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Messenger and Advocate/2/1
|←Volume 1, Number 12|| Messenger and Advocate
Volume 2, Number 1
|Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: Messenger and Advocate Vol. 2
Note: Some headings and bracketed texts are editorial and not part of the original text.
|LATTER DAY SAINTS'|
|MESSENGER AND ADVOCATE|
|Volume II. No. 1.]||KIRTLAND, OHIO, OCTOBER, 1835.||[Whole No. 13.|
Letter No. 11.
DEAR BROTHER IN THE LORD:—My last letter was mainly confined to the book of Mormon, which rarely fails to bring to my mind something about the Indians, whose history and doings, upon this western continent, it unfolds as plainly, as the bible does those of the Israelites on the eastern continent.—Having such a view before me, I have concluded to add a second part to my last letter, and give a few ideas concerning the Indians and Israelites.
The Indians occupy a large portion of the land of America, and, as they are a part of the creation of God, and are a remnant of the children of Israel, they must necessarily hear the gospel, and have a chance to be gathered into the fold of the Lord. Our government has already gathered many of the scattered remnants of tribes, and located them west of the Missouri, to be nationalized and civilized; and feeling, as every saint must, a deep interest in their salvation, I rejoice to see the great work prosper. The Indians are the people of the Lord; they are of the tribes of Israel; the blood of Joseph, with a small mixture of the royal blood of Judah, and the hour is nigh when they will come flocking into the kingdom of God, like doves to their windows; yea, as the book of Mormon foretells—they will soon become a white and delightsome people.
When I read the book of Mormon and reflect upon the mercy and goodness of God, in sparing some of the seed of Joseph upon this choice land of America: and consider his wisdom and love in preserving a record of the progenitors or fathers of this now smitten and dejected people, I cannot find the requisite terms to convey my thanks to such an all wise Being!—I am lost in wonder—I shrink at my nothingness and his greatness!—Joy to the world for the salvation which is free to all that will embrace it—Light to every soul that wishes it! Yea, eternal life to fallen man has been made plain in these last days, so that all that will, may come into the celestial kingdom: into the presence of God! I love to behold the seed of Joseph gathering home for better days and I love to see the saints preparing to meet the Lord, when he comes in his glory. I rejoice while the United States' army is penetrating into the western wilds to make treaties with the rude sons of the forest. I am gratified to hear that the frontier Dragoons are riding from prairie to prairie; yea, even to the Rocky Mountains, to keep and make peace, with the Camanchees, the Kios, the Picks, the Pawnees, the Mandans, the Rickarees, the Nepersees, the Blackfeet, and the host of other tribes. It enlivens my soul, and I am ready to exclaim like Lehi: "Great and marvelous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty! Thy throne is high in the heavens, and thy power, and goodness, and mercy is over all the inhabitants of the earth!"
No man that possesses a spark of love for his fellow—beings—a mite of righteousness, or a grain of faith as large as a mustard seed, but will rejoice to see Israel's latter day at hand; yea, who can refrain from joy, when, phœnix—like, he beholds the Indians begin to raise out of their fourteen hundred years of darkness and error, to prepare for glory—for robes of righteousness—for the coming of the Savior, when they can shine on this choice land, in the kingdom of God, like the stars of heaven, and bud and blossom as the rose; yea, become the joy of the whole earth? And how much is the joy of our hearts enlarged, when it is known the "poor Indians," are to be raised from their low estate, and miserable condition, by the everlasting gospel; even the fullness of the gospel contained in the book of Mormon, and other books of God? No wonder the pure in heart will return to Zion, singing songs of everlasting joy—no wonder there is joy in heaven over repenting sinners, and no wonder the prophet exclaimed:—"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!"—Isaiah Chap. 52:7.
The prospect of such a good scene; such noble days; such an earth of bliss should cause the saints to sing:—
Ye watchmen lift your voices,
While heaven and earth rejoices,
In strains of holy praise,
For bliss that crowns our days,
See eye to eye, in Zion,
While Jesus, Judah's Lion,
Rebukes the world of sin,
And makes his church begin
To fill the earth.
Ye blessed of the Father,
From ev'ry region gather,
Upon the promis'd land,
In holy places stand,
While judgement works.
The plagues will soon be over—
The Lord his face uncover,
And all the pure in heart,
Beyond the power of art,
Be blest in heaven.
The earth shall then be holy,
And saints and angels boldly,
Without a vail between,
Will see as they are seen,
And walk with God.
When I contrast the end of the Nephites, at the great battle of Cumorah, when the ten thousand led by Mormon; the ten thousand led by Moroni; Gidgiddonah and his ten thousand; Lamah and his ten thousand; Gilgal and his ten thousand; Limhah and his ten thousand; Joneam and his ten thousand; Cameniahah and his ten thousand; Moronihah and his ten thousand; Antomum and his ten thousand; Shiblum and his ten thousand; Shem and his ten thousand; Josh and his ten thousand; and ten more with their ten thousand each were slain;—yea, I say when I contrast this dreadful scene of the Nephites and Lamanites, with the glorious beginning of the remnants' return to serve the Lord, I fail for language to express my joy—I want the earth deluged in prayer; the heavens lit with songs; and eternity filled with praise.
The commissioners on Indian affairs, in their report to Congress, last spring, stated, that there were "seventy nine tribes west of the Mississippi river, comprising a population of 312,610." These tribes I suppose, must reside this side of the Rocky Mountains—because common report says that as many tribes embracing certainly as much population, must live west of the mountains. There are fine rivers, beautiful valleys, extensive plains, as well as fertile shores on the Pacific, for a vast number of inhabitants.—Again the Commissioners stated that "thirty tribes, containing a population of 156,310, have held treaties with the United States, and that there is an Indian population east of the Mississippi, of 92,676,"—making a total of 405,286. Now allowing the same number west of the Mountains, and suppose 800,000, in the northern regions of the Canadas, and 500,000 in South America, there will be 2,110,562 of the sons of Joseph, and of the remnants of the Jews. A goodly number to be willing in the day of the Lord's power, to help build up the waste places of Zion. A blessed band to be restored to mercy and enjoy the chief things of ancient mountains; even the deep things that couch beneath.
The parts of the globe that are known probably contain 700 millions of inhabitants, and those parts which are unknown may be supposed to contain more than four times as many more, making an estimated total of about three thousand, five hundred and eighty millions of souls: Let no man marvel at his statement, because there may be a continent at the north pole, of more than 1300 square miles, containing thousands of millions of Israelites, who, after a high way is cast up in the great deep, may come to Zion, singing songs of everlasting joy. The Lord must bring to pass the words of Isaiah, which say to the NORTH, "Give up; and to the South; keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth." From the north and south END, I presume, as no one has ever pretended, that there was an end to the globe any where else.
