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DURING the latter part of the summer and autumn of 1832 Joseph spent the time in translating, and in ministering to the churches in Ohio, with the exception of a hurried journey to Albany, New York, and Boston, Massachusetts, in company with Bishop Whitney.
One letter written to his wife while on this journey, and dated New York, October 13,1832, has been preserved, and is now in the hands of President Joseph Smith, of Lamoni, Iowa, who was born on the 6th day of November following the date of this letter, which circumstance will serve to explain the extract that we shall here produce. We gladly quote from this letter, for it gives us a partial insight into the inner life of the man and his feelings and solicitude for loved ones. Sometimes we can only get at the true character of a man by some such incident, where we are enabled to read that which was not intended for the public.
The letter throughout is expressive of the tenderest love and sympathy, of which the following is a specimen:-
"I returned to my room to meditate and calm my mind, and behold, the thoughts of home, of Emma and Julia, rush upon my mind like a flood; and I could wish for a moment to be with them. My breast is filled with all the feelings and tenderness of a parent and a husband, and could I be with
you I would tell you many things. . . I hope you will excuse me for writing this letter so soon after writing, for I feel as if I wanted to say something to you, to comfort you in your peculiar trial and present affliction. I hope God will give you strength that you may not faint. I pray God to soften the hearts of those around you to be kind to you and take the burden off your shoulders as much as possible, and not afflict you. I feel for you, for I know your state and that others do not; but you must comfort yourself knowing that God is your friend in heaven, and that you have one true and living friend on earth, your husband,
In this letter, not intended for the public eye or ear, hence which could not have been written with any thought of deception, we recognize not only the sentiments of a tender and affectionate husband and father, but also of a man who could with supreme confidence in God trust these loved ones, even in the darkest trial, to his loving-kindness and tender care.
As soon as his obligations would permit he hurried home, if possible to be with his wife in her approaching trial. He reached Kirtland on Tuesday, November 6, immediately after his son Joseph was born.
This was their fourth child; one son was born to them at Harmony, Pennsylvania, in July, 1828, who died at birth. Early in 1831 they lost a pair of twins at Kirtland, who also died at birth. In place of these they adopted the motherless twins of Elder Murdock, one of whom died as before-related; the other is the Julia spoken of in the letter from New York.
On Tuesday, November 27, Joseph wrote W. W. Phelps as follows:-
"It is contrary to the will and commandment of God that those who receive not their inheritance by consecration, agreeably to his law, which he has given that he may tithe his people to prepare them against the day of vengeance and burning, should have their names enrolled with the people of God; neither is their genealogy to be kept, or to be had where it may be found on any of the
records or history of the church; their names shall not be found, neither the names of the fathers, the names of the children written in the book of the law of God, saith the Lord of Hosts; yea, thus saith the still small voice, which whispereth through and pierceth all things, and oftentimes 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 sceptre 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 inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God; while that man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth 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 written in the book of remembrance, shall find none inheritance in that day, but they shall be cut asunder 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"'-Times and Seasons, vol. 5, pp. 673, 674.
On Thursday, December 6, 1832, a revelation was received explaining the parable of the wheat and tares. 1
1 1. Verily thus saith the Lord unto you, my servants, concerning the parable of the wheat and of the tares: Behold, verily I say that the field was the world, and the apostles were the sowers of the seed; and after they have fallen asleep, the great persecutor of the church, the apostate, the whore even Babylon, that maketh all nations to drink of her cup, in whose hearts the enemy, even Satan, sitteth to reign; behold, he soweth the tares, wherefore the tares choke the wheat and drive the church into the wilderness.
2. But, behold, in the last days, even now, while the Lord is beginning to bring forth the word, and the blade is springing up and is yet tender behold, verily I say unto you, The angels are crying unto the Lord day and night, who are ready and waiting to be sent forth to reap down the fields; but the Lord saith unto them, Pluck not up the tares while the blade is yet tender (for verily your faith is weak), lest you destroy the wheat also; therefore let the wheat and the tares grow together until the harvest is fully ripe; then ye shall first gather out the wheat from among the tares, and after the gathering of the wheat, behold, and lo, the tares are bound in bundles, and the field remaineth to be bundled.
On Tuesday, December 25, 1832, the revelation on the Rebellion was given, foretelling accurately, as the reader will see, many of the leading events of the late war.
South Carolina had, the November before, in convention assembled, passed the famous Nullification Act.
This was met by the prompt and decisive action of President Jackson, in declaring that he would treat nullification as treason, and for a time war was threatened. The government made preparations to invade South Carolina, and the State prepared to defend. This difficulty was finally settled by Henry Clay's Compromise Tariff Act of 1833, and all preparations for hostilities ceased.
To those who supposed that it was based upon the then existing South Carolina trouble, it began to look as though the revelation had failed. Probably some who had looked for its fulfillment may have grown doubtful, for surely that would have been the tendency of the natural mind.
Joseph, however, still remained confident that a great and bloody conflict would be forced upon our country, for on Friday, January 4, 1833, he wrote Mr. N. E. Seaton, editor of a paper published at Rochester, New York, from which letter we make the following extract:-
"And now I am prepared to say by the authority of Jesus Christ, that not many years shall pass away before the United States shall present such a scene of bloodshed as has not a parallel in the history of our nation; pestilence, hail, famine, and earthquakes will sweep the wicked of this generation from off the face of the 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 requisitions of the new covenant, have already
3. Therefore, thus saith the Lord unto you, with whom the priesthood hath continued through the lineage of your fathers, for ye are lawful heirs, according to the flesh, and have been hid from the world with Christ in God therefore your life and the priesthood hath remained, and must needs remain, through you and your lineage, until the restoration of all things spoken by the mouths of all the holy prophets since the world began .
4 Therefore, blessed are ye if ye continue in my goodness, a light unto the Gentiles, and through this priesthood, a savor unto my people Israel. The Lord hath said it Amen.
commenced gathering together to Zion, which is in the State of Missouri; therefore I declare unto you the warning which the Lord has commanded me to declare unto this generation, remembering 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 than their eternal salvation; therefore, 'fear God and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come.' Repent ye, repent ye, and embrace 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. Remember 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."
-Times and Seasons, vol. 5, p. 707.
