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Messenger and Advocate/3/3
|← Number 2|| Messenger and Advocate
Volume 3, Number 3
|Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: Messenger and Advocate Vol. 3
Note: Some headings and bracketed texts are editorial and not part of the original text.
|LATTER DAY SAINTS'|
|MESSENGER AND ADVOCATE|
|Volume III. No. 3.]||KIRTLAND, OHIO, DECEMBER, 1836.||[Whole No. 27.|
THE SAINTS AND THE WORLD.
The opinions entertained by the world respecting the saints, are such as to excite feelings of no ordinary kind, in the mind of those who are enlightened in any degree to understand the nature of their religion, and the extent of their privileges as saints of the last days; concerning whom so much has been said by the prophets of former times.
The world being ignorant of what the Lord was to do, after the Gentiles had corrupted the religion of the New Testament so as to deprive themselves of the kingdom of heaven, have compounded together a little of the religion of Abraham, and of Moses, and of the new testament, seasoning it pretty well with heathenism, and making to themselves thereby both a religion, and a god, which is neither the religion nor the God of Abraham, nor Moses, nor the apostles, but something widely different from them all.
And such has been, and now is the influence of this strange commixture of unamalgamated materials, that all people have been confused, and darkened by it; and the very wisest of them have been thrown into difficulty, and derangement, on the subject of their future interest; so much so, that when the saints themselves receive the everlasting gospel, it takes them a long time to get rid of their prejudices, so as to understand their privileges, and enter into that course of life which is plainly marked out by the prophets, as the course which alone can accomplish the object for which they are called.
For instead of their immediately pursuing the course intended by the God of heaven to build them up and establish them in honor, and power, they are difficultied by an attempt to subject them to some antiquated law, either of revelation or tradition, which is not at all suited to their condition of life, nor to their situation as the saints of the last days.
The Lord always has an order of things or a dispensation of things suited to the times and seasons, and the same dispensation or order of things will not suit at all periods of the world. Hence the order of things introduced in the days of Abraham, would not suit in the days of Moses, and the order of things in the days of Moses, had to give way in the days of the apostles. And the order of things established by the apostles, must cease when the dispensation of the fulness of times comes in. See Eph. 1st chapt. 10th verse.—For the dispensation in the days of Moses, was intended for regulating the saints in circumstances different from that in the days of Abraham, and that in the days of the apostles, different from that of Moses, and the dispensation of the fulness of times different from all.
So that every dispensation must have laws differing from each other, and the laws which would be good and wholesome under one dispensation, would be injurious and destructive under another; and instead of their tending to good they would tend to evil. Because they would not at all tend to accomplish the object for which the dispensation was introduced.
The purposes of God in relation to this world, must be accomplished, and the different dispensations necessary must be introduced, in order that they may be accomplished, otherwise the testimony of the prophets must fail, and the glory of God be tarnished forever.
It is not my intention in writing this treatise, to occupy the attention of my readers, with remarks on the dispensations preceding my own day, only as occasion may require, but to invite their attention to the one under which we live.
And the first item, is the fact that a dispensation was to be introduced in the last days, different from all that had gone before; that was neither the dispensation of Abraham, of Moses nor yet of the apostles of the new testament (so called.) For proof of this we quote Eph. 1:10. "That in the dispensation of the fulness of times, he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth, even in him."
Here, then, there is not only a dispensation mentioned, but the features of it so clearly set forth as to preclude
the necessity of mistake. For we are told in so many words that it was to be a dispensation of gathering together all things which are in Christ Jesus whether the things to be gathered, were on earth or in heaven, they were all to be gathered together. It wants but a moment's reflection to see that the dispensation mentioned in this verse, is neither the dispensation of Abraham, of Moses, nor yet of the apostles; for neither of those dispensations nor the laws and regulations pertaining thereto, had power neither were they designed to gather together all things in Christ. This must be the work of the last dispensation which will be introduced in the world.
The apostle Peter calls this dispensation by another name, in the 3rd chapter of the Acts of the apostles and 1st verse. He there calls it the times of the restitution of all things. Every observer of the ways of men and things knows that the present order of things in the world is not the restitution of all things. The apostle further says of this restitution of all things, that it has been spoken of by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began. So that it has been a matter of public notoriety among the saints of all ages and of all generations. It is with this dispensation of things with which we have to do in the days in which we live.
Let me here remark, that the religion of Abraham, of Moses and of the apostles, have all ceased to exist; they are no where found in the world, neither do men believe that they will ever return to the earth. Ask any of the professors of religion of the different denominations, if that religion which consisted in inspiring apostles, prophets, evangelists, and also in mighty works, such as healing the sick, casting out devils, raising the dead, &c. is now in the world, and they will answer you in the negative, and will further assure you, that it will never return again.
So, when I say that the religion of the former dispensations is no more, I have the concurrence of all the professing world, of all parties and of all religions. And that any of them will return to the world in the form in which they once existed has yet to be proven to my mind, for as yet I do not so understand the scriptures. That they may yet return to the world, in part, or in whole, as forming a part of the dispensation of the fulness of times, I am now not disposed to dispute, but shall leave it for further investigation. But as the apostle has told us that the dispensation of the fulness of times or the times of the restitution of all things, has been spoken of by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began; to them we shall look for its features. And this becomes the more necessary, as it is with this dispensation we of the last days have to do.
There will be no dispute among correct biblical students, that under this dispensation our heavenly Father will bring about the deliverance of his people, fulfil his covenants which he made with the fathers since the world began, and bring about rest and peace on the earth: so that songs of everlasting joy will crown the heads of the righteous, and peace reign within their borders.
And I presume that it will also be admitted, that the saints of the last days must be a people of a character on whose heads such blessings can descend. In all investigations of this kind, we should remember that we are speaking or writing of men, not of heavenly messengers; and we must, therefore, enquire, what kind of people they must be in order that they may inherit the blessings of the last days? and through whom the Lord can accomplish what he has designed to accomplish by them.
The prophet Jeremiah in speaking of the dispensation of the fulness of times in which all things in Christ were to be gathered in one; says, "Therefore behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, the Lord liveth that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but the Lord liveth that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave to their fathers. Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks." Jer. 16:14, 15, 16.
These expressions of the prophet, give us an idea of what kind of people the people of the Lord will be in the
times of the restitution, or gathering. That they will be a people of most daring courage, and of untiring perseverence [perseverance], otherwise they will never fish Israel, and hunt him from every mountain, and every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks. It is a well known fact, that Israel is widely scattered, and that they help to people almost every division of the earth with which we are acquainted, and must people some parts with which we are not acquainted, or else the ten tribes are not in existence on the earth, and if that is the case, the testimony of the prophets is surely false; and they will be found false witnesses for Israel; for Jeremiah has declared in the third chapter of his prophecy that Judah and Israel shall walk together: and Ezekiel has said they shall be one nation on the mountains of Israel, and shall be two nations no more. Jer. 3:18. Ez. 37:20, 21, 22.
