History of the Church, Vol. 1 Chapter 22. [Dec. 1832 - Jan. 1833]
The Prophecy On the War of the Rebellion--The Olive Leaf--Communication To Mr. Seaton [Saxton]--Warning To Zion.
[For abbreviations see vol. 1 chapter 1]
[Copyright © 1999 BOAP]
APPEARANCES of troubles among the nations became more visible this season than they had previously been since the Church began her journey out of the wilderness. The ravages of the cholera were frightful in almost all the large cities on the globe. The plague broke out in India, while the United States, amid all her pomp and greatness, was threatened with immediate dissolution. The people of South Carolina, in convention assembled (in November), passed ordinances, declaring their state a free and independent nation; and appointed Thursday, the 31st day of January, 1833, as a day of humiliation and prayer, to implore Almighty God to vouchsafe His blessings, and restore liberty and happiness within their borders. President Jackson issued his proclamation against this rebellion, called out a force sufficient to quell it, and implored the blessings of God to assist the nation to extricate itself from the horrors of the approaching and solemn crisis.(1)
On Christmas day, I received the following revelation and prophecy on war.(2)
Revelation and Prophecy. [D&C 87](3) [December 25, 1832]
1. Verily, thus saith the Lord concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls;
2. And the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place.
3. For behold, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other nations, even the nation of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other nations, in order to defend themselves against other nations; and then war shall be poured out upon all nations.
4. And it shall come to pass, after many days, slaves shall rise up against their masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war.
5. And it shall come to pass also that the remnants who are left of the land will marshal themselves, and shall become exceedingly angry, and shall vex the Gentiles with a sore vexation.
6. And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations;
7. That the cry of the saints, and the blood of the saints, shall cease to come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, from the earth, to be avenged of their enemies.
8. Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord. Amen.
Two days after the preceding prophecy, on the 27th of December, I received the following:
Revelation.(4) [D&C 88](5) [December 27, 1832]
1. Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you who have assembled yourselves together to receive his will concerning you:
2. Behold, this is pleasing unto your Lord, and the angels rejoice over you; the alms of your prayers have come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and are recorded in the book of the names of the sanctified, even them of the celestial world.
3. Wherefore, I now send upon you another Comforter, even upon you my friends, that it may abide in your hearts, even the Holy Spirit of promise; which other Comforter is the same that I promised unto my disciples, as is recorded in the testimony of John.
4. This Comforter is the promise which I give unto you of eternal life, even the glory of the celestial kingdom;
5. Which glory is that of the church of the Firstborn, even of God, the holiest of all, through Jesus Christ his Son--
6. He that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth;
7. Which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ. As also he is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made.
8. As also he is in the moon, and is the light of the moon, and the power thereof by which it was made;
9. As also the light of the stars, and the power thereof by which they were made;
10. And the earth also, and the power thereof, even the earth upon which you stand.
11. And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings;
12. Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space--
13. The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things.
14. Now, verily I say unto you, that through the redemption which is made for you is brought to pass the resurrection from the dead.
15. And the spirit and the body are the soul of man.
16. And the resurrection from the dead is the redemption of the soul.
17. And the redemption of the soul is through him that quickeneth all things, in whose bosom it is decreed that the poor and the meek of the earth shall inherit it.
18. Therefore it must needs be sanctified from all unrighteousness, that it may be prepared for the celestial glory;
19. For after it hath filled the measure of its creation, it shall be crowned with glory, even with the presence of God the Father;
20. That bodies who are of the celestial kingdom may possess it forever and ever; for, for this intent was it made and created, and for this intent are they sanctified.
21. And they who are not sanctified through the law which I have given unto you, even the law of Christ, must inherit another kingdom, even that of a terrestrial kingdom, or that of a telestial kingdom.
22. For he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory.
23. And he who cannot abide the law of a terrestrial kingdom cannot abide a terrestrial glory.
24. And he who cannot abide the law of a telestial kingdom cannot abide a telestial glory; therefore he is not meet for a kingdom of glory. Therefore he must abide a kingdom which is not a kingdom of glory.
25. And again, verily I say unto you, the earth abideth the law of a celestial kingdom, for it filleth the measure of its creation, and transgresseth not the law--
26. Wherefore, it shall be sanctified; yea, notwithstanding it shall die, it shall be quickened again, and shall abide the power by which it is quickened, and the righteous shall inherit it.
27. For notwithstanding they die, they also shall rise again, a spiritual body.
28. They who are of a celestial spirit shall receive the same body which was a natural body; even ye shall receive your bodies, and your glory shall be that glory by which your bodies are quickened.
29. Ye who are quickened by a portion of the celestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fullness.
30. And they who are quickened by a portion of the terrestrial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fullness.
31. And also they who are quickened by a portion of the telestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fullness.
32. And they who remain shall also be quickened, nevertheless, they shall return again to their own place, to enjoy that which they are willing to receive, because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received.
33. For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift.
34. And again, verily I say unto you, that which is governed by law is also preserved law and perfected and sanctified by the same.
35. That which breaketh a law, and abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether abideth in sin, cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice, nor judgment. Therefore, they must remain filthy still.
36. All kingdoms have a law given;
37. And there are many kingdoms; for there is no space in the which there is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space, either a greater or a lesser kingdom.
38. And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions
39. All beings who abide not in those conditions are not justified.
40. For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own; justice continueth its course and claimeth its own; judgment goeth before the face of him who sitteth upon the throne and governeth and executeth all things.
41. He comprehendeth all things, and all things are before him, and all things are round about him, and he is above all things, and in all things, and is through all things and is round about all things; and all things are by him, and of him, even God, forever and ever.
42. And again, verily I say unto you, he hath given a law unto all things, by which they move in their times and their seasons,
43. And their courses are fixed, even the courses of the heavens and the earth, which comprehend the earth and all the planets.
44. And they give light to each other in their times and in their seasons, in their minutes in their hours in their days, in their weeks, in their months, in their years--all these are one year with God, but not with man.
45. The earth rolls upon her wings, and the sun giveth his light by day, and the moon giveth her light by night, and the stars also give their light, as they roll upon their wings in their glory, in the midst of the power of God.
46. Unto what shall I liken these kingdoms, that ye may understand?
47. Behold, all these are kingdoms, and any man who hath seen any or the least of these hath seen God moving in his majesty and power.
48. I say unto you, he hath seen him; nevertheless, he who came unto his own was not comprehended.
49. The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not; nevertheless the day shall come when you shall comprehend even God, being quickened in him and by him.
50. Then shall ye know that ye have seen me, that I am, and that I am the true light that is in you, and that you are in me, otherwise ye could not abound.
51. Behold, I will liken these kingdoms unto a man having a field, and he sent forth his servants into the field to dig in the field.
52. And he said unto the first; Go ye and labor in the field and in the first hour I will come unto you, and ye shall behold the joy of my countenance.
53. And he said unto the second; Go ye also into the field, and in the second hour I will visit you with the joy of my countenance.
54. And also unto the third, saying; I will visit you;
55. And unto the fourth, and so on unto the twelfth.
56. And the lord of the field went unto the first in the first hour, and tarried with him all that hour, and he was made glad with the light of the countenance of his lord.
57. And then he withdrew from the first that he might visit the second also, and the third, and the fourth, and so on unto the twelfth.
58. And thus they all received the light of the countenance of their lord, every man in his hour, and in his time, and in his season--
59. Beginning at the first, and so on unto the last, and from the last unto the first, and from the first unto the last,
60. Every man in his own order, until his hour was finished, even according as his lord had commanded him, that his lord might be glorified in him, and he in his lord, that they all might be glorified.
