WHILE the foregoing scenes were being enacted in Zion the church in Kirtland and the East was actively pushing the missionary work, organizing and solidifying their forces. Their active sympathies and prayers were also exercised in behalf of the church in the West, and as close communication with them as the times and means of transportation would permit, was kept up. It is worthy of mention that on the 23d of July, 1833, the very day when the brethren were maltreated in Zion, the corner stones of the temple were laid at Kirtland.
Two revelations were given in Kirtland through Joseph Smith; one on August 2, and the other on August 6, which, when we consider that they were given before tidings could reach him of the troubles then being enacted in Missouri, are quite significant. 1
Joseph relates several items of business pertaining to church affairs which are best told in his own language,
which is found on Page 850 of volume 6, Times and Seasons:—
"August 21. At a council of high priests in Zion, Elder
Christian Whitmer was ordained to the high priesthood; and on the 28th, the council resolved, that no high priest, elder, or priest, shall ordain any priest, elder, or high priest in the
land of Zion, without the consent of a conference of high priests.
'"Soon after the arrival of Oliver Cowdery at Kirtland arrangements were made to dispatch Elders Orson Hyde and John Gould to Jackson County, Missouri, with advice to the saints in their unfortunate situation through the late outrage of the mob.
"On the 11th of September, the following members, residing in Kirtland; viz., F. G. Williams, Sidney Rigdon, N. E. Whitney, with myself, and Oliver Cowdery, delegate to represent the residue of the members in Independence, Missouri, met in council to consider the expediency of establishing a printing press in Kirtland, when it was resolved, unanimously, that a press be established, and conducted under the firm of F. G. Williams & Co.
"Resolved, that the above firm publish a paper, as soon as arrangements can be made, entitled the Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate.
"Resolved, also, that the Star, formerly published in Jackson County, Missouri, by the firm of W. W. Phelps & Co., be printed in this place by the firm of F. G. Williams & Co.; and to be conducted by Oliver Cowdery, one of the members of the firm, until it is transferred to its former location.
"The same day Bishop Partridge was acknowledged by the council in Zion, to be the head of the church, of Zion, at that time; and, by virtue of his office, was acknowledged the moderator or president of the council or conferences.
"Ten high priests were appointed to watch over the ten branches of the church in Zion.
"A hymn, concerning the travels, toils, troubles, and tribulations of the Nephites, was sung in tongues by Elder W. W. Phelps; interpreted by Elder Lyman Wight.
"September 26. The council again assembled in Zion, and ordained Jesse Hitchcock, Elias Higbee, and Isaac Higbee, high priests.
"Brother John Tanner sent his two sons to Kirtland to learn the will of the Lord, whether he should remove to Zion or Kirtland, and it was decided by the unanimous voice of the council on the 28th of September that it was the will
of the Lord for all who were able and willing, to build up and strengthen the stake in Kirtland; and Brother Tanner was counseled accordingly.
"About this time Elders Hyde and Gould arrived at Zion, and the church having made the necessary preparations, Elders W. W. Phelps and Orson Hyde were dispatched to the Governor of Missouri, residing at Jefferson City, with the following petition."
The petition referred to has already been quoted in chapter 12.
On the 5th of October, 1833, Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and Freeman Nickerson started from Kirtland on a mission to Canada, which mission was very successful, as will be seen hereafter.
On October 10, Elder F. G. Williams, of the First Presidency, wrote a letter to the brethren in Zion, which we here present to the reader, because of its historical importance, as well as for the sound advice it gives concerning the manner of seeking redress, selling inheritances, the gift of tongues, and other matters. The epistle is found on pages 864 and 865 of Times and Seasons, vol. 6, and reads as follows:—
"Dear Brethren:—It is a long time since we have received any intelligence from you, save a letter received by Brother Elliott from Elder John Whitmer, which informed us that he had written four letters since Elder Oliver Cowdery left; but we have not received any of them, nor from any other one in Zion, except one from Bishop Partridge of August 13, and have had no information concerning the riot, and the situation of the brethren in Zion, to be depended upon; and considering that the enemy have commenced intercepting our letters, I direct this to Mrs. 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 every 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 Oliver we sat in council to know what should be done. The decision of the council was, that measures should be immediately
taken to seek redress by the laws of your country, for your grievances; 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 revelation for a long time, and none concerning the present situation of Zion, which has been written; but it has been manifested to Joseph, and communicated to me by him, that the brethren in Zion should not sell any of their inheritances, nor move out of the county, save those who signed the agreement to go, and if it becomes necessary for those to move, for their personal safety, let them be directed by wisdom, and seek for homes where the Lord shall open the way.
"If Elder Phelps is obliged to move from that place, let him take his family and Elder Cowdery's wife, and come to Kirtland, but not to bring anything with him, except his bedding and clothing; and let Elder Gilbert furnish him with the means to bear his expenses; but it would not be expedient for Elder Phelps to come, provided the prospect is favorable for a reconciliation, so that the saints are not obliged to leave the county. We can do no more for you than we are 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 hundredfold in this world, and in the world to come eternal life; so brethren you have great reason to rejoice, for your redemption draweth nigh.
"President Joseph and Sidney are absent on a mission, and we do not expect their return till sometime in November. They have gone down the lake to Niagara, from thence they expect to go into Upper Canada as far as Long Point, and preach in all the most noted places on their way.