So then it comes to this, that the Lord's fishers and hunters, have to visit the mountains, the hills, and the rocks, of all nations, in order that the word of the Lord need not be spoken in vain. This surely will require enterprise and perseverence [perseverance] and patience too, will need have her perfect work in order that they may do the will of their Lord and master, and gather Israel according to his decree.
And it will not require much reflection to see that previous to the time of gathering the scattered remnants of Jacob, and the outcasts of Israel, that the saints will have to use a vast of exertion, in order that they may be able to bear up under the heavy burden which is placed upon them; for it will require great wealth to visit every nation, and gather up, in many instances, a poor and ignorant people, as those must be who are found in holes of the rocks, and in the mountains, and bear all the expense of taking them to their own land, that which was given to their fathers; and there build them up. Who does not know that all this will be attended with great expense, and who is to bear this expense, the answer is the fishers, and the hunters; if so then, how great must be their exertion and their enterprise? to obtain all the wealth necessary to accomplish so great an undertaking: And how liberal too must they be, when after so great exertion to obtain so great wealth, they will be willing to spend it in thousands; yea, in millions to gather together, and to build Israel in order that the word of the Lord fail not.
In those days, the words of Isaiah will most assuredly be fulfilled, that "The vile person shall no more be called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful," Isaiah 22:5 [32:5]. They will try every man's work of what kind it is. No man can live among a people whose souls are sufficiently enlarged, to undertake an enterprise of so daring a character as this, and yet be a churl: depend upon it, in those days the vile person will not be called liberal, nor the churl bountiful, for liberality and enterprise must be the motto of every saint, or so gigantic a work will never be accomplished.
But in addition to the gathering together of Israel, we have many things said of the Zion of the last days, which shew unto us what kind of a people the saints of the last days must be; for who does not know that the Zion of the last days mentioned by the prophets, is the place where the people are to be gathered, when the fishers and the hunters fish and hunt them, from every mountain, and every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.
The Psalmist David says of Zion, in Psalms 48th Ps. and 2d ver. that she is beautiful, the joy of the whole earth.
The prophet Isaiah has the following interesting sayings in the 62d chapter of his prophecy: commencing with the first verse we read as follows: "For Zion's sake I will not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory, and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God."
He further says, in 6th and 7th ver. of the same chapter, I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence. And give him no rest till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
In the 60th chapter of Isaiah, we have one of the most beautiful descrip-
tions given of the Zion of the last days, that can be given of any place by the pen of man. Any person who will give himself the trouble to read this chapter, must see that the Zion here spoken of, is one which is built up by the gathering together of the righteous from the different parts of the world where they are found. As the chapter is too long to quote, we shall make some extracts from it; though we would solicit our readers to take their bibles and read the whole chapter carefully through, as it contains matter of great consequence to the saints.
In the 6th verse, in speaking of Zion, he says: "The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Epha, all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; they shall shew forth the praises of the Lord"—7th verse, "All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee; the rams of Nabaioth shall minister unto thee, they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory"—9th verse, "Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish, first to bring thy sons from afar, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee"—13th and 14th verses, "The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box tree together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious. The sons of them also that afflicted thee, shall come bending unto thee: and all they that despise thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, the city of the Lord, the Zion of the holy one of Israel."
We have made these quotations in order to find out what kind of people the people of the Lord shall be in the last days. This we proposed to do in our own minds, by ascertaining what they had to do, and out of hundreds of quotations which we might make out of the prophets to the same effect, we shall be content with the few which we have made, as being sufficient to give an idea of what sort of people the Lord will have in the last days.
For though great things are to be accomplished, still those things are to be accomplished by the agency of men. It will be found to be a fact, that if the the Lord ever does fulfil the testimony of the prophets, it will be by the faith and agency of his saints.
But to return to the sayings of the prophets, as quoted above.
From these sayings we learn some very important things. We learn first, that the Zion of the Lord is to be built up by gathering his saints together, from all places, even from the islands of the sea. Let us quote two more verses from the 60th chapter of Isaiah, the 3rd and 4th which reads thus: "And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and Kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see, all they gather themselves together, they come: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side." In the 43rd chapter of this same prophecy of Isaiah and the 6th verse, the prophet thus expresses himself, speaking of this same gathering together of the people, "I will say to the north, give up; and to the south, hold not back, bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth." This quotation gives us a pretty clear idea of the nature and extent of the gathering spoken of in the 60th chapter 3rd and 4th verses, that it is to be from the ends of the earth. And the prophet says that they shall be gathered unto thee; what thee, I ask is this? This question is answered in the 14th verse, and the thing or place which is called thee in the 3rd and 4th verses, is called the city of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy one of Israel. So there can be no doubt that the place where the saints are to be gathered, is the Zion of the last days mentioned by the prophets.
Concerning this Zion, we have the following sayings:
First. She is beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth. Ps. 48:2.
Second. That the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto her, and the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto her.
Third. The multitude of camels shall cover her, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah. All they of Sheba shall come with their gold and incense.
Fourthly, The isles shall wait for her, and the ships of Tarshish, to bring her sons from far, their silver and their gold with them.
Fifthly, The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee; the fir tree, the pine tree and the box tree together, to beautify the place of the Lord's sanctuary, and to make the place of his feet glorious.
Now let me ask the saints of the last days, what kind of people must you be, in order that you may accomplish so great a work?—That you may bring to the Zion of your God (the foundation of which is now laid, in spite of the powers of earth and hell combined; for surely their utmost exertion has been used to prevent it, but it has been used in vain) the forces of the Gentiles, to obtain for to enrichen her, the abundance of the sea; the camels in sufficient abundance to cover her; the dromedaries of Midian, and of Ephah; the gold and silver of Sheba.
To put into requisition the ships of Tarshish, or in other words, great ships, that the Lord's sons may come from far, and his daughters from the ends of the earth; to bring unto her the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box tree together, in order that you may beautify the Lord's sanctuary, and make the place of his feet glorious, and by all kinds of refinement, and learning, make Zion the joy and praise of the whole earth, until the kings of the earth shall come to the brightness of thy rising. Will not the accomplishment of so great a work as this, require exertion and enterprise? Surely it will.
