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Vol. III, No. 12] KIRTLAND, OHIO, SEPTEMBER, 1837. [Whole No. 36.
We have thought best, in order to give general and extensive circulation, to the Bishop's appeal to the churches and the benevolence of individuals abroad, to give it a conspicuous place in our paper. We might comment upon it lengthily ourselves, but, we deemed such a course unnecessary, and rather offering an insult to the judgement [judgment] and good sense of our readers, so long as the memorial itself can be presented before them entire for their perusal.
Our readers will notice it particularly and, no doubt, compare the object therein set forth with the requisitions of scripture, the duty of the saints, as such, and act with reference, to the object of the memorial or appeal, as their own better judgement [judgment] shall dictate.
Although we had thought not best to hazard an opinion of our own on this subject, but we will so far deviate from the course we intended to pursue, as to say, that it is a subject intimately connected with religion, and it is admitted by almost all, if religion be what its votaries and the scriptures say it is, all important, and worthy your sincere and prayerful attention, then give heed to the appeal, and suffer it not to be made in vain.- Ed.
Kirtland, Sept. 18,1837.
To the Saints scattered abroad, the Bishop and his Counselors of Kirtland send greeting.
WHEREAS the church in Kirtland has taken into consideration the affairs of the Latter Day Saints in general, having opportunities of making themselves acquainted with the situation of the Saints throughout the continent, together, with the very flattering prospects of the prosperity of the cause of God in our land. And also of the peculiar condition of the city of Kirtland, which is a kind of first fruits of the cities, which the Lord has began to build unto himself in these last days. It has been deemed of great importance to the prosperity of the cause of truth in general, that the Bishop and his counselors send abroad this their memorial to all the saints throughout the land, as well as to all well wishers to the cause of Zion, in this our most happy country.
It is a fact well known, that the saints in the city of Kirtland have been called to endure a great fight of affliction for the truth's sake; and to bear a heavy burden in order that the foundation of the kingdom of God might be laid on a sure and certain bases, so that the prophetic vision of Daniel might most certainly be fulfilled. That this kingdom might break in pieces all other kingdoms, and stand forever.
The exertions of the enemy to prevent this have been very great, and through their great exertions, they have given to the saints great trouble, and caused them much expense.-In addition to this, they have had to publish the word of the Lord, which has been attended with great expense: these together with building the house of the Lord, have embarrassed them very much; for when subscriptions failed, they went on and accomplished the work of building the house themselves, plighting all that they had,
property, credit, and character, and by these means accomplished this great work which is the wonder and admiration of the world.
This they have done in faith believing that as the multitude of saints increased, that their liberality would abound towards those who regarding nothing but the salvation of the world, have thus exposed themselves to ruin, in order that the work of the gathering might not fail.
And besides all this, there have been a large number of poor who have had to receive assistance from the donations of the church, which have tended to increase its embarrassments. And now so numerous are the saints grown, that it is impracticable for them all to gather to the places which are now appointed for this purpose.
The church of Kirtland has, therefore, required at the hand of our beloved brethren Joseph Smith jun. and Sidney Rigdon; (men who have not thought their lives dear unto them, in order that the cause of God might be established,) Presidents, whom God has appointed to preside over the whole church, and the persons to whom this work belongs, that they should go forth, and lay off other stakes of Zion or places of gathering, so that the poor may have a place of refuge, or places of refuge, in the day of tribulation which is coming swiftly on the earth.
All these things will be attended with expense.
Feeling ourselves under great responsibility by virtue of our office and calling in the church of God, we present this our memorial to all the saints, making a most solemn appeal to the feelings, benevolence, and philanthropy, of all the saints into whose hands this our memorial comes, in faith and confidence, that this appeal will not be made in vain.
It is the fixed purpose of our God, and has been so from the beginning, as appears by the testimony of the ancient prophets, that the great work of the last days was to be accomplished by the tithing of his saints. The saints were required to bring their tithes into the store house, and after that, not before, they were to look for a blessing that there should not be room enough to receive it. See Malachi 3rd chapter 10th verse.
Our appeal then to the saints is founded on the best of testimony, that which no saint will feel to gainsay, but rejoice to obey. The saint of God will rejoice in all that the Lord does, and in doing all that the Lord requres [requires].
The sacrifice of righteousness which the Lord requires will be offered with a willing heart, and ready mind, and with great joy, because they are counted worthy to offer up cacrifice [sacrifice] for his name.
In making this appeal to the benevolence of the saints of God, we do not only take into consideration the situation of the poor, the embarrassments of the stake of Kirtland; but also their own interest; for every saint has an equal interest
in building up of the Zion of our God; for it is after the Lord has built up Zion, that he will appear in his glory.-Psalms 102:16. We all look for the appearing of the great God, and our Savior Jesus Christ; but we shall look in vain, until Zion is built; for Zion is to be the dwelling place of our God when he comes.-Joel 3:21. Any one who will read this chapter with attention, will see that it treats of the last days, and of the Zion of the last days.
How then is the Lord to dwell in Zion, if Zion is not built up? This question we leave the saints to answer.-The salvation of the saints one and all depends on the building up of Zion; for without this there is no salvation; for deliverance in the last days is found in Zion, and in Jerusalem, and in the remnant whom the Lord our God shall call, or in other words, in the stakes which he shall appoint.-Joel 2:32.
It is in Zion where the Lord is to create upon every dwelling place, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and a smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night. It is upon the glory of Zion; that there will be a defense. It is in Zion that there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the day time from the heat, and for a plaee [place] of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain, Isaiah 4:5,6. It is upon the walls of Zion, where the watchman shall see eye to eye Isaiah 52:8.
