FAIR is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing well-documented answers to criticisms of the doctrine, practice, and history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Messenger and Advocate/1/12
Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate: Volume 1, Number 12
Summary:Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: Messenger and Advocate Vol. 1
|Number 11||Volume 2, Number 1|
Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate: Volume 1, Number 12
|LATTER DAY SAINTS'|
|MESSENGER AND ADVOCATE|
|Volume I. No. 12.]||KIRTLAND, OHIO, SEPTEMBER, 1835.||[Whole No. 12.|
Letter No. 10.
DEAR BROTHER IN THE LORD:
Other important business has prevented me from answering your 7th letter, addressed to me, through the columns of the Messenger and Advocate of July last, until now. Upon reading that letter, I perceive, that the subject, to which it mainly relates, is so well set forth, and the description of Cumorah so faithfully given, that an attempt for me to add any thing, would appear somewhat superfluous. I, therefore, in this communication, shall do little more than glance at the book of Mormon. That book is one of the most valuable treasures of the last days, and at once connected with the angel's visit to Br. J. Smith jr. In fact, it may, in one sense, be called the foundation, or starting point of the church of Christ, or church of latter day saints.
It is a good book and no honest person can read it, without feeling grateful to God, for the knowledge it contains: if humble, any one that reads and receives it, will rejoice for the fulness of the gospel, which it so simply sets forth to the understanding and comprehension of the commonest capacity. Such who read and ask in faith, are very apt to embrace its truth for the truth's sake, because the truth makes them free, and they know the right way to be saved in the kingdom of God.
From the first time I read this volume of volumes, even till now, I have been struck with a kind of sacred joy at its title page. One like it I have never seen; it seems like a history of itself: it shows to a disciple of the Lord Jesus, like the face and eyes of the body of matter that follows: I will let it show for itself.
The BOOK OF MORMON: An account written by the hand of Mormon, upon plates taken from the plates of Nephi.
Wherefore it is an abridgement of the Record of the People of Nephi; and also of the Lamanites; written to the Lamanites, which are a remnant of the House of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile; written by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of Prophecy and of Revelation. Written, and sealed up, and hid up unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed; to come forth by the gift and power of God, unto the interpretation thereof; sealed by the hand of Moroni, and hid up unto the Lord, to come forth in due time by the way of Gentile; the interpretation thereof by the gift of God.
An abridgment taken from the book of Ether, also, which is a record of the People of Jared, which were scattered at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people when they were building a tower to get to Heaven: which is to shew unto the remnant of the house of Israel how great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever; and also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting Himself unto all nations. And now if there be fault, it be the mistake of men; wherefore condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgement seat of Christ.
Here is no dark insinuation; no reference to some other author for a motto; no explanation wanted; no; all is clear: "Condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment seat of Christ." How pleasant and happy would have been the situation of millions of mankind, if they had followed such good instruction as this? Alas! whenever I hear a man judge the book of Mormon before he has read it, I fear he will be found spotted at the judgment seat of his holy Judge!
Whenever I have meditated upon the book of Mormon, and looked ahead at the glory which will be brought to pass by that, and the servants of God, I have been filled with hope; filled with light; filled with joy, and filled with satisfaction. What a wonderful volume! what a glorious treasure! By that book I learned the right way to God; by that book I received the fulness of the everlasting gospel; by that book I found the new covenant; by that book I learned when the Lord would gather scattered Israel; by that book I saw that the Lord had set his hand the second time to gather his
people, and place them in their own land; by that book I learned that the poor Indians of America were some of the remnants of Israel; by that book I learned that the new Jerusalem, even Zion was to be built up on this continent; by that book I found a key to the holy prophets; and by that book began to unfold the mysteries of God, and I was made glad. Who can tell his goodness, or estimate the worth of such a book? He only who is directed by the Holy Ghost in all things, and has kept all his Lord's commandments blameless through life.
I think the saints—all honest men, who read the book of Mormon for the truth's sake, will agree with me in saying, that it is one of the best books in the world. I care nothing about the folly of the slanderer, bawling "Jo Smith!" "false prophet!" "mormonites!" &c. For all any charge or law suit, they have preferred against Joseph Smith jr. he remains unharmed, and like one of the children cast into the fiery furnace, his garments have not the smell of fire. False prophet seems to stick to them that cried it so vehemently, and the saints gain as the spring verdure after a goodly shower. The book of Mormon, is just what it was when it first came forth—a revelation from the Lord. The knowledge it contains is desirable; the doctrine it teaches is from the blessed Savior; its precepts are good; its principles righteous; its judgments just; its style simple, and its language plain: so that a way-faring man, though a fool, need not err therein.
I am sensible that many err as to the great value of this book, for want of proper knowledge concerning it; or, through a lack of faith in the power and goodness of God. If men would reflect a moment, then humble themselves before the Lord, and ask in faith, they might be satisfied that the Book of Mormon is a "heavenly treasure," and as estimable in its holy precepts and examples for salvation, as the holy bible. A comparison of the two will prove this. If the majority of mankind would give as much credit to the statements of their fellow beings who certify to the truth of this book, as they do to the foolish lies that are put in circulation by wretches of no character, they would believe it upon testimony. Not a few, then, but thousands, would rejoice and say, truth is light, and light comes from God.
The revelation to the "Three Witnesses," is one of great importance; it simply shows how the Lord gave them a view of the plates, and other sacred things. It is as follows:
"Behold I say unto you, [Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin Harris,] that you must rely upon my word, which if you do, with full purpose of heart, you shall have a view of the plates, and also the breastplate, the sword of Laban, the Urim and Thummim, which were given to the brother of Jared upon the mount, when he talked with the Lord face to face, and the miraculous directors which were given to Lehi while in the wilderness, on the borders of the red sea; and it is by your faith that you shall obtain a view of them, even by that faith which was had by the prophets of old.
And after that you have obtained faith, and have seen them with your eyes, you shall testify of them, by the power of God; and this you shall do that my servant Joseph Smith, jr. may not be destroyed, that I may bring about my righteous purposes unto the children of men, in this work. And ye shall testify that you have seen them, even as my servant Joseph Smith, jr. has seen them, for it is by my power that he has seen them, and it is because he had faith: and he has translated the book, even that part which I have commanded him, and as your Lord and your God liveth, it is true.
Wherefore you have received the same power, and the same faith, and the same gift like unto him; and if you do these last commandments of mine, which I have given you, the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; for my grace is sufficient for you: and you shall be lifted up at the last day. And I, Jesus Christ, your Lord and your God, have spoken it unto you, that I might bring about my righteous purposes unto the children of men. Amen."
This revelation is complete: The testimony it bears of the book of Mormon—"it is true"—is enough; it is eternal, and the rivers, and mountains; yea, the earth and the heavens are witness. When this novelous, and adulterous generation is lost among its abominations, as an evil mass, unfit for the glory of God, the book of Mormon will be one of the precious things which will continue among the righteous from generation to generation forever and ever. The freedom of soul should be enjoyed by all on earth, as well as the freedom of speech. This life is short, but the next is eternal: wherefore I am anxious that all that will may come to the knowledge of the truth, as it is in Christ Jesus, and be saved from the calamities which await the wicked in this life; and the torment they must endure in a kingdom of no glory.
