Reflections and Blessings, 16 and 23 August 1842

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“Blessed is Brother , and he shall be blessed of the Lord; he possesses a sober mind, and a faithful heart; the snares therefore that are subsequent to befall other men, who are treacherous and rotten-hearted, shall not come nigh unto his doors, but shall be far from the path of his feet. He loveth wisdom, and shall be found possessed of her. Let their be a crown of glory, and a diadem upon his head. Let the light of eternal Truth shine forth upon his understanding; let his name be had in everlasting remembrance; let the blessings of Jehovah be crowned upon his posterity after him, for he rendered me consolation, in the lonely places of my retreat: How good, and glorious, it has seemed unto me, to find pure and holy friends, who are faithful, just and true, and whose hearts fail not; and whose knees are confirmed and do not faulter; while they wait upon the Lord, in administering to my necessities; <​See Page 164​> [p. 135] <​From Page 135​> in the day when the wrath of mine enemies was poured out upon me. In the name of the Lord, I feel in my heart to bless them, and to say in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth that these are the ones that shall inherit eternal life. I say it by virtue of the Holy Priesthood, and by the ministering of Holy Angels, and by the gift and power of the Holy Ghost. How glorious were my feelings when I met that faithful and friendly band, on the night of the eleventh on thursday, on the , at the mouth of the slough, between and . With what unspeakable delight, and what transports of joy swelled my bosom, when I took by the hand on that night, my beloved , she that was my wife, even the wife of my youth; and the choice of my heart. Many were the re-vibrations of my mind when I contemplated for a moment the many passt scenes we had been called to pass through. The fatigues, and the toils, the sorrows, and sufferings, and the joys and consolations from time to time had strewed our paths and crowned our board. Oh! what a co-mingling of thought filled my mind for the moment, Again she <​is​> here, even in the seventh trouble, undaunted, firm and unwavering, unchangeable, affectionate . There was who next took me by the hand, a natural brother; thought I to myself, , what a faithful heart you have got. Oh, may the eternal Jehovah crown eternal blessings upon your head, as a reward for the care you have had for my soul. O how many are the sorrows have we shared together, and again we find ourselves shackled with the unrelenting hand of oppression. , thy name shall be written in the Book of the Law of the Lord, for those who come after thee to look upon, that they may pattern after thy works. Said I to myself here is brother also, how many scenes of sorrow, have strewed our paths together; and yet we meet once more to share again. Thou art a faithful friend in whom the afflicted sons of men can confide, with the most perfect safety. Let the blessings of the eternal be crowned also upon his head; how warm that heart! how anxious that soul! for the welfare of one who has been cast out, and hated of almost all men. , thou knowest not how strong those ties are, that bind my soul and heart to thee. My heart was overjoyed, as I took the faithful band by hand, that stood upon the shore one by one. , , , were there. The above names constituted the little group. I do not think to mention the particulars of the history of that sacred night, which shall forever be remembered by me. But the names of the faithful are what I wish to record in this place. These I have met in prosperity and they were my friends, I now meet them in adversity, and they are still my warmer friends. These love the God that I serve; they love the truths that I promulge; they love those virtuous, and those holy doctrines that I cherish in my bosom with the warmest feelings of my heart; and with that zeal which cannot be denied. I love friendship and truth; I love virtue [p. 164] and Law; I love the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, and they are my brethren, and I shall live; and because I live, they shall live also. These are not the only ones, who have administered to my necessity; whom the Lord will bless. There is brother , and brother , and brother , and brother , my heart feels to reciprocate the unweried kindnesses that have been bestowed upon me by these men. They are men of noble stature, of noble hands, and of noble deeds; possessing noble and daring, and giant hearts and souls. There is brother also, I would call up in remembrance before the Lord. There is brother , a natural brother; he is, even as . There is brother also, who married my youngest sister, . He is a faithful, an honest, and an upright man. While I call up in remembrance before the Lord these men, I would be doing injustice to those who rowed me in the skiff up the river that night, after I parted with the lovely group; who brought me to this my safe and lonely and private retreat; brother and the other whose name I do not know. Many were the thoughts that swelled my aching heart, while they were toiling faithfully with their oars. The<​y​> complained not at hardship and fatigue to secure my safety. My heart would have been harder than an adamantine stone, if I had not have prayed for them, with anxious and fervent desire. I did so, and the still small voice whispered to my soul, these that share your toils with such faithful hearts, shall reigne with you in the kingdom of their God; but I parted with them in silence and came to my retreat. I hope I shall see them again that I may toil for them and administer to their comfort also. They shall not want a friend while I live. My heart shall love those; and my hands shall toil for those, who love and toil for me, and shall ever be found faithful to my friends. Shall I be ungrateful? verily no! God forbid![”]
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“While I contemplate the virtues and the good qualifications and characterestics of the faithful few, which I am now recording in the Book of the Law of the Lord, of such as have stood by me in every hour of peril, for these fifteen long years past; say for instance; my aged and beloved brother , who was among the number of the first to administer to my necessities, while I was laboring, in the commencement of the bringing forth of the work of the Lord, and of laying the foundation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints: for fifteen years has he been faithful and true, and even handed, and exemplary and virtuous, and kind; never deviating to the right hand nor to the left. Behold he is a righteous man. May God Almighty lengthen out the old mans days; and may his trembling, tortured and broken body be renewed, and the vigor of health turn upon him; if it can be thy will, consistently, O God; and it shall be said of him by the sons of Zion, while there is one of them remaining; that this man, was a faithful man in Israel; therefore his name shall never be forgotten. There is his son