History of the Church Vol. 1 Chapter 21. [Sept. 1832 - Dec. 1832]
Larger Views On the Doctrine of Priesthood Revealed--The Meeting of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jun., Brigham Young, And Heber C. Kimball.
[For an explanation of abbreviations used see vol. 1 chapter 1.]
[Copyright © 1998 BOAP. All rights reserved.]
(A) ON September the 10th, George A. Smith was baptized by Joseph H. Wakefield, at Potsdam, St. Lawrence County, New York; and confirmed by Elder Solomon Humphry.(1) (2)
The Elders during the month of September began to return from their missions to the Eastern States, and present the histories of their several stewardships in the Lord's vineyard; and while together in these seasons of joy, I inquired of the Lord, and received on the 22nd and 23rd of September, the following revelation on Priesthood:
Revelation. [D&C 84](3) [September 22, 23, 1832]
1. A revelation of Jesus Christ unto his servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and six elders, as they united their hearts and lifted their voices on high.
2. Yea, the word of the Lord concerning his church, established in the last days for the restoration of his people, as he has spoken by the mouth of his prophets, and for the gathering of his saints to stand upon Mount Zion, which shall be the city of New Jerusalem.
3. Which city shall be built, beginning at the temple lot which is appointed by the finger of the Lord, in the western boundaries of the State of Missouri, and dedicated by the hand of Joseph Smith, Jun., and others with whom the Lord was well pleased.
4. Verily this is the word of the Lord, that the city New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saints, beginning at this place, even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared in this generation.(4)
5. For verily this generation shall not all pass away until an house shall be built unto the Lord, and a cloud shall rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord, which shall fill the house.
6. And the sons of Moses(5), according to the Holy Priesthood which he received under the hand of his father-in-law, Jethro;
7. And Jethro received it under the hand of Caleb;
8. And Caleb received it under the hand of Elihu;
9. And Elihu under the hand of Jeremy;
10. And Jeremy under the hand of Gad;
11. And Gad under the hand of Esaias;
12. And Esaias received it under the hand of God.
13. Esaias also lived in the days of Abraham and was blessed of him--
14. Which Abraham received the priesthood from Melchizedek, who received it through the lineage of his fathers, even till Noah; (5a)
15. And from Noah till Enoch, through the lineage of their fathers:
16. And from Enoch to Abel, who was slain by the conspiracy of his brother, who received the priesthood by the commandments of God, by the hand of his father Adam(6), who was the first man--
17. Which priesthood continueth in the church of God in all generations and is without beginning of days or end of years.
18. And the Lord confirmed a priesthood also upon Aaron and his seed, throughout all their generations, which priesthood also continueth and abideth forever with the priesthood which is after the holiest order of God.
19. And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.(7)
20. Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.
21. And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh;
22. For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live.(8)
23. Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God;
24. But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fullness of his glory.
25. Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also;
26. And the lesser priesthood continued, which priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel;
27. Which gospel is the gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments, which the Lord in his wrath caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel until John, whom God raised up, being filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother's womb.
28. For he was baptized while he was yet in his childhood, and was ordained by the angel of God at the time he was eight days old unto this power, to overthrow the kingdom of the Jews, and to make straight the way of the Lord before the face of his people, to prepare them for the coming of the Lord in whose hand is given all power.
29. And again, the offices of elder and bishop are necessary appendages belonging unto the high priesthood.
30. And again, the offices of teacher and deacon are necessary appendages belonging to the lesser priesthood, which priesthood was confirmed upon Aaron and his sons.
31. Therefore, as I said concerning the sons of Moses--for the sons of Moses and also the sons of Aaron shall offer an acceptable offering and sacrifice in the house of the Lord, which house shall be built unto the Lord in this generation, upon the consecrated spot as I have appointed--
32. And the sons of Moses and of Aaron shall be filled with the glory of the Lord, upon Mount Zion in the Lord's house, whose sons are ye; and also many whom I have called and sent forth to build up my church.(9)
33. For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies.
34. They become the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham, and the church and kingdom, and the elect of God.
35. And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord;
36. For he that receiveth my servants receiveth me;
37. And he that receiveth me receiveth my Father;
38. And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father's kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him.
39. And this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood.
40. Therefore, all those who receive the priesthood, receive this oath and covenant of my Father, which he cannot break, neither can it be moved.
41. But whoso breaketh this covenant after he hath received it, and altogether turneth therefrom, shall not have forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come.
42. And wo unto all those who come not unto this priesthood which ye have received, which I now confirm upon you who are present this day, by mine own voice out of the heavens; and even I have given the heavenly hosts and mine angels charge concerning you.
43. And I now give unto you a commandment to beware concerning yourselves, to give diligent heed to the words of eternal life.
44. For you shall live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.
45. For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
46. And the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit.
47. And every one that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit cometh unto God, even the Father.
48. And the Father teacheth him of the covenant which he has renewed and confirmed upon you, which is confirmed upon you for your sakes, and not for your sakes only, but for the sake of the whole world.
49. And the whole world lieth in sin, and groaneth under darkness and under the bondage of sin.
50. And by this you may know they are under the bondage of sin, because they come not unto me.
51. For whoso cometh not unto me is under the bondage of sin.
52. And whoso receiveth not my voice is not acquainted with my voice, and is not of me.
53. And by this you may know the righteous from the wicked, and that the whole world groaneth under sin and darkness even now.
54. And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received--
55. Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.
56. And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.
57. And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written--(10)
58. That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father's kingdom, otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion.
59. For shall the children of the kingdom pollute my holy land? Verily, I say unto you, Nay.
60. Verily, verily, I say unto you who now hear my words, which are my voice, blessed are ye inasmuch as you receive these things;
61. For I will forgive you of your sins with this commandment--that you remain steadfast in your minds in solemnity and the spirit of prayer, in bearing testimony to all the world of those things which are communicated unto you.
62. Therefore, go ye into all the world; and unto whatsoever place ye cannot go ye shall send, that the testimony may go from you into all the world unto every creature.
63. And as I said unto mine apostles, even so I say unto you, for you are mine apostles, even God's high priests; ye are they whom my Father hath given me; ye are my friends;
64. Therefore, as I said unto mine apostles I say unto you again, that every soul who believeth on your words, and is baptized by water for the remission of sins, shall receive the Holy Ghost.
65. And these signs shall follow them that believe--(11)
66. In my name they shall do many wonderful works;
67. In my name they shall cast out devils;
68. In my name they shall heal the sick;
69. In my name they shall open the eyes of the blind and unstop the ears of the deaf;
70. And the tongue of the dumb shall speak;
71. And if any man shall administer poison unto them it shall not hurt them;
72. And the poison of a serpent shall not have power to harm them.
73. But a commandment I give unto them, that they shall not boast themselves of these things, neither speak them before the world; for these things are given unto you for your profit and for salvation.
74. Verily, verily I say unto you, they who believe not on your words and are not baptized in water in my name, for the remission of their sins, that they may receive the Holy Ghost, shall be damned, and shall not come into my Father's kingdom where my Father and I am.
75. And this revelation unto you, and commandment, is in force from this very hour upon all the world, and the gospel is unto all who have not received it.
76. But, verily I say unto all those to whom the kingdom has been given--from you it must be preached unto them, that they shall repent of their former evil works, for they are to be upbraided for their evil hearts of unbelief, and your brethren in Zion for their rebellion against you at the time I sent you.(12)
77. And again I say unto you, my friends, for from henceforth I shall call you friends, it is expedient that I give unto you this commandment, that ye become even as my friends in days when I was with them, traveling to preach the gospel in my power;
78. For I suffered them not to have purse or scrip, neither two coats.(13)
79. Behold, I send you out to prove the world, and the laborer is worthy of his hire.
80. And any man that shall go and preach this gospel of the kingdom and fail not to continue faithful in all things, shall not be weary in mind, neither darkened, neither in body, limb, nor joint; and a hair of his head shall not fall to the ground unnoticed. And they shall not go hungry, neither athirst.
81. Therefore, take ye no thought for the morrow, for what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink, or wherewithal ye shall be clothed.(14)
82. For, consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they toil not, neither do they spin; and the kingdoms of the world, in all their glory, are not arrayed like one of these.
83. For your Father, who is in heaven, knoweth that you have need of all these things.
84. Therefore, let the morrow take thought for the things of itself.
85. Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man.
86. Therefore, let no man among you, for this commandment is unto all the faithful who are called of God in the church unto the ministry, from this hour take purse or scrip, that goeth forth to proclaim this gospel of the kingdom.
87. Behold, I send you out to reprove the world of all their unrighteous deeds, and to teach them of a judgment which is to come.