"We held a council this morning on the subject of building, etc. It was decided by the council that we should discontinue the building of the temple during the winter for want of materials; and to prepare and get all things in readiness to recommence it early in the spring. It was also agreed to set the hands immediately to erect a house for the printing office, which is to be thirty by thirty-eight 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.
"Oliver started for New York the first instant, for the printing establishment, with eight hundred dollars. There will be as many hands employed upon the house as can work, and every exertion made to get the printing into operation, and publish the Star, commencing from the last number printed; and to be conducted by Oliver, (until an opportunity offers to transfer it again to Zion, to be conducted by W. W. Phelps & Co., as usual,) and under the firm of F. G. Williams & Co., entitled The Latter Day Saint's Messenger and Advocate. The probability is that the Star will be forwarded to subscribers by the first of December. Oliver has written 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.
"Bishop Whitney also started for New York at the same time, to replenish his store in Kirtland, 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 Bishop Whitney 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; but by a remarkable interposition of Divine 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 every time of need.
"We have seen a letter written to Sr. Whitney, in Nelson, that has a great deal to say about the gift of 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 was 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 mistaken, 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, or the principles of the gospel, etc., 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 David Elliott, Chagrin, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, and put this mark X on the back of it, if you do not wish it broken open, and he will forward it to us; and you will please to name in your letter, where and to whom we shall direct, and thus we may evade interception.
|"Yours in the bonds of love,|
|"F. G. WILLIAMS."|
Of this period Joseph wrote:—
"At this time the evil and designing circulated a report that Zion was to be extended as far east as Ohio, which in some degree tended to distract the minds of the saints, and produced a momentary indecision about removing thither according to the commandments; but the report was soon corrected, and the brethren continued to remove to Zion and Kirtland." —Times and Seasons, vol. 6, p. 865.
While at Perrysburgh, New York, enroute to Canada Joseph received a revelation concerning their families, their mission, Zion, and other interests. 2
An extract from the journal of Joseph Smith concerning the mission in Canada will prove to be of general interest. The following is found on Page 866, Times and Seasons, volume 6:—
"On the day following, 3 Elder Rigdon preached to a large congregation, at Freeman Nickerson's, and I bore record while the Lord gave us his Spirit in a remarkable manner.
"Monday, 14th. Continued our journey towards Canada, and arrived at Lodi, where we had an appointment, and preached in the evening to a small assembly, and made an appointment for Tuesday, the 13th, at ten o'clock a. m., to be in the Presbyterian meetinghouse. When the hour arrived the keeper of the house refused to open the doors, and the meeting was then prevented. We came immediately away, leaving the people in great confusion, and continued our journey till Friday, the 17th, when we arrived at the house of Freeman A. Nickerson in Upper Canada; having
3 The giving of the revelation.
passed through a fine and well-cultivated country after entering the Province; and having had many peculiar feelings in relation to both the country and people. We were kindly received at Freeman A. Nickerson's.
"Sunday morning, the l9th, at ten o'clock, we met an attentive congregation at Brantford and the same evening a large assembly at Mount Pleasant, at Mr. Nickerson's. The people gave good heed to the things spoken.
"Tuesday, 21st. We went to the village of Colburn, and although it snowed severely, we held a meeting by candle light on Wednesday evening and were publicly opposed by a Wesleyan Methodist. He was very tumultuous, but exhibited a great lack of reason, knowledge, and wisdom; and gave us no opportunity to reply. Twenty-third, at the house of Mr. Beman Colburn, where we left on the 24th for Waterford, where we spoke to a small congregation, occasioned by the rain; thence to Mount Pleasant, and preached to a large congregation the same evening, when Freeman Nickerson and his wife declared their belief in the work and offered themselves for baptism. Great excitement prevailed in every place we visited. Twenty-fifth, preached at Mount Pleasant; the people were very tender and inquiring.
"Sunday, 26th. Preached to a large congregation at Mount Pleasant, after which I baptized twelve; and others were deeply impressed and desired another meeting, which I appointed for the day following. Twenty-seventh, in the evening, we broke bread, and laid on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost and for confirmation, having baptized two more. The Spirit was given in great power to some, and peace to others. Twenty-eighth; after preaching at ten o'clock a. m., I baptized two and confirmed them at the water's side. Last evening we ordained E. F. Nickerson an elder, and one of the sisters received the gift of tongues, which made the saints rejoice exceedingly."
On Monday, November 4, Joseph and Sidney Rigdon returned to Kirtland, and Joseph says:—
"Found my family well according to the promise of the Lord in the revelation of October 12, for which I felt to
thank my heavenly Father." —Times and Seasons, vol. 6, p. 881.
On November 19, Joseph expressed his opinion of and pronounced blessing upon Sidney Rigdon and F. G. Williams. (Times and Seasons, vol. 6, p. 899.
About December 1, 1833, Elder Oliver Cowdery and Bishop Whitney arrived at Kirtland, Ohio, with a new press and type, and on the 4th they began to distribute type preparatory to issuing from Kirtland the Evening and Morning Star which had been suppressed at Independence, Missouri.
