FairMormon is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing well-documented answers to criticisms of LDS doctrine, belief, and practice.
Messenger and Advocate/2/3
Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate: Volume 2, Number 3
Summary:Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: Messenger and Advocate Vol. 2
|Number 2||Number 4|
Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate: Volume 2, Number 3
|LATTER DAY SAINTS'|
|MESSENGER AND ADVOCATE|
|Volume II. No. 3.]||KIRTLAND, OHIO, DECEMBER, 1835.||[Whole No. 15.|
To the Elders of the Church of the Latter Day Saints.
I have shown unto you, in my last, that there are two Jerusalems spoken of in holy writ, in a manner I think satisfactorily to your minds. At any rate I have given my views upon the subject. I shall now proceed to make some remarks from the sayings of the Savior, recorded in the 13th chapter of his gospel according to St. Matthew, which in my mind affords us as clear an understanding, upon the important subject of the gathering, as any thing recorded in the bible. At the time the Savior spoke these beautiful sayings and parables, contained in the chapter above quoted, we find him seated in a ship, on the account of the multitude that pressed upon him to hear his words, and he commenced teaching them by saying: "Behold a sower went forth to sow, and when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up; some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth, and forthwith they sprang up because they had no deepness of earth, and when the sun was up, they were scorched, and because they had not root they withered away; and some fell among thorns and the thorns sprang up and choked them; but other, fell into good ground and brought forth fruit, some an hundred fold, some sixty fold, some thirty fold: who hath ears to hear let him hear. And the disciples came and said unto him, why speakest thou unto them in parables, (I would remark here, that the "them," made use of, in this interrogation, is a personal pronoun and refers to the multitude,) he answered and said unto them, (that is the disciples,) it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but unto them (that is unbelievers) it is not given, for whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance; but whosoever hath not, shall be taken away, even that he hath."
We understand from this saying, that those who had previously been looking for a Messiah to come, according to the testimony of the Prophets, and were then, at that time, looking for a Messiah, but had not sufficient light on the account of their unbelief, to discern him to be their Savior; and he being the true Messiah, consequently they must be disappointed and lose even all the knowledge, or have taken away from them, all the light, understanding and faith, which they had upon this subject; therefore he that will not receive the greater light, must have taken away from him, all the light which he hath. And if the light which is in you, become darkness, behold how great is that darkness? Therefore says the Savior, speak I unto them in parables, because they, seeing, see not; and hearing, they hear not; neither do they understand: and in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esias, which saith: by hearing ye shall hear and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see and not perceive.
Now we discover, that the very reasons assigned by this prophet, why they would not receive the Messiah, was, because they did or would not understand; and seeing they did not perceive: for this people's heart is waxed gross; their ears are dull of hearing; their eyes they have closed, lest at any time, they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and should be converted and I should heal them.
But what saith he to his disciples: Blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear; for verily I say nnto [unto] you, that many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
We again make a remark here, for we find that the very principles upon which the disciples were accounted blessed, was because they were permitted to see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and the condemnation which rested upon the multitude, which received not his saying, was because they were not willing to see with their eyes and hear with their ears; not because they could not and were not privileged to see, and hear, but because their hearts were full of iniquity and abomi-
nation: as your fathers did so do ye.—The prophet foreseeing that they would thus harden their hearts plainly declared it; and herein is the condemnation of the world, that light hath come into the world, and men choose darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil: This is so plainly taught by the Savior, that a wayfaring man need not mistake it.
And again hear ye the parable of the sower: Men are in the habit, when the truth is exhibited by the servants of God, of saying, all is mystery, they are spoken in parables, and, therefore, are not to be understood, it is true they have eyes to see, and see not; but none are so blind as those who will not see: And although the Savior spoke this parable to such characters, yet unto his disciples he expounded it plainly; and we have reason to be truly humble before the God of our fathers, that he hath left these things on record for us, so plain, that, notwithstanding the exertions and combined influence of the priests of Baal, they have not power to blind our eyes and darken our understanding, if we will but open our eyes and read with candor, for a moment. But listen to the explanation of the parable: when any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. Now mark the expression; that which was before sown in his heart; this is he which received seed by the way side; men who have no principle of righteousness in themselves, and whose hearts are full of iniquity, and who have no desire for the principles of truth, do not understand the word of truth, when they hear it.—The devil taketh away the word of truth out of their hearts, because there is no desire for righteousness in them. But he that received the seed into stony places the same is he that heareth the word and, anon, with joy receiveth it, yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for awhile; for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that receiveth the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful: but he that received seed into the good ground, is he that heareth the word and understandeth it which also beareth fruit and bringeth forth some an hundred fold, some sixty, some thirty. Thus the Savior himself explains unto his disciples the parable, which he put forth and left no mystery or darkness upon the minds of those who firmly believe on his words.
We draw the conclusion then, that the very reason why the multitude, or the world, as they were designated by the Savior, did not receive an explanation upon his parables, was, because of unbelief. To you, he says, (speaking to his disciples) it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: and why? because of the faith and confidence which they had in him. This parable was spoken to demonstrate the effects that are produced by the preaching of the word; and we believe that it has an allusion directly, to the commencement, or the setting up of the kingdom in that age: therefore, we shall continue to trace his sayings concerning this kingdom from that time forth, even unto the end of the world.
Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, (which parable has an allusion to the setting up of the kingdom, in that age of the world also) the kingdom of Heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field, but while men slept an enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way; but when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also; so the servants of the householder came and said unto him, sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, an enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him wilt thou then that we go and gather them up; but he said nay, lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.—Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the time of harvest, I will say to the reapers, gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles, to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn.
Now we learn by this parable, not only the setting up of the kingdom in the days of the Savior, which is represented by the good seed, which produced fruit, but also the corruptions of the church, which is represented by the tares, which were sown by the enemy, which his disciples would fain
have plucked up, or cleansed the church of, if their views had been favored by the Savior; but he, knowing all things, says not so; as much as to say, your views are not correct, the church is in its infancy, and if you take this rash step, you will destroy the wheat or the church with the tares: therefore it is better to let them grow together until the harvest, or the end of the world, which means the destruction of the wicked; which is not yet fulfilled; as we shall show hereafter, in the Savior's explanation of the parable, which is so plain, that there is no room left for dubiety upon the mind, notwithstanding the cry of the priests, parables, parables! figures, figures! mystery, mystery! all is mystery! but we find no room for doubt here, as the parables were all plainly elucidated.
And again, another parable put he forth unto them, having an allusion to the kingdom which should be set up, just previous or at the time of harvest, which reads as follows:—The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all seeds, but when it is grown it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. Now we can discover plainly, that this figure is given to represent the church as it shall come forth in the last days. Behold the kingdom of heaven is likened unto it. Now what is like unto it?