Others also retained confidence in the revelation, and Elder F. D. Richards published the full text of it in a work entitled "The Pearl of Great Price," published at Liverpool, England, in 1851. Here is the revelation as it appears on page 35 of that work:-
"A REVELATION AND PROPHECY BY THE PROPHET, SEER
AND REVELATOR, JOSEPH SMITH.
Given December 25, 1832.
"Verily thus saith the Lord, concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls. The days will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at that place; for behold, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other nations, even the nation of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other nations, in order to defend themselves against other nations; and thus war shall be poured out upon all nations. And it shall come to pass, after many days, slaves shall rise up against their Masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war: And it shall come to pass also, that the remnants who are left of
the land will marshal themselves, and shall become exceeding angry, and shall vex the Gentiles with a sore vexation; and thus, with the sword, and by bloodshed, the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquakes, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed, hath made a full end of all nations; that the cry of the saints, and of the blood of the saints, shall cease to come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabbaoth, from the earth, to be avenged of their enemies. Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold it cometh quickly, saith the Lord. Amen."
We need not occupy space to point out how literally some of the events of the late conflict are foretold. It is so accurate that often it has been asserted that "the Mormons have gotten this up since the war." This assertion however is proved false by "The Pearl of Great Price," bearing date of 1851, which is now lying before us. Elder John Hyde, Jun., published a work in 1857, three years before the secession of South Carolina, in which he cites a. statement of Joseph Smith made on April 6, 1843, concerning this matter, showing that Joseph declared publicly the place where it would begin and the cause.
"I prophesy in the name of the Lord God, that the commencement of the difficulties which will cause much bloodshed, previous to the coming of the Son of Man, will be in South Carolina (it probably may arise through the slave question); this a voice declared to me, while I was praying earnestly on the subject, December 25, 1832."-Mormonism by Elder Hyde, p. 174.
On Thursday, December 27, 1832, a lengthy and important revelation was received. 2
2 1 Verily. thus saith the Lord onto you, who have assembled yourselves together to receive his will concerning you. Behold, this is pleasing unto your Lord, and the angels rejoice over you; the alms of your prayers have come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabbaoth, and are recorded in the book of the names of the sanctified, even them of the celestial world. Wherefore I now send upon you another Comforter,
About this time troubles arose in Missouri, which occasioned the authorities at Kirtland much anxious concern. Joseph wrote them warning them that the judgments of God awaited them if they repented not. A council of twelve high priests also took the matter under advisement and appointed Orson Hyde and Hyrum Smith to write them,
even upon you, my friends, that it may abide in your hearts, even the Holy Spirit of promise, which other Comforter is the same that I promised unto my disciples, as is recorded in the testimony of John.
2. This Comforter is the promise which I give unto you of eternal life even the glory of the celestial kingdom; which glory is that of the church of the Firstborn, even of God, the holiest of all, through Jesus Christ, his Son; he that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth, which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ. As also he is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made. As also he is in the moon, and is the light of the moon, and the power thereof by which it was made. As also the light of the stars, and the power thereof by which they were made. And the earth also, and the power thereof, even the earth upon which you stand.
3. And the light which now shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings; which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God, to fill the immensity of space. The light which is in all things which giveth life to all things; which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things.
4. Now, verily I say unto you, that through the redemption which is made for you, is brought to pass the resurrection from the dead. And the spirit and the body is the soul of man. And the resurrection from the dead is the redemption of the soul; and the redemption of the soul is through him who quickeneth all things, in whose bosom it is decreed that the poor and the meek of the earth shall inherit it. Therefore, it must needs be sanctified from all unrighteousness, that it may be prepared for the celestial glory; for after it hath filled the measure of its creation, it shall be crowned with glory, even with the presence of God the Father; that bodies who are of the celestial kingdom may possess it forever and ever; for, for this intent was it made and created; and for this intent are they sanctified
5. And they who are not sanctified through the law which I have given unto you, even the law of Christ, must inherit another kingdom, even that of a terrestrial kingdom, or that of a telestial kingdom. For he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom, cannot abide a celestial glory; and he who cannot abide the law of a terrestrial kingdom, cannot abide a terrestrial glory; he who cannot abide the law of a telestial kingdom, cannot abide a telestia1 glory: therefore, he is not meet for a kingdom of glory. Therefore, he must abide a kingdom which is not a kingdom of glory
6. And again, verily I say unto you, The earth abideth the law of a celestial kingdom for it filleth the measure of its creation, and transgresseth not the law. Wherefore, it shall be sanctified; yea, notwithstanding it shall die it shall be quickened again, and shall abide the power by which it is quickened, and the righteous shall inherit it: for,
and each of these epistles breathed an excellent spirit. But we here record them that our readers may judge for themselves.
"KIRTLAND, January 11, 1833.
"Brother William W. Phelps:-I send you the olive leaf which we have plucked from the tree of paradise, the Lord's message
notwithstanding they die, they also shall rise again a spiritual body: they who are of a celestial spirit shall receive the same body which was a natural body: even ye shall receive your bodies, and your glory shall be that glory by which your bodies are quickened. Ye who are quickened by a portion of the celestia1 glory, shall then receive of the same, even a fullness; and they who are quickened by a portion of the terrestrial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fullness: and also they who are quickened by a portion of the telestial glory, shall then receive of the same, even a fullness: and they who remain shall also be quickened; nevertheless, they shall return again to their own place, to enjoy that which they are willing to receive, because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received.
7. For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift.
8. And again, verily I say unto you, That which is governed by law, is also preserved by law, and perfected and sanctified by the same. That which breaketh a law, and abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether abideth in sin, cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice, or judgment; therefore, they must remain filthy still.
9. All kingdoms have a law given: and there are many kingdoms; for there is no space in the which there is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space, either a greater or lesser kingdom. And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also, and conditions.
10. All beings who abide not in those conditions, are not justified for intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light: mercy hath compassion on mercy, and claimeth her own; justice continueth its course, and claimeth its own; judgment goeth before the face of him who sitteth upon the throne, and governeth and executeth all things: he comprehendeth all things, and all things are before him, and all things are round about him; and he is above all things, and in all things, and is through all things, and is round about all things: and all things are by him, and of him; even God, forever and ever.
11. And again, verily I say unto you, He hath given a law unto all things by which they move in their times, and their seasons; and their courses are fixed; even the courses of the heavens, and the earth; which comprehend the earth and all the planets; and they give light to each other in their times, and in their seasons, in their minutes, in their hours in their days, in their weeks, in their months, in their years: all these are one year with God, but not with man.
