Letter to Brethren Abroad, December 1833

Dear Brethren in Christ, and companions in tribulation:
It seemeth good unto us, to drop a few lines to you, giving you some in struction relative to conducting the affairs of the kingdom of God, which has  been committed unto us in these later times, by the will and testament of our  Mediator, whose intersessions in our behalf, are lodged in the bosom of  the Eternal Father, and ere long will burst with blessings upon the heads of  all the faithful:
We have all been children, and are too mutch so at the present time; but  we hope in the Lord, that we may grow in grace and be prepared for all  things which the bosom of futurity may disclose unto us. Time is rapidly  rolling on, and the prophecies must be fulfilled. The days of tribulation are  fast approaching, and the time to test the fidelity of the Saints, has come.—  Rumor with her ten thousand tongues is diffusing her uncertain sounds in  almost every ear: but in these times of sore trial, let the saints be patient  and see the salvation of God. Those who cannot endure persecution and  stand in the day of affliction, cannot stand in the day when the Son of God  shall burst the veil, and appear in all the glory of his Father with the holy  angels.
On the subject of ordination, a few words are necessary: In many in stances there has been too much haste in this thing, and the admonition of  Paul has been too slightingly passed over, which says, “Lay hands suddenly  upon no man.” Some have been ordained to the ministry, and have never  acted in that capacity, or magnified their calling, at all: Such may expect to  lose their calling, except they awake and magnify their office. Let the el ders abroad be exceedingly careful upon this subject, and when they ordain  a man to the holy ministry, let it be a faithful man, who is able to teach oth ers also; that the cause of Christ suffer not. It is not the multitude of preachers  that is to bring about the glorious Millenium! but it is those who are “cal led, and chosen, and faithful.”
Let the elders be exceedingly careful about unnecessarily disturbing and  harrowing up the feelings of the people. Remember, that your business is,  to preach the gospel in all humility and meekness, and warn sinners to re pent and come to Christ. Avoid contentions and vain disputes with men  of corrupt minds, who do not desire to know the truth. Remember that “it  is a day of warning, and not a day of many words.” If they receive not  your testimony in one place, flee to another, remembering, to cast no re flections, nor throw out any bitter sayings. If you do your duty, it will  be just as well with you, as though all men embraced the gospel.
Be careful about sending boys to preach the gospel to the world; if they  go, let them be accompanied by some one who is able to guide them in the  proper channel, lest they become puffed up, and fall under condemnation  and into the snare of the devil: finally, in these critical times, be careful;  call on the Lord day and night. Beware of pride: Beware of false breth ren, who will creep in among you to spy out your liberties, &c. Awake to  righteousness and sin not; let your light shine, and show yourselves work men that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Apply  yourselves diligently to study, that your minds may be stored with all ne cessary information.
We remain your brethren in Christ, anxiously praying for the day of  redemption to come, when iniquity shall be swept from the earth; and ever lasting righteousness brought in:
Farewell. [p. 120]
JS and other elders, letter, Kirtland, OH, to brethren abroad, [Dec. 1833]; “The Elders in Kirtland, to their Brethren Abroad,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, p. 120.