Let us take the book of Mormon, which a man took and hid in his field; securing it by his faith, to spring up in the last days, or in due time: let us behold it coming forth out of the ground, which is indeed accounted the least of all seeds, but behold it branching forth; yea, even towering, with lofty branches, and God—like majesty, until it becomes the greatest of all herbs: and it is truth, and it has sprouted and come forth out of the earth; and righteousness begins to look down from heaven; and God is sending down his powers gifts and angels, to lodge in the branches thereof: The kingdom of heaven is like unto a mustard seed. Behold, then, is not this the kingdom of heaven that is raising its head in the last days, in the majesty of its God; even the church of the Latter day saints,—like an impenetrable, immovable rock in the midst of the mighty deep, exposed storms and tempests of satan, but has, thus far, remained steadfast and is still braving the mountain waves of opposition, which are driven by the tempestuous winds of sinking crafts, have and are still dashing with tremendous foam, across its triumphing brow, urged onward with redoubled fury by the enemy of righteousness, with his pitchfork of lies, as you will see fairly represented in a cut, contained in Mr. Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled?"
And we hope that this adversary of truth will continue to stir up the sink of iniquity, that people may the more readily discern between the righteous and wicked. We also would notice one of the modern sons of Seeva, who would fain have made people believe that he could cast out devils by a certain pamphlet (viz. the "Millen[n]ial Harbinger,") that went the rounds through our country, who felt so fully authorized to brand Jo Smith, with the appellation of Elymus the sorcerer, and to say with Paul, O full of all subtilty [subtlety] and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord! We would reply to this gentleman—Paul we know, and Christ we know, but who are ye? And with the best of feelings, we would say to him, in the language of Paul to those who said they were John's disciples, but had not so much as heard there was a Holy Ghost, to repent and be baptised for the remission of sins by those who have legal authority, and under their hands you shall receive the Holy Ghost, according to the scriptures.
Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.—Acts ch. 8 v. 17.
And, when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.—Acts ch. 19 v. 6.
Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.—Heb. ch, 6 v. 2.
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed; and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!—Rom. ch. 10, v. 14—15.
But if this man will not take our admonition, but will persist in his wicked course, we hope that he will continue trying to cast out devils, that we may
have the clearer proof that the kingdom of satan is divided against itself, and consequently cannot stand: for a kingdom divided against itself, speedily hath an end. If we were disposed to take this gentleman upon his own ground and justly heap upon him that which he so readily and unjustly heaps upon others, we might go farther; we might say that he has wickedly and maliciously lied about, vilified and traduced the characters of innocent men. We might invite the gentleman to a public investigation of these matters; yea, and we do challenge him to an investigation upon any or all principles wherein he feels opposed to us, in public or in private.
We might farther say that, we could introduce him to "Mormonism Unveiled." Also to the right honorable Doct. P. Hurlburt, who is the legitimate author of the same, who is not so much a doctor of physic, as of falsehood, or by name. We could also give him an introduction to the reverend Mr. Howe, the illegitimate author of "Mormonism Unveiled," in order to give currency to the publication, as Mr. Hurlburt, about this time, was bound over to court, for threatening life. He is also an associate of the celebrated Mr. Clapp, who has of late immortalized his name by swearing that he would not believe a Mormon under oath; and by his polite introduction to said Hurlburt's wife, which cost him (as we have been informed) a round sum. Also his son Mathew testified that, the book of Mormon had been proved false an hundred times, by How[e]'s book: and also, that he would not believe a Mormon under oath. And also we could mention the reverend Mr. Bentley, who, we believe, has been actively engaged in injuring the character of his brother in—law, viz: Elder S. Rigdon.
Now, the above statements are according to our best information: and we believe them to be true; and this is as fair a sample of the doctrine of Campbellism, as we ask, taking the statements of these gentlemen, and judging them by their fruits. And we might add many more to the black catalogue; even the ringleaders, not of the Nazarenes, for how can any good thing come out of Nazareth, but of the far—famed Mentor mob: all sons and legitimate heirs of the same spirit of Alexander Campbell, and "Mormonism Unveiled," according to the representation in the cut spoken of above.
The above cloud of darkness has long been beating with mountain waves upon the immovable rock of the church of the Latter Day Saints, and notwithstanding all this, the mustard seed is still towering its lofty branches, higher and higher, and extending itself wider and wider, and the chariot wheels of the kingdom are still rolling on, impelled by the mighty arm of Jehovah; and in spite of all opposition will still roll on until his words are all fulfilled.
Our readers will excuse us for deviating from the subject, when they take into consideration the abuses, that have been heaped upon us heretofore, which we have tamely submitted to, until forbearance is no longer required at our hands, having frequently turned both the right and left cheek, we believe it our duty now to stand up in our own defence. With these remarks we shall proceed with the subject of the gathering.
And another parable spake he unto them: The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, until the whole was leavened. It may be understood that the church of the Latter Day Saints, has taken its rise from a little leaven that was put into three witnesses. Behold, how much this is like the parable: it is fast leavening the lump, and will soon leaven the whole. But let us pass on.
All these things spake Jesus unto the multitudes, in parables, and without a parable spake he not unto them, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: I will open my mouth in parables: I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world: Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house, and his disciples came unto him, saying, declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. He answered and said unto them, he that soweth the good seed is the son of man; the field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom, but the tares are the children of the wicked one. Now let our readers mark the expression, the field is the world; the tares are the children of the wicked one: the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world. Let them carefully mark this
expression also, the end of the world, and the reapers are the angels. Now men cannot have any possible grounds to say that this is figurative, or that it does not mean what it says; for he is now explaining what he had previously spoken in parables; and according to this language, the end of the world is the destruction of the wicked; the harvest and the end of the world have an allusion directly to the human family in the last days, instead of the earth, as many have imagined, and that which shall precede the coming of the Son of man, and the restitution of all things spoken of by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began; and the angels are to have something to do in this great work, for they are the reapers: as therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this world; that is, as the servants of God go forth warning the nations, both priests and people, and as they harden their hearts and reject the light of the truth, these first being delivered over unto the buffetings of satan, and the law and the testimony being closed up, as it was with the Jews, they are left in darkness, and delivered over unto the day of burning: thus being bound up by their creeds and their bands made strong by their priests, are prepared for the fulfilment of the saying of the Savior: The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire and there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
We understand, that the work of the gathering together of the wheat into barns, or garners, is to take place while the tares are being bound over, and preparing for the day of burning: that after the day of burnings, the righteous shall shine forth like the sun, in the kingdom of their Father: who hath ears to hear let him hear.
But to illustrate more clearly upon this gathering, we have another parable. Again the kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hid in a field, the which when a man hath found, he hideth and for joy thereof, goeth and selleth all that he hath and buyeth that field: for the work after this pattern, see the church of the Latter Day Saints, selling all that they have and gathering themselves together unto a place that they may purchase for an inheritance, that they may be together and bear each other's affliction in the day of calamity.