12. The earth rolls upon her wings; and the sun giveth his light by day, and the moon giveth her light by night; and the stars also giveth their light, as they roll upon their wings, in their glory, in the midst of the power of God. Unto what shall I liken these kingdoms, that ye may understand? Behold, all these are kingdoms, and any man who hath
of peace to us; for though our brethren in Zion indulge in feelings towards us which are not according to the requirements of the new covenant, yet we have the satisfaction of knowing that the Lord approves of us, and has accepted
seen any or the least of these, hath seen God moving in his majesty and power. I say unto you, He hath seen him: nevertheless, he who came unto his own was not comprehended. The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not; nevertheless, the day shall come when you shall comprehend even God; being quickened in him, and by him. Then shall ye know that ye have seen me, that I am, and that I am the true light that is in you, and that you are in me, otherwise ye could not abound.
13. Behold, I will liken these kingdoms unto a man having a field, and he sent forth his servants into the field, to dig in the field, and he said unto the first, Go ye and labor in the field, and in the first hour I will come unto you, and ye shall behold the joy of my countenance: and he said unto the second, Go ye also into the field, and in the second hour I will visit you with the joy of my countenance; and also unto the third saying, I will visit you; and unto the fourth, and so on unto the twelfth.
14. And the lord of the field went unto the first in the first hour, and tarried with him all that hour, and he was made glad with the light of the countenance of his lord; and then he withdrew from the first that he might visit the second also, and the third, and the fourth, and so on unto the twelfth; and thus they all received the light of the countenance of their lord: every man in his hour, and in his time, and in his season beginning at the first, and so on unto the last, and from the last unto the first, and from the first unto the last; every man in his own order, until his hour was finished, even according as his lord had commanded him that his lord might be glorified in him, and he in him, that they all might be glorified.
15. Therefore, unto this parable will I liken all these kingdoms, and the inhabitants thereof; every kingdom in its hour, and in its time, and in its season; even according to the decree which God hath made.
16. And again, verily I say unto you, my friends, I leave these sayings with you, to ponder in your hearts with this commandment which I give unto you, that ye shall call upon me while I am near, draw near unto me, and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me, ask and ye shall receive; knock and it shall be opened unto you; whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given unto you that is expedient for you; and if ye ask anything that is not expedient for you, it shall turn unto your condemnation.
17. Behold, that which you hear is as the voice of one crying in the wilderness; in the wilderness, because you cannot see him: my voice because my voice is Spirit; my Spirit is truth: truth abideth and hath no end, and if it be in you it shall abound
18. And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you, and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things. Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him: for he will unveil his face unto you, as it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will.
l9. Remember the great and last promise which I have made unto you: cast away your idle thoughts and your excess of laugher far from you; tarry ye, tarry ye in this place, and call a solemn assembly, even of those who are the first laborers in this last kingdom; and let those whom they
us, and established his name in Kirtland 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
have warned in their traveling, call on the Lord, and ponder the warning in their hearts which they have received, for a little season. Behold, and lo, I will take care of your flocks and will raise up elders and send unto them.
20. Behold, I will hasten my work in its time; and I give unto you who are the first laborers in this last kingdom, a commandment, that you assemble yourselves together, and organize yourselves, and prepare yourselves; and sanctify yourselves; yea, purify your hearts, and cleanse your hands and your feet before me, that I may make you clean; that I may testify unto your Father, and your God, and my God, that you are clean from the blood of this wicked generation, that I may fulfill this promise this great and last promise which I have made unto you, when I will.
21. Also, I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall continue in prayer and fasting from this time forth. And I give unto you a commandment, that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom; teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that is expedient for you to understand; of things both in heaven, and in earth, and under the earth; things which have been; things which are; things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home; things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations; and the judgments which are on the land, and a knowledge also of countries, and of kingdoms, that ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again, to magnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and the mission with which I have commissioned you.
22. Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned, to warn his neighbor; therefore they are left without excuse, and their sins are upon their own heads. He that seeketh me early shall find me and shall not be forsaken
23. Therefore, tarry ye, and labor diligently, that you may be perfected in your ministry, to go forth among the Gentiles for the last time, as many as the mouth of the Lord shall name, to bind up the law, and seal up the testimony, and to prepare the saints for the hour of judgment, which is to come; that their souls may escape the wrath of God, the desolation of abomination, which await the wicked, both in this world, and in the world to come. Verily, I say unto you, Let those who are not the first elders, continue in the vineyard, until the mouth of the Lord shall call them, for their time is not yet come; their garments are not clean from the blood of this generation.
21. Abide ye in the liberty wherewith ye are made free; entangle not yourselves in sin, but let your hands be clean, until the Lord come, for not many days hence and the earth shall tremble, and reel to and fro as a drunken man, and the sun shall hide his face, and shall refuse to give light, and the moon shall be bathed in blood, and the stars shall become exceeding angry, and shall cast themselves down as a fig that falleth from off a fig tree.
25. And after your testimony, cometh wrath and indignation upon the people; for after your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes that shall cause groanings in the midst of her, and men shall fall upon the ground. and shall not be able to stand. And also cometh the testimony
in his sight, he will seek another people: for his work will go on until Israel is gathered, and they who will not hear his voice, must expect to feel his wrath. Let me say unto you, Seek to purify yourselves, and also all the inhabitants
of the voice of thunderings, and the voice of lightnings, and the voice of tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea, heaving themselves beyond their bounds. And all things shall be in commotion; and surely men's hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people; and angels shall fly through the midst of heaven, crying with a loud voice, sounding the trump of God, saying, Prepare ye, prepare ye, O inhabitants of the earth, for the judgment of our God is come: behold, and lo, the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him.
26. And immediately there shall appear a great sign in heaven, and all people shall see it together. And another angel shall sound his trump saying, That great church, the mother of abominations, that made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, that persecuteth the saints of God, that shed their blood: she who sitteth upon many waters, and upon the islands of the sea; behold, she is the tares of the earth, she is bound in bundles, her bands are made strong, no man can loose them; therefore she is ready to be burned. And he shall sound his trump both long and loud, and all nations shall hear it.
