Letter to Church Leaders in Eugene, Indiana, 2 July 1833

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

2 July 1833
Dear Brethren it is truly painful to be under the painful necessity of writing on a subject which engages our attention at this time viz the case of John Smith and his son. we have Just received a letter from you concerning their standing in the , we do not hold them in fellowship we would inform you that John Smith has been dealt with and his authority taken from him and you are required not to receive his teachings but to treat him as a transgressor until he repents and humbles himself before the Lord to the entire satisfaction of the Church and also you have authority to call a and sit in Judgment on s case and deal with him as the law directs we feel to rebuke the of that <​ of the​> church of Christ for not magnifying their office and letting the transgressor go unpunished we therefore enjoin upon [p. 54] you to be watchful on your part and search out enequity and put it down wherever it may be found you will see by this brethren that you have authority to sit in on the Smiths and if found Guilty to deal with them accordingly we have this day directed a letter [to] John Smith thereby making known to him our disaprobation of the course he has persued.—
We commend you [to] God and his grace ever praying he will keep and preserve you blameless till he come.
Joseph Smith Jr
Postscrip by
2d July 1833
Dear Brethren—
Yours of the 3d of June came safe to hand the last mail and John Smith which was directed to Br Joseph now my brethren on this sheet you have Bro Joseph sanction to my proceedings and the letter I last wrote you and you will govern yourselves accordingly for you have full power and authority to call the two Bro Smiths to an account for their conduct and unless they repent and make satisfaction not only to your of the but also to this branch they must be cut off from the body for under existing circumstances we have no fellowship with them Bro John Smith authority as an officer in the church was taken from him before he left and he ought to have given up his but he went away without doing so and it [p. 55] seams he has made use of it to impose upon you— as to the two sisters you spoke of in your last. if there is no testamony on either side all you can do is to forbid them to partake of the unworthyly and pray much and God will bring all thing to light
[p. 56]


  1. 1

    See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 238, 528 [Alma 6:3; Mormon 5:24].  

  2. 2

    See Romans 11:13; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 124 [Jacob 1:19]; and Revelation, July 1830–A [D&C 24:3].  

  3. 3

    According to branch records, the church leaders in Eugene dealt with a range of alleged misdeeds, which included intoxication, lying, cursing, and swearing. Examples of cases considered by the Eugene church leaders include the following: a man disguising his voice, taking a horse, and riding it to Springfield, Illinois, without permission; individuals arguing over ownership of a pig; and a woman “speaking aginst the Elders for she was in a bad spirit.” (Vermillion Branch, Conference Minutes, 10 and 17 Nov. 1832; 1 Jan. 1833; 14, 20, 23, and 27 Feb. 1833; 15 May 1833.)  

    Vermillion Branch. Conference Minutes, Nov. 1832–July 1833. CHL. LR 5552 21.

  4. 4

    See Psalm 64:6.  

  5. 5

    See Acts 20:32; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 566 [Ether 12:41].  

  6. 6

    TEXT: “Presdts of HPHd” (presidents of the high priesthood) is written sideways along right margin of page. (See Historical Introduction to Revelation, 8 Mar. 1833 [D&C 90].)  

  7. 7

    This letter has not been located.  

  8. 8

    The church unit at Kirtland.  

  9. 9

    When John Smith left Kirtland is uncertain, though it was likely between 22 August and 15 December 1832. (John Smith, Diary, 22 Aug. 1832; Vermillion Branch, Conference Minutes, 15 Dec. 1832; see also entries for 15 May and 5 June 1833.)  

    Smith, John (ca. 1775–after 1833). Diary, 1831–1832. CHL. MS 5349.

    Vermillion Branch. Conference Minutes, Nov. 1832–July 1833. CHL. LR 5552 21.

  10. 10

    John purported to be an active priesthood holder in the early months of 1833. (See, for example, Vermillion Branch, Conference Minutes, 1 Jan. and 23 Feb. 1833.)  

    Vermillion Branch. Conference Minutes, Nov. 1832–July 1833. CHL. LR 5552 21.

  11. 11

    See Revelation, ca. 8 Mar. 1831–A [D&C 46:4]; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 537–538 [Mormon 9:29].