88. And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.
89. Whoso receiveth you receiveth me; and the same will feed you, and clothe you, and give you money.
90. And he who feeds you, or clothes you, or gives you money, shall in nowise lose his reward.
91. And he that doeth not these things is not my disciple; by this you may know my disciples.
92. He that receiveth you not, go away from him alone by yourselves, and cleanse your feet even with water, pure water, whether in heat or in cold, and bear testimony of it unto your Father which is in heaven, and return not again unto that man.(15)
93. And in whatsoever village or city ye enter, do likewise.
94. Nevertheless, search diligently and spare not; and wo unto that house, or that village or city that rejecteth you, or your words, or your testimony concerning me.
95. Wo, I say again, unto that house, or that village or city that rejecteth you, or your words, or your testimony of me;
96. For I, the Almighty, have laid my hands upon the nations, to scourge them for their wickedness.
97. And plagues shall go forth, and they shall not be taken from the earth until I have completed my work, which shall be cut short in righteousness--
98. Until all shall know me, who remain even from the least unto the greatest, and shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, and shall see eye to eye, and shall lift up their voice, and with the voice together sing this new song, saying;
99. The Lord hath brought again Zion;
The Lord hath redeemed his people, Israel,
According to the election of grace,
which was brought to pass by the faith
And covenant of their fathers.
100. The Lord hath redeemed his people:
And Satan is bound and time is no longer.
The Lord hath gathered all things in one.
The Lord hath brought down Zion from above.
The Lord hath brought up Zion from beneath.
101. The earth hath travailed and brought forth her strength;
And truth is established in her bowels;
And the heavens have smiled upon her;
And she is clothed with the glory of her God;
For he stands in the midst of his people.
102. Glory, and honor, and power, and might,
Be ascribed to our God; for he is full of mercy,
Justice, grace and truth, and peace,
Forever and ever, Amen.
103. And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, it is expedient that every man who goes forth to proclaim mine everlasting gospel, that inasmuch as they have families, and receive money by gift, that they should send it unto them or make use of it for their benefit, as the Lord shall direct them, for thus it seemeth me good.
104. And let all those who have not families, who receive money, send it up unto the bishop in Zion, or unto the bishop in Ohio, that it may be consecrated for the bringing forth of the revelations and the printing thereof, and for establishing Zion.
105. And if any man shall give unto any of you a coat, or a suit, take the old and cast it unto the poor, and go on your way rejoicing.
106. And if any man among you be strong in the Spirit, let him take with him him that is weak, that he may be edified in all meekness, that he may become strong also.
107. Therefore, take with you those who are ordained unto the lesser priesthood, and send them before you to make appointments, and to prepare the way, and to fill appointments that you yourselves are not able to fill.
108. Behold, this is the way that mine apostles, in ancient days, built up my church unto me.
109. Therefore, let every man stand in his own office, and labor in his own calling; and let not the head say unto the feet it hath no need of the feet; for without the feet how shall the body be able to stand?(16)
110. Also the body hath need of every member, that all may be edified together, that the system may be kept perfect.
111. And behold, the high priests should travel, and also the elders and also the lesser priests; but the deacons and teachers should be appointed to watch over the church, to be standing ministers unto the church.
112. And the bishop Newel K. Whitney, also should travel round about and among all the churches, searching after the poor to administer to their wants by humbling the rich and the proud.
113. He should also employ an agent to take charge and to do his secular business as he shall direct.
114. Nevertheless, let the bishop go unto the city of New York, also to the city of Albany(17), and also to the city of Boston, and warn the people of those cities with the sound of the gospel, with a loud voice,(18) of the desolation and utter abolishment which await them if they do reject these things.
115. For if they do reject these things the hour of their judgment is nigh, and their house shall be left unto them desolate.
116. Let him trust in me and he shall not be confounded; and a hair of his head shall not fall to the ground unnoticed.
117. And verily I say unto you, the rest of my servants, go ye forth as your circumstances shall permit, in your several callings, unto the great and notable cities and villages, reproving the world in righteousness of all their unrighteous and ungodly deeds, setting forth clearly and understandingly the desolation of abomination in the last days.
118. For, with you saith the Lord Almighty, I will rend their kingdoms; I will not only shake the earth, but the starry heavens shall tremble.
119. For I, the Lord, have put forth my hand to exert the powers of heaven; ye cannot see it now, yet a little while and ye shall see it, and know that I am, and that I will come and reign with my people.
120. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Amen.
I continued the translation of the Bible and ministering to the Church, through the fall, excepting a hurried journey to Albany, New York and Boston, in company with Bishop Whitney, from which I returned on the 6th of November, immediately after the birth of my son Joseph Smith, the third.(19)
About the 8th of November I received a visit from Elders Joseph Young,(20) Brigham Young, and Heber
C. Kimball(21) of Mendon, Monroe county, New York. They spent four or five days at Kirtland, during which we had many interesting moments. At one of our interviews, Brother Brigham Young(22) and John P. Greene spoke in tongues, which was the first time I had heard this gift among the brethren; others also spoke, and I received the gift myself.(23) (24)
In answer to letters received from the brethren in Missouri, I wrote as follows(25):
KIRTLAND, Nov. 27th, 1832. BROTHER WILLIAM W. PHELPS(26):--I say brother, because I feel so from the heart, and although it is not long since I wrote a letter unto you, yet I feel as though you would excuse me for writing this, as I have many things which I wish to communicate. Some things which I will mention in this letter, which are lying with great weight on my mind. I am well, and my family also; God grant that you may enjoy the same, and yours, and all the brethren and sisters who remember to inquire after the commandments of the Lord, and the welfare of Zion and such a being as myself; and while I dictate this letter, I fancy to myself that you are saying or thinking something similar to these words:--"My God, great and mighty art Thou, therefore show unto Thy servant what shall become of those who are essaying to come up unto Zion, in order to keep the commandments of God, and yet receive not their inheritance by consecrations, by order of deed from the Bishop, the man that God has appointed in a legal way, agreeably to the law given to organize and regulate the Church, and all the affairs of the same."
Brother William, in the love of God, having the most implicit confidence in you as a man of God, having obtained this confidence by a vision of heaven, therefore I will proceed to unfold to you some of the feelings of my heart, and to answer the question.
Firstly, it is the duty of the Lord's clerk,(27) whom He has appointed, to keep a history, and a General Church Record of all things that transpire in Zion, and of all those who consecrate properties and receive inheritances legally from the Bishop; and also their manner of life, their faith, and works and also of the apostates who apostatize after receiving their inheritances. It is contrary to the will and commandment of God, that those who receive not their inheritance by consecration, agreeably to His law, which he has given, that He may tithe His people, to prepare them against the day of vengeance and burning should have their names enrolled with the people of God; neither is their genealogy to be kept, or to be had where it may be found on any of the records or history of the Church; their names shall not be found neither the names of the fathers, nor the names of the children written in the book of the law of God, saith the Lord of hosts. Yea, thus saith the still small voice, which whispereth through and pierceth all things, and oftentimes it maketh my bones to quake while it maketh manifest, saying: and it shall come to pass, that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong(28), holding the sceptre of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the Saints, whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children enrolled in the book of the law of God: while that man, who was called of God, and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning; and all they who are not found written in the book of remembrance shall find none inheritance in that day but they shall be cut asunder, and their portion shall be appointed them among unbelievers, where are wailing and gnashing of teeth. These things I say not of myself; therefore, as the Lord speaketh, He will also fulfil. And they who are of the High Priesthood, whose names are not found written in the book of the law, or that are found to have apostatized, or to have been cut off from the Church; as well as the lesser Priesthood, or the members, in that day, shall not find an inheritance among the Saints of the Most High; therefore it shall be done unto them as unto the children of the priest, as will be found recorded in the second chapter, and sixty-first and sixty-second verses of Ezra.(29)
Now, Brother William, if what I have said is true, how careful men ought to be what they do in the last days, lest they are cut short of their expectations, and they that think they stand should fall, because they keep not the Lord's commandments; whilst you, who do the will of the Lord and keep His commandments, have need to rejoice with unspeakable joy, for such shall be exalted very high, and shall be lifted up in triumph above all the kingdoms of this world; but I must drop this subject at the beginning [of it].
Oh, Lord, when will the time come when Brother William, Thy servant, and myself, shall behold the day that we may stand together and gaze upon eternal wisdom engraven upon the heavens, while the majesty of our God holdeth up the dark curtain until we may read the round of eternity, to the fullness and satisfaction of our immortal souls? Oh, Lord, deliver us in due time from the little, narrow prison, almost as it were, total darkness of paper, pen and ink;--and a crooked, broken, scattered and imperfect language.
I have obtained ten subscribers for the Star. Love for all the brethren. Yours in bonds. Amen.(30) JOSEPH SMITH, JUN.
On the 6th of December, 1832(31), I received the following revelation explaining the parable of the wheat and tares:
Revelation. [D&C 86](32) [December 6, 1832]
1. Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servants, concerning the parable of the wheat and of the tares;
2. Behold, verily I say, the field was the world, and the apostles were the sowers of the seed;
3. And after they have fallen asleep, the great persecutor of the church, the apostate, the whore, even Babylon, that maketh all nations to drink of her cup, in whose hearts the enemy, even Satan, sitteth to reign--behold he soweth the tares; wherefore, the tares choke the wheat and drive the church into the wilderness.
