2476866

Letter to William W. Phelps, 31 July 1832

yea in the name of Jesus of Nazreth to remember the covenant which they have made with God, and to me18

JS may have been referring to the covenant and bond that those who participated in the United Firm were required to make with each other. A council held 27 April 1832 appointed the drafting of the bond, which may have been signed at a meeting of the United Firm on around 1 May 1832. The covenant referenced may also be the Missouri high priests’ acceptance of JS as the president of the high priesthood on 26 April 1832. (Revelation, 1 Mar. 1832 [D&C 78:11]; Revelation 26 Apr. 1832 [D&C 82:11]; Minutes, 26–27 Apr. 1832; Minutes, ca. 1 May 1832.)  


& repent of there iniquities and give satisfaction to the innocent whom they have injured I appeal to your conciences, and if appealing to your conciences by all the ties which bind man to man which are stronger than death will not open your eyes & let you see the state & standing which you are in and bring you to repentance I then appeal to a higher court even the court of heaven the tribunal of the great God & there I & my Brethren (I mean Broth Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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& Newel

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

View Full Bio
) will meet you to be weighed in the ballance and there the innocent shall not suffer and the guilty go unpunished for the Lord God Almighty will do right I bear you record that myself Bro Sidney

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

View Full Bio
& Newel

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

View Full Bio
as far as any thing that I know have ever maintained the purest desires for your welfare and do still our object in going to zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

More Info
was altogether to keep the commandments

Generally, a divine mandate that church members were expected to obey; more specifically, a text dictated by JS in the first-person voice of Deity that served to communicate knowledge and instruction to JS and his followers. Occasionally, other inspired texts...

View Glossary
of the most high, when Bro Sidney

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

View Full Bio
learned the feelings of the Brethren in whom he had placed so much confidence for whom he had endured so much fateague & suffering & whom he loved with so much love his heart was grieved his spirits failed & for a moment he became frantick & the advisary taking the advantage, he spake unadvisedly with his lips19

See Psalm 106:33.  


after receiving a severe chastisement resigned his commision and became a private member in 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
, but has since repented like Peter of old and after a little suffering by the buffiting of satan

A fallen angel, or son of God, known by many names, including Lucifer, the devil, the father of lies, the prince of darkness, perdition, and the adversary. In the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and JS’s Bible revisions, Satan was described as a tempter of men...

View Glossary
has been restored to his high standing in the church of God,20

Reynolds Cahoon, with whom Rigdon’s family stayed while Rigdon was in Missouri, wrote in his journal that on 5 July 1832, “Br Sidney remarked that he had a revelation from the Lord & said that the kingdom was taken from the Church and left with him.” Hyrum Smith then went to Hiram and got JS, who came to Kirtland to settle the matter. On Sunday, 8 July, JS addressed the Saints in Kirtland and stated “that the kingdom was ours & never should be taking from the faithful.” According to Lucy Mack Smith, JS then held a council at which he took Rigdon’s priesthood license, remarking that “the less priesthood you have the better it will be for you.” JS compared Rigdon’s repentance to that of the apostle Peter, who “wept bitterly” after denying his association with Jesus. On 28 July, Rigdon was reordained to the high priesthood. Rigdon’s erratic behavior may have stemmed in part from the head injury he received when he and JS were attacked in Hiram in March 1832. (Cahoon, Diary, July 1832; “History [of] Charles Coulson Rich,” 3–4, Historian’s Office, Biographies of Quorum of Twelve, [ca. 1883], CHL; Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 13, [5]; Matthew 26:75; Luke 22:62; Hyrum Smith, Diary and Account Book, 28 July 1832; JS History, vol. A-1, 206–208; and Van Wagoner, Sidney Rigdon, 115–118, 126.)  


now this is a warning to all to whom this knowledge may come, and he that thinks he stands, let him take heed least he fall,21

See 1 Corinthians 10:12.  


