Letterbook 1

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

Letter Book A
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Page 1 byCopy of a letter written to from to Zion by Joseph Smith Jr— November 27— 1832
" 4 " "From to Joseph Smith Jr— to October 28th. 1829
" 5 " to from June 14— 1829
" 6 " To Joseph Smith J— from November 6— 1829
" 9 "Joseph Smith Jr To from 22 Oct 1829—
" 10 " To from April 8 1831——
" 12 to from Missour May 7— 1832 1831—
" 14 Joseph Smith to the of the American revivelist January 1— 1833, to NY
" 18 Joseph Smith Jr to Zion) from Janry 11, 1833
" 25 An Epistle to the Church in Ohio
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History, circa Summer 1832
A History of the life of Joseph Smith Jr. an account of his marvilous experience and of all the mighty acts which he doeth in the name of Jesus Ch[r]ist the son of the living God of whom he beareth record and also an account of the rise of the church of Christ in the eve of time according as the Lord brought forth and established by his hand <​firstly​> he receiving the testamony from on high seccondly the ministering of Angels thirdly the reception of the holy Priesthood by the ministring of—Aangels to adminster the letter of the Law <​Gospel—​> <​—the Law and commandments as they were given unto him—​> and in <​the​> ordinencs, forthly a confirmation and reception of the high Priesthood after the holy order of the son of the living God power and ordinence from on high to preach the Gospel in the administration and demonstration of the spirit the Kees of the Kingdom of God confered upon him and the continuation of the blessings of God to him &c——
I was born in the town of Charon [Sharon] in the <​State​> of Vermont North America on the twenty third day of December AD 1805 of goodly Parents who spared no pains to instruct<​ing​> me in <​the​> christian religion[.] at the age of about ten years my Father moved to Ontario County in the State of New York and being in indigent circumstances were obliged to labour hard for the support of a large Family having nine chilldren and as it required their exertions of all that were able to render any assistance for the support of the Family therefore we were deprived of the bennifit of an education suffice it to say I was mearly instructtid in reading and writing and the ground <​rules​> of Arithmatic which const[it]uted my whole literary acquirements. At about the age of twelve years my mind become seriously imprest [p. 1] with regard to the all importent concerns of for the wellfare of my immortal Soul which led me to searching the scriptures believeing as I was taught, that they contained the word of God thus applying myself to them and my intimate acquaintance with those of differant denominations led me to marvel excedingly for I discovered that <​they did not adorn​> instead of adorning their profession by a holy walk and Godly conversation agreeable to what I found contained in that sacred depository this was a grief to my Soul thus from the age of twelve years to fifteen I pondered many things in my heart concerning the sittuation of the world of mankind the contentions and divi[si]ons the wicke[d]ness and abominations and the darkness which pervaded the of the minds of mankind my mind become excedingly distressed for I become convicted of my sins and by searching the scriptures I found that mand <​mankind​> did not come unto the Lord but that they had apostatised from the true and liveing faith and there was no society or denomination that built upon the gospel of Jesus Christ as recorded in the new testament and I felt to mourn for my own sins and for the sins of the world for I learned in the scriptures that God was the same yesterday to day and forever that he was no respecter to persons for he was God for I looked upon the sun the glorious luminary of the earth and also the moon rolling in their magesty through the heavens and also the stars shining in their courses and the earth also upon which I stood and the beast of the field and the fowls of heaven and the fish of the waters and also man walking forth upon the face of the earth in magesty and in the strength of beauty whose power and intiligence in governing the things which are so exceding great and [p. 2] marvilous even in the likeness of him who created him <​them​> and when I considered upon these things my heart exclaimed well hath the wise man said the <​it is a​> fool <​that​> saith in his heart there is no God my heart exclaimed all all these bear testimony and bespeak an omnipotant and omnipreasant power a being who makith Laws and decreeeth and bindeth all things in their bounds who filleth Eternity who was and is and will be from all Eternity to Eternity and when <​I​> considered all these things and that <​that​> being seeketh such to worshep him as worship him in spirit and in truth therefore I cried unto the Lord for mercy for there was none else to whom I could go and to obtain mercy and the Lord heard my cry in the wilderness and while in <​the​> attitude of calling upon the Lord <​in the 16th year of my age​> a piller of fire light above the brightness of the sun at noon day come down from above and rested upon me and I was filled with the spirit of god and the <​Lord​> opened the heavens upon me and I saw the Lord and he spake unto me saying Joseph <​my son​> thy sins are forgiven thee. go thy <​way​> walk in my statutes and keep my commandments behold I am the Lord of glory I was crucifyed for the world that all those who believe on my name may have Eternal life <​behold​> the world lieth in sin and at this time and none doeth good no not one they have turned asside from the gospel and keep not <​my​> commandments they draw near to me with their lips while their hearts are far from me and mine anger is kindling against the inhabitants of the earth to visit them acording to thir ungodliness and to bring to pass that which <​hath​> been spoken by the mouth of the prophets and Ap[o]stles behold and lo I come quickly as it [is] written of me in the cloud <​clothed​> in the glory of my Father and my soul was filled with love and for many days I could rejoice with great Joy and the Lord was with me but could find none that would believe the hevnly vision nevertheless I pondered these things in my heart about that time and but after many days [p. 3] I fell into transgressions and sinned in many things which brought a wound upon my soul and there were many things which transpired that cannot be writen and my family have suffered many persicutions and afflictions and it came to pass when I was seventeen years of age I called again upon the Lord and he shewed unto me a heavenly vision for behold an angel of the Lord came and stood before me and it was by night and he called me by name and he said the Lord had forgiven me my sins and he revealed unto me that in the Town of Ontario County N.Y. there was plates of gold upon which there was engravings which was engraven by Maroni & his fathers the servants of the living God in ancient days and deposited by th[e] commandments of God and kept by the power thereof and that I should go and get them and he revealed unto me many things concerning the inhabitents of of the earth which since have been revealed in commandments & revelations and it was on the 22d day of Sept. AD 182 1822 and thus he appeared unto me three times in one night and once on the next day and then I immediately went to the place and found where the plates was deposited as the angel of the Lord had commanded me and straightway made three attempts to get them and then being excedingly frightened I supposed it had been a dreem of Vision but when I considred I knew that it was not therefore I cried unto the Lord in the agony of my soul why can I not obtain them behold the angel appeared unto me again and said unto me you have not kept the commandments of the Lord which I gave unto you therefore you cannot now obtain them for the time is not yet fulfilled therefore thou wast left unto temptation that thou mightest be made accquainted of with the power of the advisary therefore repent and call on the Lord thou shalt be forgiven and in his own due time thou shalt obtain them [p. 4] for now I had been tempted of the advisary and saught the Plates to obtain riches and kept not the commandme[n]t that I should have an eye single to the Glory of God therefore I was chastened and saught diligently to obtain the plates and obtained them not untill I was twenty one years of age and in this year I was married to Daughtr of who lived in Susquehan[n]a County Pensylvania on the 18th January AD, 1827, on the 22d day of Sept of this same year I obtained the plat[e]s—and the in December following we mooved to Susquehana by the assistence of a man by the name of who became convinced of th[e] vision and gave me fifty Dollars to bare my expences and because of his faith and this rightheous deed the Lord appeared unto him in a vision and shewed unto him his marvilous work which he was about to do and <​h[e]​> imediately came to Suquehannah and said the Lord had shown him that he must go to <​with​> some of the characters so we proceeded to coppy some of them and he took his Journy to the Eastern Cittys and to the Learned <​saying​> read this I pray thee and the learned said I cannot but if he would bring the blates [plates] they would read it but the Lord had forbid it and he returned to me and gave them to <​me​> <​to​> translate and I said I said cannot for I am not learned but the Lord had prepared spectticke spectacles for to read the Book therefore I commenced translating the characters and thus the Propicy [prophecy] of Isiaah was fulfilled which is writen in the 29 chaptr concerning the book and it came to pass that after we had translated 116 pages that desired to carry them to read to his friends that peradventur he might convince them of the truth therefore I inquired of the Lord and the Lord said unto me that he must not take them and I spake unto him () the word of the Lord [p. 5] and he said inquire again and I inquired again and also the third time and the Lord said unto me let him go with them only he shall covenant with me that he will not shew them to only but four persons and he covenented withe Lord that he would do according to the word of the Lord therefore he took them and took his journey unto his friends to Wayne County & State of N York and he brake the covenent which he made before the Lord and the Lord suffered the writings to fall into the hands of wicked men and was Chastened for his transgression and I also was chastened also for my transgression for asking the Lord the third time wherefore the Plates was taken from me by the power of God and I was not able to obtain them for a season and it came to pass afte[r] much humility and affliction of Soul I obtained them again when Lord appeared unto a young man by the name of and shewed unto him the plates in a vision and also the truth of the work and what the Lord was about to do through me his unworthy Servant therefore he was desiorous to come and write for me and to translate now had writen some for me to translate and also my Brothr but we had become reduced in property and was about to turn me out of doores I & I had not where to go and I cried unto the Lord that he would provide for me to accomplish the work whereunto he had commanded me [4 lines blank] [p. 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Letter to William W. Phelps • 27 November 1832
<​Letter 1​> Nov 27th 1832
I say brother because I feel so from the heart and altho it is not long since I wrote a letter unto you yet I feel as tho<​ugh​> you would excuse me for writing this as I have many things which I wish to communicate some things which I will mention in this letter which are laying <​great​> with weight upon my mind I inform you I am well and family God grant that you may enjoy the same and yours and all the brethren and sisters who remember to enquire afte[r] the of the Lord and the welfare of Zion and such a being as me and while I dictate this letter I fancy to myself that you are saying or thinking something simmiler to these words my God great and mighty art thou therefore shew unto thy servant what shall becom[e] of all these who are assaying to come up unto Zion in order to keep the commandments of God and yet receive not there by by order or deed from the the man that God has appointed in a legal way agreeable to the law given to organize and regulate the and all the affairs of the same; in the love of God having the most implicit confidence in you as a man of God having obtained this confidence by a vision of heaven therefore I will procede to unfold to you some of the feelings of my heart and procede to answer the questions[.] firstly, it is the duty of the lord[s] whom he has appointed to keep a hystory and a general church receord of all things that transpire in Zion and of all those who consecrate properties and receive inhertances legally from the bishop and also there manner of life and the faith and works and also of all the apostates who apostatize after receiving ther inher[i]tances in that day shall not find an inheritance among the saints of the [p. 1a] most high therefore it shall be done unto them as unto the Children of the priest as you will find recorded in the second chapter and sixty first and second verses of Ezra now if what I have said is true how careful then had men aught to be what they do in the last days lest they think they stand should fall because they keep not the <​Lo[r]d[s]​> commandments whilest you who obey who do the will of the lord and keep his commandments have need to rejoice with unspeakabl Joy for such shall be exalted very high and shall be lifted up in triumph above all the kingdoms of the world but I must drop this subject at the begining, O Lord when will the time come when thy servant and myself behold the day that we may stand together and gaze upon eternal wisdom engraven upon the heavens while the magesty of our God holdeth up the dark curtain until we may read the round of eternity to the fulness of our immortal souls, O Lord God deliver us in thy due time from the little narrow prison almost as it were total darkness of paper pen and Ink and a crooked broken scattered and imperfect Language, I would inform seccondly it is conterary to the will and of God that those who receive not their by agreeable to his law which he has given that he may his people to prepare them against the day of vengence and burning should have there names enrolled with the people of God, neithe[r] is the[ir] geneology to be kept or to be had where it may be found on any of the reccords or hystory of the there names shall not be found neithe[r] the names of their fathers or the names of the[ir] children writen in the book of the of God saith [p. 2] the Lord of hosts yea thus saith the still small voice which whispereth through and pierceth all things and often times it maketh my bones to quake while it maketh manifest saying and it shall come to pass that I the Lord God will send one mighty and strong holding the scepter of power in his hand clothed with light for a covering whose mouth shall utter words Eternal words while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth to set in order the house of God and to arrange by lot the of the saints whose names are found and the names of their fathers and of their children enroled in the Book of the Law of God while that man who was called of God and appointed that puteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God shall fall by the shaft of death like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning and all they who are not found writen in the book of remmemberance shall find none inheritence in that day but they shall be cut assunder and their portion shall be appointed them among unbelievers where is wailing and gnashing of teeth these things I say not of myself therefore as the Lord speaketh he will also fulfill and they who are of the whose names are not found writen in the book of the Law or that are found to have appostitized or to have been cut off out of the as well as the or the members in that day shall not find an inheritence among the saints of the most high therefore it shall be done unto them as unto the children of the Priest as you will find recorded in the second chapter and sixty first and second verses of Ezra now if what I say have said is true how careful then had men aught to be what they do in the last days lest they are cut assunder short of their expectations and they that think [they] stand should fall because they keep not the Lords whilst you who do the will of the Lord and keep his commandments have need to rejoice with unspeakable Joy for such shall be exalted very high and shall be lifted up in [p. 3] triumph above all the kingdoms of this world but I must drop this subject at the begining Oh Lord when will the time come when thy Servent and myself behold the day that we may stand together and gase upon Eternal wisdom engraven upon the hevens while the magesty of our God holdeth up the dark curtain <​until​> we may read the round of Eternity to the fullness and satisfaction of our immortal souls Oh Lord God deliver us in thy due time from the little narrow prison almost as it were totel darkness of paper pen and ink and a crooked broken scattered and imperfect language[.] I would inform you that I have obtained ten subscribers for the Star and received pay their names and place of residence [are] as follows, John McMahhan, James McMahhan, James White, William Brown, Henry Kingery, Micayer Dillions, Abraham Kingery, John A Fisher, David Houghs, Thomas Singers, the papers and all to be sent to Guyndotte [Guyandotte] the paper are all to be sent to Post office Verginea except David Houghs his is to be sent to Wayne <​County​> Township Worster County <​Township​> Ohio, has not r[e]ceived her Papers pleas[e] inform her Sister <​Hariet​> that Shee is well and give my respects to her tell her that Mr, Angels Brother came after her and the child soon after she went from here all he wanted wanted was the child No more <​my​> love for all the Brotheren yours in bonds Amen
Joseph Smith Jr—
PS send the evening and morning star to Brothe[r] Watertown Jeffers[on] County New York all to be from first No.