61. Therefore unto this parable I will liken all these kingdoms, and the inhabitants thereof--every kingdom in its hour, and in its time, and in its season, even according to the decree which God hath made.
62. And again, verily I say unto you, my friends, I leave these sayings with you to ponder in your hearts with this commandment which I give unto you, that ye shall call upon me while I am near--
63. Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock and it shall be opened unto you.
64. Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given unto you, that is expedient for you:
65. And if ye ask anything that is not expedient for you, it shall turn unto your condemnation.
66. Behold that which you hear is as the voice of one crying in the wilderness--in the wilderness, because you cannot see him--my voice, because my voice is Spirit; my Spirit is truth; truth abideth and hath no end, and if it be in you it shall abound.
67. And if your eye be single to my glory your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.
68. Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will.
69. Remember the great and last promise which I have made unto you, cast away your idle thoughts and your excess of laughter far from you.
70. Tarry ye, tarry ye in this place, and call a solemn assembly, even of those who are the first laborers in this last kingdom.
71. And let those whom they have warned in their traveling call on the Lord, and ponder the warning in their hearts which they have received, for a little season.
72. Behold, and lo, I will take care of your flocks, and will raise up elders and send unto them.
73. Behold, I will hasten my work in its time.
74. And I give unto you, who are the first laborers in this last kingdom, a commandment that you assemble yourselves together, and organize yourselves, and prepare yourselves, and sanctify yourselves; yea, purify your hearts, and cleanse your hands and your feet before me, that I may make you clean;
75. That I may testify unto your Father, and your God, and my God, that you are clean from the blood of this wicked generation, that I may fulfil this promise, this great and last promise, which I have made unto you, when I will.
76. Also, I give unto you a commandment that ye shall continue in prayer and fasting from this time forth.
77. And I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom.
78. Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God that are expedient for you to understand.
79. Of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms--
80. That ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again to magnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and the mission with which I have commissioned you.
81. Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, a nd it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor.
82. Therefore, they are left without excuse, and their sins are upon their own heads.
83. He that seeketh me early shall find me, and shall not be forsaken.
84. Therefore, tarry ye, and labor diligently, that you may be perfected in your ministry to go forth among the Gentiles for the last time as many as the mouth of the Lord shall name, to bind up the law and seal up the testimony, and to prepare the saints for the hour of judgment which is to come;
85. That their souls may escape the wrath of God, the desolation of abomination which awaits the wicked, both in this world and in the world to come. Verily, I say unto you, let those who are not the first elders continue in the vineyard until the mouth of the Lord shall call them, for their time is not yet come; their garments are not clean from the blood of this generation.
86. Abide ye in the liberty wherewith ye are made free, entangle not yourselves in sin, but let your hands be clean, until the Lord comes.
87. For not many days hence and the earth shall tremble and reel to and fro as a drunken man; and the sun shall hide his face, and shall refuse to give light; and the moon shall be bathed in blood; and the stars shall become exceedingly angry, and shall cast themselves down as a fig that falleth from off a fig-tree.
88. And after your testimony cometh wrath and indignation upon the people.
89. For after your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes, that shall cause groanings in the midst of her, and men shall fall upon the ground and shall not be able to stand.
90. And also cometh the testimony of the voice of thunderings, and the voice of lightnings, and the voice of tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds.
91. And all things shall be in commotion; and surely, men's hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people.
92. And angels shall fly through the midst of heaven crying with a loud voice, sounding the trump of God, saying; Prepare ye, prepare ye, O inhabitants of the earth; for the judgment of our God is come. Behold, and lo, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
93. And immediately there shall appear a great sign in heaven, and all people shall see it together.
94. And another angel shall sound his trump, saying: That great church, the mother of abominations, that made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, that persecuteth the saints of God, that shed their blood--he who sitteth upon many waters, and upon the islands of the sea--behold, she is the tares of the earth; she is bound in bundles, her bands are made strong, no man can loose them; therefore, she is ready to be burned. And he shall sound his trump both long and loud, and all nations shall hear it.
95. And there shall be silence in heaven for the space of half an hour; and immediately after shall the curtain of heaven be unfolded, as a scroll is unfolded after it is rolled up, and the face of the Lord shall be unveiled;
96. And the saints that are upon the earth, who are alive, shall be quickened and be caught up to meet him.
97. And they who have slept in their graves shall come forth, for their graves shall be opened; and they also shall be caught up to meet him in the midst of the pillar of heaven--
98. They are Christ's, the first fruits, they who shall descend with him first, and they who are on the earth and in their graves, who are first caught up to meet him; and all this by the voice of the sounding of the trump of the angel of God.
99. And after this another angel shall sound, which is the second trump; and then cometh the redemption of those who are Christ's at his coming; who have received their part in that prison which is prepared for them, that they might receive the gospel, and be judged according to men in the flesh.
100. And again, another trump shall sound, which is the third trump; and then come the spirits of men who are to be judged, and are found under condemnation;
101. And these are the rest of the dead and they live not again until the thousand years are ended neither again, until the end of the earth.
102. And another trump shall sound, which is the fourth trump, saying there are found among those who are to remain until that great and last day, even the end, who shall remain filthy still.
103. And another trump shall sound, which is the fifth trump, which is the fifth angel who committeth the everlasting gospel--flying through the midst of heaven, unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people;
104. And this shall be the sound of his trump, saying to all people both in heaven and in earth, and that are under the earth--for every ear shall hear it, and every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess, while they hear the sound of the trump, saying; Fear God, and give glory to him who sitteth upon the throne, forever and ever, for the hour of his judgment is come.
105. And again, another angel shall sound his trump, which is the sixth angel, saying; She is fallen who made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication; she is fallen, is fallen!
106. And again, another angel shall sound his trump, which is the seventh angel, saying: It is finished; it is finished! The Lamb of God hath overcome and trodden the wine-press alone, even the wine-press of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God.
107. And then shall the angels be crowned with the glory of his might, and the saints shall be filled with his glory, and receive their inheritance and be made equal with him.
108. And then shall the first angel again sound his trump in the ears of all living, and reveal the secret acts of men, and the mighty works of God in the first thousand years.
109. And then shall the second angel sound his trump, and reveal the secret acts of men, and the thoughts and intents of their hearts, and the mighty works of God in the second thousand years--
110. And so on, until the seventh angel shall sound his trump; and he shall stand forth upon the land and upon the sea, and swear in the name of him who sitteth upon the throne, that there shall be time no longer; and Satan shall be bound, that old serpent, who is called the devil, and shall not be loosed for the space of a thousand years.
111. And then he shall be loosed for a little season, that he may gather together his armies.
112. And Michael, the seventh angel, even the archangel, shall gather together his armies, even the hosts of heaven.
113. And the devil shall gather together his armies even the hosts of hell, and shall come up to battle against Michael and his armies.
114. And then cometh the battle of the great God; and the devil and his armies shall be cast away into their own place, that they shall not have power over the saints any more at all.
115. For Michael shall fight their battles, and shall overcome him who seeketh the throne of him who sitteth upon the throne, even the Lamb.
116. This is the glory of God, and the sanctified, and they shall not any more see death.
117. Therefore, verily I say unto you, my friends, call your solemn assembly, as I have commanded you.
118. And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.
119. Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;
120. That your incomings may be in the name of the Lord; that your outgoings may be in the name of the Lord; that all your salutations may be in the name of the Lord, with uplifted hands unto the Most High.
