Letter to William W. Phelps, 31 July 1832

Hyram [Hiram, Ohio] July 31— 1832——
Broth[er] William [W. Phelps] I have received your letter dated 30th June and procede this  morning to answer it. I sit down to dictate for Broth Frederick [G. Williams] to write but  cannot write my feelings, neither can toungue, or language paint them to  you. I only can observe that I could wish, that my heart, & feelings  thereof might for once be laid open before [you], as plain as your own nat ural face is to you by looking in a mirror; Verily I say unto you  my only hope and confidence is in that God who gave me being  in whom there is all power who now is present before me & my  heart is naked before his eyes continually he is my comfeter & he  forsaketh me not in the seventh trouble and in the mean time I  have learned by sad experiance there is no confidence to be placed in  in man that the spirit of man is as cold as the northern blast  and had I not considered the great care and multitude of busi ness which is crowding upon your mind I could not have excused  the cold and indifferent manner in which your letter is writen,  true you have expressed fellowship, but the spirit which I possess  enjoy, the feeling of my soul enquires does this letter give me  the important information which I stood in need of at the  present critical moment from your hand concerning yourself  your family & business & the faith & fellowship & prosperity of the breth ren in zion &c let your own heart and the integrity of your own soul  answer this question & excuse the warmth of feeling of your unworthy  yet affectionate brother in the Lord travling through affliction  and great tribulation, you informed me that you wrote a few  lines to bear up our strength in the glorious labour wherewith  our saviour hath been pleased to call us, I rejoice exceedingly  for the little strength & information God has been ple[a]sed to  give me through your letter— viz— to hear that our brethren  from this place & Nelson have arived safe in zion and as I trust  without accident this is the mercy of our God, but in the disch arge <of my Duty> must inform you that they left here under this dis pleasure of heaven for several reasons now what I write I write  without sparing any (or the feeling of any) knowing that God will  bear me up in what I write, I will give you some of the rea sons, firstly making a mock of the profession of faith in the  commandments by proceding contrary thereto in not complying [p. 1]
By the time JS composed this candid letter to colleagues in Missouri, he had been dealing with disharmony among church leaders for a full year. There were disagreements over the method for establishing Zion, proper handling of church resources, local control of church affairs in Missouri, and the extent of JS’s power and authority. In this letter, JS confronted these persistent strains and tensions with expressions of both reconciliation and frustration.
JS wrote this letter from Hiram, Ohio, to William W. Phelps at Independence, Missouri. Frederick G. Williams drafted this retained copy, which was apparently transcribed for Newel K. Whitney.