27. And there shall be silence in heaven for the space of half an hour and immediately after shall the curtain of heaven be unfolded, as a scroll is unfolded after it is rolled up, and the face of the Lord shall be unveiled; and the saints that are upon the earth, who are alive, shall be quickened, and be caught up to meet him. And they who have slept in their graves, shall come forth; for their graves shall be opened, and they also shall be caught up to meet him in the midst of the pillar of heaven: they are Christ's, the first fruits: they who shall descend with him first and they who are on the earth and in their graves, who are first caught up to meet him; and all this by the voice of the sounding of the trump of the angel of God.
28. And after this, another angel shall sound, which is the second trump; and then cometh the redemption of those who are Christ's at his coming; who have received their part in that prison which is prepared for them, that they might receive the gospel, and be judged according to men in the flesh.
29. And again, another trump shall sound, which is the third trump: and then cometh the spirits of men who are to be judged, and are found under condemnation: and these are the rest of the dead, and they live not again until the thousand years are ended, neither again, until the end of the earth.
30. And another trump shall sound, which is the fourth trump, saying, These are found among those who are to remain until that great and last day, even the end, who shall remain filthy still.
31. And another trump shall sound, which is the fifth trump, which is the fifth angel who committeth the everlasting gospel, flying through the midst of heaven, unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people; and this shall be the sound of his trump, saying to all people, both in heaven and in earth and that are under the earth; for every ear shall hear it and every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess while they hear the sound of the trump, saying, Fear God, and give glory to him who sitteth upon the throne, forever and ever: for the hour of his judgment is come.
32. And again, another angel shall sound his trump, which is the sixth
of Zion, lest the Lord's anger be kindled to fierceness. Repent, repent is the voice of God to Zion; and yet, strange as it may appear yet, it is true, mankind will persist in self-justification until all their iniquity is exposed, and their
angel, saying, She is fallen, who made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication: she is fallen! is fallen!
33. And again, another angel shall sound his trump, which is the seventh angel, saying: It is finished! it is finished! the Lamb of God hath overcome, and trodden the wine press alone; even the wine press of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God; and then shall the angels be crowned with the glory of his might, and the saints shall be filled with his glory, and receive their inheritance and be made equal with him.
34. And then shall the first angel again sound his trump in the ears of all living, and reveal the secret acts of men, and the mighty works of God in the first thousandth year.
35. And then shall the second angel sound his trump, and reveal the secret acts of men, and the thoughts and intents of their hearts, and the mighty works of God in the second thousandth year: and so on, until the seventh angel shall sound his trump; and he shall stand forth upon the land and upon the sea, and swear in the name of him who sitteth upon the throne, that there shall be time no longer, and Satan shall be bound that old serpent, who is called the Devil, and shall not be loosed for the space of a thousand years. And then he shall be loosed for a little season, that he may gather together his armies; and Michael, the seventh angel, even the archangel, shall gather together his armies, even the hosts of heaven. And the Devil shall gather together his armies, even the hosts of hell, and shall come up to battle against Michael and his armies: and then cometh the battle of the great God! And the Devil and his armies shall be cast away into their own place that they shall not have power over the saints any more at all, for Michael shall fight their battles, and shall overcome him who seeketh the throne of him who sitteth upon the throne, even the Lamb. This is the glory of God and the sanctified; and they shall not any more see death.
36. Therefore, verily I say unto you, my friends, Call your solemn assembly, as I have commanded you; and as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning even by study, and also by faith. Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God; that your incomings may be in the name of the Lord; that your outgoings may be in the name of the Lord; that all your salutations may be in the name of the Lord, with uplifted hands unto the Most High.
37. Therefore cease from all your light speeches, from all laughter from all your lustful desires, from all your pride and light-mindedness and from all your wicked doings. Appoint among yourselves a teacher, and let not all be spokesmen at once, but let one speak at a time, and let all listen unto his sayings, that when all have spoken, that all may be edified of all, and that every man may have an equal privilege.
38. See that ye love one another; cease to be covetous; learn to impart one to another as the gospel requires; cease to be idle; cease to be unclean; cease to find fault one with another, cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated; and above all things, clothe
character past being redeemed, and that which is treasured up in their hearts be exposed to the gaze of mankind. I say to you, (and what I say to you, I say to all,) Hear the warning voice of God, lest Zion fall, and the Lord swear in his wrath 'The inhabitants of Zion shall not enter into my rest.'
"The brethren in Kirtland pray for you unceasingly, for,
yourselves with the bonds of charity, as with a mantle which is the bond of perfectness and peace; pray always, that you may not faint until I come; behold, and lo, I will come quickly, and receive you unto myself. Amen.
39. And again, the order of the house prepared for the presidency of the school of the prophets, established for their instruction in all things that are expedient for them, even for all the officers of the church, or in other words, those who are called to the ministry in the church beginning at the high priests, even down to the deacons and this shall be the order of the house of the presidency of the school: He that is appointed to be president, or teacher, shall be found standing in his place, in the house, which shall be prepared for him; therefore he shall be first in the house of God, in a place that the congregation in the house may hear his words carefully and distinctly, not with loud speech. And when he cometh into the house of God (for he should be first in the house; behold, this is beautiful, that he may be an example)
40. Let him offer himself in prayer upon his knees before God, in token or remembrance of the everlasting covenant; and when any shall come in after him, let the teacher arise, and, with uplifted hands to heaven yea, even directly, salute his brother or brethren with these words:
41. Art thou a brother or brethren, I salute you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, in token or remembrance of the everlasting covenant in which covenant I receive you to fellowship, in a determination that is fixed, immovable, and unchangeable, to be your friend and brother through the grace of God, in the bonds of love, to walk in all the commandments of God blameless, in thanksgiving, forever and ever. Amen.
42. And he that is found unworthy of this salutation shall not have place among you; for ye shall not suffer that mine house shall be polluted by them.
43. And he that cometh in and is faithful before me, and is a brother or if they be brethren, they shall salute the president or teacher with uplifted hands to heaven, with this same prayer and covenant, or by saying Amen, in token of the same.
41. Behold, verily I say unto you, This is a sample unto you for a salutation to one another in the house of God, in the school of the prophets. And ye are called to do this by prayer and thanksgiving, as the Spirit shall give utterance, in all your doings in the house of the Lord, in the school of the prophets, that it may become a sanctuary, a tabernacle, of the Holy Spirit to your edification.
45. And ye shall not receive any among you into this school, save he is clean from the blood of this generation; and he shall be received by the ordinance of the washing of feet, for unto this end was the ordinance of the washing of feet instituted.