121. Therefore, cease from all your light speeches, from all laughter, from all your lustful desires, from all your pride and light-mindedness, and from all your wicked doings.
122. Appoint among yourselves a teacher, and let not all be spokesmen at once; but let one speak at a time and let all listen unto his sayings, that when all have spoken that all may be edified of all, and that every man may have an equal privilege.
123. See that ye love one another; cease to be covetous; learn to impart one to another as the gospel requires.
124. Cease to be idle; cease to be unclean; cease to find fault one with another; cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; rise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated.
125. And above all things, clothe yourselves with the bond of charity, as with a mantle, which is the bond of perfectness and peace.
126. Pray always, that ye may not faint, until I come, Behold, and lo, I will come quickly, and receive you unto myself. Amen.
127. And again, the order of the house prepared for the presidency of the school of the prophets(6), established for their instruction in all things that are expedient for them, even for all the officers of the church or in other words those who are called to the ministry in the church, beginning at the high priests even down to the deacons--
128. And this shall be the order of the house of the presidency of the school: He that is appointed to be president, or teacher, shall be found standing in his place in the house which shall be prepared for him.
129. Therefore, he shall be first in the house of God, in a place that the congregation in the house may hear his words carefully and distinctly, not with loud speech.
130. And when he cometh into the house of God, for he should be first in the house--behold, this is beautiful, that he may be an example--
131. Let him offer himself in prayer upon his knees before God, in token or remembrance of the everlasting covenant.
132. And when any shall come in after him, let the teacher arise, and, with uplifted hands to heaven, yea even directly, salute his brother or brethren with these words;
133. Art thou a brother or brethren?(6a) I salute you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ in token or remembrance of the everlasting covenant in which covenant I receive you to fellowship, in a determination that is fixed, immovable, and unchangeable, to be your friend and brother through the grace of God in the bonds of love, to walk in all the commandments of God blameless in thanksgiving, forever and ever. Amen.
134. And he that is found unworthy of this salutation shall not have place among you; for ye shall not suffer that mine house shall be polluted by him.
135. And he that cometh in and is faithful before me and is a brother, or if they be brethren, they shall salute the president or teacher with uplifted hands to heaven, with this same prayer and covenant, or by saying Amen, in token of the same.
136. Behold, verily, I say unto you, this is an ensample unto you for a salutation to one another in the house of God, in the school of the prophets.
137. And ye are called to do this by prayer and thanksgiving as the Spirit shall give utterance in all your doings in the house of the Lord, in the school of the prophets, that it may become a sanctuary, a tabernacle of the Holy Spirit to your edification.
138. And ye shall not receive any among you into this school save he is clean from the blood of this generation;
139. And he shall be received by the ordinance of the washing of feet, for unto this end was the ordinance of the washing of feet instituted.
140. And again, the ordinance of washing feet is to be administered by the president, or presiding elder of the church.
141. It is to be commenced with prayer; and after partaking of bread and wine, he is to gird himself according to the pattern given in the thirteenth chapter of John's testimony concerning me. Amen.
I wrote to N. E. Seaton, Esq.(7), editor of the--(8), as follows:(9)
KIRTLAND, January 4th, 1833.
Mr. Editor:--Sir, Considering the liberal principles upon which your interesting and valuable paper is published, myself being a subscriber, and feeling a deep interest in the cause of Zion, and in the happiness of my brethren of mankind, I cheerfully take up my pen to contribute my mite at this very interesting and important period.
For some length of time I have been carefully reviewing the state of things, as it now appears, throughout our Christian land; and have looked at it with feelings of the most painful anxiety. While upon one hand I behold the manifest withdrawal of God's Holy Spirit, and the veil of stupidity which seems to be drawn over the hearts of the people; upon the other hand, I behold the judgments of God that have swept, and are still sweeping, hundreds and thousands of our race (and I fear unprepared) down to the shades of death. With this solemn and alarming fact before me, I am led to exclaim, "O that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night."[Jer. 9:1]
I think that it is high time for a Christian world to awake out of sleep, and cry mightily to that God, day and night, whose anger we have justly incurred. Are not these things a sufficient stimulant to arouse the faculties and call forth the energies of every man, woman or child that possesses feelings of sympathy for their fellows, or that is in any degree endeared to the budding cause of our glorious Lord? I leave an intelligent community to answer this important question, with a confession, that this is what has caused me to overlook my own inability, and expose my weakness to a learned world, but, trusting in that God who has said that these things are hid from the wise and prudent and revealed unto babes, I step forth into the field to tell you what the Lord is doing, and what you must do, to enjoy the smiles of your Savior in these last days.
The time has at last arrived when the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has set His hand again the second time to recover the remnants of his people, which have been left from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea, and with them to bring in the fullness of the Gentiles, and establish that covenant with them, which was promised when their sins should be taken away. See Isaiah xi, Romans xi: 25, 26 and 27, and also Jeremiah xxxi: 31, 32 and 33. This covenant has never been established with the house of Israel, nor with the house of Judah, for it requires two parties to make a covenant, and those two parties must be agreed, or no covenant can be made.
Christ, in the days of His flesh, proposed to make a covenant with them, but they rejected Him and His proposals, and in consequence thereof, they were broken off, and no covenant was made with them at that time. But their unbelief has not rendered the promise of God of none effect; no, for there was another day limited in David, which was the day of His power; and then His people, Israel, should be a willing people;--and He would write His law in their hearts, and print it in their thoughts; their sins and their iniquities He would remember no more.
Thus after this chosen family had rejected Christ and His proposals, the heralds of salvation said to them, "Lo, we turn unto the Gentiles;"[Acts 13:46] and the Gentiles received the covenant, and were grafted in from whence the chosen family were broken off: but the Gentiles have not continued in the goodness of God, but have departed from the faith that was once delivered to the Saints, and have broken the covenant in which their fathers were established (See Isaiah xxiv: 5); and have become high-minded, and have not feared; therefore, but few of them will be gathered with the chosen family. Have not the pride, high-mindedness, and unbelief of the Gentiles, provoked the Holy One of Israel to withdraw His Holy Spirit from them, and send forth His judgments to scourge them for their wickedness? This is certainly the case.
Christ said to His disciples (Mark xvi; 17 and 18), that these signs should follow them that believe;--"In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover;" and also, in connection with this, read 1st Corinthians, 12th chapter. By the foregoing testimonies we may look at the Christian world and see the apostasy there has been from the apostolic platform, and who can look at this and not exclaim in the language of Isaiah, "The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances, and broken the everlasting covenant?"
The plain fact is this, the power of God begins to fall upon the nations, and the light of the latter-day glory begins to break forth through the dark atmosphere of sectarian wickedness, and their iniquity rolls up into view, and the nations of the Gentiles are like the waves of the sea, casting up mire and dirt, or all in commotion, and they are hastily preparing to act the part allotted them, when the Lord rebukes the nations, when He shall rule them with a rod of iron, and break them in pieces like a potter's vessel. The Lord declared to His servants, some eighteen months since [D&C 63:32 ?], that He was then withdrawing His Spirit from the earth and we can see that such is the fact for not only the churches are dwindling away, but there are no conversions, or but very few; and this is not all, the governments of the earth are thrown into confusion and division; and Destruction, to the eye of the spiritual beholder, seems to be written by the finger of an invisible hand, in large capitals, upon almost every thing we behold.
