
The then proceeded and blessed the above nam[e]d and others by the laying on of hands, and were ordained as bishops Counsellors to
Joseph Smith Jr. Prophecied the day Previous that the [p. 28] man of Sin should be revealed. While the Lord poured out his spirit, upon his servants, the Devil took occation, to make known his power, he bound <​and ​> so that he could not speak and others were affected but the Lord showed to Joseph the Seer, the design of this thing, he commanded the devil in the name of Christ and he departed to our Joy and comfort. <​Also​>
Therefore a part of the Revelation given at New York was fulfilled. The churches of the State of had moved to , with their Wives and their children, and all their Substance, some purchased farms others rented, and thus they situated themselves as convenient as they could. The day being now far spent and the conferanc [conference] was adjourned.
Chapter 8
Chapter VIII.
June 1 6, 1831. Receivd a Revelation what to do. Printed at Ohio, first edition Book Doctrine and Covenants Page 192. insert the revelation.
After this Revelation was received those elders were making all possible speed who were called to go according to commandment, to fill their missions in their several courses.
At this time the Church at Ohio was involved in difficulty, becaus of the rebellion of . Who would not do as he had previously agreed. Which thing confused the whole church and finally the Lord spake unto Joseph Smith Jr the prophit saying:
“Behold thus saith the Lord, even Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end, even he who was crucified for the sins of the world. Behold verily, verily I say unto you, my Servant , You shall stand fast in the office wherewith you have been appointed; and if your brethren desire you to escape their enemies, let them repent of all their sins; and become truly humble before me and contrite: and as the covenant which they made unto me, has been broken, even so it has. [p. 29]
become void and of none affect; and wo to him by whom this offenc[e] cometh, for it had been better for him that he had been drownd in the depth of the sea; but blessed are they who have kept the covenant, and observed the commandment, for they shall obtain mercy.
Wherefore, go to now and flee the land, lest your enemies come upon you; and take your journey into the regions westward, and appoint whom you will to be your leader, and to pay moneys for you. And thus you shall take your Journey <​into you the regions​> westward, unto the land of , unto the borders of the Lamanites. And after you have done Journeying, behold I say unto you, seek ye a living like unto men, until I prepare a place for you.
And [a]gain, be patient in tribulation until I come: and behold I come quickly, and my reward is with me, and th[e]y who have sought me early, shall find rest to their souls; even so: Amen.[”]
After some time some of the elders had left, and the time for Joseph Smith Jr. and others to leave. Some of those who had been commanded to take their Journey speedily, that some had denied the faith, and turned from the truth. And the church at Ohio, had not done according to the will of the [Lord?]. Therefore, before Joseph and his company left thus came the word of the Lord; saying: Hearken O ye my people which profes my name, &c. See, book doctrine & covenants first edition published at Ohio, page 197. insert the revelation.
The Church at made all posible haste to leav for , and left and none of their enemies harmed them.
The Church at Ohio was also anxious to take their Journey to : and by much teasing they obtained a permit to take their Journey. [p. 30]
Chapter 9
Chapter IX
There was much trouble and unbelief among those who call themselvs disciples of Christ: Some apostatized, and became enemies to the cause of God, and percecuted the saints.
Now after the elders that were commanded to go to had arrived, they held a conferanc upon that land according to Revelation given in a preceeding Commandmnt. And thus they rejoiced together upon the land of . And offered their Sacraments and oblations unto the Lord, for his mercy and goodness which endureth for ever.
When they had held their sacrament meetings, the Lord and the Laying of the foundation of the City, and cornerstone of the , the Lord gave commandments to return.
I here give a copy of the proceedings of the Laying of the first logs of the City of Zion. As written by .
“After many struggles and afflictions, being perssecuted by our enemies, we received inteligence by letter from our brethren, who were at the East. That br Joseph and , and many others elders, were commanded to take their Journey to this land, the Land of . Which was promised unto us should be the land of the inheritance of the saints, and the place of the gathering in these last days. Which inteligence cheered our hearts, and caused us to rejoice exceedingly. And by the special directions protections of the Lord, br Joseph Smith Jr. and , in company with eight other elders, with the church from New York, consisting of about sixty souls, arivd in the month of July and by Revelation the place was made known where the Temple shall stand, and the should commence. And by commandment twelve of us assembled ourselves together Viz. Elder Joseph Smith Jr. the Seer. , , , , and who denied the faith.
On the second day of August 1831, Brother [p. 31]
stood up and asked saying: Do you receive this land for the land of your inheritanc[e] with thankful hearts from the Lord? answer from all we do, Do you pledge yourselves to keep the laws of God on this land, which you have never have kept in your own land? we do. Do you pledge yourselves to see that others of your brethren, who shall come hither do keep the laws of God? We do. After prayer he arose and said, I now pronounce this land consecrated and dedicated to the Lord for a possession and inheritanc for the Saints, (in the name of Jesus Christ having authority from him.) And for all the faithful Servants of the Lord to the remotest ages of time. Aamen.