May I not again ask, how is Zion to become the joy and the praise of the whole earth, so that kings shall come to the brightness of her rising? Surely, it will be by her becoming more wise, more learned, more refined, and more noble, than the cities of the world, so that she becomes the admiration of the great ones of the earth. And by what means is this to be obtained?—The answer is, by the superiority of her literary institutions, and by a general effort of all the saints to patronize literature in our midst, so that the manners of the saints may be properly cultivated, and their habits correctly formed.
In addition to this, her buildings will have to be more elegant, her palaces more splendid, and her public houses more magnificent; otherwise, she will not be the joy and praise of the whole earth, and kings will never come to the brightness of her rising.
Neither are we to leave out of the question, the dress of the saints, for this supplies a place also in effecting this great object; the beauty and neatness of their dress in characteristic of the degree of refinement, and decency of a society. The nobles of the earth would not be likely to admire disgraceful apparel, untastefully arranged; but the very reverse: indeed, if ever Zion becomes the joy and praise of the whole earth, the saying of the Psalmist must be literally fulfilled.—That our sons must be as plants grown up in their youth; our daughters as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace. Psalms 144:12.
If these things should not take place, then surely the voice of the prophets is of no avail, and the purposes which God hath proposed to himself will come to nought.
From this the saints may have something of an idea unto what they are called; that they are called unto glory, and virtue, or in other words, to enterprise and courage; that in order to fulfil their calling, there must not be an idler in all their ranks, but that they must cultivate the habits of industry, and of enterprise, so that they can be prepared to visit all lands, and acquit themselves like men, in the presence of all people; the wise, and the learned, and even the nobles, and the kings of the earth not excepted.
Let not any of the saints be deceived by the ignorant of this age, neither let them be led astray by design, to have their minds confused by an attempt to subject them to laws, either of revelation or tradition, which are not in accordance with their calling, and the dispensation under which we live; it matters not what might have been the laws which regulated the saints under other dispensations, it belongs to us, to be regulated by the order of things which has been introduced for our benefit and salvation, and though it could be shewn that there were regulations among the former day saints, which were opposed to the order which regulates us, it would only prove that at different times and ages, God had different things to accomplish, and that it required different orders of things to accomplish them.
I am well aware of the wild chime-
ras of the human brain. There has been a notion prevailing amongst a great many people, that the nearer a man got to his God the less enterprise he should exert, that he should shew forth his righteousness by his rags, and his holiness by an utter contempt of the rules of decency: Indeed among some that would be called wise, to this day, they think that the cut of their coat and the shape of their hat is of great importance and has a considerable to do with their salvation; hence we have to this day the broad brim[m]ed hat and the long tailed coat, and the vest with skirts, worn as a badge of righteousness; but let the saints know assuredly that their righteousness does not consist in putting on some old antiquated dress: but in enterprise in accomplishing the will of God and building up a city to his name, in beautifying his sanctuary and making the place of his feet glorious.
Let the saints, therefore, a[c]quit themselves like men. Let them seek learning and wisdom, refinement and elegence [elegance]. Let industry and enterprise be encouraged, not merely as ap[p]endages of our religion; but as an identity with it, as part of it, without which the other parts would be of little consequence; yea, may I not say, let them get riches; however some might be ready to say in opposition to this, that it is impossible for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven; admit it, but does this argue that those who have sacrificed their all for the kingdom of heaven's sake and entered in, should not get rich after they got there, no verily; for the Savior has said in language not to be misunderstood, "That he that forsaketh father or mother, wife or children, houses or lands, for my sake and the gospel's shall have in this world an hundred fold, and in that which is to come eternal life."
So then the saints who have first sought the kingdom of heaven and the righteousness thereof, may calculate the addition of all things; yea, even an hundred fold. And may I not say if we fail of getting the earthly promise, what hope can there be of our getting the heavenly? for it is as assuredly said we shall have an hundred fold in this life, as it is said we shall have eternal life in the world to come.
Again let us observe in order that Zion may become the joy and prai[se] of the whole earth, it is necessary that the saints should cultivate the principles of honesty and integrity in all their intercourse with the world, so much so that those who have dealings with them, will have to say, that their intercourse is honorable above all others. The saints must become notorious for this, so that all men will be willing to deal with them, and rather do it than with any others, for this is one of the ways by which they will obtain wealth, without which they will never be able to fulfill the end of their calling.
Once more, in order that Zion may become the joy of the whole earth,—the saints must practice holiness in the fear of the Lord; for without this, no man can see the Lord, neither will he prosper them unless they do it.—They must attend punctually to the orders of his house, every head of a family must see that his or her house is kept in order before the Lord, so that in their midst the name of the Lord may be had in reverence, and his commandments regarded with veneration, and his worship respected as of the first importance.
In so doing, the saints may anticipate the blessings of heaven to attend them more abundantly, and with every increase of wealth and honor an increase of blessings, until as the prophet Malichi [Malachi] has said, "The earth will not be able to contain it."
Let the saints then consider the nature of their high calling, lest any man deceive them with fair pretences [pretenses] and with vain tradition after the rudiments of the world and not after Christ. Let them remember that God has called them, that they may distinguish themselves by the boldness of their enterprises; by the magnificence of their schemes, and by the greatness of their industry, and by their untiring perseverance, and by their patience and indefatigable zeal. Let them be patient in all things till they overcome the world, the devil and the flesh, and Zion becomes the joy and the praise of the whole earth.
The apostle Paul has a valuable saying in his epistle to the Hebrews, 10:36. "For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise." The saints would do well to give heed to this saying, that they may never get weary in well doing. Let them recollect that
after they have done the will of God they have need of patience in order to inherit the promise. How many may have done the will of God, and yet for want of patience to wait upon the Lord have lost the promise altogether; when if they had had patience to wait on the Lord, they might have received it to the joy and gratitude of their hearts.
Remember then ye saints of the last days!! that you are called upon by the great God to be ministers of righteousness in the last days to all people, languages and kindreds of the earth; ye are called upon to visit every nation under heaven; to waft yourselves over every sea and every ocean: to stand in the presence of kings and of princes and of the nobles of the earth; to gather up of all nations, tongues and languages under heaven, and of them to build up the Zion of the last days to the Most High. And nothing of all this can fail if you are faithful in your calling and consider the nature and the end thereof; for great is he who has called you, and none of his promises can be broken, neither can his faithfulness fail.
Arm yourselves, therefore, like men, ye elders of Israel; store your heads with knowledge and your hearts with grace, and as the heads of the Israel of the last days go forth without fear; for strong is he who hath called you; and omnipotent is the arm of him who sustains you; fear not and your peace shall be like a river and your righteousness as an overflowing stream. Rejoice upon the hills and shout hosannah upon the mountains; until you shall bring the last stone of the building of your God with the shout of grace, grace, unto it.
