<December 13> Isaac Russel[l] who had become connected with a small camp of the Saints of about Thirty families going west, turned from his course at Louisiana, led them north ten miles on the Spanish claims, where they built huts, or lived <Russel turned Apostate> in tents through the winter in great suffering Russel turned prophet -[apostate]- said Joseph had fallen and he was appointed to lead the people, Chandler Rogers who was moving West, was met by a mob at and compelled to turn back, and fell in with Russel’s Camp. Russel said he was “the chosen of the Lord,” and when they left that place, they would have to go on foot, and take nothing with them, and they must sell their teams &c Some would not sell and he cursed them.
16 December 1838 • Sunday
<16 Joseph’s Letter in Liberty Jail> Sunday 16. I wrote the following letter.
“Liberty Jail, Missouri, Decr. 16. 1838
To the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in , and all the Saints who are scattered abroad, who are persecuted and made desolate, and who are afflicted in divers manners for Christ’s sake and the Gospel’s by the hands of a cruel mob and the tyrannical disposition of the authorities of this , and whose perils are greatly augmented by the wickedness and corruption of false brethren, may grace, mercy, and the peace of God be, and abide with you, and notwithstanding all your sufferings, we assure you, that you have our prayers and fervent desires for your welfare day and night. We believe that that God who seeth us in this Solitary place will hear our prayers, and reward you openly. Know assuredly, Dear Brethren, that it is for the testimony of Jesus that we are in bonds and in prison. But we say unto you that we consider that our condition is better, (notwithstanding our sufferings) than those who have persecuted us and smitten us, and borne false witness against us, and we most assuredly believe that those who do bear false witness against us, do seem to have a great triumph over us for the present. But we want you to remember Haman and Mordecai, you know that Haman could not be satisfied so long as he saw Mordecai at the King’s gate— and he sought the life of Mordecai and the people of the Jews, But the Lord so ordered it, that Haman was hanged upon his own gallows. So shall it come to pass with poor Haman in the last days, those who have sought by unbelief and wickedness, and by the principle of Mobocracy to destroy us, and the people of God, by killing and scattering them abroad, and willfully and maliciously delivering us into the hands of murderers, desiring us to be put to death, thereby having us dragged about in Chains and cast into prison, and for what cause? it is because we were honest men, and were determined to defend the lives of the Saints at the expense of our own. I say unto you, that those who have thus vilely treated us like Haman, shall be hanged upon their own gallows, or in other words shall fall into their own gin, and snare and ditch and trap which they have prepared for us, and shall go backwards and stumble and fall, and their name shall be blotted out, and God shall reward them according to all their abominations. Dear Brethren do not think that our hearts faint, as though some strange thing had happened unto us for we have seen and been assured of all these things beforehand, and have an assurance [p. 868]