The day following eight Elders viz. Joseph Smith Jr., , , , , , , and , assembled together where the is to be erected. dedicated the ground where the city is to Stand: and Joseph Smith Jr. laid a stone at the North east corner of the contemplated Temple in the name of the Lord Jesus of Nazareth. After all present had rendered thanks to the great ruler of the universe. pronounced this Spot of ground wholy dedicated unto the Lord forever: Amen.[”]
Some of the Elders who travelled to the land of and preached by the way, tarried here in this land, among whom is the Bishop and — Some were sick on their way to this land but all were restored to health among those who were sick was and — They all tarried until after they attended a conference in this land. They have since all gone to preach [p. 32] the gospel and call sinners to repentence
There were some churches built by the way as they Journeyed to this land () and the people were warned of the danger they were in, if they did not repent,
And now when the Elders had returned to their homes in , the churches needed much exortation in the absence of the Elders many apostitized. but many have returned again fro to the fold from whence they have strayed— And many mighty miracles were wrougt by the Elders—one in particular which I shall here notice—which was wrought by Elders and . Is an infirmity in an old lady who had been helpless for the space of eight years confined to her bed. she did not belong to this church but sent her request to the Elders—who immediately attended to her call, and after their arrival praid for her and laid their hands on her, and she was immediately made whole and magnified and praised God, and is now enjoying perfect health
And thus the churches again prospered and the work of the Lord spread
Shortly after Joseph Smith Jr and Returned wrote a discription and an epistle according to commandment. And and —were commanded to go and visit the churches speedily—as you will see by reading the Revelation given August thirty at The following is a copy of the Epistle written by s own hand.
I a servant of Jesus Christ by the will of God the Father and through the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ unto the Saints who are scattered abroad in the last days, may grace, [p. 33]
mer[c]y and peace, rest upon you from God the father and from our Lord Jesus Christ, who is greatly to be feared, among his saints and to be had in reverance of all them who obey him.
Beloved brethren,
It has pleased God even the Father to make known unto us in these last days, the good pleasure of his will concerning his saints; and to make known unto us, the things which he has decreed upon the nations even wasting and destruction until they are utterly destroyed, and the earth made desolate by reason of the wickedness of its inhabitants according as he has made known in times past by the prophits and apostles, that such calamities should befall the inhabitants of the earth in the last days, unless they should repent, and turn to the living God. And as the time is now near at hand, for the accomplishment of his purposes and the fulfilment of his prophesies, which have been spoken by all the holy prophets, ever since the world began, he has sent and signified, unto us by the mouths of his holy prophets, that he has raised up in these last days—the speedy accomplishment of his accomplishment of purposes which shall be accomplished, on the heads of the rebellious of this generation—among whom he has been pleased in much mercy and goodness, to send forth the fulness of his gospel in order that they might repent and turn to the living God, and be made partakers of his Holy Spirit
But by reason of their wickedness and rebellion again[s]t him and wicked and unbelieving hearts the Lord withdrew his spirit from them, and gives them up to work all uncleanness with greediness, and to bring swift destruction on themselves— [p. 34]
and through their wickedness to hasten the day of their calamity, that they may be left without excuse in the day of vengeance.
But it has pleased our heavenly Father to make known some better things, concerning his Saints, and those who serve him in f[e]ar and rejoice in meekness, before him, even things which pertain to life everlasting, for godliness has the life promise of the life, that now is, and that which is to come; Evn so it has pleased our heavnly Father to make prov[i]sions—for his sa[i]nts in these last days of tribulation that they through faith and patienc[e], and by continuing in well doing may preserve their lives; and attain unto rest and endless felicity—but by no other means, of than that of a strict observance of his commandments and teachings in all things as there is and can be no ruler—nor lawgiver in the Kingdom of God save it be God our Savior himself—and before him he requires that all his saints & those who have named the name of Jesus, should be car[e]ful to depart from iniquty—and serve him with fear and rejoicing and trembling least he be angry and they perish from their way.
According to the prediction of the anci[e]nt profits that the Lord would send his messengers in the last days, and gathr his elect. (which is the elect according to the covenant, viz. those who like Abraham are faithful to God and the word of his Grace.) from the four winds even from one end of the earth to the other as testified of by the Savior himself—so in these last days, he has commenced to gather together, into a place provided before of God and had in reserve in days of old, being kept by the power and providenc[e] of of God, for this purpose and which he now holds in his own hands, that they through faith, and patience may inherit the blessings, promises— A land which God by his own [p. 35]
commandment has consecrated to himself where he has said, that his laws shall be kept, and where his saints can dwell in safety, through their perseverance in well doing and their unfeigned repentance of all their sins, our heavenly Father has provided this land himself because it was the one which was blest best adapted, for his children, where Jew and gentile might dwell together: for God has the same respect to all those who call upon him in truth and righteousness whether they be Jew or G[e]ntile; for there is no respect of persons with him.