46 And again, the ordinance of washing feet is to be administered by the president, or presiding elder of the church. It is to be commenced with prayer; and after partaking of bread and wine, he is to gird himself, according to the pattern given in the thirteenth chapter of John's testimony concerning me. Amen.
knowing the terrors of the Lord, they greatly fear for you: you will see that the Lord commanded us, in Kirtland, to build an house of God, and establish a school for the prophets. This is the word of the Lord to us, and 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 and great faith lest we be ashamed in his presence. Our hearts are greatly grieved at the spirit which is breathed, both in your letter, and that of Brother G--'s; the very spirit which is wasting the strength of Zion like a pestilence; and if it is not detected and driven from you, it will ripen Zion for the threatened judgments of God. Remember God sees the secret springs of human action, and knows the hearts of all living.
"Brother, suffer us to speak plainly, for God has respect to the feelings of his saints, and he will not suffer them to be tantalized with impunity. Tell Brother G--t 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 warning voice, and 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 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 threatened judgments of God; I say, Woe unto them who are at ease in Zion; fearfulness will speedily lay hold of the hypocrite. I did not expect that you had lost the commandments, but thought from your letters you had neglected to read them, otherwise you would not have written 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 shew itself in speaking and in writing, as well as all our other conduct. It is also needless to make great pretensions when 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 possible, 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.
"Kirtland Mills, Geauga Co., Ohio,
"January 14, 1833."
"From a conference of twelve high priests, to the bishop, his council, and the inhabitants of Zion.
"Orson Hyde and Hyrum Smith being appointed by the said conference, to write this epistle in obedience to the commandment, given the twenty-second and twenty-third of September last, which says, 'But verily I say unto 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.'
"Brother Joseph, and certain others, have written to you on 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, Orson and Hyrum, the committee appointed by said conference to write this epistle, having received the prayers of said conference that we might be enabled to write the mind and 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 church.
"In the commandment above alluded to, the children of Zion were all, yea, even every one, under condemnation, and were to remain in that state until they repented and remembered the new covenant, 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 Father's kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and a judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion:
for shall the children of the kingdom pollute the 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 interest for Zion, and knowing the judgments of God that will come upon her except she repent, resort to these last and most effectual means in our power to bring her to a sense of her standing before the Most High.
"At the time Joseph, Sidney, and Newel 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 censorious spirit, accusing Brother Joseph in rather an indirect way of seeking after monarchial power and authority. This came to us in Brother Carroll's letter of June 2. We are sensible that this is not the thing Brother Joseph 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 amiss for you to call to mind the circumstances of the Nephites, and the children of Israel rising up against their prophets, and accusing them of seeking after kingly power, etc., and see what befell them, and take warning before it is too late.
"Brother Gilbert's letter of December 10, has been received and read attentively, and the low, dark, and blind insinuations which were in it, were not received by us as from the fountain of light, though his claims and pretensions 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 Brother G. 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 Brother Gilbert, and a fearfulness that God will not
provide for his saints in these last days, and these fears lead him on to covetousness. 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.
"Brother Phelps' letter is also received of December 15, 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, solemn, and pure spirit in Christ. Brother Phelps requested in his last letter that Brother Joseph should come to Zion; but we say that Brother Joseph will not settle in Zion until she repent and purify herself, and abide by the new covenant, and remember the commandments 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 letter; you may think that our minds are prejudiced 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 hang over her, and will fall upon her except she repent and purify herself before the Lord, and put away from her every 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 chastening 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 domineer 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 Brothers G. and P. that are good, and we esteem them much. The idea of having 'certain ones appointed to regulate Zion, and traveling elders have nothing to do with this part of the matter,' is something we highly approbate, and you will doubtless know before this reaches you why William E. McLellin when he returned to this place from New York, last fall, in relation to his Brother William, that was not right; for Bro. Gilbert was asked two or three times about his Brother William, but gave evasive answers, and at the same time he knew that William was in Cleveland: but the Lord has taken him. We merely mention this, that all may take warning to work in the light, for God will bring every secret thing to light.
"We now close our epistle by saying unto you, The Lord has commanded us to purify ourselves, to wash our hands and our feet, that he may testify to his Father, and our Father, to his God and our God, that we are clean from the blood of this generation, and before we could wash our hands and our feet, we were constrained to write this letter. Therefore, with the feelings of inexpressible anxiety for your welfare we say again, Repent, repent, or Zion must suffer, for the scourge and judgment must come upon her!
"Let the bishop read this to the elders, that they may warn the members of the scourge that is coming, except they repent. Tell them to read the Book of 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 diligent and faithful in obeying the new covenant.
"There is one clause in Brother Joseph's 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 gathered, 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 say we again, Brother Joseph will not settle in Zion except she repent, and serve God, and obey the new covenant. With this explanation, the conference sanctions Brother Joseph's letter.
"Brethren, the conference meets again this evening to hear this letter read, and if it meets their minds, we have all agreed to kneel down before the Lord and cry unto him with all our hearts that this epistle, and Brother Joseph's and the revelations also, may have their desired effect, and accomplish the thing, whereunto they are sent, and that they may stimulate you to cleanse Zion, that she mourn not. Therefore when you get this know ye that a conference of twelve high priests 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 feet and hands according to the commandment
"We have written plainly this time, but we believe not harshly. Plainness is what the Lord requires, and we should not feel ourselves clear unless we had done so; and if the things we have told you be not attended to, you will not long have occasion to say, or to think rather, that we may be wrong in what we have stated. Your unworthy brethren are determined to pray unto the Lord for Zion, as long as we can shed the sympathetic tear, or feel any spirit to supplicate a throne of grace in her behalf.
"The school of the prophets will commence, if the Lord will, in two or three days. It is a general time of health with us. The cause of God seems to be rapidly advancing in the eastern country; the gifts are 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, and may the Lord help us all
to do his will that we may at last be saved in his kingdom.
"N. B.-We stated that Brother Gilbert knew that William was in Cleveland last fall, when he was in Kirtland. We wrote this upon the strength of hearsay; but William being left at St. Louis, strengthened our suppositions that such was the fact. We stated further, respecting this matter, or this item, than the testimony will warrant us. With this exception the conference sanction this letter."-Times and Seasons, vol. 5, pp. 720-723.