4. But behold, in the last days, even now while the Lord is beginning to bring forth the word, and the blade is springing up and is yet tender--
5. Behold, verily I say unto you, the angels are crying unto the Lord day and night, who are ready and waiting to be sent forth to reap down the fields;
6. But the Lord saith unto them, pluck not up the tares while the blade is yet tender (for verily your faith is weak), lest you destroy the wheat also.
7. Therefore, let the wheat and the tares grow together until the harvest is fully ripe; then ye shall first gather out the wheat from among the tares, and after the gathering of the wheat, behold and lo, the tares are bound in bundles, and the field remaineth to be burned.
8. Therefore, thus saith the Lord unto you, with whom the priesthood hath continued through the lineage of your fathers--
9. For ye are lawful heirs, according to the flesh, and have been hid from the world with Christ in God--
10. Therefore, your life and the priesthood have remained, and must needs remain through you and your lineage until the restoration of all things spoken by the mouths of all the holy prophets since the world began.
11. Therefore, blessed are ye if ye continue in my goodness, a light unto the Gentiles, and through this priesthood, a savior unto my people Israel. The Lord hath said it. Amen.
Notes Chapter 21
Return to History Page
A. Missing from the ms history is a revelation currently published as D&C 99 (LDS edition). From 1876 to 1981 LDS editions of the D&C carried the incorrect date of 1833 for this revelation. This revelation was given to John Murdock (the KRB gives the date August 24, 1832, the KRB index lists the revelation as given August 29, 1832). Murdock was the living biological parent of Julia, Joseph and Emma Smith's adopted daughter (see vol. 1, chapter 19). Murdock notes this revelation in his diary:I then continued with the Church in Cuyahoge & Geauga Co's confirming & strengthening the church & regaining my health til I received the Revelation Recorded Book of Covenants page 316 Second edition given in August 1832.
Sept. 24th. 4 m[iles]'s to Orrice Clapp's [at] Mentor my father in law found them varry unbelieving. But perevous to this I had previded for my children & sent them up to the Bishop in Zion according to the revelation by[with] Br Caleb Baldwin & paid him thirty Dollars for carrying them & things & after making proper preparations according to the revelation I journied forth.
Sept. 27 1832 Br. Zebede Coultrin & myself started on a mission.
The text of the revelation is given here:
[D&C 99] [August 24, 1832]1 Behold, thus saith the Lord unto my servant John Murdock--thou art called to go into the eastern countries from house to house, from village to village, and from city to city, to proclaim mine everlasting gospel unto the inhabitants thereof, in the midst of persecution and wickedness.Murdock recounts his several missions in his autobiography.
2 And who receiveth you receiveth me; and you shall have power to declare my word in the demonstration of my Holy Spirit.
3 And who receiveth you as a little child, receiveth my kingdom; and blessed are they, for they shall obtain mercy.
4 And whoso rejecteth you shall be rejected of my Father and his house; and you shall cleanse your feet in the secret places by the way for a testimony against them.
5 And behold, and lo, I come quickly to judgment, to convince all of their ungodly deeds which they have committed against me, as it is written of me in the volume of the book.
6 And now, verily I say unto you, that it is not expedient that you should go until your children are provided for, and sent up kindly unto the bishop of Zion.
7 And after a few years, if thou desirest of me, thou mayest go up also unto the goodly land, to possess thine inheritance;
8 Otherwise thou shalt continue proclaiming my gospel until thou be taken. Amen.
The History also does not note that Joseph Smith left Hiram, Ohio for Kirtland and established his residence there. The Smith's departed from Hiram exactly one year to the day of their arrival, leaving on 12 September 1832. During Joseph Smith's stay in Hiram, he received many revelations, 17 of which now appear in the Doctrine and Covenants. During the Hiram period several men who later became leaders in the Mormon Church became acquainted with Joseph. These included Luke and Lyman Johnson, Orson Hyde, William E. McLellin, John F. Boynton and Amasa Lyman.
1. This note regarding George A. Smith is not in the hand of Willard Richards but Thomas Bullock and was inserted long after Richards had written this part of the ms. Other examples of this sort of notation appear in the ms history or in modification prior to its publication, for example noting the meeting of various persons with Joseph Smith, such as Brigham Young. These were probably written after Joseph Smith's death and were no doubt regarded as legitimate additions to the historical narrative by the LDS Church historians of the Utah era in part because they concern persons who later became prominent in Church leadership. See note 23 below.
2. George Albert Smith was born at Potsdam, St. Lawrence county, New York, on the 26th of June, 1817. He was the son of John Smith, the sixth son of Asael and Mary Smith. John Smith was therefore a brother of hte Prophet's father, and George Albert and the Prophet were cousins. In the fall of 1828, Asael Smith, grandfather of the subject of this note, received a letter from Joseph Smith, Sen., informing him of some of the visions the youthful Prophet had received. Soon after this a letter from the young Prophet himself was received by John Smith, and read in the hearing of George Albert. The letter declared that the judgments of God would overtake the wicked of this generation unless they repented. The letter made a deep impression upon George Albert; while his father remarked the "Joseph wrote like a prophet." In August, 1830, Joseph Smith, Sen., visited his brother John, bringing with him the Book of Mormon, a copy of which he left at the former's residence. During the temporary absence of his uncle, who was visiting other branches of the family, George Albert championed the Book of Mormon, and answered objections urged against it by the neighbors who came in to examine it. Meantime he formulated some objections of his own, which his Uncle Joseph on his return answered to his complete satisfaction; and he never afterwards ceased to advocate the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon. Notwithstanding this conviction, however, he was not baptized until some two years had elapsed as will be seen by reference to the date of his baptism in the text of the Prophet's narrative.
At this point I think it proper that a letter written by Asael Smith, grandfather of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jun., should be introduced. A copy of the letter was obtained by George A. Smith, the subject of the foregoing biographical note, while on a visit to Topsfield, in 1872. The original was in the hands of a son of Mr. Jacob Town, then the town clerk of Topsfield, and who, while unwilling to part with the original, because written to and received by his father, permitted President George A. Smith to copy it.
On the outside of the letter, besides the superscription, "Mr. Jacob Town, Topsfield, Commonwealth of Massachusetts," is this: "Rec'd Feb. 14, 1796, from Asael Smith." From which it appears, when compared with the date under which it was written, the letter was one month on the journey from Tunbridge, Vt., to Topsfield, a distance of 150 miles, and was probably carried by private conveyance.
The letter is produced here for two reasons: first for its own intrinsic interest as a literary relic of one of the Prophet's ancestors, and of the American Revolutionary period; second, as showing the character of the stock from which the Prophet Joseph descended. This letter exhibits in Asael Smith a noble independence of character, united with a childlike humility before God, together with unbounded faith and trust in the wisdom of Providence and of His over-ruling hand in the affairs of nations. Loyalty to his country and faith in the stability of the government under the over-ruling providences of God are equally conspicuous. The letter will go far towards refuting the slanders which untruthful writers have been pleased to circulate concerning the character of that race from which the Prophet descended.
ASAEL SMITH'S LETTER TO MR. JACOB TOWN.
"TUNBRIDGE, Jan. 14th 1796.
"Respected Sir:-- Having a favorable opportunity, altho' on very short notice, I with joy and gratitude, embrace it, returning herewith my most hearty thanks for your respect shown in your favor of the 30th of November, be Mr. Willis, which I view as a singular specimen of friendship, which has very little been practiced by any of my friends in Topsfield, altho' often requested.
"My family are all, through the goodness of the Devine Benediction, in a tolerable good state of health, and desire to be remembered to you and to all inquiring friends.
"I have set me up a new house since Mr. Willis was here and expect to remove into it next spring, and begin again on an entire new farm, and my son Joseph [Smith, Sr.] will live on the old farm (if this that has been but four years occupied an be called old), and carry it on at the halves, which half I hope will nearly furnish my family with food, whilst I with my four youngest sons shall endeavor to bring to another farm, etc.
"As to news, I have nothing, as I know of, worth noticing, except that grain has taken a sudden rise amongst us, about one-third.
"As to the Jocobin party [possibly just a pejorative reference to persons Asael regarded as being like those which initiated the Reign of Terror during the French revolution], they are not very numerous here, or if they are pretty still; there are some in this state, viz., in Bennington, who like other children crying for a rattle, have blared out against their rulers, in hopes to wrest from them, if possible, what they esteem the plaything of power and trust. But they have been pretty well whipped and have become tolerably quiet again, and I am in hopes if they live to arrive to the years of discretion, when the empire of reason shall take place, that they will then become good members of society, notwithstanding their noisy, nucious behavior in their childhood, for which they were neither capable of hearing or giving any reason.