We extract the following chapter from "Dick's philosophy of a future state." There are reasonings sufficient, we think, to commend it to the attention of the reader—Ed. Mes.
ON THE ABSURDITY OF SUPPOSING THAT THE THINKING PRINCIPLE IN MAN WILL EVER BE ANNIHILATED.
It is highly unreasonable; if not absurd, to suppose that the thinking principle in man will ever be annihilated.
In so far as our knowledge of the universe extends, there does not appear a single instance of annihilation throughout the material system. There is no reason to believe, that, throughout all the worlds which are dispersed through the immensity of space, a single atom has ever yet been, or ever will be annihilated. From a variety of observations, it appears highly probable, that the work of creation is still going forward in the distant regions of the universe, and that the Creator is replenishing the voids of space with new worlds and new orders of intelligent beings; and it is reasonable to believe, from the incessant agency of Divine Omnipotence, that new systems will be continually emerging into existence while eternal ages are rolling on. But no instance has yet occurred of any system or portion of matter either in heaven or earth having been reduced to annihilation. Changes are indeed incessantly taking place, in countless variety, throughout every department of nature. The spots of the sun, the belts of Jupiter, the surface of the moon, the rings of Saturn, and several portions of the starry heavens, are frequently changing or varying their aspects. On the earth, mountains are crumbling down, the caverns of the ocean filling up, islands are emerging from the bottom of the sea, and again sinking into the abyss; the ocean is frequently shifting its boundaries, and trees, plants, and waving grain now adorn many tracts which were once overwhelmed with the foaming billows. Earthquakes have produced frequent devastations, volcanoes have overwhelmed fruitful fields with torrents of burning lava, and even the solid strata within the bowels of the earth have been bent and disrupted by the operation of some tremendous power. The invisible atmosphere is likewise the scene of perpetual changes and revolutions, by the mixture and decomposition of gases, the respiration of animals, the process of evaporation, the action of winds, and the agencies of light, heat, and the electric and magnetic fluids. The vegetable kingdom is either progressively advancing to maturity or falling into decay. Between the plants and the seeds of vegetables there is not the most distant similarity. A small seed, only one tenth of an inch in diameter, after rotting for a while in the earth, shoots forth a stem ten thousand times
greater in size than the germ from which it sprung, the branches of which afford an ample shelter for the fowls of heaven. The tribes of animated nature are likewise in a state of progressive change, either from infancy to maturity and old age, or from one state of existence to another. The caterpillar is first an egg, next, a crawling worm, then a nymph or chrysalis, and afterwards a butterfly adorned with the most gaudy colors. The may-bug beetle burrows in the earth where it drops its egg, from which its young creeps out in the shape of a maggot, which cast its skin every year, and, in the fourth year, it bursts from the earth, unfolds its wings, and sails in rapture "through the soft air." The animal and vegetable tribes are blended, by a variety of wonderful and incessant changes. Animal productions afford food and nourishment to the vegetable tribes, and the various parts of animals are compounded of matter derived from the vegetable kingdom. The wool of the sheep, the horns of the cow, the teeth of the lion, the feathers of the peacock, and the skin of the deer—nay, even our hands and feet, our eyes and ears, with which we handle and walk, see and hear, and the crimson fluid that circulates in our veins—are derived from the plants and herbs which once grew in the fields, which demonstrates the literal truth of the ancient saying, "All flesh is grass."
Still, however, amidst these various and unceasing changes and transformations, no example of annihilation has yet occurred to the eye of the most penetrating observer. When a piece of coal undergoes the process of combustion, its previous form disappears, and its component parts are dissolved, but the elementary particles of which it was composed still remain in existence. Part of it is changed into caloric, part into gass [gas], and part into tar, smoke, and ashes, which are soon formed into other combinations. When vegetables die, or are decomposed by heat or cold, they are resolved into their primitive elements, caloric, light, hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon,—which immediately enter into new combinations, and assist in carrying forward the designs of Providence in other departments of nature. But such incessant changes, so far from militating against the idea of the future existence of man, are, in reality, presumptive proofs of his immortal destination. For, if amid the perpetual transformations, changes, and revolutions that are going forward throughout universal nature in all its departments, no particle of matter is ever lost, or reduced to nothing, it is in the highest degree improbable, that the thinking principle in man will be destroyed, by the change which takes place at the moment of his dissolution. That change, however great and interesting to the individual, may not be more wonderful, nor more mysterious than the changes which take place in the different states of existence to which a caterpillar is destined. This animal, as already stated, is first an egg, and how different does its form appear when it comes forth a crawling worm? After living some time in the caterpillar state, it begins to languish, and apparently dies; it is encased in a tomb, and appears devoid of life and enjoyment. After a certain period it acquires new life and vigor, bursts its confinement, appears in a more glorious form, mounts upward on expanded wings, and traverses the regions of the air. And, is it not reasonable, from analogy, to believe, that man, in his present state, is only the rudiments of what he shall be hereafter in a more expansive sphere of existence? and that, when the body is dissolved in death, the soul takes its ethereal flight into a celestial region, puts on immortality, and becomes "all eye, all ear, all ethereal and divine feeling?"
Since, then, it appears that annihilation forms no part of the plan of the Creator in the material world, is it reasonable to suppose, that a system of annihilation is in incessant operation in the world of mind? that God is every day creating thousands of minds, endued with the most capacious powers, and, at the same time, reducing to eternal destruction thousands of those which he had formerly created? Shall the material universe exist amid all its variety of changes, and shall that noble creature, for whose sake the universe was created, be cut off forever in the infancy of its being, and doomed to eternal forgetfulness? Is it consistent with the common dictates of reason to admit, that matter shall have a longer duration than mind, which gives motion and beauty to every material scene? Shall the noble structures of St. Paul
and St. Peter survive the ravages of time, and display their beautiful proportions to successive generations, while Wren and Angelo, the architects that planned them, are reduced to the condition of the clods of the valley?—Shall the "Novum Organum" of Bacon, and the "Optics" and "Principia" of Newton, descend to future ages, to unfold their sublime conceptions, while the illustrious minds which gave birth to these productions, are enveloped in the darkness of eternal night? There appears a palpable absurdity and inconsistency in admitting such conclusions. We might almost as soon believe that the universe would continue in its present harmony and order, were its Creator ceasing to exist. "Suppose that the Deity, through all the lapse of past ages, has supported the universe by such miracles of power and wisdom as have already been displayed—merely that he might please himself with letting it fall to pieces, and enjoy the spectacle of the fabric lying in ruins"—would such a design be worthy of infinite Wisdom, or conformable to the ideas we ought to entertain of a Being eternal and immutable in his nature, and possessed of boundless perfection? But suppose, farther, that he will annihilate that rational nature for whose sake he created the universe, while the material fabric was still permitted to remain in existence, would it not appear still more incompatible with the attributes of a Being of unbounded goodness and intelligence? To blot out from existence the rational part of his creation, and to cherish desolation and a heap of rubbish, is such an act of inconsistency, that the mind shrinks back with horror at the thought of attributing it to the All-wise and Benevolent Creator.
