Volume 1 Chapter 21
Larger Views on the Doctrine of Priesthood Revealed—The Meeting of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jun., Brigham Young, and Heber C. Kimball.
Baptism of Elder George A. Smith.
On September the 10th, George A. Smith was baptized by Joseph H. Wakefield, at Potsdam, St. Lawrence county, New York; and confirmed by Elder Solomon Humphry. 1
Return of Elders from Missouri.
The Elders during the month of September began to return from their missions to the Eastern States, and present the histories of their several stewardships in the Lord's vineyard; and while together in these seasons of joy, I inquired of the Lord, and received on the 22nd and 23rd of September, the following revelation on Priesthood:
1. A revelation of Jesus Christ unto his servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and six elders, as they united their hearts and lifted their voices on high.
2. Yea, the word of the Lord concerning his church, established in the last days for the restoration of his people, as he has spoken by the mouth of his prophets, and for the gathering of his saints to stand upon Mount Zion, which shall be the city of New Jerusalem.
3. Which city shall be built, beginning at the temple lot, which is appointed by the finger of the Lord, in the western boundaries of the State of Missouri, and dedicated by the hand of Joseph Smith, Jun., and others with whom the Lord was well pleased.
4. Verily this is the word of the Lord, that the city New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saints, beginning at this place, even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared in this generation.
5. For verily this generation shall not all pass away until an house shall be built unto the Lord, and a cloud shall rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord, which shall fill the house.
6. And the sons of Moses, according to the Holy Priesthood which he received under the hand of his father-in-law, Jethro;
7. And Jethro received it under the hand of Caleb;
8. And Caleb received it under the hand of Elihu;
9. And Elihu under the hand of Jeremy;
10. And Jeremy under the hand of Gad;
11. And Gad under the hand of Esaias;
12. And Esaias received it under the hand of God.
13. Esaias also lived in the days of Abraham and was blessed of him—
14. Which Abraham received the priesthood from Melchizedek, who received it through the lineage of his fathers, even till Noah;
15. And from Noah till Enoch, through the lineage of their fathers:
16. And from Enoch to Abel, who was slain by the conspiracy of his brother, who received the priesthood by the commandments of God, by the hand of his father Adam, who was the first man—
17. Which priesthood continueth in the church of God in all generations, and is without beginning of days or end of years.
18. And the Lord confirmed a priesthood also upon Aaron and his seed, throughout all their generations, which priesthood also continueth and abideth forever with the priesthood which is after the holiest order of God.
19. And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.
20. Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.
21. And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh;
22. For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live.
23. Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God;
24. But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory.
25. Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also;
26. And the lesser priesthood continued, which priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel;
27. Which gospel is the gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments, which the Lord in his wrath caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel until John, whom God raised up, being filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother's womb.
28. For he was baptized while he was yet in his childhood, and was ordained by the angel of God at the time he was eight days old unto this power, to overthrow the kingdom of the Jews, and to make straight the way of the Lord before the face of his people, to prepare them for the coming of the Lord in whose hand is given all power.
29. And again, the offices of elder and bishop are necessary appendages belonging unto the high priesthood.
30. And again, the offices of teacher and deacon are necessary appendages belonging to the lesser priesthood, which priesthood was confirmed upon Aaron and his sons.
31. Therefore, as I said concerning the sons of Moses—for the sons of Moses and also the sons of Aaron shall offer an acceptable offering and sacrifice in the house of the Lord, which house shall be built unto the Lord in this generation, upon the consecrated spot as I have appointed—
32. And the sons of Moses and of Aaron shall he filled with the glory of the Lord, upon Mount Zion in the Lord's house, whose sons are ye; and also many whom I have called and sent forth to build up my church.
33. For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies.
34. They become the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham, and the church and kingdom, and the elect of God.
35. And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord;
36. For he that receiveth my servants receiveth me;
37. And he that receiveth me receiveth my Father;
38. And be that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father's kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him.
39. And this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood.
40. Therefore, all those who receive the priesthood, receive this oath and covenant of my Father, which he cannot break, neither can it be moved.
41. But whoso breaketh this covenant after he hath received it, and altogether turneth therefrom, shall not have forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come.
42. And wo unto all those who come not unto this priesthood which ye have received, which I now confirm upon you who are present this day, by mine own voice out of the heavens; and even I have given the heavenly hosts and mine angels charge concerning you.
43. And I now give unto you a commandment to beware concerning yourselves, to give diligent heed to the words of eternal life.
44. For you shall live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.
45. For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
46. And the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit.
47. And every one that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit cometh unto God, even the Father.
48. And the Father teacheth him of the covenant which he has renewed and confirmed upon you, which is confirmed upon you for your sakes, and not for your sakes only, but for the sake of the whole world.
49. And the whole world lieth in sin, and groaneth under darkness and under the bondage of sin.
50. And by this you may know they are under the bondage of sin, because they come not unto me.
51. For whoso cometh not unto me is under the bondage of sin.
52. And whoso receiveth not my voice is not acquainted with my voice, and is not of me.
53. And by this you may know the righteous from the wicked, and that the whole world groaneth under sin and darkness even now.