tell Bro Edward Partridge

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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it is very dangerous for men who have received the light he has received to be a seeking a after sign, for there shall no sign be given for a sign except as it was in the days of Lot. God sent angels to gather him & his family out of Sodom while the wicked were distroyed by a devouring fire22

Regarding sign seeking, see Matthew 12:39; 16:4; Luke 11:29; and Genesis 19:15–28. A revelation the previous autumn warned against sign seeking. (See Revelation, 30 Aug. 1831 [D&C 63:7–13].)  


behold this is an exsample; but I must return to your letter again you complain that there have already [p. 4]
yea in the name of Jesus of Nazreth to remember the  covenant which they have made with God, and to me18

JS may have been referring to the covenant and bond that those who participated in the United Firm were required to make with each other. A council held 27 April 1832 appointed the drafting of the bond, which may have been signed at a meeting of the United Firm on around 1 May 1832. The covenant referenced may also be the Missouri high priests’ acceptance of JS as the president of the high priesthood on 26 April 1832. (Revelation, 1 Mar. 1832 [D&C 78:11]; Revelation 26 Apr. 1832 [D&C 82:11]; Minutes, 26–27 Apr. 1832; Minutes, ca. 1 May 1832.)  


&  repent of there iniquities and give satisfaction to the in nocent whom they have injured I appeal to your conciences,  and if appealing to your conciences by all the ties which bind man  to man which are st[r]onger than death will not open your eyes &  let you see the stand state & standing which you are in and bring  you to repentance I then appeal to a higher court even  the court of heaven the tribunal of the great God & there I &  my Brethren (I mean Broth Sidney [Rigdon]

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

View Full Bio
& Newel

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

View Full Bio
) will meet them  you to be weighed in the ballance and there the innocent  shall not suffer and the guilty go unpunished for the Lord  God Almighty will do right I bear you record that myself  Bro Sidney

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

View Full Bio
& Newel

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

View Full Bio
as far as any thing that I know have ever  maintained the purest desires for your welfare and do still  our object in going to zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

More Info
was altogether to keep the com mandments

Generally, a divine mandate that church members were expected to obey; more specifically, a text dictated by JS in the first-person voice of Deity that served to communicate knowledge and instruction to JS and his followers. Occasionally, other inspired texts...

View Glossary
of God the most high, when Bro Sidney

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

View Full Bio
 learned the feelings of the Brethren in whom he had  placed so much confidence for whom he had endured  so much fateague & suffering & whom he loved with so  much love his heart was grieved his spirits failed & for  a moment he became frantick & the advisary taking the  advantage, he spake unadvisedly with his lips19

See Psalm 106:33.  


after receiving a  severe chastisement resigned his commision and became a private  member in 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
, but has since repented like Peter  of old and after a little suffering by the buffiting of the  satan

A fallen angel, or son of God, known by many names, including Lucifer, the devil, the father of lies, the prince of darkness, perdition, and the adversary. In the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and JS’s Bible revisions, Satan was described as a tempter of men...

View Glossary
has been restored to his high standing in the church  of God,20

Reynolds Cahoon, with whom Rigdon’s family stayed while Rigdon was in Missouri, wrote in his journal that on 5 July 1832, “Br Sidney remarked that he had a revelation from the Lord & said that the kingdom was taken from the Church and left with him.” Hyrum Smith then went to Hiram and got JS, who came to Kirtland to settle the matter. On Sunday, 8 July, JS addressed the Saints in Kirtland and stated “that the kingdom was ours & never should be taking from the faithful.” According to Lucy Mack Smith, JS then held a council at which he took Rigdon’s priesthood license, remarking that “the less priesthood you have the better it will be for you.” JS compared Rigdon’s repentance to that of the apostle Peter, who “wept bitterly” after denying his association with Jesus. On 28 July, Rigdon was reordained to the high priesthood. Rigdon’s erratic behavior may have stemmed in part from the head injury he received when he and JS were attacked in Hiram in March 1832. (Cahoon, Diary, July 1832; “History [of] Charles Coulson Rich,” 3–4, Historian’s Office, Biographies of Quorum of Twelve, [ca. 1883], CHL; Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 13, [5]; Matthew 26:75; Luke 22:62; Hyrum Smith, Diary and Account Book, 28 July 1832; JS History, vol. A-1, 206–208; and Van Wagoner, Sidney Rigdon, 115–118, 126.)  


