2478323

Letter to Noah C. Saxton, 4 January 1833

been left from Assyria, and from Egypt and from Pathros &.c. and from the Islands of the sea10

See Isaiah 11:11; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 98, 104, 115, 139 [2 Nephi 21:11; 25:17; 29:1; Jacob 6:2].  


and with them to bring in the fulness of the Gentiles

Those who were not members of the House of Israel. More specifically, members of the church identified gentiles as those whose lineage was not of the Jews or Lamanites (understood to be the American Indians in JS’s day). Certain prophecies indicated that ...

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and establish that covenant with them which was promised when their sins should be taken away. see Romans 11, 25, 26, & 27 and also Jeremiah 31. 31, 32, & 33,11

See also Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 36, 486–487 [1 Nephi 15:13; 3 Nephi 16:4].  


This covenant has never been established with the house of Isreal nor with the house of Judah for it requires two parties to make a covenant and those two parties must be agreed or no covenant can be made. Christ in the days of his flesh proposed to make a covenant with them but they rejected him and his proposals and in consequence thereof they were broken off and no covenant was made with them at that time but their unbelief has not rendered the promise of God of none effect;12

See Romans 4:13–14; and Galatians 3:16–17.  


no, for there was another day limited in David which was the day of his power and then his people Isreal, should be a willing people14

See Hebrews 4:7–9; and Psalm 110:3.  


and he would write his laws in their hearts and print them in their thoughts their sins and their eniquities he would remember no more,15

See Jeremiah 31:33–34; and Hebrews 8:10; 10:16.  


Thus after this chosen family had rejected Christ and his proposals the heralds of salvation said to them. “lo we turn unto the gentiles,”16

Acts 13:46.  


and the gentiles received the covenant and were grafted in from whence the chosen family were broken off but the Gentiles have not continued in the goodness of God but have departed from the faith that was once delivered to the saints17

See Jude 1:3.  


and have broken the covenant in which their fathers were established see Isaiah 24th 5th. and have become high minded and have not feared therefore but few of them will be gathered with the chosen family Has not the pride highmindedness and unbelief of the Gentiles provoked the holy one of Israel to withdraw his holy spirit from them and send forth his Judgments to scourge them for their wickedness; this is certianly the case, Christ said to his deciples Mark 16, 17 & 18 that these signs should follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out Devils they shall speap speak with new tongues they shall take up serpants and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover, and also in connection with this read 1 Corinthians 12 Chapt, By the foregoing testamonies or through the glass of the foregoing testamonies we may look at the Christian world and see the apostacy there has been from [p. 15]
been left from Assyria, and from Egypt and from Pathros &.c. and from the  Islands of the sea10

See Isaiah 11:11; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 98, 104, 115, 139 [2 Nephi 21:11; 25:17; 29:1; Jacob 6:2].  


and with them to bring in the fulness of the Gentiles

Those who were not members of the House of Israel. More specifically, members of the church identified gentiles as those whose lineage was not of the Jews or Lamanites (understood to be the American Indians in JS’s day). Certain prophecies indicated that ...

View Glossary
and  establish that covenant with them which was promised when their sins should  be taken away. see Romans 11, 25, 26, & 27 and also Jeremiah 31. 31, 32, & 33,11

See also Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 36, 486–487 [1 Nephi 15:13; 3 Nephi 16:4].  


This  covenant has never been established with the house of Isreal nor with th[e]  house of Judah for it requires two parties to make a covenant and those  two parties must be agreed or no covenant can be made. Christ in the  days of his flesh proposed to make a covenant with them but they rejected  him and his proposals and in consequence thereof they were broken off  and no covenant was made with them at that time but their unbelief  has not rendered the promise of God of none effect;12

See Romans 4:13–14; and Galatians 3:16–17.  


no, for there13

TEXT: “their” with “there” written over it.  


 was another day limited in David which was the day of his power  and then his people Isreal, should be a willing people14

See Hebrews 4:7–9; and Psalm 110:3.  


and  he would write his laws in their hearts and print them in their  thoughts their sins and their eniquities he would remember  no more,15

See Jeremiah 31:33–34; and Hebrews 8:10; 10:16.  