This land being situated in the center of the continent on which we dwell with an exceeding fertile soil and ready cleared for the hand of the cultivater bespeaks the goodness of our God, in providing so goodly a heritage, and its climate suited persons from every quarter of this continent. w[he]ther East West North or South. yea I think I may say, for all constitutions from every part of the world and its productions nearly all varieties of both grain and vegitables which are common in this country together with all means, [of] clothing: in addition to this it abounds with fountains of pure water the soil climate and surface all adapted, to health indeed I may say that the whole properties of the country invite the Saints to come, and partake their blessings but what more need I say about a country. which our Heavenly Father holds in his own hands. for if it were unhea[l]thy he could make it healthy and if barren he could make it fruitful. Such is the land which God has provided for us. in these last days for an inheritance. and truly it is a goodly land, and none other so well suited for all the saints as this and all those who have faith and confidence. in God who has ever seen this land will bear the same testimony. In order that you may understand the will of God respecting this land, and the way and means, [p. 36]
of possessing it, I can only refer you to commandments which the Lord has delivred, by the mouth of his Prophet which will be read, to you, by our brethren and whom the Lord has appointed, to visit the churches and obtain means for purchasing this land of our inheritance that we may escape in the day of tribulation which is coming on the earth. I conclude by exhorting you to hear the voice of the Lord your God, who is speaking to you in much mercy and who is sending forth, his word and his revelation in these last days, in order that we may escape impending vengeance; and the Judgements which await this generation, and which will speedily overtake them— Brethren pray for me, that I may be counted worthy to obtain an inheritance in the land, of Zion and to over come, the World through faith, and dwell with the sanctified, forever, and ever Amen.
Written at Ohio Aug. 31. 1831.
Chapter 10
Chapter 10.
(Immediately after the commandment was given and the epistle written and went from place to place; and from Church to Ch◊◊◊h preaching and expounding the Scriptures and Commandmnts and obtaining commandments moneys of the disciples for the purpose of buying lands for the Saints according to commandments and the disciples truly opened their hearts, and thus there has been lands purchased, for the inheritanc[e] of the saints.)
Soon after this the time of holding th[e] general confern [conference] drew near. and Joseph the seer and th[e] Scribe moved from Ohio to Portage Co. and continued th[e] Translation of th[e] new [p. 37] Testament. On the 3 25 day of Oct. 1831. the Elders assembled together at Serenes Burnets in the township of and County of Cuyahaga [Cuyahoga] Ohio. 12 high priests— 17 elders— 5 priests and 3 teachers. at Which confrence were ordained 1 elder & 14 priests the names of whom you will find <​recorded​> an [in] the the conferenc[e] minutes bood [book].
About this time it was in contemplation for to go to and carry with him th[e] Revelation and Commandmnts, and I also received a revelation to go with him. we left , on the 20. of Nov, 1831 and arrived in Mo. Jan. 5, 1832.
When we arrived at we found the saints in as good situation as we could reasonably expect. here
Jan 23, 1832, held a conferenc[e] in attended to the business of the church and licensed ten elders to go and preach the gospel.
In March 1832, the enem[i]es held a counsel in Jackson County Mo. how they might destroy the saints but did not succeed at this time. But continued their brails [brawls?] until they had expelld us from the as you will hereafter see.
Kn◊◊ all en by these presents, that we , there are at this time 402, disciples living in this land .
And it came to pass that Joseph the seer and the Scribe and and one came to to comfort the Saints and Setle som little dificulties, and regulate the church and affairs concerning it, we had a pleasant visit with them and they returned again in peace, I will here mentio[n] one circumstanc[e] and the return of these brethrn while they were riding in a Stage coach the horses ran away and upset the coach and broke [’s] [p. 38] ankle bone. but notwithstanding through the providence of God he soon got home, but is now som what infi[r]m in consequenc[e] of aforesaid accidnt.
About these days the Lord gave a Commandment for Joseph the seer and the Bishop at to go and cry repntanc [repentance] to the cit[i]es of and . and bear testimony of their utter abolishment if they did not repnt and recive the gospel.
is prospering at presnt and high priests are stationed to watch over the several branches. Decmbr 1, 1832, there are now 538 individuals in this land b[e]longing to th[e] church.
And it came to pass that in the fall of th[e] year 1832, th[e] disciples at recived th[e] gift of tongues and in June 1833 we receved th[e] gift of tongues in .
About these days we received th[e] following epistle
We the undersigned citizens of believi[n]g that an important crisis is at hand, as regards our civil society in consequence, of a pretended religious sect of people styling themselves that have setled and are still setling in our County styling themselves Mormons, and intending to rid ourselves as we do peacefly if we can and forcibly if we must, and believeing as we do, that the arm of civil law does not afford us a guarantee or at least a sufficient one, against the evils which are now inflicted upon us, and seem to be increasing by th[e] said religious sect deem it expedient, and of the highest importance to form ourselves into a company, for the better and easier accomplishment of our purpose which we deem almost superrfluous to say is Justified as well by the law of nature, as by the law of self [p. 39]
It is more than two years sinc[e] the first of these fannaticks or knaves, (for one of th[e] other they undoubtedly are) made their first appearanc[e] among us. and pretending as they did, and now do, to hold personal communion and converse face to face with the most high God to receve communications and revelations, direct from heavn, to heal the sick by the laying on of hands and in short, to perform all the wonder working miracles wrought by the inspired apostles and Prophets. We beli[e]ve them deluded fanaticks or weak and designing knaves, and that they and their pretentions would soon pass away, but in this we were deceived.
