Letter to Jennetta Richards Richards, 23 June 1842

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

June 23rd. 1842
Sister ;
Agreabley to your request, in the Midst of all the bustle, and buisness of the day, and the care of all the boath at home and abroad. I now imbrace a moment to adress a few words to you thinking peradventure it may be a consolation to you to know that you too are remembered by me as well as all the saints. my hearts desire and prayr to God is all the day long for all the saints and in an especial and poticular [particular] manner for those whom he hath chosen and anointed to bear the heaviest burthens in the heat of the day among which number is your raised received a man in whom I have the most implicit confidence and trust you say I have got him so I have in the which I rejoice, for he has done me great good and taken a great burthen burden off my shoulders since his arrival in never did I have greater intimacy with any man than with him may the blessings of Elijah crown his head forever and ever. we are about to send him in a few days after his dear family he shall have our pray’rs fervently for his safe arrival to their imbraces and may God speed his Journey and return him quickly to our society. and I want you beloved Sister, to be a Genral in this matter, in helping him along. which I know you will he will be able to teach you many things which you never have heard you may have implicit confidence in the same. I have heard much about you by the and in consequence of the great friendship that exists between your and me and the information they all have given me of your virtue and strong attachment to the truth of the work of God in the Last Days I have formed a very strong Brotherly friendship and attachment for you in the bonds of the Gosple, Although I never saw you I shall be exceedingly glad to see you face to face and be able to administer in the name of the Lord some of the words of Life to your consolation and I hope that you may be kept steadfast in the faith even unto the end, I want you should give my love and tender reguard to familey and those who are friendly enough to me to enquire after me: in that region of Country, not having but little time to apportion to anyone & have <​having​> stolen this oppertunity I therefore subscribe myself in haste your most Obedient Brother in the fulness of the Gosple Joseph Smith
P.S. having been with me for [p. [1]] a long time can give you any information which you need and will tell you all about me. I shall be very anxious for his return he is a grate prop to me in my Labours.—
Massachusetts [p. [2]]


  1. 1

    In a nonextant letter, Jennetta apparently asked JS to write to her.  

  2. 2

    See Matthew 20:12.  

  3. 3

    Willard Richards arrived in Nauvoo on 16 August 1841. (Richards, Journal, 16 Aug. 1841.)  

    Richards, Willard. Journals, 1836–1853. Willard Richards, Papers, 1821–1854. CHL. MS 1490, boxes 1–2.

  4. 4

    In a February 1842 letter, Willard conveyed JS’s praise: “Joseph says he has been searching all his life time to find a man after his own heart, in all things, that he could trust with his business, & he has found him. who do you think it is? Dr Richards. will not this compensate for the loss of his company a little while my love?” (Willard Richards, [Nauvoo, IL], to Jennetta Richards Richards, [Richmond, MA], 26 Feb. 1842, Jennetta Richards Richards, Collection, CHL.)  

    Richards, Jennetta Richards. Collection, 1842–1845. CHL.

  5. 5

    See Visions, 3 Apr. 1836 [D&C 110:13–16].  

  6. 6

    JS’s meaning here is vague, but he may have been referring to the temple-related ceremonies of the endowment which Richards had been taught in early May, the practice of plural marriage, or doctrinal conceptions of deification. (“Joseph Smith Documents from May through August 1842”; Willard Richards, [Nauvoo, IL], to Jennetta Richards Richards, [Richmond, MA], 26 Feb. 1842, Jennetta Richards Richards, Collection, CHL; Discourse, 1 May 1842; Discourse, 30 Jan. 1842.)  

    Richards, Jennetta Richards. Collection, 1842–1845. CHL.

  7. 7

    This would have included not only what the apostles might have told him since their return from Great Britain but also their comments in earlier letters. The letters written by the Twelve Apostles while they were serving missions in England from 1840 to 1841 often commented on the health and well-being of their fellow apostles and their families. The apostles also sometimes added postscripts for their family in letters written by other apostles. Jennetta wrote a short postscript in one of Heber C. Kimball’s letters to his wife, Vilate Kimball. (Heber C. Kimball, Manchester, England, to Vilate Murray Kimball, Nauvoo, IL, 7 Oct. 1840, Heber C. Kimball, Collection, CHL.)  

    Kimball, Heber C. Collection, 1837–1898. CHL. MS 12476.

  8. 8

    See Philemon 1:13.  

  9. 9

    In a February 1842 letter to Jennetta, Willard noted: “Let us be patient and wait on the Lord— Jennetta, your faith has sometimes been weak as you have said, but I can truly say this work is of God, there is no mistake.” Given the friendship between Willard and JS, Willard may have discussed Jennetta’s concerns with him. (Willard Richards, [Nauvoo, IL], to Jennetta Richards Richards, [Richmond, MA], 26 Feb. 1842, Jennetta Richards Richards, Collection, CHL.)  

    Richards, Jennetta Richards. Collection, 1842–1845. CHL.

  10. new scribe logo

    Address in handwriting of Willard Richards.