Letter from Oliver Cowdery • 28 December 1829
<​Let[ter] 2​> Dececember 28th AD 1829
Brother Joseph Smith Jr–
It may Seam Supe[r]fluous for me to write as [p. 4] is going directly to your country but knowing that if a few lines from you under my hand is as gladly rec[e]ived by you as one from you would at all times be by me I cannot in duty to my feelings let this oppertunity <​pass​> u[n]improved Your great anxiety will probably be to know of the progress of the work in the which we are <​So deeply​> engaged and possibly our Souls wellfare al[l] of which can make known unto you it may look rather Strange to you to find that I have So Soon become a printer and you may cast in your mind what I Shall become next but be asured my cahngeing [changing] business has not in any degree I trust taken my mind from meditateing upon my mission which I have been called to fulfill nor of changing Slacking my diligence in prayr and fasting but but Some times I feel almost as though I could quit time and fly away and be at rest in the Bosom of my Redeemer for the many deep feelings of Sorrow and the many long Struglings in prayr of Sorrow for the Sins of my fellow beings and also for those whose pretend to be of my faith almost as it were Seperateth my spirit from my mortal body do not think by this my Brother that I am would find give you to understand that I am freed from Sin and temptations no not by any means that is what I would that you Should undersstand is my anxiety at some times to be at rest in King in the Paradice of my God is to be freed from sin temptation &c.. You have our prayrs and our best wishes
Yours in Christ Amen
Joseph Smith Jr
P S we Send our respects to &c——
Letter, Oliver Cowdery to Hyrum Smith • 14 June 1829
<​Let 3​> June the 14 1829
These few lines I write unto you feeling anxious for your Steadfastness in the great cause of which you hav[e] been called to advocate and also feeling it a duty to write to you at every opportunity remember the worth of Souls is great in the Sight of God behold the Lord [p. 5] Your God Suffered death upon the cross after the man[n]er of the flesh wherefore he Suffered the pains of all men that all men might repent and come unto him and he and he hath risen again from the dead that he might bring all men unto him upon conditions of repentance and how great is his Joy in the Soul that repents and behold he commandeth all men to every where to repent and not only baptised and not only men but women children which have arrived to the Years of acountibility Stir up the minds of our friends aganst the time we come unto you that then they may be willing to take upon them the name of Christ for that is the name by which they Shall be called at the Last day and if we Know not not the name by which we are called I <​fear​> we shall be found on the hand I have many things to write but if the Lord will I shall Shortly come unto You Please tell Mrs Rockwell that those Shose [shoes] fit well and I received them as from the Lord tell him that whatever he does in the cause of Zion he will in no wise loose his reward Now m[a]y the Grace of God the Father and of our Lord Jesus Christ be and abide with you all Amen this from your A fellow labourer in the cause of Zion
P S give my love to <​all those​> who anxiously inquire after my property &c
Letter from Oliver Cowdery • 6 November 1829
<​Let[ter] 4​> <​​> November the 6th. 1829
Brother Joseph Smith Jr.
I received your leter yesterday bearing date Oct—. 22d I had long time expectted to hear from you and had often enquired at the post office for a letter and of course it was gladly received by us all we rejoice to hear that you are well and we expect also rejoice to hear that you have a prospect of obtaining Some mony and we further rejo[i]ce that you are at rest from your percecutors and we rejoice [p. 6] and the most to learn of your faithfulness in christ my dear Brother when I think of the goodness of christ I feel no desire to live or Stay here upon the shores of this world of iniquity only to to Serve him my maker and be if posible an instriment in his hands of doing Some good in his cause with his <​grace​> to assist me when I consider and try to realise what he has done for me I am astonished and amaised why Should I not be for while I was rushing on in sin and crouding my way down to that awful gulf he yet Strove with me and praised be his holy name <​and​> Eternal name he has redeemed my Soul from endless torment and wo not for any thing that I have me[r]ited or any worthyness there was in me for there was none but it was in and through his own mercy wraught out by his own infinite wisdom by prepareing from all Eternity a means wherefore whereby man could be saved on conditions of repentance and faith on that infinite attonement which was to be mad[e] by a great and last Sacrif[i]ce which Sacr[i]fice was the death of the only begotten of the Father yea the eternal Father of Heaven and of Earth that by his reserection all the Family of man might be braught back into the presance of God if therefore we follow christ in all things whatsoever he us and are buried with him by into death that like as christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Eternal Father even So we also Should walk in newness of life and if we walk in newness of life to the end of this probation at the day of accounts we Shall be caught up in clouds to meet the Lord in the air but I need not undertake to write of the goodness of God for his goodness is unspeakable ne[i]ther tell of the miteries [mysteries] of God for what is man that he can comprehend and Search out the wisdom of deity for Great is the misteries of Godliness therefore my only motive in this writing is to inform you of my prospects and hopes and my desires and my long<​ing​> to be freed from Sin and to rest in the kingdom of my Savior and my redeemer when I [p. 7] begin to write of the mercy mercies of God I know not when to Stop but time and paper fails I would inform that and went out to last week they had a joyful time and found all in as good health as could be expected thinks of comeing to the South in the course of two or three weeks and will callculate to take back that horse the printing goes rather Slow yet as the type founder has been sick but we expect that the type will be on and Still think we <​he​> will finish printing by the first of febuary we all send respects to yourself and ——
My dear Brother I cannot hardly feel to close this letter as yet without informing you that we received one from Mr— from Masacuchusetts [Massachusetts] dated the 25th Oct—. he informs us that he wishes to hear from us and know of our wellfare he says he has talked conside[r]able to Some respecting our work with freedom but others could not because they had no ears my great desire is that we may be faithful and obedient and humble children of Christ here that we may meet together in his kingdom of Eternal Glory to go no more out to Spend an Ete[r]nity where the we wicked cese from troubling and the humbl and penitent child in christ finds rest I remain with much Esteem and profound respect your Brother and compa[n]ion in tribulation and persecution in the kingdom of patience and hope of a Glorious reserrection in christ our Savior and redemer Amen
Joseph Smith Jr
<​Let 5​> P S I have Just got to alma commandment to his Son in coppyinng the manscrip we are all in tolerable hea[l]th here but health is poor [p. 8]
Letter to Oliver Cowdery • 22 October 1829
— Oct. 22d— 1829——
<​Let[ter], 6​> Respected sir I would in form you that I arrived at home on sunday morning the 4th. after having a prosperous journy, and found all well the people are all friendly to <​us​> except a few who are in opposition to evry thing unless it is something that is axactly like themselves and two of our most formadable persacutors are now under censure and are cited to a trial in the church for crimes which if true are worse than all the Gold Book business. we do not rejoice in the affliction of our enimies but we shall be glad to have truth prevail there begins to be a great call for our books in this country the minds of the people are very much excited when they find that there is a copy right obtained and that there is really books about to be printed I have bought a horse of Mr. and want some one to come after it as soon as convenient has a prospect of getting five or six hundred dollars he does not know certain that he can get it but he is a going to try and if he can get the money he wants to pay it in immediately for books we want to hear from you and know how you prosper in the good work, give our best respects to & and all our brothers and Sisters to Mr. and all the company concerned tell them that our prayers are put up daily for them that they may be prospered in evry, good word and work and that they may be preserved from sin here and and from the consequen[c]e of sin here after and now dear brother be faithful in the discharge of evry duty looking for the reward of the righteous and now may God of his infinite mercy keep an<​d​> preserve us spotless untill his coming and receive us all to rest with him in eternal repose through the attonement of Christ our Lord Amen
Joseph Smith Jr
[p. 9]
Letter from Oliver Cowdery • 8 April 1831
<​Let 7​> Jackson Co Missouri April 8—1831
My dearly beloved brethren & sisters in the Lord we received yours dated March 1— on the 2 ult which was joyful news ◊◊ to our hearts for we had been long looking for letters from you with the hope that the news that we should <​receive​> woud give our friends who reside in this Land joy by confirming them in the belief that we are men of truth and the Lord God of hosts has not forsaken the earth but is in very deed about to redeem his ancien covenant people & lead them with the fulness of the to springs yea fountains of living waters to his holy hill of & make them joyful in his house of prayer, For truly our Brethren we are men greatly wondered at and the Lord has given us some friends and also brethren while we are strangers in a strange land for yesterday <​we​> held a meeting and proclaimed the word of the Lord, and one sister thank the Lord obeyed the truth and at evening we held another meeting when another sister obeyed also and trust that the time is not far distant when more will follow for truly when we were assambled at the water while my natural feet stood upon an exceding large rock which had been rent in seams and fragments which was done when the God of heaven bowed his head when it was finished, I stood in spirit upon a rock that was broader then the heavens and in full assurence that the gospel was commited to me to proclaim the lord gave his spirit and sinners were pricked in there hearts, I this day received heard from the delewarr Nation of by the man who is employed by government a smith for that Nation he believes the truth and says he tha[n]ks God he does believe and also says that he shall shortly be which I pray God may be the case for truly my brethren he is a [p. 10] man he also says that we have put more into the during the short time we we were permited to be with them (which was but a few days then all the devels in the infernal pit and and and all the men on earth can get out of them in four generations he tells me that, that evry Nation have now the name of Nephy who is the son of Nephi & handed down to this very generation, there is only a part of that Nation here now but the remainder are expected this spring the principle chief says he believes evry word of the Book & there are many <​more​> in the Nation who believe and we understand there are many among the Shawnees who also believe & we trust that when the Lord shall open the <​our​> way we shall have glorious times for truly my brethren my heart sorrows for them for they are cast out & dispised and know not the God in whom they should trust we have traveld about in this country considerable and proclaimed repentence and very <​many​> are very anxious serious & honest, & started this day to go to across the to preach by request and myself & are together and will hold a meeting next Sunday at the house we are teaching school for we concluded that we were able and also willing to Labour with our hands for our support but while we do this we do not forget the ministry and are thankful that our heavenly Father has endowed us with faculties to do this for our support <​the agent for​> The Lamanites is very strict with us and we think somewhat strenuous respecting our having liberty to visit our brethren the Lamanites but we trust that when our brother returns we shall have a permit from General [William] Clark who is the Superintendent of Indian affairs west of the Missi[ssi]ppi who must have a reccommend or security before he can give a permit for any [p. 11] stranger or foreigner to go among them to teach or preach We are about Eleven miles from where we send our letters mailed and also to receive letters and we thought that we shall write evry week to our brothren and on your receiving this we want you to do the same by us for we think that if any people are entitled of <​to​> the benefits of free postage it [should be] us wants to write the principle names of those brethren who have been baptized <​of​> his neighbours since he left wishes <​to​> inform his wife that he is sure that the Lord called him to come to this country and consequently he shall not return untill he calls him back again he also informs her that respecting that suit at Law that there can be nothing done on there part more till August term, I wish <​my​> brother would write me the procedings of the several as they were held, the number of & & members as he will at each house an oppertunity of knowing and as you write to me weekly (which I hope you will not fail to do) you would write general occurrances through each week, Finely Brethren farewell the Lord God of peace be with you & keep you firm unto his coming & kingdom Amen—
Letter from Oliver Cowdery • 7 May 1831
May 7— 1831
Our dearly beloved Brethren I have nothing partickuler to write as concerning the & because of a short journey which I have <​just​> returned from in consequence of which I have not writen to you since the 16th. of the last month <​I​> and went into the county East which is about 40 miles and in the name of Jesus called on the people to repent many are of whom <​are I​> believe earnestly [p. 12] searching for truth and if cincerely I pr[a]y they may find that precious treasure for it seems to be wholly fallen in the streets that equity cannot enter in the letter we received of <​from​> you we were informed that the opposition was great against you now our beloved brethren we verily believe that we can also rejoice that we can are counted worthy to suffer shame for his name for almost the whole country which consists of Universalists Athists Deists Presbyterians Methodists <​Baptists​> & professed Christians Priests & people with all the Devils from the infernal pit are united and foaming out ther own shame God forbid that I should bring a railing accusation against them for Vengence belongeth unto him who is able to repay & herein brethren we confide. I am informed of an other Tribe of lately who have abundence of flocks of the best kind of sheep & cattle and manufacture blankets of superior quality the tribe is very numerous they live three hundred miles west of Santafee and are called navahoes why I mention this tribe is because I feel under obligation to communicate <​my breth[r]en evry informati[o]n respecting th[e] Lamanites & ab[out].​> to you all my Labours and travels believeing as I do that much is expected from me in the cause of our Lord and not doubuting but I daily am remembered before the throne of the most high by all of my brethren as well those who have not seen my face in the flesh as those who have
We have begin to expect our brother soon we have heard from him only when he was at we are all well (bless the Lord) and preach the gospel we will if earth and hell oppose our way and we dwell in the midst of Scortions for in Jesus <​we​> trust grace be with you all Amen
PS I beseach you to remember & write & direct to me Jackson County Missouri
[p. 13]
Letter to Noah C. Saxton • 4 January 1833
4th Jany. 1833—
Considering the Liberal prisciples [principles] upon which your interesting and valuable paper is published and myself being a subscriber and feeling a deep intrist [interest] in the cause of and in the happiness of my brethren of mankind I cheerfully take up my pen to contribute my mite at this every [very] interesting and important period
For some length of time I have been car[e]fully viewing the state of things as now appear throug[h]out our christian Land and have looked at it with feelings of the most painful anxiety while upon the one hand beholding the manifested withdrawal of Gods holy Spirit and the vail of stupidity which seems to be drawn over the hearts of the people and upon the other hand beholding the Judgments of God that have swept and are still sweeping hundreds and thousands of our race (and I fear unprepared) down to the shades of death with this solemn and alarming fact before me I am led to exclaim [“]O that my head were waters and mine ey[e]s a fountain of tears that I might weep day and night &c.” I think that it is high time for a christian world to awake out of sleep and cry mightely to that God day and night whose anger we have Justly incured. Are not these things a sufficient stimulant to arouse the faculties and call forth the energies of evry man woman and child that poseses feeling of sympathy for his fellow[s] or that is in any degree endeared to the bud[d]ing cause of our glorious Lord; I leave an inteligent community to answer this important question with a confession that this is what has caused me to overlook my own inability and expose my weakness to a learned world but trusting in that God who has said these things are hid from the wise and prudent and reve[a]led unto babes I step forth into the field to tell you what the Lord is doing and what you must do to enjoy the smiles of your saviour in these last day[s]— — The time has at last come arived when the God of Abraham of Isaac and of Jacob has set his hand again the seccond time to recover the remnants of his people which have [p. 14] been left from Assyria, and from Egypt and from Pathros &.c. and from the Islands of the sea and with them to bring in the fulness of the Gentiles and establish that covenant with them which was promised when their sins should be taken away. See Romans 11. 25, 26, & 27 and also Jeremiah 31. 31, 32, & 33, This covenant has never been established with the house of Isreal nor with the house of Judah for it requires two parties to make a covenant and those two parties must be agreed or no covenant can be made. Christ in the days of his flesh proposed to make a covenant with them but they rejected him and his proposals and in consequence thereof they were broken off and no covenant was made with them at that time but their unbelief has not rendered the promise of God of none effect; no, for there was another day limited in David which was the day of his power and then his people Isreal, should be a willing people and he would write his laws in their hearts and print them in their thoughts their sins and their eniquities he would remember no more, Thus after this chosen family had rejected Christ and his proposals the heralds of salvation said to them “lo we turn <​un​>to the gentiles,” and the received the covenant and were grafted in from whence the chosen family were broken off but the Gentiles have not continued in the goodness of God but have departed from the faith that was once delivered to the saints and have broken the everlasting covenant in which their fathers were established see Isaiah 24th 5th and have become high minded and have not feared therefore but few of them will be gathered with the chosen family Has not the pride highmindedness and unbelief of the Gentiles provoked the holy one of Israel to withdraw his holy spirit from them and send forth his Judgments to scourge them for their wickedness; this is certianly the case, Christ said to his deciples Mark 16, 17 & 18 that these signs should follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out Devils they shall speak with new tongues they shall take up serpants and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover, and also in connection with this read 1 Corinthians 12 Chapt, By the foregoing testamonies or through the glass of the foregoing testamonies we may look at the Christian world and see the apostacy there has been from [p. 15] the Apostolic platform, and who can look at this, and and not exclaim in the language of Isaiah, [“]the earth is defiled under the inhabitants thereof because they have transgressed the Laws, changed the ordinances and broken the everlasting covenant”
