Letter to the Church, circa March 1834

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

THE ELDERS OF THE CHURCH IN KIRTLAND, TO THEIR BRETHREN ABROAD.
(Continued from our last.)
Dear brethren in Christ, and companions in tribulation.
HAVING in a former number of the Star, written you quite lengthy on some few items connected with the religion which we profess, we deem it of importance to the cause in which all our united efforts ought, with an eye single to the glory of God, to be engaged, that we may escape the corruptions of the world, and not only show ourselves approved in his sight, but may be instruments in the order of his providence in convincing some of our fellow-travellors to eternity of the importance of turning from error to righteousness, and embracing the fulness of the everlasting gospel—to continue this letter of instruction and exhortation, believing, (as we have previously remarked,) that on your part it will be received in brotherly fellowship. We would remind you, brethren, of the fateagues, trials, privations, and persecutions, which the ancient saints endured for the only purpose of persuading men of the excellency and propriety of the faith of Christ, were it in our opinion necessary, or would serve in any respect to stimulate you to labor in the vineyard of the Lord with any more diligence; but we have reason to believe, (if you make the holy a sufficient part of your studies,) that their perseverance is known to you all; and that they were willing to sacrifice the present honors and pleasures of this world, that they might obtain an assurance of a crown of life from the hand of our Lord; and their excellent examples in labor, which manifests their zeal to us in the cause which they embraced, you are daily striving to pattern. And not only these, but the of our Lord, we hope, are constantly revolving in your hearts, teaching you, not only his will in proclaiming his gospel, but his meekness and perfect walk before all, even in those times of severe persecutions and abuse which were heaped upon him by a wicked and adulterous generation. Remember, brethren, that he has called you unto holiness; and need we say, to be like him in purity? How wise; how holy; how chaste, and how perfect, then, you ought to conduct yourselves in his sight; and remember too, that his eyes are continually upon you. Viewing these facts in a proper light, you cannot be insensible, that without a strict observance of all his divine requirements, you may, at last, be found wanting; and if so, you will admit, that your lot will be cast among the unprofitable servants.— We beseech you, therefore brethren, to improve upon all things committed to your charge, that you lose not your reward!
No doubt, the course which we pursued in our last to you, is yet familiar to your minds; that we there endeavored to show, as far as our limits would extend, the propriety, in part of adhering to the law of heaven; and also, the consistency in looking to heaven for a law or rule to serve us as a guide in this present state of existence, that we may be prepared to meet that which inevitably awaits us, as well as all mankind.— There is an importance, perhaps, attached to this subject, which the world has not as fully examined as the importance of it requires. Think for a moment, of the greatness of the Being who created the universe; and ask, Could he be so inconsistant with his own character, as to leave man without a law or rule to regulate his conduct, after placing him here, where, according to the formation of his nature he must in a short period sink into the dust? Is there nothing further; is there no existence beyond this vail of death which is so suddenly to be cast over all of us? If there is, why not that Being who had power to place us here, inform us something concerning hereafter? If we had power to place ourselves in this present existence, why not have power to know what shall follow when that dark vail is cast over our bodies? If in this life we receive our all; if when we crumble back to dust we are no more, from what source did we emanate, and what was the purpose in our existence? If this were all, we should be led to query, whether there was really any substance in existence: and we might with propriety say, “Let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die!” If this were really so, then why this constant toiling, why this continual warfare, and why this unceasing trouble? But this is not the case, the voice of reason, the language of inspiration, and the Spirit of the living GOD, our Creator, teaches us, as we hold the record of truth in our hands, that this is not the case; that this is not so; for, the heavens declare the glory of a GOD, and the firmament shows his handy work; and a moment’s reflection, is sufficient to teach every man of common intellect, that all these are not the mere production of chance, nor could they be supported by any power less than by an Almighty hand: and he that can mark the power of Omnipotence inscribed upon the heavens, can also see His own hand-writing in the sacred volume; and he who reads it oftenest will like it best, and he who is acquainted with it, will know the hand wherever he can see it; and when once discovered, it will not only receive an acknowledgment, but an obedience to all its heavenly precepts. For a moment reflect, what could have been the purpose in our Father in giving to us a law? Was it that it might be obeyed, or disobeyed? And think [p. 142] further too, not only the propriety, but the importance of attending to his laws in every particular. If, then, there is an importance in this respect, is there not a responsibility of great weight resting upon those who are called to declare these truths to men? Could we, or were we capable of laying any thing before you as a just comparison, we would cheerfully do it; but in this our capacity fails, and we are inclined to think, that man is unable, without an assistance beyond what has been given to those before us, of expressing in words the greatness of this important office. We can only say, that if an anticipation of the joys of the celestial glory, as witnessed to the hearts of the humble is not sufficient, we will leave with yourselves the result of your own diligence; for God ere long, will call all his servants before him, and there from His own hand they will receive a just recompense and a righteous reward for all their labors.