These premonitions of the authorities at Kirtland and their solemn warning to the saints in Zion, taken in connection with the trouble that came upon them very soon after, are suggestive, and lead one to ask, Could they not have remained and builded Zion if they had thoroughly repented and been sufficiently humble? However, it is not the province of the historian to speculate on what might have been, but it is his duty simply to relate what was, and leave the reader to form conclusions.
Resuming the thread of history we quote from Joseph Smith as follows:-
"This winter was spent in translating the Scriptures, in the school of the prophets, and sitting in conferences. I had many glorious seasons of refreshings. The gifts which follow them that believe and obey the gospel, as tokens that the Lord is ever the same in his dealings with the humble lovers and followers of truth, began to be poured out among us, as in ancient days; for as we, viz., Joseph Smith, Jr., Sidney Rigdon, Frederick G. Williams, Newel K. Whitney, Hyrum Smith, Zebedee Coltrin, Joseph Smith, Sen., Samuel H. Smith, John Murdock, Lyman Johnson, Orson Hyde, Ezra Thayer, high priests; and Levi Hancock, and William Smith, elders, were assembled in conference, on the twenty-second day of January, I spoke to the conference in another tongue, and was followed in the same gift by Brother Zebedee Coltrin, and he by Brother William Smith, after which the Lord poured out his Spirit in a miraculous manner until all the elders spoke in tongues,
and several members, both male and female. Great and glorious were the divine manifestations of the Holy Spirit. Praises were sung to God and the Lamb; speaking and praying, all in tongues, occupied the conference, until a late hour at night, so rejoiced were we at the return of these long absent blessings.
"On the twenty-third, we again assembled in conference; when, after much speaking, singing, praying and praising God, all in tongues, we proceeded to the washing of feet, (according to the practice recorded in the thirteenth chapter of John's Gospel,) as commanded of the Lord. Each elder washed his own feet first, after which I girded myself with a towel, and washed the feet of them all, wiping them with the towel with which I was girded. Among the number my father presented himself, but before I washed his feet I asked of him a father's blessing, which he granted by laying his hands upon my head, in the name of Jesus Christ, and declaring that I should continue in the priest's office until Christ comes, etc. At the close of the scene Brother Frederick G. Williams, being moved upon by the Holy Ghost, washed my feet in token of his fixed determination to be with me in suffering or in journeying, in life or in death, and to be continually on my right hand; in which I accepted him in the name of the Lord.
"I then said to the elders, 'As I have done, so do ye. Wash ye, therefore, one another's feet;' and by the power of the Holy Ghost I pronounced them all clean from the blood of this generation; but if any of them should sin willfully after they were thus cleansed and sealed up unto life eternal, they should be given over unto the buffetings of Satan until the day of redemption. Having continued all day in fasting, and prayer, and ordinances, we closed by partaking of the Lord's supper. I blessed the bread and wine in the name of the Lord, when we all ate and drank and were filled: then sung a hymn and went out.
"I completed the translation and receiving of the New Testament, on the second of February, 1833, and sealed it up, no more to be opened till it arrived in Zion."-Times and Seasons, vol. 5, p. 723.
On Wednesday, February 27, 1883, the revelation familiarly known as the "Word of Wisdom" was given. 3 This is a peculiar and unique document, but we think it will bear the closest investigation; and though it is now over sixty-three years old, and the subjects treated of have been investigated and discussed by men of learning, it will be found to be in harmony with or in advance of the best minds of the age.
On Friday, March 8, a revelation was given assuring Joseph that the keys of the kingdom would never be taken from him, though the oracles should be given to the church. 4
3 1. Behold, verily thus saith the Lord unto you, In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation, that inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold, it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves together, to offer up your sacraments before him. And, behold, this should be wine; yea, pure wine of the grape of the wine, of your own make. And again, strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies. And again, tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly, and is not good for man, but is an herb for bruises, and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill. And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly.
2. And again, verily I say unto you, All wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man, every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof. All these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving. Yea, flesh also, of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, hath ordained for the use of man, with thanksgiving. Nevertheless, they are to be used sparingly; and it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine. All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man, but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth; and these hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger.
3. All grain is good for the food of man, as also the fruit of the vine, that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground. Nevertheless, wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls, and for swine, and for all beasts of the field, and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain. And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel, and marrow to their bones, and shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures; and shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint; and I, the Lord, give unto them a promise that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen.
41. Thus saith the Lord, Verily, verily I say unto you, my son, Thy sins are forgiven thee, according to thy petition, for thy prayers and the prayers of thy brethren have come up into my ears; therefore thou art
In this revelation further provision is also made for the Presidency of the church. F. G. Williams had been named before; now the name of Sidney Rigdon is mentioned, and they are to be accounted as equal with Joseph in holding the keys.
Did ever an impostor do a work like this, to place in the hands of two men power to overrule him?
There is one clause in the above-mentioned revelation that
blessed from henceforth that bear the keys of the kingdom given unto you; which kingdom is coming forth for the last time.
2. Verily I say unto you, The keys of this kingdom shall never be taken from you, while thou art in the world, neither in the world to come; nevertheless, through you shall the oracles be given to another; yea, even unto the church. And all they who receive the oracles of God, let them beware how they hold them, lest they are accounted as a light thing, and are brought under condemnation thereby; and stumble and fall, when the storms descend, and the winds blow, and the rains descend, and beat upon their house.
3. And again, verily I say unto thy brethren Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams, Their sins are forgiven them also, and they are accounted as equal with thee in holding the keys of this last kingdom; as also through your administration the keys of the school of the prophets, which I have commanded to be organized, that thereby they may be perfected in their ministry for the salvation of Zion, and of the nations of Israel, and of the Gentiles, as many as will believe, that through your administration, they may receive the word, and through their administration, the word may go forth unto the ends of the earth unto the Gentiles first, and then, behold, and lo, they shall turn unto the Jews; and then cometh the day when the arm of the Lord shall be revealed in power in convincing the nations, the heathen nations, the house of Joseph, of the gospel of their salvation.
4. For it shall come to pass in that day, that every man shall hear the fullness of the gospel in his own tongue, and in his own language, through those who are ordained unto this power, by the administration of the Comforter, shed forth upon them, for the revelation of Jesus Christ.