Whatever is glorious.-Whatever is desirable-Whatever pertains to salvation, either temporal or spiritual. Our hopes, our expectations, our glory and our reward, all depend on our building up Zion according to the testimony of the prophets. For unless Zion is built: our hopes perish, our expectations fail, our prospects are blasted, our salvation withers, and God will come and smite the whole earth with a curse.
Hear then O ye saints of the last days! and let this our appeal have a favorable reception among you. Let every saint consider well the nature of his calling in the last days, and the great responsibility which rests upon him or her, as one to whom God has revealed his will, and make haste not only to the relief of Kirtland, but also to the building up of Zion.
Let every man, and every woman, give heed the very instant that they embrace the gospel, and exert themselves with energy to send on means to build up Zion: for our God bids us to haste the building of the city, saying, the time has come when the city must be pushed forward with unceasing exertions; for, behold, the day of calamity draweth nigh, and unless the saints speed the building of the city, they will not escape. Be admonished then O ye saints! and let not covetousness, which is idolitry [idolatry], nor worldly ambition hinder you; but gather up your gold and your silver, and all the means you have, and send on to the saints who are engaged
in this great work of building the zion of our God, that there may be a place of refuge for you, and for your children in the day of God's vengeance, when he shall come down on Idumea, or the world, in his fury, and stamp them down in his wrath, and none shall escape, but the inhabitants of zion.
What we say unto one, we say unto all, haste-haste-and delay not; for the hour of desolation does not linger, and with all the power that the saints have, and with all the diligence they can use, they will scarcely escape.
The time is not far distant, when some of those who now deride and mock the saints for devoting their all to build up the zion of God, will bless their name, for having provided a city of refuge, for them and their children, regardless of the ravings of ungodly priests, and the mockings of a stupid and ignorant people.
In the confidence which we have in the good sense and righteous principles of the multitude of the saints, we send this our memorial in the name of our master Jesus; believing that this appeal will be received with great kindness, and will be attended to with untiring perseverence [perseverance], until the object for which it has been sent shall be accomplished.
And may the God of all grace, pour out his richest blessings on your heads, and crown you with abundance, that the zion of our God may flourish, and cease not, until the righteousness thereof shall go forth as the light, and the salvation thereof as a lamp which burneth, is the prayer of your brethren in Christ Jesus.
N. K. WHITNEY,
Palmyra Portage Co. Ohio, Sept. 14th, 1837.
Bro. W. A. Cowdery:
I improve a few moments to communicate to you some knowledge of my travels, together with a sketch of my labors the present season. I left Kirtland in company with elder G. W. Meeks to go to the South, we bent our course to West Township, Columbiana Co. in order to attend a conference previously appointed: when we arrived at that place we found elder L. Barns and several other traveling elders. Elder Barns had been preaching some few days previous and baptized several. On Friday, the first day of the conference, we attended to setling [settling] some difficulty in the church, and on Saturday and Sunday we preached to the people. On Sunday three came forward and were baptized by elder Barns; on Monday we again met to finish our conference, after which the several elders went into different parts iu [in] the adjoining towns to preach where the door was already opened. There were at, and near the conference somewhere, I believe, not far from twelve baptized in the vicinity of this place. Elder Meeks and myself continued together sometime and preached in the towns round about where there were calls, but more especially in the township of Salem, where we continued several weeks and laid before the people, the gospel of Jesus Christ according to our several abilities: and we reasoned with them in plainness, both in public and in private, and showed them the work of the Lord had set his hand to do in this age of the world. We found some friendly and believing, yea almost persuaded to be saints, but the cross being so great, together with the many false reports that were put in circulation (for we met with no small opposition from priests and people)
hindered them from obeying the truth. We after having discharged our duty faithfully, left the place and returned as far as Milton township, Trumbull Co. We found a door opened for preaching and left an appointment at the Christian meeting house near by Mr. James Winans'. It happened now that I was left destitute of a fellow laborer and had to stem the current of opposition alone, however, I went forth alone trusting in God and proclaimed the glorious gospel of the Son of God to a large congregation, in the fore part of the day, and after having dismissed the congregation and appointed the hour for preaching to commence again, one Joseph Pierce, a Christian preacher, arose and claimed the house. So I thought it was best not to have any further difficulty with the man-therefore I told the people rather than be disappointed as I had come something like fifty miles to preach to them, we would go a short distance to the grove, accordingly I went to the place appointed and the people followed except a few who tarried with the preacher, but they did not continue their meeting long but broke and joined ours. After having got through with my subject I gave an appointment for the next day at 4 o'clock, & then dismissed the congregation. The next day met with the people and blest with a good degree of liberty in addressing the congregation after which, we repaired to the water where I had the privilege of leading two willing souls into the waters of baptism. I then left an appointment to preach again in two weeks and returned home, I have since continued preaching in other towns, and in the fore mentioned place till the present time, and have baptized in all seven, there has been eight others baptized in this section by elder Snow.
S. B. STODDARD.
ANCIENT HISTORY. No. 8.
THE REPUBLIC OF ATHENS
On the abolition of the regal officer at Athens, the change of the constitution was more nominal than real.-The archonship was, during three centuries a perpetual and hereditary magistracy. In the year 754 A. C. it become decennial, or elective once in ten years. In 648 the archons were anually [annually] elected, were nine in number and were of equal power. These changes convulsed the people, and helped to render their condition, miserable.
Draco, an archon, in 724 A. C. projected a reform in the constitution of his country, and thought to repress disorders by the extreme severity of penal laws. But his talents and popularity were unequal to the task he had undertaken.
Solon, an illustrious Athenian, was elevated to the dignity of archon in 594 A. C. and was entrusted by his countrymen with the important task of forming a new form of government.-He possessed extensive knowledge, but wanted that intrepidity of mind that was necessary to characterize a great statesman.