And now what remains to be done, under circumstances like these? I will proceed to tell you what the Lord requires of all people, high and low, rich and poor, male and female ministers and people, professors of religion and non-professors, in order that they may enjoy the Holy Spirit of God to a fullness and escape the judgments of God, which are almost ready to burst upon the nations of the earth. Repent of all your sins, and be baptized in water for the remission of them, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and receive the ordinance of the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power, that ye may receive the Holy Spirit of God; and this is according to the Holy Scriptures, and the Book of Mormon; and the only way that man can enter into the celestial kingdom.
These are the requirements of the new covenant, or first principles of the Gospel of Christ; then "Add to your faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience: and to patience godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity for love; for if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful, in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."[2Pet. 1:5-8]
The Book of Mormon is a record of the forefathers of our western tribes of Indians; having been found through the ministration of an holy angel, and translated into our own language by the gift and power of God, after having been hid up in the earth for the last fourteen hundred years, containing the word of God which was delivered unto them. By it we learn that our western tribes of Indians are descendants from that Joseph which was sold into Egypt, and that the land of America is a promised land unto them, and unto it all the tribes of Israel will come with as many of the Gentiles as shall comply with the requisitions of the new covenant. But the tribe of Judah will return to old Jerusalem. The city of Zion spoken of by David, in the one hundred and second Psalm, will be built upon the land of America, "And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads" (Isaiah xxxv: 10); and then they will be delivered from the overflowing scourge that shall pass through the land. But Judah shall obtain deliverance at Jerusalem(10). See Joel ii:32; Isaiah xxvi: 20 and 21; Jeremiah xxxi: 12, Psalm 1:5; Ezekiel xxxiv: 11, 12 and 13. These are testimonies that the Good Shepherd will put forth His own sheep, and lead them out from all nations where they have been scattered in a cloudy and dark day, to Zion and to Jerusalem, besides many more testimonies which might be brought.
And now I am prepared to say by the authority of Jesus Christ, that not many years shall pass away before the United States shall present such a scene of bloodshed as has not a parallel in the history of our nation; pestilence, hail, famine, and earthquake will sweep the wicked of this generation from off the face of the land, to open and prepare the way for the return of the lost tribes of Israel from the north country. The people of the Lord, those who have complied with the requirements of the new covenant, have already commenced gathering together to Zion, which is in the state of Missouri, therefore I declare unto you the warning which the Lord has commanded to declare unto this generation, remembering that the eyes of my Maker are upon me and that to him I am accountable for every word I say wishing nothing worse to my fellow-men than their eternal salvation; therefore, "Fear God, and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment is come." Repent ye, repent ye, and embrace the everlasting covenant, and flee to Zion, before the overflowing scourge overtake you, for there are those now living upon the earth whose eyes shall not be closed in death until they see all these things, which I have spoken, fulfilled. Remember these things; call upon the Lord while He is near, and seek Him while He may be found, is the exhortation of your unworthy servant.
[Signed] JOSEPH SMITH, JUN.
IMPORTANT CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE BRETHREN IN ZION
KIRTLAND.(11) January 14, 1833.(12)
Brother William W. Phelps: I send you the "olive leaf"(13) which we have plucked from the Tree of Paradise,(14) the Lord's message of peace to us, for though our brethren in Zion indulge in feelings towards us, which are not according to the requirements of the new covenant, yet, we have the satisfaction of knowing that the Lord approves of us, and has accepted us and established His name in Kirtland for the salvation of the nations; for the Lord will have a place whence His word will go forth, in these last days, in purity; for if Zion will not purify herself, so as to be approved of in all things in His sight, He will seek another people, for His work will go on until Israel is gathered, and they who will not hear His voice, must expect to feel His wrath. Let me say unto you, seek to purify yourselves, and also all the inhabitants of Zion, lest the Lord's anger be kindled to fierceness. Repent, repent, is the voice of God to Zion; and strange as it may appear, yet it is true, mankind will persist in self-justification until all their iniquity is exposed, and their character past being redeemed, and that which is treasured up in their hearts be exposed to the gaze of mankind. I say to you (and what I say to you I say to all) hear the warning voice of God, lest Zion fall, and the Lord sware in His wrath the inhabitants of Zion shall not enter into His rest.
The brethren in Kirtland pray for you unceasingly, for knowing the terrors of the Lord, they greatly fear for you. You will see that the Lord commanded us, in Kirtland, to build a house of God, and establish a school for the Prophets,(15) this is the word of the Lord to us and we must, yea, the Lord helping us, we will obey; as on conditions of our obedience He has promised us great things, yea, even a visit from the heavens to honor us with His own presence. We greatly fear before the Lord lest we should fail of this great honor, which our
Master proposes to confer on us; we are seeking for humility and great faith lest we be ashamed in His presence. Our hearts are greatly grieved at the spirit which is breathed both in your letter and that of Brother Gilbert's, the very spirit which is wasting the strength of Zion like a pestilence; and if it is not detected and driven from you, it will ripen Zion for the threatened judgments of God. Remember God sees the secret springs of human action, and knows the hearts of all living. Brother, suffer us to speak plainly, for God has respect to the feelings of His Saints, and He will not suffer them to be tantalized with impunity. Tell Brother Gilbert that low insinuations God hates; but He rejoices in an honest heart, and knows better who is guilty than he does. We send him this warning voice, and let him fear greatly for himself, lest a worse thing overtake him; all we can say by way of conclusion is, if the fountain of our tears be not dried up, we will still weep for Zion. This from your brother who trembles for Zion, and for the wrath of heaven, which awaits her if she repent not.
[Signed] JOSEPH SMITH, JUN.
P. S.--I am not in the habit of crying peace, when there is no peace; and, knowing the threatened judgments of God I say, Wo unto them who are at ease in Zion; fearfulness will speedily lay hold of the hypocrite. I did not suspect you had lost the commandments, but thought from your letters you had neglected to read them, otherwise you would not have written as you did.
It is in vain to try to hide a bad spirit from the eyes of them who are spiritual, for it will show itself in speaking and in writing, as well as in all our other conduct. It is also needless to make great pretensions when the heart is not right; the Lord will expose it to the view of His faithful Saints. We wish you to render the Star as interesting as possible, by setting forth the rise, progress, and faith of the Church, as well as the doctrine; for if you do not render it more interesting than at present, it will fall, and the Church suffer a great loss thereby(16).
[Signed] J. S. JUN.
KIRTLAND MILLS,(17) GEAUGA CO., OHIO. January 14, 1833.
From a Conference of Twelve High Priests, to the Bishop, his Council
and the Inhabitants of Zion.
Orson Hyde, and Hyrum Smith being appointed by the said conference to write this epistle in obedience to the commandment, given the 22nd and 23rd of September last, which says; "But verily I say unto all those to whom the kingdom has been given--from you it must be preached unto them, that they shall repent of their former evil works; for they are to be upbraided for their evil hearts of unbelief, and your brethren in Zion for their rebellion against you at the time I sent you."(18)
Brother Joseph, and certain others, have written to you on this all-important subject, but you have never been apprised of these things by the united voice of the conference of those High Priests that were present at the time this commandment was given.
We therefore, Orson and Hyrum, the committee appointed by said conference to write this epistle, having received the prayers of said conference, that we might be enabled to write the mind and will of God upon this subject, now take up our pen to address you in the name of the conference, relying upon the arm of the Great Head of the Church.