5. And now, verily I say unto you, I give unto you a commandment, that you continue in the ministry and presidency, and when you have finished the translation of the prophets, you shall from henceforth preside over the affairs of the church and the school; and from time to time, as shall be manifest by the Comforter, receive revelations to unfold the mysteries of the kingdom, and set in order the churches, and study and learn, and become acquainted with all good books, and with languages, tongues, and people. And this shall be your business and mission in all your lives to preside in council and set in order all the affairs of this church and kingdom. Be not ashamed, neither confounded; but be admonished in all your highmindedness and pride, for it bringeth a snare upon your souls. Set in order your houses; keep slothfulness and uncleanliness far from you.
6 Now, verily I say unto you, Let there be a place provided as soon as possible, for the family of thy counselor and scribe, even Frederick G. Williams; and let mine aged servant Joseph Smith, Sr., continue with his family upon the place where he now lives, and let it not be sold until
may be misunderstood; viz., that in which they were instructed to finish the translation of the prophets, for the reason that the history has spoken of the New Testament being finished on February 2, 1833. It is evident, however, that the New Testament was first finished, the prophets remaining incomplete at the time this revelation was given. It appears from this revelation that the primary right of presiding over the church, and of regulating and setting in order all the affairs of the same, is resident in the First Presidency; and that the true philosophy of the organization is, that if others should be appointed to those duties, these rights and prerogatives inhere in them in a secondary sense, to be exercised under the direction and counsel of the First Presidency. At the time of the giving of this revelation, and for some time after, the incomplete organization
the mouth of the Lord shall name. And let thy counselor, even Sidney Rigdon, remain where he now resides, until the mouth of the Lord shall name. And let the bishop search diligently, to obtain an agent; and let it be a man who has got riches in store; a man of God and of strong faith; that thereby he may be enabled to discharge every debt; that the storehouse of the Lord may not be brought into disrepute before the eyes of the people. Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good, if ye walk uprightly, and remember the covenant wherewith ye have covenanted one with another. Let your families be small, especially mine aged servant Joseph Smith, Sr., as pertaining to those who do not belong to your families; that those things that are provided for you, to bring to pass my work are not taken from you and given to those that are not worthy, and thereby you are hindered in accomplishing those things which I have commanded you.
7. And again, verily I say unto you, It is my will that my handmaid, Vienna Jaques, should receive money to bear her expenses, and go up unto the land of Zion; and the residue of the money may be consecrated unto me, and she be rewarded in mine own due time. Verily I say unto you, that it is meet in mine eyes, that she should go up unto the land of Zion, and receive an inheritance from the hand of the bishop, that she may settle down in peace inasmuch as she is faithful, and not be idle in her days from thenceforth.
8. And, behold, verily I say unto you, that ye shall write this commandment, and say unto your brethren in Zion, in love greeting, that I have called you also to preside over Zion in mine own due time; therefore let them cease wearying me concerning this matter. Behold, I say unto you, that your brethren in Zion begin to repent, and the angels rejoice over them; nevertheless, I am not well pleased with many things; and I am not well pleased with my servant William E. McLellin, neither with my servant Sidney Gilbert; and the bishop also; and others have many things to repent of; but verily 1 say unto you, that I, the Lord, will contend with Zion and plead with her strong ones, and chasten her, until she overcomes and is clean before me; for she shall not be removed out of her place. I, the Lord, have spoken it. Amen.
rendered it also necessary for them to give these matters much direct and personal attention. In this sense is the revelation of 1837 to be understood which says: "For on them have I laid [past tense] the burden of all the churches for a little season." In our opinion this cannot, for manifest reasons, mean that after that little season all their primary rights and prerogatives in this connection were to be transferred to others, but to us it is evident that the import of this language is that as the little season had now passed, they were to be measurably relieved of the burden of the churches by those who had been appointed to assist in this work under their watchcare and direction. The reader will excuse us for this explanation, for in our opinion if the true philosophy of the organization receives no notice, the history of the church will be of little practical benefit.
When in translating Joseph came to that part of the Old Testament called the Apocrypha, he received instruction concerning it. 5
On the fifteenth a revelation was given. 6
On Monday, March 18, the school of the prophets was organized, in which the counselors to the President of the High Priesthood were ordained.
On Saturday, the 23d, a council was held to consider the purchasing of lands.
Of these two events Joseph writes:-
"On the eighteenth of March the high priests assembled in the schoolroom of the prophets and were organized according
51. Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you, concerning the Apocrypha, There are many things contained therein that are true, and it is mostly translated correctly; there are many things contained therein that are not true, which are interpolations by the hands of men. Verily I say unto you, that it is not needful that the Apocrypha should be translated. Therefore, whoso readeth it let him understand, for the Spirit manifesteth truth; and whoso is enlightened by the Spirit shall obtain benefit therefrom; and whoso receiveth not by the Spirit, cannot be benefited; therefore, It is not needful that it should be translated. Amen.
61. Verily thus saith the Lord, I give unto the united order, organized agreeable to the commandment previously given, a revelation and commandment concerning my servant Shederlaomach, that ye shall receive him into the order. What I say unto one I say unto all.
2. And again, I say unto you, my servant Shederlaomach, You shall be a lively member in this order; and inasmuch as you are faithful in keeping all former commandments, you shall be blessed forever. Amen.
to revelation, in prayer, by S. Rigdon. Doctor Hurlbut was ordained an elder; after which Elder Rigdon expressed a desire that himself and Brother F. G. Williams should be ordained to the office, to which they had been called; viz., that of presidents of the high priesthood, and to be equal in holding the keys of the kingdom with Brother Joseph Smith, Junior, according to the revelation given on the eighth of March, 1833.
"Accordingly I laid my hands on Brother Sidney and Frederick and ordained them to take part with me in holding the keys of this last kingdom, and to assist in the presidency of the high priesthood, as my counselors; after which I exhorted the brethren to faithfulness, and diligence in keeping the commandments of God, and gave much instruction for the benefit of the saints, with a promise that the pure in heart would see a heavenly vision; and after remaining a short time in secret prayer, the promise was verified; for many present had the eyes of their understandings opened by the Spirit of God so as to behold many things.
"I then blessed the bread and wine, and distributed a portion to each, after which many of the brethren saw a heavenly vision of the Savior, and concourses of angels, and many other things, of which each one has a record of what they saw, etc.
"March 23. A council was called for the purpose of appointing a committee to purchase land in Kirtland upon which the saints might build a stake of Zion. Brothers Joseph Coe and Moses Daily were appointed to ascertain the terms of sale of certain farms; and that Brother Ezra Thayer ascertain the price of Peter French's farm; and the brethren agreed to continue in prayer and fasting for the ultimate success of their mission.