We are, therefore, necessarily led to the following conclusion: "That, when the human body is dissolved, the immaterial principle by which it was animated, continues to think and act, either in a state of separation from all body, or in some material vehicle to which it is intimately united, and which goes off with it at death; or else, that it is preserved by the Father of spirits for the purpose of animating a body in some future state." The soul contains no principle of dissolution within itself, since it is an immaterial uncompounded substance; and, therefore, although the material creation were to be dissolved and fall into ruins, its energies might still remain unimpaired, and its faculties "flourish in immortal youth.
"Unhurt, amidst the war of elements,
The wrecks of matter & the crush of worlds."
And the Creator is under no necessity to annihilate the soul for want of power to support its faculties, for want of objects on which to exercise them, or for want of space to contain the innumerable intelligences that are incessantly emerging into existence: for the range of immensity is the theatre of his Omnipotence, and that powerful Energy, which has already brought millions of systems into existence, can as easily replenish the universe with ten thousand millions more. If room were wanted for new creations, ten thousand additional worlds could be comprised within the limits of the solar system, while a void space of more than a hundred and eighty thousand miles would still intervene between the orbits of the respective globes, and the immeasurable spaces which intervene between our planetary system and the nearest stars, would afford an ample range for the revolutions of millions of worlds. And, therefore, although every soul, on quitting its mortal frame, were clothed with a new material vehicle, there is ample scope in the spaces of the universe, and in the omnipotent energies of the Creator, for the full exercise of all its powers, and for every enjoyment requisite to its happiness. So that in every point of view in which we can contemplate the soul of man and the perfections of its Creator, it appears not only improbable, but even absurd in the highest degree, to suppose that the spark of intelligence in man will ever be extinguished.
Messenger and Advocate
Messenger and Advocate.
Kirtland, Ohio, Dec. 1836.
THE CLOSING YEAR.
The moments fly—our days are numbering—and yet we live!
That, to us, important word, TIME, from the Saxon tim, tima, or Danish, time, which simply means a part or portion of duration, in performing his accustomed march has found us here, at the close of another twelve-month, though strange it is, that we are spared while others have fled.
At the close of the year 1834, it was our privilege to address the patrons of the Messenger, as its editor, in a few lines, and recur to such incidents as were thought to be of the most importance, and which would serve to awaken the mind to that sober reflection that would carry it beyond those fleeting, imaginary fancies which leave it barren and unfruitful. The close of this year has unexpectedly found us in the same situation in life, toiling at the same occupation and striving to accomplish the same end.
Though the Messenger was conducted by bro. John Whitmer for ten months since the publication of the article referred to above, and constantly filled with important admonitions to prepare for another world, yet it may not be amiss to say something of the past, even back to that time when the living were earnestly entreated to see whether all were well, in point of assurance from above, of an admission when called from the earth.
We did not complain, in our remarks of 1834, that the Lord had dealt unkindly with us, in taking from our embrace many near and intimate friends, though we mourned their loss. And we now only express our astonishment, that so many others have since gone, and we survive—it cannot be because we are better than they—if any thing, we are inclined to think it because we are not prepared to enter those fair mansions with them, and are mercifully spared to become sanctified, that by-and-by we may enjoy that rest so much desired by all who have once been permitted to gaze for a moment into the society where the wicked never come, and where one eternal round of perfection occupies the attention of the inhabitants.
Among those who have gone home to rest, we mention the names of our two brothers-in-law, Christian and Peter Whitmer, jr. the former died on the 27th of November 1835, and the other the 22nd of September last, in Clay county, Missouri. By many in this church, our brothers were personally known: they were the first to embrace the new covenant, on hearing it, and during a constant scene of persecution and perplexity, to their last moments, maintained its truth—they were both included in the list of the eight witnesses in the book of Mormon, and though they have departed, it is with great satisfaction that we reflect, that they proclaimed to their last moments, the certainty of their former testimony: The testament is in force after the death of the testator. May all who read remember the fact, that the Lord has given men a witness of himself in the last days, and that they, have faithfully declared it till called away.
It is an astonishing thought, and we venture to say, that it passes through the mind of no sober man without producing anxiety, that we must go hence! Amid all our other concerns, and even in the heat of the most absorbing earthly considerations, that reflection never steals across the mind without making a deep impression. Such is the certainty of death, notwithstanding the pride of the human heart, and such the importance attached to that solemn hour, that infidelity, with all its boasted assurance, never fails to tremble before its all powerful arm. Neither is it without its importance to the believer and professor. It is hailed and cherished as the day of release, or a dark uncertainty hangs over the heart, and stings the best enjoyment. Men do, they must, they cannot avoid, thinking of their approaching dissolution, however they seek to "put far away the evil day," and laugh at death!
It is impossible to give an accurate account of the increase of members to this church during the last year; but we feel authorized to say, that during no preceeding [preceding] year since the same was organized have their numbers been so great. That bitter animosity which was so formidable during the few first years of its progress, has gradually passed off, and the great flood of falsehoods so artfully put in circulation have began to recoil with the speed of thought, upon the heads of their inventers [inventors]; and we proudly anticipate the day when there shall be proclaimers sufficient to carry the glad news of the gospel of peace, into the remote regions of the earth. True it is, that no place has witnessed the sound as yet, without producing an abundance of fearful, false religionists, who have never failed to raise the voice till put to shame in the eyes of all intelligence—and of this class, the priests have constituted the greatest portion, who have always been overpowered, confused and con-
founded when they have hazzarded [hazarded] an investigation.
