Messenger and Advocate/2/6
|←Number 5|| Messenger and Advocate
Volume 2, Number 6
|Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: Messenger and Advocate Vol. 2
Note: Some headings and bracketed texts are editorial and not part of the original text.
|LATTER DAY SAINTS'|
|MESSENGER AND ADVOCATE|
|Volume II. No. 6.]||KIRTLAND, OHIO, MARCH, 1836.||[Whole No. 18.|
Concaut Feb. 29th 1836.
Mr. Sidney Rigdon,
Sir, yours of Dec. 1835 was duly received, and has been candidly, and I think impartially examined, and as the subject of religion is one of infinit[e] importance, so it demands our most serious and prayerful consideration. To err on some minor points, is but the fruits of our imperfect judgments, but to be mistaken in some of the cardinal points of religion, may involve us in a dilemma awful in its nature, & eternal in its consequences, Hence, to know God's will, demands our most serious enquiry, and to do it calls for the most diligent application of all our powers.
While I acknowledge the kind spirit in which you have been pleased to notice my letter to my brother Ebenezer, I indulge the fond hope, that in the same spirit of christian kindness, you will answer two or three more of my interrogatories, founded on some remarks in your letter, remarks, which to me are new, and containing ideas of vast importance,-Ideas, on which, I have not been in the habit of reflecting, yet, ideas which I wish not to receive, or reject, without candidly examining. My queries, Sir, were originated by your remark "that the Gospel as proclaimed by the Savior and his Apostles, and as written in the new testament has disappeared."-You will therefore confer a signal favor on me, and satisfy my inquiring mind, by giving a definite answer to the following interrogatories. 1. What is the Gospel? Is what is now written in the New Testament the Gospel? Is it the whole Gospel? 2. Where is the Gospel? 3. Have the Mormons got the Gospel? Have they got the whole Gospel?
Dear Sir, as those queries engross my whole thoughts on this interesting topic, I hope you will indulge me with an explicit answer to each, when I pledge myself to notice candidly, your whole communication.
Hoping that this correspondence may result in God's glory, and our best interest, I subscribe myself.
Yours in Christian kindness,
S. Rigdon. O. Barr.
Kirtland, March, 1836.
Mr. O. Barr,
Sir:—Yours of February has come to hand by which you request me to answer a number of questions; this is something which I did not expect, as I intended in mine to you to be explicit as to have rendered your interrogatories unnecessary, particularly, on the points on which you have required information, in this, it appears by yours, I have failed.
You ask me, "What is the gospel?" In answering this question I think I will render it unnecessary to give a formal answer to the rest of your queries, as I shall answer them all by answering this one.
I answer then in the language of the New Testament Romans I:10, "The gospel is the power of God unto salvation, to all that believe:" or in other words, it is God's scheme of saving men, and this scheme is made known in the New Testament, which scheme of things (or gospel) consists in putting men in possession of the power of God; for it is God's power to save men, and how is it God's power unto salvation? Answer by putting those who receive it into possession of the power of God. Hence says the Savior when he commissioned the apostles at Jerusalem to preach the gospel. These signs shall follow them that believe, that is the power of God shall rest upon them. When Peter proclaimed the gospel on the day of pentecost; after he told the Jews that they must repent and be baptised for the remission of sins, he told them that they should receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, and by that, they were to prophecy, dream dreams, see visions &c. plainly showing that they were to be made partakes of the power of God unto salvation.
And when the apostles went forth from Jerusalem to proclaim the gospel, those who received it at their hand, or from their mouth spake with tongues, and prophesied, shewing to all that they had received of the power of God.
In the 12th chapter of the 1st epistle to the Corinthians the apostle Paul sets this so plainly before the mind, that
none need mistake, he says in the 28th verse "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers; after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues."
Such then was the way by which God administered his power to the children of men as set forth in the New Testament, and such was the gospel proclaimed by those commissioned by the Savior himself, and this, and this only is the order of things set forth in the New Testament. When I say that this order of things has disappeared from among men, I say no more than you and all the protestant world says also; and if this is not the gospel order? pray what is it? and if it is the gospel order, you agree with me that is has disappeared.
The whole matter then comes to this, that the gospel as set forth in the New Testament, is an order of things through which men were made partakers of the power of God while in the flesh, and that by one man administering to another by the authority of God in the name of Jesus Christ, this is what is called the gospel in the New Testament. It was enjoyed by the ministry of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists &c. and through the ministry of these men the power of God was received; they administered to the believers by the laying on of the hands, and the power of God attended, and thus men in days of old received the power of God unto salvation, and it was because of this, that the gospel is called the power of God unto salvation.
You ask if we have the gospel, and where is the gospel?
I answer that the power of administering in the name of the Lord Jesus to men through which they were made partakers of the power of God, was never enjoyed by any of the human family but by the revelation of Jesus Christ as Paul got it, if we have got the gospel that is the way we have got it, and this power we profess to have, and we obtained it by the ministering of Holy Messengers.
Thus I have answered your queries in as few words as possible in order to cut the work short in righteousness.
I shall await you reply to my whole communication, hoping I shall not have to wait long.
Believe me, Yours in
the best of feelings,
Dedication of the Kirtland Temple
Kirtland, Ohio, March 27th 1836.
Previous notice having been given, the Church of the Latter Day Saints met this day in the House of the Lord to dedicate it to him. The congregation began to assemble before 8 o'clock A. M. and thronged the doors until 9, when the Presidents of the church who assisted in seating the congregation, were reluctantly compelled to order the door keepers to close the doors; every seat and aisle were crowded.—One thousand persons were now silently and solemnly waiting to hear the word of the Lord from the mouth of his servants in the sacred desk. President S. Rigdon began the services of the day, by reading the 96th and 24th Psalms. An excellent choir of singers, led by M. C. Davis sung the following Hymn:
Hymn: Ere Long the Vail
Ere long the vail will rend in twain,
The King descend with all his train;
The earth shall shake with awful fright,
And all creation feel his might.
The trump of God, it long shall sound,
And raise the nations under ground;
Throughout the vast domain of heav'n
The voice echoes, the sound is given.
Lift up your heads ye saints in peace,
The Savior comes for your release;
The day of the redeem'd has come,
The saints shall all be welcom'd home.
behold the church, it soars on high,
To meet the saints amid the sky;
To hail the King in clouds of fire,
And strike and tune th' immortal lyre.
Hosanna now the trump shall sound,
Proclaim the joys of heav'n around,
When all the saints together join,
In songs of love, and all divine.
With Enoch here we all shall meet,
And worship at Messiah's feet,
Unite our hands and hearts in love,
And reign on thrones with Christ above.
