Letter from Gladden Bishop, 26 September 1843

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, Sep 26th, 1843.
To the prophet and president of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Honoured and dear Sir—— as you by divine appointment are placed over the church to instruct and oversee it, I have considered that you certainly in preference to any other person should be addressed upon any Subject in connexion with the church or the Fulness of the Gospel; I therefore although I have been rejected and cast out of the church as unworthy [of] your confidence, yet not feeling Satisfied in my heart, and with the fear of our Lord before me, not desiring nor daring to act contrary to his will, once more and perhaps for the last time crave your attention: and I would hereby inform you that my faith and zeal in the Fulness of the Gospel is not in the least diminished, and although I am exiled from , yet I look upon her as the home of my fathers family, and where I desire in my heart to dwell: but in bonds, and in exile as I am, that hope I cannot enjoy; and although I ardentely desire to lift my voice again among the Saints, as an humble advocate and defender of the truth; yet that humble privilege is denied me Situated as I now am. It is true I have been invited and solicited to be Baptized and join the church again; yet considering your decision upon me, as not only excomminicated from the church, but so to remain, as I undertstand, until the day of the coming of the Lord Jesus from Heaven; I of course declined, and considered that to attempt to Join the church again without consulting yourself, would be in me a dishonorable act, I therefore have taken the liberty to address you upon this subject, and to open my soul before you, that you may understand that I am no enemy but a well wisher to the cause of ; and I also beg your patience and clemency, while I express my deep conviction that my work is not yet finished in : [p. [1]] and while I shall lay before you my views of the work of the Lord in the last days; as I have gathered them form [from] the scriptures. Then let me say that by comparing Johns Revelations chapter XI. 2. 3d. and 4th verses, with Zachriahs prophecy, chap IV. 2nd. 3d and also the 11. 12. 13. and 14th verses, I understand that two prophits being annointed or ordained of God, are to arise in the last days, who are to be witnesses in all things. concerning the dispensation of the Fulness of times, and through whom also the church of latter day saints are to receive their light; which I gather from Zech Chap IV 2nd and 3d. verses. By the Golden candlestick I understand the church, and by the Bowl the Despensation and by the two olive trees on either side of the candlestick, the two prophets, and also by the two pipes attaching the trees to the Bowl and supplying the Bowl with oil from the trees; I understand that these two prophets are the means or source of light to the church. Again following this order of things another character is to appear, who has different appellations applied to him in the scriptures; as the Branch, Zech III. 8. and VI. 12, The shepherd the stone of Israel, Gen. XLIX. 24. David the prince Ezek. XXXIV. 24. The Lord our Righteousness Gen XXIII. 6 The Rod of the Lord’s strength, psa CX. 2. The Deliverer Rom. XI. 26. a Savior etc, etc. Isaih XIX. 20. Now as this character is verily, and repeatedly called the Lord, I understand him to be the third person of the presidency in Heaven in his tabernacle on the earth. for if he is truly the Lord, he cannot be either the Father or the Son, as they have taken their tabernacles. I also understand that the two annointed ones or prophets, are to precede this character, and thus prepare the way before him, see and compare, Zech Chap IV. 14 verse with Rev XI. 4th verse 1 in Zech he is called the Lord of the whole earth, and in Rev. the God of the earth; and in each quotation the Witnesses stand before him.
In Zech Chap III. I understand the manner of his comming forth into Zion: set by receiving a remission of his sins, through those who stood before him, see the 4th verse, Secondly, his receiving the priesthood, and his charge, 5th to 7th verse: thirdly his opposition by the one at his right hand; who was to be his adversary. See the 1st verse. [p. [2]]
And again I understand from Daniel, Chap. VII. 13. verse that this person like unto the Son of man will receive his kingdom when the Ancient of Days shall sit and not before; and I further understand at that time this character will appear as the Deliverer who Paul says is to come out of ; and that then the saints shall prevail, and at length possess the earth.
That day I believe will the day of God’s power, when all Israel will be willing; and when prosperity will crown the efforts of the Jews to gather and rebuild Jerusalem And also believing that the time is at hand, when this character shall come forth, and as he is to stand for an ensign of the people, and to whom the Gentiles will seek; as I understand from Isaih Chap XI. 1st. to 5th. verse, and also the 10th verse; I feel constrained in my heart to be preparing for the same, that I may share in all the blessings promised to the saints. These Sir, in short are my views of the most prominent points concerning the Dispensation of the Fulness of times, whatever my opinions may have been heretofore, and which if true involves important considerations, which int[erest] all people, and accordingly must be made known [page torn] if not true, they are oppinions of my own, and ca[use] no harm, as I alone am responsible for them; and if they are erroneous, please Sir— point out to me where in they are so, for no sooner am I convinced of error then I will readily discard it, for truth alone is what I seek.
In conclusion I would enquire if it is my privilege to hold my former standing in this church, retaining <​if true​> and making known my present views as laid before you in this communication that is if it should be wisdom; one reason why I make this request is that several prominent men in the church have told that I had misunderstood your decision concerning me, and that it was my privilege to hold my former standing in the church again; and as no crime was the cause of my expulsion, If I could receive your approbation, to be admitted to my former standing in the high priesthood, and be protected from the oppression of those who have been, and who may seek my hurt nothing would give me more pleasure than to enlist in the service of . I feel that I cannot rest in my present situation, and if I cannot be admitted to an honourable standing in the church, and be protected in my rights when there, I hope no one called a saint will oppose me. if I should lift my voice in defence of the truth although although in exile, and alone! I beg therefore that you will immediately answer this Epistle which will greatly oblige your friend and humble
Servant . [p. [3]]
PS, Should you come to a visit from you would afford us Superior pleasure
President Joseph Smith, Sen
Ill.
Present politeness of Mr Warner
<
Sep— 26— 1843>
<Sept 26. 1843
to Joseph Smith> [p. [4]]

Footnotes

  1. new scribe logo

    Docket in handwriting of William Clayton.  

  2. new scribe logo

    Docket in handwriting of Leo Hawkins.