"For my part, I am so willing to trust the government of the world in the hands of the Supreme Ruler of universal nature, that I do not at present wish to try to wrest it out of His hands, and I have so much confidence in His abilities to teach our senators wisdom, that I do not think it worth while for me to interpose, from the little stock of knowledge that He has favored me with, in the affair, either one way or the other. He has conducted us through a glorious Revolutin and has brought us into the promised land of peace and liberty, and I believe that He is about to bring all the world into the same beatitude in His own time and way; which, altho' consistent with His designs. And I believe that the stone is now cut out of the mountain without hands, spoken of by Daniel, and has smitten the image upon his feet, by which the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver and the gold, (viz.) all the monarchial and ecclesiastical tyranny will be broken to pieces and become as the chaff of the summer threshing floor, the wind shall carry them all away, that there shall be no place found for them.
"Give my best regards to your parents and tell them that I have taken up with the eleventh commandment, that the negro taught to the minister, which was thus--
"The minister asked the negro how many commandments there were, and his answer was 'Eleben, sir.' 'Aye," replied the other, 'what is the eleventh? That is one I never heard of.' 'The eleventh commandment, sir, is mind your own business.'
"So I choose to do, and give myself but little concern about what passes in the political world.
"Give my best regards to Dr. Meriam, Mr. Willis, Joseph Dorman and Mr. Cree, and tell Mr. Cree I thank him for his respects and hope he will accept of mine. Write to me as often and as large as you can and oblige your sincere friend and well-wisher.
"Mr. Jacob Town, Jun."
The following appears on the back of the first page of the letter, being evidently of the nature of a postscript--
"Give my hearty thanks to Mr. Charles Rogers for his respects shown in writing me a few lines, and tell him that I should a wrote to him now, had I had time, but now waive it for the present, as I have considerable part of what I intended to a writ to you.
"If i should live and do well, I expect to come to Topsfield myself next winter, which, if I do, I shall come an pay you a visit. Farewell.
"Tell Mr. Joseph Cree that if he will come here and set up his trade, I will warrant him as much work as he can do, and good pay."
On the margin of the second page of the letter appears the following--
"I expect my son Joseph will be married in a few days." (BHR)
3. D&C 75 called some of the elders to do missionary work in the United States. At this point these missionaries had returned for the most part as noted in the text. This revelation is large, verses 1-41 were received on the first day (in the presence of six "elders" - probably high priests), the remaining verses on the day following (received in the presence of ten high priests). Several early ms copies exist including possibly the original in the handwriting of Frederick G. Williams. At the end of this ms is this note: "A Revelation to the order of P.H. + to N. K. Whitney-Sept. 23, 1832." The revelation is found is the KRB and has this title: "To go into the covenants A Revelation given 22 & 23d of Sept. 1832." The KRB index states: "Revelation given to six Elders Sept. 22 & 23d of 1832 explaining the two priesthoods and commissioning the Apostles [vss. 64ff] to preach the gospel." Many spelling and capitalization variations exist among various copies. However there are a few variations of some significance. These are found in verses 28, 30 and 42. The KRB and one ms of vs. 28 have John the Baptist baptized in the womb, an obvious copying error. In vs. 30, the ms history uses the word conferred instead of the published "confirmed." In vs. 42, the following phrase appears in mss, "vis the 23d day of September AD 1832 Eleven high Priests save one." [Woodford] While the revelation was given over two days, it, like D&C 107 was perhaps the composite of a number of previous revelations and inspired instructions. Parts of D&C 84 are clearly related to the Bible translation effort. Other parts foreshadow a "temple," possibly more than one, while still other parts contain quotations from scripture and poetic descriptions of the Milleniuum. See notes in the revelation itself. This revelation was first published as section 4 of the 1835 D&C.
4. This reiteration of the commandment to build a temple in Independence went unfulfilled. For the explanation see D&C 124:49-51. But see also D&C 115:7-12. The reference to the gathering and a temple at "this place" could also mean Kirtland, where the revelation was received (but verse 31 suggests a Missouri interpretation). The following verse (vs. 5) foreshadows a temple in Kirtland. While the function of this temple is not made explicit, the rest of the revelation points to a number of later practices- see the following note.
5. The following seeming diversion from the temple subject is eventually tied back into temple matters with verse 32. The "priesthood genealogy" (vss. 6-16) and the following commentary on the two "priests," Moses and Aaron, read much like a history lesson or fact summary. This material from vs. 17 to vs.30 constitute a historical interlude possibly related to the translation of the bible which was active during this period. Note vs. 29 where "high priesthood" refers to the office of high priest. Vss. 29, 30 give an analogy between bishop and elder, deacon and teacher, to high priest and priest, respectively. Bishop, elder, teacher and deacon are characterized as "appendages" to the offices of high priest (after the Melchizedek order) and priest (after the Aaronic order). Vs 31 continues the narrative from vs. 5.
5a. The verse has been interpreted in two ways:
(1) There are descendants between Noah and Melchizedek
(2) The phrase "lineage of his fathers, even till Noah" refers to the ancestors of Noah, not Melchizedek.
The following vs does not really clarify the situation but perhaps suggests number (2) is correct. The traditional identification of Melchizedek with Shem would also suggest number (2). See JSCOM.
6. Specific descent is not given for the Abraham - Adam linkage. Compare D&C 107:40-51 which does give a descent for a certain priesthood office in part of this earlier period.
7. Perhaps the beginning of a formal doctrine regarding authority "pools" of lesser and greater priesthoods. This view became solidified with D&C 107 [also see Journal of Joel Johnson, 6 Oct. 1835]
8. The passage here suggests that the high priesthood is necessary in order to see God the Father while one is "in the flesh" meaning as a mortal. Joseph Smith was not ordained when his vision occurred in 1820. His experience according to the various recitals of this early vision was perhaps not in the flesh. Note his remarks such as "when I came to myself" etc. in his 1838 account. Compare 2 Cor. 12:2. Other explanations have been given by various exegetes.
9. The figurative children of Levi (sons of Moses and Aaron) are those who are ordained to the priesthood, fulfil certain conditions, have certain blessings and partake of a certain oath or promise (vss. 32-42).
10. This is reflected in the concern of Joseph Smith over the disobedience of members who were going to Missouri unprepared and without permission and those who had money to donate to the bishop in Missouri but refused to do so because of deteriorating conditions there. The import of this passage finds its fulfillment the following year (1833) in mob action against the Church in Independence. By March 1832 the old settlers of Jackson County Missouri were upset enough to meet together to do something about the "Mormon problem" but no coherent action was taken.
11. Vss. 65-73 quote Mark 16:17-18.
12. A possible reference to the criticism of Smith, Rigdon and Whitney by the Missouri leaders (see chapter 19 and 20 notes, this volume, also pp. 317-321 this volume.)
13. Here the regulation for the missionaries who are out preaching is to depend upon God for their food, clothing and shelter which will be provided by the people they meet on their journeys.
14. Compare the instructions of vss. 81-85 with 3 Nephi 13 and Matt. 6.
15. This practice is mentioned frequently in the journals of missionaries in years following this revelation.
16. Compare 1 Cor. 12 with this and the following verses.
17. "My leg was not perfectly well [John Whitmer's history notes that Whitney remained lame from the incident], but I proceeded with Joseph to New York Providence & Boston--& through New England. We visited Bishop Onderdock of the Episcopal Church of the United States, while at N. York--& returned back to Kirtland. This Journey was taken to fulfill the Revelation--Previously given--." [RJS, 177, n4; Newel K. Whitney statement (undated), Newel K. Whitney Collection, Brigham Young University Library, Manuscripts. The document appears to be a reminiscent account, recorded by Willard Richards in Nauvoo.] During the March 1832 organization of the United Firm, Whitney was directed to negotiate a loan of $15,000 for the Firm and solicit funds from the various branches of the Church for the poor as well as preach the gospel in the East and give warning to the people there.
18. See Samuel H. Smith Journal (typescript), Brigham Young University Library, Special Collections. On 26 November 1832 Samuel recorded, "Came to Mother Dow's at New Rowley in the evening and she was much rejoiced to see us and she told us that Joseph had been to Boston and prophesied unto that city and had gone again to Ohio." [RJS, 177 n5] On October 13, 1832, Joseph Smith wrote to his wife in his room while waiting for Whitney to conduct business in purchasing goods for the Ohio store (see the previous note). We include the entire text here since it gives some flavor for Joseph Smith's concerns at the time as well as filling in the history concerning the visit to the East.
