26024

“Latter Day Saints,” 1844

and evil designing persons; several times I was shot at, and very narrowly escaped, and every device was made use of to get the plates away from me; but the power and blessing of God attended me, and several began to believe my testimony.
On the 6th April, 1830, the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,” was first organized, in the town of Manchester

Settled 1793. Formed as Burt Township when divided from Farmington Township, 31 Mar. 1821. Name changed to Manchester, 16 Apr. 1822. Included village of Manchester. Population in 1825 about 2,700. Population in 1830 about 2,800. JS reported first vision of...

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, Ontario Co., State of New York. Some few were called and ordained by the Spirit of revelation and prophecy, and began to preach as the Spirit gave them utterance, and though weak, yet were they strengthened by the power of God; and many were brought to repentance, were immersed in the water, and were filled with the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. They saw visions and prophesied, devils were cast out, and the sick healed by the laying on of hands. From that time the work rolled forth with astonishing rapidity, and churches were soon formed in the States of New York

Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...

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, Pennsylvania

Area first settled by Swedish immigrants, 1628. William Penn received grant for territory from King Charles II, 1681, and established British settlement, 1682. Philadelphia was center of government for original thirteen U.S. colonies from time of Revolutionary...

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, Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

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, Indiana, Illinois

Became part of Northwest Territory of U.S., 1787. Admitted as state, 1818. Population in 1840 about 480,000. Population in 1845 about 660,000. Plentiful, inexpensive land attracted settlers from northern and southern states. Following expulsion from Missouri...

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, and Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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; in the last named state a considerable settlement was formed in Jackson county

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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; numbers joined the church, and we were increasing rapidly; we made large purchases of land, our farms teemed with plenty, and peace and happiness were enjoyed in our domestic circle and throughout our neighbourhood; but as we could not associate with our neighbours,—who were, many of them, of the basest of men, and had fled from the face of civilized society to the frontier country, to escape the hand of justice—in their midnight revels, their sabbath-breaking, horse-racing, and gambling, they commenced at first to ridicule, then to persecute, and finally an organized mob assembled and burned our houses, tarred and feathered and whipped many of our brethren, and finally drove them from their habitations; these, houseless and homeless, contrary to law, justice, and humanity, had to wander on the bleak prairies till the children left the tracks of their blood on the prairie. This took place in the month of November, and they had no other covering but the canopy of heaven, in that inclement season of the year. This proceeding was winked at by the government; and although we had warrantee deeds for our land, and had violated no law, we could obtain no redress. There were many sick who were thus inhumanly driven from their houses, and had to endure all this abuse, and to seek homes where they could be found. The result was, that a great many of them being deprived of the comforts of life, and the necessary attendance, died; many children were left orphans; wives, widows; and husbands, widowers. Our farms were taken possession of by the mob, many thousands of cattle, sheep, horses, and hogs were taken, and our household goods, store goods, and printing press and types were broken, taken, or otherwise destroyed. [p. 407]
and evil designing persons; several times I was shot at, and very  narrowly escaped, and every device was made use of to get the plates  away from me; but the power and blessing of God attended me, and  several began to believe my testimony.
On the 6th April, 1830, the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day  Saints,” was first organized, in the town of Manchester

Settled 1793. Formed as Burt Township when divided from Farmington Township, 31 Mar. 1821. Name changed to Manchester, 16 Apr. 1822. Included village of Manchester. Population in 1825 about 2,700. Population in 1830 about 2,800. JS reported first vision of...

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, Ontario Co.,  State of New York. Some few were called and ordained by the  Spirit of revelation and prophecy, and began to preach as the  Spirit gave them utterance, and though weak, yet were they strength ened by the power of God; and many were brought to repentance,  were immersed in the water, and were filled with the Holy Ghost by  the laying on of hands. They saw visions and prophesied, devils  were cast out, and the sick healed by the laying on of hands. From  that time the work rolled forth with astonishing rapidity, and churches  were soon formed in the States of New York

Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...