So much by way of introduction, and we shall now proceed to examine still further the subject of law. However little may have been heretofore thought, or said upon the subject of law, does not diminish in the least the propriety nor the design of it, since it emanated from God; and though it may have been, and may be at this day a subject untouched by the professors of christianity, that does not lessen its value, neither does it diminish its power in judging men from their actions according to it, at the last day, those who have, or may have come to a knowledge of it. It may be supposed, and we think with a degree of propriety, that man had given to him in the beginning, from the hand of his Maker, every necessary law and instruction, for his peace, happiness, and future comfort; and if not, living as he did in the immediate presence, and walking under the inspection of heaven, if he needed more, he could yet ask it, and that wise Hand which had formed him of the dust was sufficient; not only sufficient, but knowing all things, knew whether man needed more or not, and if he did, it would be bestowed. To suppose that the Maker of the universe never gave to man any law after he had formed him, would, in our opinion, be offering an insult to his glorious character, and be comparing him beneath, even an earthly parent! For where, we ask, is the kind humane father to be found, who would, for any consideration whatever, suffer his children to grow up to manhood without giving them instruction, and instruction too, which would be wisely calculated to benefit them, even in ripened years? Should he teach them virtue in their youth, (a principle too much neglected with most parents,) if observed in age it certainly would be virtue still; and the more it was observed the more honorable would be the gray hairs, until his spirit took its welcome exit to mingle with its kindred spirits, and rejoice in the salvation of that God from whom came the first principles of virtue. Should the great Author of our being, after he had made all things, and even man, and pronounced them all good, leave man without a law, we might well suppose that here was a contradiction in terms, indeed; for he had pronounced all things which he had made good, and yet there was no good in man, consequently he was not worthy to receive a law whereby his conduct might be governed; but must be left without any principles or directions from the hand of his Maker to guide him in the least particular.
From these facts, in short, and the further knowledge contained in the scriptures, it is reasonable to suppose, that man departed from the first teachings, or instructions which he received from heaven in the first age, and refused by his disobedience to be governed by them. Consequently, he formed such laws as best suited his own mind, or as he supposed, best adapted to his situation. But that God has influenced man more or less since that time in the formation of law for his benefit we have no hesitancy in believing; for, as before remarked, he being the source of all good, every just and equitable law was in a greater or less degree influenced by him. And though man in his own supposed wisdom would not admit the influence of a power superior to his own, yet for wise and great purposes, for the good and happiness of his creatures, God has instructed man to form wise and wholesome laws, since he had departed from him and refused to be governed by those laws which he had given by his own voice from on high in the beginning. But notwithstanding this trangression, by which man had cut himself off from an immediate intercourse with his Maker without a Mediator, it appears that the great and glorious plan of his redemption was previously meditated; the sacrifice prepared; the atonement wrought out in the mind and purpose of God, even in the person of the Son, through whom man was now to look for acceptance, and through whose merits he was now taught that he alone could find redemption, since the word had been pronounced, Unto dust thou shalt return!
But that man was not sufficient of himself to erect a system, or plan with power sufficient to free him from a destruction which awaited him, is evident from the fact, that God, as before remarked, prepared a sacrifice in the gift of his own Son which should be sent in due time, in his own wisdom, to prepare a way, or open a door through which man might enter into his presence, from whence he had been cast for disobedience.— From time to time these glad tidings were sounded in the ears of men in different ages of the world down to the time of his coming. By faith in this atonement or plan of redemption, Abel offered to God a sacrifice that was accepted, which was the firstlings of the flock. Cain offered of the fruit of the ground, and was not accepted, because he could not do it in faith: he could have no faith, or could not exercise faith contrary to the plan of heaven. It must be the shedding of the blood of the Only Begotten to atone for man; for this was the plan of redemption; and without the shedding of blood was no remission; and as the sacrifice was instituted for a type, by which man was to discern the great Sacrifice which God had prepared; to offer a sacrifice contrary to that, no faith could be exercised, because redemption was not purchased in that way, nor the power of atonement instituted after