On the 5th Joseph wrote thus to Bishop Partridge:—
"We are now distributing the type and calculate to commence setting to-day, and issue a paper the last of this week, or beginning of next."
On the 6th he says:—
"Being prepared to commence our labors in the printing business, I ask God, in the name of Jesus, to establish it forever, and cause that his name may speedily go forth to the nations of the earth to the accomplishment of his great work, in bringing about the restoration of the house of Israel." —Ibid., p. 915.
On December 10 Joseph wrote to Edward Partridge and others, and we give place to the letter here because it gives a fair idea of the counsel given to the exiled members of the church; and, as in every other such case, an appeal to the law is recommended as the proper way to gain redress for wrongs. 4
On the 16th a revelation was received explaining why the trouble was permitted to come upon the inhabitants of Zion, but promising a return of favors on conditions of faithfulness. 5
to the work of the Lord; then took the proof sheets of the first number of the Evening and Morning Star issued from Kirtland and edited by Oliver Cowdery. This is a continuation of the paper published at Independence, and is number 15 of volume 2.
About this time Joseph pronounced some blessings upon Oliver Cowdery; also upon his own father's house, especially
his father and mother, and his brothers Hyrum, Samuel, and William; which the reader may be pleased to peruse. They are found on Page 947, volume 6, Times and Seasons
On December 19, 1833, William Pratt and David W. Patten started from Kirtland for Zion, bearing dispatches for the brethren in Zion.
In the December number of the Evening and Morning Star, the first published in Kirtland, the elders in Kirtland published an epistle to their brethren abroad, to which we give place, believing it will be of general interest. This may be found on Page 239, volume 2, and reads as follows:—
"The Elders in Kirtland, to their brethren abroad.
"Dear brethren in Christ, and companions in tribulation:—It seemeth good unto us to drop a few lines to you, giving you some instruction relative to conducting the affairs of the kingdom of God, which has been committed unto us in these latter times, by the will and testament of our Mediator, whose intercessions in our behalf are lodged in the bosom of the eternal Father, and ere long will burst with blessings upon the heads of all the faithful:
"We have all been children, and are too much so at the
present time; but we hope in the Lord that we may grow in grace and be prepared for all things which the bosom of futurity may disclose unto us. Time is rapidly rolling on, and the prophecies must be fulfilled. The days of tribulation are fast approaching, and the time to test the fidelity of the saints has come. Rumor with her ten thousand tongues is diffusing her uncertain sounds in almost every ear; but in these times of sore trial let the saints be patient and see the salvation of God. Those who cannot endure persecution and stand in the day of affliction, cannot stand in the day when the Son of God shall burst the veil and appear in all the glory of his Father with all the holy angels.
"On the subject of ordination, a few words are necessary: In many instances there has been too much haste in this thing, and the admonition of Paul has been too slightingly passed over, which says: 'Lay hands suddenly upon no man.' Some have been ordained to the ministry, and have never acted in that capacity, or magnified their calling at all. Such may expect to lose their calling, except they awake and magnify their office. Let the elders abroad be exceedingly careful upon this subject, and when they ordain a man to the holy ministry, let it be a faithful man, who is able to teach others also; that the cause of Christ suffer not. It is not the multitude of preachers that is to bring about the glorious millennium, but it is those who are 'called, and chosen, and faithful.'
Let the elders be exceedingly careful about unnecessarily disturbing and harrowing up the feelings of the people. Remember that your business is to preach the gospel in all humility and meekness, and warn sinners to repent and come to Christ. Avoid contentions and vain disputes with men of corrupt minds, who do not desire to know the truth. Remember that 'it is a day of warning, and not a day of many words.' If they receive not your testimony in one place, flee to another, remembering to cast no reflections, nor throw out any bitter sayings. If you do your duty it will be just as well with you as though all men embraced the gospel.
"Be careful about sending boys to preach the gospel to the world; if they go, let them be accompanied by some one
who is able to guide them in the proper channel, lest they become puffed up, and fall under condemnation and into the snare of the Devil. Finally, in these critical times, be careful, call on the Lord day and night. Beware of pride; beware of false brethren, who will creep in among you to spy out your liberties, etc. Awake to righteousness and sin not; let your light shine, and show yourselves workmen that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Apply yourselves diligently to study, that your minds may be stored with all necessary information.
"We remain your brethren in Christ, anxiously praying for the day of redemption to come, when iniquity shall be swept from the earth; and everlasting righteousness brought in. Farewell."
Thus the year closed in comparative peace for the church in Kirtland, and the church growing and extending in the Eastern States and in Canada. A printing press was established and prospects were bright, though much sorrow was felt for their suffering brethren in Zion.
Some murmurings and threats were heard around Kirtland, but no open violence was offered, though they knew not how soon they would be called upon to suffer banishment or death as their brethren had.
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1 1. Verily I say unto you my friends, I speak unto you with my voice even the voice of my Spirit, that I may show unto you my will concerning your brethren in the land of Zion, many of whom are truly humble, and are seeking diligently to learn wisdom and to find truth; verily, verily I say unto you, Blessed are all such for they shall obtain, for I, the Lord, showeth mercy unto all the meek, and upon all whomsoever I will, that I may be justified, when I shall bring them into judgment.
