Letter to Silas Smith, 26 September 1833

saints saw the Lord and conversed with him face to face aft er his resurection I may believe that the Hebrew Church came  to Mount Zion and unto the city of the living God the Heaven ly Jerusalem and to an inumerable company of angels. I  may believe that they looked into Eternity and saw the  Judge of all, and Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant;  but will all this purchase an assurance for me, or waft me  to the regions of Eternal day with my garments spotless, pure,  and white? Or, must I not rather obtain for myself, by  my own faith and dilligence, in keeping the commandments  of the Lord, an assurance of salvation for myself And  have I not an equal priviledge with the ancient saints? and  will not the Lord hear my prayers, and listen to my cries,  as soon [as] he ever did to their’s if I come to him in the manner  they did or is he a respecter of persons?
I must now close this subject for the want of time; and I  may say with propriety at the begining; we would be pleased to see  you in Kirtland and more pleased to have you embrace the New  Covenant. I remain.
Yours affectionately
Joseph Smith Jr [p. 232]
Silas Smith, JS’s uncle then living in Stockholm, New York, knew of his nephew’s claims of visions and revelations. JS wrote this letter to express his own belief in the biblical record and to persuade his uncle to consider God’s work of the “New Covenant.” He also invited him to come to Kirtland, Ohio.
Martha Jane Knowlton Coray copied this letter when recording Lucy Mack Smith’s reminiscences, which were published in Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet. Silas’s son, Jesse Nathaniel Smith, also included a copy of the letter in his autobiography.