The plain fact is this, the power of God begins to fall upon the Nations, and the light of the latter day glory begins to break forth through the dark atmosphere of sectarian wickedness and their iniquity rools [rolls] up into view and the Nations of the are like the waves of the sea casting up mire and dirt or all in commotion and they hastily are preparing to act the part allotted them when the Lord rebukes the nations, when he shall rule them with a rod of iron & break them in peaces like a potters vessel, The Lord has declared to his servants some Eighteen months since that he was then withdrawing his spirit from the earth, and we can see that such is the fact for not only the churches a dwindling away, but there are no conversions, or but very few, and this is not all, the governments of the earth are thrown into confusion & division, and distruction to the eye of the spiritual beholder seemes to be writen by the finger of an invisable hand in Large capitals upon almost evry thing we behold——
And now what remains to be done under circumstan[c]es like these, I will proce[e]d to tell you what the Lord requires of all people high and low, rich and poor, male and female, ministers & people professors of religion, and nonproffessors in order that they may enjoy the holy spirit of God to a fulness, and escape the Judgments of God which are almost ready to burst upon the nations of the earth— Repent of all your sins and be for the remission of them, in the name of the father, and of the son, and of the Holy Ghost, and receive the of the of him who is and unto this power, that ye may receive the holy spirit of God, and this according to the holy scriptures, and of the Book of Mormon; and [p. 16] the only way that man can enter into the . These are the requesitions of the new Covenant or first principles of of the Gospel of Christ; then add to you[r] faith virtue and to virtue knowledge and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience, and to patience, brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness charity (or Love) and if these things be in you and abound, they make you to be neither baran nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ——
The Book of Mormon is a record of the forefathers of our western Tribes of Indians, having been found through the ministration of an holy Angel into our own Language by the gift and power of God, after having been hid up in the earth for the last fourteen hundred years containing the word of God, which was delivered unto them, By it we learn that our western tribes of Indians are desendants from that Joseph that was sold into Egypt, and that the land of America is a promised land unto them, and unto it all the tribes of Israel will come. with as many of the as shall comply with the requesitions of the new co[v]enant. But the tribe of Judah will return to old Jerusalem. The , spoken of by David in the 102 Psalm will be built upon the Land of America and the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to it with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads, and then they will be delivered from the overflowing scourge that shall pass through the Land But Judah shall obtain deliverence at Jerusalem see Joel 2. 32. Isaiah 26, 20 & 21, Jer. 31, 12, Psalm 50. 5, Ezekiel 34, 11. 12 & 13, These are testamonies that the good Shepherd will put forth his own sheep and Lead them out from all nations where they have been scattered in a cloudy and dark day, to Zion and to Jerusalem beside many more testamonies which might be brought——
And now I am prepared to say by the authority of Jesus Christ, that not many years shall pass away before the shall present such [p. 17] a scene of bloodshed as has not a parallel in the hystory of our nation pestalence hail famine and earthquake will sweep the wicked off this generation from off the face of this Land to open and prepare the way for the return of the lost tribes of Israel from the north country— The people of the Lord, those who have complied with the requsitions of the new covenant have already commenced gathering togethe[r] to which is in the State of . Therefore I declare unto you the warning which the Lord has me to declare unto this generation, rem[em]bering that the eyes of my maker are upon me and that to him I am accountable for every word I say wishing nothing worse to my fellow men then their eternal salvation therefore fear God, and give glory to him for the hour of his Judgment is come. Repent ye Repent, ye and imbrace the everlasting Covenant and flee to Zion before the overflowing scourge overtake you, For there are those now living upon the earth whose eyes shall not be closed in death until they see all these things which I have spoken fulfilled Rem[em]ber these things, call upon the Lord while he is near and seek him while he may be found is the exhortation of your unworthy servant
Joseph Smith Jr
<​To N Y.​>
Letter to William W. Phelps • 11 January 1833
January 11 - 1833
I Send you the Olieve leaf which we have plucked from the tree of Paradise, the Lords message of peace to us, for though our Brethren in Zion, indulge in feelings towards us, which are not according to the requirements of the yet we have the satisfaction of knowing that the Lord approves of us & has accepted us, & established his name in [p. 18] for the salvation of the nations, for the Lord will have a place from whence his word will go forth in these last days in purity, for if Zion, will not purify herself so as to be approved of in all things in his sight he will seek another people for his work will go on untill Isreal is & they who will not hear his voice must expect to feel his wrath, Let me say unto you, seek to purefy yourselves, & also all the inhabitants of Zion lest the Lords anger be kindled to fierceness, repent, repent, is the voice of God, to Zion, & yet strange as it may appear, yet it is true mankind will presist in self Justification until all their eniquity is exposed & their character past being redeemed, & that which is treasured up in their hearts be exposed to the gaze of mankind, I say to you— (& what I say to you, I say to all) hear the <​warning​> voice of God lest Zion fall, & the Lord swear in his wrath the inhabiteints of Zion shall not enter into my rest, The Brethren in pray for you unceasingly, for knowing the terrors of the Lord, they greatly fear— for you; you will see that the Lord commanded us in to build an , & establish a , this is the word of the Lord to us, & we must— yea the Lord helping us we will obey, as on conditions of our obedience, he has promised <​us​> great things, yea <​even​> a visit from the heavens to honor us with his own presence, we greatly fear before the Lord lest we should fail of this great honor which our master proposes to confer on us, we are seeking for humility & great faith lest we be ashamed in his presence, our hearts are greatly greaved at the spirit which is breathed both in your letter & that of the very spirit which is wasting the strength of Zion like a pestalence, and if it is not detected & driven from you it will ripen Zion for the threatened Judgments of God, remember God sees the secret springs of human action, & knows the hearts of all living, Br suffer us to speak plainly for God has respect to the feelings of his saints & he will not let them be tantalized with impunity. tell that low insinuations God hates, but he rejoices in an honest heart and knows better who is guilty than he does, we send him this worning [warning] voice & let him fear greatly for himself lest a worse thing overtake him, all we can say by way of conclusion is, if the fountain of our tears are not dried up we will <​still​> weep for Zion, this from your brother who trembles greatly for Zion,— and for the wrath of heaven which awaits her if she repent not,— — P.S. I am not in the habit of crying peace, when there is no peace, and knowing the th[r]eatened Judgments of God, I say Wo,— unto them who are at ease [p. 19] in zion fearfulnes will speedily lay hold of the hypocrite, I did not expect that you had lost commandments, but thought from your letters you had neglected to read them, otherwise you would not have writen as you did, it is in vain to try to hide a bad spirit from the eyes of them who are spiritual for it will shewe itself in speaking & in writing as well as all our other conduct, it is also useless to mak[e] great pretentions when the heart is not right before God, for God looks at the heart, and where the heart is not right the Lord will expose it to the view of his faithful saints, we wish you to render the Star as interesting as possable by setting forth the rise progress and faith of the church, as well as the doctrine for if you do not render it more interesting than at present it will fall, and the church suffer a great Loss thereby——
Joseph Smith Jr.
Letter to Edward Partridge and Others • 14 January 1833
Geauga Co Ohio Jany. 14-1833
From a of 12 to the and the inhabitents of Zion, and being appoint[ed] by the said conference to write this Epistle in obedience to the commandment given the 22 & 23 of Sept last which says: [“]But verily I say unto you all those to whom the kingdom has been given from you it must be preached unto them that they shall repent of their former evil works for they are to be upbraided for their evil hearts of unbelief and your brethren in Zion for their rebellion against you at the time I sent you.” Bro Joseph & certain <​others​> have writen to you upon this all important subject, but you have <​never​> been apprised of these things by the united voice of a conference of those high priests that were present at the time this commandment was given, we therefore & the committe appointed by said conference to write this Epistle having received the prayers of sd conference that we might be enabled to write the mind & will of God upon this subject, now take up our pen to address you in the name of the conference, relying upon the arm of the Great Head of the , in the commandment above alluded to the Children of Zion were all, yea even evry one under condemnation, and were to remain in that state until they repented and remembred the even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which the Lord had given them, not only to say but to do them and bring forth fruit meet for the Fathers Kingdom otherwise. [p. 20] there remaineth a scourge & a judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion, for shall the children of the Kingdom pollute my holy land I say unto you nay— The answers received from those letters which have been sent to you upon this subject have failed to bring to us that satisfactory confession and acknowledgment which the spirit of our Master requires— we therefore feeling a deep intrest for Zion & knowing the judgments of God that will come upon her except she repent; resort to these last, and most efficient means in our power to bring her to a sense of her standing before the most High, At the time Joseph & left Zion, all matters of hardness and misunderstanding were settled and buried (as they supposed) and you gave them the hand of fellowship but afterwards you brought up all these things again in a sensorious spirit accusing Bro Joseph in rather an indirect way of seeking after Monarchal power and authority, this came to us in letter of June 2d, We are sensable that this is not the thing Bro J is seeking after, but to magnify the high office and calling whereunto he has been called and appointed by the command of God and the united voice of this Church, It might not be a miss for you to call to mind the circumstances of the and the Children of Israel rising up against their prophets and accusing them of seeking after Kingly power &c— and see what befel them and take warning before it is too late s letter of Dec 10th has been received and read attentively, and the low, dark, & blind insinuations which were in it were not received by us as from the fountain of light, though his claims and pretentions to holiness were great, we are not unwilling to be chastened or rebuked for our faults but we want to receive it in language that we can understand, as Nathan said to David, Thou art the man We are aware that s is doing much, and a multitude of business on hand but let him purge out all the old leaven and do his business in the spirit of the Lord. and then the Lord will bless him <​otherwise the frown of the Lord will remain upon him​> There is manifestly an uneasiness in , and a fearfulness that God will not provide for his saints in their last days and these fears lead him on to covitousness, This ought not so to be, but let him do just as the Lord has commanded him and then the Lord will open his coffers, and his wants will be liberally supplied, But if this uneasy, covetous disposition be cherished by him the Lord will bring him to poverty shame, and disgrace, letter is also received of Dec [p. 21] 15th and carefully read, and it betrays a lightness of spirit that ill becomes a man placed in the important and responsible station that he is placed in:— If you have fat beef, and potatoes, eat them in singleness of heart and boast not yourselves in these things think not Brethren that we make a man an offender for a word this is not the case, but we want to see a spirit in Zion by which the Lord will build it up, that is the plain solem and pure spirit of Christ; requested in his last letter that Bro Joseph should come to Zion, but we say that Br J. will not settle in Zion until she repent, and purify herself & abide by the , and remember the that have been given her, to do them as well as say them You may think it strange that we manifest no cheerfulness of heart upon the reception of your letters, you may think that our minds are pregudiced so much that we can see no good that comes from you, but rest assured, brethren, that this is not the case We have the best of feelings, and feelings of the greatest anxiety for the welfare of Zion we feel more like weeping over Zion than we do like rejoicing over her, for we know the judgments of God that hang over her and will fall upon her except she repent and purify herself before the Lord and put away from her evry foul spirit— we now say to Zion this once in the name of the Lord, Repent! Repent! Awake! Awake! put on thy beautiful garments before you are made to feel the chastning rod of him whose anger is kindled against you, let not Satan tempt you to think we want to make you bow to us to domeneer over you for God knows this is not the case our eyes are watered with tears and our hearts are poured out to God in prayer for you that he will spare you and turn away his anger from you, There are many things in the last letters from Brs and that are good and we esteem them much, The idea of having certain ones appointed to regulate Zion and traveling have nothing to do with this part of the matter is something that we highly approbate, and you will doubtless know before this reaches you why opposed you [p. 22] in this move— We fear there was something in s when he returned to this place from last fall in relation to his that was not right, For was asked 2 or 3 times about his , but gave evasive answers, and at the same time he knew that was in , but the Lord has taken him we merely mention this, that all may take warning to work in the light for God will bring evry secret thing to Light, we now close our Epistle by saying unto you the Lord has us to purify ourselves, to wash our hands and our feet that he may testify to his father and our Father to his God & our God that we are clean from the blood of this Generations and before we could wash our our hands and our feet we were constrained to write this letter, Therefore with the feelings of inexpressable anxiety for your welfare we say again Repent Rep[en]t or Zion must suffer, for the scourge and judgment must come upon her, Let the read this to the that they may warn the members of the scourge that is coming except they repent. Tell them to read the Book of Commandments Mormon, and obey it, read the commandments that are printed and obey them. yea, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that peradventure he may turn away his anger from you, tell them that they have not come up to Zion to sit down in idleness neglecting the things of God, but they are to be dilligent and faithful in obeying the , There is one clause in Br Joseph letter which you may not understand. that is this if the people of Zion did not repent the Lord would seek another place, and another people, Zion is the place where the Temple will be built, and the people but all people upon that holy Land being under condemnation the Lord will cut off if they repent not and bring another race upon it, that will serve him, The Lord will seek another place to bring forth and prepare his word to go forth to the nations, and as we said before so we say again Bro Joseph will not settle in Zion [p. 23] except she repent and serve God and obey the With this explanation the sanctions Bro Joseph letter— Brethren the conference meets again this evening to hear this letter read and if it meet their minds we have all agreed to kneel down before the Lord and cry unto him with all our hearts that this epistle & Bro Js and the revelations also may have their desired effect and accomplish the things whereunto they are sent and that they may stimulate you to cleans[e] Zion that she mourn not, Therefore when you get this know ye that a conference of 12 have cried unto the Lord for you and are still crying saying, spare thy people O! Lord and give not thy heritage to reproach, We now feel that our garments are clean from you, and all men, when we have washed our hand & our feet & hands according to the We have written plain at this time but we believe not harsh, Plainness is what the Lord requires and we should not feel ourselves clean unless we had done so, and if the things we have told you be not attended to you will not long have occassion to say or to think rather that we may be rong in what we have stated Your unworthy brethren are determined to pray unto the Lord for Zion as long as we can shed a tear the sympathising tear, or feel any spirit to supplicate a throne of Grace in her behalf, The will commence if the Lord will in 2 or 3 days, a general time of health with us the cause of God seems to be rapidly advancing in the eastern countrys, the gifts beginning to break forth so as to astonish the world, and even believers marvel at the power and goodness of God, Thanks be rendered to his holy name for what he is doing, We are your unworthy brethren in the Lord & may the Lord help us all to do his will that we may at last be saved in his kingdom——
[p. 24]
N. B. we stated that knew that was in last fall, when he was in , we wrote this upon the strength of hearsay, but being left at strengthened our suppositions that such was the fact, we stated farther respecting this matter or this item than the testamony will warrant us— with this exception the conference sanctions this letter
Letter to the Church in Thompson, Ohio • 6 February 1833
An Epistle to the Church in
February 6th 1833— — —
To the In Geauga County Ohio
Dear Brethren
We salute you by this our Epistle in the bonds of Love rejoicing in your steadfastness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus our Lord and we desire your prosperity in the ways of truth and righteousness, in the bowels of Jesus Christ praying for you continually that your faith fail not and that you may overcome all the evils with which you are surrounded and become pure and holy before God even our father to whom be glory for and ever and ever Amen
It has seemed good unto the holy spirit and unto us to send this our epistle to you by the hand of our beloved brother your messenger who has been by us in obedience to the of God to the office of to preside over the Church in taking the oversight thereof to Lead you & to teach the thing[s] which are according to Godliness in whom we have great confidence as we presume also you we therefore say to you yea not us only but the Lord also receive you him as such knowing that the lord has appointed him to this office for your good holding him up by your prayers [p. 25] praying for him continually that he may be with wisdom and understanding in the knowledge of the Lord that through him you may be kept from evil spirits and all strifes and discensions and grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
Brethren beloved continue in brotherly Love walking in meekness watching unto prayer that you be not overcome Followe after peace as said our beloved brother Paul that you may be the children of our heavenly Father and <​not​> give occasion for stumbling to Saint or sinner finely [finally] brethren pray for us that we may be enabled to do the work whereunto we are called that you may enjoy the mysteries of God even a fulness and may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all amen.
