Letter to the Elders of the Church, 16 November 1835

  • Source Note
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To the of the .
At the close of my letter in the September No. of the “Messenger and Advocate,” I promised to continue the subject there commenced: I do so with a hope that it may be a benefit and a means of assistance to the elders in their labors, while they are combatting the prejudices of a crooked and perverse generation, by having in their possession, the facts of my religious principles, which are misrepresented by almost all those whose crafts are in danger by the same; and also to aid those who are anxiously inquiring, and have been excited to do so from rumor, in accertaining correctly, what my principles are.
I have been drawn into this course of proceeding, by persecution, that is brought upon us from false rumor, and misrepresentations concerning my sentiments.
But to proceed, in the letter alluded to. The principles of repentance and for the remission of sins, are not only set forth, but many passages of scripture, were quoted, clearly illucidating the subject; let me add, that I do positively rely upon the truth and veracity of those principles inculcated in the new testament; and then pass from the above named items, on to the item or subject of the , and show my views upon this point: which is an item which I esteem to be of the greatest importance to those who are looking for salvation in this generation, or in these what may be called “the latter times,” as all the prophets that have written, from the days of righteous Abel down to the last man, that has left any testimony on record, for our consideration, in speaking of the salvation of Israel in the last days, goes directly to show, that it consists in the work of the gathering.
Firstly, I shall begin by quoting from the prophecy of Enoch, speaking of the last days: “Righteousness will I send down out of heaven, and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten, his resurrection from the dead, -[this resurrection I understand to be the corporeal body]- yea, and also the resurrection of all men, righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine own elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare; a holy city, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming: for there shall be my tabernacle; and it shall be called , a .”
Now I understand by this quotation, that God clearly manifested to Enoch, the redemption which he prepared, by offering the Messiah as a Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world: by virtue of the same, the glorious resurrection of the Savior, and the resurrection of all the human family,—even a resurrection of their corporeal bodies: and also righteousness and truth to sweep the earth as with a flood. Now I ask how righteousness and truth are agoing to sweep the earth as with a flood? I will answer:—Men and angels are to be co-workers in bringing to pass this great work: and a Zion is to be prepared; even a New Jerusalem, for the elect that are to be gathered from the four quarters of the earth, and to be established an holy city: for the tabernacle of the Lord shall be with them.
Now Enoch was in good company in his views upon this subject. See Revelations, 23:3.—“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” I discover by this quotation, that John upon the isle of Patmos, saw the same things concerning the last days, which Enoch saw. But before the tabernacle can be with men, the elect must be gathered from the four quarters of the earth.
And to show further upon this subject of the gathering: Moses, after having pronounced the blessing and the cursing upon the children of Israel, for their obedience or disobedience, says thus:—“And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse which I have set before thee; and thou shalt [p. [209]]
To the of the .
At the close of my letter in the September No. of the “Messenger and Advocate,” I promised to continue the subject there commenced: I do so with a hope that it may be a benefit and a means of assistance to the elders in their labors, while they are combatting the prejudices of a crooked and perverse generation, by having in their possession, the facts of my religious principles, which are misrepresented by almost all those whose crafts are in danger by the same; and also to aid those who are anxiously inquiring, and have been excited to do so from rumor, in accertaining correctly, what my principles are.
I have been drawn into this course of proceeding, by persecution, that is brought upon us from false rumor, and misrepresentations concerning my sentiments.
But to proceed, in the letter alluded to. The principles of repentance and for the remission of sins, are not only set forth, but many passages of scripture, were quoted, clearly illucidating the subject; let me add, that I do positively rely upon the truth and veracity of those principles inculcated in the new testament; and then pass from the above named items, on to the item or subject of the , and show my views upon this point: which is an item which I esteem to be of the greatest importance to those who are looking for salvation in this generation, or in these what may be called “the latter times,” as all the prophets that have written, from the days of righteous Abel down to the last man, that has left any testimony on record, for our consideration, in speaking of the salvation of Israel in the last days, goes directly to show, that it consists in the work of the gathering.
Firstly, I shall begin by quoting from the prophecy of Enoch, speaking of the last days: “Righteousness will I send down out of heaven, and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten, his resurrection from the dead, -[this resurrection I understand to be the corporeal body]- yea, and also the resurrection of all men, righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine own elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare; a holy city, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming: for there shall be my tabernacle; and it shall be called , a .”
Now I understand by this quotation, that God clearly manifested to Enoch, the redemption which he prepared, by offering the Messiah as a Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world: by virtue of the same, the glorious resurrection of the Savior, and the resurrection of all the human family,—even a resurrection of their corporeal bodies: and also righteousness and truth to sweep the earth as with a flood. Now I ask how righteousness and truth are agoing to sweep the earth as with a flood? I will answer:—Men and angels are to be co-workers in bringing to pass this great work: and a Zion is to be prepared; even a New Jerusalem, for the elect that are to be gathered from the four quarters of the earth, and to be established an holy city: for the tabernacle of the Lord shall be with them.
Now Enoch was in good company in his views upon this subject. See Revelations, 23:3.—“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” I discover by this quotation, that John upon the isle of Patmos, saw the same things concerning the last days, which Enoch saw. But before the tabernacle can be with men, the elect must be gathered from the four quarters of the earth.
And to show further upon this subject of the gathering: Moses, after having pronounced the blessing and the cursing upon the children of Israel, for their obedience or disobedience, says thus:—“And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse which I have set before thee; and thou shalt [p. [209]]
Page [209]