The people claimed the sovereign power, and they received it. The rich demanded offices and dignities.-The citizens were divided into four classes according to the measure of their wealth. To the three first classes belonged the offices, but the fourth class were more numerous than all the others, had an equal right of sufferage [suffrage], and consequently decided every question.
Solon introduced a Senate consisting of 400, which was afterwards increased to five, and even to 600, in which body all measures must originate and undergo a diecussion [discussion] before they could be brought before the people.
He had a court called the court of Areopagus to whom he committed the guardianship of the laws and the power of enforcing them. This may properly be styled their judicary [judiciary]. This court and the senate operated as a check on the popular assemblies. But notwithstanding, these checks, demagogues never failed to corrupt the popular will, to whom the ultimate decision was referred, and turn it to their own advantage.
The Athenian laws relating to debtors were mild and equitable, and so were those regulating the treatment of slaves.
One most iniquitous and absurd peculiarity of the Athenian government was the practice of ostracism as it was called which consisted, in a ballot of all the citizens, on which each wrote down the name of such individual, as he thought most obnoxious to censure; the person thus marked out by the greatest number of voices, though accused
of no crime, was banished for ten years.
This law, as may readily be supposed, gave every factious demagogue an opportunity to inflame the public mind against some of the most virtuous citizens, who stood, or whom they fancied stood in their way, and their treatment towards them looked like base ingratitude.
The manners of the Athenians formed a striking contrast with the Lacedemonians. The Athenians cultivated the arts, but the Lacedemonians despised the arts and all who cultivated them.
The Athenians cultivated peace, and aimed at the refined enjoyment of civilized life. Sparta was strictly a military establishment. Luxury was the character of the Athenian, and frugality of the Spartan. Both were zealous of their liberties and both were equally brave in war The courage of the Spartan sprang from constitutional ferocity; that of the Athenian from a principle of honor.
The Spartan government acquired solidity, while the rest of Greece was torn by domestic factions.
Athens passed through the vicissitudes of war and peace monarchy and democracy, till it was involved in a war with Persia.-This will end our extracts from history, passing over many important events, we intended to bring our notes down through ancient, to the commencement of modern history, the fall of the Western empire of the Romans and the subjugation of Italy by the Lombards, but we close.
To the inhabitants of Milton and Palmyra, Portage county Ohio:
Having learned from a respectable source that rumors were afloat and had gained some credence in your towns, that were derogatory to the characters of Joseph Smith Jr. and the family of Sidney Rigdon We therefore deemed it our duty to say in defence [defense] of injured innocence, that we have the best of reasons for saying that the reports to which we have alluded, are without any foundation in truth. Since our acquaintance with J. Smith Jr. there has been the strongest ties of friendship existing between himself and S. Rigdon. And we hazard nothing in saying, were those reports true that must have originated in your vicinity, the bonds of friendship would have been severed forever between them. We are fully sensible, and are willing, as far as the character of J.-Smith Jr. is concerned, (his enemies themselves in this place being judges) to pronounce the whole a sheer fabrication.
Relative to the family of Sidney Rigdon, we have to say, that it is large, consisting mostly of females, young innocent, unsuspecting, without reproach and for ought we know, above suspicion.-Ed.
SYNOPSIS OF THE CURRENT NEWS OF THE DAY.
The foreign money market is getting a little more easy than it has been, and it is to be hoped the relief will be permanent. Some fears are entertained, however, that the present pressure in the money affairs of this country will prevent the American Merchants from ordering as heavy bills of goods as usual, and thereby indirectly throw some of their operatives out of employ.
It is expected that the cotton growers in the Southern States will be able to take up the drafts drawn on the American houses in England and in so doing prevent so great a draw of the precious metals as was anticipated. The cotton crop it is said, looks promising.
The sentiments in the Presidents Message relative to the relief that may be afforded by congress its present session, have cast a gloom over some of the fond anticipations of many commercial men, while there are others who receive it with a smile, of approbation.
From the returns of elections recently held, it appears that the popularity of the present ruling party in the national legislature, is rather on the wane. If something be done at the present session of Congress, that will afford relief or even promise it, (we mean that which is sound judicious & permanent) to the money market of our country, the administration party will very soon retrieve all that it has lost, and become diservedly [deservedly] popular.
Bread stuffs of all kinds are a shade lower than they were a few weeks since, but are yet high considering the quantity raised and the scarcity of money to purchase them.
The crops throughout the States are generally good as far as we have correctly ascertained. Vegetation has not yet suffered by frost in this section, and present appearances warrant us in the belief that the corn crops as well as all others, that depend on a long season to bring them to maturity, will not suffer.
Surely the lord is bountiful notwithstanding man's ingratitude.
We had almost forgotten to mention that recent accounts from Sicily and Naples, warrant us in saying that the cholera rages there to an alarming degree.
War rages in some parts of our world so that the destroyer is still among the works of God. "Ambition and pestilence seem deputed by death to do the work of age and toss him twice ten thousand at a meal."
Messenger and Advocate.
W. A. COWDERY, Editor.
KIRTLAND, OHIO, SEPT. 1837.
A book has recently been put into our hands by elder P. P. Pratt, perporting [purporting] to be a voice of warning and instruction to all people. We have read his preface, and about one hundred and forty pages of his book. We find it written in a style peculiar to the author, not eloquent but without ambiguity, strong, bold, and expressive.
From reading the work now before us, one would readily conclude the author to be much more accustomed to extemporaneous, than written discourses.
We can discover an evident improvement in style as we proceed in the review of the work.