This idea is greatly strengthened by reading Zenos' account of the tame olive tree in the book of Mormon, page 131. The branches planted in the nethermost parts of the earth, "brought forth much fruit," and no man that pretends to have pure religion, can find "much fruit" among the Gentiles, or heathen of this generation.
The reason I have for the above statement, in accordance with the book of Mormon, is, because, in this age of the world, with all its missionaries, and missionary societies, bible societies, tract societies, sunday school unions, and printing establishments,—counting all the inhabitants of the christian governments, believers and unbelievers, the closest calculations al-
low only 200 millions to be christians! Thus, instead of "much fruit," (and there is probably as much now as there has been since the food.) the earth contains more than 500 millions of heathens! And I feel constrained to say, that those who profess to be christians act more heathenish among themselves, and more savage to others, of late, than the rude Arabs,—the untaught Hottentots, or the wild Indians. Go though all the sects in christendom, which have been striving for power, during the last fifty years, like so many ferocious beasts, and where will you find a servant of the Lord, who can prevail by prayer and faith, and unstop the bottles of heaven in a drouth? Where will you find a mighty man that can chase a thousand—or two put ten thousand to flight? Where will you find a man that can say to a Dorcas, "In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, arise,"—and have her spirit return—and she again live? Not among the catholics; not among the episcopalians; not among the presbyterians; not among the quakers; not among the baptists; not among the methodists; not among the christians; not among the campbellites; not among the universalists: no; not among any sect, for they have only a form of godliness, and deny the power thereof. In fact, the faith of the church of Christ of latter day saints, has not been sufficient, amid such a world of unbelief, to perform many great miracles. The sick have been healed; and speaking and interpreting other tongues are common: but thanks be to God, if the church continues to go from grace to grace, and from faith to faith, it will soon lack no good gift.
I can only turn, then, to the infant church of Christ of latter day saints, and pray the Lord to keep it in the right way, and all things for the edification, and for the salvation of men, and for the glorification of God, will be in the possession of the saints.—The Lord has not changed, his gospel is the same from the beginning to the end; neither is he slack; his promises and gifts to men never fail, if they continue faithful in all his commandments: The Lord is the same in time and in eternity, yesterday, to—day and forever. If we, as saints, are pure before him, what Enoch saw we can see;—what Moses did we can do; what Peter had we can have; what the saints endured we can endure; and what the righteous receive we shall receive.—Glorious prospect! What joy to come! O I want a world of words—a universe of praise, and an eternity of gratitude, to thank the Lord for what he has done, and will do for those that love and serve him faithfully to the end. Not that the saints expect to labor for the corruptible treasures of the world, or honors such as the Gentiles seek: As the church of Christ we plough not the ocean for wealth; we visit not foreign climes for gold; we risk not our lives among all manner of men for fame:—no; the servants of Jesus Christ go whithersoever he commands them to carry glad tidings—to proclaim salvation to all that will accept of it, according to the conditions of the gospel—that the kingdom of heaven may come:—yea, the joyful day be ushered in, when Israel shall be gathered from the four quarters of the earth, to meet their Redeemer, and have their ungodliness turned away.
Glory to God in the highest: let peace reign among his children, and let good will and mercy become a sweet invitation to the poor Indians, that they may come into the kingdom prepared from the foundation of the world, and receive their penny, with songs of everlasting joy.
W. W. PHELPS.
To OLIVER COWDERY.
In my last I said I should give, partially, a "description of the place where, and the manner in which these records were deposited:" the first promise I have fulfilled, and must proceed to the latter:
The hill of which I have been speaking, at the time mentioned, presented a varied appearance: the north end rose suddenly from the plain, forming a promontory without timber, but covered with grass. As you passed to the south you soon came to scattering timber, the surface having been cleared by art or by wind; and a short distance further left, you are surrounded with the common forest of the country. It is necessary to observe, that even the part cleared was only occupied for pasturage,
its steep ascent and narrow summit not admitting the plow of the husbandman, with any degree of ease or profit. It was at the second mentioned place where the record was found to be deposited, on the west side of the hill, not far from the top down its side; and when myself visited the place in the year 1830, there were several trees standing: enough to cause a shade in summer, but not so much as to prevent the surface being covered with grass-which was also the case when the record was first found.
Whatever may be the feeling of men on the reflection of past acts which have been performed on certain portions or spots of this earth, I know not, neither does it add or diminish to nor from the reality of my subject. When Moses heard the voice of God, at the foot of Horeb, out of the burning bush, he was commanded to take his shoes off his feet, for the ground on which he stood was holy. The same may be observed when Joshua beheld the "Captain of the Lord's host" by Jerico.-And I confess that my mind was filled with many reflections; and though I did not then loose my shoe, yet with gratitude to God did I offer up the sacrifice of my heart.
How far below the surface these records were placed by Moroni, I am unable to say; but from the fact that they had been some fourteen hundred years buried, and that too on the side of a hill so steep, one is ready to conclude that they were some feel below, as the earth would naturally wear more or less in that length of time. But they being placed toward the top of the hill, the ground would not remove as much as at two thirds, perhaps. Another circumstance would prevent a wearing of the earth: in all probability, as soon as timber had time to grow, the hill was covered, after the Nephites were destroyed, and the roots of the same would hold the surface. However, on this point I shall leave every man to draw his own conclusion, and form his own speculation, as I only promised to give a description of the place at the time the records were found in 1823.-It is sufficient for my present purpose, to know, that such is the fact: that in 1823, yes, 1823, a man with whom I have had the most intimate and personal acquaintance, for almost seven years actually discovered by the vision of God, the plates from which the book of Mormon, as much as it is disbelieved, was translated! Such is the case, though men rack their very brains to invent falsehoods, and then waft them upon every breeze, to the contrary notwithstanding.
