|Wilford Woodruff Journal||Willard Richards Pocket Companion|
I spent the day in Commerce in Council with the Presidency & Twelve we had an interesting day Joseph was president of the Council Brother Orson Hide was restored to the Church and the quorum of the Twelve in full fellowship by a full vote of the Council. after making an humble Confession & acknowledgement of his Sins &c [At this point in the journal there is a drawing of two keys.] Among the vast number of the Keys of the Kingdom of God Joseph presented the following one to the Twelve for there benefit in there experience & travels in the flesh which is as follows.
In order to detect the devel when he transforms himself nigh unto an angel of light. When an angel of God appears unto man face to face in personage & reaches out his hand unto the man & he takes hold of the angels hand & feels a substance the Same as one man would in shaking hands with another he may then know that it is an angel of God, & he should place all Confidence in him Such personages or angels are Saints with there resurrected Bodies, but if a personage appears unto man & offers him his hand & the man takes hold of it & he feels nothing or does not sens any substance he may know it is the devel, for when a Saint whose body is not resurrected appears unto man in the flesh he will not offer him his hand for this is against the law given him & in keeping in mind these things we may detec the devil that he decieved us not. 1
[Richards supplies no date, only the preamble "Other important items of doctrines from Joseph given in Commerce Ill."]|
¶ On the Doctrines of
Faith comes by hearing the word of God through the testimony of the Servants of God, that Testimony is always attended by the Spirit of prophecy & Revelation.
¶ The doctrine of the Resurrection of the Dead & Eternal Judgment are necessary to preach among the first principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.-- 2
¶ St Paul exhorts us to make our Calling & Election shure. This is that sealing power spoken of by Paul in other places (See Eph I. 13.14. In whom ye also trusted, that after ye heard the work of truth; the gospel of your salvation, in whom also after that ye believed ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise. Which is the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession unto the praise of his glory.) That we may be sealed up unto the day of redemption, this principle ought. (in its proper place) to be taught, for God hath not revealed any thing to Joseph, but what he will make known unto the Twelve & even the least Saint may know all things as fast as he is able to--bear them. for the day must come when no man need say to his neighbor know ye the Lord for all shall know him (who Remain) from the least to the greatest, How is this to be done? It is to be done by this sealing power & the other comforter spoken of which will be manifest by Revelation.
¶ The other comforter spoken of is a subject of great interest & perhaps understood by few of this generation, After a person hath faith in Christ, repents of his sins & is Baptized for the remission of his sins & received the Holy Ghost (by the laying on of hands) which is the first Comforter then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering & thirsting after Righteousness. & living by every word of God & the Lord will soon say unto him Son thou shalt be exalted. &c When the Lord has thoroughly proved him & finds that the man is determined to serve him at all hazard. then the man will find his calling & Election made sure then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter which the Lord hath promised the saints as is recorded in the testimony of St John in the XIV ch from the 12th to the 27 verses Note the 16, 17, 18, 21, 23 verses. (16.vs) & I will pray the father & he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; (17) Even the Spirit of Truth; whom the world cannot receive because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you & shall be in you. (18) I will not leave you comfortless. I will come to you (21) He that hath my commandments & keepeth them, he it is that loveth me. & he that loveth me shall be loved of my father & I will love him & will manifest myself to him (23) If a man Love me he will keep my words. & my Father will love him. & we will come unto him, & make our abode with him.
¶ Now what is this other Comforter? It is no more or less than the Lord Jesus Christ himself & this is the sum & substance of the whole matter,
1. Compare similar or related instructions given 8Aug39(1), December 1840, March 21, 1841, April 1, 1842, April 28, 1842, May 1, 1842, January 29, 1843, February 9, 1843 (instructions to Parley P. Pratt and Williard Richards later canonized as D&C 129). This instruction and expansions on it were apparently commonly taught by Joseph Smith in his anxiety that the Saints not be deceived. An 1841 Nauvoo pamphlet of unknown authorship titled "Revelations" repeats the December 1840 instruction. The instruction is closely linked to the LDS temple endowment (see April 28, 1842).
2. Resurrection and "eternal judgement" became ongoing themes. See for example 9Aug40, 12Jan41, 16May41, 15Oct43. The instructions recorded by Richards on this instance and following Aug. 8, 1839(1) were passed among the British Saints with some reverence. Copies are found in number of diaries from the period.