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Letter to Emma Smith, 13 October 1832

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Oct 12<13> 1832 Pearl Street House N Y <city>
This day I have been walking through the  most splended part of the city of New Y[ork] the buildings are truly great and wonderful  to the astonishing <of> to eve[r]y beholder and the lan guage of my heart is like this can the gre at God of all the Earth maker of all things  magnificent and splended be displeased with  man for all these great inventions saught  out by them my answer is no it cannot be  seeing these works are are calculated to mak[e]  men comfortable wise and happy therefore  not for the works can the Lord be displeased  only aganst man is the anger of the Lord  kindled because they Give him not the Glory  therefore their iniquities shall <be> visited upon  their heads and their works shall be burned up with  unquenchable fire the inequity [iniquity] of the people is pri nted in every countinance and nothing but the  dress of the people makes them look fair and  butiful all is deformity their is something in  every countinance that is disagreable with few  exceptions Oh how long Oh Lord Shall this  order of things exist and darkness cover the  Earth and gross darkness cover the people  after beholding all that I had any desire to  behold I returned to my room to meditate  and calm my mind and behold the thaughts  of home of Emma [Hale Smith] and Julia [M. Smith] rushes upon  my mind like a flood and I could wish for [p. [1]]
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In fall 1832, Bishop Newel K. Whitney operated a store in Kirtland, Ohio, for the church’s United Firm. JS accompanied him on a trip to New York City to purchase merchandise for the store. Whitney may also have traveled to New York to negotiate a $15,000 loan he had been commissioned to secure on behalf of the church.
The letter reveals something of JS’s mixture of awe and repugnance at his first encounter with New York City. The “Pearl Street House” in which JS and Whitney boarded was located only a few minutes’ walk from Five Points, a notorious slum district. While in New York City, JS wrote this letter to his wife, Emma, at Kirtland, Ohio. It is retained in the collection of the Community of Christ Library in Independence, Missouri.

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