2. Behold, I say unto you, concerning the school in Zion, I, the Lord am well pleased that there should be a school in Zion; and also with my servant Parley P. Pratt, for he abideth in me; and inasmuch as he continueth to abide in me, he shall continue to preside over the school, in the land of Zion, until I shall give unto him other commandments; and I will bless him with a multiplicity of blessings, in expounding all scriptures and mysteries to the edification of the school, and of the church in Zion, and to the residue of the school, I, the Lord, am willing to show mercy, nevertheless there are those that must needs be chastened,
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and their works shall be made known. The ax is laid at the root of the trees, and every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be hewn down and cast into the fire; I, the Lord, have spoken it. Verily I say unto you, All among them who know their hearts are honest, and are broken, and their spirits contrite, and are willing to observe their covenants by sacrifice; yea, every sacrifice which I, the Lord, shall command, they are all accepted of me, for I, the Lord, will cause them to bring forth as a very fruitful tree which is planted in a goodly land, by a pure stream, that yieldeth much precious fruit.
3. Verily I say unto you, that it is my will that an house should be built unto me in the land of Zion, like unto the pattern which I have given you; yea, let it be built speedily by the tithing of my people: behold, this is the tithing and the sacrifice which I, the Lord, require at their hands, that there may be an house built unto me for the salvation of Zion; for a place of thanksgiving, for all saints, and for a place of instruction for all those who are called to the work of the ministry, in all their several callings, and offices; that they may be perfected in the understanding of their ministry; in theory; in principle and in doctrine; in all things pertaining to the kingdom of God on the earth, the keys of which kingdom have been conferred upon you.
4. And inasmuch as my people build an house unto me, in the name of the Lord, and do not suffer any unclean thing to come into it, that it be not defiled, my glory shall rest upon it; yea, and my presence shall be there, for I will come into it, and all the pure in heart that shall come into it, shall see God: but if it be defiled I will not come into it, and my glory shall not be there, for I will not come into unholy temples.
5. And now, behold, if Zion do these things, she shall prosper and spread herself and become very glorious, very great, and very terrible; and the nations of the earth shall honor her, and shall say, Surely Zion is the city of our God; and surely Zion cannot fall, neither be moved out of her place, for God is there, and the hand of the Lord is there, and he hath sworn by the power of his might to be her salvation, and her high tower; therefore verily thus saith the Lord, Let Zion rejoice for this is Zion, the PURE IN HEART; therefore let Zion rejoice, while all the wicked shall mourn; for, behold, and lo, vengeance cometh speedily upon the ungodly, as the whirlwind, and who shall escape it; the Lord's scourge shall pass over by night and by day; and the report thereof shall vex all people; yet, it shall not be staid until the Lord come; for the indignation of the Lord is kindled against their abominations, and all their wicked works; nevertheless Zion shall escape if she observe to do all things whatsoever I have commanded her, but if she observe not to do whatsoever I have commanded her, I will visit her according to all her works, with sore affliction, with pestilence, with plague, with sword, with vengeance, with devouring fire; nevertheless, let it be read this once in their ears, that I, the Lord, have accepted of their offering; and if she sin no more, none of these things shall come upon her, and I will bless her with blessings, and multiply a multiplicity of blessings upon her, and upon her generations, forever and ever, saith the Lord your God. Amen.
1. Verily I say unto you, my friends, Fear not, let your heart be comforted, yea, rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks, waiting patiently on the Lord; for your prayers have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and are recorded with this seal and testament: the Lord hath sworn and decreed that they shall be granted; therefore, he giveth
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this promise unto you, with an immutable covenant, that they shall be fulfilled, and all things wherewith you have been afflicted, shall work together for your good, and to my names glory saith the Lord.
2. And now, verily I say unto you, concerning the laws of the land, It is my will that my people should observe to do all things whatsoever I command them, and that law of the land, which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom, in maintaining rights and privileges belongs to all mankind and is justifiable before me; therefore, I, the Lord justifieth you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land; and as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than these, cometh of evil. I, the Lord God, maketh you free; therefore, ye are free indeed: and the law also maketh you free; nevertheless when the wicked rule the people mourn; wherefore honest men and wise men should be sought for, diligently, and good men and wise men, ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these, cometh of evil.
3. And I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall forsake all evil and cleave unto all good, that ye shall live by every word which proceedeth forth out of the mouth of God; for he will give unto the faithful, line upon line, precept upon precept; and I will try you, and prove you herewith; and whoso layeth down his life in my cause, for my names sake, shall find it again; even life eternal; therefore, be not afraid of your enemies; for I have decreed in my heart, saith the Lord, that I will prove you in all things, whether you will abide in my covenant, even unto death, that you may be found worthy; for if ye will not abide in my covenant, ye are not worthy of me; therefore, renounce war and proclaim peace, and seek diligently to turn the hearts of their children to their fathers, and the hearts of the fathers to the children. And again, the hearts of the Jews unto the prophets; and the prophets unto the Jews, lest I come and smite the whole earth with a curse, and all flesh be consumed before me. Let not your hearts be troubled, for in my Father's house are many mansions, and I have prepared a place for you, and where my Father and I am, there ye shall be also.