that order; consequently, Cain could have no faith: and whatsoever is not of faith is sin. But Abel offered an acceptable sacrifice, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God himself testifying of his gifts. Certainly, the shedding of the blood of a beast could be beneficial to no man, except it was done in imitation, or as a type, or explanation of what was to be offered through the gift of God himself; and this performance done with an eye looking forward in faith on the power of that great Sacrifice for a remission of sins. But however various may have been, and may be at the present time the opinions of men respecting the conduct of Abel, and the knowledge which he had on the subject of atonement, it is evident in our minds, that he was instructed more fully into the plan than what the bible speaks; for how could he offer a sacrifice in faith, looking to God for a remission of his sins in the power of the great Atonement, without having been previously instructed into that plan? And further, if he was accepted of God, what were the ordinances performed further than the offering of the firstlings of the flock? It is said by Paul in his letter to his Hebrew brethren, that Abel obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts. To whom did God testify of the gifts of Abel, was it to Paul? We have very little on this important subject in the fore part of the bible. But it is said, that Abel himself obtained witness that he was righteous. Then certainly God spoke to him: indeed, it is said that God talked with him; and if he did, would he not, seeing he was righteous, deliver to him the whole plan of the gospel? And is not the gospel the news of redemtion? How could Abel offer a sacrifice and look forward with faith on the Son of God for a remission of his sins, and not understand the gospel? The mere shedding the blood of beasts or offering any thing else in sacrifice, could not procure a remission of sins, except it were performed in faith of something to come, if it could, Cain’s offering must have been as good as Abel’s. And if Abel was taught of the coming of the Son of God, was he not taught of his ordinances? We all admit that the gospel has ordinances, and if so, had it not always ordinances, and were not its ordinances always the same? Perhaps, our friends will say, that the gospel and its ordinances were not known till the days of John the son of Zecharias, in the days of Herod the king of Judea. But we will here look at this point: For our own part, we cannot believe, that the ancients in all ages were so ignorant of the system of heaven as many suppose, since all that were ever saved, were saved through the power of this great plan of redemption, as much so before the coming of Christ as since; if not, God has had different plans in operation, (if we may so express it,) to bring men back to dwell with himself; and this we cannot believe, since there has been no change in the constitution of man since he fell; and the or institution of offering blood in sacrifice, was only designed to be performed till Christ was offered up and shed his blood, as said before, that man might look forward with faith to that time. It will be noticed that according to Paul, -[see Gal. iii 8.]- the gospel was preached to Abraham. We would like to be informed in what name the gospel was then preached, whether it was in the name of Christ or some other name? If in any other name, was it the gospel? And if it was the gospel, and that preached in the name of Christ, had it any ordinances? If not, was it the gospel? And if it had, what were they? Our friends may say, perhaps, that there were never any ordinances except those of offering sacrifices, before the coming of Christ, and that it could not be possible for the gospel to have been administered while the sacrifices of blood were. But we will recollect, that Abraham offered sacrifice, and notwithstanding this, had the gospel preached to him. That the offering of sacrifice was only to point the mind forward to Christ, we infer from these remarkable words of his to the Jews, Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it and was glad. -[See John viii 56.]- So, then, because the ancients offered sacrifice it did not hinder their hearing the gospel; but served, as we said before, to open their eyes, and enabled them to look forward to the time of the coming of the Savior, and to rejoice in his redemption. We find also, that when the Israelites came out of Egypt they had the gospel preached to them, according to Paul in his letter to the Hebrews, which says, For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. -[See Heb. iv 2.]- It is said again, in Gal. iii 19, that the law -[of Moses, or the Levitical law]- was added because of transgression. What, we ask, was this law added to, if it was not added to the gospel? It must be plain that it was added to the gospel, since we learn that they had the gospel preached to them. From these few facts, we conclude, that whenever the Lord revealed himself to men in ancient days, and commanded them to offer sacrifice to him, that it was done that they might look forward in faith to the time of his coming, and rely upon the power of that atonement for a remission of their sins. And this they have done, thousands who have gone before us, whose garments are spotless, and who are, like Job, waiting with an assurance like his, that they will see him in the latter day upon the earth, even in their flesh.