In the commandment above alluded to, the children of Zion were all, yea, even every one, under condemnation, and were to remain in that state until they repented and remembered the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon, and the former commandments, which the Lord had given them, not only to say, but to do them, and bring forth fruit meet for the Father's kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and a judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion;(19) for "shall the children of the kingdom pollute my holy land? I say unto you, Nay."(20)
The answers received from those letters, which have been sent to you upon this subject, have failed to bring to us that satisfactory confession and acknowledgment, which the spirit of our Master requires. We, therefore, feeling a deep interest for Zion, and knowing the judgments of God that will come upon her except she repent, resort to these last, and most effectual means in our power, to bring her to a sense of her standing before the Most High.
At the time Joseph, Sidney, and Newel left Zion, all matters of hardness and misunderstanding were settled and buried (as they supposed), and you gave them the hand of fellowship; but, afterwards, you brought up all these things again, in a censorious spirit, accusing Brother Joseph in rather an indirect way of seeking after monarchial power and authority. This came to us in Brother Corrill's letter of June 2nd.(21) We are sensible that this is not the thing Brother Joseph is seeking after, but to magnify the high office and calling whereunto he has been called and appointed by the command of God, and the united voice of this Church. It might not be amiss for you to call to mind the circumstances of the Nephites, and the children of Israel rising up against their Prophets and accusing them of seeking after kingly power, and see what befell them, and take warning before it is too late.
Brother Gilbert's letter of December 10th, has been received and read attentively, and the low, dark, and blind insinuations, which were in it, were not received by us as from the fountain of light, though his claims and pretensions to holiness were great. We are not unwilling to be chastened or rebuked for our faults, but we want to receive it in language that we can understand, as Nathan said to David, "Thou art the man." We are aware that Brother Gilbert is doing much, and has a multitude of business on hand; but let him purge out all the old leaven, and do his business in the spirit of the Lord, and then the Lord will bless him, otherwise the frown of the Lord will remain upon him. There is manifestly an uneasiness in Brother Gilbert, and a fearfulness that God will not provide for His Saints in these last days, and these fears lead him on to covetousness. This ought not so to be; but let him do just as the Lord has commanded him, and then the Lord will open His coffers, and his wants will be liberally supplied. But if this uneasy, covetous disposition be cherished by him, the Lord will bring him to poverty, shame, and disgrace.
Brother Phelps' letter of December 15th is also received and carefully read, and it betrays a lightness of spirit that ill becomes a man placed in the important and responsible station that he is placed in. If you have fat beef, and potatoes, eat them in singleness of heart, and boast not yourselves in these things. Think not, brethren, that we make a man an offender for a word; this is not the case; but we want to see a spirit in Zion, by which the Lord will build it up; that is the plain, solemn, and pure spirit of Christ. Brother Phelps requested in his last letter that Brother Joseph should come to Zion; but we say that Brother Joseph will not settle in Zion until she repent, and purify herself, and abide by the new covenant, and remember the commandments that have been given her, to do them as well as say them.(22)
You may think it strange that we manifest no cheerfulness of heart upon the reception of your letters; you may think that our minds are prejudiced so much that we can see no good that comes from you, but rest assured, brethren, that this is not the case.
We have the best of feelings, and feelings of the greatest anxiety for the welfare of Zion; we feel more like weeping over Zion than we do like rejoicing over her, for we know that the judgments of God hang over her, and will fall upon her except she repent, and purify herself before the Lord, and put away from her every foul spirit. We now say to Zion, this once, in the name of the Lord, Repent! Repent! awake, awake, put on thy beautiful garments, before you are made to feel the chastening rod of Him whose anger is kindled against you. Let not Satan tempt you to think we want to make you bow to us, to domineer over you, for God knows this is not the case, our eyes are watered with tears, and our hearts are poured out to God in prayer for you, that He will spare you, and turn away His anger from you.
There are many things in the last letters from Brothers Gilbert and Phelps that are good, and we esteem them much. The idea of having "certain ones appointed to regulate Zion, and Traveling Elders have nothing to do with this part of the matter," is something we highly approbate, and you will doubtless know before this reaches you, why William E. M'Lellin opposed you in this move. We fear there was something in Brother Gilbert, when he returned to this place from New York last fall, in relation to his brother William, that was not right; for Brother Gilbert was asked two or three times about his brother William, but gave evasive answers, and at the same time, he knew that William was in Cleveland(23); but the Lord has taken him(24). We merely mention this, that all may take warning to work in the light, for God will bring every secret thing to light.
We now close our epistle by saying unto you the Lord has commanded us to purify ourselves, to wash our hands and our feet, that He may testify to His Father and our Father, to His God and our God, that we are clean from the blood of this generation; and before we could wash our hands and our feet we were constrained to write this letter. Therefore, with the feelings of inexpressible anxiety for your welfare, we say again, Repent, repent, or Zion must suffer, for the scourge and judgment must come upon her.
Let the Bishop read this to the Elders, that they may warn the members of the scourge that is coming, except they repent. Tell them to read the Book of Mormon, and obey it; read the commandments that are printed, and obey them; yea, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that peradventure He may turn away His anger from you. Tell them that they have not come up to Zion to sit down in idleness, neglecting the things of God, but they are to be diligent and faithful in obeying the new covenant.
There is one clause in Brother Joseph's letter which you may not understand; that is this, "If the people of Zion did not repent, the Lord would seek another place, and another people." Zion is the place where the temple will be built, and the people gathered, but all people upon that holy land being under condemnation, the Lord will cut off, if they repent not, and bring another race upon it, that will serve Him. The Lord will seek another place to bring forth and prepare his word to go forth to the nations, and as we said before, so we say again.
Brother Joseph will not settle in Zion, except she repent, and serve God, and obey the new covenant. With this explanation, the conference sanctions Brother Joseph's letter.
Brethren, the conference meets again this evening to hear this letter read, and if it meet their minds, we have all agreed to kneel down before the Lord, and cry unto Him with all our hearts, that this epistle, and Brother Joseph's and the revelations also, may have their desired effect, and accomplish the thing whereunto they are sent and that they may stimulate you to cleanse Zion, that she mourn not. Therefore when you get this, know ye that a conference of twelve High Priests have cried unto the Lord for you, and are still crying, saying, Spare thy people O Lord and give not thy heritage to reproach. We now feel that our garments are clean from you, and all men, when we have washed our feet and hands, according to the commandment.
We have written plainly at this time, but we believe not harshly. Plainness is what the Lord requires and we should not feel ourselves clear, unless we had done so; and if the things we have told you be not attended to, you will not long have occasion to say, or to think rather, that we may be wrong in what we have stated. Your unworthy brethren are determined to pray unto the Lord for Zion, as long as we can shed the sympathetic tear, or feel any spirit to supplicate the throne of grace in her behalf.
The School of the Prophets will commence, if the Lord will, in two or three days(25). It is a general time of health with us. The cause of God seems to be rapidly advancing in the eastern country; the gifts are beginning to break forth so as to astonish the world, and even believers marvel at the power and goodness of God. Thanks be rendered to His holy name for what He is doing. We are your unworthy brethren in the Lord, and may the Lord help us all to do His will, that we may at last be saved in His kingdom.
ORSON HYDE, HYRUM SMITH
N. B.--We stated that Brother Gilbert, when he was in Kirtland, knew that William was in Cleveland last fall. We wrote this upon the strength of hearsay but William being left at St. Louis, strengthened our suppositions that such was the fact. We stated further respecting this matter, or this item than the testimony will warrant us. With this exception the conference sanctions this letter. O. H., H. S.
Return to History Page
Notes Chapter 22
1. The current events from this paragraph are taken from the January 1833 issue of ES [see note below]. The subject of cholera occupied some portion of most issues of the Star for the first year of its publication. See note 11 chapter 20, this volume. Especially during periods when no Joseph Smith diaries had been kept, the ms history compilers often inserted excerpts from Church periodicals of the time.