Joseph Smith Jr—
Letter, John Murdock to Salmon Gee • 11 February 1833
To Elder of the Church in
Feby 11— 1833
Beloved brethren and Sisters in the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ I beseach you in the bowels of mercy to rememb[er] the exhortation that I gave you when I was yet present with you— to beware of delusive Spirits I rejoice that our heavenly Father hath blessed you greatly as he has also me in enabling me to speak the praises of God and the mysteries of the Kingdom in other tong[u]es according to promis[e] and this without throwing me down or wallowing me on the ground or any thing unbecoming or immoral also without any external operation of the system but it is the internal operation [p. 26] and <​power-of-the​> Spirit of God so that I know that those odd actions and strange noises is not caused by the Spirit of the Lord as is represented by brothe[r] King therefore in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ by the Spirit of the Living God according to the authority of the holy Priesthood commited to me I command Brother Thomas King (as though I were present) to cease from your diabolical acts of in thusiasm and also from acting as an Elder in this Church of Christ untill you come and give full testamony to the high Priests in that thou art worthy of that holy Calling because those are the things of God and are to be used in the fear of— God, and I not <​now not​> only now command you but exhort you in behalf of your souls salvation to submit and let be upheld by the prayer of faith of every brother & sister and if there be this union of spirit & prayer of faith, evry false Spirit shall be bound and cast out from among you my beloved Children in the bonds of the Gospel and the bowels of mercy which is the everlasting love of God I do beseach you to live faithful and in obedience to the commandments of God, and in the name of the Lord Jesus I say the blessings of God shall attend you
High Priest
Letter to Noah C. Saxton • 12 February 1833
Dear sir
I was somewhat disappointed on receiving my paper with only a part of my letter inserted in that it. The letter which I wrote you for publication I wrote by the [p. 27] of God, and I am quite anxious to have it all laid before the public for it is of importance to them, But I have no clame upon you, neither do I wish to urge you beyond that which is reasonable to do it. I have only to appeal to your extended geneorsity to all religious societies that claim that Christ has come in the flesh and also tell you what will be the consequence of a neglect to publish it— some parts of the letter were very severe upon the wickedness of sectarianism— I acknowledge and the truth, remember is hard and severe against all iniquity and wickedness, but this is no reason why it should not be published but the very reason why it should, It lays the axe at the root of the tree and I long to see many of the sturdy oaks which I have long cumbred the ground fall prostrate. I now say unto you that if you wish to clear your garments from the blood of you[r] readers I exhort you to publish that letter entire but if not the sin be upon your head—
Accept sir the good wishes and tender regard of your unworthy servant—
Joseph Smith Jr
12th Feby. 1833
Letter, Newel K. Whitney to Jesse Smith • 2 March 1833
2d March 1833
I received a line from you some time since making some inquiry respecting a Certain Sect of people called Mormonites, There has been a good deal of excitement. among the people through this section of Country upon that subject and still continues to be [p. 28] many have received the book as a revelation from God I have resided in the vicinity of the Smiths ever since the work commenced in , which is between two and three years and have been personally acquainted with all the family; but sir I must confess that the story respecting the woman Conceiving by the holy ghost is something which never saluted my ears untill I read it in your letter
Dear Sir I believe in giving to all people their just dues and if I do justice to this people Called Mormonites I must say they have been shamefully traduced— reports have been put into Circulation— respecting them which I am confident never had any foundation in truth The Mormonites seem to mind their own business and worship God— in the midst of much persecution, they prophecy Considerable. Speak in unknown tongues, an[d] also interpret, the sick are <​have been​> healed by them &c and from what I have seen and heard I am about pursuaded to call them the people of God— But Sir if I had been residing in a distant Land and heard all the evil reports which wicked men and the Devil could put in Circulation I presume I should not be so believing as I am but I have lived among them and know their faith and practice and I cannot say that I know of any thing reprehensible
Your Sincerely
Letter to John S. Carter • 13 April 1833
13th April 1833
Dear your Letter to is just put into my hand and I have carefully purrused its contents and imbrace this oppertunity to answer it we proceed to answer your questions first concerning your labour in the region where you live we acqu[i]esce in your feelings on this subject until the the mouth of the Lord shall name and as it respects the vision you speak of we do not consider ourselves bound [p. 29] to receive any revelation forom [from] any one man or woman without being legally constituted and ◊◊ to that authority and given sufficien[t] proof of it (I will inform you that it is contrary to the economy of God for any member of the or any <​one​> any one to receive instruction for those in authority hig[h]er than themselves (therefore you will see the impropriety of giving heed to them (but if any <​have a vision​> heavenly or a visitation from an hev<​en​>aly messenger it must be for their own benefit and instruction (for the fundimental principals, government and (doctrine of the church is invested in the of the kingdom) as it respects an apostate or one who has been cut off from the church and wishes to come in again the law of our church expresly says that such shall repent) and be and be admited the same as at the first (the duty of a is to administer spriitual and holy things and to hold communeion <​with​> God but not to exorcise [exercise] monarchal government or to appoint meetings for the without their concent and again it is the high priests duty to be bet[t]er qualifide to teach principles and doctrines than the Elder for the office of Elders is an appendege to the and it <​centers &​> concentrates in one (and again the proper <​process​> way of Labouring with a member we (are to deal with them percisely as the scripturs direct if thy brother trespass against the[e] take him betwen him and thee alone and if he maketh the satisfaction thou hast saved thy brother and if not proce[e]d to take another with the[e] & when there is no they are to be tried by the voice of the Church and if an Elder or an high priest be presant they are to take the lead in managing the business if not by such that have the highest authority (with respect to preparing to go to Zion first it would be pleasing to the lord that that the Church or Churches going to Zion should be organised, and appoint a suitable person who is well acquainted with the Conditions of the Church & and be sent to to inform the and procure licence from him agreeable to the revelation so doing you will prevent confusion and disorder and escape many difficulties that [p. 30] attend an unorganised band in Journey[ing] in the last days and again those in debt should in all cases pay their debts and the rich are in no wise to cast out the poor or leave them behind for it is said that the poor shall inherit the earth you quoted a passge in Jeremiah with regard to Journey to Zion the word of God stands sure so let it be done
There are two paragraphs in your letter which I do not commend as they are writen blind speaking of the being sent like lightning from the bow of Judah the second, no secret in the councils of Zion you mention this as if fear rested upon your mind otherwise we cannot understand it and again we never enquire of the hand of the Lord God for special revelation only in case of ther being no previous revelation to suit the case and that in a court of for further information on the subject you have writen I will refer you to the Elders who have recently left here for the east by some of whom you will probably see soon you may depend on any information you receive from them that are faithful you may expect to see & for whom we have great fellowship, it, <​is​> a great thing to enquire at the hand of God or to come into his presence and we feel fearful to approch him upon subject[s] that are of little or no consequen[ce] to satisfy the enqueries of individuals especially <​about​> things the knowledge of which men aught to obtain in all cencerity before God for themselves in humility by the prayer of faith, and more especially a or a high Priest in the I speak thes[e] things not by way of reproach [p. 31] but by way of instruction and I speak as being acquainted whereas we are strangers to each other in the flesh I love your soul and the souls of the Children of men and pray and do all I can for the salvation of all I now close by sending you a salutation of peace in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ Amen the blessings of our Lord Jesus Christ be and abide with you all Amen
Joseph Smith Jr
NB if it is inconvenient to send a deleget [delegate] to to procure licen[s]e for the brethren to go to Zion it can be done by two or more we have received two letters from stating the order and condition of the Church and respecting the vision of his wife but on account of a multitude of business they have not been answered by us you will please to read this letter to and for further information appeal to the Elders you will please to inform them at the east who write to us to pay the postage as we are receiving letters from all parts and have to pay a great sum of money otherwise we shall be under the necessity of letting them remain in the office as we are not able to pay so much
J. S
Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson County, Missouri • 21 April 1833
21 April 1833
Dear brethren in Zion
agreeable to a notice we gave you in [’s] <​last​> letter to you with respect to answering your letters we now commence after giving thanks to our heavenly father for evry expression of [p. 32] of his goodness in preserving our unprofitable lives to the present time and the health and other blessings which we now enjoy through his mercies— With joy we received your letter general epistle writen the 26 of Feby which contained the conffescion of our brethren concerned all of which was to our entire satisfaction it was read by the Brethren in with feelings of the deepest interest knowing as we did that the anger of the Lord was kindled against you and [no]thing but repentance of the greatest humility would turn it away and I will assure you that expressions of Joy beemed on evry countenance when they saw that our epistle and the revelation was received by our brethren in Zion & it had its desired effect
For your satisfaction, I insert a revelation given to the 15th of March, 1833 constituting him a member of the —— Verely thus saith the Lord I give unto the united firm (organised agreeable to the commandment previously given) a revelation and concerning my servant that ye shall receive him into the firm, what I say unto one I say unto all, and again I say unto you my my servant thou shalt be a lively member in this firm and inasmuch as thou art faithful in keeping all former commandments thou shalt be blessed for ever Amen
with respect to s letter of the 10 Dec I would say to him as follows firstly we received the letter with this [p. 33] conviction that he wrote it in all cencerity of his heart and [we] were pleased with the stile and composition but upon mature reflection and inquiry at the hand of the Lord we find some things that are unreconcilable especially to some I mean with respect to hints given that are not clearly explained, as evry letter that comes from Zion must go the rounds of the Brethren for inspection it is necessary that there should be no disg[u]ise in them but that evry subject writen from brethren should be plain to the understanding of all, that no jealousy may be raised and when we rebuke do it in all meekness, and the letter writen the 24 Feby was not writen in that contrition of heart which it should have been for it appeared to be writen in too much of a spirit of justification, but the letter to of the 20 of March was writen to our entire satisfaction. now I would say to that I do not write this by way of chastisement but to show him the absolute necessity of having all his communications writen plain to and understandingly, we are well aware of the great care upon his mind in consequence of much business but he must put his trust in god and he may rest assured that he has our prayers day and night that he may have strength to overcome evry difficulty we have learned of the Lord that it is his duty to assist all the poor brethren that are pure in heart and that he has done [w]rong in with holding credit from them as they must have [p. 34] assistence for the Lord established him in Zion for that express purpose, it is not the will of the Lord to print any of the new translation in the Star but when it is published it will all go to the world together in a volume by itself, and the new Testament and the book of Mormon will be printed together
With respect to private letter to me on the subject of giving deeds & receiving contrabutions from brethren &c I have nothing further to say on the subject but to make yourselves acquainted with the of the Lord and the Laws of the State and govern yourselves accordingly was here yesterday and showed us a letter from and we were well pleased with the spirit it was writen in the probability is that he will not go to Zion at present as he has bought in we rejoice to here that the Siminary lands are reduced in price and are coming into market and be assured that we shall use our influence to send brethren to Zion that are able to help you in the purchase of lands &c &c ——
We have just received a letter from he has bui[l]t up a church of 8 members in Ohio and prospects of more— With respect to the deaths in Zion we feel to mourn with those that mourn but remember that the god of all the earth will do right and now my beloved brethren I commend you to god and his grace praying him to keep and preserve you [p. 35] blameless to the coming of our lord Jesus Christ Amen— Joseph Smith Jun
PS say to that his confession gave me great satisfaction and all things are now settled on my part tell Sister Chloer that her Mother is well and living with bro and is now at my house——
Letter, Hyrum Smith and Others to “the Churches of Christ” • 1 June 1833
June first 1833
To the Churches of— Christ in——. we feel ourselves under obligation to writ[e] to you as well as to all the churches of the different branches and we do this that you with us may exert yourselves to bring about the fulfilment of the command of the Lord concerning the establishing or preparing a home whereby the Elders who have been commanded of the Lord to so to do, to gather themselves together and prepare all things and call a solemn assembly and treasure up words of wisdom that they might go forth to the Gentiles for the last time. and we now in order to accomplish this we are directed yea we are under the necessity to call on the whole Church as a body that they make evry possable exertion to aid temporally as well as spiritually in this great work that the Lord is bringing about and is about to accomplish and unless we fulfil this command vis establish an and prepare all things necessary whereby the Elders may gather into a school [p. 36] called the School of the prophets and receive that instruction that the Lord designs they should receive we may all dispare of obtaining the great blessing that God has promised to the faithful of the Church of Christ, Therefore it is as important as our salvation is that we obey this above mentioned command as well as all of the commandments of the Lord therefore brethren we write this epistle to you to stir up your mind to make exertion that the Lord requires of you to lend a temporal aid in these things as expressed above writen and in order that you may know how to conduct the business we will relate what we have done and are a doing here, we have meet in conference and there agreed to form a subscription and circulate the same through the Churches and also appointed and a committe to superintend this business viz of circulating a subscriptions to establish a fund to build a and to aid the Elders to attend this school and subscriptions are now a in circulation among us and our heavenly father is opening the hearts of our brethren beyond the expectation of many and not one brother among us as yet refuses to exert themselves to do something as a temporal— means to bring about the establishing of this and school and we say may our heavenly father open your hearts also that you with us may may gather to gether something to aid [p. 37] as a temporal benefit, you had probably better call the officers of the Church immediately together and appoint some one to circulate a subscription that each individual after signing may have a sufficient time to make preparations to pay what they sign for it will be necessary, whereever the brethren are that are at a distance from that they exert themselvs to send on their gift or assistence as soon as they can to though they can if they believe best to wait on those that sign until the first of Sept and then collect in and send on to These considerations we have writen to you— knowing it to be our duty thus to do and may the Lord help you to exert yourselves with us in useing the means to bring about the glorious work of the Lord and may we all be kept by the grace of God unto Eternal life Amen
“Explanation of the Plat of the City of Zion” • circa 25 June 1833
An explination of the plot of the City of Zion sent to the brethren in Zion the 25 of June 1833——