54. And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—
55. Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.
56. And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.
57. And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—
58. That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father's kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion.
59. For shall the children of the kingdom pollute my holy land? Verily, I say unto you, Nay.
60. Verily, verily, I say unto you who now hear my words, which are my voice, blessed are ye inasmuch as you receive these things;
61. For I will forgive you of your sins with this commandment—that you remain steadfast in your minds in solemnity and the spirit of prayer, in bearing testimony to all the world of those things which are communicated unto you.
62. Therefore, go ye into all the world; and unto whatsoever place ye cannot go ye shall send, that the testimony may go from you into all the world unto every creature.
63. And as I said unto mine apostles, even so I say unto you, for you are mine apostles, even God's high priests; ye are they whom my Father hath given me; ye are my friends;
64. Therefore, as I said unto mine apostles I say unto you again, that every soul who believeth on your words, and is baptized by water for the remission of sins, shall receive the Holy Ghost.
65. And these signs shall follow them that believe—
66. In my name they shall do many wonderful works;
67. In my name they shall cast out devils;
68. In my name they shall heal the sick;
69. In my name they shall open the eyes of the blind and unstop the ears of the deaf;
70. And the tongue of the dumb shall speak;
71. And if any man shall administer poison unto them it shall not hurt them;
72. And the poison of a serpent shall not have power to harm them.
73. But a commandment I give unto them, that they shall not boast themselves of these things, neither speak them before the world; for these things are given unto you for your profit and for salvation.
74. Verily, verily I say unto you, they who believe not on your words and are not baptized in water in my name, for the remission of their sins, that they may receive the Holy Ghost, shall be damned, I and shall not come into my Father's kingdom where my Father and I am.
75. And this revelation unto you, and commandment, is in force from this very hour upon all the world, and the gospel is unto all who have not received it.
76. But, verily I say unto all those to whom the kingdom has been given—from you it must be preached unto them, that they shall repent of their former evil works; for they are to be upbraided for their evil hearts of unbelief, and your brethren in Zion for their rebellion against you at the time I sent you.
77. And again I say unto you, my friends, for from henceforth I shall call you friends, it is expedient that I give unto you this commandment, that ye become even as my friends in days when I was with them, traveling to preach the gospel in my power;
78. For I suffered them not to have purse or scrip, neither two coats.
79. Behold, I send you out to prove the world, and the laborer is worthy of his hire.
80. And any man that shall go and preach this gospel of the kingdom and fail not to continue faithful in all things, shall not be weary in mind, neither darkened, neither in body, limb, nor joint; and a hair of his head shall not fall to the ground unnoticed. And they shall not go hungry, neither athirst.
81. Therefore, take ye no thought for the morrow, for what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink, or wherewithal ye shall be clothed.
82. For, consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they toil not, neither do they spin; and the kingdoms of the world, in all their glory are not arrayed like one of these.
83. For your Father, who is in heaven, knoweth that you have need of all these things.
84. Therefore, let the morrow take thought for the things of itself.
85. Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man.
86. Therefore, let no man among you, for this commandment is unto all the faithful who are called of God in the church unto the ministry, from this hour take purse or scrip, that goeth forth to proclaim this gospel of the kingdom.
87. Behold, I send you out to reprove the world of all their unrighteous deeds, and to teach them of a judgment which is to come.
88. And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.
89. Whoso receiveth you receiveth me; and the same will feed you, and clothe you, and give you money.
90. And he who feeds you, or clothes you, or gives you money, shall in nowise lose his reward.
91. And he that doeth not these things is not my disciple; by this you may know my disciples.
92. He that receiveth you not, go away from him alone by yourselves, and cleanse your feet even with water, pure water, whether in heat or in cold, and bear testimony of it unto your Father which is in heaven, and return not again unto that man.
93. And in whatsoever village or city ye enter, do likewise.
94. Nevertheless, search diligently and spare not; and wo unto that house, or that village or city that rejecteth you, or your words, or your testimony concerning me.
95. Wo, I say again, unto that house, or that village or city that rejecteth you, or your words, or your testimony of me;
96. For I, the Almighty, have laid my hands upon the nations, to scourge them for their wickedness.
97. And plagues shall go forth, and they shall not be taken from the earth until I have completed my work, which shall be cut short in righteousness—
98. Until all shall know me, who remain, even from the least unto the greatest, and shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, and shall see eye to eye, and shall lift up their voice, and with the voice together sing this new song, saying:
99. The Lord hath brought again Zion; The Lord hath redeemed his people, Israel, According to the election of grace, which was brought to pass by the faith And covenant of their fathers.
100. The Lord hath redeemed his people; And Satan is bound and time is no longer. The Lord hath gathered all things in one. The Lord hath brought down Zion from above. he Lord hath brought up Zion from beneath.
101. The earth hath travailed and brought forth her strength; And truth is established in her bowels; And the heavens have smiled upon her; And she is clothed with the glory of her God; For he stands in the midst of his people.
