26070

Letter to Newel Knight and the Church in Colesville, 28 August 1830

So that all things will be in order when we come. Be careful that the enemy of all righteousness11

See Acts 13:10.  


will not get the advantage over you in getting the news abroad.12

Of this plan to keep the forthcoming meeting secret, JS’s history records, “We had called upon our Heavenly Father in mighty prayer, that he would grant us an opportunity of meeting with them; that he would blind the eyes of our enemies, so that they would not know us, and that we might on this occasion return unmolested.— Our prayers were not in vain, for, when within a little distance of Mr Knights [Joseph Knight Sr.’s] place, we encountered a large company at work upon the public road, among whom were several of our most bitter enemies. They looked earnestly at us, but not knowing us, we passed on with out interruption.” (JS History, vol. A-1, 53.)  


Were it not for the prayers of you few, the Almighty would have thundered down his wrath upon the inhabitants of that place;13

See Genesis 18:20–33; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 442 [Helaman 13:12–13].  


but be not faint, the day of your deliverance is not far distant, for the judgements of the Lord are already abroad in the earth, and the cold hand of [p. 132]
So that all things will be in  order when we come. Be  careful that the enemy of all  righteousness11

See Acts 13:10.  


will not get  the advantage over you  in getting the news abroad.12

Of this plan to keep the forthcoming meeting secret, JS’s history records, “We had called upon our Heavenly Father in mighty prayer, that he would grant us an opportunity of meeting with them; that he would blind the eyes of our enemies, so that they would not know us, and that we might on this occasion return unmolested.— Our prayers were not in vain, for, when within a little distance of Mr Knights [Joseph Knight Sr.’s] place, we encountered a large company at work upon the public road, among whom were several of our most bitter enemies. They looked earnestly at us, but not knowing us, we passed on with out interruption.” (JS History, vol. A-1, 53.)  


 Were it not for the prayers of  you few, the Almighty would  have thundered down his  wrath upon the inhabitants  of that place;13

See Genesis 18:20–33; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 442 [Helaman 13:12–13].  


but be not  faint, the day of your de liverance is not far distant,  for the judgements of the Lord  are already abroad in the  earth, and the cold hand of [p. 132]
PreviousNext
In the summer of 1830, recently baptized

An ordinance in which an individual is immersed in water for the remission of sins. The Book of Mormon explained that those with necessary authority were to baptize individuals who had repented of their sins. Baptized individuals also received the gift of...

View Glossary
believers in Colesville

Area settled, beginning 1785. Formed from Windsor Township, Apr. 1821. Population in 1830 about 2,400. Villages within township included Harpursville, Nineveh, and Colesville. Susquehanna River ran through eastern portion of township. JS worked for Joseph...

More Info
, New York, faced opposition from local residents, and in early July JS was tried before two different judges in the vicinity as a “disorderly person.”1

JS History, vol. A-1, 44; see also Historical Introduction to Revelation, July 1830–A [D&C 24]; and the treatment of these trials in volume 1 of the Legal and Business Records series.  


Even after JS was acquitted in one instance and discharged in the other, locals drove him from the Colesville area. In August, Colesville church members Newel

13 Sept. 1800–11 Jan. 1847. Miller, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Peck. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, ca. 1809. Moved to Windsor (later in Colesville), Broome Co., New...

View Full Bio
and Sally Knight

1804–15 Sept. 1834. Born in Oxford (later in Guilford), Chenango Co., New York. Daughter of Amariah Coburn and Rose Linda Lyon. Resided in Oxford, Chenango Co., by 1810. Moved to Greene, Chenango Co., by 1820. Moved to Colesville, Broome Co., New York, by...

View Full Bio
visited JS in Harmony

Located in northeastern Pennsylvania. Area settled, by 1787. Organized 1809. Population in 1830 about 340. Population in 1840 about 520. Contained Harmony village (no longer in existence). Josiah Stowell hired JS to help look for treasure in area, Oct. 1825...

More Info
, Pennsylvania.2

JS History, vol. A-1, 51; see also Historical Introduction to Revelation, ca. Aug. 1830 [D&C 27].  


During the Knights’ stay, plans were made for JS to meet with the church members in Colesville on a specified day in late August. The Knights returned to Colesville, and “arrangements were made for the brethren and sisters to meet on that day, if possible, without letting our enemies know anything about it.”3

Knight, History, 127–128.  


However, the men who were to transport JS to Colesville did not arrive in time for him to attend the meeting, and JS and John Whitmer

27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...

View Full Bio
wrote this letter to explain their absence. The version transcribed here, the earliest complete extant copy of the letter, bears the date 20 August. An earlier, incomplete copy of the letter, meanwhile, dates the letter to 28 August; that dating is accepted in the present volume.4

Knight, Autobiography and Journal, 21.  


The original letter is not extant and it is not known whether it was sent to Colesville

Area settled, beginning 1785. Formed from Windsor Township, Apr. 1821. Population in 1830 about 2,400. Villages within township included Harpursville, Nineveh, and Colesville. Susquehanna River ran through eastern portion of township. JS worked for Joseph...

More Info
by mail or delivered by a church member serving as a courier. In any case, Newel Knight

13 Sept. 1800–11 Jan. 1847. Miller, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Peck. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, ca. 1809. Moved to Windsor (later in Colesville), Broome Co., New...

View Full Bio
received the letter and delivered its message to the Colesville believers. Likely on 4 September (the day he promised in the letter that he would arrive), JS arrived in Colesville along with Hyrum Smith

9 Feb. 1800–27 June 1844. Farmer, cooper. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Randolph, Orange Co., 1802; to Tunbridge, before May 1803; to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804; to Sharon, Windsor Co., by...

View Full Bio
, David Whitmer

7 Jan. 1805–25 Jan. 1888. Farmer, livery keeper. Born near Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Raised Presbyterian. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, shortly after birth. Attended German Reformed Church. Arranged...

View Full Bio
, and John Whitmer

27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...

View Full Bio
. JS’s history recounts, “We that evening assembled the church, and confirmed them, partook of the sacrament

Primarily referred to the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, or Communion, as opposed to other religious sacraments. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church directed “that the church meet together often to partake of bread and wine in remembrance of the Lord...

View Glossary
, and held a happy meeting, having much reason to rejoice in the God of our salvation, and sing Hosannas to his holy name.” The animosity toward members of the Church of Christ

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

View Glossary
in Colesville did not dissipate, however, and Knight recalled, “It was not long after the Brethren had left us when . . . the mob began to collect to gather and threaten and abuse us in a most Shameful and disgusting manner dureing the remainder of the day.”5

JS History, vol. A-1, 53; Knight, Autobiography and Journal, 21.  


Facts