The city that was seen of old
Whose walls were jasper, and streets gold
We'll now inherit thron'd in might:
The Father and the Son's delight.
Celestial crowns we shall receive,
And glories great our God shall give,
While loud hosannas we'll proclaim,
And sound aloud the Saviors name.
Our hearts and tongues all joined in one,
A loud hosanna to proclaim,
While all the heav'ns shall shout again,
And all creation say, Amen.
President Rigdon then in an able, devout and appropriate manner, addressed the throne of Grace. The following Hymn was then sung:
Hymn: O Happy Souls Who Pray
O happy souls who pray
O happy saints who pay
- Where God appoints to hear?
- Their constant service there!
- We praise him still;
- And happy we;
- We love the way
- To Zion's hill.
No burning heats by day,
Shall take our health away,
- Nor blasts of evening air,
- If God be with us there:
- He is our sun,
- And he our shade,
- To guard the head
- By night or noon.
God is the only Lord,
With gifts his hand is stor'd:
- Our shield and our defence;
- We draw our blessings thence.
- He will bestow
- On Jacobs race,
- Pecu[l]iar grace,
- And glory too-
Sidney Rigdon's Sermon
The speaker (S. Rigdon,) selected the 8th chapter of Matthew, the 18, 19 and 20th verses from which, he proposed to address the congregation, continuing himself more closely to the 20th verse—He spoke two hours and a half in his usual, forcible and logical manner. At one time in the course of his remarks he was rather pathetic, than otherwise, which drew tears from many eyes. He was then taking a retrospective view of the toils, privations and anxieties of those who had labored upon the walls of the house to erect them. And added, there were those who had wet them with their tears, in the silent shades of night, while they were praying to the God of Heaven, to protect them, and stay the unhallowed hands of ruthless spoilers, who had uttered a prophecy when the foundation was laid, that the walls would never be reared. This was only a short digression from the main thread of his discourse, which he soon resumed.
Here it may not be improper to give a synopsis of the discourse for the satisfaction of our readers who were not privileged as we were with hearing it. The speaker assumed as a postulate, what we presume no one was disposed to deny, (viz:) that in the days of the Savior there were Synagogues, where the Jews worshipped God, and in addition to them, the splendid Temple at Jerusalem. Yet, when on a certain occasion, one proposed to follow him whithersoever he went, He though heir of all things cried out like one in the bitterness of his soul in abject poverty, The Foxes have holes, &c.—This, said the speaker, was evidence to his mind, that the Most High did not put his name there, and that he did not accept the worship of those who payed [paid] their vows and adorations there. This was evident from the fact that they would not receive him, but thrust him from them, saying, away with him, crucify him! crucify him! It was therefore abundantly evident that his spirit did not dwell in them. They were the degenerate sons of noble sires: but they had long since slain the Prophets and Seers through whom the Lord revealed himself to the children of men. They were not led by revelation, This, said the speaker, was the grand difficulty among them. Their unbelief in present revelation. He further remarked, that, their unbelief in present revelation was the means of dividing that generation into the various sects and parties that existed. They were sincere worshipers, but their worship was not required of them, nor was it acceptable to God.—The Redeemer himself who knew the hearts of all men, called them a generation of vipers. It was proof positive to his mind, that there being Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians and Essens, and all differing from each other, that they were led by the precepts and commandments of men. Each had something peculiar to himself, but all agreed in one point, (viz:) to oppose the Redeemer. So that we discover he could with the utmost propriety, exclaim, notwithstanding their synagogue and Temple worship, The foxes have holes, the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. He took occasion here to remark that such diversity of sentiment ever had, and ever would obtain when people were not led by present revelation. This brought him to the inevitable conclusion that the various sects of the pres-
ent day, from their manifesting the same spirit, rested under the same condemnation with those who were coeval with the Savior. He admitted there were many houses; many sufficiently great, built for the worship of God, but not one except this, on the face of the whole earth, that was built by divine revelation, and were it not for this, the dear Redeemer might in this day of science, this day of intelligence, this day of religion, say to those who would follow him, The foxes have holes, the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
Here his whole soul appeared to be fired with his subject. Arguments, strong and conclusive seemed almost to vie with each other for utterance. Indeed, there was no sophistry in his reasoning, no plausible hypothesis on which the whole rested, but on the contrary plain scripture facts. Therefore his deductions and inferences were logical and conclusive.
The comparison drawn between the different religious sects of ancient and modern times, was perfectly natural, and simple yet it was done in that confident, masterly manner, accompanied with those incontrovertable proofs of his position, that was directly calculated to cheer and gladden the hearts of the Saints, but to draw down the indignation of the sectarian world upon him and we have no doubt had our speaker uttered the same sentiments, with the same proof of their correctness, had there been those present that we might name, his voice would doubtless have been drowned as was that of the ancient apostle in the Athenian Temple, when his auditors cried incessantly for about two hours "Great is Diana of the Ephesians."
But to conclude, we can truly say no one unacquainted with the manner of delivery and style of our speaker can, from reading form any adequate idea of the powerful effect he is capable of producing in the minds of his hearers.: And to say on this occasion he showed himself master of his subject and did well, would be doing him injustice; to say he acquitted himself with honor or did very well, would be detracting from him real merit; and to say that he did exceeding well; would be only halting praise.
After closing his discourse he presented Joseph Smith jr. to the church as a Prophet and Seer. The Presidents of the church then all in their seats, acknowledged him as such by rising. The vote was unanimous in the affirmative.
The question was then put, and carried without a manifest dissenting sentiment to each of the different grades or quorums of church officers respectively and then to the congregation.—The following hymn was then sung:
Hymn: Now Let Us Rejoice
Now let us rejoice in the day of salvation,
No longer as strangers on earth need we roam;—
Good tidings are sounding to us and each nation,
And shortly the hour of redemption will come;
When all that was promis'd the saints will be given,
And none will molest them from morn until even,
And earth will appear as the garden of Eden,
And Jesus will say to all Israel: Come home!
We'll love one another and never dissemble,
But cease to do evil and ever be one;
And while the ungodly are fearing and tremble.
We'll watch for the day when the Savior shall come:
When all that was promis'd the saints will be given,
And none will molest them from morn until even,
And earth will appear as the garden of Eden,
And Jesus will say to all Israel: Come home!
In faith we'll rely on the arm of Jehovah,
To guide through these last days of trouble and gloom;
And after the scourges and harvest are over,
We'll rise with the just, when the Savior doth come:
Then all that was promis'd the saints will be given,
And they will be crown'd as the angel of heaven:
And earth will appear as the garden of Eden,
And Christ and his people will ever be one.
