53992035

Letter to the Elders of the Church, November 1835

-[Continued from page 182.]-
At the close of my letter  in the September No. of the “Messenger  and Advocate,” I promised to continue  the subject there commenced: I do so  with a hope that it may be a benefit  and a means of assistance to the elders  in their labors, while they are combat ting the prejudices of a crooked and  perverse generatien, by having in their  possession, the facts of my religious  principles, which are misrepresented  by almost all those whose crafts are in  danger by the same; and also to aid  those who are anxiously inquiring, and  have been excited to do so from rumor,  in accertaining correctly, what my  principles are.
I have been drawn into this course  of proceeding, by persecution, that is  brought upon us from false rumor, and  misrepresentations concerning my sen timents.
But to proceed, in the letter alluded  to. The principles of repentance and  baptism for the remission of sins, are  not only set forth, but many passages  of scripture, were quoted, clearly illu cidating the subject; let me add, that I  do positively rely upon the truth and  veracity of those principles inculcated  in the new testament; and then pass  from the above named items, on to the  item or subject of the gathering, and  show my views upon this point: which  is an item which I esteem to be of the  greatest importance to those who are  looking for salvation in this generation,  or in these what may be called “the  latter times,” as all the prophets that  have written, from the days of right eous Abel down to the last man, that  has left any testimony on record, for  our consideration, in speaking of the  salvation of Israel in the last days, goes  directly to show, that it consists in the  work of the gathering.
Firstly, I shall begin by quoting from  the prophecy of Enoch, speaking of  the last days: “Righteousness will I  send down out of heaven, and truth  will I send forth out of the earth, to  bear testimony of mine Only Begotten,  his resurrection from the dead, -[this  resurrection I understand to be the cor poreal body]- yea, and also the resur rection of all men, righteousness and  truth will I cause to sweep the earth as  with a flood, to gather out mine own  elect from the four quarters of the  earth, unto a place which I shall pre pare; a holy city, that my people may  gird up their loins, and be looking forth  for the time of my coming: for there  shall be my tabernacle; and it shall be  called Zion, a New Jerusalem.”
Now I understand by this quotation,  that God clearly manifested to Enoch,  the redemption which he prepared, by  offering the Messiah as a Lamb slain  from before the foundation of the world:  by virtue of the same, the glorious res urrection of the Savior, and the resur rection of all the human family,—even  a resurrection of their corporeal bod ies: and also righteousness and truth to  sweep the earth as with a flood. Now  I ask how righteousness and truth are  agoing to sweep the earth as with a  flood? I will answer:—Men and angels  are to be co-workers in bringing to  pass this great work: and a Zion is to  be prepared; even a New Jerusalem,  for the elect that are to be gathered  from the four quarters of the earth, and  to be established an holy city: for the  tabernacle of the Lord shall be with  them.
Now Enoch was in good company  in his views upon this subject. See  Revelations, 23:3.—“And I heard a  great voice out of heaven saying,. Be hold the tabernacle of God is with men,  and he will dwell with them, and they  shall be his people, and God himself  shall be with them, and be their God.”  I discover by this quotation, that John  upon the isle of Patmos, saw the same  things concerning the last days, which  Enoch saw. But before the taberna cle can be with men, the elect must be  gathered from the four quarters of the  earth.
And to show further upon this sub ject of the gathering: Moses, after hav ing pronounced the blessing and the  cursing upon the children of Israel, for  their obedience or disobedience, says  thus:—“And it shall come to pass,  when all these things are come upon  thee, the blessing and the curse which  I have set before thee; and thou shalt [p. [209]]
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JS, letter, Kirtland, OH, to the elders of the church, Nov. 1835; Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate, Nov. 1835, pp. 209–212.

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