Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson County, Missouri, 2 July 1833
, JS, and , Letter, , Geauga Co., OH, to “Brethren,” [, Mo.], 2 July 1833. Retained copy, [ca. 2 July 1833], in JS Letterbook 1, pp. 51–54; handwriting of ; JS Collection, CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for JS Letterbook 1.
This letter was written in response to three letters, each dated 7 June 1833, that church leaders in , Ohio, received from , none of which have been located. The contents of this 2 July 1833 letter indicate that at least one of the letters from Missouri reported the safe arrival of and , who had been directed by a of in Kirtland to travel together to Missouri. The letter also suggests that at least one of the 7 June letters had inquired about the gift of tongues. In addition to addressing these topics, the letter from JS featured here included instructions for sending copies of the Book of Commandments—then being printed on the church’s in , Missouri—to Kirtland and updated the Missouri church members on various developments in , including the health of Kirtland church members, Kirtland leaders’ impending missionary journeys, and the news that JS had completed his translation of the Bible on the same day this 2 July 1833 letter was written. At one point in the letter, makes a first-person reference to himself, and he was also the first signer of the letter, indicating that he likely served as the principal author. Nevertheless, most of the letter is written in the first-person plural.
It is unclear whether church members in ever received this letter. Depending on a variety of factors, letters sent between and could take anywhere from ten days to a month to deliver. If the letter was mailed as intended on 3 July, it could have arrived in Independence as early as 13 July. If it traveled more slowly, however, it may have been lost in the confusion attending the mob violence that took place on 20 and 23 July in Independence.
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]
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.
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.)
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.
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.)