We may conclude, that though there were different dispensations, yet all things which God communicated to his people, were calculated to draw their minds to the great object, and to teach them to rely upon him alone as the Author of their salvation, as contained in his law. From what we can draw from the scriptures relative to the teachings of heaven we are induced to think, that much instruction has been given to man since the beginning which we have not. This may not agree with the opinions of some of our friends, who are bold to say, that we have every thing written in the bible which God ever spake to men since the world began, and that if he had ever said any thing more we should certainly have received it. But we ask, does it remain for a people who never had faith enough to call down one scrap of revelation from heaven, and for all they have now, are indebted to the faith of another people who lived hundreds and thousands of years before them, to say how much God has spoken and how much he has not spoken? We have what we have, and the bible contains what it does [p. 143] contain; but to say that God never said any thing more to man than is there recorded, would be saying at once, that we have at last received a revelation; for it must be one to advance thus far, because it is no where said in that volume by the mouth of God, that he would not, after giving what is there contained, speak again; and if any man has found out that for a fact, he has ascertained it by an immediate revelation, other than has been previously written by the prophets and apostles. But through the kind providence of our Father a portion of his word which he delivered to his ancient saints, has fallen into our hands, and they are presented to us with a promise of a reward if obeyed, and with a penalty if disobeyed; and that all are deeply interested in these laws, or teachings, must be admitted by all who acknowledge their divine authenticity.
It may be proper for us to notice in this place, a few of the many blessings held out in this law of heaven as a reward to those who obey its teachings. God has appointed a day in which he will judge the world, and this he has given an assurance of in that he raised up his Son Jesus Christ from the dead; the point on which the hope of all who believe the inspired record is founded for their future happiness and enjoyment: because, if Christ is not risen, said Paul to the Corinthians, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins: and those who have fallen asleep in him have perished. -[See 1 Cor. xv.]- If the resurrection from the dead is not an important point, or item in our faith, we must confess that we know nothing about it; for if there is no resurrection from the dead, then Christ has not risen; and if Christ has not risen he was not the Son of God; and if he was not the Son of God there is not nor cannot be a Son of God, if the present book called the scriptures is true; because the time has gone by when, according to that book he was to make his appearance. On this subject, however, we are reminded of the words of Peter to the Jewish Sanhedrim, when speaking of Christ, he says, that God raised him from the dead, and we -[the apostles]- are his witnesses of these things, and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. -[See Acts v.]- So that after the testimony of the scriptures on this point, the assurance is given by the Holy Ghost, bearing witness to those who obey him, that Christ himself has assuredly risen from the dead; and if he has risen from the dead, he will, by his power, bring all men to stand before him; for if he has risen from the dead the bands of the temporal death are broken that the grave has no victory. If then, the grave has no victory, those who keep the sayings of Jesus and obey his teachings have, not only a promise of a resurrection from the dead; but an assurance of being admitted into his glorious kingdom; for, he himself says, Where I am, there shall also my servant be. -[see John xii.]- In the twenty second chapter of Luke’s account of the Messiah, we find the kingdom of heaven likened unto a king who made a marriage for his son. That this son was the Messiah will not be disputed, since it was the kingdom of heaven that was represented in the parable; and that the saints, or those who are found faithful to the Lord, are the individuals who will be found worthy to inherit a seat at the marriage-supper, is evident from the sayings of John in the Revelations, where he represents the sound which he heard in heaven to be like a great multitude, or like the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, The Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. -[Rev. xix.]-
That those only are the individuals who keep the of the Lord and walk in his statutes to the end, that are permitted to set at this glorious feast, is evident from the following items: In Paul’s last letter to Timothy, which was written just previous to his death, he says, I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. No one who believes the account, will doubt for a moment this assertion of Paul which was made, as he knew, just before he was to take his leave of this world. Though he once, according to his own word, persecuted the church of God and wasted it, yet after embracing the faith, his labors were unceasing to spread the glorious news; and like a faithful soldier, when called to give his life in the cause which he had espoused, he laid it down, as he says, with an assurance of an eternal crown. Follow the labors of this apostle from the time of his conversion to the time of his death, and you will have a fair sample of industry and patience in promulgating the gospel of Christ: Whipped, stoned, and derided, the moment he escaped the hands of his persecutors, he, as zealously as ever, proclaimed the doctrine of the Savior. And all may know, that he did not embrace the faith for the honor of this life, nor for the gain of earthly goods. What then could have induced him to undergo all this toil? It was, as he said, that he might obtain that crown of righteousness from the hand of God. No one, we presume, will doubt the faithfulness of Paul to the end: None will say, that he did not keep the faith, that he did not fight the good fight, that he did not preach and persuade to the last: And what