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Letter to the Church in Caldwell County, Missouri, 16 December 1838

Letter to the Church in Caldwell County, Missouri, 16 December 1838

to do the will of God and all things whatsoever he has commanded us.  And as to our light speeches from time to time they have nothing to do  with the fixed principle of our hearts. Therefore it sufficeth us to say that  our souls were vexed from day to day. We refer you to Isaiah who considers  those who make a man an offender for a word and lay a snare for them that  reproveth in the gate. We believe the old prophet verily told the truth.  We have no retraction to make, we have reproved in the gate and men have  laid snares for us we have spoken words and men have made us offenders, and  notwithstanding all this our minds are not darkened but feel strong in the  Lord. But behold the words of the savior, if the light which is in you beco me darkness behold how great is that darkness. Look at the dissenters.  And again if you were of the world the world would love its own Look at  Mr [George M.] Hinkle. A wolf in sheep’s clothing. Look at his brother John Corrill  Look at the beloved brother Reed Peck who aided him in leading us,  as the savior was led, into the camp as a lamb prepared for the slaug hter and a sheep dumb before his shearer so we opened not our mouth  But these men like Balaam being greedy for a reward sold us into  the hands of those who loved them, for the world loves his own. I would  remember W[illiam] W. Phelps who comes up before us as one of Job’s com forters. God suffered such kind of beings to afflict Job, but it never  entered into their hearts that Job would get out of it all. This poor  man who professes to be much of a prophet has no other dumb ass to ride  but David Whitmer to forbid his madness when he goes up to curse  Israel, and this ass not being of the same kind of Balaams therefore  the angel notwithstanding appeared unto him yet he could not  penetrate his understanding sufficiently so but what he brays out  cursings instead of blessings. Poor ass whoever lives to see it will  see him and his rider perish like those who perished in the gain saying of Cora, or after the same condemnation. Now as for these and  the rest of their company we will not presume to say that the  world loves them but we presume to say that they love the world  and we classify them in the error Balaam and in the gainsaying of  Cora and with the company of Cora [Korah] and Dathan and Abiram.  Perhaps our brethren may say because we thus write that we are offended  at those characters, if we are, it is not for a word neither because they  reproved in the gate. But because they have been the means of shedding  innocent blood. Are they not murderers then at heart? Are not their  consciences seared as with a hot iron? We confess that we are offended [p. 2]
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JS, letter, Liberty, MO, to the church in Caldwell County, MO, 16 Dec. 1838; seven pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes endorsement.

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