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Letter to Church Leaders in Eugene, Indiana, 2 July 1833

Letter to Church Leaders in Eugene, Indiana, 2 July 1833

Kirtland 2 July 1833
Dear Brethren it is truly painful to  be under the painful necessity of writing  on a subject which engages our attention  at this time viz the case of John Smith  and Eden Smith his son. we have Just  received a letter from you concerning their  standing in the Church, we do not  hold them in fellowship we would  inform you that John Smith has  been dealt with and his authority  taken from him and you are  required not to receive his teachings  but to treat him as a transgressor  until he repents and humbles himself  before the Lord to the entire satisfaction  of the Church and also you have  authority to call a conference  and sit in Judgment on Edens case  and deal with him as the law directs  we feel to rebuke the Elders of that  <branch of the> church of Christ for not magnifying  their office and letting the transgressor go  unpunished we therefore enjoin upon [p. 54]
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John Smith, no relation to JS, and his son Eden joined the church in 1831. Soon thereafter they were ordained to the priesthood and performed missionary service. After completion of his mission in August 1832, John Smith had a dispute with church members. A bishop’s court in Kirtland, Ohio, deprived him of his ministerial license. This letter explained the elder Smith’s circumstances to branch leaders and authorized them to consider Eden Smith’s fellowship in the church.
JS, Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams, as presidents of the high priesthood, sent a letter on 2 July 1833 to John Smith to affirm the bishop’s court decision. That same day they sent this letter to the leaders of the Eugene branch in Vermillion County, Indiana, where John and Eden Smith resided. Newel K. Whitney, the church bishop in the Kirtland area who rendered the initial decision regarding John Smith, added a postscript.
Williams transcribed a copy of the communication into JS Letterbook 1, possibly in July 1833.

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