Again the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man seeking goodly pearls, who when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. For the work of this example, see men travelling to find places for Zion, and her stakes or remnants, who when they find the place for Zion, or the pearl of great prices; straightway sell all that they have and buy it.
Again the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind, which when it was full they drew to shore, and sat down and gathered the good into vessels, and cast the bad away.—For the work of this pattern, behold the seed of Joseph, spreading forth the gospel net, upon the face of the earth, gathering of every kind, that the good may be saved in vessels prepared for that purpose, and the angels will take care of the bad: so shall it be at the end of the world, the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire, and there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Jesus saith unto them, have you understood all these things? they say unto him yea Lord: and we say yea Lord, and well might they say yea Lord, for these things are so plain and so glorious, that every Saint in the last days must respond with a hearty amen to them.
Then said he unto them, therefore every scribe which is instructed into the kingdom of heaven, is like unto a man that is an house holder; which bringeth forth out of his treasure things that are new and old.
For the work of this example, see the book of Mormon, coming forth out of the treasure of the heart; also the covenants given to the Latter Day Saints: also the translation of the bible: thus bringing forth out of the heart, things new and old: thus answering to three measures of meal, undergoing the purifying touch by a revelation of Jesus Christ, and the ministering of angels, who have already commenced this work in the last days, which will answer to the leaven which leavened the whole lump. Amen.
So I close but shall continue the subject in another number.
In the bonds of the new and everlasting covenant.
JOSEPH SMITH, jr.
To J. WHITMER Esq.
THOU SHALT NOT LIE.—Moses.
Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come, but who unto that man by whom the offence cometh!—Jesus Christ.
DEAR BROTHER IN THE NEW COVENANT:—Presuming that the Saints wish to hear what the world says about them as the disciples of our blessed Lord and Savior, I take a little time to give you some published opinions:—to which I shall add such comments as the Spirit may suggest. With my brethren who have labored in furthering the gospel, since this church was established by revelation, I have been employed in my small capacity to assist, and I am well aware, that an opinion is had abroad by many, that, as this church claims to be the genuine church of Christ, so the members of it aught to submit to persecution, and abuse, and slander, and any thing else that the wicked think best to inflict, without redress or mercy: and also, that the elders ought to preach and give a book of Mormon when requested, because the church is a common stock concern.
Now, to give the truth on this matter, let me say, that when a person has struck me on both cheeks, a repetition looks so foreign from the laws of God and man, so contrary to the rules of humanity and justice, that I know of nothing spiritual or temporal that would debar me from self-defence.—As to giving and "common stock" if any candid man or woman, will read the book of Doctrine and Covenants, he or she may undeceive themselves, and learn that the church practices charity for the glory of it: not because some one praises it, and another wants to honor by it.
Touching lying and slandering, I hardly know what to say; the poet has said:
"He that steals my purse steals trash;
"'Twas mine,—tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
"—But he that robs me of my good name.
Takes what cannot enrich him,
"But makes me poor indeed!"
Ever since the book of Mormon was published, as a people and society, the church of Latter Day Saints, has been wil[l]fully and maliciously slandered and belied. The Rochester Observer, in 1830, came out with an obnoxious bitter article against the book of Mormon, &c. headed "Blasphemy; Blasphemy!" In meekness and humility, why was this savage thrust made at a few innocent persons? Methinks that editor would be considerably troubled to give one good reason why he thus wantonly, rashly, profanely and savagely published evil against his neighbors, when they had done him no wrong: nor had he any proof that one of them had transgressed the law of God, or man. Woe unto that people that honors cash and cloth more than character and truth!
This church has had to bear insults and injuries, as our fathers did taxation and bondage from great Britain, before they were able to claim and maintain their rights, but they that do good and they that do evil, have their rewards, for the judge of all the earth will do right.
Now to my purpose: the next statement I select to follow the Rochester "Blasphemy" has already had a place in the 19th number of the Evening and the Morning Star, and was copied from the Philadelphia Saturday Courier. It reads thus:
"TRAGICAL EVENT.—The following tragical story of a Mormon preacher is given by the Independent Messenger on the authority of a gentleman from the western part of the state of New York. We shall expect to see it authenticated by the western papers if it be true."
"In a town where the delusion had made numerous converts the disciples were summoned to assemble in a wild place, circumjacent to a pond, on the water of which, a gifted elder announced that he should walk and preach. The believers notified their doubting friends, and great things were anticipated. But it seems there were a few wicked Lamanites, who secretly set themselves to make mischief. Choosing their opportunity, just before the pointed day of miracles, they ascertained, by means of a raft, that the pond to be traversed was extremely shallow; a thin sheet of water covering a common swamp mire.—This mire was found to be of a consistency nearly strong enough, except within a small central space, to sustain the weight of a man. They soon discovered a line of plank laid in a particular direction completely across the pond, sunk about four inches under the surface of the water. These were so fastened down, and locked together, and so daubed with mud, as
to be quite imperceptible from the neighboring declivities. They resolved on preventing the miracle by sawing the concealed bridge in pieces, just where it crossed the deepest and most dangerous part of the pond. This was done, and left seemingly as they found it."
"The expected day arrived, the congregation placed themselves as in an amphitheatre on the surrounding slopes and the preacher appeared at the edge of the water. Presently he raised his stentorian voice and as he paced his invisible bridge with a step apparent unearthly taught and warned the people. All ears were open, and every eye strained from its socket with astonishment. But alas! just as the miracle worker seemed to have wrought conviction of his divine power in the wondering hearts of the multitude, lo! he stepped upon one of the detached pieces of plank sallied side-ways, and—instantly plunged, floundering and sinking in the deep water mire: mingling shrieks, screams and shouts of the spectators, all in a rush of commotion were appalling. The scene was indescribable. Even those who had spoiled the miracle, were filled with horror when they actually saw the unfortunate impostor disappear. They had not dreamed that their trick would cast him more than the fright, discomfort and disgrace of being submersed and afterwards struggling a shore; all along taking it for granted that his plank would enable him to swim, however it might treacherously fail him to walk. But the tale closes with the close of his life and the consequent close of Mormonism in that vicinity.—He sunk, and long before the confounded assembly were in a condition to afford him relief, perished a victim to his imposture."
It may be said that the Star handled this matter enough to brand it with its just doom, but let me ask its makers and publishers a few questions. As they live in what is called a christian community, I should like to learn what reason they had, without the aid of law, to lay a plan publicly—to kill?—and, again, whether it comports with sacred or common rules, to ridicule, and bear false witness against their neighbors? There is evidently a lying spirit abroad among the people, and one cannot do better, seeing their is manifestly such a pretention to something great, than to exclaim in the language of Paul, "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ has evidently been set forth, crucified among you?"