The book is divided into chapters on different subjects, and yet so connected as to present, at once a concatenation of reasoning, on the one, all important subject, religion, evincive at the same time, of a mind laboring for the truth, closly [closely] trained to biblical reading, discriminating, retentive, making deductions, and conclusions from premises, which, few, perhaps, can gainsay or successfully resist.
The first chapter occupies nearly fifty pages, and is on the subject of prophecy already fulfiled [fulfilled].
The author in this chapter, brings forward the outlines or leading features of nearly all the prophetic writings, penned in what are commonly denominated the old testament scriptures, that are already fulfilled, proving the literal fulfilment [fulfillment] from scripture testimony. He shows very conclusively, not only the literal fulfilment [fulfillment] of scripture prophesy, from scripture testimony, but from profane history, which is read and received without controversy.
Our author reasons from analogy drawing inferences and conclusions from the nature and character of God, his manifest good will to man, as shown in all the divine communications; that the sole, or at least, apparent object of all revelation, all prophecy, is the benefit, the salvation of man. Speaking of prophecy, that he may be suitably impressed with the nature and character of God, and of the great and grand events that are to transpire in unborn time, and the effect, a belief or disbelief of the truth, these prophecies will have on the human family: he shows their entire uselessness, unless they express what they purport to express, and that they are no revelations unless they can be understood literally in the language in which they are written.
The second chapter, is on the subject of prophecy yet to be fulfilled.-
Our author has occupied about forty pages in this chapter, bringing to view sometimes, in a condensed form, some of the important events spoken of by the ancient prophets, and sometimes they are brought forward singly. In bringing to view these sublime accounts, our author has not shunned to declare his own sentiments, but at suitable periods has introduced them and enforced them, drawing inferences from just premises, and arriving at conclusions from a logical train of reasoning, that few, very few, will be able to satisfactorially [satisfactorily] disprove.
He speaks of the modern mode of interpreting the prophecies, by spiritualizing, in a style not to say vulgar, rude, or ridiculous, but clear, conclusive and in some instances, bordering on severity. He attributes the diversity of sentiments that obtain, on religious subjects, to an entire lack of the Holy Ghost, that spirit, that leads into all truth, and full scope being given to spiritualizing, or each sect and party putting such a construction upon the prophecies and upon the scriptures generally,
as suits his own purposes or feelings, without reference to the meaning of words, or the construction of the language in which the scriptures are written.
He has not attempted to fortify any of his positions against the attacks of infidelity, but has addressed his reasonings, and arguments, to the moral sense of a professing christian community. He admits that most men profess to believe the bible, and yet asserts, that no man ever yet believed it without believeing [believing] and expecting that great and glorious events are to transpire in the last days. On the same page where we find this idea, he hazards an opinion that a believer in the bible, would be something, which very few men have ever seen, in this generation with all its boasted religion. We presume our anthor [author], in this last assertion, means, to speak comparitively [comparatively], for we have no doubt, he believes in the literal fulfilment [fulfillment] of the prophecies as much as in the events that have already transpired, and are numbered among things that have been. It is truly, as he has said, a great disgrace not to believe the bible, but it is surely a greater one, to believe in its literal fulfilment [fulfillment], or that the great things therin [therein] recorded as predictions, will surely come to pass. He attributes the persecution he has received, and still receives, to his firm belief and diligent teaching, the plain legitimate meaning of the scriptures.
In the second chapter, of which we are now speaking, he treats of the gathering of Israel, and cites some of the more prominent passages, on the subject, from among the different ancient prophets, in a way that it would seem that one must be deaf to the voice of reason and common sense, not to conclude, that Israel is yet to be gathered. Connected with this subject, is that of revelation, miracles and the gifts of the gospel, under the renewal of the covenant; and the confering [conferring] of the priesthood, the only proper authority, through which spiritual gifts are received and conferred. He treats the idea as a preposterous one, that the great events that are to transpire, will ever transpire, without miracles, signs and wonders, therefore, the creeds, crafts, and doctrines of men will utterly fail.
The third chapter comprizes [comprises] about twenty five pages and is on the subject of the kingdom of God. It speaks of the powers, blessings and privileges of the kingdom of God, as being peculiar to itself, and diverse from all other kingdoms, not only so, but such as no other kingdom or people except the people of that kingdom, ever can, or ever will, enjoy. When speaking of the kingdom of God, he wishes it distinctly understood, that he means his organized kingdom on the earth.
He mentions four things as indispensible [indispensable] to constitute a kingdom, either in heaven or on the earth. First there must be a king: second, officers commissioned and duly qualified, to execute the laws of the king: third, a code of laws by which the citizens are governed; and fourthly subjects who are governed. He takes a cursory view of the setting up of the kingdom of God on earth in the apostle's days, and then speaks of the effects produced by it, as well on those who embraced it, as on those among whom they dwelt. -It is plain from the transactions of the apostles, during that eventful period, that the principles, ordinances and precepts of those eminent servants of the Most High, were their ruling motives of action, and swelled the tide of enmity and hatred that existed, and eventually produced their martyrdom.
The fourth chapter contains something less than twenty pages, and is on the subject of the book of Mormon, and the origin of the American Indians.-Our author gives a succinct account of the place where, and the time when, the Book of Mormon was introduced to the world and urged upon it as a sacred record. He speaks of the testimony of the witnesses to its divine authenticity, and its perfect agreement in principle, with the leading features of the old and new testament.
Speaking of the Aborigines of America, he makes it appear pretty plausibly, that they are no less than the literal deacendants [descendants] of Ephraim, and will eventually believe and embrace the gospel. The children of Ephraim and Judah will unite in the gathering of Israel. He speaks also of the effects of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon on those who believe and embrace it as a sacred record, making it appear very conclusively that they are in no wise dissimilar to the effects of the gospel, in the days of the apostles.