I have now given sufficient on the subject of the hill Cumorah-it has a singular and imposing appearance for that country, and must excite the curious enquiry [inquiry] of every lover of the book of Mormon: though I hope never like Jerusalem, and the sepulchre [sepulcher] of our Lord the pilgrims. In my estimation, certain places are dearer to me for what they now contain than for what they have contained. For the satisfaction of such as believed I have been thus particular, and to avoid the question being a thousand times asked, more than any other cause, shall proceed and be as particular as heretofore. The manner in which the plates were deposited:
First, a hole of sufficient depth, (how deep I know not,) was dug. At the bottom of this was laid a stone of suitable size, the upper surface being smooth. At each edge was placed a large quantity of cement, and into this cement, at the four edges of this stone, were placed, erect, four others, their bottom edges resting in the cement at the outer edges of the first stone. The four last named, when placed erect, formed a box, the corners, or where the edges of the four came in contact, were also cemented so firmly that the moisture from without was prevented from entering. It is to be observed, also, that the inner surface of the four erect, or side stones was smooth. This box was sufficiently large to admit a breast plate, such as was used by the ancients to defend the chest, &c. from the arrows and weapons of their enemy. From the bottom of the box, or from the breast-plate, arose three small pillars composed of the same description of cement used on the edges; and upon these three pillars was placed the record of the children of Joseph, and of a people who left the tower far, far before the days of Joseph, or a sketch of each, which had it not ben [been] for this, and the never failing goodness of God, we might have perished in our sins, having been left to bow down before the altars of the Gentiles and to have paid homage to the priests of Baal! I must
not forget to say that this box, containing the record was covered with another stone, the bottom surface being flat and the upper, crowning. But those three pillars were not so lengthy as to cause the plates and the crowning stone to come in contact. I have now given you, according to my promise, the manner in which this record was deposited; though when it was first visited by our brother, in 1823, a part of the crowning stone was visible above the surface while the edges were concealed by the soil and grass, from which circumstance you will see, that however deep this box might have been placed by Moroni at first, the time had been sufficient to wear the earth so that it was easily discovered, when once directed, and yet not enough to make a perceivable difference to the passer by. So wonderful are the works of the Almighty, and so far from our finding out are his ways, that one who trembles to take his holy name into his lips, is left to wonder at his exact providences, and the fulfilment [fulfillment] of his purposes in the event of times and seasons. A few years sooner might have found even the top stone concealed, and discouraged our brother from attempting to make a further trial to obtain this rich treasure, for fear of discovery; and a few later might have left the small box uncovered, and exposed its valuable contents to the rude calculations and vain speculations of those who neither understand common language nor fear God. But such would have been contrary to the words of the ancients and the promises made to them: and this is why I am left to admire the words and see the wisdom in the designs of the Lord in all things manifested to the eyes of the world: they who show that all human inventions are like the vapors, while his word endures forever and his promises to the last generation.
Having thus digressed from my main subject to give a few items for the special benefit of all, it will be necessary to return, and proceed as formerly.-And if any suppose I have indulged too freely in reflections, I will only say, that it is my opinion, were one to have a view of the glory of God which is to cover Israel in the last days, and know that these, though they may be thought small things, were the beginning to effect the same, they would be at a loss where to close, should they give a moment's vent to the imaginations of the heart.
You will have wondered, perhaps, that the mind of our brother should be so occupied with the thoughts of the good of this world, at the time of arriving at Cumorah, on the morning of the 22nd of September, 1823, after having been rapt in the visions of heaven during the night, and also seeing and hearing in open day; but the mind of man is easily turned, if it is not held by the power of God through the prayer of faith, and you will remember that I have said that two invisible powers were operating upon his mind during his walk from his residence to Cumorah, and that the one urging the certainly of wealth and ease in this life, had so powerfully wrought upon him, that the great object so carefully and impressively named by the angel, had entirely gone from his recollection that only a fixed determination to obtain now urged him forward. In this, which occasioned a failure to obtain, at that time, the record, do not understand me to attach blame to our brother: he was young, and his mind easily turned from correct principles, unless he could be favored with a certain round of experience. And yet, while young, untraditionated and untaught in the systems of the world, he was in a situation to be lead into the great work of God, and be qualified to perform it in due time.
After arriving at the repository, a little exertion in removing the soil from the edges of the top of the box, and a light pry, brought to his natural vision its contents. No sooner did he behold this sacred treasure than his hopes were renewed, and he supposed his success certain; and without first attempting to take it from its long place of deposit, he thought, perhaps, there might be something more equally as valuable, and to take only the plates, might give others an opportunity of obtaining the remainder, which could be secure, would still add to his store of wealth. These, in short, were his reflections, without once thinking of the solemn instruction of the heavenly messenger, that all must be done with an express view of glorying God.
On attempting to take possession of the record a shock was produced upon his system, by an invisible power
which deprived him, in a measure, of his natural strength. He desisted for an instant, and then made another attempt, but was more sensibly shocked than before. What was the occasion of this he knew not-there was the pure unsullied record, as had been described-he had heard of the power of enchantment, and a thousand like stories, which held the hidden treasures of the earth, and supposed that physical exertion and personal strength was only necessary to enable him to yet obtain the object of his wish. He therefore made the third attempt with an increased exertion, when his strength failed him more than at either of the former times, and without premeditating he exclaimed, "Why can I not obtain this book?" "Because you have not kept the commandments of the Lord," answered a voice, within a seeming short distance. He looked, and to his astonishment, there stood the angel who had previously given him the directions concerning this matter. In an instant, all the former instructions, the great intelligence concerning Israel and the last days, were brought to his mind: he thought of the time when his heart was fervently engaged in prayer to the Lord, when his spirit was contrite, and when his holy messenger from the skies unfolded the wonderful things connected with this record. He had come, to be sure, and found the word of the angel fulfilled concerning the reality of the record, but he had failed to remember the great end for which they had been kept, and in consequence could not have power to take them into his possession and bear them away.
