History, 1838–1856, volume E-1 [1 July 1843–30 April 1844]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 1916
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<​March 8.​> as the forest is moved by a mighty wind, to promote peace and friendship in every part of our wide spread, lovely country. Filled with a love almost unspeakable, and moved by a desire pleasant as the dew of heaven, I supplicate not only our Father above but also the civil, the enlightened, the intelligent, the social and the best inhabitants of ; they that feel bound by principles of honor, justice, moral greatness, and national pride, to arise in the character of [HC 6:246] virtuous freemen from the disgrace and reproach that might inadvertently blur their good names, for want of self preservation. Now is the time to brush off the monster, that, incubus like, seems hanging upon the reputation of the whole . A little exertion, and the infamy of the evil will blacken the guilty only; for is it not written,—— ——The tree is known by its fruit?”
The voice of reason, the voice of humanity, the voice of the nation, and the voice of heaven seem to say to the honest and virtuous, throughout the State of ; Wash yourselves, make you clean, lest your negligence should be taken by the world, from the mass of facts before it, that you are guilty! Let there be one unison of hearts for justice, and when you reflect around your own firesides, remember that fifteen thousand, once among you, now not, but who are just as much entitled to the privileges and blessings you enjoy as yourselves; like the widow before the unjust judge, are fervently praying for their rights. When you meditate upon the massacre at , forget not that the constitution of your holds this broad truth to the world; that none shall “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, but by the judgment of his peers, or the law of the land.” And when you assemble together in towns, counties or districts, whether to petition your legislature to pay the damage the Saints have sustained in your , by reason of oppression, and misguided zeal; or to restore them to their rights according to republican principles and benevolent designs, reflect, and make honorable, or annihilate, such statute law as was in force in your , in 1838; viz: “If twelve or more persons shall combine to levy war against any part of the people of this or to remove forcibly out of the , or from their habitations, evidenced by taking arms and assembling to accomplish such purpose, every person so offending shall be punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary for a period not exceeding five years, or by a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars; and imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months.”
Finally, if honor dignifies an honest people.; if virtue exalts a community; if wisdom guides great men; if principle governs intelligent beings; if humanity spreads comfort among the needy; and if religion affords consolation by showing that charity is the first, best and sweetest token of perfect love? then, O ye good people of , like the woman in scripture who had lost one of her ten pieces of silver, arise, search diligently till you find the lost piece, and then make a feast and call in your friends for joy.
With due consideration
I am the friend of all good men
Joseph Smith”
. Ill., March 8, 1844 [HC 6:247] [p. 1916]
March 8. as the forest is moved by a mighty wind, to promote peace and friendship in every part of our wide spread, lovely country. Filled with a love almost unspeakable, and moved by a desire pleasant as the dew of heaven, I supplicate not only our Father above but also the civil, the enlightened, the intelligent, the social and the best inhabitants of ; they that feel bound by principles of honor, justice, moral greatness, and national pride, to arise in the character of [HC 6:246] virtuous freemen from the disgrace and reproach that might inadvertently blur their good names, for want of self preservation. Now is the time to brush off the monster, that, incubus like, seems hanging upon the reputation of the whole . A little exertion, and the infamy of the evil will blacken the guilty only; for is it not written,—— ——The tree is known by its fruit?”
The voice of reason, the voice of humanity, the voice of the nation, and the voice of heaven seem to say to the honest and virtuous, throughout the State of ; Wash yourselves, make you clean, lest your negligence should be taken by the world, from the mass of facts before it, that you are guilty! Let there be one unison of hearts for justice, and when you reflect around your own firesides, remember that fifteen thousand, once among you, now not, but who are just as much entitled to the privileges and blessings you enjoy as yourselves; like the widow before the unjust judge, are fervently praying for their rights. When you meditate upon the massacre at , forget not that the constitution of your holds this broad truth to the world; that none shall “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, but by the judgment of his peers, or the law of the land.” And when you assemble together in towns, counties or districts, whether to petition your legislature to pay the damage the Saints have sustained in your , by reason of oppression, and misguided zeal; or to restore them to their rights according to republican principles and benevolent designs, reflect, and make honorable, or annihilate, such statute law as was in force in your , in 1838; viz: “If twelve or more persons shall combine to levy war against any part of the people of this or to remove forcibly out of the , or from their habitations, evidenced by taking arms and assembling to accomplish such purpose, every person so offending shall be punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary for a period not exceeding five years, or by a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars; and imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months.”
Finally, if honor dignifies an honest people.; if virtue exalts a community; if wisdom guides great men; if principle governs intelligent beings; if humanity spreads comfort among the needy; and if religion affords consolation by showing that charity is the first, best and sweetest token of perfect love? then, O ye good people of , like the woman in scripture who had lost one of her ten pieces of silver, arise, search diligently till you find the lost piece, and then make a feast and call in your friends for joy.
With due consideration
I am the friend of all good men
Joseph Smith”
. Ill., March 8, 1844 [HC 6:247] [p. 1916]
Page 1916