2. The revelation appears in the ms history, but was not published in the TS (vol. 5 p. 688 would have been the point where this revelation would have appeared). The ms history reads, "Prophecy, Given December 25th 1832."
3. Ms copies of this revelation exist which clearly date it prior to June 1833. Hence the claim that he received this revelation in Dec. 1832 is quite reasonable. The revelation was received in Kirtland, where Joseph Smith and his family took up residence after Joseph's return from his short mission to New York with bishop Whitney. There are a large number of ms copies of this revelation. This is partly accounted for because it was not published until 1851 by Franklin D. Richards in England as a part of his compilation The Pearl of Great Price. In 1876 the revelation first appeared in the D&C (as section 87). The revelation appears in KRB, pp. 32-33, BLC Bk B pp. 109-110. And in at least 8 loose ms copies. Of course it also appears in the ms history. The dates vary somewhat among mss, but it is clear that the variations are copying errors. Among the mss with identified handwriting are those by Edward Partridge, Frederick G. Williams, Algernon Sidney Gilbert, three separate copies from W. W. Phelps, two from Willard Richards and two from Thomas Bullock.
According to Brigham Young, the revelation was not published in the D&C by a conscious decision of the publication committee for the 1835 D&C [and was excluded from the present history when it was published in the Nauvoo Times and Seasons -see the previous note]. President Young also said that the revelation was given at a time when the Church leaders were reflecting on slavery in the United States and the world in general. [Journal History, May 20, 1860; JD 8:58. See also JD 10:13, 13:135, 18:224.]
The story is told that the original ms of this revelation was preserved during the Missouri persecutions by Ann Scott who hid it under her clothes in a bag strapped to her waist. [Emma M. Phillips, Thirty-three Women of the Restoration (Independence: Herald House, 1960), 29.]
The revelation is clearly related to the civil war among other calamities. Emmet Murphy said in 1860 that he visited Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail in 1838 and Joseph told him that he should go to South Carolina and Georgia and warn his friends there of what was to come. [Journal of Wilford Woodruff, Dec. 30, 1860]
One interesting difference exists between copies published prior to 1921 and those published after that date. In verse 3 the text reads "then war shall be poured out upon all nations." Prior to the 1921 D&C text of the revelation it read, "thus war shall be poured out upon all nations."
One of the Bullock mss contains some interesting variations in the text. This text could be a copy of an early version, but the Gilbert ms must be dated less than six months from the time of reception and closely matches the current published text. In any case, the present form of the revelation can be traced nearly to December 1832. [Woodford]
Later in his career, Joseph Smith apparently stated that this or a related revelation was given by an audible voice [see D&C 130:12-13, also WJS, 170, n10].
Page 301 of the text notes the fact that the Northern states had pushed through U. S. tariffs on foreign imports to protect their manufacturing interests. In addition, the increasingly vocal clashes between Northern anti-slavery advocates and Southern rice and cotton planters who employed slave labor inflamed feelings on both sides. The tariffs of 1828 and associated protectionism were anathema to the South where import/export was the life blood of the economy. During 1830-31 a tariff nullification movement grew in South Carolina. In 1832 new tariffs, somewhat milder than those of 1828, nevertheless encouraged the nullification movement. State elections that fall affirmed the feelings of the citizens of South Carolina as in favor of the movement. The situation worsened until at the end of October President Andrew Jackson alerted U.S. forts in South Carolina for a possible conflict. December 10, Jackson issued a proclamation describing the nullification idea as absurd and declaring that leaving the Union by force was treason. Appeals by South Carolina to the other states were rebuffed. In January 1833, Jackson asked for authority to enforce the tariff. The impending conflict was quelled by Henry Clay's introduction of a compromise tariff. Both the compromise tariff and authority to use the military for enforcement passed the same day, March 2, 1833. South Carolina declared the "Force" bill void, but accepted the compromise tariff and war was avoided. But the rebellion of South Carolina set a precedent of action in the South and as the abolitionist movement continued to grow in the North, the rebellion of South Carolina led the way to the horrors of the Civil War. During the war, the South did indeed appeal to Britain for assistance who saw some opportunity for revenge without risk. For example, Britain invited the South to build raiders (ships) in England which had a material effect on the war effort of the North. One of the major foreign policy issues facing Ulysses. S. Grant during his administration was the continued bad feeling between the United States and Britain over the assistance of Britain to the Southern States during the American Civil War.
The revelation makes reference to issues that represented long held fears of southern slave-holders. Verse 3 reflects a deeply held fear among a large number of southern whites: that the slaves would make a concerted rebellion against their masters. South Carolina in particular was especially alert to this possibility after the attempted rebellion of fomented by Denmark Vesey and Gullah Jack in 1822. Vesey was a free (and relatively wealthy) black who had experienced many of the worst evils of slavery and held powerfully bitter feelings against whites. He viewed Charleston as a new Jerico, where complete extermination was the only option.
The publication of the revelation would have fanned the flames of paranoia regarding the Mormons, particularly in Missouri where such paranoia already existed. The revelation was certainly not regarded as "out of the blue" by those who knew of it. On the contrary, it was but a confirmation of what was already believed by many. In 1822 John Quincy Adams had written "If slavery be the destined sword of the hand of the destroying angel which is to sever the ties of this Union, the same sword will cut in sunder the bonds of slavery itself. A dissolution of the Union for the cause of slavery would be followed by a servile war in the slave-holding States, combined with a war between the two severed portions of the Union. It seems to me that its result might be the extirpation of slavery from this whole continent; and, calamitous and desolating as this course of events in its progress must be, so glorious would be its final issue, that, as God shall judge me, I dare not say that it is not to be desired."
[See chapter 4 of Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007).]
4. Frederick G. Williams wrote the following minutes regarding the reception of the first part of this revelation [see the next note].A conference of High Priests assembled in the translating room [in the N. K. Whitney store] in Kirtland Ohio on the 27th day of Dec. A. D. 1832- Present-Joseph Smith [Sr.], -Sidney Rigdon-Orson Hyde-Joseph Smith Jr.-Hyrum Smith-Samuel H. Smith-N. K. Whitney F. G. Williams-Ezra Thayer-& John Murdock commenced by prayer, Then Bro. Joseph arose and said, to receive revelation and the blessings of heaven it was necessary to have our minds on god and exercise faith and become of one heart and of one mind therefore he recommended all present to pray separately and vocally to the Lord for to receive his will unto us concerning the upbuilding of Zion, & for the benefit of the saints and for the duty and employment of the Elders- Accordingly we all bowed down before the Lord, after which each one arose and spoke in his turn his feelings, and determination to keep the commandments of God, And thus proceded to receive a revelation concerning the duty of the Elders above stated. 9 oclock P.M. the revelation not being finished the conference adjourned till tomorrow morning 9 oclock A.M. [28th] met according to adjournment and commenced by Prayer thus proceded to receive the residue of the above revelation and it being finished and there being no further business before the conference closed the meeting by prayer in harmony with the brethren and gratitude to our heavenly Father for the great manifestation of his holy Spirit during the setting of the conference. [Kirtland Council Minute Book, 3, 4]
One of those present, Joseph Smith's brother, Samuel Harrison Smith, left his account of the meeting:10 [Dec.] this morning took the Stage for home & in about a fortnet orson [Hyde] & myself arrived at Kirtland where we were rejoiced to see our Brethren & Soon after we returned Some of the Elders assembled together & the word of the Lord was given through Joseph & the Lord declared that those Elders who were the first labourers in this last vinyard Should assemble themselves together that they should call a Sollem assembly & evry man call upon the name of the Lord & continue in Prayer that they Should Sanctify themselves & wash their hands & feet for a testimony that their garments were clean from the Blood of all men & the Lord commanded we the first Elders Establish a School & appoint a teacher among them & get learning by Study & by faith get a knowledge of countries languages &c [Samuel H. Smith Journal, 10 December 1832 entry, BYU Special Collections].