In this chapter he incidentally touches upon the power and authority of the priesthood; showing plainly without this power and this authorty [authority], none are authorized to preach, and none need expect the gifts of the gospel as anciently enjoyed without the same priesthood.
The fifth chapter, purports to be a proclamation and covers some seven or eight pages only, but we have not yet read it through, therefore we are not prepared to speak of its merits or demerits.
The sixth chapter purports, from the heading of it, to speak of the resurrection of the saints, and the restoration of all things spoken by the prophets.
The seventh chapter speaks of the dealings of God with all nations in regard to revelation.
The eighth, and closing chapter purports to exhibit a contrast between the doctrine of Christ, and the false doctrines of the nineteenth century.
These four last mentioned chapters we have not read, therefore, we could not speak positively or definitely, concerning them, but, as we remarked in the first part of our review, their was an evident improvement both in matter and manner, as our author progressed in the task. We think, therefore, we hazard nothing in saying that the book is richly worth its cost, and that the author has manifested a taste and a judgement [judgment] in scripture reading, which few possess. The book, we believe to be worthy of a candid perusal and the talent of the author to the patronage of a generous public.
Every period of man's existence is marked with some event differing from others of his life, and peculiar to itself and to the time and circnmstance [circumstance] under which it occurred. The little minutiæ of a man's life, however unimportant to others, constitute links in the chain of events, that in the divine mind, stamp him with infamy, or fix on him the seal of apdrobation [approbation]. Man in the private walks of life may pursue the paths of virtue and peace, worship the God who made him in sincerity and truth, go down to the grave in peace, and almost unknown, and his posterity rise up and call him blessed. But not so the man that takes upon him the conducting of a public periodical, however innocent, however pure he may be. His motives are scanned, his intentions sometimes perverted and his virtues assailed, but in the main he has little cause of complaint. He will be censured, perhaps, when he least deserves it in his own estimation, and praised when he merits rebuke: but there is one other consideration that detracts from the sympathy which at first view he seems to merit: He, by his voluntary consent has placed himself before the public and submitted his happiness to the caprice of a multitude of individuals, each and every one of whom, he could never hope to please.
The editorial charge of the Messenger and Advocate has rested more or less on us for a period of sixteen months past, but nominally it has rested solely on us, but eight months. It is useless to say we entered with diffidence and distrust of our own abilities, upon the duties of the station we now resign.
Although our head began to be silvered o'er with age, we had not the benefit of experience like some of our poedecessors [predecessors], in this employment.-The little talent we possessed, had been cultivated for one of the liberal professions, to know the vis medica trix naturæ, and learn the modus operandi of materia medica on the human system. Therefore under circumstances thus unpropitious, we now resign our charge with as little censure, and less regret, than we could have reasonably hoped we should when we assumed the important trust.
We had one hope on which we relied when we entered upon the duties of our new calling: (viz.) that by diligence and perseverance we should overcome many of the minor obstacles that presented themselves before us, and contribute our share in promoting the great cause for which this periodical was established. How far we have succeeded, and our hopes been realized, is not for us to say; time only will determine it.
We have not at all times seduously [sedulously], pursued the plan we first marked out for ourselves, in point of diligence and assiduity, but we feel that we have, at no time shrunk with sluggish indifference, from the responsibility or duty of our station. Our time and talents have been put in requisition, and our most ardent desires are, that the saints and others, should derive a benefit commensurate
at least, with the exertions we have made to do them good.
The lapse of time since we commenced, has seemed almost imperceptible, yet when we reflect, we know of a truth months and seasons have rolled away into that vast ocean of eternity from whence there is no return. We are daily and hourly admonished of this fact, not only from the increasing dimness of our sight, the growing flaccidity of our muscles, the tottering weakness of our limbs, but the yellow autumnal hue of all surrounding nature.
A few short months, sometimes produce radical changes in the history of human affairs, and form epochs in the annals of time which are never to be forgotten. The time recently passed and now passing, is marked with no peculiarity in the religious world, only that sects and parties are divided and dividing, with the hate and animosity peculiar to religious bigots and the blinded devotees of party zeal. A combination of causes has contributed to increase the strife, and fan the flame of discord and disunion among them. The infidel has doubtless laughed at the folly of such religionists as, through party rage and discontent, have been biting and devouring each other. Notwithstanding all the fears of the pious worshiper [worshipper], the forebodings of the ignorant ones, or the slow moving finger of scorn pointed by the infidel: truth is mighty and will prevail. The faithful servants of the Most High in the East, West, North and South are proclaiming the words of life and salvation, and the honest and unprejudiced, lend a listening ear, so that we can truly say "the word of God grows & multiplies."
We are aware there are honest differences of opinion in religion as well as politics; and there are conflicting interests in all communities, and every consideration that ought to actuate an individual occupying the station we are now about to resign, urges him to use all he may have of talent, all he may have of influence, all he may have of weight of character, to calm unruly passions, ally dissensions and restore peace, at the same time, he should not compromise the dignity and honor of a man of God, nor sacrifice the cause of truth. Peace is desireable [desirable], but should never be sought at the expense of truth. The peacemaker shall be called the child of God, but no peace will be durable, nor any happiness lasting, that is not based upon truth and righteousness. He who caters for the public should be doubly guarded in all he spreads before the eye of his readers. He should realize that extemporaneous praise or censure, salute the ear, they are words, and words are wind which soon passes away and is forgotten. But not so with his productions, they are spread out before the public, they remain to be seen when the sensorium that matured them, has ceased to combine and compare. They are become matter of history, and numbered among things which have been; and still we can look on them and they, as if by the power of magic, are present with all the train of reflections that produced them. With these views and under these circumstances, with our humble talent, we had no just right to expect we should escape censure.