I need not bring line upon line; pre-
cept upon precept; truth upon truth; letter upon letter; argument upon argument; and witness upon witness, to prove the book of Mormon a revelation from God: It is a witness of itself: the light of heaven is manifest in it. One word about heaven: The Gentile world supposes heaven to be a great way off;—a place of spirits;—but I allow heaven to be near, and that it will be on land: In support of this, I shall quote the 85th Psalm
"Lord, thou hast been favorable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob. Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah. Thou hast taken away all thy wrath; thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger. Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger towards us to cease. Wilt thou be angry with us forever? Wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations? Wilt thou not revive us again; that thy people may rejoice in thee? Shew us thy mercy, O Lord, and grant us thy salvation. I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly. Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good: and our land shall yield her increase. Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps."
From this Psalm, I draw a conclusion, that the Lord will bless the land, and bless the saints upon it, with all the good things that will gladden the heart, delight the eye, please the taste, and happify the soul; yea it will be the garden of Eden—a paradise on earth. For tidings so glorious: a system so expansive; a plan so noble; and a prospect so congenial with my feelings, I am willing to acknowledge myself indebted to the revelations of God, contained in the bible, the book of Mormon, the book of commandments and all other good books, which alike have come and will come unto the world, by the gift and power of the Holy Ghost. I glory in revelations from the Lord, and think when the prophecy of good old Jeremiah is fulfilled, the earth will be filled with knowledge which will be revealed. It reads:
"Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth. And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them as at the first. And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me."
But I will close my quotations for the present. The vexations and perplexities which seem to be the lot of this generation, are tolerable strong evidence of what is at hand; and as, in trouble, and tribulation, and calamities; and glory, and honor, and power, every part strengthens a part, as signs to them that believe, so do all these things foretell that the coming of the Lord is nigh.
W. W. PHELPS
TO OLIVER COWDERY.
To the elders of the church of Latter Day Saints.
After so long a time, and after so many things having been said, I feel it my duty to drop a few hints, that, perhaps, the elders, traveling through the world to warn the inhabitants of the earth to feel the wrath to come, and save themselves from this untoward generation, may be aided in a measure, in doctrine, and in the way of their duty. I have been laboring in this cause for eight years, during which time I have traveled much, and have had much experience. I removed from Seneca county, N. Y. to Geauga county, Ohio, in February, 1831.
Having received, by an heavenly vision a commandment, in June following, to take my journey to the western boundaries of the State of Missouri, and there designate the very spot, which was to be the central spot, for the commencement of the gathering together of those who embrace the fulness of the everlasting gospel—I accordingly undertook the journey with certain ones of my brethren, and, after a long and tedious journey, suffering many privations and hardships, I arrived in Jackson county Missouri; and, after viewing the country, seeking diligently at the hand of God, he manifested himself unto me, and designated to me and others, the very spot upon which he designed to commence the work of the gathering, and the upbuilding of an holy city, which should be called Zion:—Zion because it is to be a place of righteousness, and all who build thereon, are to worship the true and living God—and all believe in one doctrine even the doctrine of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
"Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion."—Isaiah 52:8.
Here we pause for a moment, to make a few remarks upon the idea of gathering to this place. It is well known that there were lands belonging to the government, to be sold to individuals; and it was understood by all, at least we believed so, that we lived in a free country, a land of liberty and of laws, guaranteeing to every man, or any company of men, the right of purchasing lands, and settling, and living upon them: therefore we thought no harm in advising the Latter Day Saints, or Mormons, as they are reproachfully called, to gather to this place, inasmuch as it was their duty, (and it was well understood so to be,) to purchase, with money, lands, and live upon them—not infringing upon the civil rights of any individual, or community of people: always keeping in view the saying, "Do unto others as you would wish to have others do unto you." Following also the good injunction: "Deal justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God."
These were our motives in teaching the people, or Latter Day Saints, to gather together, beginning at this place. And inasmuch as there are those who have had different views from this, we feel, that it is a cause of deep regret: For, be it known unto all men, that our principles concerning this thing, have not been such as have been represented by those who, we have every reason to believe, are designing and wicked men, that have said that this was our doctrine:—to infringe upon the rights of a people who inhabit our civil and free country: such as to drive the inhabitants of Jackson county from their lands, and take possession thereof unlawfully. Far, yea, far be such a principle from our hearts: it never entered into our mind, and we only say, that God shall reward such in that day when he shall come to make up his jewels.
But to return to my subject: after having ascertained the very spot, and having the happiness of seeing quite a number of the families of my brethren, comfortably situated upon the land, I took leave of them, and journeyed back to Ohio, and used every influence and argument, that lay in my power, to get those who believe in the everlasting covenant, whose circumstances woulp [would] admit, and whose families were willing to remove to the place which I now designated to be the land of Zion: And thus the sound of the gathering, and of the doctrine, went abroad into the world; and many we have reason to fear, having a zeal not according to knowledge, not understanding the pure principles of the doctrine of the church, have no doubt, in the heat of enthusiasm, taught and said many things which are derogatory to the genuine character and principles of the church, and for these things we are heartily sorry, and would apologize if an apology would do any good.
But we pause here and offer a remark upon the saying which we learn has gone abroad, and has been handled in a manner detrimental to the cause of truth, by saying, "that in preaching the doctrine of gathering, we break up families, and give license for men to leave their families; women their husbands; children their parents, and slaves their masters, thereby deranging the order, and breaking up the harmony and peace of society." We shall here show our faith, and thereby, as we humbly trust, put and end to these faults, and wicked misrepresentations, which have caused, we have every reason to believe, thousands to think they were doing God's service, when they were persecuting the children of God: whereas, if they could have enjoyed the true light, and had a just understanding of our principles, they would have embraced them with all their hearts, and been rejoicing in the love of the truth.
And now to show our doctrine on this subject, we shall commence with the first principles of the gospel, which are repentance, and baptism for the remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands. This we believe to be our duty, to teach to all mankind the doctrine of repentance, which we shall endeavor to show from the following quotations:
"Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto them, thus it is written, and thus it beho[o]ved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead, the third day; and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."—Luke 24:45,46,47.
By this we learn, that it beho[o]ved Christ to suffer, and to be crucified, and rise again on the third day, for the express purpose that repentance and
remission of sins should be preached unto all nations.
"Then Peter said unto them, repent, and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call."—Acts 2:38, 39.