At that instant he looked to the Lord in prayer, and as he prayed darkness began to disperse from his mind and his soul was lit up as it was the evening before, and he was filled with the Holy Spirit; and again did the Lord manifest his condescension and mercy: the heavens were opened and the glory of the Lord shone round about and rested upon him. While he thus stood gazing and admiring, the angel said, "Look!" and as he thus spake he beheld the prince of darkness, surrounded by his innumerable train of associates. All this passed before him, and the heavenly messenger said, "All this is shown, the good and the evil, the holy and impure, the glory of God and the power of darkness, that you may know hereafter the two powers and never be influenced or overcome by that wicked one. Behold, whatever entices and leads to good and to do good, is of God, and whatever does not is of that wicked one: It is he that fills the hearts of men with evil, to walk in darkness and blaspheme God; and you may learn from henceforth, that his ways are to destruction, but the way of holiness is peace and rest. You now see why you could not obtain this record; that the commandment was strict, and that if ever these sacred things are obtained they must be by prayer and faithfulness in obeying the Lord. They are not deposited here for the sake of accumulating gain and wealth for the glory of this world: they were sealed by the prayer of faith, and because of the knowledge which they contain they are of no worth among the children of men, only for their knowledge. On them is contained the fulness [fullness] of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as it was given to his people on this land, and when it shall be brought forth by the power of God it shall be carried to the Gentiles, of whom many will receive it, and after will the seed of Israel be brought into the fold of their Redeemer by obeying it also. Those who keep the commandments of the Lord on this land, desired this at his hand, and through the prayer of faith obtained the promises, that if their descendants should transgress and fall away, that a record might be kept and in the last days come to their children. These things are sacred, and must be kept so, for the promise of the Lord concerning them, must be fulfilled. No man can obtain them if his heart is impure, because they contain that which is sacred; and besides, should they be entrusted in unholy hands the knowledge could not come to the world, because they cannot be interpreted by the learning of this generation; consequently, they would be considered of no worth, only as precious metal. Therefore, remember, that they are to be translated by the gift and power of God. By them will the Lord work a great and a marvelous work: the wisdom of the wise shall become as nought, and the understanding of the prudent shall be hid, and because the power of God shall be displayed those who profess to know the truth but walk in deceit, shall trem-
ble with anger; but with signs and with wonders, with gifts and with healings, with the manifestations of the power of God, and with the Holy Ghost, shall the hearts of the faithful be comforted. You have now beheld the power of God manifested and the power of satan: you see that there is nothing that is desirable in the works of darkness; that they cannot bring happiness; that those who are overcome therewith are miserable, while on the other hand the righteous are blessed with a place in the kingdom of God where joy unspeakable surrounds them. There they rest beyond the power of the enemy of truth, where no evil can disturb them. The glory of God crowns them, and they continually feast upon his goodness and enjoy his smiles. Behold, notwithstanding you have seen this great display of power, by which you may ever be able to detect the evil one, yet I give unto you another sign, and when it comes to pass then know that the Lord is God and that he will fulfil [fulfill] his purposes, and that the knowledge which this record contains will go to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people under the whole heaven.-This is the sign: When these things begin to be known, that is, when it is known that the Lord has shown you these things, the workers of iniquity will seek your overthrow: they will circulate falsehoods to destroy your reputation, and also will seek to take your life; but remember this, if you are faithful, and shall hereafter continue to keep the commandments of the Lord, you shall be preserved to bring these things forth; for in due time he will again give you a commandment to come and take them. When they are interpreted the Lord will give the holy priesthood to some, and they shall begin to proclaim this gospel and baptize by water, and after that they shall have power to give the Holy Ghost by the laying on of their hands. Then will persecution rage more and more; for the iniquities of men shall be revealed, and those who are not built upon the Rock will seek to overthrow this church; but it will increase the more opposed, and spread farther and farther, increasing in knowledge till they shall be sanctified and receive an inheritance where the glory of God will rest upon them; and when this takes place, and all things are prepared, the ten tribes of Israel will be revealed in the north country, whither they have been for a long season; and when this is fulfilled will be brought to pass that saying of the prophet-'And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord'-But, notwithstanding the workers of iniquity shall seek your destruction the arm of the Lord will be extended, and you will be borne off conqueror, if you keep all his commandments. Your name shall be known among the nations, for the work which the Lord will perform by your hands shall cause the righteous to rejoice and the wicked to rage: with the one it shall be had in honor, and with the other in reproach; yet, with these it shall be a terror because of the great and marvelous work which shall follow the coming forth of this fulness [fullness] of the gospel. Now, go thy way, remembering what the Lord has done for thee, and be diligent in keeping his commandments, and he will deliver thee from temptations and all the arts and devices of the wicked one.-Forget not to pray, that thy mind may become strong, that when he shall manifest unto thee, thou mayest have power to escape the evil, and obtain these precious things."
Though I am unable to paint before the mind, a perfect description of the scenery which passed before our brother, I think I have said enough to give you a field for reflection which may not be unprofitable. You see the great wisdom in God in leading him thus far, that his mind might begin to be more matured, and thereby be able to judge correctly, the spirits. I do not say that he would not have obtained the record had he went according to the direction of the angel-I say that he would; but God knowing all things from the beginning, began thus to instruct his servant. And in this it is plainly to be seen that the adversary of truth is not sufficient to overthrow the work of God. You will remember that I said, two invisible powers were operating upon the mind of our brother while going to Cumorah. In this, then, I discover wisdom in the dealings of the Lord: it was impossible for any man to translate the book of Mormon by the gift of God, and endure the afflictions, and temptations, and devices of satan, without being overthrown, unless he had been previously benefitted [benefited]
with a certain round of experience: and had our brother obtained the record the first time, not knowing how to detect the works of darkness, he might have been deprived of the blessing of sending forth the word of truth to this generation. Therefore, God knowing that satan would thus lead his mind astray, began at that early hour, that when the full time should arrive, he might have a servant prepared to fulfil [fulfill] his purpose. So, however afflicting to his feelings this repulse might have been, he had reason to rejoice before the Lord and be thankful for the favors and mercies shown; that whatever other instruction was necessary to the accomplishing this great work, he had learned, by experience, how to discern between the spirit of Christ and the spirit of the devil.
From this time to September, 1827, few occurrences worthy of note, transpired. As a fact to be expected, nothing of importance could be recorded concerning a generation in darkness.-In the mean time our brother of whom I have been speaking, passed the time as others, in laboring for his support. But in consequence of certain false and slanderous reports which have been circulated, justice would require me to say something upon the private life of one whose character has been so shamefully traduced. By some he is said to have been a lazy, idle, vicious, profligate fellow. These I am prepared to contradict, and that too by the testimony of many persons with whom I have been intimately acquainted, and know to be individuals of the strictest veracity, and unquestionable integrity. All these strictly and virtually agree in saying, that he was an honest, upright, virtuous, and faithfully industrious young man. And those who say to the contrary can be influenced by no other motive than to destroy the reputation of one who never injured any man in either property or person.
While young, I have been informed he was afflicted with sickness; but I have been told by those for whom he has labored, that he was a young man of truth and industrious habits. And I will add further that it is my conviction, if he never had been called to the exalted station in which he now occupies, he might have passed down the stream of time with ease and in respectability, without the foul and hellish tongue of slander ever being employed against him. It is no more than to be expected, I admit, that men of corrupt hearts will try to traduce his character and put a spot upon his name: indeed, this is according to the word of the angel; but this does not prohibit one from speaking freely of his merits, and contradicting those falsehoods-I feel myself bound so to do, and I know that my testimony, on this matter, will be received and believed while those who testify to the contrary are crumbled to dust, and their words swept away in the general mass of lies when God shall purify the earth!
Connected with this, is the character of the family: and on this I say as I said concerning the character of our brother -I feel myself bound to defend the innocent always when opportunity offers. Had not those who are notorious for lies and dishonesty, also assailed the character of the family I should pass over them here in silence; but now I shall not forbear. It has been industriously circulated that they were dishonest, deceitful and vile. On this I have the testimony of responsible persons, who have said and will say, that this is basely false; and besides, a personal acquaintance for seven years, has demonstrated that all the difficulty is, they were once poor, (yet industrious,) and have now, by the help of God, arisen to note, and their names are like to, (indeed they will,) be handed down to posterity, and had among the righteous.-They are industrious honest, virtuous and liberal to all. This is their character; and though many take advantage of their liberality, God will reward them; but this is the fact, and this testimony shall shine upon the records of the saints, and be recorded on the archives of heaven to be read in the day of eternity, when the wicked and perverse, who have vilely slandered them without cause or provocation, reap their reward with the unjust, where there is weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth!-if they do not repent.
