26070

Letter to Newel Knight and the Church in Colesville, 28 August 1830

Harmony

Located in northeastern Pennsylvania. Area settled, by 1787. Organized 1809. Population in 1830 about 340. Population in 1840 about 520. Contained Harmony village (no longer in existence). Josiah Stowell hired JS to help look for treasure in area, Oct. 1825...

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Aug 20. 28 18301

Bracketed correction based on earlier, incomplete copy of this letter. (Knight, Autobiography and Journal, 21; see also Historical Introduction to this letter.)  


Dearly beloved in the Lord
We are under necessity to disappoint you this time for reasons which I shall mention hereafter, but trusting that your meeting may not be an unprofitable one May you all realize the necessity of getting together often to pray [p. 128]
Harmony

Located in northeastern Pennsylvania. Area settled, by 1787. Organized 1809. Population in 1830 about 340. Population in 1840 about 520. Contained Harmony village (no longer in existence). Josiah Stowell hired JS to help look for treasure in area, Oct. 1825...

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Aug 20. [28] 18301

Bracketed correction based on earlier, incomplete copy of this letter. (Knight, Autobiography and Journal, 21; see also Historical Introduction to this letter.)  


Dearly beloved in the Lord2

TEXT: Residue from an adhesive partially covers the words “Dearly” and “Lord”, as well as “you all” and “necessity” on the last line of the page, indicating that a separate slip of paper was likely attached to this page at one time.  


We  are under necessity to dis appoint you this time for  reasons which I shall men tion hereafter, but trusting  that your meeting may not be  an unprofitable one May  you all realize the necessity  of getting together often to pray [p. 128]
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In the summer of 1830, recently baptized

An ordinance in which an individual is immersed in water for the remission of sins. The Book of Mormon explained that those with necessary authority were to baptize individuals who had repented of their sins. Baptized individuals also received the gift of...

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believers in Colesville

Area settled, beginning 1785. Formed from Windsor Township, Apr. 1821. Population in 1830 about 2,400. Villages within township included Harpursville, Nineveh, and Colesville. Susquehanna River ran through eastern portion of township. JS worked for Joseph...

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, New York, faced opposition from local residents, and in early July JS was tried before two different judges in the vicinity as a “disorderly person.”1

JS History, vol. A-1, 44; see also Historical Introduction to Revelation, July 1830–A [D&C 24]; and the treatment of these trials in volume 1 of the Legal and Business Records series.  


Even after JS was acquitted in one instance and discharged in the other, locals drove him from the Colesville area. In August, Colesville church members Newel

13 Sept. 1800–11 Jan. 1847. Miller, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Peck. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, ca. 1809. Moved to Windsor (later in Colesville), Broome Co., New...

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and Sally Knight

1804–15 Sept. 1834. Born in Oxford (later in Guilford), Chenango Co., New York. Daughter of Amariah Coburn and Rose Linda Lyon. Resided in Oxford, Chenango Co., by 1810. Moved to Greene, Chenango Co., by 1820. Moved to Colesville, Broome Co., New York, by...

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visited JS in Harmony

Located in northeastern Pennsylvania. Area settled, by 1787. Organized 1809. Population in 1830 about 340. Population in 1840 about 520. Contained Harmony village (no longer in existence). Josiah Stowell hired JS to help look for treasure in area, Oct. 1825...

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, Pennsylvania.2

JS History, vol. A-1, 51; see also Historical Introduction to Revelation, ca. Aug. 1830 [D&C 27].  


During the Knights’ stay, plans were made for JS to meet with the church members in Colesville on a specified day in late August. The Knights returned to Colesville, and “arrangements were made for the brethren and sisters to meet on that day, if possible, without letting our enemies know anything about it.”3

Knight, History, 127–128.  


However, the men who were to transport JS to Colesville did not arrive in time for him to attend the meeting, and JS and John Whitmer

27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...

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wrote this letter to explain their absence. The version transcribed here, the earliest complete extant copy of the letter, bears the date 20 August. An earlier, incomplete copy of the letter, meanwhile, dates the letter to 28 August; that dating is accepted in the present volume.4

Knight, Autobiography and Journal, 21.  


The original letter is not extant and it is not known whether it was sent to Colesville

Area settled, beginning 1785. Formed from Windsor Township, Apr. 1821. Population in 1830 about 2,400. Villages within township included Harpursville, Nineveh, and Colesville. Susquehanna River ran through eastern portion of township. JS worked for Joseph...

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by mail or delivered by a church member serving as a courier. In any case, Newel Knight

13 Sept. 1800–11 Jan. 1847. Miller, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Peck. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, ca. 1809. Moved to Windsor (later in Colesville), Broome Co., New...

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received the letter and delivered its message to the Colesville believers. Likely on 4 September (the day he promised in the letter that he would arrive), JS arrived in Colesville along with Hyrum Smith

9 Feb. 1800–27 June 1844. Farmer, cooper. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Randolph, Orange Co., 1802; to Tunbridge, before May 1803; to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804; to Sharon, Windsor Co., by...

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, David Whitmer

7 Jan. 1805–25 Jan. 1888. Farmer, livery keeper. Born near Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Raised Presbyterian. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, shortly after birth. Attended German Reformed Church. Arranged...

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, and John Whitmer

27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...

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. JS’s history recounts, “We that evening assembled the church, and confirmed them, partook of the sacrament

Primarily referred to the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, or Communion, as opposed to other religious sacraments. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church directed “that the church meet together often to partake of bread and wine in remembrance of the Lord...

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, and held a happy meeting, having much reason to rejoice in the God of our salvation, and sing Hosannas to his holy name.” The animosity toward members of the Church of Christ

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

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in Colesville did not dissipate, however, and Knight recalled, “It was not long after the Brethren had left us when . . . the mob began to collect to gather and threaten and abuse us in a most Shameful and disgusting manner dureing the remainder of the day.”5

JS History, vol. A-1, 53; Knight, Autobiography and Journal, 21.  


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