By this we learn, that the promise of the Holy Ghost, is unto as many as the doctrine of repentance was to be preached, which was unto all nations. And we discover also, that the promise was to extend by lineage: for Peter says, "not only unto you, but unto your children, and unto all that are afar off." From this we infer that it was to continue unto their children's children, and even unto as many generations as should come after, even as many as the Lord their God should call.—We discover here that we are blending two principles together, in these quotations. The first is the principle of repentance, and the second is the principle of remission of sins. And we learn from Peter, that remission of sins is obtained by baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ; and the gift of the Holy Ghost follows inevitably: for, says Peter, "you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Therefore we believe in preaching the doctrine of repentance in all the world, both to old and young, rich and poor, bond and free, as we shall endeavor to show hereafter—how and in what manner, and how far it is binding upon the consciences of mankind, making proper distinctions between old and young men, women and children, and servants.
But we discover, in order to be benefitted by the doctrine of repentance, we must believe in obtaining the remission of sins. And in order to obtain the remission of sins, we must believe in the doctrine of baptism, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And if we believe in baptism for the remission of sins, we may expect a fulfilment of the promise of the Holy Ghost: for the promise extends to all whom the Lord our God shall call. And hath he not surely said, as you will find in the last chapter of Revelations:
"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth, say, Come. And let him that is athirst, come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Rev. 22:17.
Again the Savior says:
"Come unto me, all ye that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matt. 11:28, 29, 30.
Again Isaiah says:
"Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed." Isaiah 45:22, 23, 24.
And to show further connections in proof of the doctrine above named, we quote the following scriptures:
"Him hath God exalted with his right hand, to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him." Acts 5:31,32.
"But when they believed Philip, preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also; and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the apostles, which were at Jerusalem, heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John; who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy ghost. (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)—Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy ghost. * * * And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water; and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?—And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart thou mayest. And he answered and said,, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And, when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus; and, passing through, he preached in all the cities, till he came to Cesarea."—Acts 8:12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17,—36, to the end.
"While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision, which believed, were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost: for they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days." Acts 10:44, 45, 46, 47, 48.
"And on the Sabbath, we went out of the city, by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake un-
to the women that resorted thither. And a certain woman, named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us. * * * * And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm; for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas; and brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes, and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house." Acts 16:13, 14, 15.—25, to 35.
"And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul, having passed through the upper coasts, came to Ephesus; and finding certain disciples, he said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And, when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied."—Acts 19:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
And one Ananias, a devout man, according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there, Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight, And the same hour I looked up upon him. And he said, the God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldst know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldst hear the voice of his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness unto all men, of what thou hast seen and heard. And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." Acts 22:12, 13, 14, 15, 16.
"For, when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk, is unskillful in the word of righteousness; for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use, have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."—Heb. 5:12, 13, 14.
"Therefore, leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith towards God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. Heb. 6:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
These quotations are so plain, in proving the doctrine of repentance and baptism for the remission of sins, I deem it unnecessary to enlarge this letter with comments upon them—but I shall continue the subject in my next.
In the bonds of the new and
JOSEPH SMITH, jr.
JOHN WHITMER, Esq.
THE ANCIENT ORDER OF THINGS.
The ancient order of things has engrossed the attention of the religious public to some extent in modern times, and has given rise to many parties and sects in the so called christian world; each one in their turn supposing that they had the ancient order of things among them, and had come to the standard of righteousness set up in the scriptures, and representing other religious denominations as having come short of the glory of God, and as not having come to the standard of truth, or else they had departed from it.
On this subject I am disposed to offer a few reflections, through the medium of the Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate, by permission of the Editor.
What I understand by the ancient order of things, as used in modern dialect, is the order of things revealed in the bible, and taught to mankind by the holy prophets and apostles, who were divinely inspired to teach them the way of life and salvation. If I am correct in this conclusion the only way to settle the question about this order of things is to have recourse to the book, and let it speak for itself, and set forth the ancient order of things, as the holy pro-
phets and apostles declared it, by [t]he spirit of inspiration.
I conclude, and I think correctly too, that it requires the entire order of things established by the Savior of the world, to constitute the ancient order of things, and not a part of it only.
The cause of the greatest difficulty among the religious sects seems to be this: that some take one part of this order, and add to it some things of their own invention; others take another part of it and add to that, and some content themselves with taking part of the order without adding any thing to it; and then the difficulty arise among them, who it is that is correct: if they would all stop, and consider, and view the ground on which they stand, I think that they would be enabled with but little reflection, to determine that there are none of them on tenable ground; neither can they be without taking the entire order of things laid down in the scriptures.
In attempting to set forth this order of things, we must begin where it begins; for if we commence right, we can end right, and if not, it will be impossible for us to understand the subject. We ask then what was the first thing that our heavenly Father done, when he began to establish this order among men? Answer: He inspired a man, or some men, and called them from among the rest of the world, to be his messengers to the world, and to proclaim his will to their fellow-men: to whom he revealed himself, and to whom he made known his will concerning the generation among whom they lived.—To them he gave revelations and commandments, not only for the regulation of their own conduct, but for the conduct of those who would receive their testimony. After they were sufficiently instructed, whether it took a longer or shorter period, they were sent forth to call upon their fellow men, and to administer to them in the name of the Lord Jesus according to the will of God, with certain promises which should be fulfilled on their own heads, as well as on the heads of those who should receive their testimony, and obey the commandments which should be delivered to them through these men; and the fulfillment of these promises was to be a testimony that the Lord had sent the men who had administered unto them.
In establishing his kingdom, church, or order, in the world the Savior seems to have pursued a certain system, if we can credit the account given by the apostle Paul in his epistles to the Corinthians and Ephesians. In his first epistle to the Corinthians, chap. 12: v. 28, he says: "And God set some in the church; first, apostles; secondarily, prophets; thirdly, teachers; after that miracles; then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues." In the Ephesians, chap. 4: v. 11," And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers."
From these quotations it appears, the first thing the Savior done in order to establish his kingdom, was to choose and call apostles, or witnesses for himself; for apostles are witnesses; and these men after using the office of apostles or witnesses, became prophets, and after they were prophets, they became evangelists, and then came pastors, and teachers, and after that miracles, healings, diversities of tongues, and interpretation of tongues, &c. Such then was the ancient order of things, and in this manner did the Son of God build his church on earth, and establish his order among men.
If this matter is kept in view, that is, what Christ done first and what he done secondly and thirdly, the ancient order of things as set forth in the scriptures, will be easily understood; for if this account be true, the ancient order of things can never exist unless there are apostles first to begin this order with; for where apostles are not, there the ancient order is not; for the ancient order of things commenced with apostles, then came prophets; so that both apostles and prophets are necessary for the ancient order of things; for where prophets are not, there the ancient order of things is not; for the second thing which the Savior of the world done to establish this order, was to give some, prophets; and after this comes evangelists; and where evangelists are not, there the ancient order of things is not; for the third thing which the Savior done to establish the ancient order of things was to give some, evangelists.—And having these three orders established: namely, apostles, prophets, and evangelists; then followed on other things in their order, such as pastors, teachers, helps, governments, &c.; and
then comes miracles, healings, diversities of tongues, and interpretation of tongues. This fills up the account which the apostle gives us of the ancient order of things, in the above quotations.