The affairs of the church in the west have been very distressing: Men, women and children, have been so much and so long exposed to the inclemency of the weather, that sickness, with a number of deaths, have followed. Our enemies here, and the enemies of truth, righteousness and justice, have acted their part in this tragedy. From time to time has the country, where our brethren have lived, been flooded with false statements concerning our situation and acts; and the people of the west, not suspecting the design, have been thrown into commotion, and ready to believe it their duty to raise the oppressing hand of persecution, and drive our friends from the face of society. And even during the past summer, our friends were obliged to forego some of the most sacred rights guaranteed in the constitution and laws of our country; to save the effusion of blood. Though we highly commend them for the course they took in that critical moment, and approve, with satisfaction the part acted by the leading men of Clay county, yet, we candidly believe, that had it not been for the vile slanders and opprobrious falsehoods, circulated by our enemies here, and sent to the ears of men in the west, concerning us, and our friends in that country, they would now have been enjoying all their former blessings of prosperity and happiness. On this point we have only one opinion: When the Lord judges the secrets of men's hearts, those miserable beings will be cast off as the shedders of innocent blood and the destroyers of peace and human happiness. Be this as it may, we would they might repent, and thereby escape the wrath and indignation of God.
We are happy to have it in our power to say, now, that from the last accounts, health was restoring to that afflicted people. They have made purchases in a new place, and many families are already prepared for the winter: in all probability, they have made such an arrangement, and have cultivated that friendly understanding with their neighbors, that they will now be permitted to gather by themselves and form a community of their own. This we are willing for, and would rather choose than they should live in the midst of confusion and war; but we regret that men are so destitute of righteous principles that they will vilify the innocent, and cause strangers to become alarmed for their own safety so much as to wish our friends from among them. We repeat what we have already said, that it is all in consequence of the lies put forth by persons in this country: Men whose moral responsibility, where known, weighs no heavier in point of veracity than the acts of Judas in the scales of righteousness.
By christians it is contended that there is a heaven, and by infidels, that such is a vain theory, got up to scare men into communities to support the defenders of particular creeds.
That religion is made a traffic, and the souls of men merchandize, we shall not deny; but, as each generation are to make their own choice, and the present quickly following in the footsteps of the last, it is honorable in all to examine for themselves, as the past cannot laugh at our follies, nor the one to come, relieve us from former dilemmas—the things of life and the thoughts of death, being sufficient for all men.
There is a system which says there is no God, and many pretend to believe it. There is another which admits the being of a God, but contends that we know nothing of him or his attributes. Another system that there is a God, and that he has revealed himself to man, but long since c[e]ased, either because he has changed, or man has failed to approach him in a suitable manner. And another, that there is a God, that he once revealed himself to men, that now, and in all ages to come, as in former times, when men call upon him with pure hearts and holy desires, he will invariably and unceasingly open the heavens and communicate unto them, and that the least variation from this principle would show a change in a being who is unchang[e]able.
Where then, can the mind of man rest with certainty or hope? Is it in that system which contends there is no God—that the doctrine of annihilation is true? Let us see: First, we are here—we exist—we are beings—bodies—intelligences: capable of moving, acting, walking, feeling and thinking: we eat, we drink, we sleep and we rise up; yet we did not create ourselves, nor can save ourselves from
dissolution and death, beyond a fixed period; and that period is so near that all may see it.
Now, the question is, whether when we lay down these bodies, we exist in another state or not? It is certain that we had no more agency in forming or creating the intelligence, without which these bodies are a lifeless lump, than we had in forming the body. And so long as the body is inactive and senseless without the soul, or intelligence, we are ready to consider it of the least value. Then, since the body, though it decays, is not annihilated, where is the presumption that the wise and intelligent part, which could no longer be confined within this tabernacle, has become extinct? Not to be lengthy on this point, but we confess, from a careful examination of its consistency and claims for belief, it falls far short of a rational system, consequently, gives neither hope nor consolation. Reason may be called what it may, and be urged upon us by whom it may, but when it opposes itself to facts it ceases to be reason, and is only to be set down in an even column with thousands of assertions which have neither reason nor common sense for a foundation.
Equally vain, though not as apparently vile, is that system which admits the being of a God, but denies his intercourse with men, as the one which contends for annihilation; for of what consequence is it to us whether he exists or not, since we know nothing of him? We cannot say whether he is a merciful being or a tyrant, and if he has any agency or power over us, why not keep us from death, or tell us of our state after?
Not to occupy time on the absurdity of that system which confesses that the great Author of our being once conversed with men, but has now ceased, we pass directly to the last subject of faith or belief. For, after having ranged through the wide field of matter, and seen the great changes in nature, and the consistency, and in fact, the certainty of the continuance of the soul, we confess we have but little faith in a person who may be called our Creator, who once spake to man, but will do so no more! It is a fact, that we shall exist hereafter, and that a God governs the universe, but when we approach the thought of death, with a certainty no further darkness and dispair [despair] overwhelm the mind. And to think that our fathers could once look into heaven, see and converse with those blessed inhabitants, and that we are their children, yet cannot obtain one view to assure us of our acceptance with him, or a seat at his right hand, is so foreign from that justice and equity by which such a being must exist, and by which alone he governs and upholds the world, that no man, once set free from those chains which bind him down and causes him to put his Maker so far off that we cannot see, hear nor speak, but will continue to seek till he arrives to that certainty which will enable him to say, "I know that my Redeemer lives."
The next, and great point is that which believes in a God who is eternal: to constitute such a being must be one that never changes. To attach to his attributes changeableness at once argues finitude; and how any rational man can spread out his hands towards heaven, and worship, (in his mind,) such a being, is past our comprehension—such is not the God we adore—it is not the being we serve. The One we worship comprehends all things, from the extent of eternity to the rip[p]ling crimson that flows and throbs through our hearts. No power so high that he does not surpass it; no depth so low that he does not comprehend it, and no extent so great that it is not circumscribed by his omni[s]cient wisdom: and yet, great as he is, he so abounds in goodness that, as a shepherd watches over his flock, carrying the feeble in his arms, so does our God condescend to notice our wants and answer the petitions of the orphan and outcast!
To acknowledge this being is more than fine gold—to serve him with a pure heart is more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices, and whether we have succeeded or failed, such has been the intention of our labors in the Messenger, to draw the minds of men to look into the perfection of that system which has charms sufficient to sustain it in a trying hour, and free our fellow-men from the grasp of hell.
It is common with all, and especially with editors, that they promise themselves and friends a great many new things for the new year; but we shall not venture to promise our friends any thing extra, on untried ground. We
already owe so many apologies for the past, that if our friends will overlook our imperfections and forgive our faults we shall be glad; and we now take the opportunity to ask of all whom we may have injured or offended, either publicly or privately, a forgiveness. Much has been written and much published—it must all be tried in a perfect balance, and we receive a reward according to our acts.
In closing this address, our heart is full—we close for the year, and we know not for life, be this as God will have it. One thing we feel assured of, that many who read this, will have gone hence ere the end of another year. How important then, O how important, that we all live to God, that with the pure in heart we may be gathered into his everlasting kingdom—may it be even so, for Christ's sake. Amen. EDITOR.