We are well aware that the wise and good, as well as the crafty sycophant, in passing the ordeal of public opinion, feel the lash of censure or the stroke of keen rebuke. If vice, immorality and crime, are passed over with impunity, virtue stands aghast and abashed, hiding her head with shame. If religion, truth and virtue occupy the foreground, then all the votaries of vice and crime are ready to cry out away with him!-crucify him! We can truly say then, that our object has been to do the greatest possible good, with the least possible evil, reckless of consequences to ourselves. How far we have succeeded, God only knows, time alone can disclose the secret to us, and to our fellow mortals. He who knows our heart, knows that we entered upon our charge with (as we have before remarked,) diffidence and distrust of our own abilities, and now as we are to resign it, if we could flatter ourselves that we had done well, if our heavenly Father approbated our labors, we should rejoice that we had done some good, that we had intensely pursued the object at which we aimed in the beginning, and that the world would be the better that we have lived in it. But if we have done but indifferently well, and pleased but few, it is all with our weak capacity, we had any just right to expect; and if we have failed entirely, we mourn not that our lot is hard, for it is no harder, and we had no right
to expect any thing better, in the issue than frequently happens to better men than ourselves.
To our readers who differ from us in matters of religion we say, we have at no time since the commencement of our editorial career, dipped our pen in gall to wound your feelings or mar your peace, although we differ from you, it does not necessarily follow that we are your enemies. We have endeavored to advocate the truth as we understood it and to persuade others to believe and embrace it.
"We have endeavored, nothing to exaggerate, or to set down ought in malice."
But if at any time we have done so either intentionally or inadvertantly [inadvertently], we sincerely ask pardon.
If in the course of our editorial charge, we have unjustly impaired the confidence of our brethren, in the saints in this place, so that the poor and innocent have suffered and the progress of the work of the Lord been retarded, we most sincerely and deeply deplore it. But if on the contrary the warnings we have given, have prevented more ruin, regret and misery, than a natural, unsuspecting or unjust confidence would have produced, so that more good than evil has been the result, and the good shall finally preponderate in eternity, we trust the wise, the good, the philrnthropic [philanthropic] here and elsewhere, (partial evil to the contrary notwithstanding,) will duly appreciate our labors and approbate our course.
Of God and our brethren we sincerely ask pardon for all errors of principle, we may have in inculcated: and we most sincerely hope, they with ourselves will in future be blessed with a greater portion of that Spirit which leads into all truth, and be disposed in our hearts to embrace it and reject error. But we crave no pardon, we ask no forgiveness, for having promulgated the truth, however reprehensible it may have been to the wicked and unbelieving. Truth we believe, can never operate to the injury of a good cause, for the simple reason, that such a cause must have truth for its basis, and truth for its superstructure. We will further add, what we deem an axiom that truth, however inconsistent or irreconcilable it may appear, to other truth, will never counteract, but run parallel with other truth on which a proposition rests or a principle is based. Therefore, should be eagerly sought by all who cater for the public, regardless of consequences to themselves.
We consider the conductor of a religious periodical under as much stronger obligations to seek after and publish the truth, as eternity is longer than any portion of time of which we have any conception, or as the soul is more valuable than the mortal tenement in which it now dwells.
Once more and we have done, perhaps forever: We ask pardon of all we have unjustly injured and pray God to forgive us. We think we are willing to forgive as we hope to be forgiven. We are willing that time or eternity should disclose the motives from which we have acted, and to leave the result of our labors, to him who overrules all for his own glory. May the Lord add his blessing to our feeble labors; may they yet do the saints good, may the wicked forsake his way and embrace the truth, and we all meet in the presence of our God in peace.
To our successor in the editorial chair we say, though he may have more of talent, more of popularity than we possess, more will justly be required of him, all his talents, all his popularity, will have to be put in requisition to manage the ship across the tempestuous sea that lies before him. We most ardently wish him a prosperous voyage and safe mooring in the haven of everlasting rest.
To his readers we say show your faith by your works? pray for him in secret, and pay him in public, and then shall your works prove your faith and both be made perfect and be counted to you for righteousness. Farewell.
W. A. COWDERY.
Kirtland, Sept. 1837.
For a new paper, to be published at Kirtland, Geauga co. Ohio, called the
OF THE CHURCH OF LATTER
As the Latter Day Saints Messenger and Advocate, published at the above place, is to be closed with the present volume which closes in the month of September, and as the publishers
of that paper have declined publishing any more for the present, at least. A large body of the elders of the church of Latter Day Saints have united and rented the printing establishment, for the purpose of publishing a paper with the above title.
This paper is intended to be a vehicle of communication for all the elders of the church of Latter Day Saints, through which they can communicate to others, all things pertaining to their mission, and calling as servants of the living God, and messengers of righteousness to the nations among whom they are sent. As there have been many desires expressed by the elders of said church, to have a periodical of this kind published; it is hoped that the present proposals will meet with their most unqualified approbation, and will find a patron and a friend in all those into whose hands it comes.
This paper is intended to occupy vacant ground, as there is no other periodical with which we are acquainted, that presents itself in the attitude to the public, that this does. The church of the Latter Day Saints is increasing very rapidly, perhaps more so at this time considering its circumstances, than any other society in our country. The number of elders amounts to many hundreds, and are constantly increasing: and out of the number there are many who are respectable in point of both learning and talents, and some of the first order.