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, Pennsylvania

Area first settled by Swedish immigrants, 1628. William Penn received grant for territory from King Charles II, 1681, and established British settlement, 1682. Philadelphia was center of government for original thirteen U.S. colonies from time of Revolutionary...

More Info
, Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

More Info
,  Indiana, Illinois

Became part of Northwest Territory of U.S., 1787. Admitted as state, 1818. Population in 1840 about 480,000. Population in 1845 about 660,000. Plentiful, inexpensive land attracted settlers from northern and southern states. Following expulsion from Missouri...

More Info
, and Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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; in the last named state a considerable  settlement was formed in Jackson county

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

More Info
; numbers joined the church,  and we were increasing rapidly; we made large purchases of land,  our farms teemed with plenty, and peace and happiness were enjoyed  in our domestic circle and throughout our neighbourhood; but as we  could not associate with our neighbours,—who were, many of them,  of the basest of men, and had fled from the face of civilized society  to the frontier country, to escape the hand of justice—in their midnight  revels, their sabbath-breaking, horse-racing, and gambling, they com menced at first to ridicule, then to persecute, and finally an organized  mob assembled and burned our houses, tarred and feathered and  whipped many of our brethren, and finally drove them from their  habitations; these, houseless and homeless, contrary to law, justice,  and humanity, had to wander on the bleak prairies till the children  left the tracks of their blood on the prairie. This took place in the  month of November, and they had no other covering but the canopy  of heaven, in that inclement season of the year. This proceeding was  winked at by the government; and although we had warrantee deeds  for our land, and had violated no law, we could obtain no redress.  There were many sick who were thus inhumanly driven from their  houses, and had to endure all this abuse, and to seek homes where  they could be found. The result was, that a great many of them  being deprived of the comforts of life, and the necessary attendance,  died; many children were left orphans; wives, widows; and hus bands, widowers. Our farms were taken possession of by the mob,  many thousands of cattle, sheep, horses, and hogs were taken, and  our household goods, store goods, and printing press and types were  broken, taken, or otherwise destroyed. [p. 407]
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In July 1843, JS received a letter from Clyde, Williams & Co. of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, announcing the planned publication of a volume of articles “written expressly for the Work, by distinguished Divines” from various religious denominations in the United States

North American constitutional republic. Constitution ratified, 17 Sept. 1787. Population in 1805 about 6,000,000; in 1830 about 13,000,000; and in 1844 about 20,000,000. Louisiana Purchase, 1803, doubled size of U.S. Consisted of seventeen states at time ...

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. The letter invited JS or “some other competent person” representing the Latter-day Saints to submit an “impartial account of the Rise and Progress, Faith and Practice” of the church.1

Clyde, Williams & Co., Harrisburg, PA, to JS, Nauvoo, IL, ca. 15 July 1843, JS Collection, CHL.  


On behalf of JS, William W. Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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prepared a letter in reply, promising that an article would be “matured and forwarded in season to meet your anticipations.”2

JS per William W. Phelps, Nauvoo, IL, to Clyde, Williams & Co., Harrisburg, PA, 1 Aug. 1843, JS Collection, CHL. Volumes describing various religious denominations were not uncommon in this time period. In addition to John Hayward’s 1836 Religious Creeds and Statistics, Robert Baird published A View of Religion in America in Glasgow in 1842, with a revised edition, titled Religion in America, printed in the United States two years later and reprinted many times thereafter. Other examples are P. Douglas Gorrie, The Churches and Sects of the United States, (New York: Lewis Colby, 1850), and Joseph Belcher, The Religious Denominations in the United States, (Philadelphia: J. E. Potter, 1854). Rupp’s volume is distinctive in that it is a collection of essays written by representatives of the respective denominations.  


The resulting essay, published as “Latter Day Saints,” was a revised version of “Church History,” an overview of Latter-day Saint history and doctrine recently written in response to a similar request and published in the church newspaper.3

See JS, “Church History”. When JS composed “Church History,” he quoted from Orson Pratt’s A[n] Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions.  