Oct 13 1832
Pearl Street House [Manhattan Island] N Y
My Dear Wife
This day I have been walking through the most splended part of the City of New Y- the buildings are truly great and wonderful to the astonishing of every beholder and the language of my heart is like this can the great God of all the Earth maker of all things magnificent and splendid be displeased with man for all these great inventions saught out by them my answer is no it can not be seeing these works are calculated to make men comfortable wise and happy therefore not for the works can the Lord be displeased only aganst man is the anger of Lord Kindled because they Give him not the Glory therefore their iniquities shall be visited upon their heads and their works shall be burned up with unquenchable fire the inequity of the people is printed in every countinance and nothing but the dress of the people makes them look fair and butiful all is deformity there is something in every countinance that is disagreable with few exceptions Oh how long Oh Lord Shall this order of things exist and darkness cover the Earth and gross darkness cover the people after beholding all that I had any desire to behold I returned to my room to meditate and calm my mind and behold the thaughts of home of Emma and Julia [Murdock, the adopted baby] rushes upon my mind like a flood and I could wish for a moment to be with them my breast is filld with all the feelings and tenderness of a parent and a Husband and could I be with you I would tell you many things yet when I reflect upon this great city like Ninevah not desearnign their right hand from their left yea more then two hundred thousand souls my bowels is filled with compasion towards them and I am determined to lift up my voice in this City and leave the Event with God who holdeth all things in his hands and will not suffer an hair of our heads unnoticed to fall to the ground there is but few Cases of the cholra in this City now and if you should see the people you would not know that they had ever heard of the cholra I hope you will excuse me for writting this letter so soon after writing for I feel as if I wanted to say something to you to comfort you in your beculier triel and presant affliction [Emma was expecting her fourth child] I hope God will give you strength that you may not faint I pray God to soften the hearts of those around you to be kind to you and take the burdon off your shoulders as much as posable and not afflict you I feel for you for I know you state and that others do not but you must cumfort yourself knowing that God is your friend in heaven and that you have one true and living friend on Earth your Husband
Joseph Smith Jr
PS while Brother Whitney is Selecting goods I have nothing to do but to sit in my room and pray for him that he may have strength to indure his labours for truly it is a tedious Job to stand on the feet all day to select goods it wants good Judgement and a long acquantence with goods to git good ones and a man must be his own Judge for no one will Judge for him and it is much pepleccity of mind I prefer reading and praying and holding cumuneion with the holy spirit and writing to you then walking the streets and beholding the distraction of man I have some conversation with few which gave satisfaction and one very butiful young gentleman from Jersy whose countinance was very sollam he came and set by my side and began to converce with me about the Cholra and I learned he had been seased with it and came very near dieing with it he said the Lord had spared him for some wise purpose I took advantage of this and opened a long discours with him he received my teaching appearantly with much pleasure and became very strongly aattacth to me we talkd till late at night and concluded to omit conversation till the next day but having some business to do he was detained untill the boat was ready to go out and must leave he came to me and bid me Farewell and we parted with much reluctance Brother Whitney is received with great kindness by all his old acquaintances he is faithful in prayr and fervant in spirit and we take great comfort together there is about one hundred boarders and sometimes more in this house you would have laughed right harty if you could have been where you could see the waiters to day noon as they waited on the table both Black and white and molato runing bowing and maneuvering but I must conclude I remain your affectionate Husband until Death
Joseph Smith Junior [Joseph Smith to Emma Smith, 13 October 1832, RLDS Library-Archives, Independence, Missouri. PWJS 252ff.]
19. Three children had previously been born to Joseph and Emma; a son, on June 15, 1828, who died the same hour; and a son and daughter on April 30, 1831, who lived three hours. These latter children were born the same day as the Murdock twins, whose adoption into Joseph's family at the age of nine days, is mentioned on page 260. (BHR)
20. Joseph Young mentioned above, was named for his grandfather Joseph Young, a physician and surgeon in the British-American army during the French and Indian war. John Young, the father of Joseph Young, subject of this note, was a native of Hopkinton, Middlesex county, Massachusetts. He married Nabby Howe, who bore to him eleven children, of whom Joseph was the seventh child and second son, Joseph was born on the 7th of April, 1797, in Hopkinton, Middlesex county, Massachusetts. In early life he became attached to religion, and was very moral and devout. In his youth he assisted his father in agricultural pursuits. He was a Methodist preacher for a number of years and labored in the United states and Canada. On April 6th 1832, he was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, by Elder Daniel Bowen, in Columbia, Pennsylvania; and was ordained an Elder a few days afterwards under the hands of Ezra Landon. After preaching in the state of New York for several months he took a mission to Canada in the summer of 1832 in company with his brother Phinehas, Eleazer Miller and others. They organized two small branches and returned to Mendon in about four months. He then went to Kirtland with Heber C. Kimball and his brother Brigham as related in the text. (BHR)
[Joseph Young had significant involvement with the Church through his life. An extended summary follows:
Son of John Young and Nabbie Howe. Born 7 April 1797 in Hopkinton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Member of Methodist church prior to conversion to Mormonism. Baptized 6 April 1832 by Daniel Bowen in Columbia, Pennsylvania. Ordained elder April 1832 by Ezra Landon. Preached in New York in spring of 1832. Mission to Earnestown-Loughborough, Upper Canada, in summer of 1832. Traveled to Kirtland, Ohio, November 1832. Second mission to Earnestown-Loughborough in winter of 1832-33. Married Jane Adeline Bicknell 18 February 1834 in Kirtland. Eleven children: Jane A., Joseph, Seymour B., Marcus De LaGrande, John Calvin, Mary L., Vilate, Chloe, Rhoda, Henriette, and Brigham. Member of Zion's Camp 1834. Ordained seventy 28 February 1835. Ordained President of First Quorum of Seventy 1 March 1835. Served in this position 1835-81. Mission to New York and Massachusetts with Burr Riggs 1835. Participated in dedication of Kirtland Temple 1836. Charter member of and owned stock in Kirtland Safety Society. Member of Kirtland Camp 1838. Left Kirtland 6 July 1838. Arrived at Haun's Mill 28 October 1838. Witnessed Haun's Mill massacre 30 October 1838. Expelled from Missouri 1839. Located temporarily in Quincy, Illinois, May 1839. Moved to Nauvoo in spring of 1840; there was occupied in painting and glazing. Received endowment 3 February 1844. Member of Council of Fifty 1 March 1845. Mission to Ohio 1844 to campaign for Joseph Smith as president of United States. Sealed to Lucinda Allen in Nauvoo 1846. Four children: Josephine, Phineas Howe, John C., and Willard. Sealed to Lydia Hemming 1846 in Nauvoo. Two children: Isaac and Caroline. Sealed to Mary Ann Burnham in Nauvoo 1846. Two children: Elmyra and Clarentine. Left Illinois 1846. Remained in Winter Quarters and Carterville, Iowa, until 1850. Arrived in Utah September 1850. Located in Salt Lake City. Sealed to Sarah Jane Kinsman 1868 at Salt Lake City, Utah. Two children: Edward and Sarah K. Mission to British Isles 1870. Died 16 July 1881 at Salt Lake City, Utah] [RJS, 281]
21. Heber Chase Kimball was born June 14, 1801, in Sheldon, Franklin county, Vermont. His parents were American born, though of Scotch extraction, the ancient name of the family being, it is believed Campbell. His opportunities for acquiring an education even of the common school order were extremely limited At the age of nineteen he was apprenticed to his elder brother, Charles, to learn the potter's trade He served some two years as an apprentice and then worked for his brother as a journeyman potter. While yet in the employ of his brother they together moved to Mendon, Monroe county, where the latter established a pottery. While living here Heber married Vilate Murray of Victor, a town near Mendon, but in the adjoining county of Ontario. Soon after his marriage he joined the Baptist church three weeks later, and some time in the winter of 1831, a number of the Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began preaching in the town of Victor and Heber C. Kimball and a number of the Youngs attended their meetings. Then followed the visit to the branch of the Church in Columbia, Pennsylvania, mentioned in the biographical note of Brigham Young. After his return from Columbia, he was baptized by Alpheus Gifford on the 15th of April, 1832. During the summer of 1832 Heber C. Kimball was ordained an Elder and with the Youngs labored part of his time in the ministry, and succeeded in raising up several small branches of the Church. In September he made the journey to Kirtland, spoken of by the Prophet in his narrative. (BHR) [An extended summary of Kimball's involvement in Mormonism follows:
Son of Solomon Kimball and Anna Spaulding. Born 14 June 1801 at Sheldon, Franklin County, Vermont. Moved with family to West Bloomfield, Ontario County, New York, 1811. Learned blacksmithing from father. Learned potter's trade from brother Charles about 1820-22. Moved to Mendon, New York, by 1822. Married Vilate Murray November 1822. Ten children: Judith M., William H., Helen Mar, Roswell H., Heber P., David P., Charles S., Brigham W., Solomon F., and Murray G. Initiated into Masonry in Victor, New York, 1823. Baptized April 1832 by Alpheus Gifford; ordained elder shortly thereafter. Traveled to Kirtland, Ohio, to see Joseph Smith October-November 1832. Moved to Kirtland in fall of 1833. Member of Zion's Camp 1834. Left Missouri for Kirtland 20 June 1834. Arrived in Kirtland 26 July [p.264] 1834. Established pottery in Kirtland area August 1834. Attended School of Prophets in winter of 1834-35. Ordained apostle 14 February 1835. Mission to eastern states in summer of 1835. Returned to Kirtland 25 September 1835. Attended dedication of Kirtland Temple March 1836. Left Kirtland on mission to upstate New York and Vermont 10 May 1836. Returned to Kirtland 2 October 1836. Charter member of and owned stock in Kirtland Safety Society January 1837. Appointed to preach in England 4 June 1837. Left Kirtland 13 June 1837. Arrived in Liverpool 20 July 1837. Returned to Kirtland 22 May 1838. With companions baptized nearly fifteen hundred. Moved to Missouri 1838. Arrived in Far West 25 June 1838. Expelled from Missouri 1839. Located temporarily in Quincy, Illinois, 1839. Moved to Nauvoo in summer of 1839. Left for mission to England September 1839. Arrived in England 6 April 1840. Returned to Nauvoo 1 July 1841. Elected member of Nauvoo City Council 23 October 1841. Received endowment 4 May 1842. Mission in Illinois September-November 1842. Married Sarah Noon 1842. Three children: Adelbert Henry, Sarah H., and Heber. Mission to eastern states July-October 1843. Member of Council of Fifty 11 March 1844. Mission to East May 1844 to campaign for Joseph Smith as President of United States. Returned to Nauvoo 6 August 1844. Assisted in preparing Saints to leave Nauvoo 1845. Married Sarah Ann Whitney 1846. Seven children: David, David O., David Heber, Newel W., Horace H., Maria, and Joshua. Married Lucy Walker 1846. Nine children: Rachael S., John H., Willard H., Lydia H., Anna S., Eliza, Washington, Franklin H., and Joshua H. Married Prescinda Huntington 1846. Two children: Prescinda C. and Joseph. Left Nauvoo 1846. Located in Winter Quarters until 1847. Married Clarrisa Cutler about 1846. One child: Abram A. Married Emily Cutler about 1846. One child: Isaac A. Married Mary Ellen Abel. One child: Peter. Married Ruth Reese. Three children: Susannah R., Jacob R., and Enoch H. Married Christeen Golden. Four children: Cornelia C., Jonathan Golden, Elias Smith, and Mary M. Married Anna Gheen. Five children: Samuel H., Daniel H., Andrew H., Alice, and Sarah. Married Amanda Green. Four children: William G., Albert H., Jeremiah, and Moroni. Married Harriet Sanders. Three children: Harriet, Hyrum, and Eugene. Married Ellen Sanders. Five children: Samuel, Joseph, Augusta, Jedediah, and Rosalia. Married Frances Swan. One child: Frances. Married Martha Knight. One child: Son. Married Mary Smithies. Five children: Melvina, James, Wilford, Lorenzo, and Abbie. In all sixty-five children. Arrived in Salt Lake Valley 24 July 1847. Returned to Winter Quarters 31 October 1847. Sustained as member of First Presidency 27 December 1847. Member of First Presidency 1847-68. Left for Salt Lake Valley May 1848. Arrived in Salt Lake Valley September 1848. Elected lieutenant-governor of provisional State of Deseret 1849. Until death served faithfully in First Presidency. Assisted in organizing wards, stakes, missions, and colonies and preached throughout Church. Died 22 June 1868 in Salt Lake City, Utah.] [RJS, 263-264]
22. Brigham Young was born in Whitingham, Windham county, Vermont, June 1, 1801. He was the ninth child and fourth son of John and Nabby Howe Young He was early taught by his parents to live a strictly moral life it was not until he was in his twenty-second year that he gave serious thought to religion He soon afterwards joined the Methodist church. On the 8th of October he married Miriam Works daughter of Asa and Jerusha Works and for a number of years followed the trade of carpenter and joiner, painter and glazier. In the spring of 1829 he made his home at Mendon a small town some fifteen miles south and east of Rochester in Monroe county where his father also resided. A year later he saw for the first time the Book of Mormon, a copy that was left at the house of his brother, Phinehas H. Young, by Samuel H. Smith, brother of the Prophet. In the fall of 1831 Elders Alpheus Gifford, Elial Strong and others appeared in the vicinity of Mendon preaching the restored Gospel as revealed through Joseph Smith the Prophet and Brigham believed their testimony. In company with his brother Phinehas and Heber C. Kimball he visited a branch of the Church in Columbia, Bradford county, Pennsylvania. The three brethren remained with the branch of the Church about a week during which time their faith was much strengthened in the mission of the modern Prophet on returning to Mendon, Brigham Young in company with John P. Greene started for Canada to find Joseph Young an elder brother of Brigham's, then a preacher in the Methodist church. On meeting his brother Brigham related what he had learned of the new dispensation and Joseph rejoiced at hearing the glad tidings. Together they returned to Mendon, where they arrived in March, 1832: and on the 14th of April following Brigham was baptized by Eleazer Miller and confirmed a member of the Church at the water's edge. Almost immediately afterwards Miller ordained him an Elder in the Church. During the summer of 1832 he preached in Mendon and vicinity and assisted in raising up several branches of the Church. On the 8th of September his wife died of consumption, leaving him with two small children, both girls. After the death of his wife he made his home with Heber C. Kimball, the latter's wife taking in charge his motherless babes. In the same month of September in company with Heber C. Kimball and his brother Joseph, he went to Kirtland on his visit to the Prophet, as related in the text. (BHR) [An extended summary of Brigham Young's life follows:
Son of John Young and Abigail Howe. Born 1 June 1801 at Whittingham, Windham County, Vermont. Moved with family to Sherburne, New York, 1804, and to Auburn, New York, 1813. Joined Methodist Church about 1822. Married Miriam Works in Aurilius, New York, 8 October 1824. Two children: Elizabeth and Vilate. Employed as carpenter, joiner, painter, and glazier. Moved to Mendon, New York, 1829. First saw Book of Mormon in spring of 1830. Baptized 14 April 1832 by Eleazer Miller. Ordained elder 14 April 1832. Wife, Miriam, died 8 September 1832. Traveled to Kirtland to see Joseph Smith October-November 1832. Mission to Upper Canada December 1832. Returned to Mendon, New York, February 1833. Second mission to Upper Canada April-August 1833. Moved to Kirtland September 1833. Married Mary Ann Angell 18 February 1834. Six children: Joseph A., Brigham, Mary Ann, Alice, Luna, and John W. Member of Zion's Camp 1834. Worked on Kirtland Temple. Ordained apostle 14 February 1835. Mission to eastern states May-September 1835. Attended Hebrew School in Kirtland in fall of 1835. Attended dedication of Kirtland Temple March 1836. Mission to eastern states and New England in summer of 1835. Charter member of and owned stock in Kirtland Safety Society January 1837. Business mission to eastern states with Willard Richards March-June 1837. Mission to New York and Massachusetts June-August 1837. Left for Missouri 22 December 1837. Arrived in Far West, Missouri, 14 March 1838. Expelled from Missouri 1839. Organized Mormon evacuation from Missouri 1838-39. Located temporarily in Quincy, Illinois, February 1839. Moved to Montrose, Iowa, May 1839. Left for mission to England 14 September 1839. Arrived in England 6 April 1840. Appointed President of Twelve Apostles 19 January 1841. Left England 21 April 1841. Arrived in Nauvoo 1 July 1841. Elected member of Nauvoo City Council 4 September 1841. Initiated into Masonry 7 April 1842. Received endowment 4 May 1842. Married first plural wife, Lucy Ann Decker, 15 June 1842. Seven children: Brigham H., Fanny Caroline, Ernest Irving, Shemira, Arta De Christa, Feramorz Little, and Clarissa Hamilton. Mission to eastern states to collect funds for Nauvoo House and Temple July-September 1843. Married Harriet E. Cook 1843. One child: Oscar Brigham. Member of Council of Fifty 11 March 1844. Left on mission east to campaign for Joseph Smith as president of United States 21 May 1844. Returned to Nauvoo 6 August 1844. Married Clarissa Decker 1844. Five children: Jeanette, Nabbie, Jedediah G., Albert J., and Charlotte. Married Clarissa Ross 1844. Four children: Mary Eliza, Clarissa Maria, Willard, and Phebe Louisa. Married Emily Dow Partridge 1844. Seven children: Edward P., Emily Augusta, Caroline, Joseph Don Carlos, Miriam, Josephine, and Lura. Asserted right of Twelve to lead Church 8 August 1844. Elected lieutenant general of Nauvoo Legion 31 August 1844. Directed Mormon preparations to leave Nauvoo 1845. Married Louisa Beman 1846. Five children: Joseph, Hyrum, Moroni, Alvah, and Alma. Married Margaret Maria Alley 1846. Two children: Evelyn L. and Mahonri Moriancumer. Married Emmeline Free 1846. Ten children: Ella E., Marinda Hyde, Hyrum Smith, Emmeline Amanda, Louise Nelle, Lorenzo Dow, Alonzo, Ruth, Daniel Wells, and Adelle E. Married Margaret Pierce 1846. One child: Brigham Morris. Married Zina D. Huntington 1846. One child: Zina Prescinda. Left Nauvoo 15 February 1846. Established Winter Quarters on Missouri River in fall of 1846. Married Lucy Bigelow 1847. Three Children: Eudora Lovina, Susa A., and Rhoda M. Left Winter Quarters for Rocky Mountains 14 April 1847. Arrived in Salt Lake Valley 24 July 1847. Left to return to Winter Quarters 18 August 1847. Ordained President of Church at Kanesville, Iowa, 5 December 1847. Left Winter Quarters for Salt Lake Valley 26 May 1848. Arrived in Salt Lake Valley 20 September 1848. Elected governor of provisional State of Deseret 12 March 1849. Appointed governor of Utah Territory by Millard Fillmore 20 September 1850. Organized Weber and Utah stakes 1851. Explored southern Utah 1852. Married Eliza Burgess 1852. One Child: Alfales. Broke ground for Salt Lake Temple 14 February 1853. Signed peace treaty ending Walker War 1854. Married Harriet Barney [p.281] 1856. One child: Phineas Howe. Visited Utah settlements May-June 1861. Sent first telegram over newly completed overland telegraph 18 October 1861. Visited southern settlements September 1862. Married Mary Van Cott 1865. One child: Fannie. In all, fathered fifty-seven children. Organized School of Prophets December 1867. Elected president of ZCMI October 1868. Left for St. George, Utah, to spend winter 25 November 1870. Returned to Salt Lake City 10 February 1871. Dedicated St. George Temple 6 April 1877. Died in Salt Lake City 29 August 1877.] [RJS, 279-281]