My next article appeared in the N. Y. Daily Advertiser of July 18, 1834:
"Mormon War—It is stated on the authority of a letter received at Chardon, Ohio, direct from Missouri, that a body of well armed Mormons, under their chief or prophet, Joe Smith, on attempting to cross the river into Jackson county; that a battle ensued, in which the Mormons were worsted & driven back, and their leader was wounded in the leg. It is added that he died three days after of the wound, or of amputation."
I presume the Advertiser, has never corrected this statement,—though one of the commandments says "Thou shalt not lie."
Again the Philadelphia Saturday Courier of Aug. 2, 1834, treats its readers and the world, with the following:
"THE MORMONITES.—These egregious fanatics have produced quite an excitement in Missouri, and several of the western papers speak of them and their movements, as if Joe Smith, the Mormonite leader, were a modern Mahomet. The Tappanites have not excited more attention in the eastern cities. A letter from Lexington, [Mo.] under date of June 20th says:"
"In a former letter, I wrote at some length about the Mormons, and promised to write again on the subject. They had just received a large reinforcement from the East, which makes their numbers among to 800 or 1000 men; all armed with guns, tomahawks, knives, and from two to four braces of pistols each. They went through the county on the north of the river yesterday. We understood that the people of that county intended to stop them; and for the purpose of assisting them we raised about forty men, but could not overtake them, [the Mormons,] as they raised a dog trot, and kept it up most of the day."
A letter of a later date says:
"From my last letter, you may possibly be expecting of a severe battle between the Mormons and Jacksonians—but you will not.—We went up to Jackson county, armed with guns, knives &c. in full expectation of meeting an enemy determined on victory or death. Nothing less could have been anticipated; for Smith, their prophet, had promised to raise all of them that should be slain in fighting the Lord's battles.
"The Jackson people offered them twice the valuation of their possessions, which was refused. They had collected in Clay county, and built a number of boats, to cross their forces over. Last Monday was, no doubt, the time they intended to cross and would, most probably have done so, had it not been for the numbers who went from this county to oppose them. Jackson county could raise about 900 men, and 400 went from Lafayette: about 300 more would have marched in a day or two, if they had been required. I know we had neither law nor gospel on our side, but self-preservation urged us to pursue that course, for we knew that our county would be the next to suffer from their presence. If they had crossed the river, I very much question if any would have been left to tell the tale. No quarter would have been given. We could have killed most of them before they got across the river.
"Smith now tells them, [the mormons,] that it does not matter about building the temple yet that they may wait 50 or 100 years longer. Meanwhile, they will locate somewhere else. I am told there are a goodly number about to leave the country."
There is no need of any comments on this account, for it declares that it
has neither law nor gospel on its side, but meant to murder men, women and children, so that there should not one be left to tell the tale, notwithstanding the decalogue says THOU SHALT NOT KILL. This article brings Mr. Smith to life again without ceremony.
I shall next present you with a short article that recently appeared in M. M. Noah's N. Y. Evening Star:
"Heathen Temple on Lake Erie.—That bold-faced imposter, Joe Smith, of Gold bible and Mormon memory, has caused his poor fanatic followers to erect on the shores of Lake Erie; near Painesville, (Ohio) a stone building 58 by 78 feet with dormer windows, denominating the same the "Temple of the Lord." We should think this work of iniquity extorted out of the pockets of his dupes, as it reflects its shadows over the blue lake, would make the waters crimson with shame at the prostitution of its beautiful banks to such unhallowed purposes."
We can hardly believe that an honest man would write such a foolish, figurative statement: but when a man has failed to dupe his fellow Jews, with a New Jerusalem on Grant Island, I suppose that you cannot "crimson" [his face] with shame, at the prostitution of his life and character, to vices, that are forbidden by the law of Moses, by the law of the land, and by every honest judge in Israel. Let me ask, who made Noah an umpire to say whether the church of the Latter Day Saints, has not as good a right to build a house at Kirtland, for worshipping the Lord, as he had to lay a stone on Grant Island, to wheedle money from the Jews to fill his own pockets? again, let me ask what any of the Saints have done to injure Noah, or any other man, that he should wilfully ridicule them, and reproach them with iniquity? &c. &c. Woe to thee that spoilest, and thou wast not spoiled; and dealest treacherously, and they dealt not treacherously with thee! When thou shalt cease to spoil, thou shalt be spoiled; and when thou shalt make an end to deal treacherously, they shall deal treacherously with thee.—Isaiah 33:1.
One more example of folly, and I will cease quoting for the present: It is from the Sunday Morning News, of Nov. 15, and reads thus:
"Good.—Abner Kneeland, the notorious leader of the infidels in boston, has been convicted of blasphemy before the supreme court of Mass. On three previous trials the jury could not agree upon a verdict. We cannot suggest a better course for the gray headed scoundrel than that he forthwith take up his line of march for the land of the Mormons, and associate himself with his brother imposter, Matthias; and to strengthen their proselytes in the faith, Fanny Wright, perhaps, may be induced to take up her residence with them. What a pretty little family the trio would make, with the addition of the X Dey of Algiers, X Charles, and with a few others which we cannot readily call to mind; we will toss into the caldron another Frenchman, Louis Phillippe, who can, in the course of a few months, be spared without any trouble."
The editor of this Sabbath paper, is Mr. S. J. Smith, and what evil have the Saints, (Mormons, as he stiles them,) done to him or his reputed city? what reason can he offer for endeavoring to reproach and ridicule a society of people, by tossing into their faces, the despised among men. His holy day paper poorly comports with the Savior's golden rule; "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, DO YE EVEN SO TO THEM; for this is the law and the prophets."
It is a matter of astonishment to me, that intelligent men, are so apt to slander and belie their fellow beings! It must arise from the face, that Satan is an enemy to pure religion: for Cain slew his brother because the Lord had respect to the purity of Abel's heart: Religion though based upon eternal truth, and always flourishing in the regions of glory, is treated strangely in this world. On account of abusing its light and knowledge, Cain became "a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth." For striving against the Spirit of God, and being full of violence, the inhabitants of the old world, except Noah and his family, were destroyed by the flood.
Pharaoh and his host were sunk in the Red Sea, for insulting the Saints of God: and I might go on from Moses till the final dispersion of the Jews, and the destruction of Jerusalem, after the Lord of glory was crucified, but I pause.