Taken as a whole, the revisions highlight JS’s emphasis on revelation, with a new opening paragraph explaining the revelatory foundations of the church and JS’s prophetic calling. The revised essay, composed in September 1843, also expanded on the achievements of the hardworking Latter-day Saints, noting the progress of Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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, Illinois, during the eighteen months since the publication of “Church History.” Whereas the earlier version noted simply, “We have commenced to build a city called ‘Nauvoo’” and alluded only briefly to the city charter, the Nauvoo Legion, and the Saints’ missionary outreach, “Latter Day Saints” elaborated on these now-implemented plans.4

JS, “Church History,” 709.  


The Nauvoo Legion was growing in numbers, and the University of Nauvoo was to be a place “where all the arts and sciences will grow.” The newly begun temple

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1841, commanded Saints to build temple and hotel (Nauvoo House). Cornerstone laid, 6 Apr. 1841. Saints volunteered labor, money, and other resources for temple construction. Construction directed by committee, which included Reynolds...

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received a descriptive paragraph of its own. While “Church History” emphasized the departure of missionaries to many parts of the world, the updated version announced that “thousands have already gathered with their kindred saints, to this the cornerstone of Zion.”
“Latter Day Saints” was written on behalf of JS and appeared under his name. JS approved of and may have collaborated on the content, but apparently it was William W. Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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who wrote the additions to “Church History.” Phelps’s handwriting appears in a three-page document containing drafts of passages that correspond to the changes to “Church History,” including both the initial paragraph of the revised text and the new section that precedes the concluding list of beliefs. The verso of the document’s second page reads, “Additions to an article in the Times & Seasons. Sent to Clyde Williams and Co. Publishe[r]s—Harrisburgh—September—1843.”5

William W. Phelps, “Additions to an Article in the Times & Seasons,” Sept. 1843, CHL.  


In early April 1844, JS’s essay was published in the volume He Pasa Ekklesia [The whole church], edited by German-American author and translator Israel Daniel Rupp

10 July 1803–31 May 1878. Bookseller, editor, historian, insurance agent, teacher, translator. Born in East Pennsboro (later in Hampden), Cumberland Co., Pennsylvania. Son of George Rupp and Christina Boeshor. Member of Reformed faith. Moved to Allen, Cumberland...

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.6

The book was published in or shortly after April 1844, the date found in its preface. (Rupp, He Pasa Ekklesia, vi.)  


The text presented herein is a transcription of the published version, with notes indicating textual variations from Phelps’s draft and from “Church History.”
On 5 June 1844, JS wrote to Rupp

10 July 1803–31 May 1878. Bookseller, editor, historian, insurance agent, teacher, translator. Born in East Pennsboro (later in Hampden), Cumberland Co., Pennsylvania. Son of George Rupp and Christina Boeshor. Member of Reformed faith. Moved to Allen, Cumberland...

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acknowledging receipt of a copy of He Pasa Ekklesia: “I feel very thankful for so valueable a treasure. The design, the propriety, the wisdom of letting every sect tell its own story; and the elegant manner in which the work appears, have filled my breast with encomiums upon it, wishing you God’s speed.” He continued, “I shall be pleased to furnish further information, at a proper time, and render you such service as the work, and vast extension of our church may demand for the benefit of truth, virtue, and holiness.” He then assured Rupp that “your work will be suitably noticed in our paper, for your benefit.”7

JS, Nauvoo, IL, to Israel Daniel Rupp, Lancaster City, PA, 5 June 1844, copy, JS Collection, CHL.  


On 26 June, the day before JS was killed, the promised endorsement appeared in the Mormon-owned community newspaper, the Nauvoo Neighbor, noting that “every sect is its own witness” and declaring, “Such a work is actually worth its weight in gold. The author has our blessing for his success.”8

“He Pasa Ekklesia,” Nauvoo Neighbor, 26 June 1844, [2].  


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