The great excitement which has been produced by the coming forth of this church; the unparalleled rapidity of its growth; the excessive rage of persecution against it by all sects and parties, together with the wide range it is destined to take among the nations, form at once a source of interest peculiar to itself. And every thing pertaining to either its prosperity or adversity, its advance or decline, its favorable or unfavorable reception among the nations, where its doctrines are promulgated, and where it is destined to present the majesty of its truth in formidable array against the errors and false doctrine of the age, is now, and will be more abundantly hereafter, sought with an eagerness by both friends and foes, in this country, and elsewhere, unknown, since the days that the former apostles proclaimed the same doctrine among all the nations of the world.
Already has the sound gone forth into every State of the Union, and messengers sent by the church have safely (as appears by letters,) arrived at Liverpool, [England,] from whom accounts are expected continually, making known the progress of the work in the old world.
What proposals then, could be made to an inquiring public better calculated to gratify their desires than a periodical of this kind; designed to give information on the very points where information is desired, and to satisfy the unceasing anxiety excited by reason of the progress of the church.
It may be confidently expected, that this paper will be enriched with important intelligence from the eastern as well as the western continent, and at no very remote period we may anticipate with great assurance, to see its columns abounding with matter of deep interest, from all nations in the civilized world. It will be a rich repast, to ladies and gentlemen, of all religions, or to those who profess none; inasmuch as the contributers [contributors] to this paper will be in every part of the world, and thereby afford facilities to obtain information through its columns, equal, if not superior to any in the union. The great events of nations, tending to that point of consumation [consummation] spoken of by all the holy prophets since the world began, will be diligently sought for, and correctly presented.
This paper is therefore intended to be a counter part to this lying mania, which seems to pervade all ranks of men, when engaged to try to stop the progress of truth, and prevent the kingdom of God from spreading, by affording the traveling elders an opportunity of presenting the truth to the public, in relation to the events, and occurrences which transpire within the reach of their observation, and which occur with, and by themselves, while they are traveling and proclaiming the gospel, in obedience to the high and holy calling wherewith God has called them.
It becomes a duty not to be dispensed with, that the saints of the last days owe to themselves, and their children, as well as the public in general, to use all lawful endeavors to disabuse the public mind in relation to the affairs of the kingdom of God, which has been committed to them; so that as far as in them lies, they will guard the public
against the abuses which are heaped upon them, by reason of a spirit of persecution which rages most unhallowedly against the truth.
It has been the usage of all saints in every age as far as our knowledge extends, to transmit to succeeding generations an account of their religion, and a history of their travels, and of the reception which they met with in the nations, among whom they executed their divine commission. With an account of their travels, both by sea and land, among strangers and acquaintances; and these accounts stand as an armed man, guarding both their characters, and religion, against the aspersions of foul calumniaters [calumniators], and base slanderers.
May we not ask, What saved the name of the Waldenses, from being handed down to all generations with infamy and contempt? The answer is their own writings. Had it not have been for the exertions which they used, to transmit to posterity, a true account of themselves; their enemies would have left the world in perfect ignorance, of both their character and religion; and stamped their name with as much infamy, as they exercised cruelty upon their persons: and the name of Peter Waldo, would have been associated with every thing that was base and abominable. But the course which they took to be their own historians, has turned this infamy upon the heads of their enemies, and most effectually redeemed themselves from under the power of their slanderers; until their memory is had with reverence among all men, whose approbation is worth having.
It is equally as possible for the saints of these days, to guard themselves against the abuses of a corrupt people, and the rage of an unrighteous priesthood, against whom they have to contend; as it was for those to do so, who have gone before them.
In view then to obtain objects so laudable, and so desirable, this paper is offered to the public. In its success and prosperity, we presume all the elders will feel suitable interest; for it is through this medium, that they have an opportunity offered them, of handing down to their children, and their children's children, as well as to all others who are disposed to read, an account of their labors and sufferings, the success and discouragements they may meet, through the course of their ministry in the world, and be able to give and receive information from every part of the world, and thereby enrichen their own minds with much useful knowledge, as well as bestow great light on the world.
In proportion as the church increases, and the knowledge of the gospel spreads abroad upon the face of the earth; in the same proportion our desires are increased to know how it fares with the servants of God who are employed in this good work of gathering the saints together, out of all tongues, languages, and kindreds, under heaven.
For instance, since our missionaries started for England, how many deep anxieties are felt in the minds of many, that they never felt before, to know how they will be received, and what will be the success of their mission; and this by persons who never saw any of the individuals who have gone. How grateful then would a letter be from any of them, making its appearance in the Journal, by this means satisfying the desires of all at once, which could not be done in any other way, but by great expense and great waste of time.
How indispensable then is a periodical of this kind to the saints. It is essential to their pease [peace] and happiness as saints. It will always be hailed as a welcome messenger to the habitation of the truly pious. It will be cherished by the saint of God as a kind friend come to allay his anxieties, and to open a new field for contemplation and prayer: to heighten his devotion by making him acquainted more extensively with the works of God; and to calm his mind in the hour of affliction, by making him acquainted with the sufferings, and yet the patience and perseverance, of others of his brethren in tribulation.
How many that would be otherwise slothful, will be provoked to good works, by hearing of the zeal, and of the great exertions of others, in extending the work of God.
In a word then, let every saint lay to a helping hand, use his or her influence to get subscribers, and obtain as extensive a circulation for the paper as possible, so that it may be sustained, and there by the cause of God be advanced.
It is expected that all the saints into
whose hands this prospectus comes, will feel themselves authorized to get all the subscribers they can, and every person getting ten new subscribers and forwarding the money shall have the eleventh gratis.
The JOURNAL will be edited by Joseph Smith Jun. and printed once a month on a superroyal sheet, and folded in form for binding, at one dollar a year in advance: and should the subscription list justify, it will soon be published semi-monthly at two dollars a year.