The hour of judgment is near, "And all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch." Why is it that such men as Noah, Dwight, Woodward, S. J. Smith and a phalanx of others, should be striving to put down the church of the Latter Day Saints, when they have received no injury from them? Is it because they have inhaled the cankering air, tha[t]
has been tainted by the stenching breath of such men as Mr. Campbell, Mr. Avery, Mr. Clapp, Mr. Hurlburt, and least of all the persecutors the dark colored man with a pitchfork? If this is the case I am sorry for them:—for a wise man ought always to hear both sides of a matter before he judges it. I shall bring no railing accusations against them: I have merely drawn a picture of what they have hastily done, that they may look upon it and consider how many innocent men, women, and children have to suffer persecution, hunger, thirst, and other afflictions, for such rash words, and foolish deeds. No wonder Lynch law is murdering throughout our once happy country; no wonder mob after mob is breaking the tender thread of law, and bursting the strong bands of society, to spread anarchy, confusion, destruction and death: no preference is made to virtue more than vice, by men in high places; and when a scourge sweeps off its thousands, the survivors, seem to have been spared only to mock at the calamity; I do sincerely hope that all that have slandered the church of Latter Day Saints will repent of their sins and folly:
"For behold and lo vengeance cometh speedily upon the ungodly, as the whirlwind, and who shall escape it: the Lord's scourge shall pass over by night and by day; and the report thereof shall vex all people; yet, it shall not be stayed until the Lord come: for the indignation of the Lord is kindled against their abominations, and all their wicked works."
For the love of liberty: venerating the memory of our worthy forefathers who bled that we might live free; for the benefit of the oppressed; for the continuance of virtue, and in the blessed name of Jesus Christ, it is devoutly to be hoped that every man that has injured, or spoken evil of the church of Latter Day Saints, will be as free to make reparation, as he was to give currency to reports without foundation: that they may not remain among that class of beings, to whom the Savior's language to the Scribes, Pharisees and hypocrites, will apply: for there is a woe to such as make clean the out side of the platter; that praise virtue but never practice it; that pay tithes, for the sake of honor, and esteem men and money more than truth and meekness, and omit the "weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy and faith."
In the love of God, and in the hope of the prosperity of the pure in heart, praying that the Lord will have mercy upon all that turn from the evil of their ways; having virtue for my aim; truth for my standard, and seeking eternity for an everlasting inheritance, I shall continue to defend the cause of goodness and humanity.
W. W. PHELPS.
To JOHN WHITMER Esq.
The public mind has been excited, of late, by reports which have been circulated concerning certain Egyptian Mummies, and a quantity of ancient records, which were purchased by certain gentlemen in this place, last summer.
It has been said, that the purchasers of these antiquities pretend they have the body of Abraham, Abimelech, the king of the Philistines, Joseph, who was sold into Egypt, &c. &c. for the purpose of attracting the attention of the multitude, and gulling the unwary—which is utterly false.
For the purpose of correcting these and other erroneous statements, concerning both the mummies and also the records, we give an extract of a letter written by a friend in this place, who possesses correct knowledge concerning this matter, to a gentleman who resides at a distance.
Who these ancient inhabitants of Egypt are, we do not pretend to say,—neither does it matter to us. We have no idea or expectation, that either of them are Abraham, Abimelech, or Joseph. Abraham was buried on his own possession, "in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron, the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre," which he purchased of the sons of Heth; Abimelech lived in the same country, and for aught we know, died there, and the children of Israel carried Joseph's bones from Egypt
when they went out under Moses. Consequently, could not have been found in Egypt in the 19th century. But the records are the most important, concerning which, we refer our readers to the extract for information.
"KIRTLAND, GEAUGA Co. O., }
December 22, 1835." }
* * * * *
Yours of the 8th Oct. furnishes matter of importance. You say truly when you say, "Verily, this is a great and marvelous work, indeed." Others may be endowed with a superior ability to myself, and thereby be the better qualified to appreciate the great condescension of our God in lighting up this earth once more with such intelligence from his presence, by the ministering of his holy angels and by his own voice. Be this as it may, with the ability I have I endeavor to be thankful.
That the Lord should again manifest something for the benefit of man in the last days, is perfectly consistent, and so exactly accords with that written by the holy prophets and apostles, that it is apparent to me, that none can reject the fulness of the gospel, except such as are led by an influence other than heavenly, or wil[l]ful blindness.—But so it is, and yet the work spreads and prospers. And considering the weak instruments engaged to spread it, it cannot but be acknowledged that the hand of our God is put forth, to roll on his work, his strange work, in the eyes of the nations. My sincere prayer is, that I may be fully qualified, by his grace, to do the part assigned me, that I may stand when he appeareth.
Upon the subject of the Egyptian records, or rather the writings of Abraham and Joseph, I may say a few words. This record is beautifully written on papyrus with black, and a small part, red ink or paint, in perfect preservation. The characters are such as you find upon the coffins of mummies, hieroglyphics, &c. with many characters or letters exactly like the present, (though probably not quite so square,) form of the Hebrew without points.
These records were obtained from one of the catacombs in Egypt, near the place where once stood the renowned city of Thebes, by the celebrated French traveller Antonio Lebolo, in the year 1831. He procured license from Mehemet Ali, then Viceroy of Egypt, under the protection of Chevalier Drovetti, the French Consul, in the year 1828; employed 433 men four months and two days, (if I understood correctly, Egyptians or Turkish soldiers,) at from four to six cents per diem, each man; entered the catacomb June 7th, 1831, and obtained eleven Mummies. There were several hundred Mummies in the same catacomb: about one hundred embalmed after the first order, and deposited and placed in niches, and two or three hundred after the second and third order, and laid upon the floor or bottom of the grand cavity, the two last orders of embalmed were so decayed that they could not be removed, and only eleven of the first, found in the niches. On his way from Alexandria to Paris he put in at Trieste, and after ten days illness, expired. This was in the year 1832. Previous to his decease, he made a will of the whole to Mr. Michael H. Chandler, then in Philadelphia, Pa. his nephew, whom he supposed to have been in Ireland. Accordingly the whole were sent to Dublin, addressed according, and Mr. Chandler's friends ordered them sent to New York, where they were received at the custom house, in the winter or spring of 1833. In April of the same year Mr. Chandler paid the duties upon his Mummies, and took possession of the same. Up to this time they had not been taken out of the coffins nor the coffins opened. On opening the coffins he discovered that in connection with two of the bodies, were something rolled up with the same kind of linen, saturated with the same bitumen, which, when examined, proved to be two rolls of papyrus, previously mentioned. I may add that two or three other small pieces of papyrus, with astronomical calculations, epitaphs, &c. were found with others of the Mummies.