23. While the preceding paragraph is based on fact, it does not appear in the ms history, but was inserted as "note A" in addenda pages. In the Brigham Young autobiography (found in the front of his 1839 journal) this incident is mentioned (Brigham Young notes that he was not present when the statement regarding his being the future Church president was given -the material regarding Joseph Young is not found in the Brigham Young journal). See the following note by B. H. Roberts. Brigham Young said of his youth in western New York:We never had the opportunity of letters in our youth, but we had the privilege of picking up brush, chopping down trees, rolling logs, and working amongst the roots, and of getting our shins, feet and toes bruised. [JD 5:97]When 16 years of age, his father invited him to "go and provide for yourself." Instead of pursuing a farmer's living, Brigham settled on becoming a builder and artisan. Years later long after his association with Mormonism had tarnished his early reputation with the usual rumors and falsehoods, a fomer neighbor responded to charges that Brigham was poor and indolent. He characterized Young as having a comfortable living and as a "hard working man" and an accomplished builder and further that his neighbors considered him "a consistent Christian." [letter in Canandaigua Republican Times Sept. 7, 1867. See also, Mary Van Sickle Wait, Brigham Young in Cayuga County, 1813-1829 (Ithaca: DeWitt Historical Society, 1964),]
Brigham Young's parents were strict Methodists. His own feelings led him to a Christian primitivism. He rejected Calvinism and for a time joined Reformed Methodism. He challenged the ministers of his day to explain how the Church should be built up if not in the New Testament pattern. They responded by saying "these things are done away." Ordinances were mere ceremony, only belief was needed. Brigham found that "no true Church [was] upon the earth." [JD 11:254]
24. The above incident is thus related by President Brigham Young in his own history:--In September, 1832, Brother Heber C. Kimball took his horse and wagon, Brother Joseph Young and myself accompanying him, and started for Kirtland to see the Prophet Joseph. We visited many friends on the way and some branches of the Church. We exhorted them and prayed with them, and I spoke in tongues Some pronounced it genuine and from the Lord, and others pronounced it of the devil We proceeded to Kirtland and stopped at John P. Greene's, who had just arrived there with his family. We rested a few minutes, took some refreshments and started to see the Prophet. We went to his father's house and learned that he was in the woods chopping. We immediately repaired to the woods where we found the Prophet and two or three of his brothers, chopping and hauling wood. Here my joy was full at the privilege of shaking the hand of the Prophet of God, and receiving the sure testimony by the spirit of prophecy, that he was all that any man could believe him to be as a true prophet. He was happy to see us and bid us welcome. We soon returned to his house he accompanying us.
In the evening, a few of the brethren came in, and we conversed upon the things of the kingdom. He called upon me to pray: in my prayer I spoke in tongues As soon as we arose from our knees, the brethren flocked around him, and asked his opinion concerning the gift of tongues that was upon me. He told them it was the pure Adamic language. Some said to him they expected he would condemn the gift Brother Brigham had, but he said "No, it is of God."--Millennial Star, vol. xxv, p. 439.
The gift of tongues here spoken of was first exercised in one of the Pennsylvania branches: next at Mendon, where the Youngs and Kimballs resided then in the branches between Mendon and Kirtland, then in Kirtland under the circumstances above related and shortly afterwards it was a gift quite generally exercised by the Saints in Ohio. "And it came to pass," writes John Whitmer in his history of the Church (chap. x), "that in the fall of 1832, the disciples in Ohio received the gift of tongues, and in June, 1833, we received the gift of tongues in Zion."(BHR)
[This claim of Roberts regarding tongues is certainly incorrect. See for example note 12 of chapter 8 in this volume and Corrill, History p. 9 where the Lamanite missionaries (fall 1830) speak in tongues. If so, the reader should note that the claim of priority relative to this gift does not come from Joseph Smith, but from the history editors years after Smith's death. Also see notes at chapter 23, this volume.]
25. On November 27, 1832, Joseph Smith purchased a ledger book to keep a diary record. The following entries are made for November and December 1832 [no further entries are made until October 1833]
Joseph Smith Jrs Book for Record Baught on the 27th of November 1832 for the purpose to keep a minute acount of all things that come under my observation &c-
Oh may God grant that I may be directed in all my thaughts Oh bless they Servent Amen
[28 Nov. 1832 - Wednesday]
this day I have [spent] in reading and writing this Evening my mind is calm and serene for which I thank the Lord -
[29 Nov. 1832 - Thursday]
this day road from Kirtland to Chardon to see my Sister Sophronia and also called to see my Sister Catherine [Katherine] and found them well
this Evening Brother Frederic[k] Prophecyed that next spring I should go to the city of PittsBurg to establish a Bishopwrick and within one year I should go to the City of New York the Lord spare the life of thy servent Amen
[30 Nov. 1832 - Friday]
this day returned home to Kirtland found all well to the Joy and satisfaction of my soul on my return home stopped at Mr Kings bore testimony to him and Family &c-
[1 Dec. 1832 -Saturday]
bore testimony to Mr Gilmore wrote and corrected revelations &c-
[2 Dec. 1832 -Sunday]
the sabath went to meeting &c
[3 Dec 1832 -Monday]
ordaind Brother [Noah] Packherd [Packard] with my own hand also Brother umfiry [Solomon Humphrey] came to see me from the East & braught news from Brother Lyman Johnson and Orson Pratt &c. Also held a conference in the Evening Br Jese [Jesse Gause] and Mogan [Morgan?] and William Mclelen [McLellin] was excommunicated from the church &c-
[4 Dec. 1832-Tuesday]
this day I been unwell done but litle been at home all day regulated some things this Evening feel better in my mind then I have for a few days back Oh Lord deliver thy servent out of temtations and fill his heart with wisdom and understanding
[5 Dec. 1832-Wednesday]
this day copying letters and translating and in evening held a council to advise with Brother Solomon Humphry it was ordered by the council that he should be a companion with Brother Noah packard in the work of the ministry-
[6 Dec. 1832-Thursday]
translating and received a revelation explaining the Parable [of] the wheat and the tears &c - [PJS 2:2-5]
26. For the original version from Joseph Smith's letterbook, see note 3 in the previous chapter; also the parallel comparison below with D&C 85.
27. The part of the above letter, beginning with the words, "It is the duty of the Lord's clerk, etc., and ending with the words, "As will be found recorded in the second chapter and sixty-first and sixty-second verses of Ezra," was accepted afterwards as the word of the Lord, that is, as a revelation upon the matters treated therein, and appears in the Doctrine and Covenants as section lxxxv. (BHR)
28. As noted by B. H. Roberts above, part of this letter was eventually canonized as D&C 85 (LDS edition). The extraction for the Doctrine and Covenants was done by Orson Pratt in 1876. The person referred to here as "mighty and strong," as well as other items in the letter have been the subject of controversy over the years since Joseph Smith's death and the identity of this "mighty" person was the subject of speculation shortly after it was written. Some have speculated that Partridge was being warned by the "shaft of death" phrase for his reluctance in certain matters regarding the law of consecration. However, Oliver Cowdery wrote that "Brother Joseph says, that the item in his letter that says, that the man that is called &c. and puts forth his hand to steady the ark of God, does not mean that any one had at the time, but it was given for a caution to those in high standing to be ware, lest they should fall by the shaft of death." [Cowdery to John Whitmer, January 1, 1834, original in Huntington Library, San Marino, California, cp. RJS, 179.] The identity of the "one mighty and strong" was apparently suggested by Joseph Smith to be Edward Partridge: "At [Edward Partridge's] funeral says mother Partridge, John E. Page was speaking and refered to the revelation, predicting the raising up of one who should be mighty, who should devide the inheritance as to the saints, and said he did not know but the one should be Bishop Partridge. The Prophet Joseph Smith spoke up and said he was the one refered to."[Edward Partridge journal, p. 70 - typescript in LDS Archives.]