Services closed for the forenoon.
Intermission was about 15 minutes during which none left their seats except a few females, who from having left their infants with their friends, were compelled to do so to take care of them. The P. M. services commenced by singing the following hymn:
Hymn: This Earth was Once a Garden Place (Adam-ondi-Ahman)
And men did live a holy race,
- This earth was once a garden place.
- With all her glories common;
And worship Jesus face to face,
- In Adam-ondi-Ahman.
Hymn: This Earth was Once a Garden Place (Adam-ondi-Ahman) (Continued)
While Zion spread herself abroad,
- We read that Enoch walk'd with God,
- Above the power of Mammon:
And saints and angels sung aloud,
- In Adam-ondi-Ahman.
Her fame was known from east to west:
- Her land was good and greatly blest,
- Beyond old Israel's Canaan:
Her peace was great, and pure the rest
- Of Adam-ondi-Ahman.
When all the earth in glorious bloom,
- Hosanna to such days to come—
- The Savior's second comin'—
Affords the saints a holy home
- Like Adam-ondi-Ahman.
Vote to Affirm Quorums of the Church, Remarks by Joseph Smith, jr.
President J. Smith jr. then rose, and after a few preliminary remarks, presented the several Presidents of the church, then present, to the several quorums respectively, and then to the church as being equal with himself, acknowledging them to be Prophets and Seers. The vote was unanimous in the affirmative in every instance.—Each of the different quorums was presented in its turn to all the rest, and then to the church, and received and acknowledged by all the rest, in their several stations without a manife[s]t dissenting sentiment.
President J. Smith jr. then addressed the congregation in a manner calculated to instruct the understanding, rather than please the ear, and at or about the close of his remarks, he prophesied to all, that inasmuch as they would uphold these men in their several stations, alluding to the different quorums in the church, the Lord would bless them; yea, in the name of Christ, the blessings of Heaven shall be yours. And when the Lord's anointed go forth to proclaim the word, bearing testimony to this generation, if they receive it, they shall be blessed, but if not, the judgments of God will follow close upon them, until that city or that house, that rejects them, shall be left desolate. The following hymn was then sung:
Hymn: How Pleased and Blest Was I
"Come, let us seek our God to-day!"
- How pleased and blest was I,
- To hear the people cry,
And there our vows and honors pay.
- Yes, with a cheerful zeal,
- We'll haste to Zion's hill,
And walls of strength embrace thee round!
- Zion thrice happy place,
- Adorn'd with wondrous grace,
The sacred gospel's joyful sound.
- In thee our tribes appear,
- To pray, and praise, and hear
He sits for grace and judgment there:
- There David's greater Son
- Has fix'd his royal throne:
And humble souls rejoice with fear.
- He bids the saint be glad,
- He makes the sinner sad,
To bless the soul of every guest:
- May peace attend thy gate,
- And joy within thee wait,
A thousand blessings on him rest!
- The man that seeks thy peace,
- And wishes thine increase,
For here my friends and kindred dwells"
- My tongue repeats her vows,
- "Peace to this sacred house!
My soul shall ever love thee well.
- And since my glorious God
- Makes thee his blest abode,
He then offered the dedication prayer, which was as follows:
Thanks be to thy name, O Lord God of Israel, who keepest covenant and shewest mercy unto thy servants, who walk uprightly before thee with all their hearts: thou who hast commanded they servants to build an house to thy name in this place. (Kirtland.) And now thou beholdest, O Lord, that so thy servants have done, according to thy commandment. And now we ask thee, holy Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of thy bosom, in whose name alone salvation can be administered to the children of men: we ask thee, O lord, to accept of this house, the workmanship of the hands of us, thy servants, which thou didst command us to build; for thou knowest that we have done this work through great tribulation: and out of our poverty we have given of our substance to build a house to thy name, that the Son of Man might have a place to manifest himself to his people.
And as thou has said, in a revelation given unto us, calling us thy friends, saying "Call your solemn assembly, as I have commanded you; and as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom: Seek learning, even by study, and also by faith.
"Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory a house of order, a house of God: that your in comings may be in the name of the
Lord; that your out goings may be in the name of the Lord: that all your salutations may be in the name of the Lord, with uplifted hands to the Most High."
And now, holy Father, we ask thee to assist us, thy people with thy grace in calling our solemn assembly, that it may be done to thy honor, and to thy divine acceptance, and in a manner that we may be found worthy, in thy sight, to secure a fulfilment of the promises which thou hast made unto us thy people, in the revelations given unto us: that thy glory may rest down upon thy people, and upon this thy house, which we now dedicate to thee, that it may be sanctified and consecrated to be holy, and that thy holy presence may be continually in this house; and that all people who shall enter upon the threshhold [threshold] of the Lord's house may feel thy power and be constrained to acknowledge that thou hast sanctified it, and that it is thy house, a place of thy holiness.
And do thou grant, holy Father, that all those who shall worship in this house, may be taught words of wisdom out of the best books, and that they may seek learning, even by study, and also by faith; as thou hast said; and that they may grow up in thee and receive a fulness of the Holy Ghost, and be organized according to thy laws, and be prepared to obtain every needful thing: and that this house may be a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of glory, and of God, even thy house: that all the incomings of thy people, into this house, may be in the name of the Lord; that all their outgoings, from this house, may be in the name of the Lord; that all their salutations may be in the name of the Lord, with holy hands, uplifted to the Most High; and that no unclean thing shall be permitted to come into thy house to pollute it.
And when thy people transgress, any of them, they may speedily repent and return unto thee, and find favor in thy sight, and be restored to the blessings which thou hast ordained, to be poured out upon those who shall reverence thee in this thy house.
And we ask thee, holy Father, that thy servants may go forth from this house, armed with thy power, and that thy name may be upon them and thy glory be round about them, and thine angels have charge over them; and from this place they may bear exceeding great and glorious tidings, in truth, unto the ends of the earth, that they may know that this is thy work, and that thou hast put forth thy hands, to fulfil that which thou has spoken by the mouths of thy prophets concerning the last days.
We ask thee, holy Father, to establish the people that shall worship and honorable hold a name and standing in this thy house, to all generations, and for eternity, that no weapon formed against them shall prosper; that he who diggeth a pit for them shall fall into the same himself; that no combination of wickedness shall have power to rise up and prevail over thy people, upon whom thy name shall be put in this house: and if any people shall rise against this people, that thine angerbe kindled against them: and if they shall smite this people, thou wilt smite them—thou wilt fight for thy people as thou didst in the day of battle, that they may be delivered from the hands of all their enemies.