4. Behold, I, the Lord, am not well pleased with many who are in the church at Kirtland, for they do not forsake their sins, and their wicked ways, the pride of their hearts, and their covetousness, and all their detestable things, and observe the words of wisdom and eternal life which I have given unto them. Verily I say unto you, that I, the Lord, will chasten them and will do whatsoever I list, if they do not repent and observe all things whatsoever I have said unto them. And again, I say unto you, If ye observe to do whatsoever I command you, I, the Lord, will turn away all wrath and indignation from you, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against you.
5. Now, I speak unto you, concerning your families, if men will smite you, or your families, once, and ye bear it patiently and revile not against them, neither seek revenge, ye shall be rewarded; but if ye bear it not patiently, it shall be accounted unto you as being meted out a just measure unto you. And again, if your enemy shall smite you the second time, and you revile not against your enemy, and bear it patiently, your reward shall be an hundredfold. And again, if he shall smite you the third time and ye bear it patiently, your reward shall be doubled unto you fourfold; and these three testimonies shall stand against your enemy, if he repent not, and shall not be blotted out. And now, verily I say unto you, If that enemy shall escape my vengeance that he be not brought
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into judgment before me, then ye shall see to it, that ye warn him in my name that he come no more upon you, neither upon your family, even your children's children unto the third and fourth generation; and then if he shall come upon you, or your children, or your children's children unto the third and fourth generation, I have delivered thine enemy into thine hands, and then if thou wilt spare him thou shalt be rewarded for thy righteousness; and also thy children and thy children's children unto the third and fourth generation; nevertheless thine enemy is in thine hands, and if thou reward him according to his works, thou art justified, if he has sought thy life, and thy life is endangered by him; thine enemy is in thine hands, and thou art justified.
6. Behold, this is the law I gave unto my servant, Nephi; and thy father Joseph, and Jacob, and Isaac, and Abraham, and all mine ancient prophets and apostles. And again, this is the law that I gave unto mine ancients, that they should not go out unto battle against any nation kindred, tongue, or people, save I, the Lord, commanded them. And if any nation, tongue, or people should proclaim war against them, they should first lift a standard of peace unto that people, nation, or tongue, and if that people did not accept the offering of peace, neither the second nor the third time, they should bring these testimonies before the Lord; then, I, the Lord, would give unto them a commandment, and justify them in going out to battle against that nation, tongue, or people, and I, the Lord, would fight their battles, and their children's battles and their children's children until they had avenged themselves on all their enemies to the third and fourth generation; behold, this is an ensample unto all people, saith the Lord, your God, for justification before me.
7. And again, verily I say unto you, If, after thine enemy has come upon thee the first time, he repent and come unto thee praying thy forgiveness thou shalt forgive him, and shall hold it no more as a testimony against thine enemy, and so on unto the second and the third time; and as oft as thine enemy repenteth of the trespass wherewith he has trespassed against thee, thou shalt forgive him, until seventy times seven; and if he trespass against thee and repent not the first time, nevertheless thou shalt forgive him; and if he trespass against thee the second time, and repent not, nevertheless thou shalt forgive him; and if he trespass against thee the third time and repent not, thou shalt also forgive him; but if he trespass against thee the fourth time, thou shalt not forgive him but shall bring these testimonies before the Lord, and they shall not be blotted out until he repent and reward thee fourfold in all things wherewith he has trespassed against you; and if he do this thou shalt forgive him with all thine heart, and if he do not this, I, the Lord, will avenge thee of thine enemy an hundredfold; and upon his children, and upon his children's children, of all them that hate me, unto the third and fourth generation; but if the children shall repent, or the children's children and turn unto the Lord their God with all their hearts, and with all their might, mind, and strength, and restore fourfold for all their trespasses, wherewith they have trespassed, or wherewith their fathers have trespassed or their father's fathers, then thine indignation shall be turned away and vengeance shall no more come upon them, saith the Lord your God, and their trespasses shall never be brought any more as a testimony before the Lord against them. Amen.
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2 l. Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my friends, Sidney, and Joseph, your families are well; they are in mine hands, and I will do with them as seemeth me good; for in me there is all power; therefore follow me, and listen to the counsel which I shall give unto you. Behold, and lo, I have much people in this place, in the regions round
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about, and an effectual door shall be opened in the regions round about in this eastern land, therefore, I, the Lord, have suffered you to come unto this place; for thus it was expedient in me for the salvation of souls; therefore, verily I say unto you, Lift up your voices unto this people; speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and ye shall not be confounded before men; for it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say.
2. But a commandment I give unto you, that ye shall declare whatsoever things ye declare in my name in solemnity of heart, in the spirit of meekness, in all things. And I give unto you this promise, that inasmuch as ye do this, the Holy Ghost shall be shed forth in bearing record unto all things whatsoever ye shall say.
3. And it is expedient in me that you, my servant Sidney, should be a spokesman unto this people; yea, verily, I will ordain you unto this calling, even to be a spokesman unto my servant Joseph; and I will give unto him power to be mighty in testimony; and I will give unto thee power to be mighty in expounding all scriptures, that thou mayest be a spokesman unto him, and he shall be a revelator unto thee, that thou mayest know the certainty of all things pertaining to the things of my kingdom on the earth. Therefore, continue your journey and let your hearts rejoice; for, behold, and lo, I am with you even unto the end.
