Letter to Saints Scattered Abroad, 25 June 1835

temporal matters: so that the elders acts are null and void. Now the Lord  wants the tares and wheat to grow to gether: for Zion must be redeemed with  judgments, and her converts with right eousness.
Every elder that can, after providing  for his family (if he has any) and pay ing his debts, must go forth and clear  his skirts from the blood of this gener ation. While they are in that region  instead of trying members for trans gressions, or offenses, let every one  labor to prepare himself for the vine yard, sparing a little time to comfort  the mourners; to bind up the broken hearted; to reclaim the backslider; to  bring back the wanderer; to re-invite  into the kingdom such as have been  cut off, by encouraging them to lay to  while the day lasts, and work righteous ness, and, with one heart and one  mind, prepare to help redeem Zion,  that goodly land of promise, where the  willing and the obedient shall be bles sed. Souls are as precious in the sight  of God, as they ever were; and the el ders were never called to drive any  down to hell, but to persuade and in vite all men every where to repent,  that they may become the heirs of sal vation. It is the acceptable year of  the Lord: liberate the captives that they  may sing hosanna.
The priests, too, should not be idle:  their duties are plain, and unless they  do them diligently, they cannot expect  to be approved. Righteousness must  be the aim of the saints in all things,  and when the covenants are published,  they will learn that great things must  be expected from them. Do good and  work righteousness with an eye single  to the glory of God, and you shall reap  your reward when the Lord recompen ses every one according to his work.
The teachers and deacons are the  standing ministers of the church, and  in the absence of other officers, great  things, and a holy walk, are required  of them. They must strengthen the  members’ faith; persuade such as are  out of the way to repent, and turn to  God and live; meekly persuade and  urge every one to forgive one another  all their trespasses, offences and sins,  that they may work out their own sal vation with fear and trembling. Breth ren, bear and forbear one with another,  for so the Lord does with us: Pray for  your enemies in the church, and curs[e]  not your foes without: for vengeance  is mine, saith the Lord, and I will re pay.
To every ordained member and to  all we say, be merciful and you shall  find mercy. Seek to help save souls,  not to destroy them: for verily you  know, that “there is more joy in heaven,  over one sinner that repents, than there  is over ninety and nine just persons  that need no repentance.” Strive not  about the mysteries of the kingdom;  cast not your pearls before swine, give  not the bread of the children to dogs,  lest you and the children should suffer,  and you thereby offend your righteous  Judge.
Your brethren, who leave their fam ilies, with whom they have enjoyed an  earthly measure of peace and joy, to  carry glad tidings round the world, ex pect great things of you, while you are  privileged to enjoy the blessings of the  saints’ society. They pray our heaven ly Father, that you may be very pray erful, very humble, and very charitable;  working diligently, spiritually and tem porally for the redemption of Zion, that  the pure in heart may return with  songs of everlasting joy to build up her  waste places, and meet the Lord when  he comes in his glory. Brethren, in  the name of Jesus, we entreat you to  live worthy of the blessings that shall  follow, after much tribulation, to sa tiate the souls of them that hold out faith ful to the end.
P. [p. 138]
JS, letter, Kirtland, OH, to Saints scattered abroad, June 1835; Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate, June 1835, pp. 137–138.