We ask thee, holy Father, to confound, and astonish, and bring to shame, and confusion, all those who have spread lying reports abroad over the world against thy servant, or servants, if they will not repent when the everlasting gospel shall be proclaimed in their ears, and that all their works may be brought to nought, and be swept away by the hail, and by the judgments, which thou wilt sent upon them in thine anger, that there may be an end to lyings and slanders against thy people: for thou knowest, O Lord, that thy servants have been innocent before thee in bearing record of thy name for which they have suffered these things; therefore we plead before thee for a full and complete deliverance from under this yoke. Break it off O Lord: break if off from the necks of thy servants, by thy power, that we may rise up in the midst of this generation and do thy work!
O Jehovah, have mercy upon this people, and as all men sin, forgive the transgressions of thy people, and let them be blotted out forever. Let the anointing of thy ministers be sealed upon them with power from on high: let it be fulfilled upon them as upon those on the day of Pentecost: let the gift of tongues be poured out upon thy
people, even cloven tongues as of fire, and the interpretation thereof. And let thy house be filled, as with a rushing mighty wind, with thy glory.
Put upon thy servants the testimony of the covenant, that when they go out and proclaim thy word, they may seal up the law, and prepare the hearts of thy saints for all those judgements thou art about to send, in thy wrath, upon the inhabitants of the earth, because of their transgressions, that thy people may not faint in the day of trouble.
And whatever city thy servants shall enter, and the people of that city receive their testimony, let thy peace and thy salvation be upon that city, that they may gather out of that city the righteous, that they may come forth to Zion, or to her stakes, the place of thine appointment, with songs of everlasting joy,—and until this be accomplished let not thy judgments fall upon that city.
And whatever city thy servants shall enter, and the people of that city receive not the testimony of thy servants, and thy servants warn them to save themselves from this untoward generation, let it be upon that city according to that which thou hast spoken, by the mouths of thy prophets, but deliver thou, O Jehovah, we beseech thee, thy servants from their hands, and cleanse them from their blood. O Lord, we delight not in the destruction of our fellow men: their souls are precious before thee; but thy word must be fulfilled:—help thy servants to say, with thy grace assisting them, thy will be done, O Lord, and not ours.
We know that thou hast spoken by the mouth of thy prophets, terrible things concerning the wicked, in the last days, that thou wilt pour out thy judgments, without measure: therefore, O Lord, deliver thy people from the calamity of the wicked; enable thy servants to seal up the law and bind up the testimony, that they may be prepared against the day of burning.
We ask thee, holy Father, to remember those who have been driven by the inhabitants of Jackson county, Missouri, from the lands of their inheritance, and break off. O Lord, this yoke of affliction, that has been put upon them. Thou knowest, O Lord, that they have been greatly oppressed, and afflicted, by wicked men, and our hearts flow out in sorrow because of their grievous burdens. O Lord, how long wilt thou suffer this people to bear this affliction, and the cries of their innocent ones to ascend up in thine ears, and their blood to come up in testimony before thee, and not make a display of thy power in their behalf?
Have mercy, O Lord, upon that wicked mob, who have driven thy people, that they may cease to spoil, that they may repent of their sins, if repentance is to be found; but if they will not, make bear thine arm O Lord, and redeem that which thou didst appoint a Zion unto thy people.
And if it can not be otherwise, that the cause of thy people may not fail before thee, may thine anger be kindled and thine indignation fall upon them, that they may be wasted away, both root and branch from under heaven; but in as much as they will repent, thou art gracious and merciful, and will turn away thy wrath, when thou lookest upon the face of thine anointed.
Have mercy, O Lord, upon all the nations of the earth: have mercy upon the rulers of our land: may those principles which were so honorably and nobly defended: vis, the constitution of our land, by our fathers be established forever. Remember the kings, the princes, the nobles, and the great ones of the earth, and all people; and the churches: all the poor, the needy and the afflicted ones of the earth, that their hearts may be softened when thy servants shall go out from thy house, O Jehovah, to bear testimony of thy name, that their prejudices may give way before the truth, and thy people may obtain favor in the sight of all, that all the ends of the earth may know that we thy servants have heard thy voice, and that thou hast sent us, that from among all these thy servants, the sons of Jacob, may gather out the righteous to build a holy city to thy name, as thou hast commanded them.
We ask thee to appoint unto Zion other stakes besides this one, which thou hast appointed, that the gathering of thy people may roll on in great power and majesty, that thy work may be cut short in righteousness.
Now these words, O Lord, we have spoken before thee, concerning the revelations and commandments which
thou hast given unto us, who are identified with the Gentiles;—But thou knowest that we have a great love for the children of Jacob who have been scattered upon the mountains; for a long time in a cloudy and dark day.
We therefore ask thee to have mercy upon the children of Jacob, that Jerusalem, from this hour, may begin to be redeemed; and the yoke of bondage may begin to be broken off from the house of David, and the children of Judah may begin to return to the lands which thou didst give to Abraham, their father, and cause that the remnants of Jacob, who have been cursed and smitten, because of their transgression, to be converted from their wild and savage condition, to the fulness of the everlasting gospel, that they may lay down their weapons of bloodshed and cease their rebellions. And may all the scattered remnants of Israel, who have been driven to the ends of the earth, come to a knowledge of the truth, believe in the Messiah and be redeemed from oppression, and rejoice before thee.
O Lord, remember thy servant Joseph Smith, jr. and all his afflictions and persecutions, how he has covenanted with Jehovah and vowed to thee, O mighty God of Jacob, and the commandments which thou hast given unto him, and that he hath sincerely strove to do thy will.—Have mercy, O Lord, upon his wife and children, that they may be exalted in thy presence, and preserved by thy fostering hand. Have mercy upon all their immediate connexions [connections], that their prejudices may be broken up, and swept away as with a flood, that they may be converted and redeemed with Israel and know that thou art God. Remember, O Lord, the presidents, even all the presidents of thy church, that thy right hand may exalt them with all their families, and their immediate connexions [connections], that their names may be perpetuated and had in everlasting remembrance from generation to generation.
Remember all thy church, O Lord, with all their families, and all their immediate connexions [connections], with all their sick and afflicted ones, with all the poor and meek of the earth, that the kingdom which thou hast set up without hands, may become a great mountain and fill the whole earth, that thy church may come forth out of the wilderness of darkness, and shine forth fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners, and be adorned as a bride for that day when thou shalt unveil the heavens, and cause the mountains to flow down at thy presence, and the valleys to be exalted, the rough places made smooth, that thy glory may fill the earth.
