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Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson County, Missouri, 18 August 1833

Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson County, Missouri, 18 August 1833

Kirtland, August 18, 1833.
O thou disposer of all Events, thou dispencer of all good! in the name  of Jesus Christ I ask thee to inspire my heart indiht [indite] my thaughts guide my  peen [pen] to note some kind word to these my Brotheren in Zion that like the  rays of the sun upon the Earth wormeth [warmeth] the face thereof so let this word I write  worm [warm] the hearts of my Brotheren or as the gentle rain deceneth [descendeth] upon the earth or the  dews upon the mountanes refresheth the face of nature and Causeth her to smile so  give unto thy servent Joseph have a word that shall refresh the hearts and revi[v]e  the spir[i]ts yea souls <of> those afflicted ones who have been called to leave their homes  and go to a strange land not knowing what should befall them behold this is like  Abraham a strikeing <evidence> of their acceptance before the <Lord> in this thing but this is not  all <they are> but called to contend with the beast of the wilderness for a long time whos[e]  Jaws <are> were open to devour them thus did Abraham and also Paul at Ephesus b[e]hold thou  art like him <them> and again the affliction of my Brotheren reminds me of Abraham  offering up Isaac his only son but my Brothe[r]en have have been called to give up  even more than this their wives and their children yea and their own life also  O Lord what more dost thou require at their hands before thou wilt come and save  them may I not say thou wilt yea I will <say> Lord thou wilt save them out of the  hands of their enemies thou hast tried them in the fu[r]nace of affliction a furnace  of thine own choseing [choosing]and couldst thou have tried them more then thou hast O  Lord then let this suffice and from henceforth <let> this <be> reco[r]ded <be> in heaven for thine  angels to look upon and for a testimony against all those ungodly men who  have commited those ungodly deeds forever and ever and <yea> let thine anger <is> be enki ndled against them and <let> them <and they shall> be consumed before thy face and be far  removed from Zion O <they will go> let them go down to <the> pit and give pl[a]ce for thy  saints for thy spirit will not always strive with man therefore I fear for all  these things yet O Lord glorify thyself thy will be done and not mine  but I must conclude my pray[er] my heart being full of real desire for all such  are not reprobate that they cannot be saved——
Dear Brotheren in fellowship and <love> towards you and with a broken heart and  a contrite Spirit I take the pen to address you but I know not what to—  say to you and the thaught <that> this <of> letter will be so long coming to you my  heart faints within me I feel to exclaim O Lord let the desire of my  heart be felt and realizied this moment <upon you hearts> and teach you all things thy  servent would communicate to would you my Brotheren since the intel igence of the Calamity of Zion has reached the ears of the wicked there is  no saifty [safety] for us here but evevery man has to wa[t]ch their houses every  night to keep off the Mob[b]ers Satan has Come down in Great wrath  upon all the Chirch of God and the[re] is no saifty [safety] only in the arm of  Jehovah none else can deliver and he will not deliver unless we do  prove ourselves faithful to him in the severeest trouble for he that  will have his robes washed in the blood of the Lamb must come  up throught great tribulation even the greatest of all affliction but  know this when men thus deal with you and speak all maner of evil of  you falsly for the sake of Christ that he is your friend and I verily  know that he will spedily deliver Zion for I have his immutible  covenant that this shall be the case but god is pleased to keep it  hid from mine eyes the means how exactly the thing will be done  the chirch in Kirtland concluded with one accord to die with you or  redeem you and never at any time have I felt as I now feel that  pure love and for you my Brotheren the wormth [warmth] and Zeal for you  saf[e]ty that we can scarcely hold our spirits but wisdom I trust will  keep us from madness and desperation and the power of the Go[s]pel will enable  us to stand and [p. [1]]
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On 9 August 1833, JS received Oliver Cowdery’s personal report of the difficulties endured by church members in Jackson County, Missouri. Nine days later, JS composed this lengthy letter offering comfort and counsel to those members in Zion. Noting that Kirtland, Ohio, members were also exposed to abuse, he encouraged members in Missouri not to abandon their objective to build up Zion but to rely on the Lord to sustain them.

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