The arts of a few designing leaders among them have thus far succeeded in holding them together as a society, and since the arrival of the first of them they have daily increased and if they had been respectable citizens in society, and thus deluded, they would have been entitled to our pity rather than to our contempt and hatred, but from their appearance, from their manners, and from their conduct, since their comming among us, we have every reason to believ that with but a very few exceptions, they were of the very drggs [dregs] of that society from which they came, lazy Idle and vicious
This we conceive is not idle assertion but a fact susceptable of proof, For with these few exceptions above named, they brought into our country little or no property with them, and left less behind them, and we infer that those only yoked themselves to the Mormon ear, who had nothing earthly or heavenly to loose by th[e] change, and we fear that if some of the leaders among them had paid the forfeit due to crime, instead of being chosen [p. 40]
embassadors of the most high, they would have been inmates of solitary cells. But their conduct here stamps their characters in their true color. More than a year it has been ascertained that they have been tampering with our slaves, and endeaveing [endeavoring] to sow dissension and raise sedition among them. Of this their Mormon leaders were informed, and they said they would deal with any of their members, who should again in like case offend, but how spacious [specious] are appearances[.] in a late No. of the star printed in , by the leaders of the sect. there is an article inviting free negroes and mulatoes from other States to become mormons, and move and settle among us. This exhibits them in still more odious colours. It manafests a desire on the part of their society, to inflict on our society, an injury that they know would be to us entirely unsuportable, and one of the surest means, of driving us from the country, for it would require none of the supernatural gifts that they pretend to, to see, that the introduction of such a cast[e] among us, would corrupt our blacks and instigate them to blood shed.
They openly blaspheme the most high God and cast contempt on his holy religion, by p[r]etending to receive revelations direct from heavn by pretending to speak in unknown tongues, by direct inspiration, and by divin[e] pretentions derogatory of God and religion, and to the utter subversion of human reason.
They declare openly that God has given them this Country of land and that sooner or later they must and will have <​possession of​> our lands, for an inheritance and in fine they have conducted themselves, on [p. 41]
many other occations in such a manner, that we believe it a duty, we owe ourselves, to our wives and children, to the cause of public morals, to remove them from among us, as we are not prepared to give up our possessions to them, or to receive into the bosom of our families as fit companions for our wives and daughters the degraded and corrupted free negroes and mulatoes, that are now invited to setle among us.
Under such a state of things even our beautiful country, would cease to be a desirable residence, and our situations intoleorable! We therefore agree that after timely warning, and upon receiving an adequate compensation for what little property they cannot take with them. they refuse to leave us in peace as they found us, we agree to use such means as will be sufficcient, to remove them and to that end we pledge ourselves each to each other our bodily powers, our lives, fortunes, and sacred honor.
July 15, 1833.
We will meet at th[e] in the Town of on Saturday next, 20 ult. to consult of ulterior movements.
A committe was appointed at the foregoing meeting and waited on us. , <​&c​> &c. the committee consisted of Lewis Franklin, Mr. [James] Campbell, , Judge [Richard] Fristoe, , Mr. [Richard] Simpson, two of the Msr. Wilsons Captan Tipitts & Mr. Commings [R. W. Cummins].
To answer them this question will you leav this or not? allowing us only fifteen minutes to answer the question. We did not make any reply at that time.
The committee further required of us to shut up our , , Mechanical [p. 42] shops &c. immediately and leave the .
Those who waited on the committe were , , , , and
When they found that we were unwilling to comply with their requests, they returned to the and voted to erase the to th[e] ground, which they immediattly did. and at the same time took and and tarred and feathered them threatning to kill us if we did not leav the immediately.
They were also determined to demolish the prevailed on them to let it stand until tuesday next and have time to pack his goods himself
Tuesday arrived and death and destruction stared us in the face. The whole turned out and surrounded us came to , and my hous and took us upon the publick square as also , , and and wer[e] determined to massacre us unless we agreed to leav th[e] immediately. Finally we agreed to leave upon the following condition.
July 23, 1833.
It is understood that the undersigned members of the said society do give their solemn pledge ea[c]h for himself as follows. That , , , , , , & and shall remove with their families out of this on or before th[e] first day of Jan. next and that they as well as the two herein after named use all their influenc[e], to indu[ce] all the brethren, now here to move as soon as posible one half say by the first of Jan. next and all [p. 43]
by the first day of April next and to advise and try all means in their power, to stop any more of their sect from moving to this , as to those now on the road, and who have no notice of this agreement, they will use their influenc[e] to prevent their setling permanantly in the but that they shall only make arrangement for temporal shelter till a new location is fixed on by the society. & , are allowed to remain as general agents to wind up the business of the society, so long as nesessity shall require, and said may sell out his good[s] now on hand, but is to make no new importation, The Star is not again to be published no[r] a press set up by the society in this .
If the said and move their families by the first of Jan. as aforesaid that they themselves will be allowed to go and come in order to transact and wind up their business. The committe pledge themselves, to use all their influence to prevent any violenc[e] being used so long as a compliance with the foregoing terms is observed by the parties concerned.
