Letter from Wilford Woodruff and Others, 9 March 1838

the salvation of Israel; and for one, I  pray God to take away my life, sooner  than to suffer me to turn my back upon  the faithful part of the church of Latter  Day Saints, and Joseph whom God  hath chosen to lead his people. O my  soul mourns over the corruptions of the  hearts of men! O how man will stum ble in dark places, when he neglects  prayer and departs from his God! O  ye Saints of Zion, watch and pray, and  keep the Celestial law, which is safe!
That you may know the feelings of  the undersigners of this page, we say  to you before God, that we are in full  fellowship with Joseph Smith jr. and  the first Presidency of the church, and  with all who still adhere to, and receive  their teachings and instructions; and  we say, in the name of Jesus Christ,  that we will uphold such by our pray ers, faith, and influence, at the risk of  our fortunes, lives, and worldly honor.  “For life is but a name, when virtue  and truth is gone.”
We further believe, that judgment  awaits the world speedily, Kirtland not  excepted, and we do believe that those  who have dissented from the body of the  church, will have cause to lament for  their folly. We ask in the name of  reason and revelation, who has power  to take from Joseph, the keys delivered  to him by the God of Abraham, Isaac,  and Jacob, and deprive him of the  work that God has said he should per form? We answer, none but God  alone. We believe the book of Mor mon and Doctrine and Covenants,  speaks too loud upon the subject, to  fall unfulfilled and to be made void, by  those who have neglected prayer, and  departed from the living God, and  sought to take honor unto themselves.  O ye Saints of God in Zion! we en treat you to uphold Joseph by prayer,  faith, brotherly love, and charity: for  we testify, in the Spirit of God, that he  will be brought off conquerer, and his  enemies put to shame.
Do you remember his toils and la bors for your salvation? Nothing but  a God has supported him to the present  day. His perils are great, and the  greatest are among false brethren;  and we do entreat the Saints in Zion  not to add to his wounds, by following  the example of many in Kirtland.— Bear with us, ye Saints of God, while  we exhort you to keep the Celestial  law of God while in the land of Zion.  Be humble, be watchful, be prayerful.  Beware of pride, lest you fall like oth ers. We do not make these remarks  for compliment sake, we feel what we  say. Kirtland is and will be scourged,  to fulfill revelation and prophecy; it is  all right, the hand of God is in it.  God’s work will not stop. He will  work for, and with his Saints. God  will redeem Jacob. God will build up  Zion. The Lord will establish Jerusa lem. And O ye Judges in Zion! that  God may bestow wisdom and salvation  upon you, is the prayer of
JOSEPH BALL. [p. 36]
Wilford Woodruff, James Townsend, and Joseph Ball, letter, Vinalhaven, Fox Islands, ME, to JS, Edward Partridge, Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith, and church members in Missouri, 9 Mar. 1838; Elders’ Journal , July 1838, pp. 35–36.