, Letter, unidentified place, to JS, [, Geauga Co., OH], 28 Sept. 1835. Featured version copied [between ca. 16 Nov. and Dec. 1835] in JS, Journal, 1835–1836, pp. 38–41; handwriting of and ; JS Collection, CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for JS, Journal, 1835–1836.
On 28 September 1835, wrote this letter to JS from an unspecified location. In the letter, he indicated his sorrow for falling away from the church and asked for a revelation indicating God’s will for him. Whitlock had been sometime prior to June 1831, when he was to the in . He moved to sometime before 23 January 1832. When non-Mormon residents of , Missouri, demanded in July 1833 that the Saints depart the county, Whitlock was one of several church leaders who pledged to vacate by 1 January 1834. In September 1833, he participated in a council held in Jackson County, but he then disappears from extant records. He likely experienced the fall 1833 violence that drove church members from Jackson County, but it is not clear where he went thereafter. According to a later account, Whitlock was apparently still in Missouri when the came to in summer 1834 and perhaps was still in good standing with the church at that time. However, at some point before September 1835, he was cut off from the church; extant records are silent as to why. Whitlock’s letter indicates that he had long wanted to reconcile with JS and the church but had been prevented from doing so by his “many vices.”
After receiving ’s letter, JS read it twice and “could not refrain from weeping” because of Whitlock’s repentant spirit. On 16 November 1835, JS replied to the letter, including in his reply a revelation declaring that God would forgive Whitlock for his sins and directing Whitlock to come to , Ohio. Whitlock apparently did so, and in January 1836, a of the church presidency in Kirtland resolved to allow Whitlock to be rebaptized, to accept him “in full fellowship,” and to ordain him again to the office of high priest.
’s original letter is not extant. and copied the letter into JS’s journal, probably sometime around 16 November 1835.
Dear sir having a few leisure moment I have at last concluded to do what my own Judgment has long dictated would be right but the allurements of many vices has long retarded the hand, that would wield the pen to make intelligent the communication that I wish to send to you: And even now that ambition which is a prevaling and predominent principles among the great mass of natural men even now forbids that plainness of sentiment with which I wish to unbosommyfeelings write. For know assuredly sir to you I wish to unbosom my feelings, and unravil the secrets of my heart: as before the omnicient Judge of all the earth.
Be not surprised when I declare unto you, as the spirit will bear record that my faith is firm and unshaken in the things of the everlasting gospel as it is proclaimed by the servants of the latter-day saint.
Dear brother Joseph (If I may be allowed the expression) when I considder the happy times and peaseful moments, and pleasant seasons I have enjoyed with you, and and this people; contrasted with my now degraded state; together with the high, and important station I have held before [p. 38]