This plot contains one mile squ[a]re all the squ[a]res in the plot contains ten acres each being 40 rods squ[a]re you will observe that the lots are laid off alternate in the squ[a]re, in one squ[a]re running from the south and north to the line through the middle of the squ[a]re, and the next, the lots run from the east and west [p. 38] to the middle line each lot is four perches in front and 20 back making 1/2 of an acre in each lot so that no one street will be built on intirely through the street but one squ[a]re the houses will stand on one street and on the next one another except the middle range of squ[a]res which runs north and south in which range are the painted squ[a]res the lots are laid off in their squ[a]res North and South all of them because their squ[a]res are 40 perches by 60 being twenty perches longer than the other the long way of them being east and west and by running all the lots in their squ[a]res North and South it makes all the lots in the city of one size the painted squ[a]res in the middle are for public building, the one without any figures is for for the and to be devoted to his use[.] Figure 1 is for for the use of the , the circles inside of the squ[a]re are the places for the temples you will see it contains twelve[.] figures 2 is for the temples for the it also is to contain 12 Temples the whole plot is supposed to contain from 15 to 20 thousand people you will therefore see that it will require 24 buildings to supply them with houses of worship Schools houses &c and none of these temples are to be smaller then the one of which we send you a draft. This Temple is to be built in squ[a]re marked <​Fig–​> one and to be built where the circle is which has a cross on it on the North and south of the plot where the line is drawn is to be Laid off for barns stables &c for the use of the City so that no barns or stabls will be in the city among the houses the ground to be [p. 39] occupied for these must be laid off according to wisdom[.] On the North and South are to be laid off, the farms for the agriculturist and sufficient quantity of land to supply the whole plot and if it cannot be laid off without going too great a distance from the city there must also be laid off on the east and west, when this squ[a]re is thus laid off and supplied lay off another in the same way and so fill up the world in these last days and let evry man live in the City for this is the City of Zion all the streets are of one width being eight perches wide also the space round the outer edge of the painted squ[a]res is to be eight perches between the temple and the street on evry side no one lot in this City is to contain more then one house and that to be built twenty five feet back from the street leaving a small yard in front to be planted in a grove according to the taste of the builder the rest of the lot for gardens &c all the houses to be build of brick and stone
The names of the temples to be built on the painted squ[a]re No 10-11-12 are to be called the for the of the after the order of Melchisedeck which was after the order of the son of God, upon mount Zion Nos 7-8-9 The sacred Apostolic repository for the use of the No 4-5-6 The holy evangelical house for the high Priesthood of the holy order of God– No 1-2-3 The house of the Lord for the of Zion an ensign to the Nations Nos 22-23-24 house of the lord [p. 40] for the of the high a standard for the people Nos 19-20-21 the law of the Kingdom of heaven and Messinger to the people for the high Priesthood after the order of Aaron Nos-16-17-18 house of the Lord for the in Zion Messinger to the Church Nos 13-14-15 house of the Lord for the in Zion helps in government underneath must be writen on each house holiness to the Lord
The scale of the plot is 40 perches to the inch
Plan of the House of the Lord • 25 June 1833
A discription of the which is to be built first in Zion—
This for the Presidency is eighty seven feet Long and sixty one feet wide and ten feet taken off of the east end for the stair way leaves the inner court 78 feet by 61, which is Calculated and divided for seats in the following manner Viz The two Aisles 4 feet wide each, the middle block of pews are 11 feet 10 inches long and and 3 feet wide each and and the 2 lines drawn through the middle are four inches apart for which a curtin is to drop at right angles and divide the house into four parts if necessary the side blocks of pews are 14 and half feet long and 3 feet wide, the 5 pews in each corner of the house are twelve feet 6 inches long the open spaces between the corner and side pews are for five places. those in the west are 9 feet wide and the east ones are 8 feet and 8 inches wide and the chimney—— [p. 41] Chimney Carried up in the wall where they are marked with a pencil the pulpit in the west end of the house is to be occupied by the high Priesthood as follows No 1 for the president and his Councel No 2 for the Bishop and his Councel No 3 for the high Priest and No 4 for the Elders each of these are 8 feet Long containing 3 Coves or stands for the respective speakers and those seats opposite them are for visiting officers who are to occupy seats according to their respective grades the 2 spaces in the middle are stairs 2 feet wide the middle pulpit is to be elevated the first seats one foot and 2d two feet the 3d 3 feet and the fourth 4 feet— and those upon each side are also to be elevated the first one 8 inches the 2d, 16 the 3d 24— the 4th 32 inches and the 5th 40 inches—— The pulpit in the east end of the house is to be occupied the corner seats are to be occupied by singers and elevated the first seat 6 inches the 2d 12— the 3d 18— the 4— 24 and the 5th 30 inches—— the pulpit in the east end of the house is to be occupied by the lesser Priesthood No 1 the Presidency of the lesser Priesthood No 2 for the Priests No 3 for the teache[rs] and No 4 for the deacons and the seats by their sides are also to be occupied by visiting officers each one opposite his respective grade &c. the pulpits are to be done off with pannel work in the best manner workmanlike manner and the building to be composed of Stone and brick of the best kind—— [p. 42]
The side view represents five windows in each story the windows are to have each forty eight lights 7 by 9— 6 one way and 8 the other the sides and lintils of the windows to be of hewn stone and on the top of the lenter is to be Gothic tops as you see but the window must have a lintle and so with the outside doors all with Gothick tops make your house 14 feet high between the floors there will not be a gallery but a chamber each story to be 14 feet high arched over head with an eliptic arch each of the stories, let the under part or foundation of the house be of stone let it be raised sufficiently high to admit of banking up so high as to admit of a descent evry way from the house so far as to divide the distance between this house and the next to it on top of those stone and above the embankment let there be two rows of hewn stone and then commence the brick on the hewn stone the entire hight of the house 28 feet each story being 14 feet make the wall a sufficient thickness for a house of this size observe particularly that as there are pulpits at each end of the house that the backs of the Congregation must be to one of them and they will want occasionly to Change, in order for this the house must have pews instead of slips and in the pews let the seats loose so as to slip from <​one​> side of the pew to the other so as to face either pulpit as <​occasion​> may require—
The end view represents five windows the same <​size​> as the side the middle window excepted, it is to be the same with [p. 43] with the addition of side lights this middle window is designed to light both above and below as the upper floor is to be laid off in the same way as the lower and arched over head, with curtains or vailes as before mentioned, you will be careful to have hooks and rings to suspend your vails on so they can be let down or raised at any time at pleasure, also as you see the pulpits are to have four seats one raising above another, for instance, the Elders seat is the lowest, next comes the high Priests, Next the Bishops so each of these must have a vail that is suspended to the upper floor so to be let down which will at any time when necessary be let down, and shut off each stand or seat by itself. The doors are to be 5 feet 6 wide 9 feet high, and to be in the east end <​of​> the house. The west end is to have no doors, but in other respects to be like the east, except the windows are to be opposite to the alleys which run east and west, The roof of the house to have one fourth pitch, the door to have gothick top as the windows, The Shingles of the roof to be painted before they are put on. There is to be a fan light as you see. The windows & doors are all to have Venetians, a belcony in the East end and a Bell of verry large size June 25— th 1833
Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson County, Missouri • 25 June 1833
Brethren, <​To​> , <​and others​> June 25.— 1833
" We have received your last containing a number of questions which you desire us to answer. This we do the more readily as we desire with all our hearts, the prosperity of Zion and the peace of her inhabitants, for we have as great an interest in the welfare of Zion as you can have— Firs[t], as respects getting the <​book of​> commandments bound, we think it is not necessary. They will be sold as well without binding, and there is no book binder to be had as we know of, nor is there materials to be had for binding without keeping the Books too long from circulation— With regard to the Books of Mormon which are in the hands of Bro Burket, we say to you get them from Bro Burket, give him a receipt for them [p. 44] in the name of the Literary firm. Let pay Bro Chapin his money— we have not found the Book of Jeshur nor any of the other lost Books mentioned in the bible as yet; nor will we obtain them at present— Respecting the Apochraphy the Lord has said to us that there were many things in it which were true, and there were many things in it that were not true, and to those who desire it should be given by the Spirit to know true from the false— We have received some revelations within a short time back, which you will obtain in due time. As soon as we can get time, we will review the manuscripts of the Book of mormon after which they will be forwarded to you. We commend the plan highly of your choosing a teacher to instruct the high priests that they may be able to Silence gainsayers. Concerning Bishops’ we recommend the following. To let Bro be ordained second Bishop in Zion, and let Bro be ordained third. Let choose as counsellors in their place Bro and Bro , ordaining to the High Priesthood. Let Choose for his counsellors, Bro whom ordain to the High Priesthood and Bro — Let choose Bro and Bro for his counsellors, let also be ordained to the High Priesthood. Bro of has been received as a member of the by commandment and has just come to to live, As soon as we get a power of Agency signed agreeable to law for we will forward it to him, and will immediately expect one from that part of the firm to Bro signed in the same manner. We would again say to to be sure to get a form according to law for securing a gift. We have found by examineing the law that a gift cannot be retained without this. The truth triumphs gloriously in the East. Multitudes are embracing it. I who write this letter in behalf of the presidency, have had the privilege of seeing my aged mother baptized into the faith of the Gospel a few weeks since at the advanced age of 75. She now resides with me. We send by this mail a draft of the City of Zion with explanations, and a draft of the to be built immediately in Zion for the presidency as well [p. 45] as all purposes of Religion and instruction. , the stake of Zion is strengthening continually, when the enemies look at her, they wag their heads and march along. We anticipate the day when the enemies will have fled away and be far from us. You will remember that the power of agency must be signed by the wives as well as their husbands, and the wives must be examined separate and apart from the husband the same as signing a deed, and a Specification to that effect inserted at the Bottom by the Justice before whom such acknowledgement is made, otherwise the power will be of non effect. Clarrissa Bachellor of wants her paper discontinued because she has gone from the place, and she has turned from the faith. Send a paper to Joshua Bailey of Andover Vermont. Should you not understand the explanations sent with the drafts, you will inform us, so as you may have a propper understanding, For it is meet that all things should be done according to the pattern— The following errors we have found in the commandments as printed 40 Chap 10 verse third line, instead of respector to persons, put respector of persons corruptable, put corrupted 14 Verse of the Same Chap 5th. line, instead of respector to persons put respector of persons, 21st. verse 2nd line of the same chapter instead of respector to, put respector of. 44 Chap 12 verse last line instead of hands, put heads— Sir I proceed to answer your question concerning the consecration of property, first it is not right to condescend to very great particulars in taking inventories the fact is this that a man is bound by the law of the Church to consecrate to the bishop before he can be considered a legal heir to the kingdom of Zion and this too without constraint and unless he does this he cannot be acknowledged before the Lord on the Church book therefore to condescend to particulers I will tel[l] you that evry men must be his own Judge how much he [p. 46] should receive and how much he should suffer to remain in the hands of the Bishop I speak of those who consecrate more then they need for the support of themselves and their families the matter of consecration must be done by the mutual consent of both parties for, to give the Bishop power to say how much evry man shall have and he be obliged to comply with the Bis[h]ops’ Judgment is giving to the Bishop more power then a King has and upon the other hand to let evry man say how much he needs and the Bishop obliged to comply with his Judgment is to throw Zion into confusion and make a slave of the Bishop the fact is there must be a ballance or equalibrium of power between the Bishop and the people and thus harmony and good will may be preserved among you—— Therefore those persons consecrating property to the in Zion and then receiveing an inheritance back must shew reasonably to the Bishop that he wants as much as he claims, but in case the two parties cannot come to a mutual agreement the Bishop is to have nothing to do about receiving their consecrations and the case must be laid before a councel of 12 high Priests the Bishop not being one of the councel but he is to lay the case before them— say to , that we have no means in our power to assist him is a pecuniary point as we know not the hour which we shall be sued for debts which we have contracted ourselves in . say to him that he must [p. 47] exert himself to the utmost to obtain means himself to replenish his store for it must be replenished and it is <​his​> duty to attend to it we were not a little surprised to hear that some of our letters of a public nature which we sent for the good of Zion have been kept back from the this is conduct which we highly disaprobate Answers to <​queries in​> letter of June 4 first in relation to the poor when the Bishops are appointed according to our recommendation it will involve upon them to see to the poor according to the Laws of the Church— in regard to the printing of the new translation it cannot be done untill we can attend to it ourselves and this we will do as soon as the lord permits as to all members of the United firm are considered one the order of the literary firm is a matter of stewardship which is of the greatest importance and the Merchannhts establishment God Commanded. to be devoted for to the support there of and God will bring evry trangressor into Judgment say to the Brethren Hulets and to all others that the Lord never authorised them to say that the Devil nor his Angels nor the sons of perdition should ever be restored for their state of destiny was not reveiled to man, is not reveiled nor ever shall be revealed save to those who are made partakers thereof, consequently those who teach this doctrine have not received it of the spirit of the Lord, Truly declared it to be the doctrine of Devils [p. 48] we therefore command that this doctrine be taught no more in Zion, we sanction <​the descission​> of the and his councel in relation to this doctrine being a bar of Communion. the number of deciples in — is about 1,50 we have commenced building the in this place and it goes on rappidly, Good news from the east, and South, of the success of the laborers is often salluting our ears a general time of health among us family all well and day and night we pray for the salvation of Zion, we deliver over to the buffettings of Satan in the name of the Lord that he may learn not to transgress the commandment of God we conclude our letter be the usual salutation in token of the new and everlasting covenant we hasten to a close because the male [mail] is Just going
Joseph Smith Jr
Clk for the presidency
P,S. we feel gratified with the way which Bro is conducting the Star at present we hope he will seek to render it more and more interesting, in relation to the size of Bishopprick when Zion is on[c]e properly regulated there will be a Bishop to each squire of the size of the one we send you with this; but at present it must be done according to wisdom. it is needful brethren that you should be all of one heart and of one mind in doing the will of the Lord there should exist the greatest freedom [p. 49] and farmileraity [familiarity] among the ruler in Zion, we were exceding sorry to hear the complaint which was made in letter that the letters attending the Olive leaf had been kept from him as it is meet that he should know all things in relation to Zion as the Lord has appointed him to be a Judge in Zion, We hope dear brethren that the like circumstanc will not take place again when we direct letters to Zion to any of the high Priests which pertains to the regulation thereof we alway design <​that​> they should be laid before the so as to enable him to perform his duty we say so much hoping it will be received in kindness and our brethren be careful about each others feelings and walk in love honoring one another more then themselves as is required of the Lord your as ever—
Letter to John Smith • 2 July 1833
2d July 1833
Brother John Smith–(2d)
We <​have​> just received your letter, of the 8th of June, which seems to have been written in a spirit of Justifycation on your part; You well recollect that previous to your leaveing this place you was tryd before the , which found you guilty of misdemeanor– and desided that you should no longer retain your authority in the . all of which we approove as Sanction. you name you nam[e] something in your letter that took place at , in Shalersville, on the 27th and 28th of August which we perfectly Agree recollect and had you have [p. 50] made such confession as you was required to at Chippiway, all things would have worked together for <​your​> good; and as I told you, but you did not manifest that degree of humility to the bretheren, that was required, but remained obstenate; for that <​reason​> God withdrew his Spirit from you and left <​you​> in the in darkness. darkness in your letter you say many hard things against the Bretheren Especially, , the &c— all which we highly disaprove,– it Seems also that your son is confederate with you and needs to repent together with yourself in all humility; before the Lord; or you must expect to be dealt with agreeable to the .