Now where these things are found, there the ancient order of things is found, and where they are not found, the ancient order of things is not found; or where any one of them is lacking, there the ancient order of things is not; and that for the best of all reasons, because it takes them all to make the ancient order of things. It would not be a perfect human body if there was an arm or leg taken off, and the reason would be that, without the arm or or leg the body could not be perfect, for it required every member which belongs to the body, to make it a perfect body; so in like manner, if any one of the above things are wanting, the remainder would not make the ancient order of things, no more than where an arm or a leg was wanting, the remaining members could make a perfect human body.
There is this peculiarity about the works of God, that to add to them is to injure them: and so it is to take from them. All the ingenuity of the world combined could not add any thing to the structure of the human body without injuring it; neither could they take any thing from it without doing it an injury; it is best just as it is; so is all the other works of God, in the spiritual as well as the natural kingdom; they are best as God formed them; to alter them any way is to make them worse instead of better.
The order of things which God established for the salvation of man, which is called in modern dialect, the ancient order of things, is in every respect calculated to produce the effect for which it was intended, that is to save men, and in order that men might be saved, it was necessary that an order of things should be established, beginning with apostles, and then to have prophets, and then evangelists, and after that pastors, teachers, &c. with gifts healings, miracles, tongues, interpretation of tongues, as an established order to continue as long as the Lord our God should call men to be his sons, and women to be his daughters.
When any man sets himself for to search out the ancient order of things, this is what he will find, if he succeeds in his design, and if he does not obtain this, he will not get the ancient order of things. No church need say to their fellow men, lo here is the ancient order of things, or lo it is there, unless they have the order before mentioned; for it matters not what order they may have, if they have not the order before mentioned, they have not the ancient order.
But let us descend to particulars; for there are ways and means which lead to the full development of this order. If there were apostles, it was because there were ways and means ordained of God to make them such, and ways and means too, which were calculated to produce this effect, to make men apostles. In order then to be an apostle a man must in the first instance believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the next place he must repent of all his sins, and then must be baptized for the remission of his sins, and must receive the gift of the Holy Spirit; after that he must continue in faith and obedience until he has obtained a manifestation of the Savior; for it was not sufficient to make apostles, that they saw Jesus Christ while he was in the flesh; but it was necessary that they should have a manifestation of him after he rose from the dead, that they might testify to the world, that he lives, and that he is on the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens; this made men apostles, or witnesses for Jesus Christ.
Such was the ancient order of things in laying the foundation to establish the order of God, and out of this all the rest of the order grew.
These men thus qualified for their office, went forth, and called upon the rest of their fellow men to believe, repent of their sins, be baptized for the remission of them, and receive the Holy Spirit, which they ministered unto them by the laying on of their hands, and the people thus receiving the Holy Ghost were enabled by this gift, to prophecy, to see visions, and to dream dreams, and by these means grow up to be witnesses for Jesus Christ also, and become apostles, and obtain all the powers of the first; and as the first apostles grew up to be prophets, so those who were brought to a knowledge of the truth by their testimony, would grow up to apostles; and as the first would advance to be evangelists, those who came after them would be advan-
cing to be prophets, and, until they also would become evangelists,—which seems to be the same as Patriarch, whose office it was to administer blessings and cursings in the name of Jesus Christ, according to the will of God. So each one in his turn as he passed along in his course, partook of all the powers of the spiritual kingdom, or the world to come, exactly according to the commission given to the apostles, that those who believed them [the apostles] should have signs following them. They were to cast out devils, speak with new tongues, lay hands on the sick and they should recover, take up serpents, and if they were to drink any deadly thing it should not hurt them, &c.
In the whole history of this religion as set forth in the scriptures, its order was the same; it produced the same effect among all people, whether they were Scythian, Barbarian, bond or free, Jew or Gentile, Greek or Roman, it mattered not what they were; for in this respect, there was neither Greek nor Jew, bond nor free, male nor female; but they were all one in Christ Jesus, and the same blessing belonged to all, and the same fruits followed all, and the order was the same, whether it was in Africa, Asia, or Europe, and that so perfectly so as to establish this fact forever, that the Lord has but one order of things, and that all other orders are not of him, and where this order of things is not found, there the Lord's order is not. This then is the ancient order of things, if we mean by the ancient order of things, the order of things laid down in the scriptures.
Men may invent order after order, and scheme after scheme, but as long as their order or orders of things do not consist in having apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, gifts, healings, miracles, divers kinds of tongues, the interpretation of tongues, &c. their order is adverse to the order of heaven, and is not the ancient order of things as revealed in the scriptures.
All other order of things beside this are human orders, and not divine orders, and all other teachers are human teachers; for no teacher can be found in the world, of whom God approves but one who has obtained his office by reason of an apostle, whom God first called, and through him others were called;—we do not mean a dead apostle but a living one; for whenever there ceases to be apostles on earth, then the order of God has ceased, and the order of men, or devils, or of both has got its place. R.
CLEAR CREEK, Ill. July 7, 1835.
After laboring for a season, we embrace another opportunity, to inform you of our prosperity in the cause of our Redeemer. Through the providence of our God, we are yet with our brethren in this place. And by the assistance of our heavenly Father thro' the merits of Jesus Christ, we have succeeded in establishing a church here, which is composed of twenty members in good standing, faith and fellowship. However, they are young and inexperienced in the work of the Lord, and are unacquainted with the devices of the adversary of the souls of the children of men; and that wicked one would feign make them miserable like himself. Therefore, pray for them, that they may stand, and not be moved, when the hour of temptation comes:—For it is evident that all men must be tried like gold seven times purified before they are fit for the Master's use: and are capable to endure the glories of the celestial world. But here, as in all other places, as soon as the people began to listen to the voice of the Savior, the enemy began to rage and send forth his floods of unhallowed persecution, and circulated slanderous stories to keep the people from embracing the truth.
But in this the sayings of the Savior must be fulfilled; for says he: "My sheep hear my voice and will follow me." Notwithstanding persecutions, slanderous reports, and the weakness of human nature, and the proneness of the wandering of the hearts of the children of men, these few disciples meet all the enemy heaps upon them with Christian fortitude, in humility as becomes the saints of the Most High.
We held a meeting yesterday, and baptized three; and for the first time Mr. Dudley (the champion of this place) appeared to speak face to face; he has however taken much pains to work behind our backs. By working in this way he is no worse than others of his profession. In this short investigation the saints received much strength: for they beheld the spirit that Mr. Dudly was of, was not that meek and lowly spirit which reigns in the bosom of the meek and humble follower of Jesus. He
spent his time in spiritualising the scripture and darkening the word of God, in such a manner, that it was evident he was a blind guide; and after he had sufficient time to harangue the people in this way, he was exhorted to repent and turn from his evil ways and seek the Lord while he may be found.
We have endeavored to avoid controversies with all men as much as possible; but in the name of the Lord Jesus, we have defended his cause in all places, and circumstances, according to the ability which God has given us:—And we bear this record to our brethren and the world, that in not one instance, has God suffered that we should be confounded.