was he to receive? A crown of righteousness. And what shall others receive who do not labor faithfully, and continue to the end? We leave such to search out their own promises if any they have; and if they have any they are welcome to them, on our part, for the Lord says, that every man is to recive according to his works. Reflect for a moment, brethren, and enquire, whether you would consider yourselves worthy a seat at the marriage feast with Paul and others like him, if you had been unfaithful? Had you not fought the good fight, and kept the faith, could you expect to receive; have you a promise of receiving a crown of righteousness from the hand of the Lord, with the church of the first born? Here then, we understand, that Paul rested his hope in Christ because he had kept the faith, and loved his appearing; and from his hand he had a promise of receiving a crown of righteousness. If the saints are not to reign, for what purpose are they crowned? In an exhortation of the Lord to a certain church in Asia, which was built up in the days of the apostles, unto whom he communicated his word on that occasion by his servant John, he says, Behold I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. And again, To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. -[see Rev iii.]- And again, it is written, Behold, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not appear what we shall be: but we know, that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.— And he that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure. -[1 John. iii, 2 & 3.]- How is it that these old apostels should say so much on the subject of the coming of Christ? He certainly had once came; but Paul says, To all who love his appearing, shall be given the crown: and John says, When he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. Can we mistake such language as this? Do we not offer violence to our own good judgment when we deny the second coming of the Messiah? When has he partook of the fruit of the vine new with his ancient apostles in his Father’s kingdom, as he said, just before he was crucified? In Paul’s epistle to the Philippians, iii, 20 & 21, he says, For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. We find another promise to individuals living in the church at Sardis, -[see Rev. iii. 4 & 5.]- which will also show something of the blessings held out to the ancients who walked worthily before the Lord, which says, Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white; for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life; but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. John represents the sound which he heard from heaven, as giving thanks and glory to God, saying that the Lamb was worthy to take the book, and to open its seals; beacuse he was slain, and had by his blood redeemed them out of every kindred and tongue, and people, and nation; and had made them kings and priests unto God: and they should reign on the earth. -[see Rev. v.]- In the twentieth chapter we find a length of time specified, during which Satan is to be confined in his own place, and the saints reign in peace. All these promises and blessings we find contained in the law of the Lord, which the righteous are to enjoy; and we might enumerate many more places where the same or similar promises are made to the faithful, but we do not deem it of importance to rehearse them here, as this letter is now lengthy; and our brethren no doubt, are familiar with them all. Most assuredly it is, however, that the ancients, though persecuted and afflicted by men, obtained from God promises of such weight and glory, that our hearts are often filled with gratitude, that we are even permitted to look upon them, while we contemplate that there is no respect of persons in his sight, and that in every nation, he that feareth him and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. But from the few items previously quoted, we can draw a conclusion, that there is to be a day when all will be judged of their works, and rewarded according to the same; that those who have kept the faith will be crowned with a crown of righteousness; be clothed in white raiment; be admitted to the marriage-feast; be free from every affliction, and reign with Christ on the earth, where, according to the ancient promise, they will partake of the fruit of the vine new in the glorious kingdom with him: at least we find that such promises were made to the ancient saints. And though we cannot claim these promises which were made to the ancients, or that they are not our property merely because they were made to them, yet if we are the children of the most High, and are called with the same calling with which they were called, and embrace the same covenant that they embraced, and are faithful to the testimony of our Lord as they were, we can approach the Father in the name of Christ as they approached him, and for ourselves obtain the same promises. These promises, when obtained, if ever by us, will not be because Peter, John, and the other apostles, with the churches at Sardis, Purgamos, Philadelphia, and elsewhere, walked in the fear of God and had power and faith to prevail and obtain them; but it will be because we, ourselves, have faith and approach him in the name of his Son Jesus Christ, even as they did; and when these promises are obtained, they will be promises directly to us, or they will do us no good: communicated for our benefit; being our own property, (through the gift of God,) earned by our own diligence in keeping his commandments, and walking uprightly before him. If not, to what end serves the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and why was it ever communicated to us?
Previous to commencing this letter we designed giving you some instruction upon the regulation of the church; but that will be given hereafter. -[to be continued.]- [p. 144]