we say you are no more than a private member in the ,
Joseph Smith jr. Pr
, 2d
Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson County, Missouri • 2 July 1833
, July 2d— 1833–
We received your letters of June 7 one from and one from Bro and one from Br for which we are thankful to our heavenly Father to hear of your welfare, as well as the prosperity of Zion having received your letters in the mail of today we hasten to answer to go with tomorrow’s mail, we are excedingly fateagued owing to a great press of business we this day finished the translating of the Scriptures, for which we returned gratitude to our heavenly father, and sat immediately down to answer your letters we rejoiced greatly to hear of the safe arival of and Brother William [Hobert] and thank our heavenly father that their lives have been spared them till their arival the health of the brethren & sisters in [p. 51] is good at present no case of sickness known to us, Bro Kingsburys wife is declining fast, and cannot continue much longer but will soon be in the paradise of God, we are engaged in writing a letter to , respecting the two Smith as we have received two from them one from John Smith the other from the of the Church, as to the gift of tongues, all we can say is, that in this place we have received it as the ancients did we wish you however to be careful lest in this you be deceived guard against evils which may arise from any accounts given of women or otherwise be careful in all things lest any root of bitterness spring up among you and thereby many be defiled. Satan will no doubt trouble you about the Gift of tongues unless you are careful you cannot watch him too closly, nor pray to[o] much may the Lord give you wisdom in all things, in a letter mailed last week, you will doubtless see before you receive this, <​have​> obtained information about the new translation. Consign the Box of the book of the Commandments to Geauga Co Ohio care of Kelly and Walworth Cuyahoga County Ohio, I write this in great haste in answer to yours to Bro Joseph as I am going off immediately, in company with , to proclaim the gospel we think of starting to morrow having finished the translation of the bible a few hours since and needing some recreation we know of no way we can spend our time more to divine exceptence, than endevoring to build up <​his​> [p. 52] in these last days as we are not willing to Idle any time away which can be spent to useful purposes doors are opening continually for proclaiming the Spirit of bitterness among the people is fast subsiding, and a Spirit of enquiry is taking its place I proclaimed last Sunday at our county seat [I] had the court house, there was a general turn out, good attention and a pressing invitation for more meetings which will be granted if the Lord will when we return from this tower [tour], Bro Joseph is going to take a tower [tour] with Brother , of Brownhelm as soon as he () comes to this place, we hope our brethren that the greatest freedom and frankness will exist between you and the not withholding from each other, any information from us but communicate with the greatest freedom lest you should produce evils of a serious nature character and the Lord becomes offended: for know assuredly if we by our wickedness bring evil on our own heads the Lord will let us bear it till we get weary and hate iniquity wants you to say to that the man from whom he expected to get the mill stones has run off so he will not be able to get them but can get them at of the same mans make
We conclude by giving our heartiest approbation to evry measure calculated for the spread of <​the​> truth in these last days and our strongest desires and sincerest prayers for the prosperity [p. 53] of Zion— Say to all the brethren and sisters in Zion that they have our hearts our best wishes and the strongest desires of our spirits for their welfare Temporal Spiritual, and Eternal.
As ever we salute you in the name of the Lord Jesus Amen
Joseph Smith Jr
Letter to Church Leaders in Eugene, Indiana • 2 July 1833
, July 2nd, 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 iniquity 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 disapprobation of the course he has pursued.—
We commend you [to] God and his grace ever praying he will keep and preserve you blameless till he come.
Joseph Smith Jr.,Presdts of HPHd
Postscript 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 Br 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 testimony on either side all you can do is to forbid them to partake of the unworthily and pray much and God will bring all things to light.
Letter, Frederick G. Williams to “Dear Brethren” • 10 October 1833
Oct 10th 1833
Dear brethren it is a long time since we have received any intelegence from you save a letter received by from bro which informed us that he had wrote four letters since left but we have not receved any of them nor from any other one in Zion except one from of August 13th and have had no information concerning the riot and the cituation of the brethren in Zion to be depended upon and considering that the enimy have commenced intercepting our letters I direct this to Sister Billings thinking by so doing that you may get it, the brethren here are all engaged in the work of the Lord and are using evry exertion in their power for the welfare of Zion and for the promotion of the great cause of our redeemer, immediately after the arrival of we sat in councel to know what to do should be done, the decission of the councel was that measur[e]s should be immediately taken to seek redress by the Laws of our for your grievences accordingly two messengers were dispatched for that purpose (let this suffice for this may fall into the hands of the enemy) we have received no revelations for a long time and none concerning the present situation of Zion which has been writen but it has been manifested to bro Joseph and communicated [p. 56] to me by him that the bretheren in Zion should not sell any of their inheritances nor moove out of the save those who signed the agreement to go and if it becomes necessary for those to moove for their personal safety let them be directed by wisdom and seek for homes where the Lord shall open the way, if bro Williams is obliged to moove <​from that place​> let him take his family and s and come to but not to bring any thing with him except his bedding and clothing and let furnish him with the means to bear his expences but it would not be expedient for bro William to come providing the prospect is favourable for a reconciliation so that the brethren are not obliged to leave the we can do no more for you than we are a doing but we have this great consolation that God will deliver Zion and establish you upon the Land of your everlasting inheritance— remember that this is only for the trial of your faith and he that overcomes and endures to the end will be rewarded a hundred fold in this world and in the world to come eternal life so breathren you have great reason to rejoice for your redemption draweth nigh Bro Joseph and are absent on a mission and do not expect their return till some time in November they have gone down the Lake to Niagara from thence expect to go into as far as Long point U P— and to preach in all the most noted places on the way— We held a councel this morning on the subject of building &c. it was decided by the council that we should discontinue the building of the for the winter for for want of materials and to prepare and get all things ready to recommence it [p. 57] early in the spring it was also agreed that we should set the hands immediately to work to build a house for the which is to be 30 by 38 feet on the ground, the first story to be occupied for the school of the prophets this winter and the upper story for the printing press, started for the first inst for the establishment with $8,00 cash there will be as many hands employed upon the house as can work on it and evry exertion made to get the printing into opperation and publish the Star commencing from the number when it stopped and to be conducted by untill an oppertunity offers to transfer it again to Zion to be conducted by as usual and also a paper is to be continued in this place under the firm of entitled the Latter day saints messinger and advocate the probability is that the Star will be forwarded to subscribers by the first of December has writen to you for the names and residence of the subscribers for the Star and if you have not sent them we wish you to send them immediately that there may be no delay in the papers going to subscribers as soon as they can be printed also started at the same time to replenish his store in with money enough to pay all the debts of both establishments and expects to bring a larger supply of goods than at any former time— thus you see the goodness and mercy of God in providing for his saints, not one week before started the way seemed hedged up and ten or twelve hundred dollars was the most that he had and knew not where to obtain the amount he wanted [p. 58] but by a remarkable interposition of divene providence he was furnished with all he wanted for which let us all raise our hearts in gratitude to god and praise his holy name that he is a present help in evry time or need— we have seen a letter writen to a Sister Whiting in Nelson that has a great deal to say about the gift of toungs [tongues] and the interpretation which was given by way of prophecy namely that Zion would be delivered by Judgments and that certain ones named would go to such and such places among the Lamanites and great things would be done by them and also that two Lamanites were at a meeting and the following prophecy delivered to them that they were our friends and that the Lord had sent them there and the time would soon come when they should embrace the Gospel and also that if we will not fight for ourselves the Indians will fight for us— though all this may be true yet it is not needful that it should be spoken for it is of no service to the saints and has a tendency to stir up the people to anger— no prophecy spoken in tongues should be made public for this reason many who pretend to have the gift of interpretation are liable to be mistakened and do not give the true interpretation of what is spoken therefore great care should be had as respects this thing— but if any speak in tongues a word of exhortation or doctrine on the principles of the Gospel &c &c let it be interpreted for the edification of the church when you receive this letter I wish you to write immediately and direct your letters to Cuyahoge [p. 59] County Ohio and put this mark on the back of it if you do not wish it broken open [symbol] and he will forward it to to us and you and you will please to name in your letter where and to whom we shall direct to and thus we may evade interception &c
Your in the bonds of Love—
Letter, Frederick G. Williams to Brother Albert • 10 October 1833
Oct 10th 1833
Dear Bro Albert—
We have Just received a letter from you informing us of the opening in that region to receive the truth for which I feel greatly rejoiced and have a desire that you may have a help mate and raise up a church there— and also the want of the book of Mormon— I do not feel at liberty to send you any as brother Joseph and are both absent and will not return for several weeks at which time if it is not too late they will probably send you some— with respect to the paper you have doubtless heard of the distruction of the establishment in Zion consequently no more papers will be printed there at present but we have sent to for another press and shall be able to send the Star from this place probably by the first of December Edited by and I wish you to procure all the subscribers you can and send the names and money to us in a letter or some other safe conveyence directed to Cuyahoga County Ohio as letters sent to are frequently intercepted [p. 60] you can write a subscription after this form to get subscribers for the paper
We the undersigners agree to pay the sum annexed to our names for the evening and Morning Star formerly printed in Missouri but now to be published in Geauga County Ohio— by and sent to subscribers by the first of December next——
By procuring ten subscribers you have one gratis I wish you to use all your exertion in obtaining signers and also get all travling elders you see to do the same, your in the bonds of Love and Christian fellowship
Letter, Frederick G. Williams to John Murdock • 10 October 1833
Oct 10th 1833
Dear brother we have Just received a letter from you desiring to know the truth of the riot in Zion I have not time to give you the particulars concerning the matter but suffice it to say that the inhabitants of arose in mass and distroyed the printing establishment and compelled the brethren to agree to leave the one half by the first of January and the residue by the first of April next, but we have sent men and means to seek redress from the govornment and leave the event with God, there need be no fears for the future prosperity of Zion for God watches over her for good as a shepherd doth his flock and will make bear his arm for her deliverence in the eyes of all the nations and those who desire to go to Zion let them go trusting in the Lord and he will protect them— [p. 61]
The book of Commandments were nearly half finished at the time of the riot but were distroyed with the press and will probably be reprinted here as we have sent to for a press and expect to publish the Star and send to subscribers by the first of December next, tell the brethren in that country to pay no regard to flying reports about Zion being extended as far east as but to obey the commandments of God and flee out of babylon by eithe[r] going to Zion or coming to those that are able and willing to come to and help strengthen this stake it is the Lords will they should do so if not prepare all things before them and go to Zion but <​not​> go in haste neithe[r] by flight Least they cause confusion and perish by the way &c it is not expedient that the revelations should be sent abroad before they are printed as they are liable to fall into the hand of the enemy and they alter them to the injury of the cause
I wish you to procure all the subscribers you can for the Star and forward the money by the first safe conveyence to who will conduct the paper till it is again transferred to Zion in the absence of Bro Joseph and I send you this in the bond of Love &c
Letter to Moses Nickerson • 19 November 1833
Copy of a letter from Joseph Smith Jun. to of U.C. Dated,
, Geauga County, Ohio, Nov. 19, 1833.
, We arrived at this place on the 4th ult. [ultimo] after a fateagueing journey, during which time we [p. 62] were blessed with health as usual. We parted with and mother Nickerson at , they were both in good health, and expressed a degree of satisfaction for the prosperity and blessings of their journey. Since our arrival here, has been afflicted with sore eyes, which is probably the reason why you have not previously heard from us, as he was calculating to write you immediately. But, though I expect that he will undoubtedly write you soon, as his eyes are considerably better, yet lest you should be impatient to learn something concerning us, I have thought that perhaps a few lines from me, though there may be a lack of fluency in address according to the literati of the age, may be received with a degree of satisfaction on your part, at least, when you call to mind the near relation with which we are united by the everlasting ties of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We found our families, and the in this place well, generally: nothing of consequence transpires while we were abscent, except the death of one of our brethren, a young man of great worth as a private citizen among us, the loss of whom we justly mourn. We are favored with frequent intelligence from different sections of our country respecting the progress of the gospel, and our prayers are daily to our Father, that it may greatly prevail <​spread​>, even till all nations shall hear the glorious news and come to a knowledge of the truth.
We have received letters from our breth[r]en in of late, but we cannot tell from their contents the probable extent that those persons who are desirous to expel them from that country, will carry their unlawful and unrighteous purposes. Our brethren have applied to the of that State, who has promised them all the assistance that the civil law can give; and in all probability with us, a suit has been commenced ere this.
We are informed, however, that those persons are very violent, and th[r]eaten immediate excision upon all those who profess this faith doctrine. How far they will [p. 63] be suffered to execute their th[r]eats we know not, but we trust in the Lord, and leave the event with him to govern in his own wise providence.
I shall expect a communication from you on the reception of this, and hope you will give me information concerning the brethren, their health, faith, &c. Also inform me concerning our friends with whom we formed acquaintance.
You are aware, no doubt, dear brother, that anxieties inexpresible crowd themselves continually upon my mind for the saints, when I consider the many temptations with which we are subject from the cunning and flattery of the great adversary of our souls. And I can truely say, that with much fervency I have called upon the Lord in behalf of our brethren in . And when I call to mind with what rediness they received the word of truth by the ministry of and myself, I am truely under great obligation to humble myself in thankfulness before him.
When I contemplate the rapidity with which the great and glorious day of the coming of the Son of Man advances, when he shall come to receive his saints unto himself where they shall dwell in his presence and be crowned with glory & immortality; when I consider that soon the heavens are to be shaken, and the earth tremble and reel to and fro; and that the heavens are to be unfolded as a scroll when it is folded <​rolled​> up, that every mountain and island are to flee away <​away​> I cry out in my heart, What manner of person ought I to be in all holy conversasion and godliness!
You remember the testimony which I bore in the name of the Lord Jesus, concerning the great work which he has brought forth in the last days. You know my manner of communication, how that in weakness and simpleness I declared to you what the Lord had brought forth by the ministering of his holy angels to me, for this generation. I pray that the Lord may enable you to treasure these things up in your mind, for I know that his Spirit will bear testimony to all who seek diligently after knowledge [p. 64] from him. I hope you will search the scriptures, to see whether these things are not also consistant with those things that the ancient prophets and have written.
I remember and Wife, Ranson also, and , and little Charles, with all the brethren and sisters. I intreat for an interest in all your prayers before the throne of mercy in the name of Jesus. I hope that the Lord will grant that I may see you all again, and above all that we may overcome and set down together in the Kingdom of our Father.
We contemplate with much pleasure a visit from you next spring, <​and before if consistant with your business,​> and hope we shall not be disappointed. So I close, by subscribing myself your brother in the bonds of the gospel,
(Signed)Joseph Smith Jr.
PS. I said that and mother Nickerson were well when we parted with them at , but you will recollect that ’s eyes <​were​> very sore while at your place: when we left him they were not well but considerably improved. J.