That when the trump [?trumpet] shall sound for the dead, we shall be caught up in the cloud to meet thee, that we may ever be with the Lord, that our garments may be pure, that we may be clothed upon with robes of righteousness, with palms in our hands, and crowns of glory upon our heads; and reap eternal joy for all our sufferings. O Lord, God Almighty hear us in these our petitions, and answer us from heaven, thy holy habitation, where thou sittest enthroned, with glory, honor, power, majesty, might, dominion, truth, justice, judgement, mercy and an infinity of fulness, from everlasting to everlasting.
O hear, O hear, O hear us, O Lord, and answer these petitions, and accept the dedication of this house, unto thee, the work of our hands, which we have built unto thy name; and also this church to put upon it thy name. And help us by the power of thy Spirit, that we may mingle our voices with those bright shining seraphs, around thy throne with acclamations of praise, singing hosanna to God and the Lamb: and let these thine anointed ones be clothed with salvation, and thy saints shout aloud for joy. AMEN AND AMEN. (Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Section 109)
The choir then sung a hymn.
Hymn: The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning
The Spirit of God like a fire is burning;
The visions and blessings of old are returning;
- The latter day glory begins to come forth;
We'll sing & we'll shout with the armies of heaven:
- The angels are coming to visit the earth.
Let glory to them in the highest be given,
- Hosanna, hosanna to God and the Lamb!
- Henceforth and forever: amen and amen!
The Lord is extending the saints' understanding:—
The knowledge and power of God are expanding:
- Restoring their judges and all as at first;
We'll sing and we'll shout &c.
- The vail o'er the earth is beginning to burst.
We call in our solemn assemblies, in spirit,
That we through our faith may begin to inherit;
- To spread forth the kingdom of heaven abroad,
We'll sing and we'll shout &c.
- The visions, and blessings, and glories of God.
We'll wash, and be wash'd, and with oil be anointed
For he that receiveth his PENNY appointed,
- Withal not omitting the washing of feet:
We'll sing and we'll shout &c.
- Must surely be clean at the harvest of wheat.
Old Israel that fled from the world for his freedom,
A Moses, and Aaron, and Joshua lead him,
- Must come with the cloud and the pillar, amain:
We'll sing and we'll shout &c.
- And feed him on manna from heaven again.
How blessed the day when the lamb and the lion
And Ephraim be crown'd with the blessing in Zion,
- Shall lie down together without any ire;
We'll sing & we'll shout with His armies of heaven:
- And Jesus descends with his chariots of fire!
Let glory to them in the highest be given,
- Hosanna, hosanna to God and the Lamb!
- Henceforth and forever: amen and amen.
Vote to Accept Dedicatory Prayer
President Smith then asked the several quorums separately and then the congregation, if they accepted the prayer. The vote was, in every instance, unanimous in the affirmative.
Administering of the Eucharist
The Eucharist was administered.—D. C. Smith blessed the bread and wine and they were distributed by several Elders present, to the church.
Testimonies of the Presidents of the Church
President J. Smith Jr. then arose and bore record of his mission. D. C. Smith bore record of the truth of the work of the Lord in which we are engaged.
President O. Cowdery spoke and testified of the truth of the Book of Mormon, and of the work of the Lord in these last days.
President F. G. Williams bore record that a Holy Angel of God, came and set between him and J. Smith sen. while the house was being dedicated.
President Hyrum Smith, (one of the building committee) made some appropriate remarks concerning the house, congratulating those who had endured so many toils and privations to erect it. That it was the Lord's house built by his commandment and he would bless them.
Closing Remarks, Hosanna Shout, Blessing
President S. Rigdon then made a few appropriate closing remarks; and a short prayer which was ended with loud acclamations of Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna to God and the Lamb, Amen, Amen and Amen! Three times. Elder B. Young, one of the Twelve, gave a short address in tongues; Elder D. W. Patten interpreted and gave a short exhortation in tongues himself; after which, President J. Smith jr. blessed the congregation in the name of the Lord, and at a little past four P. M. the whole exercise closed and the congregation dispersed.
Demeanor of Congregation, Donations
We further add that we should do violence to our own feelings and injustice to the real merit of our brethren and friends who attended the meeting, were we here to withhold a meed of praise, which we think is their just due; not only for their quiet demeanor during the whole exercise, which lasted more than eight hours, but for their great liberality in contributing of their earthly substance for the relief of the building committee, who were yet somewhat involved. As this was to be a day of sacrifice, as well as of fasting,—There was a man placed at each door in the morning to receive the voluntary donations of those who entered. On counting the collection it amounted to nine hundred and sixty three dollars.
Kirtland, Ohio, March, 1836.
Although I have written you several times upon the subject of religion, since I bid you adieu, to go at the command of God and proclaim the gospel; and perhaps, have wearied your patience, yet you will excuse me when I declare to you, that it is from a sense of duty I owe to my Heavenly Father, and to you my earthly parents, that I manifest such deep interest upon this subject. In my former communications to you I have not failed to speak of the gospel, and invite you to lay aside your prejudice and investigate it. And knowing that it is of the first importance, that the fundamental principles of the doctrine of Christ, should be well understood, and that your opportunities for obtaining this knowledge are limited, I shall confine my remarks more particularly to that subject: you no doubt will marvel that such an expression should drop from my pen; knowing that you have been professors of religion, (at least) from my childhood. Although I stand in that relation to you, in which the Savior says a teacher is without honor, being of your own household. Yet do not consider me assuming, for my desire is your salvation and the glory of God; and the things which I shall declare and those which I know and most assuredly believe. But I pray you in the name of Christ to dismiss your surprise, and divest your mind of prejudice, and prepossession, and every other consideration which is unconnected with the subject of the gospel of Christ, and this once hear me patiently.
I would observe then in the commencement of my remarks upon the subject that the gospel is a belief of
things which was devised in eternity. 'For the Lamb (Christ) was slain from the foundation of the world." to effect the redemption of the same. Rev. 13:8;-And the salvation of the human family has been conducted by the undeviating hand of God upon the same principle precisely, in all ages of the world; and ever will be, so long as He remains an unchangeable Being and manage the salvation of his creatures himself. The apostle Paul in his 2nd Epistle to Timothy 1:10, informs us that "Life and immortality was brought to light through the gospel." If Enoch, who walked with his Maker 300 years and was not found, because God had translated him, is enjoying immortality, it was in consequence of his extensive knowledge of the gospel. If Noah, who was instructed of God to prepare an ark to the saving of himself and house; and by his testimony alone, condemned the whole self-righteous antedeluvian world; and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith, and is now in the enjoyment of life and immortality; he most assuredly understood the gospel. If Elijah, who smote the rolling floods of Jordan, and caused its waters to stand upright on either hand, while he passed over on dry ground; was wafted to the fair climes of immortality, and eternal life, by the fiery chariots of Israel and the horsemen thereof; it was because of the atonement of Christ, and his knowledge of, and obedience to the Gospel. And again, "The scriptures foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham." Gal. 3:8. But enough has already been said to establish the antiquity of the gospel, and do away the contracted idea which many entertain, that the first and only dispensation of the gospel that ever was, or ever will be committed to man, was introduced in the days of the Savior.
