Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson County, Missouri, 6 August 1833

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

August 7th <​6th​> 1833
Beloved Breatheren
Having received letter of July 9th as well as one from the breatheren composing the we now answer them both in one letter as relates to the school in according to your request we inquired of the Lord and send in this letter the communication which we received from the Lord concerning the school in Zion It was obtained August 2nd and reads thus
The word of the Lord unto Joseph and Verily I say unto my friends I speak unto you with my voice, even the voice of my spirit, that I may shew unto you my will concerning your breatheren in the land of , many of <​whom​> are truely humble, and are seeking dillegently to learn wisdom, and to find truth. Verily Verily I say unto you blessed are all such for they shall obtain; for I the Lord sheweth mercy unto all the meek, and upon all whomsoever I will, that I may be justified when I shall bring them into judgement.
Behold I say unto you concerning the in , I the Lord am well pleased that there should be a school in , and also with my servent , for he abideth in me. and inasmuch as he continue to abide <​in​> me, he shall continue to preside over the school in the land of , and I will bless him with a multiplicity of blessings in expounding all Schriptures, and myterios and mysteries, to the edifecation of school and of the in . And to the residue of the school I the Lord am willing to shew mercy nevertheless there are those that must needs repent be chastened, and their works shall be made known, the axe is laid at the roots of the trees, and every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit shall be hewn down and cast into the fire, I the Lord have spoken it ◊◊
I the Lord have spoken it: Verily Verily I say unto you; all among them who know their hearts are honest, and are broken, and their spirits contrite, and are willing to observe their covenent by sacrafice, yea, every sacrafice which I the Lord shall them, are all accepted of me; for I the Lord will cause them to bring forth as a very fruitfull tree, which is planted in a goodly land by a pure stream that yealdeth much precious fruit.
Verily I say unto you that it is my will that an should be built unto me in the land of like unto the pattern which I have given you. (which pattern we have sent to Zion in a former former package) yea, let it be built speedily by the of my people, behold this is the tithing, and the sacrafice which I the Lord require at their hand, that there may be a house built unto me for the salvation of Zion, and for a place of thanksgiving for all saints, and for a place of instruction for all those who are called to the ministry work of the ministry, in all their several offices callings and offices, that they may be perfected in the understanding of their ministry, in theory, and in principle, and in doctrine, in all things pertaining to [the] kingdom of God on the earth. (the keys of which kingdom have been given to you) confered upon you) And inasmuch as my people build an unto me in the name of the Lord and do not suffer any unclean thing to come into it [p. [1]]
that it be not defiled, my glory shall rest upon it, yea and my presence shall be there, for I will come into it and all the pure in heart that shall come into it shall see God; but if it be defiled I will not come into it, and my glory shall not be there, for I will not come into an unholy temple. And now behold if do these things she shall prosper And now behold if Zion do these things and sp[r]ead herself and become very glorious very great and very terable, and the nations of the earth shall honor her, and shall say surely Zion is the City of our God, and surely Zion cannot fall neither be removed, out of her place, for God is there, and the hand of the Lord is there and he hath sworn by the power of his might, to be her salvation and her high tower: therefore verily thus saith the Lo[r]d let Zion rejoice (for this is Zion the pure in heart.) Therefore let Zion rejoice while all the wicked shall mourn, for behold and lo! vengence cometh speedily upon the ungodly as the whirlwind and who shall escape, it, the Lords schourge scourge shall pass over, by night, and by day, and the report thereof shall vex all people, yet it shall not be staid untill the Lord come; for the indignation of the <​lord​> is kindled against their abominations, and all their wicked works, nevertheless Zion shall escape if she observe to do all things whatsoever I have her, but if she observe not whatsoever I have commanded her, I will visit her according to all her works, with sore affliction, with pestilince, with plague with, sword, with vengence, with devouring fire, nevertheless let it be read read this once in their ears that I the Lord have accepted of their offering and if she sin no more none of these things shall come upon her, but I will bless her with blessings and multiply a multiplicity of blessings upon her and upon her generations forever and ever saith the Lord your God Amen.
