30694

Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 8 April 1831

Letter 7 Kaw Township

Settlement by whites commenced after treaty with Osage Indians, 1825. One of three original townships organized in Jackson Co., 22 May 1827. Bordered by Missouri River on north side and Big Blue River on east and south sides; western boundary was state line...

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Jackson Co Missouri April 8— 1831
My dearly beloved brethren & sisters in the Lord we received yours dated March 1—2

This letter to Cowdery, likely the first communication informing him of the relocation of JS and other church members from New York to Ohio, is not extant.  


on the 2 ult which was joyful news to our hearts for we had been long looking for letters from you with the hope that the news we should rieceive woud give our friends who reside in this Land joy by confirming them in the belief that we are men of truth and the Lord God of hosts has not forsaken the earth but is in very deed about to redeem his ancient covenant people & lead them with the fulness of the Gentiles

Those who were not members of the House of Israel. More specifically, members of the church identified gentiles as those whose lineage was not of the Jews or Lamanites (understood to be the American Indians in JS’s day). Certain prophecies indicated that ...

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to springs yea fountains of living waters to his holy hill of Zion

A specific location in Missouri; also a literal or figurative gathering of believers in Jesus Christ, characterized by adherence to ideals of harmony, equality, and purity. In JS’s earliest revelations “the cause of Zion” was used to broadly describe the ...

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3

See Psalm 2:6.  


& make them joyful in his house of prayer,4

See Isaiah 56:7.  


For truly our Brethren we are men greatly wondered at and the Lord has given us some friends and also brethren while we are strangers in a strange land5

See Exodus 2:22.  


for yesterday we held a meeting and proclaimed the word of the Lord, and one sister thank the Lord obeyed the truth and at evening we held another meeting when another sister obeyed also and trust that the time is not far distant when more will follow for truly when we were assambled at the water while my natural feet stood upon an exceding large rock which had been rent in seams and fragments which was done when the God of heaven bowed his head when it was finished,6

Cowdery here referenced the Book of Mormon account of the prophecy of the destruction promised “at the time that he [Christ] shall yield up the ghost.” Book of Mormon prophet Samuel the Lamanite prophesied that great earthquakes at that time would result in “the rocks which is upon the face of this earth, which is both above the earth and beneath, which ye know at this time is solid, or the more part of it is one solid mass, shall be broken up; yea, they shall be rent in twain, and shall ever after be found in seams, and in cracks, and in broken fragments upon the face of the whole earth.” The fulfillment of this prophecy was also recorded in the Book of Mormon. (Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 446–447, 471 [Helaman 14:21–22; 3 Nephi 8:18].)  


I stood in spirit upon a rock that was broader then the heavens and in full assurence that the gospel was commited to me to proclaim the lord gave his spirit and sinners were pricked in there hearts,7

See Acts 2:37.  


I this day heard from the deleware Nation of Lamanites

A term used in the Book of Mormon to refer to the descendants or followers of Laman, as well as those who later identified themselves as Lamanites because they did not believe in the religious traditions of their ancestors. According to JS and the Book of...

View Glossary
by the man who is employed by government a smith for that Nation he believes the truth and says he thanks God he does believe8

According to Parley P. Pratt’s later account, three of the missionaries first lodged in the Delaware lands with “Mr. Pool . . . their blacksmith, employed by the government.” James Pool was employed “as a blacksmith for the Delaware, Shawnee, and Seneca tribes of Indians, from August, 1823, until November, 1838.” (Pratt, Autobiography, 57; Report, S. Rep. Com. no. 20, 37th Cong., 2nd Sess., p. 1, in Reports of the Committees of the Senate.)  


and also says that he shall shortly be baptized

An ordinance in which an individual is immersed in water for the remission of sins. The Book of Mormon explained that those with necessary authority were to baptize individuals who had repented of their sins. Baptized individuals also received the gift of...

View Glossary
which I pray God may be the case for truly my brethren he is a [p. 10]
<Let[ter] 7>1

TEXT: This scribal notation, in the handwriting of Frederick G. Williams, numbered the letter in JS Letterbook 1.  


Kaw Township

Settlement by whites commenced after treaty with Osage Indians, 1825. One of three original townships organized in Jackson Co., 22 May 1827. Bordered by Missouri River on north side and Big Blue River on east and south sides; western boundary was state line...