Letter to Edward Partridge • 5 December 1833
, Dec 5th 1833
Dear Brethren
We have Just received a letter from dated 6th & 7th Nov at which gives us the painful intelegence of the rage of the enemy and your present unsettled situation, but I must inform you that there is a great anxiety resting upon our minds with regard to the true state of affairs in Zion for there seems to be some difference in the statements of letter and that of communication to the Editors of Missouri Republican, states that on Monday the fourth the Mob collected in to the number of two or three hundred well armed and a part of their number went above Blue to drive away our people and distroy our property but they were met by a party of our people [p. 65] and being prepared <​they​> poured a dreadful deadly fire upon them, two of their number fell dead on the ground and a number mortally wounded among the former was Tuesday morning there were a number of the Mob missing and could not be accounted for and while we was at Liberty Landing on wensday a messenger rode up saying that he had Just came from the seat of war, and that the night before another battle was fought in which fell having three balls and some buck shot through his body and about twenty more shared a similar fate and also that one or two of our men were killed and as many wounded and he () heard the cannonading distinctly and also stated that the man who broke open the store took , and one more for fals[e] imprisonme[nt] and put them in prison and as near as he could Learn never to let them escape alive This statement of is some what different from that of who states that on friday night the brethren had mustered about 40 or 50 men armed and marched into the village took one prisoner and fired one gun and satturday fell upon our brethren above Blue, and one of [George] Manship sons mortally wounded. On monday about sun set a regular action was fought near s under the command of bro D we had four wounded, they had five killed wounded and two killed viz Linvil and . From friday till tuesday our brethren were under arms 150 of our brethren came forth Like Moroni to battle, on tuesday morning the mob had 300 and before any [blood] [p. 66] was shed we agreed to go away immediately and the enemy took our guns, also states that since the above was wrote (viz on the 6th) another horid scene has transpired, after our people surrendered their arms a party of the mobe went above Blue and began to whip and even murder and the brethren have been driven into the woods and fleeing to the ferry and also the Mob have hired the ferryman to carry them across the river and it was reported that the mob had Killed two more of the brethren
—It appears brethren that the above statements were mostly from reports and no certainty of their being correct. therefore it is difficult for us to advise and can only say that the destenies of all people are in the hands of a Just God and he will do no injustice to any one and this one thing is sure that they who will live Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution and before their robes are mad[e] white in the blood of the Lamb it is to be expected they will pass through great tribulation according to John the Revelator, I wish when you receive this letter that you would collect every particular concerning the Mob from the begining and send us a correct statement of fact as they transpired from time to time that we may be enabled to give the public correct information on the subject and inform us also of the situation of the brethren, with respect to their means of sustenance &c I would inform you that it is not the will of the Lord for you to sell your Lands in Zion if means can possably be procured for their sustenance [p. 67] without, evry exertion should be made to maintain the cause you have espoused and to contribute to the necessities of one another as much as possable in this your great calamity and remember not to murmur at the dealings of God with his creature You are not as yet brought into as trying circumstances as were the ancient Prophets & Call to mind a Daniel the three Hebrew children, Jeremiah Paul Stephen and many more too numerous to mention who were stoned sawn asunder tempted slain with the sword and wandered about in sheep skins & goat skins being destitute afflicted tormented of whom the world was not worthy. they wandered in deserts and in mountains and in dens and caves of the earth yet they all obtained a good report through faith and amidst all their afflictions they rejoiced that they wer[e] <​counted​> worthy to receive persecution for Christs sake We know not what we shall be called to pass through before Zion is delivered and established therefore we have great need to live near to God and always be in strict obedience to all his that we may have a concience void of offense toward God and man, It is your privelege to use every lawful means in your power to seek redress for your grievances of your enemies and prosecute them to the extent of the Law but it will be impossable for us to render you any assistance in a temporal point of view as our means are already exhausted and are deeply in debt and know no means whereby we shall be able to extricate ourselves, The inhabitants of this county [p. 68] threaten our destruction and we know not how soon they may be permitted to follow the examples of the Missourians but our trust is in God and we are determined by his grace assisting us to maintain the cause and hold out faithful unto the end that we may be crowned with crowns of and enter into that rest that is prepared for the children of God, we are now distributing the tipe and calculate to commence setting to day and issue a paper the Last of this week or beginning of next, we wrote to some time since and also sent by for the names of the subscribes for the star which we have not yet received and until we receive them the most of the brethren will be deprived of them and when you receive this if you have not sent them I wish you to attend to it immediately as much inconvenience will attend a delay, We expect shortly to publish a political paper weekly in favour the present administration, the influential men of that party have offered a liberal patronage to us and we hope to succeed for there by we can shew the public the purity of our intention in supporting the government under which we live— We Learn by that the brethren have surrendered their arms to the enemy and are fleeing across the river if that is the case it is not meet that they should recommence hostilities with them but if not you should maintain the ground as Long as there is a man Left. as the spot of ground upon which you were located is the place appointed of the Lord for your and it was right in the sight of God that you [p. 69] contend for it to the Last, you will recollect that the Lord has said that Zion should not be moved out of her place therefore the land should not be sold but held by the brethren until the Lord in his wisdom open a way for your return and until that time if you can purchase a tract of Land in for present imergenes it is right you should do so if you can do it and not sell your Land in it is not safe for us to send you a writen revelation on the subject but what is writen above is according to wisdom, I haste to a close to give room for and remain yours in the bonds of the
Joseph Smith J
Letter to Edward Partridge and Others • 10 December 1833
Ohio December 10th 1833
Beloved brethren , , and all the saints whom it may concern.
This morning the mail brought bros. & s letters & also s, all mailed at Nov. 19th which gave us the melancholy inteligence of your flight from the land of your having been driven before the face of your enemies in that place
From previous letters we had learned that a number of our brethren have been slain, but we could not learn from those refered to above as there had been but one, that was bro [Andrew] Barber and wounded in the bowels, we were thankful to learn that no more were slain, and our daily prayers are, that the Lord will not suffer his saints who have gone up to his land to keep his , to stain his holy mountain [p. 70] with their blood. I cannot learn from any communication by the spirit to me that Zion has forfeited her claim to a celestial crown notwithstanding the Lord has caused her to be thus afflicted; except it may it may be some individuals who have walked in disobedience and forsaken the ; all such will be made manifest by their works in due time. I have always expected that Zion would suffer sore affliction from what I could learn from the commandments which have been given. but I would remind you of a certain clause in one which says that after much tribulation cometh the blessing. by this and also others, and also one received of late, I know that Zion, in the own due time of the Lord will be redeemed, but how many will be the days of her purification, tribulation and afflictions, the Lord has kept hid from my eyes; and when I enquire concerning this subject the voice of the Lord is, Be still, and know that I am God! all those who suffer for my name shall reign with me, and he that layeth down his life for my sake shall find it again. Now there are two things of which I am ignorant and the Lord will not show me— perhaps for a wise purpose in himself. I mean in some respect, and they are these, Why God hath suffered so great calamity to come upon Zion; or what the great moving cause of this great affliction is. These two things and again by what means he will return her back to her with songs of everlasting Joy upon her head. These two things brethren, are in part kept back that they are not plainly <​shewn unto me, but there are some things that are plainly​> manifest, that has incured <​th[e]​> displeasure of displeasure the Almighty. when I contemplate upon all things that have been [p. 71] manifested, I am sensable that I aught not to murmer and do not murmer only in this, that those who are innocent are compelled to suffer for the iniquities of the guilty; and I cannot account for this, only on this wise, that the saying of the savior has not been strictly observed: If thy right eye offend thee pluck it out. and cast it from thee <​or if thy right arm offend thee pluck it of[f] and cast it from thee​>. Now the fact is, if any of the members of our body are disordered, the rest of our body will be effected with them and then all is brought into bondage together. And yet notwithstanding all this, it is with difficulty that I can restrain my feelings; when I know that you my brethren with whom I have had so many happy hours, sitting as it were in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, and also haveing the witness which I feel, and even have felt, of the purity of your motives— are cast out, and are as strangers and pilgrims on the earth, exposed to hunger, cold, nakedness peril, sword &c I say when I contemplate this, it is with difficulty that I can keep from complaining and murmering against this dispensation; but I am sensible that this is not right and may God grant that notwithstanding your great afflictions and sufferings there may not any thing sepperate us from the Love of Christ. Brethren, when we learn your sufferings it awakens evry sympathy of our hearts; it weighs us us down; we cannot refrain from tears yet we are not able to realize only in part your sufferings. And I often hear the brethren saying they wish they were with you that they might bear a part of your sufferings; and I myself should have been with you had not God prevented it in the order of his providence, that the yoke of affliction might be less grievous upon you; God having forewarned me concerning these things for your sakes; and also , could not lighten your afflictions by tarrying longer with you, for his presence would have so much the more enraged your enemies; therefore, God hath dealt mercifully with us. O brethren, let us be thankful [p. 72] that it is as well with us as it is, and we are yet alive that peradventure, God hath Laid up in store great good for us in this generation, and grant that we may yet glorify his name, I feel thankful that there have no more denied the faiith; I pray God, in the name of Jesus that you all may be kept in the faith, unto the end, let your sufferings be what they may, it is better that you should die in the ey[e]s of God, then that you should give up the Land of Zion, the inhabitant which you have purchased with your monies; for evry man that givth not up his inheritances, though he should die yet when the Lord shall come, he shall stand upon it, and with Job in his flesh he shall see God. Therefore this is my council that you retain your lands even unto the uttermost, and seeking <​evry​> lawful means to obtain redress of your enemies &c &c and pray to God day and night to return you in peace and in safety to the Lands of your inheritance and, when the Judge fails you, appeal unto the , and when the fails you, appeal unto the President, and when the President fails you, and all laws fail you and the humanity of the people fails you, and all things else fails you but God alone, and you continue to weary him with your importunings, as the poor woman the unjust Judge, he will not fail to exicute Judgment upon your enemies and to avenge his own elect that cry unto him day and night— Behold he will not fail you! he will come with ten thousand of his saints and all his advisaries shall be distroyed by the breath of his lips! all those that keep their inheritances notwithstanding they should be pealed and driven [p. 73] shall be likened unto the wise virgins who took oil in their lamps, But all those who are unbelieving and fearful, will be likened unto the foolish virgins, who took no oil in their Lamps; and when they shall return, and say unto the saints, give us of your lands, behold there will be no room found for them. As respects giving deeds I would advise to give deeds as far as the brethren have legal and Just claims for them and then let evry man answer to God for the disposal of them. I would suggest some Ideas to not knowing as they will be of any real benefit, but suggest them for consideration I would be glad that he were here, but dare not advise, were it possable for him to come, not knowing what shall befall us, as we are under very heavy and serious threatening from a great many people in this place. But purhaps, the people in may feel willing, God having power to soften the hearts of all men, to have a press established there; and if not, in some other place; any place where it can be the most convenient and it is possable to get to it: God will be willing to have it in any place where it can be practiculer [practicable?] and safe. we must be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Again I desire that would collect all the information, and give us a true history of the begining and rise of Zion, and her calamities &c Now hear the prayer of your unworthy Brothe[r] in the bonds of the : O my God! thou who has called and chosen a few through thy weak instrument by commandment and sent them to a place which thou didst call Zion and thy servants to consecrate unto thyself for a place of a refuge, and of safety for the of thy saints, to be built up a holy city unto thyself and as thou hast said that none [p. 74] other place should be appointed like unto this therefore I ask thee in the name of Jesus Christ, to return thy people unto their homes, & there , to enjoy the fruit of their Labors; that all the waste places may be built up; that all the enemies of thy people, who will not return repent and return unto thee be distroyed from off the face of that Land; and let an be built and established unto thy name, and let all the losses that thy people have sustained be rewarded unto them, even more than four fold; that the borders of Zion be enlarged forever, and let her be established no more to be thrown down; and let all thy saints when they are scattered as sheep, and are persecuted, and flee unto Zion, and be established in the midst of her, and let her be organized according to thy law and let this prayer even before be recorded before thy face; give thy holy spirit unto my brethren: unto whom I write: send thy angels to guard them and to deliver them from all evil; and when they turn there faces towards Zion and bow down before thee and pray may their sins never com[e] up before thy face neithe[r] have place in the book of thy remembrance and may they depart from all their eniquities. provide bread <​food​> for them as thou doest for the ravens, provide clothing to cover there nakedness, and <​houses that they may​> cause that they dwell therein give unto them friends in abundance, and let their names be recorded in the Lambs book of Life eternally before thy face Amen finely [finally], brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all unto his coming and Kingdom, Amen
Joseph Smith J[r] [p. 75]
Letter, A Council of High Priests to the Church at Geneseo, New York • 23 November 1833
November 23d. 1833
An epistle from a councel of high Priests of the church of Christ organized on the 6 of April AD 1830 to their brethren, of the same church residing at Levingston county New-York;
Dearly beloved brethren
It is with feelings of deep int[e]rest for your, welfare that we address ourselves to you by this Epistle, which we send by the hands of our worthy brethren and , both personally known to us, whom we reccommend to your fellowship as men of good morals and of firm and unshaken integrity in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, to which ministry they have been called and regularly ordained by the hands of this church and set a part to this office after having been received into the same by baptism according to the Articles and covenants thereof
It is just for us, for your sakes, to say that our brother , was one of those who first embraced this gospel, and was soon set apart to the work of the ministry, and during an exercised labor of three years has conducted himself with that propriety and has made such advances in the knowledge of the doctrines of the doctrine kingdom of Christ, that we reccommend him in full confidence as a man capable of setting in order the ordancences [ordinances] and requisition of the same, Our brother has Labored in the ministry more then two years during which he has showed himself worthy of the high responsibility and is Justly [p. 76] entitled to the confidence of all the saints with whom he has labored and is fully quaefied [qualified] to assist our brother in setting in order all matters of difficulty that may be among you—
Dear brethren we have Learned with painful feelings that divisions and strif[e]s in a degree have made their appearence among you, which evidently is the work of the adversary of our souls to disaffect your minds towards the truth and grieve the holy Spirit that it withdraws and Leaves you in darkness to be led Captive down distruction; and with great anxiety of heart we have called upon our heavenly Father in the name of Jesus, for you
[20 lines blank] [p. 77]
[page blank] [p. 78]
Letter to the Church in Clay County, Missouri • 22 January 1834
Coppy to the Brethren scattered from Zion from the of the
To the brethren in Christ Jesus scattered abroad from the Land of their Greeting
We your companions in tribulation embrace the present oppertunity of sending you this token of our love and good will assuring you that our bowels are filled with compassion and that our prayers are dailey assending to God in the name of Jesus Christ in your behalf
We have Just received inteligence from you through the medium of [of] [Ohio,] making inquiries concerning the course which you are to persue. In addition to the knowledge contained in the above upon this subject; we say if it is not the duty of the to call out and keep a standing force in to protect you on your Lands, which it appears must be done as we understand that the mob are determined to massecree you if the take you back upon your lands and leave you unprotected. It will become your duty to petition the to petition the President to send a force of men there to protect you [if you?] are reinstated. The proposes to take you back to your lands whenever you are ready to go (if we understand correctly) but cannot keep up and army to guard you; and while the hostile feelings of the people of remain unabated probably you dare not go back to be left unguarded. Therefore, in your petition to the set all these things forth in their proper light, and pray him to notify the President of your situation and also petition the President yourselves according to the direction of the Lord We have petitioned in your behalf and enclosed in it a printed revelation, the source of this which we now send to you. The petition was signed by something like sixty brethren and mailed to go to one week ago, and he will probably received it two weeks [p. 79] before you receive this We also calculate to send a petition and this revelation to the President forthwith in your behalf and then we will act the part of the poor widow to perfection if possable, and let our rulers read their destiny if they do not lend a helping hand. We exhort you to prosecute and try every lawful means to bring the mob to Justice as fast as circumstances will permit. With regard to your tarrig [tarrying] in we cannot say, you must be governed by circumstances. perhaps you will have to hire out or take farms to cultivate to obtain your bread until the Lord deliver.