You can but see, that this idea is at issue with the testimony of the Apostle, who declares. "That life and immortality were brought to light through the gospel." Consequently if these saints whose names are written above, with a multitude of others, who through faith on the Son of God, and in obedience to the gospel, have subdued kingdoms wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens, are now enjoying "life and immortality," it is on account of the atonement of Christ, and the power of his redemption. And this same Apostle, who was not converted to the christian religion, until years after the death of the Savior, says, that a dispensation of the gospel was committed unto him. 1st Corinthians 9:17.
The fact is, the gospel is the same in all ages of the world, and when God calls a man, either by his voice from the heavens, by the revelation of angels, or by the spirit of prophecy; to warn the inhabitants of the earth of approaching danger, and cry repentance unto them; a dispensation of the gospel is committed to his charge, independent of any commission or dispensation committed to others. He alone can act under that commission; his successors cannot take it up, and legally act under it. If they attain to this high calling, it must be in the same way, and from the same authority, and the same benefits will result to those who obey their teachings: because if God sends a messenger, it will be by the power of the Holy Ghost, and that spirit will testify to the same plan of salvation, whether it dwell in the heart of Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaiah, St. Paul, Joseph; or even in the heart of your unworthy son who is now indi[c]ting these lines to you, with his heart raised in prayer to God, that it may be done according to his will, and find access to the hearts of his dear parents, and be a means of bringing them to a knowledge of the truth. But whether I shall succeed in this or not, God only knows; be this as it may, a dispensation of the gospel has been committed unto me; not by the will of man, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ: and I am determined by the grace of God, to rid my garments of the blood of all men, whether parents, brethren, sisters, Kings, rulers, priests or people, and leave the event in the land of Him, who holds the destinies of all mankind. And I pray my Heavenly Father, that it may be recorded in the archives of heaven for an everlasting memorial, that I
have endeavored in this letter to discharge my duty to my parents in preaching the gospel to them; and if I never am permitted to meet them until we meet at the judgment seat of Christ, where the secrets of all hearts will be made manifest; then, if not before, you will know, that pure charity dictated in my heart, what I am now communicating to you. But to return.
It is evident then, that all those who do not believe in direct communication from heaven, by the voice of God, by the revelation of angels, nor by the spirit of prophecy; and at the same time claim to be the servants of Christ; have run before they were sent, are acting without authority, are going in the ways of Cain, and running greedily after the errors of Balaam for reward; and if they repent not, will perish in the gainsaying of Babylon.
Therefore, having spoken in general terms of the power, and glorious effects of the gospel, I will now endeavor to show what it was in the days of the Savior, which will settle the question; what it ever has been, and ever will be. And I have an inexhaustible fountain, from which to abduce testimony upon this subject, viz. the Bible, book of Mormon, and the book of Covenants, containing the revelations of Jesus Christ, given to us in this generation; which all harmonize most perfectly: but being well aware of your unbelief in the two latter: I shall only call in question the former for testimony on which you say to predicate your faith; and if you do in reality believe in its doctrines, there will be no difficulty in your believing in the record of the Nephites, and all the revelations that God is disposed to confer upon us in the latter days, and their will be no difference in our faith: but you also, will be what the world calls a mormon.
Now to the law and the testimony; if any man speak not according to these, it is because there is no light to him. In John 3:5, we find these words, "Jesus answered, Verily, Verily I say unto thee, except a man be born of water, and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." It appears that a learned Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews; who had come to Jesus by night, (probably because his doctrine was held in disrepute,) and expressed to him his conviction, that he was a teacher come from God. The blessed Jesus proceeded immediately to instruct him what was indispensably necessary for him to do, to inherit that kingdom; which was to be born of water, and the spirit. Mark the expression; "Except a man be born of water and the spirit," not of the spirit first and then of the water, if you please. See how broad the declaration, a man, that is, any man among all the ranks of men, that would inherit the kingdom God, must submit to this order of things.
It is evident that Nicodemus believed, from the frank confession he made on the occasion, which was the first step, and Jesus informed him that water baptism was the second, and the Holy Spirit the third. You may say that repentance is left out of the question; not so, repentance is nothing more nor less than a reformation, which is to break off from our sins.-How break off from our sins? by turning unto God. How turn unto God? by obeying his commandments, and manifest our faith and repentance by obedience. "For why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" Luke 6:46. As far as it was exhibited on that occasion, this plan of salvation corresponds precisely with the proclamation which the Savior commanded the Apostles to declare in all the world to every creature; viz: "He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not, shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that beli[e]ve: &c. Mark 16:16, 17, 18. This expression of the Savior is just as broad as the other, that is, that any creature under the whole heaven that is capable of understanding this simple declaration, (which is adopted to the weakest capacity,) who will obey it, shall be saved "and he that believeth not shall be damned.
Perhaps you are ready to infer from this expression that baptism is not a saving ordinance; because the Savior did not repeat it, but only said, "He that believeth not shall be damned." If this be the case he might better have left it out of the commission to his Apostles, it was making use of words without meaning: and indeed, if it be a fact, that the baptism of water is not necessary the Savior invalidates
his own testimony and that of his servants, for he declared to Nicodemus, that he could not enter the kingdom of Heaven without it. But we shall contend, that no such inference can be drawn from this expression, for he declared that not only belief was necessary for salvation but baptism also: and it follows of course, that, if belief and baptism are required of those that would be saved a neglect to attend to these duties would damn them. And hence, a repetition of the word baptism, would have been altogether superfluous: for instance, if an individual was requested to go to a certain place; if he could not be induced to take the first step; he would not take the second. So a man who does not believe, will not be baptized, and if the word of the Lord be true he will be damned.