5. The revelation was actually received on three different days, December 27, 28, 1832 and January 3, 1833. Joseph Smith had lived in Kirtland upon his return from the short New York mission with Whitney [see note at chapter 21 this volume]. Hiram was regarded as too dangerous since the tar and feathers incident in March 1832 and Emma Smith had been living in Kirtland since Joseph had left for Missouri in April 1832. A "conference of high priests" met in council in the room now reserved in the upper story of Newel K. Whitney's Kirtland store for Joseph Smith's bible translation work where the revelations making up D&C 88 were given [see previous note].
One possible division of the revelation between the three days may be December 27, vss 1-116,
December 28, vss 117-126, January 3, vss 127-141. The joining of vss 127-141 with other portions in the published form is probably a result of 127-141 giving explicit instruction regarding the praxis of 117-126.
This revelation was copied many times by early members and was published more than other revelations. Hence, the family of mss is large and since the text is also large, the available copies show many minor deviations. Among the collection of copies of this revelation is an interesting ms with the following note attached: "Doc. & Cov. 88: 1-58. This part of Sec. 88 was deposited in the Historian's Office by Mrs. Ida M. Rollins Hamblin, of Lyman, Wyoming. It was one of the pages recovered in 1833 at Independence when the press was being destroyed. The page was later found in Sidney Gilbert's Bible." Another ms comes from John Carter's journal recorded sometime between Dec. 1832 and Sept. 1833 (contains vss 117-126 only). The KRB pp. 33-48, contains a copy in the hand of F. G. Williams who apparently also recorded the original as dictated by Joseph Smith [according to the KRB - original not extant]. BLC Bk. B pp. 81-107 contains a copy in the hand of A. S. Gilbert recorded prior to June 18, 1833. The first part of the revelation [vss 1-126] was first published as a broadside in Kirtland about one year after its reception. Earlier, vss 117-126 and 127-137 were published in Independence, Missouri in ES, February 1833 and March 1833 respectively [the revelation was almost immediately sent to Zion, see the letter on page 316 above]. The entire text was first published as section 7 of the 1835 D&C.
Nearly all the text variations appear to be simple errors in copying or idiosyncratic spellings and capitalizations. However there are a few variants which appear to have some impact on the meaning of certain parts of the revelation(s). For example, in vs 11 the words "which shineth" appear as "which now shineth" in early mss and publications, giving the impression of a light shining during the reception of the revelation. In the Rollins ms mentioned above these words are changed to "now." Numerous other minor changes could be pointed out, but they all have the character of transcription errors. [See Woodford for a comparison of various copies of the revelation.]
6. This school was established on January 23rd 1833. See the following chapter. The opening minutes of the school read:Opened with Prayer by the President [Joseph Smith] and after much speaking praying and singing, all done in Tongues proceded to washing hands faces feet in the name of the Lord I each one washing his own after which the president girded himself with a towel and again washed the feet of all the Elders wiping them with the towelI. The President said after he had washed the feet of the Elders, as I have done so do ye wash ye therefore one anothers feet pronouncing at the same time through the power of the Holy Ghost that the Elders were all clean from the blood of this generation but that those among them who should sin wilfully after they were thus cleansed and sealed up unto eternal life should be given over unto the buffettings of Satan until the day of redemption. Having continued all day in fasting & prayer before the Lord at the close they partook of the Lords supper.[Kirtland Council Minute Book, 7]
Lyndon Cook notes:Consisting primarily of high priests, members of the school met regularly for nearly ten weeks (23 January to about 1 April 1833) in Kirtland, Ohio. The school was held in a small (10' x 14') room in the upper story of Newel K. Whitney's store, at a time when the entire upper level of the store was being used by the Prophet and his wife as a residence. The "school room," as it was called, had served earlier as a porch but had been enclosed by Levi Hancock, a carpenter, for use by the school. Regulations for the operation of the School of the Prophets were received by revelation and adhered to during the 1833 school season. Although Joseph Smith presided over the school, Orson Hyde was appointed the teacher. The number composing the 1833 school probably never exceeded twenty-five. The salutation recorded in D & C 88:133 was given each time the group came together. The teacher "saluted the brethren [with uplifted hands] as they came in," remembered Zebedee Coltrin, one of the original school, and "they also answered with uplifted hands." Coltrin also stated, "Before going to school we washed ourselves and put on clean linen." Members of the school came fasting at sunrise and normally continued until near 4:00 P.M. [RJS, 186]
The school continued until about the 1st of April 1833. Studies included doctrine and religious matters but also English grammar. Fifty years later, Zebedee Coltrin, the last surviving member of the school, was asked by then LDS Church President John Taylor to give some account of this first school as Church leaders prepared to re-institute the school of the prophets in Utah in response to an 1883 revelation to Taylor. Coltrin met with John Taylor and other Church leaders on October 3, 1883 to discuss the procedures of this first school. Coltrin named the following persons as attending the school: Joseph Smith, Jr., F. G. Williams, Joseph Smith, Sr., Hyrum Smith, Samuel H. Smith, Levi Hancock, William Smith, Ezra Thayer, Newel K. Whitney, Martin Harris, Sidney Rigdon, John Murdock, Lyman Johnson, Orson Hyde, Zebedee Coltrin, Sylvester Smith and Solomon Humphrey. [Misc. Minutes, (Salt Lake School of Prophets) LDS Archives.] Orson Pratt arrived in Kirtland from a mission to the eastern states and on February 18th was admitted to the school until he left on another mission March 26th. Pratt noted that his admission to the school followed after "[I] washed my hands and feet as a testimony unto the Lord that I had warned this wicked generation, and that my garments were clean of their blood." [Orson Pratt journal, 18 February 1833.]
Coltrin related the following experience during his interview with Church leaders:About the time the school was first organized some wished to see an angel, and a number joined in a circle, and prayed when the vision came, two of the brethren shrank and called for the vision to close or they would perish, they were Bros. Hancock and Humphries.
At one of these meetings after the organization of the school, on the 23rd January, 1833, when we were all together, Joseph having given instructions, and while engaged in silent prayer, kneeling, with our hands uplifted each one praying in silence, no one whispered above his breath, a personage walked through the room from East to west, and Joseph asked if we saw him. I saw him and suppose the others did, and Joseph answered that is Jesus, the Son of God, our elder brother. Afterward Joseph told us to resume our former position in prayer, which we did. Another person came through; He was surrounded as with a flame of fire. He (Bro. C[oltrin]) experienced a sensation that it might destroy the tabernacle as it was of consuming fire of great brightness. The Prophet Joseph said this was the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. I saw HimI. This appearance was so grand and overwhelming that it seemed I should melt down in His presence, and the sensation was so powerful that it thrilled through my whole system and I felt it in the marrow of my bones. The Prophet Joseph said: Brethren now you are prepared to be Apostles of Jesus Christ, for you have seen both the Father and the Son.