4. And now I give unto you a word concerning Zion: Zion shall be redeemed, although she is chastened for a little season. Thy brethren, my servants, Orson Hyde and John Gould are in my hands, and inasmuch as they keep my commandments they shall be saved. Therefore, let your hearts be comforted for all things shall work together for good to them that walk uprightly and to the sanctification of the church; for I will raise up unto myself a pure people, that will serve me in righteousness; and all that call on the name of the Lord and keep his commandments, shall be saved. Even so. Amen.
|4Kirtland Mills, Ohio, Dec. 10, 1833.|
Beloved Brethren:—E. Partridge, W. W. Phelps, J. Whitmer, A. S. Gilbert, J. Corrill, I. Morley, and all the saints whom it may concern:—
This morning's mail brought Bishop Partridge's and Elders Corrill's and Phelps' letters, all mailed at Liberty, November 19, which gave us the melancholy intelligence of your flight from the land of your inheritance, having been driven before the face of your enemies in that place.
From previous letters we learned that a number of our brethren had been slain, but we could not learn from those referred to above, as there had been but one, and that was Brother Barber, and Brother Dibble was wounded in the bowels. We were thankful to learn that no more had been slain, and our daily prayers are that the Lord will not suffer his saints, who have gone up to his land to keep his commandments, to stain his holy mountain with their blood.
I cannot learn from any communication by the Spirit to me that Zion
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has forfeited her claim to a celestial crown, notwithstanding the Lord has caused her to be thus afflicted, except it may be some individuals who have walked in disobedience and forsaken the new covenant; all such will be made manifest by their works in due time. I have always expected that Zion would suffer some 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 affliction, the Lord has kept hid from my eyes; and when I inquire 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 shew them unto me, perhaps for a wise purpose in himself—I mean in some respects—and they are these: why God has suffered so great a calamity to come upon Zion; and what the great moving cause of this great affliction is; and again, by what means he will return her back to her inheritance with songs of everlasting joy upon her head. These two things, brethren, are in part kept back that they are not plainly manifest, in consequence of those who have incurred the displeasure of the Almighty.
When I contemplate upon all things that have been manifested, I am sensible that I ought not to murmur and do not murmur 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 cut it off 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 affected 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, having the witness which I feel and ever 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, etc.;—I say when I contemplate this, it is with difficulty that I can keep from complaining and murmuring 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 anything separate us from the love of Christ.
Brethren, when we learn your sufferings it awakens every sympathy of our hearts; it weighs 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, Elder Cowdery could not have lightened 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 that it is as well with us as it is and were 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 faith. I pray God
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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 in the eyes of God that you should die than that you should give up the land of Zion, the inheritances which you have purchased with your moneys; for every man that giveth not up his inheritance, 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 counsel, that you retain your lands, even unto the uttermost, and seek every lawful means to seek redress of your enemies, etc., etc.; 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 Executive; and when the Executive 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 fail you but God alone, and you continue to weary him with your importunings, as the poor woman did the unjust judge, he will not fail to execute 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 adversaries shall be destroyed with the breath of his lips! All those who keep their inheritances, notwithstanding they should be beaten and driven, 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 you to give deeds as far as the brethren have legal and just claims for them, and then let every man answer to God for the disposal of them.
I would suggest some ideas to Elder Phelps, 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 possible for him to come, not knowing what shall befall us, as we are under very heavy and serious threatenings from a great many people in this place.
But perhaps the people in Liberty 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 possible to get to it; God will be willing to have it in any place where it can be established in safety. We must be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Again, I desire that Elder Phelps would collect all the information, and give us a true history of the beginning and rise of Zion, her calamities, etc.
Now hear the prayer of your unworthy brother in the new and everlasting covenant: O my God! thou who hast called and chosen a few through thy weak instrument, by commandment, and sent them to Missouri, a place which thou didst call Zion, and commanded thy servants to consecrate it unto thyself for a place of refuge and safety for the gathering of thy saints, to be built up a holy city unto thyself; and as thou hast said that no other place should be appointed like unto this; therefore, I ask thee, in the name of Jesus Christ, to return thy people unto their houses and their inheritances, 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 repent and turn unto thee, be destroyed from off the face of the land; and let a house be built and established unto thy name; and let all the losses that thy people have sustained be rewarded unto them, even more than fourfold; 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 like sheep and are persecuted, flee unto Zion, and be established in the midst of her, and let
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her be organized according to thy law, and let this prayer ever be recorded before thy face. Give thy Holy Spirit unto my brethren unto whom I write; send thine angels to guard them, and deliver them from all evil; and when they turn their faces towards Zion and bow down before thee and pray, may their sins never come up before thy face, neither have place in the book of thy remembrance, and may they depart from all their iniquities. Provide food for them as thou doest for the ravens; provide clothing to cover their nakedness, and houses that they may dwell therein; give unto them friends in abundance and let their names be recorded in the Lamb's book of life, eternally before thy face. Amen.
Finally, brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all until his coming and kingdom. Amen.
JOSEPH SMITH, JR.
—Times and Seasons, vol. 6, pp. 928, 929.
5 1. Verily, I say unto you, concerning your brethren who have been afflicted, and persecuted, and cast out from the land of their inheritance I, the Lord, have suffered the affliction to come upon them, wherewith they have been afflicted in consequence of their transgressions; yet, I will own them, and they shall be mine in that day when I shall come to make up my jewels.