Let us now see whether the Apostles followed the instruction given them in the commission, we will call on Peter, for he held the keys of the kingdom. "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come; he opened the door for the reception of candidates; the glorious occurrences of that day are recorded in the 2nd chapter of Acts. And when his powerful reasoning caused many to cry out, and enquire what they should do. What did he reply to them? Did he instruct them to weep and lament before God until they obtained religion, and tell them that baptism was unessential, (as our orthodox divines do at the present day.) Did he cite them to the anxous seats, to the secret chambers, or wilderness, and say, lo, there is Christ? Did he tell them that they could obtain salvation by crying, Lord, Lord, without doing the things which the Savior had sent him to declare to them? No, none of these things; for Peter was in possession of that spirit, that brings all things to our remembrance; and he had not forgotten the Savior's instructions, but unhesitatingly cried out, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, not because your sins are remitted; but for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the holy Ghost.-For the promise is unto you, and your children, and to all that are afar off; even as many as the Lord our God shall call."
The question now is; what did this thing called repentance consist? the answer is at hand. "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized." This then is repentance or reformation, to gladly receive the word when it is declared by the servant of God, and straitway manifest our belief and reformation, for corresponding good works, which is obedience. And Peter says, as many as God has called that will do these things, shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. If we do not extend our limits beyond Peter's, afar off, I think we can with confidence declare the same things.-Our next object is to ascertain, how it was, that this gift, the Holy Ghost, was confer[r]ed [conferred] upon the saints, after having been baptized by water.
We learn from the 8th chapter of Acts, that Philip went down unto them: and the people with one accord gave heed to his teachings and were baptized, both men and women, (but no children, for they were whole; and consequently need no Physician, and Philip did not feel disposed to offer an indignity to the atonement of Christ by baptizing them.) The news of Philip's success soon reached Jerusalem, and the Apostles immediately dispatched Peter and John, who when they were come down prayed for them, and laid their hands on them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost.-"For as yet, he had fallen on none of them, only they had been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When they had received this ordinance, the Holy Spirit fell upon them; and the presumption is, that they spoke with tongues and prophesied. For Simon, on seeing that the Holy Ghost was given through the laying on of hands, proposed to purchase it.
It appears that Philip did not have authority to administer this ordinance; and if those disciples could have received the gift of the Holy Ghost, without the ordinance of laying on of hands; the Lord sent Peter and John from Jerusalem to Samaria on a foolish errand. Again, Acts 19, we are informed that Paul found at Ephesus certain disciples who had been baptized, yet had not heard of the Holy Ghost; he prayed for them, and laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost, and spoke with tongues and prophesied. One more testimony
from St. Paul, we find recorded in his epistle to the Hebrews 6:12, where he informed us that baptism, and laying on of hands are some of the first principles of the doctrine of christ.
We might adduce much corroborating testimony to establish the first principles of the gospel; but it is enough, if God ever inspired St. Paul and Peter to teach these things he never did nor never will inspire another man to contradict them; they followed the instructions given them by the Savior, and carried out his plan of salvation in all the ordinances of his kingdom: and he that will not believe their testimony, would not believe though one should rise from the dead. But I hasten.
The effects that the Holy Ghost produced upon those who received it, are laid down in the first epistle to the Corinthians, 12, 13 and 14th chapters. And the Apostles tells us that they are the body of Christ, in which there should be no schism; take away any of these, and there is a schism. Look at all the churches in christendom; (the church of the Latter Day Saints excepted,) and see the contention that exists among them. Ask yourself the reason; is not this the only answer? they all deny some of these gifts which constitute the body of Christ: Can we deny these, without denying Christ? Surely not; it is in vain for us to say they are not needed, neither Christ nor his servants ever declared any such things, it cannot be found. Scripture, reason, and common sense teach us, that the like cause will produce the like effect; the Holy Ghost is the same that it was before the world began.-To be sure St. Paul says that prophecy shall fail, tongues shall cease, and knowledge vanish away; for they are all enjoyed only in part: but when that day of perfection is ushered in, when we shall see as we are seen, and know as we are known; then there will be no need of an imperfect knowledge. He also declares, Eph. 4th, "When Christ ascended upon high, he gave gifts unto men; Prophets, Apostles, Pastors, Evangelists &c. for the perfecting of the saints, and work of the ministry until we all come in the unity of the faith." No rational person will pretend to say that, that day has arrived; and if these gifts of the holy Ghost were necessary to perfect the saints then; can they be perfected now without them? I answer, no.-Will any now deny them who is in possession of the Holy Ghost? I answer in the negative; no man speaking by the spirit of God, can call Jesus accursed; and without the Holy Ghost there is no salvation; this is the doctrine that Paul preached, who said, If any man or even an angel from Heaven preach any other gospel, let him be accursed: And so say I, and the heart of every servant of God will respond, Amen.
With peculiar feelings I conclude these remarks, realizing the great responsibility that I am under to God, for the manner in which I teach mankind those things which involve eternal consequences: And this responsibility seems to be augmented when I take into consideration, that I am addressing those of my own flesh and blood. But I feel that God approbates what I have written, and I entreat of you to peruse the foregoing lines as for eternity, and may the Lord sanctify them to your salvation, and ultimately bring us to an everlasting inheritance in his celestial Kingdom for Christ's sake, Amen.
Messenger and Advocate
Kirtland, Ohio, March 1836.
To the patrons of the Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate.
It becomes my duty to inform you, that in consequence of other business, and other duties which all my immediate attention, my labors in the editorial department of this paper must cease for the present; and as this is the case, I must beg leave to make some remarks, as I am about being freed from this great responsibility. I will here say that for the increase of patronage for nine months past, so gratuitously bestowed upon unmerited talents, you have necessarily obliged me to tender you my deepest-heart felt gratitude. I still indulge a hope, notwithstanding the advocate is about being transferred into other hands, that it will continue to
receive its present support, and a rapid increase to its present subscription list, inasmuch as the prospects are flourishing, and the future editor's talents are deserving of patronage; I indulge a hope, that great good may be done by this means: and more especially in these last days, while "Darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the people."
Almost six years have passed since the church of Christ has been established: many and various are the scenes, that have passed before my eyes, since its commencement, during which time, we have been favored with the privilege, of making known to the world our belief in regard to salvation.
I take occasion here to add, that I rejoice exceedingly that this Herald of truth is in being, and I enjoy the privilege of resigning it into so good and able hands as Pres. O. Cowdery whose character and standing in society need no commendation from me where he is personally known: for he is known to be a man of piety, of candor, of truth, of integrity, of feeling for the welfare of the human family, and in short, he is a man of God: God acknowledge him as such in his revealed will: and should we not do so too?
While I reflect on leaving the editorial department, such a complicated mass of ideas burst upon my mind, that it is not possible to communicate them all. The great and responsible relation which a man sustains in occupying this station, to his fellow man, will have a tendency to humble, rather than exalt him in his own eyes; for he truly becomes a servant of all; and his words are left on record for present and future generations to scrutinize.