Samuel C. OwensN[ewel] K. Olmstead
Leonadas [Leonidas] OldhamWm. Bowers
G. W. SimpsonZ[acheriah] [blank] Waller
W. L. IrvinHarmon Gregg
John HarrisAaron Ov[e]rton
Henry Childs
Har[ve]y H Younger
The Battle was fought on the evening of the 4 3 November. and only <​one​> of the brethren was killed and two of the mob. headed the disciples [p. 44]
Oct. 30, 1833.
About these days we employed counsellors to assist in prosecuting the law, which we had been advised by J. Smith Jr the seer to do. Therefor employed , , and of Clay County Mo. who engeged to carry on our Suits for $1000,00 which was agreed to be paid by and which came from the church.
The church was drivn by the Mob of on the 4, of November 1833, an[d] on the night of the 13th of th[e] same month th[e] stars fell
Chapter 11
Chapter 11
The situation of our brethren after leaving their homes in in the most distresing circumstances, in the cold month of November fo[u]nd it dificult to preserve life in many instances, some fled with but few clothes, leaving their beds and bedding, others taking with them what they could carry, and running for their lives, women losing some of their children while fleeing for their lives and thus you may Judge how the poor saints haeve suffered after having given only a few hints of the distress.
You will find in one of the Nos of the Star printed at Ohio [illegible] a piece headed the mormons which will serve to illustrate (to be published.) Dated Feb. 1834.
I would here remark that a full account of of the proceedings of the Mob. is published in the Star at commencing at No. 15. to the end of the volume. [p. 45]
Clay County Feb. 19, 1834
To the Judge F [illegible] J of
of the 5th circuit of
Sir learning that a court of enquiry is to be held in at the next regular term of the circuit Court, for the or that some kind of legal proceedings is to commence, for the purpose of obtaining the facts, as far as can be, to the criminal transactions and rioutous procedings, or bringing to punishment the guilty in that
We therefore pray your honour to avail yourself of every means in your power to execute the law and make it honorable, and believing that the testimony of some of the members of our church will be important, and deeming it unsafe to risk our persons in that without a guard, we request that the order from the Executive already transmited, may be put in force
April 9, 1834.
Dear Sir:
Notwithstanding you may have become tired of receiving communcatin from us, yet we beg leave of your excellency to pardon <​us​> of of this as we have this week enclosed a petition to the president of the (A[ndrew] Jackson) setting forth our distressed condition together with your [p. 46]
excellencys views of it as well as the limited powerss, with which your are clothed, to afford that protection, which we need to enjoy our rights and lands in . A few lines from the of this , in connection with our humble entreaties for our possessions and privileges, we think would be of considerable consequence towards bringing about the desired object, and would be gratefully acknowledged by us, and our society, and we may add by all honorable mens.
We therefore as humble petitioners, ask the favor of your exellency to write to the President (A Jackson,) of the that he may assist us, or our society in obtaining our rights in , and help p[r]otect us, when there, till we are safe.—
an[d] in duty bound we will pray
Gov. of
Clay County Mo. April 10, 1834
To the president of the
We the undersigned, your humble petitioners Citizens of the being members of the Church of Christ reproacchfully called Mormons, beg leave to refer the president to our former petition dated Oct. last. and also to lay before him the accompaning handbill, dated December 12, 1833, with assurances [p. 47]
that the said handbill exhibits but a faint sketch of the suffering of your petitioners and theier brethren, up to the period of its publication
The said handbill shows that at the time of dispersion part of our families fled into the new and unsetled Co. of Vanburen being unable to p[r]ocure provisions in that co th[r]ough the winter many of them were compelled to return to their homes in or perish with hunger, But they had no sooner set foot upon that soil, which a few months before we had purchased of the , then they were again met by the Citizens of and a renewal of savage barbarity inflicted upon them, by beating with clubs and sticks, presenting knives and fire arms and threatning with death if they did not immediate flee from the These inhuman assaults upon these families were repeated two or three times through the last winter, till they were compelled at last to leave their possessions in and flee with their mangled bodies, in to this Co. (.) Here to mingle their tears and unite their supplications with hundreds of their breth[r]en to our Heavenly Father, and the Chief ruler of our nation.