"After an absence of about three hours, Brothers Coe and Daily returned and reported that Elijah Smith's farm could be obtained for four thousand dollars, and Mr. Morley's for twenty-one hundred, and Brother Thayer reported that Peter French would sell his farm for five thousand dollars. The council decided to purchase the farms, and appointed Ezra Thayre and Joseph Coe to superintend the purchase,
and they were ordained under the hands of Sidney Rigdon, and set apart as general agents of the church for that purpose."-Times and Seasons, vol. 5, p. 738.
On Tuesday, March 26, 1833, a council of high priests met at Independence, Jackson County, Missouri.
Of this council Joseph writes:-
"On the twenty-sixth of March a council of high priests, twenty-one in number, convened for the general welfare of the church, in what was then called Zion, in Jackson County, Missouri, on account of a revelation, my letter, and an epistle from the church in Kirtland; a solemn assembly had been called, and a sincere and humble repentance manifested, insomuch, that on the twenty-sixth of February, one month previous, a general epistle had been written in conference, which was satisfactory to the Presidency and church at Kirtland.
"At the sitting of the council of the 26th of March, according to the plan taught at the solemn assembly, which was, that the seven high priests who were sent from Kirtland to build up Zion; viz., Oliver Cowdery, W. W. Phelps, John Whitmer, Sidney Gilbert, Bishop Partridge, and his two counselors, should stand at the head of affairs, relating to the church, in that section of the Lord's vineyard; and these seven men, with the common consent of the branches, comprising the church, were to appoint presiding elders, to take the watchcare of the several branches, as they were appointed. Now, therefore, as many of the high priests and elders went up to Zion and commenced regulating and setting the branches in order, allowing themselves as much power by the authority of their priesthood and gift of the Holy Ghost as those set apart and appointed to preside over the branches, it became necessary to call the council now spoken of, to set in order the elders of Israel; when, after a long discussion, it was decided from the revelations that the order taught in the solemn assembly was correct; and that the elders, when they arrived at Zion, were bound by the authorities set in the church, to be submissive to the powers that be; their labors and callings being more particularly to push the people together from the ends of the earth to the
places the Lord appointed. This decision in council gave general satisfaction, and the elders soon saw the beauty of every man in his place."-Times and Seasons, vol. 5, pp. 738, 739.
Joseph also writes of affairs both in Kirtland and Zion as follows:-
"April 2. F. G. Williams was appointed, by a council of high priests, an agent, to superintend and employ men to labor in the brickyard, on the French farm, also to rent the farm. The French farm was purchased on account of the stone quarry thereon, and the facilities for making brick, each essential to the building up of the city. The council also instructed Bro. E. Thayre to purchase the Tannery of Arnold Mason, in Kirtland.
"On the 6th of April, in the land of Zion, which was within the western boundaries of the State of Missouri, about eighty official, together with some unofficial members of the church, met for instruction, and the service of God at the ferry on Big Blue River, near the western limits of Jackson County, which is the confines of the State and the United States. It was an early spring, and the leaves and blossoms, like a glimpse at paradise, enlivened and gratified the soul of man.
"The day was spent in a very agreeable manner, in giving and receiving knowledge which appertained to this last kingdom. It being just eighteen hundred years since the Savior laid down his life that men might have everlasting life, and only three years since the church had come out of the wilderness, preparatory for the last dispensation. They had great reason to rejoice: they thought upon the time when this world came into existence and the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy: when Israel ate the 'passover' as wailing came up for the loss of the firstborn of Egypt, and they felt like the shepherds who watched their flocks by night, when the angelic choir sweetly sung that electrifying strain, 'Peace on earth and good will to man,' and the solemnities of eternity rested upon them. This was the first attempt made by the church to celebrate her birthday, and those who professed not our faith talked about
it as a strange thing."-Times and Seasons, vol. 5, p. 752.
On Thursday, March 21, Joseph wrote the following letter to Zion which speaks for itself:-
"KIRTLAND, March 21, 1833.
"Dear Brethren in Zion:-Agreeable to a notice we gave you, in Brother Whitney's last letter to you with respect to answering your letters, we now commence, after giving thanks to our heavenly Father for every expression 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 general epistle, written the twenty-sixth of February, which contained the confession of our brethren concerned, all of which was to our entire satisfaction. It was read by the brethren in Kirtland with feelings of the deepest interest, knowing as we did that the anger of the Lord was kindled against you, and nothing but repentance, of the greatest humility, would turn it away; and I will assure you that expressions of joy burned [beamed] on every countenance when they saw that our epistle and the revelation were received by our brethren in Zion, and it had had its desired effect....
"With respect to Brother Gilbert's letter of the tenth of December, I would say to him; firstly, we believe he wrote it in all sincerity of his heart, and we were pleased in the style, 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 every letter that comes from Zion must go the rounds of the brethren for inspection, it is necessary that there should be no disguise in them, but that every subject written 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. The letter written the twenty-fourth of February was not written in that contrition of heart which it should have been, for it appears to have been written in too much of a spirit of justification; but the letter to Brother Whitney of the twentieth of March, was written to our entire satisfaction.
"Now I would say to Brother Gilbert that I do not write this by way of chastisement, but to show him the absolute necessity of having all his communications written plainly, 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 every 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 wrong in withholding credit from them, as they must have assistance; and 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 Brother Oliver's private letter to me on the subject of giving deeds, and receiving contributions from brethren, etc., I have nothing further to say on the subject, but to make yourselves acquainted with the commandments of the Lord, and the laws of the State, and govern yourselves accordingly. Brother Elliot was here yesterday and showed me a letter from Brother Phelps, and we were well pleased with the spirit in which it was written. The probability is that he will not go to Zion at present, as he has bought in Chagrin.
"We rejoice to hear that the Seminary lands are reduced in price, and are coming into market: and be assured that we shall use our influence to send brethren to Zion who are able to help you in the purchase of lands, etc., etc.
"We have just received a letter from Brother Sidney; he has built up a church of eight members, in Medina County, 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 blameless, to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Amen.
"Joseph Smith, Jr.
"P. S.-Say to Brother Corrill that his confession gave me great satisfaction, and all things are now settled on my part. J. S."
-Times and Seasons, vol. 5, pp. 753, 754.
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