And again verily I say unto <​you​> my friends, a I give unto you that ye shall commence a work of laying out and preparing a begining and foundation of the City of the of here in the land of ; begining at my , and behold it must be done according to the pattern which I have given you unto you, and let the first lot on the south be unto me for the building of an house for the , in obtaining revelations and for the work of the ministry of the presidency in all things pertaining to the and kingdom; verily I say unto you it shall that it shall be built fifty five by sixty five in the width thereof and in the breadth thereof length thereof in the inner court, and there shall be a lower and higher court and a higher court according to the pattern, which shall be given unto you hereafter; and it shall be dedicated unto the Lord for from the foundation thereof according to the order of the according to the pattern which shall be given you unto you hereafter and it shall be wholy dedicated unto the Lord, for the work of the presidency; and ye shall not suffer any unclean thing to come into it, and my glory shall be there, and my presence shall be there, but if there shall come into it any unclean thing my glory shall not be there and my presence shall not be there come into it. And a
And again verily I say unto you the second lot on the south shall be dedicated unto me for the work of the printing of the translation of my schriptures, and all things whatsoever I shall command you; and it shall be fifty five by sixty five in the width thereof, and in the length thereof in the inner court, and there shall be a lower and higher court, and this house shall be wholy dedicated unto the Lord from the foundation thereof for the work of the printing in all things whatsoever I shall command you, to be holy and undefiled according to the [p. [2]]
pattern in all things as it shall be given unto you, and on the third lot shall my servent receive his and on the first and second lots on the north shall my servents and receive their inheritance that they may do the work which I have appointed unto them to be a committee to build my according to the which I the Lord God have given unto you and now I give unto you no more at this time.
You will see by these revelations that we have to print the new translation of here at for which we will prepare as soon as possible here follows another revelation received to day
August 6th 1833
Verily verily I say unto you my friends fear not let your heart be comforted yea rejoice ever more &c in every thing give thanks waiting patiently on the Lord for your prayer have entered into the ears of the Lord of sabbath and are recorded with this and testament the Lord hath sworn and decreed that they shall be granted therefor he giveth this promise unto you with an immutable that they shall be fulfilled and all things wherewith you have been afflicted shall work togethe[r] for your good and to my names glory saith the Lord God.
And now verily I say unto you concerning the Laws of the Land it is my will that my peopl should observe to do all things whatsoeve[r] I them and that law of the Land which is consti[tu]tional supporting the principles of freedom in maintaning rights and privileges belongs to all mankind and is justifyeble before me therefor I the Lord justifieth your and your brethren of my church in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the Land and as pertaining to the law of the land men whatsoev[er] is more or less then this cometh of evil. I the Lord your God maketh you free therefor you are free indeed and the law also maketh you free nevertheless when the wicked rule the people mourn wherefor honest men and wise men should be saught for dilligently and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold otherwise whatsoever is less then these cometh of evil and I give unto you a commandment that ye shall forsake all evil and cleave unto all good that ye shall live by evry word that procede<​th​> out of the forth out of the mouth of God for he will give unto the faithful line upon lin[e] precept upon precept and I will try you and prove you herewith and whoso layeth down his life in my cause for my names sake shall find it again even life eternal therefore be not affraid of you[r] enemies for I have decreed in my heart saith the Lord that I will prove you in all things whether you will abide in my covenant even unto death that you may be found worthy for if you will not abide in my covena[n]t ye are not worthy of me therefor renounce war and proclaim peace and seek dilligently to turn the hearts of the children to the fathers and the hearts of the fathers to the children and again the hearts of Jews to the prophets and the prophets unto the Jews lest I come and smite the whole earth with a curse and all flesh be consumed before me let not your hearts be troubled for in my fathers house are many mansions and I have prepared a place for you and where my father and I am there you shall be also.
Behold I the Lord am not well pleased with many who are in the at for they do not forsake their sins and their wicked ways the pride of their hearts and their coveteousness and all their detestable things and observe the words of wisdom and eternal life which I have given unto them verily I say unto you <​that​> I the Lord will chasten them and will do whatsoev[er] I list if they do not repent and observe all thing whatsoev[er] I have said unto them.
And again I say unto you if ye observe to do whatsoev[er] I command you I the lord will turn away all wrath and indignation from you and the gates of hell shall not prevail against you
