27538

Letter to Oliver Cowdery, circa April 1836

doubt but those who believe the bible will admit these facts, and that they also knew the mind and will of God concerning what they wrote to the churches which they were instrumental in building up.
This being admitted, the matter can be put to rest without much argument, if we look at a few items in the New Testament. Paul says:
“Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ: Not with eye service, as men-pleasers: but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart: With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men. Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.” Eph. 6: 5,6,7,8,9.
Here is a lesson which might be profitable for all to learn, and the principle upon which the church was anciently governed, is so plainly set forth, that an eye of truth might see and understand. Here, certainly are represented the master and servant; and so far from instructions to the servant to leave his master, he is commanded to be in obedience, as unto the Lord: the master in turn is required to treat them with kindness before God, understanding at the same time that he is to give an account.—The hand of fellowship is not withdrawn from him in consequence of having servants.
The same writer, in his first epistle to Timothy, the sixth chapter, and the five first verses, says:
“Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren: but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness: he is proud, knowing nothing but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.”
This is so perfectly plain, that I see no need of comment. The scripture stands for itself, and I believe that these men were better qualified to teach the will of God, than all the abolitionists in the world.
Before closing this communication, I beg leave to drop a word to the travelling elders: You know, brethren, that great responsibility rests upon you, and that you are accountable to God for all you teach the world. In my opinion, you will do well to search the book of Covenants, in which you will see the belief of the church

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
concerning masters and servants. All men are to be taught to repent; but we have no right to interfere with slaves contrary to the mind and will of their masters. In fact, it would be much better and more prudent, not to preach at all to slaves, until after their masters are converted: and then, teach the master to use them with kindness, remembering that they are accountable to God, and that servants are bound to serve their masters, with singleness of heart, without murmuring. I do, most sincerely hope, that no one who is authorized from this church to preach the gospel, will so far depart from the scripture as to be found stirring up strife and sedition against our brethren of the South. Having spoken frankly and freely, I leave all in the hands of God, who will direct all things for his glory and the accomplishment of his work.
Praying that God may spare you to do much good in this life, I subscribe myself your brother in the Lord.
JOSEPH SMITH, jr. [p. 291]
doubt but those who believe the bible  will admit these facts, and that they  also knew the mind and will of God  concerning what they wrote to the  churches which they were instrumen tal in building up.
This being admitted, the matter can  be put to rest without much argument,  if we look at a few items in the New  Testament. Paul says:
“Servants, be obedient to them that are  your masters according to the flesh, with fear  and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as  unto Christ: Not with eye service, as men- pleasers: but as the servants of Christ, doing  the will of God from the heart: With good  will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to  men. Knowing that whatsoever good thing  any man doeth, the same shall he receive of  the Lord, whether he be bond or free. And,  ye masters, do the same things unto them,  forbearing threatening: knowing that your  Master also is in heaven; neither is there  respect of persons with him.” Eph. 6: 5,6, 7,8,9.
Here is a lesson which might be  profitable for all to learn, and the prin ciple upon which the church was an ciently governed, is so plainly set  forth, that an eye of truth might see  and understand. Here, certainly are  represented the master and servant;  and so far from instructions to the ser vant to leave his master, he is com manded to be in obedience, as unto  the Lord: the master in turn is re quired to treat them with kindness be fore God, understanding at the same  time that he is to give an account.— The hand of fellowship is not with drawn from him in consequence of  having servants.
The same wri[t]er, in his first epistle  to Timothy, the sixth chapter, and the  five first verses, says:
“Let as many servants as are under the  yoke count their own masters worthy of all  honor, that the name of God and his doctrine  be not blasphemed. And they that have be lieving masters, let them not despise them,  because they are brethren: but rather do them  service, because they are faithful and belov ed, partakers of the benefit[.] These things  teach and exhort. If any man teach other wise, and consent not to wholesome words,  even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and  to the doctrine which is according to godli ness: he is proud, knowing nothing but dot ing about questions and strifes of words,  whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil  surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of  corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth,  supposing that gain is godliness: from such  withdraw thyself.”
This is so perfectly plain, that I see  no need of comment. The scripture  stands for itself, and I believe that  these men were better qualified to  teach the will of God, than all the ab olitionists in the world.
Before closing this communication,  I beg leave to drop a word to the trav elling elders: You know, brethren,  that great responsibility rests upon you,  and that you are accountable to God  for all you teach the world. In my  opinion, you will do well to search the  book of Covenants, in which you will  see the belief of the church

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
concerning  masters and servants. All men are to  be taught to repent; but we have no  right to interfere with slaves contrary  to the mind and will of their masters.  In fact, it would be much better and  more prudent, not to preach at all to  slaves, until after their masters are  converted: and then, teach the master  to use them with kindness, remember ing that they are accountable to God,  and that servants are bound to serve  their masters, with singleness of heart,  without murmuring. I do, most sin cerely hope, that no one who is au thorized from this church to preach  the gospel, will so far depart from the  scripture as to be found stirring up  strife and sedition against our breth ren of the South. Having spoken  frankly and freely, I leave all in the  hands of God, who will direct all things  for his glory and the accomplishment  of his work.
Praying that God may spare you to  do much good in this life, I subscribe  myself your brother in the Lord.
JOSEPH SMITH, jr. [p. 291]
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JS, Letter, Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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, OH, to Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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, Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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, OH, ca. Apr. 1836; Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate, Apr. 1836, pp. 289–291.

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