When Mr. Chandler discovered that there was something with the Mummies, he supposed, or hoped it might be some diamonds or other valuable metal, and was no little chagrined when he saw his disappointment. He was immediately told, while yet in the Custom House, that there was no man in that city, who could translate his roll; but was referred by the same gentleman, (a stranger,) to Mr. Joseph Smith, jr.
who, continued he, possesses some kind of power or gifts by which he had previously translate similar characters. Bro. Smith was then unknown to Mr. Chandler, neither did he know that such a book or work as the record of the Nephites had been brought before the public. From New York he took his collection to Philadelphia, where he exhibited them for a compensation. The following is a certificate put into my hands by Mr. Chandler, which he obtained while in Philadelphia and will show the opinion of the scientific of that city:
"Having examined with considerable attention and deep interest, a number of Mummies from the Catacombs, near Thebes, in Egypt, and now exhibiting in the Arcade, we beg leave to recommend them to the observation of the curious inquirer on subjects of a period so long elapsed; probably not less than three thousand years ago.—The features of some of these Mummies are in perfect expression. The papyrus, covered with black or red ink, or paint, in excellent preservation, are very interesting. The undersigned, unsolicited by any person connected by interest with this exhibition, have voluntarily set their names hereunto, for the simple purpose of calling the attention of the public, to an interesting collection, not sufficiently known in this city."
JOHN REDMAN COXE, M. D.
RICHARD HARLAN, M. D.
J. PANCOAST, M. D.
WILLIAM P. C. BARTON, M. D.
E. F. RIVINUS, M. D.
SAMUEL G. MORGAN, M. D.
—I concur in the above sentiments, concerning the collection of Mummies in the Philadelphia Arcade, and consider them highly deserving the attention of the curious.
W. E. HORNER, M. D.
While Mr. Chandler was in Philadelphia, he used every exertion to find some one who could give him the translation of his papyrus, but could not, satisfactorily, though from some few men of the first eminence, he obtained in a small degree, the translation of a few characters. Here he was referred to bro. Smith. From Philadelphia he visited Harrisburgh, and other places east of the mountains, and was frequently referred to bro. Smith for a translation of his Egyptian Relic.
It would be beyond my purpose to follow this gentleman in his different circuits to the time he visited this place the last of June, or first of July, at which time he presented bro. Smith with his papyrus. Till then neither myself nor brother Smith knew of such relics being in America. Mr. Chandler was told that his writings could be deciphered, and very politely gave me a privilege of copying some four or five different sentences or separate pieces, stating, at the same time, that unless he found some one who could give him a translation soon, he would carry them to London.
I am a little in advance of my narration; The morning Mr. Chandler first presented his papyrus to bro.—Smith, he was shown, by the latter, a number of characters like those upon the writings of Mr. C. which were previously copied from the plates, containing the history of the Nephites, or book of Mormon.
Being solicited by Mr. Chandler to give an opinion concerning his antiquities, or translation of some of the characters, bro. S. gave him the interpretation of some few for his satisfaction. For your gratification I will here annex a certificate which I hold, from under the hand of Mr. Chandler, unsolicited, however, by any person in this place, which will show how far he believed bro. Smith able to unfold from these long obscured rolls the wonders contained therein:
"Kirtland, July 6th, 1835."
"This is to make known to all who may be desirous, concerning the knowledge of Mr. Joseph Smith, jr. in deciphering the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic characters, in my possession, which I have, in many eminent cities, shown to the most learned: And, from the information that I could even learn, or meet with, I find that of Mr. Joseph Smith, jr. to correspond in the most minute matters."
"MICHAEL H. CHANDLER."
"Travelling with, and proprietor of Egyptian Mummies."
The foregoing is verbatim as given by Mr. C. excepting the addition of punctuation, and speaks sufficiently plain without requiring comment from me. It was given previous to the purchase of the antiquities, by any person here.
The language in which this record is written is very comprehensive, and many of the hieroglyphics exceedingly striking. The evidence is apparent upon the face, that they were written by persons acquainted with the history of the creation, the fall of man, and more or less of the correct ideas of notions of the Deity. The representation of the god-head—three, yet in one, is curiously drawn to give simply, though impressively, the writers views of that exalted personage. The serpent, represented as walking, or formed in a manner to be able to walk, standing in front of, and near a female figure, is to me, one of the greatest representations I have ever seen upon paper, or a writing substance; and must go so far towards convincing the rational mind of the correctness and divine authority of the holy scriptures, and especially that part which has ever been assailed by the infidel community, as being a fiction, as to carry away, with one might sweep, the whole atheistical fabric, without leaving a vestige sufficient for a foundation stone. Enoch's Pillar, as mentioned by Josephus, is upon the same roll.—True, our present version of the bible does not mention this fact, though it speaks of the righteousness of Abel and the holiness of Enoch,—one slain because his offering was accepted of the Lord, and the other taken to the regions of everlasting day without being confined to the narrow limits of the tomb, or tasting death; but Josephus says that the descendants of Seth were virtuous, and possessed a great knowledge of the heavenly bodies, and, that, in consequence of the prophecy of Adam, that the world should be destroyed once by water and again by fire, Enoch wrote a history or an account of the same, and put into two pillars one of brick and the other of stone; and that the same were in being at his (Josephus') day. The inner end of the same roll, (Joseph's record,) presents a representation of the judgment: At one view you behold the Savior seated upon his throne, crowned, and holding the sceptres of righteousness and power, before whom also, are assembled the twelve tribes of Israel, the nations, languages and tongues of the earth, the kingdoms of the world over which satan is represented as reigning. Michael the archangel, holding the key of the bottomless pit, and at the same time the devil as being chained and shut up in the bottomless pit. But upon this last scene, I am able only to give you a shadow, to the real picture. I am certain it cannot be viewed without filling the mind with awe, unless the mind is far estranged from God: and I sincerely hope, that mine may never go so far estray [astray], nor wander from those rational principles of the doctrine of our Savior, so much, as to become darkened in the least, and thereby fail to have that, to us, the greatest of all days, and the most sublime of all transactions, so impressively fixed upon the heart, that I become not like the beast, not knowing wither I am going, nor what shall be my final end!
I might continue my communication to a great length upon the different figures and characters represented upon the two rolls, but I have no doubt my subject has already become sufficiently prolix for your patience: I will therefore soon cease for the present.—When the translation of these valuable documents will be completed, I am unable to say; neither can I give you a probable idea how large volumes they will make; but judging from their size, and the comprehensiveness of the language, one might reasonable expect to see a sufficient to develop much upon the mighty acts of the ancient men of God, and of his dealing with the children of men when they saw him face to face. Be there little or much, it must be an inestimable acquisition to our present scriptures, fulfilling, in a small degree, the word of the prophet: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
P. S. You will have understood from the foregoing, that eleven Mummies were taken from the catacomb, at the time of which I have been speaking, and nothing definite having been said as to their disposal, I may, with propriety add a few words. Seven of the said eleven were purchased by gentlemen for private museums, previous to Mr. Chandler's visit to this place, with a small quantity of papyrus, similar, (as he says,) to the astronomical representation, contained with the present two rolls, of which I previously spoke, and the remaining four by gentlemen resident here.