We have been in this place about four weeks, and have labored night and day for the salvation of this people, with all diligence and patience, seeking the face of the Lord always. We frequently mourn and weep before the Lord for this generation: But we are men and all that we can do is to set the truth before the people, and then they are left agents unto themselves and are at liberty to choose life or death: and in this thing there is joy to that servant who has the dispensation of the gospel committed to him in these last days: that the servants of God are not compelled to save all mankind, (as some of the sectarians would have it); but preach the truth that such as will come may come and partake of the tree of life.—And they will have to save themselves, by obeying the truth in all things.
We have baptized nineteen in this place, and fourteen of that number we have baptized since we last wrote. May the Lord have mercy on us all, even so: Amen.
To John Whitmer, Esq.
KIRTLAND, Sept. 17, 1835.
After a short illness, of which I am recovering, I would inform you, that since I wrote from Green county, Ia. I have labored about six weeks in that place, for the good of my fellow men. When I came to Eel River church in said county, I found a small band of Latter Day Saints, say ten in number, somewhat weak in the faith. There had been once a large church here, but the greater part of the members had removed to Missouri; so that the remaining few were like sheep without a shepherd. During my short stay here I baptized 18, and ordained one teacher. The brethren desire if any travelling elder passes that way he would call and tarry a season. I have been engaged in my mission, since I left home last fall, nearly ten months.
G. M. HINKEL.
To John Whitmer.
Extracts of Conference Minutes.
Council met in Kirtland, Sept. 28: and took into consideration the case of Elder G. Bishop, who had previously been suspended by the travelling council, for interpreting some passages of Scripture in an improper manner; and also for persisting in said erroneous opinions, &c. He made a humble confession and asked the forgiveness of the councils and the church; and promised to do better for the future. He was forgiven, restored and received in fellowship.*
*The points on which Elder Bishop was suspended, were not points on the gospel, as we know of; but of some other mysterious passages: for instance one respecting the two witnesses: Rev. chap. XI. He stated that J. Smith, jr. and O. Cowdery were the two persons alluded to, &c. which is incorrect.
Also, Elder P. H. Young, who had been disfellowshipped by the High Council, for alleged improper conduct, personally appeared before said council; and the charge not being sustained, he was honorably acquitted, and restored to his former standing and fellowship.
WARREN PARRISH, Clerk.
Minutes of a Conference held at Black River, Sept. 19, 1835.
After being organized according to order, the conference proceeded to business. Six small branches were represented as composing this conference.
There have been 28 members added to these several branches since our last conference of June 19.
Resolved,—That the next conference of this district, be held in the village of Lerayville, Jefferson co. on the second Tuesday of January 1836; commencing at 10 o'clock, A. M. And also public preaching the Sabbath following, at 10 o'clock, A. M.
D. W. PATTON, President.
J. Blakesly, Clerk.
Messenger and Advocate
KIRTLAND, OHIO, SEPTEMBER, 1835.
CLEANLINESS NECESSARY FOR SALVATION.
Cleanliness is one of the adornments of the human family which is required of our heavenly Father. It is reasonable to suppose that, decency, good manners, sobriety and cleanliness are necessary appendages to qualify a person for a disciple of Jesus.
When we look abroad among the human family, and see filthiness, we know at once that laziness is one of the inmates of that family, and if this is the case, can God dwell there? the answer is no. The reason is obvious, God does not dwell in unholy temples. Uncleanliness does not qualify a person for any exalted station; it does not prepare him for the kingdom of heaven. Isaiah chap. I: v. 16,17; "Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well; seek judgement; relieve the oppressed; judge the fatherless; plead for the widow." Here the prophet Isaiah gives a beautiful exhortation: "Wash you, make you clean." No doubt the prophet had reference to sin, but this would not hinder us from quoting the passage, for we find in various places, that he that is filthy shall remain filthy still.—And if the immortal part of man must be washed and be made clean, why not the mortal also? we have samples enough to prove this fact: while the children of Israel were journeying through the wilderness, Deut. Chap. XXIII: v. 12,13,14. It does not require proof to the mind of an intelligent man, that cleanliness is necessary to qualify a person for the kingdom of God. It is evident that there is no filthy or unclean thing in his presence.
We will bring our subject to bear with our own situation, and the generation among whom we live; and see how far we can indulge ourselves in the practices and be justified. In the book of Doctrine and Covenants we read, Page 123, par. 12: "Let all things be done in cleanliness before me." This sentence says all things, and no doubt it means just what it says. Let us inquire a little concerning this matter. It seems that it is a good thing to be prepared to meet the worst and qualified to receive the best. When in these conditions we are never taken on surprise, nor caught in snares that we cannot extricate ourselves.
This church of Latter Day Saints, seems to be composed of all sorts and classes of people; if it were not so, we would have good reason to suppose that it was not the church it purports to be. For the prophet says there shall be gathered to Zion from all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, and, as far as our knowledge extends, we know that there are some from various kindreds, tongues and people, already among us; and no doubt, this saying will be verified to the fullest extent.—To be clean in all thing is a broad saying, and it must mean that a person that is filthy comes short of fulfilling it, and if so, they do not live by every word which proceeds out of the mouth of God; and therefore, are unclean in his sight. Isaiah says, "Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord."—Now if a man is clean, according to the word of the Lord he will not be unclean in his person; he will be neat and cleanly in his apparel; yea, he will keep all the commandments of God, and then he will come into the presence of God, and "Lift up clean hands, and a pure heart without wrath and doubting." It is in vain for the disciples of Jesus to tell us that they can have the spirit of God, when we can see nothing but filth and uncleanness about their dwellings: God has declared that he did not dwell in unholy temples. Surely if we are unholy we expect to come short of the celestial kingdom, unless we reform and become as we should.
Frequently we see a person walking humble and meek before the Lord, according to outward appearance, but no doubt that there are many as the sepulchres were in the days of the Savior, which appeared beautiful outwardly, but within were full of dead men's bones; so with this generation: But as great a curiosity as can be found in the world abounds in religion, which consists in a coat or hat, and were they to lay them aside would be as barren of religion as the generation of vipers was in the days when the Son of Man was upon earth. But says one it is the heart that God looks at and not the outward appearance. We grant that God looks upon the heart, and
judges man accordingly: But hark! the Savior says from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh, it is impossible for a bitter fountain to bring forth sweet water. Neither is it consistent to suppose that when the heart of man is right before God, that it will be full of prejudice, or religion in a coat or dress, or any thing that would be an outward adorning. Matthew VI: v. 16,17,18; "Moreover, when ye fast be not as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance; for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear to men to fast, Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly."