Soon after this visit to Cumorah, a gentleman from the south part of the State, (Chenango County,) employed our brother as a common laborer, and accordingly he visited that section of the country; and had he not been accused of digging down all, or nearly so, the mountains of Susquehannah, or
causing others to do it by some art of nicromancy, I should leave this, for the present, unnoticed. You will remember, in the mean time, that those who seek to vilify his character, say that he has always been notorious for his idleness. This gentleman, whose name is Stowel, resided in the town of Bainbridge, on or near the head waters of the Susquehannah river. Some forty miles south, or down the river, in the town of Harmony, Susquehannah county, Pa. is said to be a cave or subterraneous recess, whether entirely formed by art or not I am uninformed, neither does this matter; but such is said to be the case,-when a company of Spaniards, a long time since, when the country was uninhabited by white settlers, excavated from the bowels of the earth ore, and coined a large quantity of money; after which they secured the cavity and evacuated, leaving a part still in the cave, purposing to re-turn at some distant period. A long time elapsed and this account came from one of the individuals who was first engaged in this mining business. The country was pointed out and the spot minutely described. This, I believe, is the substance, so far as my memory serves, though I shall not pledge my veracity for the correctness of the account as I have given.-Enough however, was credited of the Spaniard's story, to excite the belief of many that there was a fine sum of the precious metal being coined in this subterraneous vault, among whom was our employer; and accordingly our brother was required to spend a few months with some others in excavating the earth, in pursuit of this treasure.
While employed here he became acquainted with the family of Isaac Hale, of whom you read in several of the productions of those who have sought to destroy the validity of the book of Mormon. It may be necessary hereafter, to refer you more particularly to the conduct of this family, as their influence has been considerably exerted to destroy the reputation of our brother, probably because he married a daughter of the same contrary to some of their wishes, and in connection with this to certain statements of some others of the inhabitants of that section of country. But in saying this I do not wish to be understood as uttering aught against Mrs. Smith, (formerly Emma Hale.) She has most certainly evinced a decidedly correct mind and uncommon ability of talent and judgement [judgment], in a manifest willingness to fulfil [fulfill], on her part, that passage in sacred writ,-"and they twain shall be one flesh."-by accompanying her husband, against the wishes and advice of her relatives, to a land of strangers: and however I may deprecate their actions, can say in justice, her character stands as fair for morality, piety and virtue, as any in the world. Though you may say, this is a digression from the subject proposed, I trust I shall be indulged, for the purpose of satisfying many, who have heard so many slanderous reports that they are lead to believe them true because they are not contradicted; and besides, this generation are determined to oppose every item in the form or under the pretence [pretense] of revelation, unless it comes through a man who has always been more pure than Michael the great prince; and as this is the fact, and my opposers have put me to the necessity, I shall be more prolix, and have no doubt, before I give up the point, shall prove to your satisfaction, and to that of every man, that the translator of the book of Mormon is worthy the appellation of a seer and a prophet of the Lord. In this I do not pretend that he is not a man subject to passion like other men, beset with infirmities and encompassed with weaknesses; but if he is, all men were so before him, and a pretence [pretense] to the contrary would argue a more than mortal, which would at once destroy the whole system of the religion of the Lord Jesus; for he anciently chose the weak to overcome the strong, the foolish to confound the wise, (I mean considered so by this world,) and by the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe.
On the private character of our brother I need add nothing further, at present, previous to his obtaining the records of the Nephites, only that while in that country, some very officious person complained of him as a disorderly person, and brought him before the authorities of the country; but there being no cause of action he was honorably acquited [acquitted]. From this time forward he continued to receive instructions concerning the coming forth of the fulness [fullness] of the gospel, from the mouth of the heavenly messenger, un-
til he was directed to visit again the place where the records was deposited.
For the present I close, with a thankful heart that I am permitted to see thousands rejoicjng [rejoicing] in the assurance of the promises of the Lord, confirmed unto them through the obedience of the everlasting covenant.
As ever your brother in the Lord Jesus.
To W. W. Phelps
Messenger and Advocate
KIRTLAND, OHIO, OCTOBER, 1835.
No. 1. Vol. 2.
As man is not always heard for his much speaking, we shall only say in this article, that our intentions are to labor faithfully in the great cause of our blessed Savior, that many souls may be brought to the knowledge of the truth and saved in the celestial kingdom; that the saints may have a portion of meat in due season, and be enabled to overcome the world, and its vanities, and prepare themselves for the blessings which shall come after much tribulation.
It is very desirable that the official members of the churches abroad, should forward all the information they may have, relative to the spread of the truth; the number of members in each branch; the additions from time to time; their growth in grace; their daily walk, and standing, and whatever else that may be of service to the cause: that we may all be edified of all, till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
We have long looked upon this subject with feelings of pleasure, while in secret musing upon the things of God, and contemplating upon his marvelous works. When the influences of his Spirit were shed forth and quickened our understanding and enlightened our minds, like the dew drops of the morning quickens and enlivens the herb of the field; or as the rays of the sun when he appears at the approach of the day spreads his lucid rays over the creation of God.
We read Matthew 6:6, which says: "Thou, when thou prayest enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."
When we take into consideration this subject, it brings many ideas to our minds that cannot be penned. We look at the teachings of the Savior of mankind, and find that he gave very interesting instruction; when speaking of secret prayer he says: "When thou prayest enter thou into thy closet," &c. This passage gives us an idea that we should go to some secluded place, and pray to our Father who seeth in secret, and he will reward us openly. We understand by this that God seeth in secret, and what we ask in secret, if we ask according to his will, we shall realize openly.
We are at a loss to conjecture how the idea got into the hearts of men, and more especially those who call themselves saints; to suppose that they were in secret, and prayed in secret, when the hills and valleys, or woods and plains; were ringing with the reverberation of their voices. They would not need Elijah the prophet to tell them to call louder: for if their god had gone a journey; he could not help but hear them. In these matters we are not mistaken: for what we have seen with our eyes and heard with our ears, that we know of a surety.
We would advise the saints to read and practice the sixth chapter of Matthew, it is so full of instruction, that we cannot pass over it without inviting
our friends and patrons to read it, at some of their leisure hours. And if they will, and pay strict attention to it we are inclined to think that we shall not hereafter lay a subject of this kind before them.
The Savior says: "When thou prayest thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues, and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward."