The first number will be issued in October next, and will be forwarded to the subscribers of the Messenger and Advocate, unless they say to the contrary.
All letters whether for publication or other purposes, sent to the office must be directed to DON C. SMITH, and the postage -> PAID, <-----or they will not be attended too.
Done by the request and in behalf of the elders.
N. B. The elders sending letters for publication, will prepare them for the press so as to save expense.
Minutes of a conference of elders and members of the church of Latter Day Saints, held in Shinston, Harrison Co. Va. commencing Friday, August 18, 1837.
The elders met at 10 o'clock on Friday morning at the house of Bro. J. Harvey and organized the conference. Eld. John Lyon was chosen President Pro Tem, and M. F. Cowdery was appointed Clerk.
It was thought proper that the business of the conference, and the enquiring [inquiring] into the affairs of the church be delayed until Monday, August 21st, and a motion was carried to that effect.
At 12 o'clock the elders assembled at a free meeting house in Shinston, where they were met by elder Samuel James, whose official standing in the church made it necessary for him to act as President of the Conference.
At 2 o'clock P. M. a discourse was delivered by elder G. A. Smith.
On Saturday discourses were delivered by elders, L. Barns and F. G. Bishop.
On the Sabbath, elders, S. James, F. G. Bishop and L. Barns addressed the people; and elders, Elias Smith, S. Foster, M. F. Cowdery and Jesse Turpin, Priest, bore testimony to the truths of the gospel as they have come forth in this day and generation.
A congregation of 10 or 12 hundred persons, assembled who seemed to be anxious to hear something concerning the doctrines and principles of the gospel, as they are verily believed by us.
On Monday morning the elders and members met at the house of Bro. A. Boggess to transact the business of the conference.
After prayer the case of Bro. Allen Martin was laid before the council.-Bro. Martin had requested to withdraw from the church aud [and] the council granted his request.
It appeared from the statements of elder John Lyon-Presiding elder of the church, that there had been 29 persons baptized into the church previous to the conference, two having before removed from the place.
It was thought proper by some of the elders present that Bro. W. Hoopes from Ohio, should be ordained a Priest, and after considering the matter, the council voted that he should be ordained.
Elder F. G. Bishop then stated that in his travels this season he passed through the town of Beaver, Pa. found a small church of about 20 members, also an elder residing among them, preached several sermons and baptized 8 persons.
Elder S. James stated that there were 5 members in Washington Co. Pa. in good standing.
Elder L. Barns stated that he had been laboring mostly in Columblana Co. O. through the season, that there was a church in that county of 37 members, 7 having been added since the last conference. Also that on his way here, he found 3 members in Allegany Town, Pa. in good standing for ought he knew.
The remainder of the day, and most of the day Tuesday was spent in hearing exhortations and receiving advice and instruction from one another, and also in hearing concerning the faith and determinations of the elders and members present. The Sacrament was also administered. Seven were added to the church by baptism between the opening and close of the conference.
On Tuesday evening the conference adjourned.
SAMUEL JAMES Prest.
M. F. COWDERY Clerk.
Kirtland Sept. 9th, 1837.
Pursuant to previous notice, certain of the Presidents and high priests of the church of Latter Day Saints in this place, met in the house of the Lord, and proceeded to ordain and organize the high council recently chosen.
Elder Jared Carter was chosen to be president of the council and Phineas Richards scribe.
The following persons were ordained to the office of high counselors, (viz:) Asahel Smith, Mahew Hillman, David Dort, Harlow Redfield, William Marks and Phineas Richards.
The numbers and order of the counselors, are as follows (viz.)
JOHN P. GREEN 1
ASAHEL SMITH 2
SAMUEL H. SMITH 3
MAHEW HILLMAN 4
WILLIAM MARKS 5
NOAH PACKARD 6
OLIVER GRANCER 7
DAVID DORT 8
JARED CARTER 9
PHINEAS RICHARDS 10
HENRY G. SHERWOOD 11
HARLOW REDFIELD 12
A charge was preferred by elder N. Haskins before the council while yet in session, against a male and female member of this church for unlawful matrimony, for deceiving, and for unchristian-like conduct.-The contents in the charge were considered as sustained by testimony and the hand of fellowship was withdrawn from them.
A Conference will be held in the town of Howard, Steuben Co. N. Y. commencing on the first Friday of December, for the benefit of the elders traveling East; the elders will do well to call.
N. B. Will the brethren of Howard, Steuben, please make some arrangements for the above appointment.
Whereas there was a small mistake in the form of a certificate for the High Priests in the May Messenger and Advocate, we have inserted the entire Form below, as it should be.
This certifies that ----------------- is a member of the quorum of High Priests, organized in Kirtland according to the order of the church of the Latter Day Saints, is in good standing, is fully authorized to set in order churches abroad and preside in all Councils according to the law regulating the High Priest Hood, to adjust differences and settle difficulties in the same, where God in his Providence may call him.
Done by order and in behalf of the quorum.
DON C. SMITH Pres't.
GIDEON H. CARTER, }
WARRN A. COWDERY, } Counselors.
THOMAS BURDICK, Secretary
THE LIMITED INDEX ON PP. 575-576 HAS BEEN OMITTED IN THIS ELECTRONIC VERSION.
MARRIED, on the first inst. by Elder Nathan Haskins, Mr. WILLIAM HAWKES to Miss DRUSILLA PHELPS, both of this town.
Also on the 10th Inst. by O Cowdery Esq. Mr. TRUMAN JACKSON to Miss. ANN BROWN, both of this place.
MESSENGER AND STAR,
Bound together, or in separate volumes can be had at this office.
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