Betwen one and two thousand of the people called mormons, have been driven by the people force of arms, from the Co. of , in this since the first of Nov. last. being compelled to leave their highly cultivated fields the greater part of which had been bought of the , and of all this [because] of our belief in direct revelation from God to the children of men, according to the Holy [p. 48]
Scriptures[.] we know that such illegal violence has not been inflicted upon any sect or community of people by the Citizens, of the since the decleration of Independenc[e].—
That this is a religeous pursecution, is notorious throughout our , when accomplices in these unparallelled outrages, engaged in the destruction in of the , Dwelling-house &c. yet the records of the Judicial tribunals of that , are not stained by a crime by our people. Our numbers being greatly inferior to the enemy, we were unable to stand in self defence. And our lives at this day are continually threatened by that infuriated people, so that our personal safety forbids <​one of​> our members going into that on business.— We beg leave to state that no impartial investigation into this criminal matter can be made, because th[e] offenders must be tried in the County in which the offence was commited, and the inhabitants of the county both magistrates and people, being combined, with the exception of a few, Justice cannot be expected,— At this day your petitioners do not know of a Solitary family belonging to our church, but what have been violently expelled from by the inhabitants thereof.— Your petitioners have not gone into detail with an account of their individual sufferings, from death and bruised bodies and the universal distress which prevails at this day in a greater [p. 49]
or less degree, throuout our whole body, not only because those sacred rights are guaranteed to every religeous sect, have been publically invaded in open hostility to the spirit and genius of our free government, but such of their houses as have not been burned their beds and most of their products of the labor of their hands for the last year, have been wrested from them by a band of out laws, congregated in on the western boundaries of the State of Missouri—within about thirty miles of the Military Post, at Fort Leavenworth on the . Your petitioners say that they do not enter into a minute detail of their sufferings in this petition least they should weary you the patience of their Venerable Chief whos ardious duties they know are great, and daily accumulating.
We only hope to show to him that this is an unprecedented emergency in the history of our country—that the magistracy thereof is set at defiance—and Justice checked in the open violation of its laws, and that we your petitioners, who are almost wholy native born citizens of these , of whom they purchased their lands in Mo. with intent to cultivate the same, as peacible citizens, are now forced from them, and dwelling in the Counties of and in the State of Mo. without permanant homes, and suffering all the privations which must nessessarily result from such inhuman treatment, Under [p. 50]
these sufferings, your petitioners, petitioned the of this in December last, in answer to which they receved the following letter.
City of Feb 4, 1834, by the fore going letter from the , the president will percieve a disposition manifested by him
Your Communications of the 6th Decm. was regularly received, and duly considered, and had I not expected to receive the evidenc[e] brought out on the enquired [inquiry] ordered into the Military conduct of in a short time after I received your petition I should have replied long since.
Last evening I was informed that the further enquiry of the court, was postponed until the 20, inst, Then before I can have any thing from this court, the court of civil Jurisdiction, will hold its session in consequently cannot recive any thing from one preparatory to arrangement from the other.
I am very sensible indeed indeed of the injury your people complain of, and should consider myself very amiss in the discharge of my duty duties, even, were I not to do every thing in my power consistent with the legal exercise of them, to afford your society redress to which they seem entitled, one of your requests needs no evidence to support the right to have it granted, it is, that your people be put in possession of their homes from which they have been expelled. But what may be the duties of the after that, will [p. 51]
will depend upon contingencies. If upon enquiry it is found your people were wrongfully dispossessed of their arms of , then an order will be issued to have them returned; and should your men organize according to law, which they have a right to do, (indeed it is their duty, to do so, unless exempted by religious scruples.) and apply for public arms, the could not distinguish between their rights to have them and the right of any other description of people sim[il]arly situated.
As the request for keeping up a military force, to protect your people and prevent the commission of crimes, were I to comply it would transend the powers with which the of this is clothed
The federal constitution has given to Congress the power to provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections or impel invasions, and for these purposes the President of the is authorised to make the call upon the Executive of the respective States. And the laws of the State empower “the commander in Chief in case of actual or threatened invasion, insurection or war, or public danger, or other emergency, to call forth into actual service, such portion of the Militia as he may deem expedient.” These together with the general provisions in our State constitution that, “the Govenor shall take care that the laws are faithfully executed,” and call upon this bran[ch] of Executive power. None of these as I [p. 52]
consider embrace this part of your request. The “Words, or other emergencies,” in our Militia law seem quite broad, but the immergency to come within the object of that provision should be of a public nature. Your case is certainly a very emergent one, and the consequenses as important to your society as if the war had been waged against the whole , yet the public has no other interest in it than that the laws be faithfully executed, this far, I presume the whole community feel a deep interest, for that which is the case of the Mormons of to day, may be the case of the Catholics tomorow, & and after them any other sect that may become obnoctious, to a majority of the people of any Section of the . So far as a faithful of the laws are concerned, the Executive is disposed to do every thing consistent with the means furnished him by the Legislature, and I think, I may safely say, the same of the Judiciary.
As now advised I am of opinion that a Military guard will be nescessary to protect the witnesses and officers of the Court, and to assist in the execution of its orders while sittin[g] in , By this mail I write to embracing him an order and the of the “Liberty Blues.” requiring the to comply with the requisition of the Circuit Attorney in protecting the Court and officers, and executing their precepts and orders, during the process of the trials. Under the protection of this guard, your people can if they [p. 53]
think proper, return to their homes in , and be protected in them during the progress of the trials in question, by which time facts will be developed upon which I can acct more definitely. The attorney general will be required to assist the Circuit attorney, if the latter deems it neccessary.
On the subject of Civil injuries, I must refer you to the Courts, such questions rest with them exclusively. The laws are sufficient to afford a remedy for every injury of this kind, and whenever you make out a case entitling you to damages, there can be no doubt, entertained of their ample award.
Justice is sometimes Slow in its progress, but it is not less sure on this account.
Very Respctfully your
(Sinned) Oet. [Obt.] Servt.