Duty calls upon us again, to state to our brethren and friends, (notwithstanding it is a painful task,) to say that a multiplicity of business, absence of some of our hands and the illness of others, are some of the causes why the Messenger and Advocate is again delayed beyond its usual time of publication. We hope that in time to come, we shall be able to issue each number in the time and season thereof. Notwithstanding our many embarrassments, we are laboring day and night to bring about and accomplish the work which is committed to us, through the dispensation of the new and everlasting covenant, which has come forth in these last days through the merits and mercies of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: and the prayers of the saints from Adam to Enoch, from Enoch to Noah, from Noah to Abraham, from Abraham to Isaac, from Isaac to Jacob, from Jacob to Elijah, from Elijah to John, and from him until the church fled into the wilderness: and also from Lehi to Nephi, from Nephi to Alma, from Alma to Leghi [Lehi], from Leghi [Lehi] to Mormon and from Mormon to Maroni [Moroni], who have all prayed that the time might come, that Israel should be gathered and dwell on the earth for a season, when "Righteousness should cover the earth, as the waters do the great deep." They prayed in faith too, and prophesied of it, and sang praises to God and the Lamb, for his goodness and mercy which endureth forever.
SEE TO IT.
—> All persons indebted for the Messenger and Advocate, are requested to make PAYMENT.
THE RECORD OF THE NEPHITES.
Tuesday morning, }
September 22, 1835. }
On the morning of the 22d of September, 1827, the angel of the Lord delivered the record of the Nephites to Joseph Smith, jr. This opening a new era, as it were, the mind runs, with the rapidity of lightning, over the history of the eight past years, and views with wonder the hand of God in its dealings with men, in that thousands and tens of thousands have since heard the contents of that volume which then remained locked up from the eyes and knowledge of the nations of the earth.
The book has been translated, tho' its translator was driven from his native land, to do the same, by the hand of wicked and designing men, and those too who professed the religion of heaven, or were instigated so to do, by such; it has been printed, though many sought to keep it from the public eye, and actually stole a part, which was, however, supplied from the writings of another; a few embraced its truths; yielded obedience to the gospel, and tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come; many of the elders of Christ's church have since been commissioned and sent forth over this vast Republic, from river to river, and from valley to valley, till the vast sunny plains of Missouri, the frozen regions of Canada, and the eastern Maine, with the summer States of the South, have been saluted with the sound of the voice of those who go forth for the last time to say to Israel, Prepare for the coming of thy King!
Wonderful to tell! Amid the frowns of bigots, the sneers of hypocrites, the scoffs of the foolish, the calumny of slanderers, the ridicule of the vain and the popular prejudice of a people estranged from God, urged on to deeds of villainy by the priests of Baal, the word has been proclaimed with success, and thousands are now enjoying the benign influence of the love of God shed forth by the Comforter upon the pure in heart!
Nor has the sound been confined alone to our shores: Europe has heard that the great King was doing wonders for us, and the eyes of many are now anxiously turned to behold the rising spreading glory of the church of the Latter Day Saints, in the new world: in that world, though vast its forests
and broad its rivers, where but a few centuries ago the roaming red man chased the buffalo, the elk & the bounding deer unmolested and alone, now subdued, the Father of mercies has lifted to the nations of the earth a standard, has raised up, to the gaze of the world, an ensign, has caused his voice to be heard, has shown to his faithful ones that Israel is about to be gathered, the indignation toward the Jews is also to cease, and that he will soon bring the house of Jacob from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, the blind, the lame, the aged and the suckling, that they may sing in the height of Zion, and flow together to the goodness of the Lord!
Prepare your hearts, O ye saints of the Most High, for great things await you! Hasten ye, hasten ye, to the places of gathering, for after a little the indignation of the Lord will cease toward those who are called by his name, and when his arm must fall upon the wicked. His sword is bathed in heaven, and must fall upon Idumea, and who can stand amid the crash and fall of empires?
Sanctify yourselves, O ye servants of the Lord, for much is required at your hands: the blood of souls will cry against you except you hasten on your mission: yes, let all raise their warning voice, in meekness and in mildness, for soon will there be a famine for the word of God. Listen, O ye elders, for soon the voice from distant lands will salute you,—Come over and help us! Think, for a moment, on the millions in your own land who are destitute of the word of life; think also on the vast multitudes whose thoughts never reached our shores, who are now perishing for lack of vision, and bowing to idols; think of the numberless islands where darkness and the shadow of death prevail, whose waters never covered a soul for the remission of sins, & whose groves, though spicy, were never saluted with the voice of one who proclaimed life and immortality through the power of a risen Savior!
Should one ask, what has been done during these eight years, of which you speak? I would say, the first two and a half only translated and printed the record, and organized the church with six members! and the fruit of the labor of five and a half are so great that the hearts of thousands are astonished; the vail of superstition has been rent from the minds of man; the church increased to thousands; the list of elders multiplied to hundreds; the deaf have heard the words of the book; the eyes of the blind have seen out of obscurity and out of darkness; the meek have increased, (for their joy is in the Lord,) the poor among men rejoice in the Holy One of Israel; many that erred in spirit have come to understanding, while others that murmured have learned doctrine.
Kirtland, Ohio, October, 1835.
Through the Medium of the Messenger and Advocate, we wish to lay before your readers, our friends and brethren, certain items relative to our mission the past summer. We were chosen pursuant to a commandment of the Lord, which was received through him whom he had appointed by the voice of the angel of God, and acknowledged by the Latter Day Saints, in that appointment, given June 1829, which may be found on page 173, in the book of covenants, published in Kirtland, Ohio—which reads as follows:—
"And now behold, there are others who are called to declare my gospel, both unto Gentile and unto Jew, yea, even twelve: and the twelve shall be my disciples, and they shall take upon them my name: and the twelve are they who shall desire to take upon them my name, with full purpose of heart: and if they desire to take upon them my name with full purpose of heart, they are called to go into all the world to preach my gospel unto every creature: and they are they who are ordained of me to baptize in my name, according to that which is written; and you have that which is written before you: wherefore you must perform it according to the words which are written. And now I speak unto the twelve: Behold my grace is sufficient for you: You must walk uprightly before me and sin not. And behold you are they who are ordained of me to ordain priests and teachers to declare my gospel, according to the power of the Holy Ghost which is in you, and according to the callings and gifts of God unto men: and I Jesus Christ, your Lord and Your God, have spoken it. These words are not of men, nor of man, but of me; wherefore you shall testify they are of me, and not of man; for it is my voice which speaketh them unto you: for they are given by my Spirit unto you: and by my power you can read them one to another; and save it were by my power, you could not have them: wherefore you can testify that you have heard my voice, and know my words.
And now behold I give unto you, Oliver Cowdery, and also unto David Whitmer, that you shall search out the twelve who shall
have the desire of which I have spoken: and by their desires and their works, you shall know them: and when you have found them you shall show these things unto them. And you shall fall down and worship the Father in my name: and you must preach unto the world saying, you must repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ: for all men must repent and be baptized: and not only men, but women and children, who have arriven to the years of accountability.