More Info
Jackson Co Missouri April 8— 1832 1831
My dearly beloved brethren & sisters in the Lord we received your[s]  dated March 1—2

This letter to Cowdery, likely the first communication informing him of the relocation of JS and other church members from New York to Ohio, is not extant.  


on the 2 ult which was joyful news to our hearts for we had been long looking for letters from  you with the hope that the news that we should <rieceive> woud  give our friends who reside in this Land joy by confirming  them in the belief that we are men of truth and the Lord  God of hosts has not forsaken the earth but is in very deed  about to redeem his ancien[t] covenant people & lead  them with the fulness of the Gentiles

Those who were not members of the House of Israel. More specifically, members of the church identified gentiles as those whose lineage was not of the Jews or Lamanites (understood to be the American Indians in JS’s day). Certain prophecies indicated that ...

View Glossary
to springs yea  fountains of living waters to his holy hill of Zion

A specific location in Missouri; also a literal or figurative gathering of believers in Jesus Christ, characterized by adherence to ideals of harmony, equality, and purity. In JS’s earliest revelations “the cause of Zion” was used to broadly describe the ...

View Glossary
3

See Psalm 2:6.  


&  make them joyful in his house of prayer,4

See Isaiah 56:7.  


For truly  our Brethren we are men greatly wondered at and  the Lord has given us some friends and also brethren  while we are strangers in a strange land5

See Exodus 2:22.  


for  yesterday we held a meeting and proclaimed the  word of the Lord, and one sister thank the Lord  obeyed the truth and at evening we held an other meeting when another sister obeyed also and  trust that the time is not far distant when more  will follow for truly when we were assambled at the  water while my natural feet stood upon an  exceding large rock which had been rent in  seams and fragments which was done when the  God of heaven bowed his head when it was  finished,6

Cowdery here referenced the Book of Mormon account of the prophecy of the destruction promised “at the time that he [Christ] shall yield up the ghost.” Book of Mormon prophet Samuel the Lamanite prophesied that great earthquakes at that time would result in “the rocks which is upon the face of this earth, which is both above the earth and beneath, which ye know at this time is solid, or the more part of it is one solid mass, shall be broken up; yea, they shall be rent in twain, and shall ever after be found in seams, and in cracks, and in broken fragments upon the face of the whole earth.” The fulfillment of this prophecy was also recorded in the Book of Mormon. (Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 446–447, 471 [Helaman 14:21–22; 3 Nephi 8:18].)  


I stood in spirit upon a rock that  was broader then the heavens and in full assurence  that the gospel was commited to me to proclaim  the lord gave his spirit and sinners were pricke[d]  in there hearts,7

See Acts 2:37.  


I this day received heard from  the deleware Nation of Lamanites

A term used in the Book of Mormon to refer to the descendants or followers of Laman, as well as those who later identified themselves as Lamanites because they did not believe in the religious traditions of their ancestors. According to JS and the Book of...

View Glossary
by the man  who is employed by government a smith for  that Nation he believes the truth and says he  tha[n]ks God he does believe8

According to Parley P. Pratt’s later account, three of the missionaries first lodged in the Delaware lands with “Mr. Pool . . . their blacksmith, employed by the government.” James Pool was employed “as a blacksmith for the Delaware, Shawnee, and Seneca tribes of Indians, from August, 1823, until November, 1838.” (Pratt, Autobiography, 57; Report, S. Rep. Com. no. 20, 37th Cong., 2nd Sess., p. 1, in Reports of the Committees of the Senate.)  


and also says that he  shall shortly be baptized

An ordinance in which an individual is immersed in water for the remission of sins. The Book of Mormon explained that those with necessary authority were to baptize individuals who had repented of their sins. Baptized individuals also received the gift of...

View Glossary
which I pray God  may be the case for truly my brethren he is a [p. 10]
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Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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, Letter, Kaw Township

Settlement by whites commenced after treaty with Osage Indians, 1825. One of three original townships organized in Jackson Co., 22 May 1827. Bordered by Missouri River on north side and Big Blue River on east and south sides; western boundary was state line...

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, MO, to “My dearly beloved brethren & sisters in the Lord” [Newel K. Whitney

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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and other church members, including JS], [Kirtland Township

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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, OH], 8 Apr. 1831. Featured version copied [between ca. 27 Nov. 1832 and ca. Jan. 1833] in JS Letterbook 1, pp. 10–12; handwriting of Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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; JS Collection, CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for JS Letterbook 1.

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