53992037

Letter to the Elders of the Church, December 1835

-[continued from page 212.]-
To 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 of the Latter Day Saints

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
.
I have shown unto you, in my last, that there are two Jerusalems spoken of in holy writ, in a manner I think satisfactorily to your minds: At any rate I have given my views upon the subject. I shall now proceed to make some remarks from the sayings of the Savior, recorded in the 13th chapter of his gospel according to St Matthew, which in my mind affords us as clear an understanding, upon the important subject of the gathering

As directed by early revelations, church members “gathered” in communities. A revelation dated September 1830, for instance, instructed elders “to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect” who would “be gathered in unto one place, upon the face of this land...

View Glossary
, as any thing recorded in the bible. At the time the Savior spoke these beautiful sayings and parables, contained in the chapter above quoted, we find him seated in a ship, on the account of the multitude that pressed upon him to hear his words, and he commenced teaching them by saying: “Behold a sower went forth to sow, and when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up; some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth, and forthwith they sprang up because they had no deepness of earth, and when the sun was up, they were scorched, and because they had not root they withered away; and some fell among thorns and the thorns sprang up and choked them; but other, fell into good ground and brought forth fruit, some an hundred fold, some sixty fold, some thirty fold: who hath ears to hear let him hear. And the disciples came and said unto him, why speakest thou unto them in parables, (I would remark here, that the “them,” made use of, in this interrogation, is a personal pronoun and refers to the multitude,) he answered and said unto them, (that is the disciples,) it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but unto them (that is unbelievers) it is not given, for whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance; but whosoever hath not, shall be taken away, even that he hath.”
We understand from this saying, that those who had previously been looking for a Messiah to come, according to the testimony of the Prophets, and were then, at that time, looking for a Messiah, but had not sufficient light on the account of their unbelief, to discern him to be their Savior; and he being the true Messiah, consequently they must be disappointed and lose even all the knowledge, or have taken away from them, all the light, understanding and faith, which they had upon this subject: therefore he that will not receive the greater light, must have taken away from him, all the light which he hath. And if the light which is in you, become darkness, behold how great is that darkness? Therefore says the Savior, speak I unto them in parables, because they, seeing, see not; and hearing, they hear not; neither do they understand: and in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith: by hearing ye shall hear and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see and not perceive.
Now we discover, that the very reasons assigned by this prophet, why they would not receive the Messiah, was, because they did or would not understand; and seeing they did not perceive: for this people’s heart is waxed gross; their ears are dull of hearing; their eyes they have closed, lest at any time, they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and should be converted and I should heal them.
But what saith he to his disciples: Blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear; for verily I say unto you, that many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
We again make a remark here, for we find that the very principles upon which the disciples were accounted blessed, was because they were permitted to see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and the condemnation which rested upon the multitude, which received not his saying, was because they were not willing to see with their eyes and hear with their ears; not because they could not and were not privileged to see, and hear, but because their hearts were full of iniquity and abomi [p. [225]]
-[continued from page 212.]-
To 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...

View Glossary
of the Church of the  Latter Day Saints

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
.
I have shown unto you, in my last,  that there are two Jerusalems spoken  of in holy writ, in a manner I think  satisfactorily to your minds: At any  rate I have given my views upon the  subject. I shall now proceed to make  some remarks from the sayings of the  Savior, recorded in the 13th chapter  of his gospel according to St Matthew,  which in my mind affords us as clear  an understanding, upon the important  subject of the gathering

As directed by early revelations, church members “gathered” in communities. A revelation dated September 1830, for instance, instructed elders “to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect” who would “be gathered in unto one place, upon the face of this land...

View Glossary
, as any thing  recorded in the bible. At the time the  Savior spoke these beautiful sayings  and parables, contained in the chapter  above quoted, we find him seated in a  ship, on the account of the multitude  that pressed upon him to hear his words,  and he commenced teaching them by  saying: “Behold a sower went forth to  sow, and when he sowed, some seeds  fell by the way side, and the fowls  came and devoured them up; some fell  upon stony places, where they had not  much earth, and forthwith they sprang  up because they had no deepness of  earth, and when the sun was up, they  were scorched, and because they had  not root they withered away; and some  fell among thorns and the thorns  sprang up and choked them; but other,  fell into good ground and brought forth  fruit, some an hundred fold, some six ty fold, some thirty fold: who hath ears  to hear let him hear. And the disci ples came and said unto him, why  speakest thou unto them in parables,  (I would remark here, that the “them,”  made use of, in this interrogation,  is a personal pronoun and refers to the  multitude,) he answered and said unto  them, (that is the disciples,) it is given  unto you to know the mysteries of the  kingdom of heaven, but unto them (that  is unbelievers) it is not given, for who soever hath, to him shall be given, and  he shall have more abundance; but  whosoever hath not, shall be taken  away, even that he hath.”
We understand from this saying, that  those who had previously been looking  for a Messiah to come, according to the  testimony of the Prophets, and were  then, at that time, looking for a Mes siah, but had not sufficient light on the  account of their unbelief, to discern  him to be their Savior; and he being  the true Messiah, consequently they  must be disappointed and lose even all  the knowledge, or have taken away  from them, all the light, understanding  and faith, which they had upon this  subject: therefore he that will not re ceive the greater light, must have ta ken away from him, all the light which  he hath. And if the light which is in  you, become darkness, behold how  great is that darkness? Therefore says  the Savior, speak I unto them in para bles, because they, seeing, see not; and  hearing, they hear not; neither do they  understand: and in them is fulfilled the  prophecy of Esaias, which saith: by  hearing ye shall hear and shall not un derstand; and seeing ye shall see and  not perceive.
Now we discover, that the very rea sons assigned by this prophet, why they  would not receive the Messiah, was,  because they did or would not under stand; and seeing they did not perceive:  for this people’s heart is waxed gross;  their ears are dull of hearing; their eyes  they have closed, lest at any time, they  should see with their eyes, and hear  with their ears, and understand with  their hearts, and should be converted  and I should heal them.
But what saith he to his disciples:  Blessed are your eyes, for they see,  and your ears, for they hear; for veri ly I say unto you, that many prophets  and righteous men have desired to see  those things which ye see, and have not  seen them; and to hear those things  which ye hear, and have not heard  them.
We again make a remark here, for  we find that the very principles upon  which the disciples were accounted bles sed, was because they were permitted  to see with their eyes, and hear with  their ears, and the condemnation which  rested upon the multitude, which re ceived not his saying, was because they  were not willing to see with their eyes  and hear with their ears; not because  they could not and were not privileged  to see, and hear, but because their  hearts were full of iniquity and abomi [p. [225]]
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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 the elders of the church, Dec. 1835; Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate, Dec. 1835, pp. 225–230.

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