And now, after that you have received this, you must keep my commandments in all things: and by your hands I will work a marvelous work among the children of men, unto the convincing of many of their sins, that they may come unto repentance: and that they may come unto the kingdom of my Father: wherefore the blessings which I give unto you, are above all things. And after that you have received this, if you keep not my commandments, you cannot be saved in the kingdom of my Father. Behold I Jesus Christ your Lord and your God, and your Redeemer, by the power of my Spirit, have spoken it. Amen.”
After being set apart to this holy and responsible office by those whom God had appointed for that purpose, it was thought advisable that we should take our first tour from this place easterly; consequently we made appointments for conferences in the vicinity of the several branches of the church between this and the Atlantic, as was published in the March No. of your paper. In order to fulfill these appointments, we, on the 4th of May, left the pleasant and agreeable society of our brethren in Kirtland with whom we had enjoyed many cheering and interesting seasons, and proceeded to fill our mission. Your readers will perceive from the preceding quotation, from the book of Covenants, the important relation which we sustain to this generation.—Feeling as we did the importance of the great cause of our Redeemer, the welfare of the human family, and the salvation of our own souls, we could say with one of old, "We conferred not with flesh and blood," but counted all earthly things as dross, so that we might do the will of God, & thro' Christ save the souls of the children of men.
Our first labors, were in the State of New York, in which we continued about two months, and attended four conferences. Our exertions were crowned with as good success as we could reasonable expect, considering the prejudices of the people, created by false and ridiculous statements, put in circulation by those who were first favored with the proclamation of the fulness of the everlasting gospel, contained in the book of Mormon: we had good reason to believe, that all the candid enquirers after truth, realized the force of the Savior's expression "A prophet is not without honor save in his own country." By our teaching and exhortations, the several branches of the church were strengthened and members were added; and of such, too, we hope, as will be saved.
Thence we passed into Upper Canada and attended a conference on the 29th of June, not far from the source of the majestic St. Lawrence. Notwithstanding we had passed from the happy institution of our free republic into another realm, yet we could with propriety adopt the words of the presiding apostle and say, "God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation he that feareth God and worketh righteousness, is accepted of him:" for here we found a branch of the Saints who not only received us cordially, but also received our teachings with joy of heart. Some were added here also, by baptism, whom we expect to meet on the glorious morn of that day, when the dead in Christ shall rise and live.—May God grant that they may all be preserved, gathered to Zion and saved in the celestial kingdom.
After testifying to many people in these regions, of those things which we know and most assuredly believe, we left the brethren much encouraged and pursued our course easterly, calling upon the inhabitants publicly, and from house to house, to repent and prepare for the day of wrath, which will overtake this generation as a thief in the night; and for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is nigh at hand.
Our next conference was held in St. Johnsbury, the north eastern part of Vermont, where we found many of the Saints, with whom we had a pleasant season of rejoicing, and whose memory is fixed indelibly upon our heart, because of their firm faith, and also their liberality in the support of the gospel. Our public meeting was attended by a multitude of various classes, and orders, who generally gave good attention to the proclamation of the everlasting gospel of the Son of God. Intense anxiety seemed to seize the minds of all the candid and honest in heart, and the Lord gave us souls who were added to the number of the Saints, as seals of our ministry.
Before the benign influence of the principles, held by the Latter Day Saints, prejudice, prepossessed opinions, and priestcraft seemed to vanish—like the misty vapors of the morning fog before the refulgent beams of the meridian sun. We are well aware that we as a people have been much misrepresented, the vile tongue of calumny has been busily employed in pouring out her filth upon us, ever since we have had an existence; from east to west the sound has gone forth, "delusion!" "delusion!" and here, wo[e]ful to adopt the language, in part, of a writer of Illinois, and say, "that even New England with all the flood of light, pouring from the schools, and numerous literary institutions, is not a bulwark sufficient to withstand the predominating influence of the power of truth, when the Lord himself sends forth his servants at the eleventh hour, to prune his vineyard for the last time." Nay, verily New England has produced her scores of Latter Day Saints,—the work is still progressing, and shall continue until her wheat is all secured in the granary and store—house of the Lord, while the tares are left to be bound in bundles, by priestcraft and superstition, to await that gloomy evening, when the Lord shall call to all the fowls of heaven, and all the beasts of the earth, to gather together to partake of the great supper of God Almighty.
At the close of our meeting here, the twelve separated, traveling in various directions, lifting up the standard of truth, and proclaiming salvation to both old and young, rich and poor, until we arrived in Bradford, Mss. where we held our next conference. There were but few brethren in this region, yet we found them seeking to become liberated from their temporal encumbrances, that when the Lord shall say, "to your tents O Israel!" they might have nothing to impede their course in gathering with the Saints to the place of deliverance, which has been pointed out by the finger of God. We also found some in this place, who had not united themselves to the church, who entertained us very kindly, and "bade us God speed." And we assure them that they are not forgotten by us, and may the Lord, who is rich in mercy, bestow his choicest blessings upon this little society, on account of their generosity towards his servants.
From this place some of our number visited the city of Boston, and held forth to that people this important truth, that the Son of Man will appear in this generation, calling upon them to repent and prepare for the day, when the Lord shall cause the foundations of the earth to shake, and his glory eclipse all the bright luminaries of day and night. Here we found a few disciples whose hearts were noble indeed, and who were not ashamed to own the truth in the midst of the opulence and splendor of that city—the queen of the east.
Our next was held in Saco, Me.—where we found many Saints striving to live according to the law of the celestial kingdom, and this they manifested by their works, which are had in remembrance before the Lord and by those who visited them.
Our last conference was held in Farmington, Maine. In this place, as well as in all others, where we had labored, we failed not to instruct the Saints in plainness, in all those matters relative to their present and eternal well—being. May the Lord enable them to remember our words and forget them not, and not only remember them, but hasten to put them in practice, and may the Lord richly reward those who assisted us with means to return to the west; and also the saints and friends in whose hospitality we have shared so freely.—We say brethren, you have our grateful acknowledgements with the assurance that you are remembered in our prayers, at the throne of grace.
The nature of our mission to the east was peculiar, and required us to spend most of our time among the various branches of the church; however, as we had opportunity we proclaimed the gospel in every place where there was an opening, and truly there is an effectual door opened for good and faithful laborers among the intelligent and liberal people of the east.
To close, we would say to our brethren and friends that our journey to this place was prosperous, we arrived in health and found general health prevailing in this section, and also found that the house of the Lord, now in building here, had prospered beyond our expectation, for all which blessings before named, we render to our heavenly
Father, in the name of Jesus, our sincere and hearty thanks, earnestly praying that we may all meet, if not before, in that glorious morning of the resurrection of the just.
By order of the twelve.