Now I speak unto you concerning your families if men will smite you or your families once and ye bear it patiently and revile not against them ye neithe[r] seek revenge ye shall be rewarded but if ye bear it not patiently it shall be accounted unto you as being meeted out a just measur unto you. and again if your enemies shall smite you [a] seccond time and you revile not against your enemies and bear it patiently your reward shall be an hundred fold and again if he shall smite you a third time and ye bear it patiently your reward shall be doubled unto you four fold and these three testamonies shall stand against your enemies enemy if he repent not and shall not be blotted out and now verily I say unto you if that enemy shall escape my vengence that he be not brougt into Judgment before me then you shall see to it that ye warn him in my name that he come no more upon you neither u either upon your families family eithe[r] your children or yo[u]r children[’s] children unto the third and fourth generation <​and then if he shall come upon you or your children or your childrens children unto the third and forth generation.​> I have delivered thine enemy into thine hands and then if thou wilt spare him thou shalt be rewarded for thy righteousness and thy children and thy childrens children unto the third and fourth generation nevertheless thine enemy is in thine hands and if thou reward him according to his works thou art Justified if he hath has saught thy life and thy life is endangered by him thin[e] enemy is in thine hands and thou art Justified. Behold this is the Law I gave unto my servant Le Nephi and thy fath[er] Joseph and Jacob and Isaac and Abram and all mine anciett [ancient] prophets and and again this is the law of my prophets <​that I gave unto mine ancients​> that they should not go out <​un​>to battle against any nation kindred tongue or people save I the Lord Commanded them and if any Nation tongue or people should proclaim war against them they should first lift a standard <​of peace​> unto that people Nation or tongue and if that people did not ecept [accept] the offering of peace neithe[r] the seccond nor the third time they should bring thei[r] testamo[ni]es before the Lord then I the Lord would [giv]e unto them a commandment and Justify them in going out to battle [ag]ainst that nation tongue or people [p. [3]]
and I the Lord will fight their battles and their childrens battles and their childrens children untill they have avenged themselves on all their enemies to the third and fourth generation, behold this is an ensample unto all people saith the Lord your God for justifycation before me. And again I say unto you verily I say unto you if after thine enemy has come upon you the first time he repents and come unto thee praying thy forgiveness thou shalt forgive him and shall hold it no more as a testimony against thine enemy and so on unto the second, and the third time and as oft as thine enemy repent of the trespass wh[e]rewith he has trespassed against thee thou shalt forgive him unto seventy times seven and if he trespass against thee and repent not the first time nevertheless thou shalt forgive him and if he trespass against thee the second time and repent not nevertheless thou shalt forgive him and if he trespass against thee the third time and repent not thou shalt also forgive him, but if he trespass against him the fourth time thou shalt not forgive him but shall bring these testimonies before the Lord and they shall not be blotted out till he repent and reward thee four fould in all things wherewith he has trespassed against you and if he do this thou shalt forgive him with all thine heart and if he do not this I the Lord will avenge thee of thine enemy an hundred fold and upon his children and upon his childrens children of all them that hate me unto the third and fourth generation but if the children shall repent or the childrens children and turn unto the Lord their God with all their heart and with all their might mind and strength and restore four fold fer all their trespasses wherewith they have t[r]espassed or wherewith their fathers have trespassed or their fathers fathers then thine indignation shall be turned away and vengence shall no more come upon them saith the Lord your God and their trespasses shall never be brought any more as a testimony before the Lord against them Amen.
Having here given you two revelations we accompany them with the following explanations 1) the revelation respecting the two houses to be built in in addition to the one for the and the other for the printing are <​is​> also binding on you that is you at have to build three <​two​> houses as well as the one of which we have sent the pattern and mentioned in the first revelation above written you an[d] also in addition to this one <​to​> build two others one for the presidency and one for the printing they are to be of the same size in the inner court of the one of which you have received the pattern they will therefore be larger than the ones we are to build in 2 you are to print an Edition of the schriptures there at the same time we do here so that two additions [editions] will be struck at the same time the one here and the other there, the two last mentioned houses are to be built as soon after the other as means can be obtaind so to do
The pattern of the last mentioned houses is yet to be given see revelation from above and wishes you to forward the rest of their papers to as they are going to move here immediately both at present of N.Y.
Joseph Smith Jr
O )25
Augst 7 )
, Jackson County
Missouri—— [p. [4]]