John Murdock reported an experience somewhat similar to Coltrin. [John Murdock journal typescript, p. 13; see chapter 24, this volume, p. 333 for what is possibly another account of these experiences. Compare Oliver Cowdery's instruction to the Twelve Apostles in 1835 concerning the necessity of seeing God as a preparation for the work of the apostleship.]
6a. The phrase was a common greeting among many of the original church members in Kirtland, who had inherited it from the Disciples of Christ, their former sect.
7. This name is also spelled Sexton in the Ms. History. Mr. Seaton lived at Rochester, New York, and published a paper there, but the name of the paper cannot be ascertained. (BHR) [The correct name of this editor was N. C. Saxton, see the following note.]
8. The paper in question was the Saturday weekly, American Revivalist, and Rochester Observer, published during the period of January 6, 1827 to September 1832. The paper claimed to be "dedicated to the interests of Zion generally, and especially to revivals of religion." The editor was N. C. Saxton. The paper published the last paragraph of Joseph Smith's January 4th letter with this note:Mormonism. - We have received a communication on this subject, from Mr. J. Smith Jr., who we suppose, is a principal leader of the sect that embraces Mormonism. It is written throughout with much good feeling and urbanity.
With our own views of truth, we do not feel that it would be consistent with our duty, or for the benefit of our readers to enter into a discussion on this subject, nor have we room for the whole letter. Still we think our readers may be gratified in learning something of the author's views, and therefore present them with the following extract, not holding ourselves responsible for its sentiments. [2 February 1833 issue]
The letter was copied into Joseph Smith's Letterbook 1 (LDS Archives) pp. 14-18 by Frederick G. Williams. See PWJS, 269 and the follow-up letter from Joseph Smith in the next chapter of the history.
9. The Prophet states subsequently [see the next chapter] that he wrote this communication by commandment of the Lord. The general condition of the world as noted by the Prophet at the commencement of this chapter was doubtless the occasion of the Lord sending forth such a note of warning to the inhabitants of the earth as is here presented. It should be said, however, in addition to what is here set down, i.e. at the beginning of the chapter--that the "plague," or Asiatic cholera, which first broke out in India, spread also throughout the United States in that same year. One historian, speaking of its ravages in the United States, says: "It was on the 21st of June, 1832, that the eastern plague, known as the Asiatic cholera, made its first appearance in the United states, in the city of New York. Its rapid spread produced universal panic, though it was less fatal in the South Atlantic states than in the north and in the valley of the Mississippi. Thousands of persons of all ages and conditions died of it within a few months. The most robust constitutions in many instances became victims of its malignancy within thirty-six hours from it first attack."--History U. S., Stephens, p. 450.(BHR)
10. The two poles of the gathering of Israel as stated here would become encoded in LDS doctrine with the "articles of faith." Church missionaries taught this dual gathering in their preaching based on passages in the Book of Mormon and the revelations to Joseph Smith, Jr. William E. McLellin recorded,I opened my mouth . . . [about] the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the gathering of the saints to mount Zion and the Jews to Jerusalem . . . [three months later] I . . . spoke about 2 1/2 hours on the Covenants, the evidences of the book of Mormon, and of Zion and Jerusalem the two places of gathering in the last days and of the The nature of the two gatherings on Zion and Canaan . . . [The Journals of William E. McLellin, pp. 44, 65, 133 (2 October 1831, 11 December 1831, 10 August 1834).]
11. With the excommunication of Jesse Gause in Dec. 1832 (see note at chapter 21 this volume), there was a vacancy in the Presidency of the High Priesthood. Since previous instruction directed that Joseph have two counselors (see notes at chapters 17 and 18 this volume) the issue of who should replace Gause was certainly on the minds of the presidency. F. G. Williams had been serving as a scribe to Smith since the previous July when Rigdon was dropped from the presidency for a time (see notes at chapter 19 this volume). On January 5, 1833, Joseph Smith received the following revelation for Frederick G. Williams which designated him as a counselor:Behold I say unto you my Servent Frederick, Listen to the word of Jesus Christ your Lord and your Redeemer thou hast desired of me to know which would be the most worth unto you. behold blessed art tho[u] for this thing. Now I say unto you, my Servent Joseph is called to do a great work and hath need that he may do the work of translation for the Salvation of Souls. Verily verily I say unto you thou art called to be a Councillor & scribe unto my Servent Joseph Let thy farm be consecrated for bringing forth of the revelations and tho[u] shalt be blessed and lifted up at the last day even so Amen. [F. G. Williams papers, LDS archives (dated incorrectly there as 1834).]
Williams was actually ordained to the office on March 18th [Kirtland Council Minute Book, 17.]
A few days previous to this on March 15th, Williams became a member of the United Firm (see notes at D&C 92). Williams' farm, which he had more or less placed at the disposal of the Church since the Lamanite Missionaries had come to Kirtland, is here designated to be used for purposes of the Literary Firm in the publication of the revelations in the BC. Williams apparently began to function prior to March 18th, he signed a letter from the Presidency dated February (see the next chapter for this letter). Note also that the Lord designates the Bible translation work as being "a great work" and "for the Salvation of Souls." Remarks have already been made underscoring the effect the JST work had on Joseph's early training and understanding not to mention the revelations received in conjunction with the "work of translation."
12. The letter has the date January 11, 1832 in Joseph Smith's Letterbook 1, pp. 18-20 in the handwriting of F. G. Williams.
13. A number of the revelations had "titles" associated with them among early members. With Joseph's designation here, this revelation became known as the Olive Leaf.
14. This is the revelation beginning on p. 302 and section lxxxviii of the Doctrine and Covenants. (BHR)
15. See pp. 310, 311, verses 119-136. (BHR)
16. In response to Joseph Smith's observation, Phelps began to publish some history of the rise of the new Church, but the Mormon printing shop in Independence would be destroyed in six months and the Mormons driven out, making the question moot.
17. "Kirtland Mills" and "Kirtland" are identical. The name "Kirtland Mills" arose from the existence of some mills on the banks of the branch of the Chagrin river on which Kirtland is situated. (BHR)
18. See p. 292, verse 76. (BHR)
19. The letter suggests that the apparent disloyalty to Joseph Smith was behind the condemnation verse as well as the overzealous acts and uninformed and unwise statements of other Missouri members. The neglect of the Book of Mormon and other revelations of Joseph Smith were tied to the cynicism among some Missouri Church members over Joseph's innovations in Church leadership and doctrine, for example, the 1832 visit for sustaining Smith as President of the High Priesthood and, at least for David Whitmer, the circulation and eventual publication of revelations of Joseph Smith beyond the Book of Mormon - Indeed, Whitmer blamed the publication of Joseph Smith's revelations beyond the Book of Mormon for the problems in Missouri. See Whitmer's Address to All Believers.
20. See p. 291, verses 55-59. (BHR)
21. This item refers to the conflict between Rigdon and Partridge which began during Rigdon's first visit to Missouri in 1831. Rigdon became so depressed over the failure to resolve the situation that at one particularly frustrating turn he claimed that Divine approval was withdrawn from the restoration. [See notes at chapters 19 and 20 this volume.]
22. D&C 84:57.
23. Referring possibly to an indiscretion by McLellin. Zion's Reveille (2 February 1847, 18 February, 1847). The discussion here may also refer to McLellin's unauthorized migration to Independence with his new wife, the former Emiline Miller. For McLellin's account of his life during this period see The Journals of William E. McLellin, pp. 79-85. [See chapter 17, this volume for biographical information regarding McLellin.]
24. McLellin's problems are detailed in part in notes of chapter 21.
25. The school began on the 23rd.