now this is a warning to all to whom this knowledge  may come, and he that thinks he stands, let him take heed  least he fall,21

See 1 Corinthians 10:12.  


tell Bro Edward [Partridge]

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

View Full Bio
it is very dangerous for men  who have received that the light he has received to be a seek ing a <after> sign, for there shall no sign be given for a sign except  as it was in the days of Lot. God sent angels to gather him & his  family out of Sodom while the wicked were distroyed by a devou ring fire22

Regarding sign seeking, see Matthew 12:39; 16:4; Luke 11:29; and Genesis 19:15–28. A revelation the previous autumn warned against sign seeking. (See Revelation, 30 Aug. 1831 [D&C 63:7–13].)  


behold this is an exsample; but I must return  to your letter again you complain that there have already [p. 4]
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JS, Letter, Hiram Township

Area settled by immigrants from Pennsylvania and New England, ca. 1802. Located in northeastern Ohio about twenty-five miles southeast of Kirtland. Population in 1830 about 500. Population in 1840 about 1,100. JS lived in township at home of John and Alice...

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, OH, to William W. Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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, “Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

More Info
” [Independence

Located twelve miles from western Missouri border. Permanently settled, platted, and designated county seat, 1827. Hub for steamboat travel on Missouri River. Point of departure for Santa Fe Trail. Population in 1831 about 300. Mormon population by summer...

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, Jackson Co., MO], 31 July 1832; retained copy; handwriting of Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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; signature of JS; seven pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes docket and notations.
Two bifolia, each measuring 12⅞ × 8 inches (33 × 20 cm) when folded. The pages from the first bifolium are in reverse folder page order; the second bifolium is in leaflet page order. Pagination is in the top left corner of each inscribed page in the handwriting of Newel K. Whitney

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

View Full Bio
. The letter was tri-folded in letter style. The final page bears an inscription in the handwriting of Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

View Full Bio
: “Copy of a letter written to Broth | William Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

View Full Bio
Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

More Info
| Editor of the Evening & morning Star”. A docket on the final page, “Joseph Smiths Letter | to Zion 1832,” is in the handwriting of Newel K. Whitney. Appended to this docket is “July 1831 | N. K. Whitney.” in the handwriting of Thomas Bullock

23 Dec. 1816–10 Feb. 1885. Farmer, excise officer, secretary, clerk. Born in Leek, Staffordshire, England. Son of Thomas Bullock and Mary Hall. Married Henrietta Rushton, 25 June 1838. Moved to Ardee, Co. Louth, Ireland, Nov. 1839; to Isle of Anglesey, Aug...

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. Also on the final page is a separate Bullock notation: “July 31— 1845 | N. K. Whitney handed to me”. There is soiling at folds and tearing at fold corners on the final page, obscuring the text on page 7. Ink spotting, smears, and fingerprints are found in the letter.
This version of the letter is a contemporaneous retained copy made by Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

View Full Bio
and later filed by Whitney

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

View Full Bio
. The notation on the last page of the document indicates Whitney gave the letter to Historian’s Office clerk Thomas Bullock

23 Dec. 1816–10 Feb. 1885. Farmer, excise officer, secretary, clerk. Born in Leek, Staffordshire, England. Son of Thomas Bullock and Mary Hall. Married Henrietta Rushton, 25 June 1838. Moved to Ardee, Co. Louth, Ireland, Nov. 1839; to Isle of Anglesey, Aug...

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on 31 July 1845, the date of its receipt in the Historian’s Office.

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