To Messrs.
By the foregoing letter from the [, the President] will perceive a disposition manifested by him to enforce the laws as far as means have been furnished by the Legislature of this . But the powers vested in the Executiv of this , seem to be inadequate for releaving the distresses, of your petitioners in this present emerrgency, He is willing to send a guard to conduct our families back to their possessions but is not authorized to direct a military force, to be stationed any length of time, [p. 54]
for the protection of your petitioners—this step would be laying a more fatal tragedy than the first, as our numbers at present are to[o] small to contend single handed with the Mob of said .— And as the federal constitution has given to congress, the power to provide for calling forth the Militia to ex[e]cute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, or repel invasions.— “And for these purposes, the President of the is authorized to make the call upon the Executive of the respective states.” Therefore we your petitioners in behalf of our Society, which is so Scattered, and suffering, most humbly pray that we may be restored to our lands, houses and property in , and protected in them by an armed force till peace can be restored, and as in duty bound we will ever pray.
Signed by 51, leading members of said Church.
Clay Co Mo April 10. 1834.
To the President of the
We the undersigned whose names are subscribed to the accompannying petition, some of the leading members of the church of Christ, beg leave to refer the president to the handbill and petition here with. We are not insensible of the multiplicity of business, and numerous petitions, by which care and perplexity of our Chief Ruller is daily increased; and it is with difidence that we venture to lay before the Executive at this emergent period these two documents, wherein is briefly portrayed, the most unparallelled pursecution [p. 55]
and flagrant outrage of law that has disgraced our since the declaration of Independence. But knowing the independent fortitude and vigerous energy, for preserving the rights of the Citiczns [citizens] of this Republic, which has hitherto marked course of our Chief Magistrate, we are encouraged to hope, that this communication will not pass unnoticed, but that the President, will consider our locations on the extreme frontier of the , exposed to many ignorant and lawless rufians, who are already congregated, and determined to nullify all law, that will procure to your petitioners the privilege of a peacible possession of their lands in
We again repeat, that our Society is wandering in adjoining counties at this day, bereft of their houses and lands, and threatened with death by the aforesaid outlaws, of And least the President should be deceived in regard to our true situation, by the misrepresentation of certain individuals, who are disposed to cover the gross outrages of the Mob, from religious Political, and speculative motives, we beg leave to refer him to the of at the same time informing him that the <​number of​> men composing the mob of may be estimated at from three to five hundred most of them prepared with fire arms.— After noting the statements here made, if it should be the disposition of the President, to grant aid, we must humbly entreat, that early relief may be extended to suffering families, who are now expelled from their [p. 56]
possessions by fire-arms.— Our lands in ; are about thirteen thirty miles distant from Fort Leavenworth, on the .
With due respect wer are
Sir your Obt. Sevt.
In Feb. last a number of our people were marched under a guard furnished by the of the into for the purpose of prosecuting the mob criminally but the Attorney General of the State, and the Distri[c]t Attorney, knowing the force and power of the Mob, advised us to relinquish all hopes, of criminal prosecution to affect anything against the band of outlaws, and we returned under Guard, without the least prospect of our obtaining our rights and possessions in with any other means than a few companies of the <​regular​> troops to guard and assist us, until we are safely setled.
Signed by the same as the foregoing.
Clay Co. Mo April 24, 1834.
Dear Sir:
In your last communication of the 9th insts we omited to make enquiry concerning the evidence brought out before [p. 57]
the court of enquiry in the Case of , the Court met pursuant to adjournment on 20 of Feb. last and for some reason unknown to us, we hav not been able to ascertain information concerning the opinion or decision of the Court— We had hoped that the testimony would have been transmitted to your before this, that an order might be issued for the return of our arms, of which we have been wrongfully dispossessed, as we believe will clearly appear to the commander in Chief when the evedenc is laid before him— as suggested in your communication of Feb 4, we had concluded to organize according to law, and apply for public arms, but we feared that such a step, which must be attended with public ceremonies, might produce some excitement. We have thus far delayed any movement of that nature, hoping to regain our arms from that we might independently of equip ourselves and be prepared to assist in the maintainance of our constitutional rights and liberties as guaranteed by to us by our , and also to defend our persons and propertys on <​from​> a lawles[s] mob, when it shall please the , at some future day, to put us in possession of our homes, from which we have been most wickedly expelled, We are hap[p]y to make an expression of thanks for the willingness manifested by the to enforc[e] th[e] laws as far as he can constitutionally, “with the means furnished him by the Legislature”, and we are firmly pursuad[e]d that a future day will [p. 58]
verify to him, that whatever aid we receive from the , has not been lavished upon a band of traitors, but upon a people whose respects and veneration for the laws of our country, and its pure republican principles are as great as that of any other society in these .
