Letter to the Elders of the Church, 30 November–1 December 1835

  • Source Note
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have plucked up, or cleansed the church of, if their views had been favored by the Savior; but he, knowing all things, says not so; as much as to say, your views are not correct, the church is in its infancy, and if you take this rash step, you will destroy the wheat or the church with the tares: therefore it is better to let them grow together until the harvest, or the end of the world, which means the destruction of the wicked; which is not yet fulfilled; as we shall show hereafter, in the Savior’s explanation of the parable, which is so plain, that there is no room left for dubiety upon the mind, notwithstanding the cry of the priests, parables, parables! figures, figures! mystery, mystery! all is mystery! but we find no room for doubt here, as the parables were all plainly elucidated.
And again, another parable put he forth unto them, having an allusion to the kingdom which should be set up, just previous or at the time of harvest, which reads as follows:—The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all seeds, but when it is grown it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. Now we can discover plainly, that this figure is given to represent the church as it shall come forth in the last days. Behold the kingdom of heaven is likened unto it. Now what is like unto it?
Let us take the book of Mormon, which a man took and hid in his field; securing it by his faith, to spring up in the last days, or in due time: let us behold it coming forth out of the ground, which is indeed accounted the least of all seeds, but behold it branching forth; yea, even towering, with lofty branches, and God-like majesty, until it becomes the greatest of all herbs: and it is truth, and it has sprouted and come forth out of the earth; and righteousness begins to look down from heaven; and God is sending down his powers, gifts and angels, to lodge in the branches thereof: The kingdom of heaven is like unto a mustard seed. Behold, then, is not this the kingdom of heaven that is raising its head in the last days, in the majesty of its God; even the ,—like an impenetrable, immovable rock in the midst of the mighty deep, exposed to storms and tempests of satan, but has, thus far, remained steadfast and is still braving the mountain waves of opposition, which are driven by the tempestuous winds of sinking crafts, have and are still dashing with tremendous foam, across its triumphing brow, urged onward with redoubled fury by the enemy of righteousness, with his pitchfork of lies, as you will see fairly represented in a cut, contained in ’s “Mormonism Unveiled?”
And we hope that this adversary of truth will continue to stir up the sink of iniquity, that people may the more readily discern between the righteous and wicked. We also would notice one of the modern sons of Sceva, who would fain have made people believe that he could cast out devils, by a certain pamphlet (viz. the “Millenial Harbinger,”) that went the rounds through our country, who felt so fully authorized to brand Jo Smith, with the appellation of Elymus the sorcerer, and to say with Paul, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord! We would reply to this gentleman—Paul we know, and Christ we know, but who are ye? And with the best of feelings, we would say to him, in the language of Paul to those who said they were John’s disciples, but had not so much as heard there was a Holy Ghost, to repent and be for the remission of sins by those who have legal authority, and under their hands you shall receive the Holy Ghost, according to the scriptures.
Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.—Acts: ch. 8, v. 17.
And, when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.—Acts: ch. 19, v. 6.
Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of , and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.—Heb. ch. 6, v.2.
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!—Rom. ch. 10, v. 14–15.
But if this man will not take our admonition, but will persist in his wicked course, we hope that he will continue trying to cast out devils, that we may [p. 227]
have plucked up, or cleansed the church of, if their views had been favored by the Savior; but he, knowing all things, says not so; as much as to say, your views are not correct, the church is in its infancy, and if you take this rash step, you will destroy the wheat or the church with the tares: therefore it is better to let them grow together until the harvest, or the end of the world, which means the destruction of the wicked; which is not yet fulfilled; as we shall show hereafter, in the Savior’s explanation of the parable, which is so plain, that there is no room left for dubiety upon the mind, notwithstanding the cry of the priests, parables, parables! figures, figures! mystery, mystery! all is mystery! but we find no room for doubt here, as the parables were all plainly elucidated.
And again, another parable put he forth unto them, having an allusion to the kingdom which should be set up, just previous or at the time of harvest, which reads as follows:—The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all seeds, but when it is grown it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. Now we can discover plainly, that this figure is given to represent the church as it shall come forth in the last days. Behold the kingdom of heaven is likened unto it. Now what is like unto it?
Let us take the book of Mormon, which a man took and hid in his field; securing it by his faith, to spring up in the last days, or in due time: let us behold it coming forth out of the ground, which is indeed accounted the least of all seeds, but behold it branching forth; yea, even towering, with lofty branches, and God-like majesty, until it becomes the greatest of all herbs: and it is truth, and it has sprouted and come forth out of the earth; and righteousness begins to look down from heaven; and God is sending down his powers, gifts and angels, to lodge in the branches thereof: The kingdom of heaven is like unto a mustard seed. Behold, then, is not this the kingdom of heaven that is raising its head in the last days, in the majesty of its God; even the ,—like an impenetrable, immovable rock in the midst of the mighty deep, exposed to storms and tempests of satan, but has, thus far, remained steadfast and is still braving the mountain waves of opposition, which are driven by the tempestuous winds of sinking crafts, have and are still dashing with tremendous foam, across its triumphing brow, urged onward with redoubled fury by the enemy of righteousness, with his pitchfork of lies, as you will see fairly represented in a cut, contained in ’s “Mormonism Unveiled?”
And we hope that this adversary of truth will continue to stir up the sink of iniquity, that people may the more readily discern between the righteous and wicked. We also would notice one of the modern sons of Sceva, who would fain have made people believe that he could cast out devils, by a certain pamphlet (viz. the “Millenial Harbinger,”) that went the rounds through our country, who felt so fully authorized to brand Jo Smith, with the appellation of Elymus the sorcerer, and to say with Paul, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord! We would reply to this gentleman—Paul we know, and Christ we know, but who are ye? And with the best of feelings, we would say to him, in the language of Paul to those who said they were John’s disciples, but had not so much as heard there was a Holy Ghost, to repent and be for the remission of sins by those who have legal authority, and under their hands you shall receive the Holy Ghost, according to the scriptures.
Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.—Acts: ch. 8, v. 17.
And, when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.—Acts: ch. 19, v. 6.
Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of , and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.—Heb. ch. 6, v.2.
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!—Rom. ch. 10, v. 14–15.
But if this man will not take our admonition, but will persist in his wicked course, we hope that he will continue trying to cast out devils, that we may [p. 227]
Page 227