<1842 June 9> things, what would become of us? We must be merciful to one another and overlook small things.
Respecting the reception of Sister Overton, President Joseph Smith said. It grieves me that there is no fuller fellowship; if one member suffer, all feel it— by union of feeling we obtain power with God. Christ said he came to call sinners to repentance, and save them.— Christ was condemned by the self righteous Jews because he took sinners into his Society— he took them upon the principle that they repented of their sins. It is the object of this Society to reform persons, not to take those that are corrupt and foster them in their wickedness; but if they repent, we are bound to take them, and by kindness sanctify and cleanse them from all unrighteousness, by our influence in watching over them. Nothing will have such influence over people, as the fear of being disfellowshipped by so goodly a society as this. Then take Sister Overton, as Jesus received sinners into his bosom. Sister Overton, in the name of the Lord I now make you free. Nothing is so much calculated to lead people to forsake sin, as to take them by the hand, and watch over them with tenderness. When persons manifest the least kindness and love to me, O what power it has over my mind, while the opposite course has a tendency to harrow up all the harsh feelings and depress the human mind.
It is one evidence that men are unacquainted with the principle of godliness, to behold the contraction of affectionate feelings and lack of charity in the world. The power and glory of godliness is spread out on a broad principle to throw out the mantle of charity God does not look on sin with allowance, but when men have sinned, there must be allowance made for them.
All the religious world is boasting of righteousness— ’tis the doctrine of the devil to retard the human mind, and hinder our progress, by filling us with self righteousness. The nearer we get to our Heavenly Father, the more are we disposed to look with compassion on perishing souls— we feel that we want to take them upon our shoulders, and cast their sins behind our backs. My talk is intended for all this society;— if you would have God have mercy on you, have mercy on one another.
President Smith then referred them to the conduct of the Savior when he was taken and crucified &c.
He then made a promise in the name of the Lord, saying [p. 74]