The original letter has not been discovered, but the official copy in Joseph Smith's letterbook is found in the LDS Church archives [see note 3 previous chapter for the full text]. This copy would have been written prior to the letter being sent to Missouri. The letter was published by Phelps in ES of January 1833. [Woodford]
29. "And the children of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai; which took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name: these sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found, therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood."--Ezra ii: 61, 62. (BHR)
30. The following illustrates the editing of the contents of this letter by Orson Pratt for the insertion into the Doctrine and Covenants:
LDS D&C 85 (with 1981 verse divisions) Joseph Smith to W. W. Phelps (Joseph Smith letterbook original draft handwriting of Frederick G. Williams and Joseph Smith, Jr.) Kirtland Nov 27th 1832
Brother Wm Phelps I say brother, because I feel so from the heart, and altho it is not long since I wrote a letter unto you yet I feel as tho you would excuse me for writing this as I have many things which I wish to communicate some things which I will mention in this letter, which are laying with great weight upon my mind I inform you I am well and family God grant that you may enjoy the same and yours and all the brethren and sisters who remember to enquire after the commandments of the Lord and the welfare of Zion and such a being as me and while I dictate this letter I fancy to myself that you are saying or thinking something simmiler to these words my God great and mighty art thou therefore show unto thy servant what shall become of all these who are assaying to come up unto Zion in order to keep the commandments of God and yet receive not their inheritance by consecration by order or deed from the Bishop, the man that God has appointed in a legal way agreeable to the law given to organize and regulate the Church, and all the affairs of the same;
Bro Wm in the love of God having the most implicit confidence in you as a man of God, having obtained this confidence by a vision of heaven therefore I will proceed to unfold to you some of the feelings of my heart and to answer the questions
1 IT is the duty of the Lord's clerk, whom he has appointed, to keep a history, and a general church record of all things that transpire in Zion, and of all those who consecrate properties, and receive inheritances legally from the bishop; firstly, it is the duty of the lord's clerk, whom he has appointed, to keep a hystory, and a general church record of all things that transpire in Zion and of all those who consecrate properties and receive inheritances legally from the bishop 2 And also their manner of life, their faith, and works; and also of the apostates who apostatize after receiving their inheritances. and also there manner of life and the faith and works and also of the apostates who apostatize after receiving their inheritances 3 It is contrary to the will and commandment of God that those who receive not their inheritance by consecration, agreeable to his law, which he has given, that he may tithe his people, to prepare them against the day of vengeance and burning, should have their names enrolled with the people of God. secondly it is conterary to the will and commandment of God that those who receive not their inheritance by consecration agreeably to his law which he has given that he may tithe his people to prepare them against the day of vengeance and burning should have there names enrolled with the people of God, 4 Neither is their genealogy to be kept, or to be had where it may be found on any of the records or history of the church. neither is their genealogy to be kept or to be had where it may be found on any of the reccords or hystory of the church 5 Their names shall not be found, neither the names of the fathers, nor the names of the children written in the book of the law of God, saith the Lord of Hosts. there names shall not be found neither the names of the fathers nor the names of the children writen in the book of the Law of God saith the Lord of hosts 6 Yea, thus saith the still small voice, which whispereth through and pierceth all things, and often times it maketh my bones to quake while it maketh manifest, saying: [Joseph Smith handwriting begins here] yea thus saith the still small voice which whispereth through and pierceth all things, and oftentimes it maketh my bones to quake while it maketh manifest saying 7 And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong,
holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God;
and it shall come to pass that I the Lord God will send one mighty and strong holding the sceptre of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering whose mouth shall utter words Eternal words while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth to set in order the house of God and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found and the names of their fathers and of their children enroled in the Book of the Law of God 8 While that man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning. while that man who was called of God, and appointed that puteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God shall fall by the shaft of death like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning 9 And all they who are not found written in the book of remembrance shall find none inheritance in that day, but they shall be cut asunder, and their portion shall be appointed them among unbelievers, where are wailing and gnashing of teeth. and all they who are not found written in the book of remmembrance shall find none inheritance in that day but they shall be cut assunder and their portion shall be appointed them among unbelievers where is wailing and gnashing of teeth 10 These things I say not of myself; therefore, as the Lord speaketh, he will also fulfil. these things I say not of myself therefore, as the Lord speaketh, He will also fulfil 11 And they who are of the High Priesthood, whose names are not found written in the book of the law, or that are found to have apostatized, or to have been cut off from the church, as well as the lesser priesthood, or the members, in that day shall not find an inheritance among the saints of the Most High; and they who are of the high Priesthood whose names are not found written in the book of the Law or that are found to have appostitised or to have been cut off out of the church as well as the lesser Priesthood or the members in that day shall not find an inheritance among the saints of the most high 12 Therefore, it shall be done unto them as unto the children of the priest, as will be found recorded in the second chapter and sixty-first and second verses of Ezra. therefore it shall be done unto them as unto the children of the Priest as you will find recorded in the second chapter and sixty first and second verses of Ezra now Broth-- William if what I have said is true how careful men ought to be what they do in the last days lest they are cut short of their expectations and they that think they stand should fall because they keep not the Lords commandments whilst you who do the will of the Lord and keep his commandments, have need to rejoice with unspeakable Joy for such shall be exalted very high and shall be lifted up in triumph above all the kingdoms of this world but I must drop this subject at the beginning
Oh Lord when will the time come when Brother William thy servent and myself behold the day that we may stand together and gase upon Eternal wisdom engraven upon the hevens while the majesty of our God holdeth up the dark curtain until we may read the round of Eternity to the fullness and satisfaction of our immortal souls Oh Lord God deliver us in thy due time from the little narrow prison almost as it were total darkness of paper pen and ink and a crooked broken scattered and imperfect language
I would inform you that I have obtained ten subscribers for the Star and received pay their names and place of residence as follows, John McMahhan, James McMahhan, James White, William Brown, Henry Kingery, Micayer Dillions, Abraham Kingery, John A Fisher, David Houghs, Thomas Singers, the papers and and all to be sent to Guyndotte Post office Verginea except David Houghs his is to be sent to Wayne County Worster Township Ohio, Vienna Jaqis [Jacques] has not received her Papers pleas inform her Sister Hariet that Shee is well and give my respects to her tell her that Mrs Anges Brother came after her and the child soon after she went from here all he wanted was the child No more my love for all the Brotheren yours in bonds Amen.
Joseph Smith, Jr-
PS send the evening and morning star to Brothe[r] Joseph Wakefield Watertown Jefferson County New York all to be from first No.
31. While the ms history does not note it, Jesse Gause, Joseph Smith's (1st?) Counselor in the Presidency of the High Priesthood, was excommunicated on December 3rd. Joseph Smith notes in his 1832 journal under the date December 3, 1832:ordaind Brother [Noah] Packherd [Packard] with my own hand also Brother umfiry [Solomon Humphrey] came to see me from the East & braught news from Brother Lyman Johnson and Orson Pratt &c. Also held a conference in the Evening Br Jese [Jesse Gause] and Mogan [Morgan?] and William Mclelen [McLellin] was excommunicated from the church &c- [PJS 2:4]
McLellin, who later became an LDS apostle, is here excommunicated; the reason is not given but he was evidently reinstated soon after. McLellin had left his earlier assigned mission and seems to have had a lapse of faith and then he remarried abruptly. Joseph Smith was displeased by these and other acts of McLellin which were contrary to Smith's counsel and to the revelations. [See note 45 chapter 19.] Perhaps these matters figured in McLellin's excommunication. The act points to paradoxical actions that could take place because of poor communication. On the day fellowship was withdrawn from McLellin, he was in Missouri transacting Church business with Sydney Gilbert and then he served a four month mission with Parley Pratt.[FWR, Journals of William E. McLellin] What inspired the excommunication of Gause is not clear, but it may have been the news carried by Humphrey. Gause was serving a mission to the East.
32. This revelation was received in conjunction with the Bible translation work and written by Sydney Rigdon. The original is not known to be extant. Important mss of this revelation are one in the hand of Algernon Sydney Gilbert copied in Missouri, June 12, 1833 (title: Parable of the wheat & tares) and one in the KRB (title: To go into the covenants A Revelation explaining the parable of the wheat & tares.) in the hand of Frederick G. Williams. At the end of the Williams ms is the following: "Kirtland December 6th AD 1832 given by Joseph and written by Sidney the scribe and Counsellor & Transcribed by Frederick assistant scribe and counsellor." Joseph Smith notes in his 1832 diary:
[8 Dec. 1832 - Thursday]
"translating and received a revelation explaining the Parable [of] the wheat and the tears &c-"