ORSON HYDE, }
Wm. E. MCLELLIN, }Clerks
To J. WHITMER Esq.
THE HOUSE OF THE LORD.
We are glad to learn, that the building Committee have determined, if possible, to finish the house of the Lord this winter. The lower story is already in such a state of forwardness, as to induce us to say, that it can soon be completed for meetings. In order, however, to finish so large an house, in so short a time, it is necessary that the churches abroad, as Paul says in his vision, should "come over into Macedonia, and help us" with their substance, and prayers.
The Committee have instructed us to call upon the saints abroad, such as to mean to assist, and such especially as have promised to subscribe, and assist in building the house, and say to them, Now is the time to do good, and fulfil your promises. Those who have subscribed are earnestly requested to pay the amount of their subscriptions as soon as they reasonably can. Thus the Committee may do unto others, as they wish others to do unto them.
Every one that wishes to spread the everlasting gospel; every one that wishes well to his fellow—beings; every one that wishes to have the elders instructed more perfectly in theory, doctrine and principle; and every one that wishes an house built where the Latter Day Saints can worship the Lord in spirit and in truth, have now an invitation to cast in their mites, for that purpose, and receive their reward hereafter, in that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Letters and Obituaries
Letter from Peter Dustin (Oct. 21, 1835)
Kirtland, Oct. 21, 1835.
I left this place the 11th of June, to fill a mission in the province of Upper Canada by way of Buffalo, from thence to Mount Pleasant, and from thence to Malahide, U. C. I have succeeded in establishing a church there, which is composed of 32 members. They are young and unacquainted with the devices of the adversary, whose aim and business is, if possible, to make them miserable. Brethren, pray for them, that they may continue and not be moved in the hour of temptation. It is evident that all must be tried and purified before they are fit for the Master's use.
There, as in all other places, when the people or the meek began to embrace the truth, the enemy raged and the meek rejoiced in the midst of all the slanderous reports. I stayed there about two months: one month baptizing and laboring publicly, and from house to house, and the remainder of the time I spent in teaching them the pure daily walk, with a strict compliance with the commandments, and the necessity of keeping them that they might be disciples of Jesus in very deed. I held up the truth, and defended its cause in all places and circumstances, according to the ability which my heavenly Father gave me.
Yours in the bonds of
the new covenant.
To J. WHITMER, Esq.
Letter from L. T. Coons (Nov. 6, 1835)
Kirtland, Nov. 6, 1835.
I embrace this opportunity, of informing you of the success which I had in establishing a few branches in addition to this church.
I left Kirtland the 16th of July in company with elder T. Burdick. We journied together as far as Jamestown, N. Y. and proclaimed glad tidings of great joy to the inhabitants, whenever we could get a congregation convened. From this place I journied alone as far east as Smyrna, Chenango Co. N. Y. where I preached about three weeks; and baptized three, and left many more believing. From thence I pursued my journey to Amity, Alleghany Co. N. Y. Here I labored eleven days and baptized fifteen. They are firm believers in the new and everlasting covenant.—Brethren pray for them. They desire that the elders should call on them whenever it is convenient, and assist them in the way to perfection.
L. T. COONS.
To J. WHITMER, Esq.
DIED—In Liberty, Clay Co. Mo. on the 6th ult. br. Garret H. Schenk, after a protracted and painful illness of fifteen months.
In Clay Co. Mo. on the 6th of September last, Mrs. MARY WEST, consort
of Elder Nathan West, after an illness of about eight days, aged—. Sister West embraced the new and everlasting covenant in 1831, and has been a firm believer in the work of the Lord ever since; she died having obtained a bright hope of a glorious resurrection—her death was sweet unto her.
Letter from Noah Packard (Nov. 7, 1835)
Kirtland, Nov. 7, 1835.
I left Kirtland on the 27th of May last, and after a quick passage arrived at Buffalo. I travelled preaching occasionally by the way, visiting the church of Genesee. From thence to McDonough, Chenango county; this church has never been represented in conference. There have been about 30 baptized in this place. Some have moved away, and three or four have fallen off; and twelve or fourteen remain. They stand in need of having the word of life dispensed to them. From this place I proceeded to Davenport, Scoharrie co. where I labored some and baptized one. From thence to Dutches co. N. Y. And from thence to Hampshire co. Mss. I labored at Cummington and Plainfield about six weeks; also visited the church at Wendall, Franklin co. and found them strong in the faith.
Whilst addressing a public congregation at Plainfield, on the subject of the gospel, violent hands were laid upon me by wicked and ungodly men, and this for the truth's sake. I however succeeded in establishing the standard of the everlasting gospel, in that place I baptized three and left many inclined to receive the truth. I hereby inform the elders who are journeying in the east that they are invited to visit those places, if consistent with their time and circumstances. Yours &c.
JOHN WHITMER Esq.
Now we'll sing with one accord,
For a prophet of the Lord,
Bringing forth his precious word,
Cheers the saints as anciently.
When the world in darkness lay,
Lo, he sought the better way,
And he heard the Savior say,
"Go and prune my vineyard, son!"
And an angel surely, then,
For a blessing unto men,
Brought the priesthood back again,
In its eminent purity.
Even Joseph he inspires:
Yea, his heart he truly fires.
With the light that he desires
For the work of righteousness.
And the book of Mormon true,
With its cov'nant ever new,
For the Gentile and the Jew,
He translated secretly.
The commandments to the church,
Which the saints will always search,
(Where the joys of heaven perch,)
Came through him from Jesus Christ.
Precious are his years to come.
While the righteous gather home,
For the great Millenium.
Where he'll rest in blessedness.
Prudent in this world of woes,
He will triumph o'er his foes,
While the realm of Zion grows
Purer for eternity.
Composed on the going down of the sun on the last day of summer, 1835.
The sun that declines in the far western sky,
Has rolled o'er our heads till the summer's gone by;
And hush'd are the notes of the warblers of spring
That in the green bow'r did exultingly sing.
The changes for autumn already appear.
A harvest of plenty has crown'd the glad year;
While so't smiling a phyrs, our fancies to please.
Bring odors of joy from the laden fruit trees.
As the summer of youth passes swiftly along,
And silvery locks soon our temples adorn:
So the fair smiling landscape and flowery lawn,
Though lost is their beauty their glory has come:
O when the sweet summer of life shall have fled,
Her joys and her sorrows entomb'd with the dead,
Then may we by faith like good Enoch arise,
And be crown'd with the just in the midst of the skies.
Descend with the Savior in glory profound,
And reign in perfection when satan is bound;
While love and sweet union together shall blend
And peace, gentle peace, like a river extend.
-> Elder Mahon Holmes is requested to come to Kirtland.
|THE LATTER DAY SAINTS'|
|Messenger and Advocate,|
|IS EDITED BY|
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