Thus after this chosen family had rejected Christ  and his proposals the heralds of salvation said to them. “lo  I we turn <un>to the gentiles,”16

Acts 13:46.  


and the gentiles received the covenant and  were grafted in from whence the chosen family were broken off but  the Gentiles have not continued in the goodness of God but have  departed from the faith that was once delivered to the saints17

See Jude 1:3.  


and have  broken the everlasting covenant in which their fathers were established  see Isaiah 24th 5th. and have become high minded and have not  feared therefore but few of them will be gathered with the chosen family  Has not the pride highmindedness and unbelief of the Gentiles  provoked the holy one of Israel to withdraw his holy spirit from  them and send forth his Judgments to scourge them for their wick edness; this is certianly the case, Christ said to his deciples Mark  16, 17 & 18 that these signs should follow them that believe; In my  name shall they cast out Devils they shall speap [speak] with new  tongues they shall take up serpants and if they drink any  deadly thing it shall not hurt them they shall lay hands on  the sick and they shall recover, and also in connection with  this read 1 Corinthians 12 Chapt, By the foregoing testamonies or  through the glass of the foregoing testamonies we may look at the  Christian world and see the apostacy there has been from [p. 15]
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On 4 January 1833, JS wrote a letter to a newspaper editor identified in the inside address as “N. E. Sextan” of Rochester

Located at falls of Genesee River, seven miles south of Lake Ontario, on Erie Canal. Founded 1812. Incorporated as village, 1817. Originally called Rochesterville; name changed to Rochester, 1822. Incorporated as city, 1834. County seat. Population in 1820...

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, Monroe County, New York. Less than a month later, the American Revivalist, and Rochester Observer, edited by Noah C. Saxton

25 Jan. 1798–23 June 1834. Evangelist, Christian newspaper editor. Born in Wilbraham, Hampden Co., Massachusetts. Son of Noah Saxton and Patty Bliss. Graduated from Union College in Schenectady, Schenectady Co., New York, 1818. Received preacher license, ...

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, published a portion of JS’s letter, indicating that Saxton was the intended recipient.1

“Mormonism,” American Revivalist, and Rochester (NY) Observer, 2 Feb. 1833, [2]. Saxton was previously the editor of the New York Evangelist, which was consolidated with the Rochester Observer in 1832. The Rochester Observer began in 1827 as a Presbyterian newspaper; by the end of 1832, it had three thousand subscribers. It was known as the American Revivalist, and Rochester Observer from 29 September 1832 to 13 July 1833. (See French, Gazetteer of the State of New York, 396; Norton, “Comparative Images,” 359, 361.)  


The American Revivalist, and Rochester Observer was a weekly evangelical newspaper published in upstate New York

Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...

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. According to Saxton, the newspaper was devoted to “the free discussion and critical investigation of the doctrines and duties of Christianity.” Saxton encouraged “his brethren in the ministry and other correspondents to contribute liberally to the columns of the Revivalist,” advice that JS apparently took seriously.2

“American Revivalist, and Rochester Observer,” American Revivalist, and Rochester (NY) Observer, 29 Sept. 1832, [1]; see also Norton, “Comparative Images,” 359–360.  


Speaking of the time period in which JS wrote this letter, a later JS history states that “appearances of troubles among the nations, became more visible, this season, than they had previously done, since the church began her journey out of the wilderness.” A cholera epidemic, an outbreak of the plague in India, and political tumult between South Carolina and the federal government were especially troubling.3

JS History, vol. A-1, 244.  


JS saw these events, on which Saxton

25 Jan. 1798–23 June 1834. Evangelist, Christian newspaper editor. Born in Wilbraham, Hampden Co., Massachusetts. Son of Noah Saxton and Patty Bliss. Graduated from Union College in Schenectady, Schenectady Co., New York, 1818. Received preacher license, ...