From the above quotation, we naturally draw the conclusion, that a disciple should be clean, and appear in his natural position without disfiguring himself in any respect whatever; either in person, manner or dress. This is speaking to disciples, and we would of necessity infer, that they had been cleansed from sin, and washed and made clean; But this is not all that is wanting, to qualify a person for salvation; after a person has received the first ordinance of the gospel; then they are in a situation to walk in the way towards perfection: Then they are prepared to lay hold of the promises of God, for they have already proved that his word is true; Therefore, they are prepared to rely on the remainder of the promises of God, until they are sanctified in truth, and cleansed from all impurity.
Ezekiel when speaking of the gathering of Israel, says: Chap. XXXVI: "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you." It seems that when God in his providence, has gathered the house of Israel from their long dispersion, he will sprinkle clean water upon them & cleanse them, from all their filthiness; we would presume to say, that there will be a general time of cleansing: both spiritual and temporal. According to the word of God, water is used to cleanse men from sin, and will do it effectually too, if applied in a legal manner. All ordinances, that are instituted of Jehovah, will avail nothing unless they are administered by one who has been authorized of the Lord himself. The earth no doubt has been cleansed once by water: But there remaineth another cleansing even by fire: and thus by water and by fire all things that remain will be cleansed in the own due time of the Lord. But wo, to that man, or woman, that does not cleanse and purify themselves by obeying the truth in all things. For the Lord will arise in his anger and shake terribly the earth, and consume the wicked and filthy with unquenchable fire. Therefore, cleanse and purify yourselves ye workers of iniquity.
We are happy to say that the time to favor Zion is at hand; surely, the prophets in days of old looked with deep anxiety to see the day in which we live; and they beheld it and rejoiced; because the restoration of the children of Israel, was a theme that occupied much of their time in meditation, that they might know concerning this matter: and they were exceeding glad, that the day should come, in which the children of Israel should be gathered, from their dispersion.—Moroni while speaking of the gathering of Israel, and building up of the New Jerusalem asys [says]:—
"For behold they rejected all the words of Ether: for he truly told them of all things, from the beginning of man; and how that after the waters had receded from off the face of this land, it became a choice land above all other lands, a chosen land of the Lord; wherefore the Lord would have that all men should serve him, which dwelleth upon the face thereof; and that it was the place of the New Jerusalem, which should come down out of heaven, and the holy sanctuary of the Lord. Behold, Ether saw the days of Christ, and he spake concerning a New Jerusalem upon this land; and he spake also concerning the house of Israel, and the Jerusalem from whence Lehi should come; after that it should be destroyed, it should be built up again a holy city unto the Lord; wherefore it could not be a New Jerusalem, for it had been in a time of old, but it should be built up again, and become a holy city of the Lord; and it should be built up unto the house of Israel; and that a New Jerusalem should be built up upon this land, unto the remnant of the seed of Joseph, for the which things there has been a type: for as Joseph brought his father down into the land of Egypt, even so he died there; wherefore the Lord brought a remnant of the seed of Joseph out of the land of Jerusalem, that he might be merciful unto the seed of Joseph, that they should perish not, even as he was merciful unto the father of Joseph, that he should perish not, wherefore the remnant of the house of Joseph shall be built upon this land; and it shall be a land
of their inheritance; and they shall build up a holy city unto the Lord, like unto the Jerusalem of old; and they shall no more be confounded, until the end come, when the earth shall pass away."— Book of Mormon page 566.
The Lord has said that he would hold no one guilty, that should go with an open heart, up to the land of Zion; after five years from September, 1831. And the Lord has said that he would gather his people and specified the place where:
"A revelation of Jesus Christ unto his servant Joseph Smith, jr. and six elders, as they united their hearts and lifted their voices on high; yea, the word of the Lord concerning his church established in the last days for the rostoration [restoration] of his people as he has spoken by the mouth of his prophets, and for the gathering of his saints to stand upon mount Zion, which shall be built, beginning at the Temple Lot, which is appointed by the finger of the Lord, in the western boundaries of the State of Missouri, and dedicated by the hand of Joseph Smith, jr. and others, with whom the Lord was well pleased.
Verily, this is the word of the Lord, that the city New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saints, beginning at this place, even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared in this generation; for verily this generation shall not all pass away until an house shall be built unto the Lord and a cloud shall rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord, which shall fill the house." Cov. Sec. IV. Par. I.
Isaiah 66:18, "For I know their works, and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory."
According to this quotation the glory of the Lord shall appear; but they must come to a certain place in odrer [order] that they can see it. Our former quotation determines the place, and who dare dispute it? The Lord has said by the mouth of Isaiah; that he would perform his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act. We have before said, that the place of the gathering of the saints was specified: and to prove that men have authority to bring this work to pass: we will endeavor to show. The Lord while speaking to some of the Latter Day Elders says:
"Verily I say unto you, that ye are chosen out of the world to declare my gospel with the sound of rejoicing, as with the voice of a trump: lift up your hearts and be glad for I am in your midst, and am your advocate with the Father; and it is his good will to give you the kingdom; and as it is written, Whatsoever ye shall ask in faith, being united in prayer according to my command, ye shall receive; and ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect, for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts: wherefore the decree hath gone forth from the Father, that they shall be gathered in unto one place, upon the face of this land, to prepare their hearts, and be prepared in all things, against the day when tribulation and desolation are sent forth upon the wicked; for the hour is nigh, and the day soon at hand, when the earth is ripe: and all the proud, and they that do wickedly, shall be as stubble, and I will burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that wickedness shall not be upon the earth: for the hour is nigh, and that which was spoken by mine apostles must be fulfilled; for as they spoke so shall it come to pass; for I will reveal myself from heaven with power and great glory, with all the hosts thereof, and dwell in righteousness with men on earth a thousand years, and the wicked shall not stand."—Cov. Sec. X. Par. 2.
This plainly specifies the work, that they have to perform; before the great day of the Lord comes; when "the sun shall be darkened and the moon turn into blood, and the stars shall fall from heaven; and there shall be greater signs in heaven above and in the earth beneath; and there shall be weeping and wailing among the hosts of men; and there shall be a great hailstorm sent forth to destroy the crops of the earth: and it shall come to pass, because of the wickedness of the world, that I will take vengeance upon the wicked, for they will not repent: for behold my blood shall not cleanse them if they hear me not."
It is evident that great things will be shown forth; but who will believe them? The answer is conclusive, those who are looking for them to take place. We may become acquainted with all these things; and know them: but what does it avail us if we are not prepared to meet the consequences.—The Savior says; "I have called upon the weak things of the world, those who are unlearned and despised, to thresh the nations by the power of my Spirit."
Moses while talking to the children of Israel, says "Secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but these things which are revealed, belong unto us, and to our children forever." It is evident that we are accountable to God for the things which we have in our possession; and that we will be justified or condemned by the same. After Moses had received the law, he foretold the children of Israel, what should befall them:
"And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey his voice, according to
all that I command thee this day, thou, and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return, and gather thee from all the nations whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.
If any of thine be driven out unto the utmost parts of heaven, from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee. And the Lord thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. And the Lord thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee."—Deut. XXX: 51,2,3,4,5,6,7
Paul while talking to the Ephesians, says:
Having made known unto us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times, he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him. In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be the praise of his glory who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.—Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.—Eph. I:9,10,11,12,13,14.
