Letter to Edward Partridge and Others, 14 January 1833
and , on behalf of “a of 12 ” (including JS), Letter, , Kirtland Township, OH, to “the his councel and the inhabitents of ,” [, MO], 14 Jan. 1833. Retained copy, [ca. 14 Jan. 1833] in JS Letterbook 1, pp. 20–25; handwriting of ; CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for JS Letterbook 1.
A “ of ,” including JS, met in , Ohio, on 13 January 1833, in part to assign and to write a letter to the leaders of the church in . Hyde and Smith composed the letter on 14 January, after which the conference reconvened so that participants could review and approve what they had written. The letter described Kirtland leaders’ objections to the tone and content of several letters from Missouri leaders. It also reaffirmed the conference’s desire to see church members living in repent, thereby forestalling calamities that awaited the disobedient.
This was the latest letter in a series of correspondence between and church leaders. JS and others had been attempting for some time to curb what they perceived as a spirit of rebellion in Missouri. Such perceptions arose from JS’s interactions with Missouri leaders during a trip to , Missouri, in the spring of 1832, as well as from several letters, none of which are extant, sent to JS between June 1832 and January 1833 from Missouri leaders such as , , and . In answer to these communications, JS sent letters to Phelps on 31 July 1832, 27 November 1832, and 11 January 1833, calling the Missouri leaders to repentance. Because and ’s letter addressing the discord came at the behest of this conference of twelve high priests, it may have served as an even stronger chastisement than JS’s letters. According to a later JS history, the transmission of Hyde and Smith’s letter, JS’s 11 January 1833 letter to Phelps, and a revelation of 27–28 December 1832, which JS described as “the Lords message of peace to us,” caused the Missouri leaders to evince a spirit of repentance. On 26 February 1833, a special council of high priests convened in Missouri and resolved that a committee “write an epistle to our brethren in Kirtland,” apparently in response to the letters from Hyde and Smith and JS. At that February conference, the high priests in attendance “all kneeled before the Lord & asked him to effect a perfect harmony between us & our brethren in Kirtland which was the desire of our hearts.” Such actions, according to the later JS history, were “satisfactory to the presidency and church at Kirtland.”
The original letter is no longer extant. copied the letter into JS’s letterbook, probably soon after its creation.
in this move— We fear there was something in s when he returned to this place from last fall in relation to his Bro William that was not right, For was asked 2 or 3 times about his Bro W, but gave evasive answers, and at the same time he knew that William was in , but the Lord has taken him we merely mention this that all may take warning to work in the light for God will bring evry secret thing to Light, we now close our Epistle by saying unto you the Lord has commanded us to purify ourselves, to wash our hands and our feet that he might testify to his father and our Father to his God & our God that we are clean from the blood of this Generations and before we could wash our our hands and our feet we were constrained to write this letter, Therefore with the feelings of inexpressable anxiety for your welfare we say again Repent Rep[en]t or must suffer, for the scourge and judgments must come upon her, Let the read this to the that they may warn the members of the scourge that is coming exept they repent. Tell them to read the Book of Commandments Mormon and obey it, read the commandments that are printed and obey them. yea humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that peradventure he may turn away his anger from you, tell them that they have not come up to to sit down in idleness neglecting the things of God, but they are to be dilligent and faithful in obeying the , There is one clause in Br Joseph Letter which you may not understand. that is this if the people of did not repent the Lord would seek another place, and another people, is the place where the will be built, and the people but all people upon that holy Land being under condemnation, the lord will cut off if they repent not and bring another race upon it that will serve him, The Lord will seek another place to bring forth and prepare his word to go forth to the nations, and as we said before so we say again Bro Joseph will not settle in [p. 23]
Hyde and Smith may be referring to an action taken by a council of high priests in Missouri on 3 December 1832. At this council, Isaac Morley and Corrill were appointed to regulate the different branches in Zion. Gilbert was made a member of a committee that would receive and consider recommendations from Morley and Corrill on who should be ordained high priests, elders, and priests in those branches. Apparently, high priests and elders appointed to preach had gone to Zion and assumed authority to direct the operations of branches there, rather than recognizing the authority of those leaders already designated to preside in Missouri. McLellin may have been one of those attempting to direct the branches, or he may have opposed Gilbert’s appointment to this committee. (Minute Book 2, 3 Dec. 1832; JS History, vol. A-1, 283.)
Likely Lewis William Gilbert, brother of Sidney Gilbert. Lewis William Gilbert died on 24 October 1832 in St. Louis after contracting a severe case of cholera. (Jacobus, Families of Ancient New Haven, 655; “Cholera,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Nov. 1832, .)
Jacobus, Donald Lines, comp. Familes of Ancient New Haven. Vol. 1–3. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1974.
The Evening and the Morning Star. Independence, MO, June 1832–July 1833; Kirtland, OH, Dec. 1833–Sept. 1834.
Days before this letter was composed, JS wrote that “if Zion, will not purify herself so as to be approved of in all things in his sight he will seek— another people for his work will go on untill Isreal is gathered.” (Letter to William W. Phelps, 11 Jan. 1833.)