Letter to the Saints in Kirtland, Ohio, 19 October 1840
- Source Note
On 19 October 1840, JS and wrote a letter to the Saints in , Ohio, informing them of a recent decision to have preside over the Kirtland and chastising them for failing to adequately support JS and other leaders. In summer 1840, JS had received letters from , , and complaining about the conduct of Babbitt, who by then had relocated to Kirtland and had evidently taken steps that, from JS’s perspective, were “calculated to destroy the confidence of the brethren” in JS and “any of the Authorities of the church.” These steps included counseling members in the eastern to gather to Kirtland instead of to , Illinois, and excluding “faithful brethren, men enjoying the confidence of the church,” from “secret meetings” held in the in Kirtland.In July 1840, JS wrote a letter to condemning ’s actions, and in September 1840, JS leveled charges against Babbitt before the . After JS and Babbitt had both addressed the council, JS withdrew the charges, “and both parties were reconciled together.” The October 1840 general of the church then appointed Babbitt to preside over the church in . At this conference, JS also “gave it as his opinion, that the brethren from the east might gather” to Kirtland. He later told Granger that he preferred “that the Eastern brethren” gather to Nauvoo, even though they were “at liberty” to move to Kirtland if they desired.Although JS seemed reconciled with and his pronouncements about , JS remained unsettled about what he perceived as disunity there. In his July letter to , JS had noted that Kirtland would be unable to “become a place of safety for the saints” and that church members there would not experience “the blessings of Jehovah” if they continued to exhibit “uncharitable feelings” and “lack of confidence” in church leaders. He and made similar comments in this October 1840 letter, although they also expressed their willingness to forgive past offenses.The original letter is not extant. copied the letter into JS Letterbook 2, probably before it was sent. On 22 May 1841, the church in held a conference in which was appointed of the Kirtland stake, indicating that church leaders had received the instruction in this letter by that time.
Kimball, Heber C. Letters, 1839–1854. Photocopy. CHL.
Kimball, Heber C. “History of Heber Chase Kimball by His Own Dictation,” ca. 1842–1856. Heber C. Kimball, Papers, 1837–1866. CHL. MS 627, box 2.
Kirtland Elders Quorum. “A Record of the First Quorurum of Elders Belonging to the Church of Christ: In Kirtland Geauga Co. Ohio,” 1836–1838, 1840–1841. CCLA.