2. Therefore, they must needs be chastened, and tried, even as Abraham, who was commanded to offer up his only son; for all those who will not endure chastening but deny me, cannot be sanctified.
3. Behold, I say unto you, there were jarrings, and contentions, and envyings, and strifes, and lustful and covetous desires among them; therefore by these things they polluted their inheritances. They were slow to hearken unto the voice of the Lord their God; therefore, the Lord their God is slow to hearken unto their prayers, to answer them in the day of their trouble. In the day of their peace they esteemed lightly my counsel; but in the day of their trouble, of necessity they feel after me.
4. Verily, I say unto you, Notwithstanding their sins, my bowels are filled with compassion toward them; I will not utterly cast them off; and in the day of wrath I will remember mercy. I have sworn, and the decree hath gone forth by a former commandment which I have given unto you, that I would let fall the sword of mine indignation in the behalf of my people; and even as I have said, it shall come to pass. Mine indignation is soon to be poured out without measure upon all nations, and this will I do when the cup of their iniquity is full. And in that day, all who are found upon the watchtower, or in other words, all mine Israel shall be saved. And they that have been scattered shall be gathered; and all they who have mourned shall be comforted; and all they who have given their lives for my name shall be crowned. Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion, for all flesh is in mine hands: be still, and know that I am God. Zion shall not be moved out of her place, notwithstanding her children are scattered, they that remain and are pure in heart shall return and come to their inheritances; they and their children, with songs of everlasting joy; to build up the waste places of Zion. And all these things, that the prophets might be fulfilled. And, behold,
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there is none other place appointed than that which I have appointed, neither shall there be any other place appointed than that which I have appointed for the work of the gathering of my saints, until the day cometh when there is found no more room for them; and then I have other places which I will appoint unto them, and they shall be called stakes for the curtains, or the strength of Zion.
5. Behold, it is my will, that all they who call on my name, and worship me according to mine everlasting gospel, should gather together and stand in holy places, and prepare for the revelation which is to come when the veil of the covering of my temple, in my tabernacle which hideth the earth, shall be taken off, and all flesh shall see me together. And every corruptible thing, both of man, or of the beasts of the field, or of the fowls of heaven or of the flesh of the sea, that dwell upon all the face of the earth, shall be consumed; and also, that of element shall melt with fervent heat; and all things shall become new, that my knowledge and glory may dwell upon all the earth. And in that day the enmity of man, and the enmity of beasts; yea, the enmity of all flesh shall cease from before my face. And in that day whatsoever any man shall ask it shall be given unto him. And in that day Satan shall not have power to tempt any man. And there shall be no sorrow because there is no death. In that day an infant shall not die until he is old, and his life shall be as the age of a tree, and when he dies he shall not sleep (that is to say in the earth), but shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and shall be caught up, and his rest shall be glorious. Yea verily I say unto you, In that day when the Lord shall come he shall reveal all things; things which have passed, and hidden things which no man knew; things of the earth by which it was made, and the purpose and the end thereof; things most precious; things that are above, and things that are beneath; things that are in the earth, and upon the earth, and in heaven. And all they who suffer persecution for my name and endure in faith, though they are called to lay down their lives for my sake, yet shall they partake of all this glory. Wherefore, fear not even unto death; for in this world your joy is not full, but in me your joy is full. Therefore, care not for the body, neither the life of the body; but care for the soul, and for the life of the soul, and seek the face of the Lord always, that in patience ye may possess your souls, and ye shall have eternal life. When men are called unto mine everlasting gospel, and covenant with an everlasting covenant, they are accounted as the salt of the earth, and the savor of men. They are called to be the savor of men. Therefore, if that salt of the earth lose its savor, behold, it is thenceforth good for nothing, only to be cast out and trodden under the feet of men. Behold, here is wisdom concerning the children of Zion; even many, but not all; they were found transgressors, therefore they must needs be chastened. He that exalteth himself shall be abased, and he that abaseth himself shall be exalted.
6. And now, I will show unto you a parable that you may know my will concerning the redemption of Zion. A certain nobleman had a spot of land, very choice; and he said unto his servants, Go ye into my vineyard, even upon this very choice piece of land, and plant twelve olive trees, and set watchmen round about them and build a tower, that one may overlook the land round about, to be a watchman upon the tower; that mine olive trees may not be broken down, when the enemy shall come to spoil and take unto themselves the fruit of my vineyard. Now the servants of the nobleman went and did as their lord commanded
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them; and planted the olive trees, and built a hedge round about, and set watchmen, and began to build a tower. And while they were yet laying the foundation thereof, they began to say among themselves, And what need hath my lord of this tower? and consulted for a long time, saying among themselves, What need hath my lord of this tower, seeing this is a time of peace? Might not this money be given to the exchangers? for there is no need of these things! And while they were at variance one with another they became very slothful, and they hearkened not unto the commandments of their lord, and the enemy came by night and broke down the hedge, and the servants of the nobleman arose, and were affrighted, and fled; and the enemy destroyed their works and broke down the olive trees.