While we are on this subject we will further show that God has a fixed period to accomplish his work. We have shown that there will be a place of gathering on this continent; and also at Palestine; for Moses says: "the Lord thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers."
We have also shown, that this land was a place for the gathering of a remnant of the house of Israel: and that they should have it in the due time of the Lord: according to the book of Mormon, all that will embrace the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and endure in faith to the end, shall become partakers of the covenants of the Lord which he made to our fathers, whose blessings are very numerous; and if we will obtain them, we shall be blessed while the throne of God shall stand. To show what the Lord has revealed we will make a few more quotations.
"And now I show unto you a mystery, a thing which is had in secret chambers, to bring to pass even your destruction, in process of time, and ye knew it not, but now I tell it unto you, and ye are blessed, not because of your eniquity [iniquity], neither your hearts of unbelief, for verily some of you are guilty before me; but I will be merciful unto your weakness. Therefore, be ye strong from henceforth; fear not for the kingdom is yours: and for your salvation I give unto you a commandment, for I have heard your prayers, and the poor have complained before me, and the rich have I made, and all flesh is mine, and I am no respecter of persons. And I have made the earth rich, and behold it is my footstool: wherefore, again I will stand upon it: and I hold forth and deign to give unto you greater riches, even a land of promise; a land flowing with milk and honey, upon which there shall be no curse when the Lord cometh: and I will give it unto you for the land of your inheritance, if you seek it with all your hearts: and this shall be my covenant with you, ye shall have it for the land of your inheritance, and for the inheritance of your children forever while the earth shall stand, and ye shall possess it again in eternity, no more to pass away."—Cov. XII. Par. 4.
Jeremiah spake concerning the redemption of Israel:
"In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the Lord their God. They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten." Jer. L. 4,5.
We have plainly demonstrated to the mind of any person, that believes the Bible and the book of Mormon, that Israel shall be gathered: and where and how. And the following quotation, will demonstrate when.
"Hearken, O ye people of my church, saith the Lord your God, and hear the word of the Lord concerning you; the Lord who shall suddenly come to his temple: the Lord who shall come down upon the world with a curse to judgement; yea, upon all the nations that forget God, and upon all the ungodly among you. For he shall make bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of their God. Wherefore, prepare ye, prepare ye, O my people; sanctify yourselves; gather ye together, O ye people of my church, upon the land of Zion, all you that have not been commanded to tarry. Go ye out from Babylon. Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord. Call your solemn assemblies, and speak often one to another. And let every man call upon the name of the Lord; yea, verily I say unto you, again, the time has come when the voice of the Lord is unto you, Go ye out of Babylon; gather ye out from among the nations, from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Send forth the elders of my church unto the nations which are afar off; unto the islands of the sea; send forth unto foreign lands; call upon all nations; firstly, upon the Gentiles, and then upon the Jews. And behold and lo, this shall be their cry, and the voice of the Lord unto all people: Go ye forth unto the land of Zion, that the borders of my people may be enlarged, and that her stakes may be strengthened, and that Zion may go forth unto the regions round about: yea, let the cry go forth among all people; Awake and arise and go forth to meet the Bridegroom: behold and lo, the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him. Prepare yourselves for the great day of the Lord.—Watch, therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour. Let them, therefore, who are among the Gentiles, flee unto Zion. And let them who be of Judah, flee unto Jerusalem, unto the mountains of the Lord's house. Go ye out from among the nations, even from Babylon, from the midst of wickedness, which is spiritual Babylon. But verily thus saith the Lord, let not your flight be in haste, but let all things be prepared before you: and he that goeth, let him not look back, lest sudden destruction shall come upon him."—Cov. Sec. C: Par. 1,2.
The time is at hand for the saints to assemble as fast as is consistent with their circumstances; so that all things may be done in order without distraction or confusion or any thing that would bring pestilence and misery upon the afflicted saints. Remember to have all things ready, go ye out from Babylon even as the Lord hath said.—He that readeth let him understand.—That the Lord is God, Therefore keep his commandments, even so. Amen.
THE ELDERS ABROAD.
The elders are informed that the school will commence on Monday the 2nd of November. Those wishing to attend will do well to arrange their business so as to commence with the commencement of the school.
DIED—In Clay county, Mo. August 24, ALMA, son of Elder Isaac Higbee, (now in this place,) aged 21 months and 15 days.
The twelve returned from their mission in the east, on the 26 inst. in good health and spirits. Our friends and patrons, may look for a communication from them in our next.—Editor.
Extract of a Letter dated Paris, Henry Co. Ten. Sept. 21, 1835.
I have continued my labors, principally among the churches, since the departure of Elder W. Parrish: and have baptized four. There are many sick in this part of the land, and some are dying. The saints in the south wish to be remembered before the Lord by the saints in the north; whom we love for the truth's sake, &c.
Contents of the
Messenger and Advocate.
Vol. 1. No. 1.