However there is consolation attached to these responsibilities, that gladdens the heart of an honest and humble saint, even a servant of servants: For after that in [t]he wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.-It is those things, which the world by their wisdom count foolishness, which converts the soul, and will prepare it to dwell in the presence of God, in the day of the Lord Jesus. "God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea; and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are."
While I reflect on the above sayings of the holy writer, it gladdens my heart, that I enjoy the privilege of living in this age of the world, when God in his kind providence, has began to work for the good of his long dispersed covenant people; when he has again made manifest his will, and has called servants by his own voice out of the heavens, and by the ministering of angels, and by his Holy Spirit; and has chosen the weak and simple to confound the wisdom of the wise: and to raise up and bring the church of the Lamb up out of the wilderness of wickedness, fair as the sun and clear as the moon. Which church took its rise April 6, 1830; and has thus far come up through much persecution and great tribulation.
It may not be amiss in this place, to give a statement to the world concerning the work of the Lord, as I have been a member of this church of Latter Day Saints from its beginning; to say that the book of Mormon is a revelation from God, I have no hesitancy; but with all confidence have signed my named to it as such; and I hope, that my patrons will indulge me in speaking freely on this subject, as I am about leaving the editorial department—Therefore I desire to testify to all that will come to the knowledge of this address; that I have most assuredly seen the plates from whence the book of
Mormon is translated, and that I have handled these plates, and know of a surety that Joseph Smith, jr. has translated the book of Mormon by the gift and power of God, and in this thing the wisdom of the wise most assuredly has perished: therefore, know ye, O ye inhabitants of the earth, wherever this address may come, that I have in this thing freed my garments of your blood, whether you believe or disbelieve the statements of your unworthy friend and well-wisher.
It is no trifling matter to sport with the souls of men, and make merchandise of them; I can say, with a clear conscience before God and man, that I have sought no man's goods, houses or lands, gold or silver; but had in view for my chief object, the welfare of the children of men, because I know that I have been called of God, to assist in bringing forth his work in these last days, and to help to establish it, that as many souls as would believe, and obey the truth, might be saved in his kingdom; and also assist in bringing about the restoration of the house of Israel, that they might magnify his name, for what he has done and is doing for the fulfilment of the prophecies of all the holy prophets that have written on this great and important subject, since the days of Adam, to this present time: and while I have been in the editorial department, I have endeavored to write, obtain and select such matter as was calculated to promote the cause of God, as far as my judgment was capable of discerning: and wherein I may have erred, I am conscientious and innocent; but do cheerfully and humbly ask pardon of those whose feelings in any wise I may have injured; by digressing in the least, from the strictest path of rectitude.
I would do injustice to my own feelings, if I did not here notice, still further the work of the Lord in these last days: The revelations and commandments given to us, are, in my estimation, equally true with the book of Mormon, and equally necessary for salvation, it is necessary to live by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God: and I know that the Bible, book of Mormon and book of Doctrine and Covenants of the church of Christ of Latter Day Saints, contain the revealed will of heaven. I further know that God will continue to reveal himself to his church and people, until he has gathered his elect into his fold, and prepared them to dwell in his presence.
Men at times depend upon the say of others, and are influenced by their persuasions to embrace different systems. This is correct, inasmuch as the principle is a just one: God always commissioned certain men, to proclaim his precepts to the remainder of the generation in which they lived; and if they heeded not their sayings, they were under condemnation.
Though weak may have been my arguments and feeble my exertions, to persuade others to believe as myself, the few months I have labored in this department, I trust, I have been the means of doing some good to my fellow men. If I were not sensible that I have been doing the will of my heavenly Father, I should regret, that I have ever suffered my name to become public; I could not endure the idea of having been the means of persuading men to detract from truth, and embrace error: it has been a principle in my heart to embrace truth, and reject error; and I trust it will remain in my heart forever.
I feel it my duty to say, to the Elders who have been laboring in the cause of our blessed Redeemer, and have taken the trouble, to procure subscribers for the Messenger and Advocate, they have my sincere thanks,
and shall ever occupy a conspicuous portion of my gratitude. There are others who have been somewhat negligent in this thing, which is owing perhaps, in part, for want of proper instruction upon this point; not realizing that this periodical is opening and preparing many places, for such as are travelling to proclaim the gospel of our blessed Redeemer; whereas, if it had not been for this means, would have been closed and impenitrable [impenetrable]. I desire therefore, that the Elders of the church of Latter Day Saints will avail themselves of every opportunity that presents itself of procuring subscribers for this paper, not for pecuniary interests, but for the welfare of the children of men. I hope that the Elders will do all the good in their power, as this is a day of "Warning and not of many words." Therefore, I trust you will have the spirit of God in your hearts to guide you into all truth, until the knowledge of God shall cover the earth as the waters cover the great deep, and the saints of God are gathered together, and Zion becomes the joy of the whole earth.
—>Those who are in arrears for the Messenger and Advocate, will please forward the amount to Oliver Cowdery; with the exception of those who reside in Missouri, they will please settle their arrears with John Whitmer. We hope that our friends will bear in mind, that paper, ink, and labor, cannot be obtained without the money; therefore, we are under the necessity to call on those who are indebted to us for assistance, which will be thankfully received.
I would respectfully represent to you, that through my instrumentality, and the grace of our God, there has been raised up in this place a small branch of a church of Latter Day Saints, consisting of sixteen members. This little branch of our Heavenly Fathers Kingdom has never before been represented. You will notice them in the Messenger and Advocate as you see proper.
A. J. Squires.
J. Whitmer Esq.
Arise ye saints of Latter Days, Go forth ye heralds of our God,
And sing your great Redeemers praise; Proclaim his gospel far abroad,
With joyful hearts arise: In ev'ry foreign clime:
Let ev'ry voice in accents tower, Go visit lands and isles unknown,
Till heav'nly blessings on us pour In ev'ry realm, in ev'ry zone,
Down through the parting skies! Till time with you shall end.
Hosanna! let the echo spring, Then rise and join the hallow'd throng.
Triumphant on exulting wing, Who sing the everlasting song,
Above the pow'rs of hell; In an eternal strain,
Until with God we do prevail, Of "Holy holy, King of kings,
And view the things within the vail, Who wast, and art," while heaven rings,
And in his presence dwell. And seraphs shout Amen!
Hosanna! let the angels say,
Who dwell in realms of endless day,
With Enoch's perfect band!
Amen, amen, let earth resound,
And all the saints where e'er they're found.
Repair to Zion's lands.
|THE LATTER DAY SAINTS'|
|Messenger and Advocate,|
|IS EDITED BY|
|And published every month at Kirtland, Geauga Co. Ohio, by|
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