Though the Mummies themselves are a curiosity, and an astonishment, well calculated to arouse the mind to a reflection of past ages, when men strove, as at this day, to immortalize their names, though in another manner, yet I do not consider them of much value compared with those records which were deposited with them.
If Providence permits, I will, ere long, write you again upon the propriety of looking for additions to our present scriptures, according to their own literal reading.
Believe me to be, sir, sincerely and truly, your brother in the bonds of the new and everlasting covenant.
To Wm. Frye, Esq. Gilead, Calhoon co. Ill.
Notices and extracts of letters
Paris, Henry co. Tenn.
DEAR BROTHER IN THE LORD:—Since the 21st of Sept. I have extended the limits of my travels to Clark River Ky. Here I proclaimed the gospel, on Sabbath and Monday, and was publicly opposed by a Campbellite Priest; although weak, in and of myself, yet I wielded the sword in the name of the Lord Jesus, and prevailed.
I delivered three discourses; which included, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the authenticity of the book of Mormon, and the scattering and gathering of the house of Israel: after which three came forward for baptism: I confirmed them, by the water side, and left them strong in the faith of the new and everlasting covenant. There are some more in this place, who will follow the example of the three which I have been speaking of. I took my leave of these my new brethren and friends, and journeyed to Taropea, where we had baptized some before.—I held two meetings in this place; after which eight presented themselves as candidates for baptism: We immediately repaired to the water, the solemnities of eternity, and the the Spirit of the Lord rested upon the congregation. I baptized 14 since the 21st of Sept.
Yours in the new covenant,
To J. WHITMER
We the 70, hereby inform Hiram Strattan, that we have withdrawn our fellowship from him, until he returns to Kirtland and makes satisfaction.
Extract of a letter, dated, Kirtland, Dec. 6, 1835.
Almost three years have passed away since I embraced the fulness of the gospel of Christ. During the above mentioned time, I have travelled probably not less than eight thousand miles, and can say of a truth, that I have been receiving additional evidences continually, that the work in which I have been engaged, is of the Lord. Since the first of December, I have seen the addition of about 130, to the church. Within a few months past I have baptized six, and in company with other elders fifteen more.
The churches in which I have labored, generally are increasing in numbers, faith, and righteousness.
Yours in the bond of the new covenant.
To J. WHITMER.
Kirtland, Dec. 12, 1835.
I embrace this opportunity to give you a brief account of my labors the past season. I left Kirtland the 8th of June, after a pleasant passage to Buffalo I went into Genessee county N.-Y. where I held a number of meetings and proclaimed the gospel without reserve. I then went to Freedom, was joined by elder Darwin Richardson, we tarried a little in Wayne county, in and near a place called Cruso Islands, in this place elders Grant and Stanley had been laboring and did magnify their calling; they sowed the seed, for it has sprang up and borne fruit.
We journeyed on eastward having neither purse nor scrip, and was fed and lodged by the kind inhabitants, who were patrons of the truth, unto whom we proclaimed the gospel, not only in public but in private: we were kindly treated by the people in Alphratha Montgomery county. Dr. Drake was solicitous to have another interview, but with us it was not convenient: we held a few meetings in the town of Pawlet, Vt. Here at the close of one of our meetings a Campbellite, after inter[r]ogating us, used the words of Aquila and Priscilla to Apollus, for said he,
I agree with you in most points, and if you will go home with me, I will instruct you more perfectly, we thanked him and accepted the offer: we spent a number of hours in debating, (and he acted the part of a gentleman,) but in the end he acknowledged that he was not able to instruct, as he had anticipated. We crossed the Green mountains at mount Tabor, visited the brethren at Andover, I parted with brother Richardson the last of July, in N. H. he went to his friends in Franconia, labored in that vicinity, and when I last saw him, he had baptized one. I continued preaching almost daily for three weeks in Vermont, and the south part of Grafton county, N. H. I baptized three in Enfield, and have reason to believe there are others that will embrace the new and everlasting covenant. Since the last of August, my labors have been in the north part of N. H. I held a few meetings in Whitefield, baptized three and visited a number of the branches of the Latter Day Saints in the east.
I have through the mercies of my heavenly Father, been permitted to return to my brethren and friends in Kirtland, having preached above forty times, baptized six and obtained four subscribers for the Messenger and Advocate. In the bonds of the new covenant I remain your brother.
To JOHN WHITMER, Esq.
"Good understanding giveth favor, but the way of the transgressor is hard.—Solomon."
Solomon was called a wise man, and he has left much good instruction on record. Our text informs us that: "The way of the transgressor is hard." This is a fact, we have many samples to demonstrate it to the understanding of any intelligent person. We look over the pages of sacred write and behold, we see that Adam and Eve transgressed, and what followed? in consequence of the trasgression [transgression] of our ancestors, the land was cursed: "the Lord said unto Adam, because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying, thou shalt not eat of it; cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life."
Here followed a heavy curse not only upon man but the serpent did not escape it. In consequence of this transgression the whole human family was excluded from the presence of God: and there is but one way for fallen man to get back again, and this is by being obedient to the commandments which were promulgated for that purpose.—We do not deem it necessary to treat upon that point at present. We will refer you to some more instances: "For in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established." It came to pass in the process of time, that Cain and Abel brought offerings unto the Lord: but God had not respect unto Cain's offering; and for a very good reason, he did not offer the sacrifice required, in consequence of which he was a transgressor. Now when Cain saw that his offering was not accepted, he was wroth and slew his brother. Hear what follows: "Now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand. When thou tillest the ground it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength. A fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth." And all this because of transgression. We might bring many more instances to show, that "The way of the transgressor is hard." We will select Judas for our next. After Judas had ate and drank with the Savior about three years, he turned against him and betrayed him. And in consequence of his transgression he went and hanged himself, and his bowels gushed out.
It seems that transgressors always come to some bad end. We read that: "Some men's sins are open before hand going before to judgment and some men they follow after." This is very evident from this fact: some men pass smoothly along without any trouble or affliction; and live upon the luxuries of this world: at the same time they are full of all manner of abominations; While others of equal judgment and advantage, have nothing but sickness, misfortunes, and distress: and yet the Lord hath said: that he will judge every man according to his works.
We will come down to this generation and see how the Lord deals, with us. God has again condescended to give laws and precepts to the inhabitants of the earth: as he did in the days of Noah; and in the days of Moses.—
And when ever he had a people on the earth, he gave them revelations and commandments, that were adapted to their circumstances and situation.—Because, what was calculated for salvation in the days of Adam, would not have saved Noah and his family; and what would save Noah and his family; would not save Moses and the children of Israel. The revelations that were given to Moses would not save Elijah, nor Elisha, nor Isaiah, nor Ezekiel neither any of the prophets until John and from John until now.