|Communication written by O. Cowdery, Pontiac, M. T. Oct. 20. 1834,||3|
|Communication from J. P. Gree,||7|
|Communication from W. A. Cowdery, Freedom, N. Y. Oct. 20, 1834||8|
|Communication from Eli Gilbert, Huntington, Ct. Sept. 23, 1834,||9|
|Communication from Sylvester Smith,||10|
|An apology, for delay,||11|
|——— for not publishing the re-printed Star as soon as anticipated,||11|
|An invitation to read Mr. E. Gilbert's Letter,||11|
|Death of A. S. Gilbert,||11|
|Communication from Elder Z. Coltrin, Florida, Mo. Oct. 13, 1834,||11|
|A word to our patrons, &c.||11|
|Persons wis[h]ing to discontinue subscriptions; &c,||11|
|----, remarks upon,||12|
|Extracts of the minutes of the High Council of the church of the Latter Day Saints, held in Kirtland, Sept. 24, 1834,||13|
|Remarks on the subject of the rise of the church,||13|
|First communication on the rise of the church of Christ, of Latter Day Saints, &c.||13|
|Terms of Messenger and Advocate,||16|
|Milleneum, No. IX||17|
|Faith of the church, No. VIII,||19|
|The Gospel, No. II,||20|
|Communication from W. A. Cowdery, Fredom, Oct. 28, 1834,||21|
|P. S. Do. ----||22|
|Communication from W. W. Phelps, Liberty, Mo, Oct. 20, 1834,||24|
|Communication from S. B. Stoddard, Saco, Me. Oct. 20, 1834,||24|
|Communication from D. W. Patten and W. Parrish, Paris, Ten. Oct. 11, 1834,||24|
|Communication from Elder John Murdock, Eugene, In, Oct. 11, 1834, and remarks by the Editor,||25|
|On signitures, &c.||25|
|Communication from O. Cowdery, to W. A. Cowdery,||26|
|Rise of the church,||27|
|Communication from W. W. Phelps, Liberty, Mo. Nov. 6, 1834,||33|
|Library of the Earl Spencer, &c.||34|
|Communication from W. A. Cowdery, Freedom, Nov. 28, 1834,||35|
|Faith of the church, No. IX,||35|
|The Gospel, No. III,||37|
|Millenium, No. X,||39|
|Communication from Joseph Smith jr.||40|
|An extract from the Message of the Governor of Mo. on the affairs of the Mob in July, 1833,||41|
|Rise of the church,||41|
|Close of another year,||46|
|Communication from w. W. Phelps, Liberty, Mo. Nov. 13, 1834,||49|
|Faith of the church, No. X,||51|
|Millenium, No. XI,||53|
|Gospel, No. IV,||54|
|Communication form Edward Partridge, INdependence, Mo. Aug. 31, 1833,||56|
|Communication from Ambrose Palmer, New Portage, O. January 28, 1835,||61|
|Conditions of re-printed Star,||62|
|Bishop Partridge's letter,||62|
|Summary of letters from Elders, &c.||63|
|Communication from W. W. Phelps, Liberty, Mo. Christmas, 1834,||65|
|Millenium, No. XII,||67|
|Faith of the church, No. XI,||68|
|Gospel, No. V,||71|
|Summary of letters,||75|
|Communication from the Brookville, Ia. Enquirer,||77|
|Rise of the church,||77|
|No. of students, &c.||80|
|Terms of school, Kirtland, Feb. 27, 1835,||80|
|Communication from W. W. Phelps, Liberty, Mo. Feb. 6, 1835,||81|
|Faith of the church, No. XII,||83|
|Millenium, No. XIII,||84|
|Gospel, No. VI,||87|
|Communication from Elder O. Pratt, Cincinnati, O. Febuary 16, 1835,||89|
|Conference notices, Kirtland, March 8, 1835,||90|
|Request to T. B. Marsh and O. Pratt,||90|
|Remarks on delusions, &c.||90|
|Communication from Elder S. Carter; and remarks by the Editor,||93|
|Reception of Peopl's and Parley's Magazine,||95|
|Water drinkers, &c.||95|
|Rise of the church,||95|
|Communication from W. W. Phelps, Liberty, Mo. Febuary 21, 1835,||97|
|Communication from W. A. Cowdery, Freedom, March 10, 1835,||97|
|Communication from M. C. Nicerson, Perrysburgh, N. Y. January 30, 1835,||99|
|Minutes of a conference, held at Freedom, N. Y. April 3, 1835,||101|
|Communication from W. E. M'Lellin, Huntsburgh, O. April 16, 1835,||102|
|Communication from D. Evans, Perry, April 19, 1835,||103|
|Extract of conference minutes Kirtland, O. April 27, 1835,||103|
|Summary of Letters,||103|
|Trouble in the West,||104|
|Inquisition in the United States; and remarks, on the same,||107|
|Read the Constitution of the U.S.A.||107|
|Request of Hirum Smith and Jared Carter,||107|
|Rise of the church,||108|
|Invitations to attend conference at New Portage, Ohio,||112|
|Communication form W. A. Cowdery, Freedom, March 17, 1835,||113|
|Communication from W. W. Phelps, Kirtland, May 19, 1835,||114|
|conference minutes of the traveling high counsel, Westfield, May 12, 1835,||115|
|Millenium, No. XIV,||116|
|Gospel, No. VII,||118|
|Address to the patrons of the Mes. and Adv.||120|
|Call for arrearages, &c.||122|
|Remarks on Theological lectures,||122|
|Faith of church,||126|
|Conference at New Portage, Ohio,||128|
|Communication form W. W. Phelps, Kirtland, Ohio, June 1, 1835,||129|
|Gospel, No. VIII,||131|
|Faith of the church, No. XIII,||133|
|Communication form W. Parish and W. Woodruff, Paris, Ten. May 16, 1835,||135|
|To the Saints scattered abroad,||137|
|Recommend of Bishop Partridge,||138|
|Communication from Elder O. Pratt, Freedom, N. Y. May 18, 1835,||139|
|Selected from the N. Y. Courier and Enquirer, with remarks, &c.||140|
|Communication from D. Evans, Columbiana co. Ohio, May 24, 1835.||141|
|Communication from H. Gree, Clinton co. Ill. May 15, 1835,||142|
|Communication from Elder J. Blakeslee, Ellisburgh, N. Y. May 18, 1835,||142|
|Conference minutes held at New Portage Ohio,||142|
|John's definition of love,||144|
|Communication from W. W. Phelps, Kirtland, Ohio, July, 1835,||145|
|The house of God,||147|
|Is the end near,||149|
|Remarks on Mr. Bradley's discourse,||150|
|Conference minutes of the travelling high council held at Freedom, N. Y. and remarks,||153|
|Conference at New Portage, by request,||153|
|Lecture on children,||154|
|Apology for abridging letters,||155|
|Pimy Foot's request,||155|
|Rise of the church,||155|
|Extracts of letters from Elders abroad,||160|
|Letters must be post paid,||160|
|Faith of the Church, No. XIV,||161|
|Lo the days come, &c,||166|
|Letters from the Elders abroad,||166|
|Doctrine and Covenants,||170|
|-------------- form the beginning of the fourth century to the death of Galerius,||171|
|Withdrawing fellowship form Ph. H. Young,||176|
|Delay of this Number,||176|
|Praise ye the Lord,||176|
|Communication from W. W. Phelps,||177|
|------------- from J. Smith jr. to J. Whitmer,||179|
|Ancient order of things by Elder S. Rigdon,||182|
|Communication from Elder L. Jackman and C. Baldwin, Clear Creek, Illinois,||185|
|Communication form Elder G. M. Hinkle,||186|
|Extract of Conference minutes, Kirtland, Ohio,||186|
|Extract of minutes of Conference held at Black River, New York,||186|
|On the gathering of Israel,||188|
|To the Elders abroad,||191|
|Return of the twelve,||191|
|Extract of W. Woodruff's letter,||191|
How sweet is the mem'ry of all that we love,
The saints who have laid up their treasures above,
And have waited in faith for the Savior to come,
With a fulness of glory to crown them his own
At home, blessed home—
Where the weary can rest, and the wicked ne'er come:
How sweet is the prospect when saints shall be blest,
And Zion extend from the east to the west;
And heaven shall echo 'tis done, it is done!
And parents and children, united as one,
Praise God face to face,
As clear as the moon, and as fair as the sun.
|THE LATTER DAY SAINTS'|
|Messenger and Advocate,|
|IS EDITED BY|
|And published every month at Kirtland, Geauga Co. Ohio, by|
|F. G. Williams & Co.|
|All $1, per an. in advance. Every person procuring ten new subscribers, and forwarding $10, current money, shall be entitled to a paper and year, gratis.|
|All letters to the Editor, or Publishers, must be|
|—> POST PAID. <—|
|No subscription will be received for a less term than one year, and no paper discontinued till all arrearages are paid, except at the option of the publishers.|