The following from the "Medina Free Press," was written by elders Palmer and Gordon, with whom we are personally and intimately acquainted. Our friends abroad may not only place implicit confidence in their statements, but rely upon the fact, that notwithstanding our enemies have used their utmost exertion to vilify and slander our friends in the west as well as the church here, that prosperity and peace seem to be once more restored to that long abused and afflicted people. We repeat, what we have so often said, that were it not for uneasy religionists, who hatch up the greatest number of the lies floating about against us, we should long ere this have been at peace with the citizens of Missouri, and in fact, with all men. Yes, we may add, had it not been for them, no trouble would have occurred.
There has been some sickness, and several deaths among our brethren in the west this season. But when we consider the fatigues and distress occasioned by being driven from home, it is only a wonder that so many survive. We are aware of the fact, that many received the seeds of death while exposed to the colds of winter, and the wants of food, while fleeing from a merciless mob. And we only add, that at the day of God's vengeance, such as afflicted the innocent and persecuted the helpless without cause, will receive their reward. Elders Palmer and Gordon went from the New Portage church.—Editor Messenger.
[We have thought proper to publish the following Letter, from a belief that the contents thereof will prove more or less pleasing and interesting to the readers of this paper, as well as from the consideration that, from the well known candor and veracity of the gentlemen who have signed this communication, great confidence may be placed in its general correctness, especially in the neighborhoods in this, and other counties, in which they were acquainted. We ought, probably to add, that the authors of this letter belong to the religious body generally denominated Mormons.]—Editor Ohio Free Press.
Mr. Joseph W. White,
Believing it will be a satisfaction to you, and many of our acquaintance in Medina county, to hear from us and know the situation of our people since we have arrived in Missouri, we will give you a short account of our journey and present situation, and some general description of the country so far as we have become acquainted.
We started on our journey from New Portage, five families in number, on the 14th day of June last, and after a pleasant and prosperous journey of nine weeks we arrived at our home in the state of Missouri on the 17th day of August, 1836. Length of road 800 miles. We took our journey by the way of Columbus. In passing through the state of Ohio we admired the richness of soil of the land about Mount Vernon on the branches of Owl creek, as also land on Walnut and Whetstone creeks near Columbus; and also the country about Dayton, which is of a richer quality of land than that with which we were acquainted in the northern counties. We must say that the,
Western Reserve far exceeds any other part of the State through which we passed, for the industry of the farmers, the convenience of roads, beauty of situation and buildings, and present flourishing situation and future prospects of improvements. The state of Indiana, on the road which we passed, is generally new and uncultivated, of a deep rich black soil, heavy timbered, rather level, more suitable for grass than grain; rather subject to intermittent fevers, particularly in a wet season; however when the country is improved, and proper sluices and drains opened for the water to pass off, it will be a rich and beautiful country. As we passed through Indianopolis [Indianapolis], the Capital of the State, the new State House attracted our attention, and we called to take a view of so elegant a structure, which exceeds any building we have ever seen for seize [size] and beauty. We were now nine families and 56 persons in number. We were politely waited upon by the keeper, and after viewing the assembly room and senate chamber, with the other parts of that elegant building, we sang a part of the following hymn:
"The spirit of God like a fire is burning,
The latter day glory begins to come forth;
The visions and blessings of old are returning,
The angels are coming to visit the earth.
We'll sing and we'll shout with the armies of heaven,
Hosannah, hosannah to God and the Lamb;
Let glory to them in the highest be given,
Hence forth and forever—Amen and amen."
The singing, with the echo which followed and repeated the sounds, produced the most pleasing sensations.
The state of Illinois is mostly a prairie country, consisting of open prairies from 10 to 15 miles wide, covered with grass. We would then pass ++++ strip of timbered land from ++++ miles wide, with scattering ++++ around the edge of the prairie. However, Sangamon and Morgan counties are excellent counties of land, the best, we presume, in the State. As we crossed the Mississippi, a large and beautiful river we arrived in the state of Missouri. We passed through a hilly rough country for a few miles; we then entered into a beautiful rich prairie country—the prairies smaller, and the groves of timber more suitably proportioned for the use and convenience of the farmer. These prairies extend, with clusters of timber, for some hundred miles to the north and west, and offer the greatest encouragement to the industrious farmer of any new country we have ever seen. This part of the state of Missouri, in which we have settled, is preferable to the state of Illinois, or any other country that we have ever seen, for richness of soil, good water, and a healthy climate. We have not seen a swamp or piece of marshy ground, within one hundred miles that we recollect.
We will give you a sample of what every industrious farmer may arrive to in a few years. We called upon a man by the name of Jones, in Sangamon county in the state of Illinois to buy a little corn to feed our teams: he had corn enough in his cribs for two thousand bushels: he had sold the day before 600 bushels: he said he raised 7,000 bushels last year, and he had then growing 200 acres of corn: he had great numbers of cattle, horses and hogs. We put up for the night near one Smith's, who also lives on the edge of a prairie. He had then growing 119 acres of corn, 300 head of cattle, and a great number of hogs and horses. After we passed through Jacksonville the county seat of Morgan county, we came into a prairie about 5 miles square, which was in the best state of cultivation of any prairie we had seen. We stood on the top of a hill, and viewed the beautiful prospect: about two-thirds of this 5 miles square was waving with growing corn, and the remainder with wheat and meadow. The place which we have selected for our settlement is a tract of country lying in the north part of the state of Missouri, between the Missouri and Grand rivers, and is now attached to Ray county, but is soon to be organized into a county by itself.—Our settlement is increasing very fast. There are now several hundred families here. We are now laying out a town one mile square, and several houses are already on the place, although the town is not yet surveyed and recorded. The most perfect friendship exists between us and the inhabitants of Missouri; and we have the most encouraging prospects before us.
Yours, with esteem.
Ray county. (MO.) Oct. 1836.
Kirtland, Nov. 26, 1836.
President O. Cowdery,
Perhaps it would not be altogether uninteresting to our friends abroad, to give them a brief sketch of my travels in the ministry, and travels since I left Kirtland, in May, 1834; at which time I joined the saints to go up to Zion, for the purpose of visiting our brethren in their afflictions. I deem it unnecessary to give an account of my travels while journeying to that place; suffice it to say, that after I arrived in Missouri, I spent the summer and fall in laboring with my hands. On the 5th of Nov. 1834, I was ordained to the office of a priest, under the hand of elder S. Carter, and sent forth in my weakness to proclaim the first principles of the gospel. After receiving some advice from bishop Partridge, I left Clay county, Missouri, on the 13th of January, 1835, in company with elder Henry Brown, for the purpose of preaching the gospel in the south country. We first visited Jackson county, the only success we met with, was to procure a few signers to the petition to the Governor of Missouri, for redress of wrongs done to the saints, who inhabited that county: and we felt to rejoice in the privilege of bowing the knee on that land, to worship the God of Israel, although, at the same time it was polluted by wicked and ungodly men.