and whose names I record in the Book of the Law of the Lord, with unspeakable delight, for they are my friends. There are a numerous host of faithful souls, whose names I could wish to record in the Book of the Law of the Lord; but time and chance would fail. I will mention therefore only a few of them as emblematical of those who are to numerous to be written. But there is one man I would mention namely , who is now a fellow-wanderer with myself— an exile from his home because of the murderous deeds and infernal fiendish disposition of the indefatigable and unrelenting hand of the Missourians. He is an innocent and a noble boy; may God Almighty deliver him from the hands of his pursuers. He was an innocent and a noble child, and my soul loves him; Let this be recorded for ever and ever. Let the blessings of Salvation and honor be his portion. But as I said before, so say I again while I remember the faithful few who are now living, I would remember also the faithful of my friends who are dead, for they are many; and many are the acts of kindness, and paternal, and brotherly kindnesses which they have bestowed upon me. And since I have been hunted by the Missourians many are the scenes which have been called to my mind. Many thoughts have rolled through my head, and across my breast. I have remembered the scenes of my child-hood I have thought of who is dead; who died by disease which was brought upon him through suffering by the hands of ruthless mobs. He was a great and a good man. The envy of knaves and fools was heaped upon him, and this was his lot and portion all the days of his life. He was of noble stature, and possessed a high, and holy, and exalted, and a virtuous mind. His soul soared above all those mean [p. 179] and grovelling principles that are so subsequent to the human heart. I now say, that he never did a mean act that might be said was ungenerous, in his life, to my knowledge. I loved and his memory; and the memory of his noble deeds, rest with ponderous weight upon my mind; and many of his kind and parental words to me, are written on the tablet of my heart. Sacred to me, are the thoughts which I cherish of the history of his life, that have rolled through my mind and has been implanted there, by my own observation since I was born. Sacred to me is his dust, and the spot where he is laid. Sacred to me is the tomb I have made to encircle o’er his head. that <​Let​> the memory of eternally live. Let the faults, and the follies Let his soul, or the Spirit my follies forgive. With him may I reign one day, in the mansions above; and tune up the Lyre of Anthems, of the eternal Jove. May the God that I love look down from above, and save me from my enemies here, and take me by the hand; that on Mount Zion I may stand and with my father crown me eternally there. Words and language, is inadequate to express the gratitude that I owe to God for having given me so honorable a parentage. also is one of the noblest, and the best of all women. May God grant to prolong her days, and mine; that we may live to enjoy each others society long yet in the enjoyment of liberty, and to breath the free air. my oldest brother, I remember well the pangs of sorrow that swelled my youthful bosom and almost burst my aching <​tender​> heart, when he died. He was the oldest, and the noblest of my fathers family. He was one of the noblest of the sons of men: Shall his name not be recorded in this Book? Yes, ; let it be had here, and be handed down upon these sacred pages, forever and ever. In him there was no guile. He lived without spot from the time he was a child. From the time of his birth, he never knew mirth. He was candid and sober and never would play; and minded , and , in toiling all day. He was one of the soberest of men and when he died the Angel of the Lord visited him in his last moments. These childish lines I record in remembrance of my child-hood scenes. My Brother , whose name I desire to record also, was a noble boy. I never knew any fault in him. I never saw the first immoral act; or the first irreligious, or ignoble disposition in the child. From the time that he was born, till the time of his death; he was a lovely, a good natured, and a kind-hearted, and a virtuous and a faithful upright child. And where his soul goes let mine go also. He lays by the side of . Let , , and , and children that I have buried be brought and laid in the Tomb I have built. Let , and my brethren, and my sisters be laid there also; and let it be called the Tomb of Joseph, a descendant of Jacob; and when I die, let me be gathered to the Tomb of . There are many souls, whom I have loved stronger than death; to them I have proved faithful; to them I [p. 180] am determined to prove faithful, untill God calls me to resign up my breath. O, thou who seeeth, and knoweth the hearts of all men; thou eternal, omnipotent, omnicient, and omnipresent Jehovah, God; thou Eloheem, that sitteth, as sayeth the psalmist, enthroned in heaven; look down upon thy servant Joseph, at this time; and let faith on the name of thy Son Jesus Christ, to a greater degree than thy servant ever yet has enjoyed, be conferred upon him; even the faith of Elijah; and let the Lamp of eternal life, be lit up in his heart, never to be taken away; and let the words of eternal life, be poured upon the soul of thy servant; that he may know thy will, thy statutes, and thy commandments, and thy judgements to do them. As the dews upon Mount Hermon may the distillations of thy divine grace, glory and honor in the plenitude of thy mercy, and power and goodness be poured down upon the head of thy servant. O Lord God, my heavenly Father, shall it be in vain, that thy servant must needs be exiled from the midst of his friends; or be dragged from their bosoms, to clank in cold and iron chains; to be thrust within the dreary prison walls; to spend days of sorrow, and of grief and misery their [there], by the hand of an infuriated, insensed and infatuated foe; to glut their infernal and insatiable desire upon innocent blood; and for no other cause on the part of thy servant, than for the defence of innocence, and thou a just God will not hear his cry? O, no, thou wilt hear me; a child of woe, pertaining to this mortal life; because of sufferings here, but not for condemnation that shall come upon him in eternity; for thou knowest O God, the integrity of his heart. Thou hearest me, and I knew that thou wouldst hear me, and mine enemies shall not prevail; they all shall melt like wax before thy face; and as the mighty floods, and waters roar; so shall or as the billowing earth-quake’s, devouring gulf; or rolling Thunders loudest peal; or vivid, forked lightnings flash; or sound of the Arch-Angels trump; or voice of the Eternal God, shall the souls of my enemies be made to feel in an instant, suddenly; and shall be taken, and ensnared; and fall back-wards, and stumble in the ditch they have dug for my feet, and the feet of my friends; and perish in their own infamy and shame,— be thrust down to an eternal hell, for their murderous and hellish deeds.” [. . .] [p. 181]