7. Now, behold, the nobleman, the lord of the vineyard, called upon his servants, and said unto them, Why! what is the cause of this great t evil? ought ye not to have done even as I commanded you? and after ye had planted the vineyard, and built the hedge round about, and set watchmen upon the walls thereof, built the tower also, and set a watchman upon the tower, and watched for my vineyard, and not have fallen asleep, lest the enemy should come upon you? and, behold, the watchman upon the tower would have seen the enemy while he was yet afar off, and then you could have made ready and kept the enemy from breaking down the hedge thereof, and saved my vineyard from the hands of the destroyer. And the lord of the vineyard said unto one of his servants, Go and gather together the residue of my servants; and take all the strength of mine house, which are my warriors, my young men, and they that are of middle age also, among all my servants, who are the strength of mine house, save those only whom I have appointed to tarry; and go ye straightway unto the land of my vineyard, and redeem my vineyard, for it is mine, I have bought it with money. Therefore, get ye straightway unto my land; break down the walls of mine enemies, throw down their tower, and scatter their watchmen and inasmuch as they gather together against you, avenge me of mine enemies; that by and by I may come with the residue of mine house and possess the land.
8. And the servant said unto his lord, When shall these things be? And he said unto his servant, When I will: go ye straightway: and do all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and this shall be my seal and blessing upon you, a faithful and wise steward in the midst of mine house; a ruler in my kingdom. And his servant went straightway, and did all things whatsoever his lord commanded him, and after many days all things were fulfilled.
9. Again, verily I say unto you, I will show unto you wisdom in me concerning all the churches, Inasmuch as they are willing to be guided in a right and proper way for their salvation, that the work of the gathering together of my saints may continue, that I may build them up unto my name upon holy places; for the time of harvest is come, and my word must needs be fulfilled. Therefore, I must gather together my people according to the parable of the wheat and the tares, that the wheat may be secured in the garners to possess eternal life, and be
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crowned with celestial glory when I shall come in the kingdom of my Father, to reward every man according as his work shall be; while the tares shall be bound in bundles, and their bands made strong, that they may be burned with unquenchable fire. Therefore, a commandment I give unto all the churches, that they shall continue to gather together unto the places which I have appointed; nevertheless, as I have said unto you in a former commandment, let not your gathering be in haste, nor by flight; but let all things be prepared before you; and in order that all things be prepared before you, observe the commandments which I have given concerning these things, which saith, or teacheth, to purchase all the lands by money, which can be purchased for money, in the region round about the land which I have appointed to be the land of Zion, for the beginning of the gathering of my saints; all the land which can be purchased in Jackson County, and the counties round about, and leave the residue in mine hand.
10. Now, verily I say unto you, Let all the churches gather together all their moneys; let these things be done in their time, be not in haste; and observe to have all things prepared before you. And let honorable men be appointed, even wise men, and send them to purchase these lands; and every church in the eastern countries when they are built up, if they will hearken unto this counsel, they may buy lands and gather together upon them, and in this way they may establish Zion. There is even now already in store a sufficient, yea, even abundance to redeem Zion, and establish her waste places, no more to be thrown down, were the churches, who call themselves after my name, willing to hearken to my voice. And again I say unto you, Those who have been scattered by their enemies, it is my will that they should continue to importune for redress, and redemption, by the hands of those who are placed as rulers and are in authority over you, according to the laws and Constitution of the people which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles, that every man may act in doctrine, and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto them, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment. Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another. And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood.
11. Now, unto what shall I liken the children of Zion? I will liken them unto the parable of the woman and the unjust judge (for men ought. always to pray and not faint), which saith, There was in a city a judge which feared not God, neither regarded man. And there was a widow in that city, and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for awhile, but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man, yet because this widow troubleth me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming, she weary me. Thus will I liken the children of Zion.
12. Let them importune at the feet of the judge; and if he heed them not, let them importune at the feet of the governor; and if the governor heed them not, let them importune at the feet of the President; and if the President heed them not, then will the Lord arise and come forth out of his hiding place, and in his fury vex the nation, and in his hot displeasure, and in his fierce anger, in his time, will cut off these wicked, unfaithful, and unjust stewards, and appoint them their portion among
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hypocrites and unbelievers; even in outer darkness, where there is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth Pray ye, therefore, that their ears may be opened unto your cries, that I may be merciful unto them, that these things may not come upon them. What I have said unto you must needs be, that all men may be left without excuse, that wise men and rulers may hear and know that which they have never considered that I may proceed to bring to pass my act, my strange act, and perform my work, my strange work. That men may discern between the righteous and the wicked, saith your God.
13. And again, I say unto you, It is contrary to my commandment, and my will, that my servant Sidney Gilbert should sell my storehouse which I have appointed unto my people, into the hands of mine enemies. Let not that which I have appointed, be polluted by mine enemies, by the consent of those who call themselves after my name; for this is a very sore and grievous sin against me, and against my people, in consequence of those things which I have decreed, and are soon to befall the nations. Therefore, it is my will that my people should claim, and hold claim, upon that which I have appointed unto them, though they should not be permitted to dwell thereon; nevertheless, I do not say they shall not dwell thereon; for inasmuch as they bring forth fruit and works meet for my kingdom, they shall dwell thereon; they shall build, and another shall not inherit it they shall plant vineyards, and they shall eat the fruit thereof. Even so. Amen.