We learn that the Lord is the same yesterday to day and forever. If the Lord is the same to day as yesterday, why not give revelation to us? the fact is he is more willing to give than we are to receive, if it were not so, would not the inhabitants of the earth be willing to receive what he had already given, and is giving in these last days? Notwithstanding the way of the transgressors is hard, the children of men hearken not to the commandments of the Lord. The Lord has given commandments in these last days and inasmuch as they are transgressed, their specified penalties must be inflicted: and thus the ways of transgressors become hard. There are many that belong to this church of Christ of Latter Day Saints who know this fact, that the way of the transgressor is hard.
It is evident that some are endeavoring to hide their faults; and when they are made manifest they are not willing to confess them. To such we say: Beware for the way of the transgressors is hard: "He that knoweth his masters will and doeth it not, must be beaten with many stripes." We firmly believe that every man will receive according to his works; and that some men's sins go to judgment before hand and other's follow after. This is true: for how could God be a just and merciful being, if he would suffer one man to live his life in pleasures and luxuries, and another in poverty and misery, for the truth's sake, and then bring them together in one kingdom to enjoy like felicities; and not bring the man that lived in transgression and in splendor, to judgment in the world to come?
We know that the wicked and rebellious glide smoothly along, notwithstanding they deny the God that bought them—and trample upon his commandments and precepts, and yet they are prospered in all that they undertake: to all such we will say with Solomon: The way of the transgressor is hard." Although this may sound as an idle tale, yet we would have all men know, they are forming characters in this world, for the next.
For any person to suppose that it will be his privilege to sit down in the kingdom of God, in peace, with Peter and the rest of the apostles, who has not obeyed the gospel, and kept the faith of the same, unto the end of his days, will eventually find that the way of the transgressor is hard.
"I would that ye should learn that it is he only who is saved, that endureth unto the end." According to scripture, those who are not faithful cannot be saved in the kingdom of God, much less those who have never obeyed the first ordinance, for an admission into the kingdom. We may talk of being saved in the kingdom of God, until the day of our death, if we obey not the ordinances of the gospel we can claim no promise;—We know of no promise in holy writ that would give us the most distant hope of being saved in the celestial kingdom of God, save it be by keeping the commandments of the blessed Redeemer, and this to the end of our days. The promises of God are conditional, and if we comply not with the conditions which are made plain to our understanding, we have no claim to the promises made to the adopted family of God: for the promises were made to those who were and are adopted through obeying the plan of salvation laid from before the foundation of the world. If it is the good will of our heavenly Father, to bestow salvation upon any part of his creation, that he had not told us of, we will adore him for that gift, as well as those which he has made known: but at the same time we will remember that: "The way of the transgressor is hard." Inasmuch as, we keep all the commandments of God, we shall be made the partakers of the blessings prefixed to his promises: Deut. V:16 to 21 verse inclusive.
If thou lovest me thou shalt serve me, and keep all my commandments.
Thou shalt remember the poor, and consecrate of thy properties for their support.
'He that sinneth and repenteth not, shall be cast out of the church.
Thou shalt not be proud in thy heart, let all thy garments be plain, and their beauty the beauty of the work of thine own hands, and let all things be done in cleanliness before me.
Thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread, nor wear the garments of the laborers.
Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die, and more especially for those who have not hope of a glorious resurrection.
Thou shalt pay for that which thou shalt receive of thy brother.
If thy brother or sister offend many, he or she shall be chastised before many. If any one offend openly he or she shall be rebuked openly, that he or she may be ashamed.
Thou shalt take the things which thou has received which have been given unto thee in my scriptures for a law, to govern my church; and he that doeth according to these things, shall be saved, and he that doeth them not shall be damned if he continues.
Here we learn that we are to be governed by the laws of God, and not by the gifts of tongues, or whims and caprices of men. "The Lord trieth the righteous, but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. Upon the wicked he will rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup."
"Good understanding gaineth favor: but the way of the transgressor is hard."
To the Editor of the Messenger and Advocate:
DEAR BROTHER—I wish to inform my friends and all others, abroad, that whenever they wish to address me thro' the Post Office, they will be kind enough to pay the postage on the same.
My friends will excuse me in this matter, as I am willing to pay postage on letters to hear from them; but am unwilling to pay for insults and menaces,—consequently, must refuse all, unpaid.
Yours in the gospel,
JOSEPH SMITH, jr.
Kirtland, Dec. 5, 1835.
Editorial and obituaries
*** We hereby inform our friends, that they labor under some disadvantage in consequence of letters being addressed to some of their brethren, instead of the Editor or Publishers, which contain subscribers for the Messenger and Advocate, &c. because they are not handed to us in season:—They would therefore do well, to direct their letters relative to subscriptions, &c. to the Editor or Publishers, if they desire immediate attendance,—remember at the same time that all communications to the Editor or Publishers must be post-paid.
—> Elder John Murdock is requested to come to Kirtland, as soon as he observes this notice.
—> Six Nos. of the Star have been reprinted: the residue will be published soon.
The Messenger and Advocate has been delayed for want of paper.
NOTICE.—The high council of the church of Latter Day Saints, in Missouri, have withdrawn their fellowship from elder J. D. Fosdick, for unchristian-like conduct till he makes satisfaction.
By order of the council.
ELIJAH FORDHAM, Clerk
DIED.—In Lafayette county, Mo. on the 25 of August, Joseph Johnson, aged about 45 years.
—In Clay county Mo. on the 28 of October, Joshua Lewis, aged about 40 years.
—In this town, on Monday, 30, Nov. last, Lucy Gates, daughter of Thomas and Patty Gates, in the 23d year of her age. She formerly resided in St. Johnsbury, Vt.
—Of whoopingcough, in Kirtland, Ohio. Sylvester M. Smith; Son of Sylvester and Elizabeth Smith, aged eleven weeks and four days, after a short illness of two weeks.
—In Clay co. Mo. the 27th of November last, Christian Whitmer, one of the first elders of the church of Latter Day Saints, aged about 38 years. He died of severe affliction upon one of his legs, which he bore for a long time with great patience. He has gone home to his Creator rejoicing in the new and everlasting covenant. "Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord."
|THE LATTER DAY SAINTS'|
|Messenger and Advocate,|
|IS EDITED BY|
|And published every month at Kirtland, Geauga Co. Ohio, by|
|F. G. Williams & Co.|
|All $1, per an. in advance. Every person procuring ten new subscribers, and forwarding $10, current money, shall be entitled to a paper and year, gratis.|
|All letters to the Editor, or Publishers, must be|
|—> POST PAID. <—|
|No subscription will be received for a less term than one year, and no paper discontinued till all arrearages are paid, except at the option of the publishers.|