As our foes, and their corespondants are busy in circulating slanderous and wicked reports concerning our people their views &c. we have deemed it expedient to inform your that we have received communications from our [friends] at the East, informing us, that a number of brethren, perhaps 2 or 3 hundred, would come to in the course of the ensuing season, and we are satisfied that when the mob get the inteligence, that a large numbr of our people are about to remove into that , they will raise a great hew and cry, and circulate many bug-bears through the medium of their favorite press. But we think your is well aware that our object is purely to defend ourselves, and possessions, against another unparallelled attack from that mob. in as much as the Executive of this cannot keep a military force “to protect our people in that without transcending his powers.” We want therefore, the privilege of d[e]fending ourselves, and the constitution of our country while God is willing we should have a being on his footstool. We do not now know at what [time] our friends from the east will arrive, but exp[e]ct [p. 59]
more certain inteligenc in a few weeks. Whenever they do arrive, it would be the wish of our people, in this , to return to our homes in company with our friends, under guard, and when once <​more​> in legal possession of our homes in we will endeavor to take care of them, without further wearying the patience of our worthy Chief Magistrate. We will write hereafter, or send an express—during the intermediate time, we would be glad to hear of the prospect of seccuring our arms.
With due Respect
We are sir:
Your Obt. Servt.
Chapter 12
Chapt. 12.
May 10, 1838.
I will here remark that the saints are and were preparing, to go back to as soon as the way should open, we had had hard strugling to obtain a living as may well be understood, being driven having no money, or means to subsist upon, and being among stranger[s] in a strand [strange] place, being despised, mocked at and laughed to scorn by some, and pitied by others, thus we lived from Nov 1833 until May 1834, and but little prospect [p. 60] yet to return to our homes in in safety— the mob rages, and the peoples hearts are hardened, and the saints are few in number, and poor, afflicted, caust [cast] out, and smitten by their enemies.
I will further state because of the scattered situation and the many perplexities I am not in possession of all the letters and information that I wish I was, and some that are in my possession are not arranged according to date because of th[e] situation I am in being poor, and write as I can obtain inteligence, and find time betwen sun and sun to write.
City April 20, 1834
To Messers.
, ,
, and
Yours of the nitith [ninth] inst, was received yesterday, in which you request me, as of this , to Join you in an appeal, to the President of the , for protection in the enjoyment of your rights, in it will readily occur to you, no doubt, the posibility of having asked of the President, in a way that he no more than the Executive of this could render. If you have petitioned for that which I would be of opinion, he has power to grant, I should have no objection to Join in urging it upon him. But I could [p. 61]
no more ask the President, however willing I am to see your society restored to and protected in their rights, to do that which I think he has no power to do, than I would do such an act myself. If you will send me a copy of your petition to the President, I will Judge of his right to grant it; and if of the opinion he possess the power, I will write in favour of its exercise.
I am now in corispondance with the Federal Government, on the subject of deposits of munitions of War, on our Northern and Western boundaries, and have no doubt but shall succeed in procuring one, whi[ch wi]ll be located if left to me, (and the Secritary of war seems willing to be governed by the opinion of the Execcutive of this .) Some where near the state line either in or Counties,
The establishment will be an (“Arsonal’) and will probably be under the command of [a] Lieutenant of the army. This will afford you the best means of military protection the nature of your case will admit. Although I can see no direct impropriety in making th[e] subject of this paragraph public yet I should prefr it not to be so considered, for the present, as the erection of an arsonals is only in expectancy.
Permit me to suggest to you, that as you have now greatly the advantage over your enemies, in public estimation, that there is a great propriety in retaining that advantage, which you can easily do, by keeping [p. 62]
your advisaries in the wrong The law both civil and Military, seem to be deficen [deficient] in affording your society proper protection, nevertheless public sentiment is a powerful corrective of error, and you should make it your policy to continue to deserve it.
With much respect, and
great regard I am your
obt. Servt.
City of May 2, 1834
To Mrssr
& others
Yours of the 24 ult, is before me; in reply to which, [I] can infor[m] you that becoming impatient at <​delay​> the court of enquiry in making their report in the case of — on the 11 ult. I wrote to General Thompson for the reason of such delay, last night I receivd his reply, and with it the raport of the court, of enquiry, from the tener of which, I find no dificulty, in deciding that the arm[s] your people [were] required to surrender on the fifth of Nov. should be returned; and have issued an order to to deliver them to you or to your order. which order is here enclosed.
Respctfully your
obt. Servt.
(signed) [p. 63]
City May 2, 1834.
To .
Col. 33. Reg.
The court orderd to enquir into the Conduct of in the movement he made on the 5th Nov. last, report it as their unanimous opinion that there was no insurrection on that day; and that , was not authorized to to call out <​his​> troops on the 5th Nov. 1833.— It was unnecssessary to require the mormons to give up their arms. Therefore you will deliver to , , , and , or their order The fifty-two guns and one Pistle reported, by to you on the fifth Decem. last, as having been received by him from the Mormons on the 5th of the preceeding Oct.
Commander in Chief:
Clay Co. May 7. 1835 1834
Dear sir:
Your favor of the 20. ult came to hand the first instant, which gives us a gleam of hope that our the time will come when we may experienc[e] a partial mitigation of our sufferings. The salutary advice in the conclusion of your letter is received with great deferenc[e].
Sinc[e] our last of the 24 ult. the Mob of have burned our dwellings, as near as we can ascertain betwee[n] 100 and 150 were consumed by fire in about one [p. 64]