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had reported in several issues of his newspaper,4

See, for example, the following articles in the American Revivalist, and Rochester (NY) Observer: “Cholera Record,” 29 Sept. 1832, [1]; “Effects of the Cholera,” 29 Dec. 1832, [1]; “Political News: South Carolina Nullification,” 22 Dec. 1832, [3]; and “Persia,” 29 Dec. 1832, [4].  


through a millenarian lens. In the four months before he wrote to Saxton, JS’s revelations and other documents had warned of disasters preceding the return of Jesus Christ—disasters that seemed to be afflicting the world.5

Revelations in 1831 explained events that would precede Christ’s return, but JS seemed especially concerned with signs of the times in late 1832 and early 1833. (See, for example, Revelation, ca. 7 Mar. 1831 [D&C 45]; Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 1]; Revelation, 3 Nov. 1831 [D&C 133]; Letter to Emma Smith, 13 Oct. 1832; and Letter to William W. Phelps, 31 July 1832.)  


A September 1832 revelation, for example, explained that because “the whole world lieth in sin and groaneth under darkness,” the Lord “laid [his] hand upon the nations to scorge them for ther wickedness.” “Plagues” would continue, the Lord declared in the revelation, “untill I have completed my work.”6

Revelation, 22–23 Sept. 1832 [D&C 84:49, 96–97].  


In October 1832, after walking through the streets of New York City

Dutch founded New Netherland colony, 1625. Incorporated under British control and renamed New York, 1664. Harbor contributed to economic and population growth of city; became largest city in American colonies. British troops defeated Continental Army under...

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, New York, JS lamented that “aganst man is the anger of the Lord kindled because they Give him not the Glory.”7 The calamities that the Lord would pour out on the world were graphically portrayed in a 25 December 1832 revelation: “With the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn and with famine and plague, and Earthquake and the thunder of heaven and the fierce and vivid lightning also shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel.”8

Revelation, 25 Dec. 1832 [D&C 87:6].  


A 27–28 December revelation therefore proclaimed it the duty of the elders

A male leader in the church generally; an ecclesiastical and priesthood office or one holding that office; a proselytizing missionary. The Book of Mormon explained that elders ordained priests and teachers and administered “the flesh and blood of Christ unto...

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of the church “to warn the people” and “to prepare the saints, for the hour of judgments, which is to come.”9

Revelation, 27–28 Dec. 1832 [D&C 88:81, 84].  


JS wrote to Saxton

25 Jan. 1798–23 June 1834. Evangelist, Christian newspaper editor. Born in Wilbraham, Hampden Co., Massachusetts. Son of Noah Saxton and Patty Bliss. Graduated from Union College in Schenectady, Schenectady Co., New York, 1818. Received preacher license, ...

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partly to issue the required warning. JS explained that God had again established on the earth the covenant that Christ offered during his ministry—a covenant different from the ancient covenants that God had made with the children of Israel. To allow Israel access to this new covenant, the gathering of Israel had commenced, the apostolic church had been restored, and the inhabitants of the earth now needed to repent, be 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...

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, and receive the Holy Ghost. JS concluded his letter with an explanation of the Book of Mormon, its doctrines, and the establishment of Zion

A specific location in Missouri; also a literal or figurative gathering of believers in Jesus Christ, characterized by adherence to ideals of harmony, equality, and purity. In JS’s earliest revelations “the cause of Zion” was used to broadly describe the ...

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in Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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, using imagery from a Book of Mormon allegory that compares Israel to an olive tree.10

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 131–139 [Jacob chap. 5].  


The original letter is no longer extant, but Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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copied it into JS’s letterbook, probably soon after its composition. When Saxton

25 Jan. 1798–23 June 1834. Evangelist, Christian newspaper editor. Born in Wilbraham, Hampden Co., Massachusetts. Son of Noah Saxton and Patty Bliss. Graduated from Union College in Schenectady, Schenectady Co., New York, 1818. Received preacher license, ...

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published a portion of the letter—beginning at the paragraph starting with “The Book of Mormon is a record of the forefathers . . .” and continuing to the end of the letter—he prefaced it by stating it was written by “Mr. J. Smith Jr., who we suppose, is a principal leader of the sect that embrace Mormonism.” The letter, Saxton continued, contained “much good feeling and urbanity.”11

“Mormonism,” American Revivalist, and Rochester (NY) Observer, 2 Feb. 1833, [2].  


Subsequent issues of the newspaper contained no commentary or articles about the letter. In February 1833, JS wrote another letter to Saxton, complaining that the editor had published only a portion of the original letter. JS warned him to “publish that letter entire” if he wanted “to clear your garments from the blood of you[r] readers,” but Saxton never published the complete letter.12

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