  1. 1

    TEXT: Originally written as “7th”; “6” was written over “7”; then “7” was written over “6”; finally “6” was inserted above the line.  

  2. 2

    These letters have not been located.  

  3. 3

    The “school in Zion” refers to a “school of the prophets” that those ordained to priesthood offices in the Church of Christ had been commanded to organize to better educate themselves for their ministry. Such a school had been organized earlier in the year in Kirtland and, more recently, in Missouri, where Parley P. Pratt was the appointed teacher. In his autobiography, Pratt called it the “school of Elders.” (Pratt, Autobiography, 100; see also Revelation, 8 Mar. 1833 [D&C 90:7–8]; and Revelation, 3 Jan. 1833 [D&C 88:127–137].)  

    Pratt, Parley P. The Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt, One of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Embracing His Life, Ministry and Travels, with Extracts, in Prose and Verse, from His Miscellaneous Writings. Edited by Parley P. Pratt Jr. New York: Russell Brothers, 1874.

  4. 4

    See Revelation, 2 Aug. 1833–A [D&C 97].  

  5. 5

    TEXT: Possibly a period.  

  6. 6

    This parenthetical comment is an editorial insertion made by Frederick G. Williams for clarification and was not part of the revelation itself. The “package” refers to a collection of materials comprising the plat of the city of Zion, the plan of the House of the Lord, and a letter to church leaders in Missouri drafted by the presidency by 25 June 1833 and postmarked the next day. The “pattern” likely refers to the plan of the House of the Lord. (Plat of the City of Zion, ca. Early June–25 June 1833; Plan of the House of the Lord, between 1 and 25 June 1833; Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 25 June 1833.)  

  7. 7

    TEXT: “lord” inserted in small letters in unknown handwriting; possibly inserted when this revelation was copied into Revelation Book 1.  

  8. 8

    The second revelation dated 2 August begins at this point. (See Revelation, 2 Aug. 1833–B [D&C 94].)  

  9. 9

    JS had completed a “new translation” of the Bible the previous month. (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 2 July 1833.)  

  10. 10

    See Revelation, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98].  

  11. 11

    TEXT: “consti[ink blot]tional”.  

  12. 12

    TEXT: Hole in paper.  

  13. 13

    TEXT: Possibly “there” or “their”.  

  14. 14

    TEXT: “Apostl[hole in paper]”.  

  15. 15

    TEXT: “testamo[hole in paper]es”.  

  16. 16

    TEXT: “[Hole in paper]e”. The copy of this revelation in Revelation Book 2 has “give” here. (Revelation, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98:36].)  

  17. 17

    TEXT: “[Hole in paper]ainst”.  

  18. 18

    Either this statement refers to the first two revelations featured in this letter, or it is an error. Several days later when Oliver Cowdery wrote to church leaders in Missouri, he specifically referred to three revelations, “two of them dated the second of Aug. & the other the sixth.” (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 10 Aug. 1833.)  

  19. 19

    Although the width of the buildings planned for Jackson County was to be nearly the same as the width of those in Kirtland, the former buildings were to be approximately twenty feet longer. (Plan of the House of the Lord, between 1 and 25 June 1833.)  

  20. 20

    A later insertion here reads, “These two houses are not to be built till I give you a commandment concerni[n]g them.” Frederick G. Williams inserted this same phrase at the end of the second 2 August 1833 revelation in Revelation Book 2 sometime after it was copied therein. (Revelation Book 2, p. 66.)  

  21. 21

    TEXT: Possibly “from”.  

  22. 22

    This comment references directions in the second 2 August revelation to build the house of the presidency “according to the pattern, which shall be given unto you hereafter” and the printing house “as it shall be given unto you.” These two houses were never built in either Kirtland or Missouri. (Revelation, 2 Aug. 1833–B [D&C 94:5, 12]; Plan of the House of the Lord, between 1 and 25 June 1833; Revised Plan of the House of the Lord, ca. 10 Aug.–ca. 4 Sept. 1833.)  

  23. 23

    “The rest of their papers” refers to the remaining issues of The Evening and the Morning Star in their current subscriptions.  

  24. 24

    Warsaw, Wyoming County, New York, is about 185 miles northeast of Kirtland and about fifty miles southwest of Palmyra, New York. According to Joseph Holbrook’s history, Aaron Lyon and Leonard Rich were in Warsaw in winter 1832–1833. Rich was in Kirtland by mid-February 1834, when he was brought before a council of high priests and elders in Kirtland on charges of “transgressing the word of wisdom” and for “selling the revelations at an extortionary price while he was gone East.” It is unclear when Lyon arrived in Kirtland. (Holbrook, Reminiscences, 27; Minutes, 12 Feb. 1834.)  

    Holbrook, Joseph. Autobiography and Journal, not before 1871. Photocopy. CHL. MS 5004. Original in private possession.

  25. new scribe logo

    Signatures of Sidney Rigdon, Frederick G. Williams, and JS.  

  26. new scribe logo

    Postmark in unidentified handwriting.