Letter to William Marks and Newel K. Whitney, 8 July 1838

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

July 8, 1838
Gnt. We send you by the hand of br a revelation recd this morning which reads as follows
Verily thus saith the Lord unto my servants & let them settle up their businss speedily & Journy from the Land of before me I the Lord sendeth snow again upon the ground, Let them awake & arise & come forth & not tarry for I the Lord commandeth it. Therefor if they tarry it shall not be well with them.
Let them repent of all their sins & of all their covetous desires before me saith the Lord, For what is property unto me Saith the Lord. Let the properties of be turned out for debts debt saith the Lord. Let them go saith the Lord & whatsoever remaineth let it remain in your hands saith the Lord. For have I not the fowls of Heaven & also the fish of the sea & the beasts of the mountains, Have I not made the earth. do I not hold the destinies of all the armies of the nations of the earth. Therefore will I not make the solitary places to bud & to blossom & to bring forth in abundance saith the Lord. Is there not room enough upon the mountains of & upon the plains of Obashinihah or or in the Land of where Adam dwelt that you should not covet that which is but the drop & neglect the more weighty matters— Therefore come up hither unto the Land of my people even — Let my servt. be faithful over a few things & he shall be ruler of over many things— Let him preside in the midst of my (blank or omited) in the city & let him be blessed with the blessings of my people Let my Servt. be ashamed of the Nicholatins & of all their secret abominations & of all his littleness of soul before me saith the Lord & come up unto the Land of & be a unto my people saith the Lord, Not in name Name but in deed saith the Lord— And again verily I say unto you I remember my servt, behold verily I say unto him that his name shall be had in sacred remembrence from generation to generation for ever & ever saith the Lord. Therefore let him Contend earnestly for the redemption of the of my saith the Lord (over) [p. [1]]
and when he falls he shall rise again, for his sacrafice shall be more sacred to me than his increase saith the Lord. Therefor let him come up hither speedily unto the land of & in due time he shall be made a merchant unto my name saith the Lord for the benifit of my people— Therefore let no man let no man despise my servt. but the blessings of my people be on him forever & ever— And again verily I say unto you let all my Servts. in the land of remember the Lord their god & mine also to preserve it holy & to overthrow the money changers in mine own due time saith the Lord
By this you will understand the will of the Lord concerning you & will doubtless act accordingly— It would be wisdom for all the Saints that Come this Summer to come & make an effort to do so as soon it will be better for them If they cannot sel their property let them turn it out on the debts & when the Lord lift us all up they will rise with the rest, but let none think to get property whenever they get <​Come​> here for there is none for them at present but there will be— There is a note in the hands of Eth◊◊ Spencer it was money borrowd from a man by the name of Colgrove, to put into the B[a]nk if it is possible turn out property to satisfy it, as Spencer is almost dead about it— There need be no fear in the saints coming up here there are provisions or will be in great abundance of all kinds indeed there is a plenty now neither has there been a scarcity at any time since we come
We leave you in the hands of the Lord asking the blessings of salvation to rest upon you
Yor. brethn. in Ch[ri]st Jesus
Sigd. (
(Joseph Smith Jr
[p. [2]]


  1. 1

    See Revelation, 8 July 1838–E [D&C 117].  

  2. 2

    The version of the revelation in JS’s journal has “people” at this point in the text. (JS, Journal, 8 July 1838.)  

  3. 3

    A revelation JS dictated in January 1838 directed faithful church members in Kirtland to “gather themselves together unto Zion.” This revelation was read in the worship services held the day this letter was written to Marks and Whitney. Another JS revelation, from April 1838, expressed the Lord’s will that “the City Far West should be built up spedily, by the gathering of my Saints, and also that other places should be appointed for stakes in the regions round about.” (Revelation, 12 Jan. 1838–C; JS, Journal, 8 July 1838; Revelation, 26 Apr. 1838 [D&C 115:17–18].)  

  4. 4

    Several Latter-day Saints in Kirtland conveyed their property to Marks, who was to sell the property to pay the First Presidency’s debts. (See Pay Order to Edward Partridge for William Smith, 21 Feb. 1838.)  

  5. 5

    On 24 July 1838, Bishop Edward Partridge wrote a letter to Bishop Newel K. Whitney, stating it was unclear when the land in Daviess County, Missouri, would be for sale. Like other settlers in America’s frontier states and territories, the Latter-day Saints in Daviess County intended to utilize the federal law protecting preemption rights when the land eventually came to market. (Edward Partridge, Far West, MO, to Newel K. Whitney, Kirtland, OH, 24 July 1838, in Reynolds Cahoon, Far West, MO, to Newel K. Whitney, Kirtland, OH, 23 July 1838, CHL; Walker, “Mormon Land Rights,” 17–18, 28–34.)  

    Cahoon, Reynolds, and Edward Partridge. Letter, Far West, MO, to Newel K. Whitney, Kirtland Mills, OH, 23 and 24 July 1838. CHL.

    Walker, Jeffrey N. “Mormon Land Rights in Caldwell and Daviess Counties and the Mormon Conflict of 1838: New Findings and New Understandings.” BYU Studies 47, no. 1 (2008): 4–55.

  6. 6

    TEXT: Possibly “Ether” or “Ethan”. An Ethan Spencer paid sixty dollars’ worth of Kirtland Safety Society notes to the institution in June 1837. The money may have been a payment for stock—although the stock ledger does not specify that Spencer held any stock—or Spencer may have been returning notes to the society, believing that JS might otherwise be required to redeem the notes. (Kirtland Safety Society, Stock Ledger, 227–228; Historical Introduction to Notice, ca. Late Aug. 1837; Staker, “Raising Money in Righteousness,” 248n171.)  

    Staker, Mark L. “Raising Money in Righteousness.” In Days Never to Be Forgotten: Oliver Cowdery, edited by Alexander Baugh, 143–253. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2009.

  7. 7

    TEXT: Possibly “Colgrave” or “Colgroves”. The reference is possibly to Nathaniel Colgrove of Claridon, Ohio, or Alanson Colgrove of Kingsville, Ohio. (1840 U.S. Census, Claridon, Geauga Co., OH, 180; Ashtabula Co., OH, Census Records, 1811–1835, microfilm 960,607, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.)  

    Census (U.S.) / U.S. Bureau of the Census. Population Schedules. Microfilm. FHL.

  8. 8

    Probably a reference to the Kirtland Safety Society. This direction may have been part of an effort to financially bolster the institution. (See Notice, ca. Late Aug. 1837; and Staker, “Raising Money in Righteousness,” 248n171.)  

    Staker, Mark L. “Raising Money in Righteousness.” In Days Never to Be Forgotten: Oliver Cowdery, edited by Alexander Baugh, 143–253. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2009.