From thence we passed into the territory of the Arkansas, and traveled through an extent of country where the fulness of the gospel had never been proclaimed by the Latter Day Saints. Many parts of the country we visited was but thinly inhabited, as we found in it places from 20 to 50 miles between dwelling houses, in which places was frequently the wide prairies, inhabited only by the bounding deer, and prouling [prowling] wolf which are very numerous. Some parts of the Arkansas was considerably populous; and wherever we found inhabitants, we did not shun to preach the word unto them as we had opportunity, either in the family circle or in the public assembly. Elder Brown, having been absent from his family for some length of time, felt it his duty to return; we travelled with speed through the country, consequently we had not time to establish churches in that region; yet I trust our labors were not in vain: the minds of many were awakened to enquire [inquire] into the work, prejudice removed, and the way opened for those who may visit that country in future. In places where our stay was short, some would take us by the hand and with tears in their eyes bid us God's speed. Elder Brown led two into the waters of baptism, at the Petty John creek in the Arkansas; these were the only two we baptised while together.
From this place we proceeded to the Dardanell, where we dug us out a canoe, and proceeded down the Arkansas river to the Little Rock, a distance of 170 miles. From thence we took the military road leading from Little Rock to Memphis; passed through the Mississippi swamp rising of 100 miles which road at that time was almost impassable for man or beast in consequence of mud and water. Here about 60 miles east of the Mississippi, I took the parting hand with elder Brown, after we had commended each other to God. He started for Kirtland, and I bent my course for Benton county, Tennessee; and as others before us had found it good to trust in the Lord, so did we; for, although our travels together were rising 1,000 miles, without purse or scrip, in a thinly settled country, yet I can say with gratitude to God, and those that entertained us, that in not one instance were we refused in any of our requests for the necessaries of life.
I reached Benton county Tenn. in April, 1835, where I was privileged with a happy interview with elder W. Parrish, and a society of saints, raised up through his and elder Patten's instrumentality.
I traveled for several months with elder Parrish; the Lord blessed our labors while together, the work of God rolled on, and we had souls given us as seals to our ministry. Elder Parrish was called to Kirtland, and after setting in order the churches and ordaining me to the office of an elder, he left them in my care and returned to this place. I felt my weakness but was much blessed in my labors, and continued to preach the gospel; and although priests and people raged, yet truth prevailed among the honest in heart, many received the word with joy and gladness, and were baptised
for the remission of their sins, and received the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, and signs followed them that believed. I was frequently opposed in public, by those whose craft was in danger, but when this was the case, and the subject investigated, it had a tendency to rend the garb with which they were covered, and lay their characters open and naked to the eyes of every unprejudiced mind.
It is true, we have had persecution to endure in the south, but notwithstanding this, there are many republicans and gentlemen in that country, who would scorn the idea of lending a helping hand to deprive their fellow citizens of those rights and liberties they enjoy, and which our laws guarantee to every American citizen. The saints in the south are strong in the faith of the Latter Day Saints, and will maintain their integrity unto the end; this is their right and none can take it from them.
We have had the privilege the season past of hearing the gospel proclaimed by some of the able servants of God from Kirtland and Missouri, viz. elders Marsh, Patten, Parrish and Groves, who have faithfully set forth the oracles of God to this people. On the 19th of Sept. I had the privilege of assembling in company with the saints at Tarapan, Ky. upon the banks of a stream where prayer was offered unto God. Elder Marsh led a young woman into the waters of baptism. I here took the parting hand with elders Marsh, Patten and Groves, also sister Patten, and they started for Zion with cheerful hearts. I spent a few days in visiting some of the branches of the church, and found them growing in grace; I also baptized 9 and procured 9 new subscribers for the Messenger and Advocate. Among the number baptized, was Mr. James Beaty who has been a preacher of the Christian order for years; but on hearing the fulness of the gospel, he believed, received and obeyed it: I also baptized his wife and daughter. I ordained brother Beaty a priest, and took passage at Paducah on the 25th of Oct. in company with elder A. O. Smoot, and J. Turpin, priest. On our journey we passed two boats that had sunk, we also saw the dead and wounded carried from the third, caused by the bursting of her pipes, and arrived in Kirtland, Nov. 25. I have been absent from this place two years and a half, in which time I have traveled between eight and nine thousand miles, principally in the south, and led 70 into the waters of baptism; and I feel to say, that wherever my lot may be cast, if I should live till my head blossoms with age, I shall remember the scenes of my spiritual youth, and the first fruits of my ministry; they are bound to me closer than the ties of consanguinity; yea, even by the ties of the blood of Christ: and while time may sever the ties of consanguinity, eternity cannot break the ties of celestial love that disembogues from the fount of eternal life.
The following is a list of the names of Ministers of the Gospel, belonging to the church of the Latter Day Saints, whose Licences were recorded the last Quarter, in the Licence Records, in Kirtland, Ohio.
By THOMAS BURDICK.
Kirtland, Dec. 1, 1836.
|Truman O Angel||Solomon Angel,|
|Asa Anson,||Benjamine F. Bird,|
|Ezekiel Barnes||Noah Bulkey,|
|Amos Babcock||Samuel Brown,|
|Jeremy Bartlett||John Badger,|
|Gideon H. Carter||Samuel Conklin,|
|Austin Cowls||Joseph W. Cole,|
|Silas Davis||Jonathan Dunham,|
|Amos B. Fuller||Jonathan H. Hale,|
|Thomas Hayes||Nathaniel Homes,|
|Dana Jacobs||Ozias Kilbourn,|
|Daniel Kent||John Kempton,|
|John Lawson||Richard Mann,|
|Orin Perry||Philip Packard,|
|Gustavus A. Perry||Abram Rose,|
|Carvil Rigdon||Stephen Shumway,|
|Otis Shumway||James C. Snow,|
|Sylvester B Stoddard||Charles Smith,|
|William W Spencer||C. W. Stilwell,|
|Alvah L. Tippits||Alvah Tippits,|
|William Willsey||Benj. S . Wilber,|
|Levi B. Wilder||Ira J. Willes.|
|Jacob K Butterfield||H. N. Byington,|
|Elijah B Gaylord||Samuel Parker,|