Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson County, Missouri, 2 July 1833

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

July 2d— 1833—
We received your letters of June 7 one from and one from Bro and one from Br for which we are thankful to our heavenly Father to hear of your welfare as well as the prosperity of Zion having received your letters in the mail of to day we hasten to answer to go with tomorrows mail, we are excedingly fateagued owing to a great press of business we this day finished the translating of the Scriptures for which we returned gratitude to our heavenly father and sat immediately down to answer your letters we rejoiced greatly to hear of the safe arival of and and thank our heavenly father that their lives have been spared them till their arival the health of the brethren & sisters in [p. 51] is good at present no case of sickness known to us, s wife is declining fast and cannot continue much longer but will soon be in the paradise of God, we are engaged in writing a letter to respecting the two Smith[s] as we have received two from them one from John Smith the other from the of the Church. As to the gift of tongues, all we can say is that in this place we have received it as the ancients did we wish you however to be careful lest in this you be deceived guard against evils which may arise from any accounts given of women or otherwise be careful in all things lest any root of bitterness spring up among you and thereby many be defiled. Satan will no doubt trouble you about the Gift of tongues unless you are careful you cannot watch him too closly nor pray to[o] much may the Lord give you wisdom in all things, in a letter mailed last week you will doubtless see before you receive this <​have​> obtained information about the new translation. Consign the Box of the book of the Commandments to Geauga Co Ohio care of Killy and Walworth Cuyahoga County Ohio, I write this in great haste in answer to yours to Bro Joseph as I am going off immediately in company with , to proclaim the gospel we think of starting to morrow having finished the translation of the bible a few hours since and needing some recreation we know of no way we can spend our time more to divine exceptence then endevoring to build up <​his​> [p. 52] in these last days as we are not willing to Idle any time which can be spent to useful purpose doors are opening continually for proclaiming the spirit of bitterness among the people is fast subsiding and a spirit of enquiry is taking its place I proclaimed last Sunday at our county seat [I] had the court house, there was a general turn out, good attention and a pressing invitation for more meetings which will be granted if the Lord will when we return from this tower [tour], Bro Joseph is going to take a tower [tour] with Bro of Brownhelm as soon as he () comes to this place, we hope our brethren that the greatest freedom and frankness will exist between you and the not withholding from each other any information from us but communicate with the greatest freedom lest you should produce evils of a serious nature character and the Lord becomes offended for know assuredly if we by our wickedness bring evil on our own heads the Lord will let us bear it till we get weary and hate eniquity wants you to say to that the man from whom he expected to get the mill stones has run off so he will not be able to get them but can get them at of the same mans make
We conclude by giving our heartiest approbation to evry measure calculated for the spread of <​the​> truth in these last days and our strongest desires and sincerest prayers for the prosperity [p. 53] of — Say to all the brethren and sisters in that they have our hearts our best wishes and the strongest desires of our spirits for their welfare Temporal Spiritual, and Eternal
As ever we salute you in the name of the Lord Jesus Amen
Joseph Smith Jr
— [p. 54]


  1. 1

    JS had completed the translation of the New Testament on 2 February 1833. The remainder of his Old Testament translation was apparently completed on the day this letter was written, 2 July 1833. (Minute Book 1, 2 Feb. 1833.)  

  2. 2

    Dianthe Stiles Kingsbury died at Painesville, Ohio, on 19 August 1833. (Kingsbury, Pendulous Edition of Kingsbury Genealogy, 230.)  

    Kingsbury, Joseph Addison, comp. A Pendulous Edition of Kingsbury Genealogy, Gathered by Rev. Addison Kingsbury. Marietta, Ohio: Forty Years Pastor of the Putnam Presbyterian Church, Zanesville, Ohio. Pittsburgh: Murdoch-Kerr Press, 1901.

  3. 3

    Letter to Church Leaders in Eugene, IN, 2 July 1833. “Eugine” refers to the branch of the church in Eugene Township, Vermillion County, Indiana.  

  4. 4

    See Letter to John Smith, 2 July 1833; and Letter to Church Leaders in Eugene, IN, 2 July 1833.  

  5. 5

    JS and other men and women spoke in tongues at a conference of high priests on 22 January 1833. The conference reconvened the following morning, at which time attendees spoke, prayed, and sang in tongues. (Minutes, 22–23 Jan. 1833.)  

  6. 6

    See, for example, Acts 2:4; 19:6.  

  7. 7

    JS’s translation of the Bible, which was completed this day. The 25 June 1833 letter states, “In regard to the printing of the New translation it cannot be done until we can attend to it ourselves, and this we will do as soon as the Lord permit.” (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 25 June 1833.)  

  8. 8

    Probably Thomas M. Kelley and Ashbel W. Walworth, who were engaged in the shipping industry in Cleveland. (Kelley, Genealogical History of the Kelley Family, 88; “Pioneer Father and Son: John Walworth and Ashbel W. Walworth,” 665.)  

    Kelley, Hermon Alfred, comp. A Genealogical History of the Kelley Family Descended from Joseph Kelley of Norwich, Connecticut. With Much Biographical Matter concerning the First Four Generations, and Notes of Inflowing Female Lines. Cleveland: By the author, 1897.

    “A Pioneer Father and Son: John Walworth and Ashbel W. Walworth.” Magazine of Western History 3, no. 6 (Apr. 1886): 658–666.

  9. 9

    It is unknown if Rigdon and Williams went on a preaching tour as planned or where they may have traveled. Williams served as the clerk for a meeting in Kirtland held on 13 July, suggesting that any traveling he and Rigdon did at this time was relatively local. (Minutes, 13 July 1833.)  

  10. 10

    Brownhelm Township is approximately fifty miles southwest of Kirtland in Lorain County, Ohio, near the shore of Lake Erie. A 7 May 1833 letter was addressed to James specifically, though it was intended for “all the Brothers & sisters” of Brownhelm generally, suggesting that James held a leadership position in the church there. James apparently did not serve his planned mission with JS. He explained to a council of high priests on 4 April 1834 that he failed to “magnify his calling” and that he should have told JS earlier “that his pecuniary affairs called his attention at home which prevented his fulfilling the promise he made to Bro. Joseph in going out to proclaim the Gospel.” (Emer Harris, Springville, PA, to “Dearly Beloved Brethern,” Brownhelm, OH, 7 May 1833, Harris Family Papers, BYU; Minute Book 1, 4 Apr. 1834.)  

    Harris Family Papers, 1818–1969. BYU.

  11. 11

    In a postscript to a previous letter, Orson Hyde, clerk for the presidency of the high priesthood, wrote: “There should exist the greatest freedom and familiarity among the Rulers in Zion. . . . When we direct letters to Zion to any of the High Priests which pertains to the regulation thereof, we always design that they Should be laid before the Bishop so as to enable him to perform his duty.” (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 25 June 1833; see also Letter to Edward Partridge, 2 May 1833; and Historical Introduction to Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 21 Apr. 1833.)  

  12. 12

    TEXT: Possibly “it us”.