26108

Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 7 May 1831

searching for truth and if cincerely I pr[a]y they  may find that precious treasure for it seems  to be wholly fallen in the streets that equity  cannot enter in the letter we received of <from> you we  were informed that the opposition was great against  you now our beloved brethren we verily believe that  we can also rejoice that we can are counted worthy  to suffer shame for his name for almost the  whole country which consists of Universalists Ath[e]ists  Deists Presbyterians Methodists <Baptists> & professed Christians  Priests & people with all the Devels from the  infernal pit are united and foaming out ther  own shame God forbid that I should bring a railing  accusation against them for Vengence belongeth  unto him who is able to repay & herein brethren  we confide. I am informed of an other Tribe  of Lamanites lately who have abundence of flocks  of the best kind of sheep & cattle and manufacture  blankets of superior quality the tribe is very  numerous they live three hundred miles west  of Santafee and are called navahoes why I men tion this tribe is because I feel under obligation  to communicate <my breth[r]en evry informati[o]n respecting th[e] Lamanites & ab[out].> to you all my Labours and travels  believeing as I do that much is expected from me  in the cause of our Lord and not doubuting but I daily  am remembered before the throne of the most high  by all of my brethren as well those who have not  seen my face in the flesh as those who have
We have begin to expect our brother Parley [P. Pratt] soon we have  heard from him only when he was at St Louis we are  all well (bless the Lord) and preach the gospel we will if  earth and hell oppose our way and we dwell in the midst  of Scortions for in Jesus <we> trust grace be with you all Amen
PS I beseach you Brother [Newel K.] Whitney to remember & write & direct  to me Indipendence Jackson County Missouri
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Late in 1830, Oliver Cowdery and others traveled west to preach to the Delaware Indian nation in the Kansas Territory. Early church members often referred to Indians as “Lamanites” because they associated them with a Book of Mormon people identified by that name. In this letter, Cowdery dutifully passed to church associates in the East information he had acquired in western Missouri about Indian nations farther west (in this case, the Navajo people). He also noted that despite general opposition a handful of local citizens seemed interested in Mormonism. Cowdery and his associates remained in Missouri until JS and other elders arrived in late July and early August 1831 to identify and dedicate the location for the New Jerusalem.
   The original letter is not extant. Frederick G. Williams recorded the letter’s text in JS’s letterbook between 27 November 1832 and early January 1833.

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