Footnotes

  1. 1

    One of the items discussed in the earlier February letter was the importance of understanding and abiding by God’s laws. (See Letter to the Church, ca. Feb. 1834.)  

  2. 2

    See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 62, 163, 276–277 [2 Nephi 1:25; Mosiah 4:11; Alma 19:6].  

  3. 3

    See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 132 [Jacob 5:15].  

  4. 4

    “Your reward” refers to eternal life. (See Matthew 19:16–17; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 120 [2 Nephi 31:18–20].)  

  5. 5

    See Revelation, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98:4–8].  

  6. 6

    See Genesis 3:19; Job 34:15; and Old Testament Revision 1, p. 7 [Moses 4:25].  

  7. 7

    See Genesis 4:2–7.  

  8. 8

    See Hebrews 11:4.  

  9. 9

    See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 257–258, 333, 474 [Alma 12:25–32; 39:18; 3 Nephi 9:21].  

  10. 10

    See Luke chaps. 1–3.  

  11. 11

    See Genesis chap. 22.  

  12. 12

    See Exodus chap. 13.  

  13. 13

    See Job 19:25–26.  

  14. 14

    JS expressed similar ideas about continuing revelation in a September 1833 letter to his uncle Silas Smith. (See Letter to Silas Smith, 26 Sept. 1833.)  

  15. 15

    2 Timothy 4:7–8.  

  16. 16

    See 1 Corinthians 15:9; see also Philippians 3:4–9; and 1 Timothy 6:12.  

  17. 17

    See Revelation 20:2–3.  

  18. 18

    See Revelation 20:12; Vision, 16 Feb. 1832 [D&C 76:50–111]; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 38, 334–335 [1 Nephi 15:32; Alma 40:11–15].  

  19. 19

    See Revelation, Sept. 1830–A [D&C 29:13].  

  20. 20

    See Revelation 3:5; 4:4.  

  21. 21

    See Revelation 19:9.  

  22. 22

    See Revelation, ca. Aug. 1830 [D&C 27:5].  

  23. 23

    See “The Elders of the Church in Kirtland to Their Brethren Abroad,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Apr. 1834, 152.  

    The Evening and the Morning Star. Independence, MO, June 1832–July 1833; Kirtland, OH, Dec. 1833–Sept. 1834.