We have sent you a $50 = note US some time ago if you have received it please acknowledge the rec[eip]t of it to us that we may be satisfied you have got it. We Shall do all that is in our power to assist you in every way we can. We know your care is a trying one but be patient and not murmr against the Lord and you shall see that all these things shall turn to your greatest good.
Inquire of and find out the entire secret of mixing or compounding lead and Antimo[n]y so as to make type mettle [metal] and write us concerning it Bro Joseph tells me that he has sent another $50 = note making $100, to you, write us concerning it, there is a prospect of the eastern doing something pretty handsome toward the deliverance of Zion in the course of a year if Zion is not delivered otherwise. Tho the Lord says this affliction came upon you because of your sin polluting your &c Yet there is an exception of some namely the heads of Zion for the Lord said your brethren in Zion begin to repent, and the Angels rejoice over them &c you will also see an exception at the top of the 2d collum of this revelation Therefore this affliction came upon the Church to chastin those in transgression, and prepare the hearts of those who had repented for an from the Lord. We shall not be able to send [p. 80] you any more money at present unless the Lord put it into our power hands unexpectedly. our calls for money are many and pressing. There is not quite so much danger of a Mob upon us as there has been. The hand of the Lord has thus far been stretched out to protect us, an apostate from this has been to the State of and gathered up all the rediculous stories that could be invented and some affidavits respecting the character of Bro Joseph and the Smith family and he exhibeted them to numerous congregations in Mentor and and fired the minds of the people with much indignation against Bro Joseph and the Church. also made many harsh threats &c that he would take the life of Bro Joseph if he could not destroy mormonism without. Bro Joseph took him with a peace warrant and after 3 days trial and investigating the merits of our religion in the town of by able attorney[s] on both sides he was bound over to the Court. Thus his influence was pritty much distroyed, and since the trial the spirit of hostility seames to be broken down in a good degree but how long it will continue so we cannot say
You purchased your with money, Therefore behold you are blessed. you have not purchaced your lands by the shedding of blood consiquently you do not come under the censure of this which says “if by blood lo your enemies are upon you and ye shall be driven from city to city” give youselves no uneasiness on this account
Farewell in the bonds of the and partakers in tribulation
Clk of the
Jany 22d 1834 [p. 81]
Letter to Orson Hyde • 7 April 1834
April 7th 1834
We received yours of the 31st ult in due course of Mail and were much grieved on learning that you were not like to succeed according to our expectations, Myself and returned to the Translating room where prayer was wont to be made and unbosomed our feelings before God and cannot but exercise faith yet that you in the meraculus providence of God will succeed in obtaining help the fact is that unless we can obtain help I myself cannot go to Zion and if I do not go it will be impossable to get my brethren in any of them to go and if we do not go it is in vain for our eastern brethren to think of going up to better themselves by obtaining so goodly a land which now can be obtained for one dollar and a quarter per acre and stand against that wicked mob for unless they do the will of God, God will not help them and if God does not help them all is vain. Now the fact is this is the head of the and the life of the body and threu able men as members of the body God has appointed to be hands to administer to the necessities of the body, Now if a man[’s] hands refuse to administer to the necessity of his body it must perish of hunger and if the body perish all the members perish with it and if the head fails the whole body is sickened, the heart faints and the body dies the spirit takes its exit and the carcass remains to be devoured of worms
Now if this Church which is [p. 82] assaying to be the will not help us when they can do it without sacrifice with those blessings which God has bestowed upon them I prophesy I speak the truth I lie not God shall take away their tallant and give it to those who have no tallant and shall prevent them from ever obtaining a place of reffuge or an upon the Land of Zion Therefore they may tarry for they might as well be overtaken where they are as to incur the displeasore of God and fall under his wrath by the wayside or to fall into the hands of a merciless mob where there is no God to deliver as salt that has lost its savour and is thenceforth good for nothing but to be troden under feet of men I therefor beseech you to conjure them in the name of the Lord by the Love of God to lend us a helping hand and if all this will not soften their hearts to administer to our necessity for Zion sake turn your back up on them and return speedily to and the blood of Zion be upon their heads even as upon the heads of her enimies and let their reccompence be as the reccompence of her enemes for thus shall it come to pass saith the Lord of hosts who has the cattle upon a thousand hills who has put forth his Almyhty [Almighty] hand to bring to pass his strang[e] act and what man shall put forth his hand to steady the ark of God or be found turning a deaf ear to the voice of his servant God shall speak in due time and all will be declared amen
Your broth[er] in the Joseph
PS I am much disappointed on learning about my horse but if you cannot obtain him bring the mare and please do not [p. 83] [ride] her very fast in a day and be very car[e]ful that I may not loose her and perhaps I may dispose of her to good advantage for the benefit of Zion— I am yours by every sacred and holy tie that can bind up souls
Joseph Smith Jr
Letter to Lyman Wight and Others • 16 August 1834
August 16th 1834
Copy from Joseph S to the brethren in Zion
Dear Brethren and others the of the ——
After so long a time I dictate a few lines to you to let you know that I am in and that I found all well on my arival, as pertaining to health &c but found our common advisary had taken the advantage of our brother and others who gave a false colloring to allmost every transaction from the time that we left untill we returned, and thereby Stirred up a great difficulty in the Church against me accordingly I was met in the face and eyes as soon as I had got home with a catalogue that was as black as the author himself and the cry was Tyrant,! Pope!! King!!! Usurper!!!! Abuser of men!!!!! Ange[l]!!!!!! False prophet!!!!! Prophecying Lies in the name of the Lord!!!!!!! and taking consecrated monies!!!!!!!! and every other lie to fill up and complete the cattelogue that was necissary to perfect the Church to be meet for the devourer the shaft of the devouring <​distroying​> Angel! and in consequence of having to combat all these I have not been [p. 84] able to regulate my mind so as to write to give you counsel and the information that you needed, but that God who rules on high and thunders Judgments upon Israel when they transgress has given me power from the time that I was born (into this Kingdom) to stand and I have succeeded in putting all gainsayers and enemies to flight unto the present time and not withstanding the advisary laid a plan which was more subtle than all others, I now swim in good clean pure water with my head out! as you will see by the next star
I shall now procede to give you such council as the spirit of the Lord may dictate you will reccollect that your business must be done by your : you will recollect that the are to receive their in before the redemption of you will reccollect that your high council will have power to say who of the first Elders among the Children of Zion are accounted worthy; and you will also reccollect that you have my testamony in be half of certain ones previously to my departure you will reccollect that the sooner that these ambassadors of the most high are dispatched to bear testamony to lift up a warning voice and to proclaim the everlasting gospel and to use every convincing proof, and facculty with this generation while on their Journey … <​to *​> <​*The better it shall be for them and for Zion inasmuch as the indignation of the people sleepeth for a while our time should be employed to the best advantage altho it is not the will of God that any one of these ambassadors should hold their peace after they have started upon their Journey.​> They should awaken <​the​> sympathy of the people. I would reccommend to brother (If he is yet there) to write a petition such as will be approved of by the high council and let there be every signer obtained that can be in the State of and while they are on their Journey to this country that peradventure we may learn [p. 85] whithe [whether] we have friends or not in these ,
This petition [is] to be sent to the of to solicit him to call on the President of the for a guard to protect our brethren in upon their own Lands from the insults and abuses of the mob
And I would recomend to to enter complaints to the as of ten as he receves any insults or injury, and in case that they procede to endeaver to take life or tear down homes, and if the citizens of , do not befriend us to gather up the little army and be set over Immediately into and trust in God and do the worst <​best​> he can in defending maintaining the ground, but in case the excitement continues to be allayed and peace prevails use every effort to prevail on the to to those regions and situate themselves to be in readiness to move into in two years from the Eleventh of September next which is the appointed time for the redemption of Zion, If Verely If I say unto you If the Church with one united effort perform their duties If they do this the work shall be complete If they do not this in all humility making preperation from this time forth like Joseph in Egypt laying up store against the time of famine every man having his tent, his horses, his charrots [chariots] his armory his cattle his family and his whole substance in readiness against the time <​when​> it shall be said To your tents O Isreal!! and let not this be noised abroad let every heart beat in silence and every mouth be shut
Now my beloved brethren you will learn by this we have a great work to do, and but little time to do it in and if we dont exert ourselves to the utmost in gathering up the strength of the Lords house that this thing may be accomplished behold their remaineth a scorge* <​*for the church even that they shall be driven from City to City and but few shall remain to receive an if these things are not kept there remaineth a scorge​> [p. 86] also, Therefore be were [beware] this over O ye children of Zion! and give heed to my council saith the Lord!
I would inform that the bill I received of him was good and when I can get <​our​> other money changed for another I will mail it to him the brethren as yet have generally been arived from , in health notwithstanding the warm season. I would also inform that I am not satisfied with bro Hulett conserning the colt and so long as unrighteousness acts are suffered in the it can not [be] sanctified neither Zion be redeemed.
And also, that I was obliged to leave the consecrated horn in also bro who was sick we expect when he recovers that he will come to — he was humble, and I entertain no doubt as to his standing while he continues so we have a desire to Learn conserning the Cholera and whether sister Bunnel is yet alive; as well as all deaths, the names and standing of those who are called away &c. The Choler[a] is raging in and other places, We found it in [Missouri] as we came through and almost every other place, it <​is​> an awful and solomn day, but this is only the forebodings of what is to come, The church seems to be in a languid cold disconsolate state, and as the revolution of the earth is once in 24 hours so we may look for revolutions among this wicked and perverse generation and also in the Church of Christ! When the head is sick the whole body is faint, for when the church lifts up the head the Angel will bring us good tidings even so Amen
Joseph Smith Jr [p. 87]
Letter, Orson Hyde to William Cherry • 2 September 1834
Copy of a letter sent to William Cherry
Dated 2nd. Sept 1834.
Bro. Cherry sir,
We thanked the Lord when we learnd by your letter that you and those who left with you had arrived safely at your homes.
Respecting the charge of your being cut off from the church or rather the report: We say it is a mistake. It is true there was some difficulty with you on the journey up which you doubtless recollect; but it was all settled and you were in fellowship with the camp. At one time we had some fears that you would prove a traitor, but it appears by your subsequent conduct that our fears were groundless. We had some unpleasant feelings about your leaveing the camp just as you did, and of the time you did; but we lay up no hardness against you in consequenc of these things. You will find that we have not dissembled in the least, but if you had been cut off from the Church you would have heard of it, let the consequences have been what they might. We sincerely hope that brethren, after performing the arduous task that we have, and the Lord haveing declared that he had accepted our offering, will cease to find fault with one another when they return to their homes. We are your brethren in Christ.
Farewell.— } Clk of Con
P.S. Concerning your prepareing to go to the west. We rejoice that you and the brethren are going, and we hope you will all be humble and faithful on the road and have no contentions or disputes among you. Let the example which we set in going be a warning to you, that you do better than we did.
Yours. } Clk of Con. [p. 88]
Letter to George James • 10 November 1834
, Ohio, Nov. 10, 1834.
Dear brother,—
There having been serious complaints presented to us against you, we sincerely request you to come to , immediately, as it will require you, [illegible] <​be necessary that a​> proper notice be taken of the same.
We do not write the above with the view to accuse, ourselves; but you know the great responsibility resting upon us, and the propriety of noticing charges, especially when they are preferred against men in important <​and interesting​> stations in the .
We have truly written the above with feelings of deep interest for your own welfare and standing in the Church; and we do hope you will not fail to come down immediately as the representations made to us will require immediate notice.
It is necessary for us to inform you, that until you appear and make the satisfaction requisite, you are suspended from acting in the authority of the office to which you have been previously .
With feelings of respect, we Subscribe ourselves your brethren in the .
Joseph Smith Jr
Clerk of .
To ,
Brownhelm, Ohio, [7 lines blank] [p. 89]
Letter to Quorum of the Twelve • 4 August 1835
, Ohio, August 4, 1835.
This day a high , the of the , consisting of Presidents, Joseph Smith, Jr. , , , , , and and others met, to take into consideration certain items contained in letters from abroad: one from , presiding of the Freedom conference, and one from Elder : the first reads as follows: “Freedom, July 29, 1835.”
“Dear brother,—Elder called on this church last Thursday, on his way east, solisciting donations and subscriptions for finishing the in your place. Although the subject of such a mission, in connection with his name had been mentioned in the Messenger and Advocate, still, as no other method had been taken to impress the subject on our minds, it had measurably passed out, or ceased to make any impression. Therefore, we were in some degree taken on surprise. , the , nor any others, clothed with authority have ever mentioned this subject to us, except incidently, to the recollection of any of the church. It sur[e]ly was never made a subject of public instruction, as had Just reason to expect it had been, felt an imbarrassment peculiar to such a situation. He undertook to preach to us yesterday, but from the aforesaid embarrassment, or the deadness, or the covetousness of the church, he could get none of the Spirit of the Lord to assist him. I am free that I attributed more to the latter cause than the former, yet, notwithstanding, we made out in donations and subscriptions, that I trust will be eventually realised $341,87½. May the Lord bless and prosper him, and all his faithful servants, and may, they find favor in the sight of God and man, is the prayer of your unworthy brother.”
.(signed) .
[p. 90]
From this short letter we discover— that failed in out set, to fill their great and important mission, as they know that God has us to build a in which to receive an , previous, to to the , and that Zion could not be redeemed until this takes place: knowing that the committee were to journey for the express purpose of soliciting donations, they have failed to hold them up, and set forth this first important thing, and in consequence God has not blessed them as he otherwise would. We remind you of these things, in the name of the Lord, and refer you to the book of covenants, 2nd. Section, 2nd. part, and 12, paragraph, and ask, did we not instruct you to remember first the , secondly the cause of Zion, and then the publishing the word to the Nations? The other is an extract from Elder ’s letter to his wife, as follows: “You say, that it will not be in your power to go to school this summer— I am glad that it is not, since has returned and given, me a description of the manner in which it is conducted. though we do not wish to cast any reflections.”
This, the council consider[ed] to be a libel upon the face of it: says, “We do not wish to cast any reflections.” When the highest insult and reflections are cast, by it upon the , the , and those who are held in much higher estimation in the sight of God and this church, than themselves. It is necessary to add further the vote of the — We hereby inform and that we withdraw our fellowship from them until they return and make satisfaction face to face.
We further inform , that as far as we can learn from the churches through which you have traveled, that you have set yourselves up as an independant counsel subject to no authority of the church a kind of out laws. This impression is wrong, and [p. 91] will if presisted in, bring down the wrath and indignation upon your heads. The are directed to procceed on and finish the , and the two may act their own Judgment, whether to proceed or return.
J. Smith Jr. read to the a letter from , which was approved, and filled our hearts with Joy.
A letter from Elder was presented— The council refer him to the commandment which requires men to have or bring their families without revelation, or decisian of the — Were they to come, they would not be with him as much as they will to tarry.