102. Glory, and honor, and power, and might, Be ascribed to our God; for he is full of mercy, Justice, grace and truth, and peace, Forever and ever, Amen.
103. And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, it is expedient that every man who goes forth to proclaim mine everlasting gospel, that inasmuch as they have families, and receive money by gift, that they should send it unto them or make use of it for their benefit, as the Lord shall direct them, for thus it seemeth me good.
104. And let all those who have not families, who receive money, send it up unto the bishop in Zion, or unto the bishop in Ohio, that it may be consecrated for the bringing forth of the revelations and the printing thereof, and for establishing Zion.
105. And if any man shall give unto any of you a coat, or a suit, take the old and cast it unto the poor, and go on your way rejoicing.
106. And if any man among you be strong in the Spirit, let him take with him him that is weak, that he may be edified in all meekness, that he may become strong also.
107. Therefore, take with you those who are ordained unto the lesser priesthood, and send them before you to make appointments, and to prepare the way, and to fill appointments that you yourselves are not able to fill.
108. Behold, this is the way that mine apostles, in ancient days, built up my church unto me.
109. Therefore, let every man stand in his own office, and labor in his own calling; and let not the head say unto the feet it hath no need of the feet; for without the feet how shall the body be able to stand?
110. Also the body hath need of every member, that all may be edified together, that the system may be kept perfect.
111. And behold, the high priests should travel, and also the elders, and also the lesser priests; but the deacons and teachers should be appointed to watch over the church, to be standing ministers unto the church.
112. And the bishop, Newel K. Whitney, also should travel round about and among all the churches, searching after the poor to administer to their wants by humbling the rich and the proud.
113. He should also employ an agent to take charge and to do his secular business as he shall direct.
114. Nevertheless, let the bishop go unto the city of New York, also to the city of Albany, and also to the city of Boston, and warn the people of those cities with the sound of the gospel, with a loud voice, of the desolation and utter abolishment which await them if they do reject these things.
115. For if they do reject these things the hour of their judgment is nigh, and their house shall be left unto them desolate.
116. Let him trust in me and he shall not be confounded; and a hair of his head shall not fall to the ground unnoticed.
117. And verily I say unto you, the rest of my servants, go ye forth as your circumstances shall permit, in your several callings, unto the great and notable cities and villages, reproving the world in righteousness of all their unrighteous and ungodly deeds, setting forth clearly and understandingly the desolation of abomination in the last days.
118. For, with you saith the Lord Almighty, I will rend their kingdoms; I will not only shake the earth, but the starry heavens shall tremble.
119. For I, the Lord, have put forth my hand to exert the powers of heaven; ye cannot see it now, yet a little while and ye shall see it, and know that I am, and that I will come and reign with my people.
120. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Amen.
The Prophet's Visit to Eastern Cities.
I continued the translation of the Bible and ministering to the Church, through the fall, excepting a hurried journey to Albany, New York and Boston, in company with Bishop Whitney, from which I returned on the 6th of November, immediately after the birth of my son Joseph Smith, the third. 3
The Arrival of the Youngs at Kirtland.
About the 8th of November I received a visit from Elders Joseph Young, 4 Brigham Young, and Heber C. Kimball 5 of Mendon, Monroe county, New York. They spent four or five days at Kirtland, during which we had many interesting moments. At one of our interviews, Brother Brigham Young 6 and John P. Greene spoke in tongues, which was the first time I had heard this gift among the brethren; others also spoke, and I received the gift myself. 7
In answer to letters received from the brethren in Missouri, I wrote as follows:
Kirtland, Nov. 27th, 1832.
Brother William W. Phelps:—I say brother, because I feel so from the heart, and although it is not long since I wrote a letter unto you, yet I feel as though you would excuse me for writing this, as I have many things which I wish to communicate. Some things which I will mention in this letter, which are lying with great weight on my mind. I am well, and my family also; God grant that you may enjoy the same, and yours, and all the brethren and sisters who remember to inquire after the commandments of the Lord, and the welfare of Zion and such a being as myself; and while I dictate this letter, I fancy to myself that you are saying or thinking something similar to these words:—"My God, great and mighty art Thou, therefore show unto Thy servant what shall become of those who are essaying to come up unto Zion, in order to keep the commandments of God, and yet receive not their inheritance by consecrations, by order of deed from the Bishop, the man that God has appointed in a legal way, agreeably to the law given to organize and regulate the Church, and all the affairs of the same."
Brother William, in the love of God, having the most implicit confidence in you as a man of God, having obtained this confidence by a vision of heaven, therefore I will proceed to unfold to you some of the feelings of my heart, and to answer the question.
Firstly, it is the duty of the Lord's clerk, 8 whom He has appointed, to keep a history, and a General Church Record of all things that transpire in Zion, and of all those who consecrate properties and receive inheritances legally from the Bishop; and also their manner of life, their faith, and works and also of the apostates who apostatize after receiving their inheritances. It is contrary to the will and commandment of God, that those who receive not their inheritance by consecration, agreeably to His law, which he has given, that He may tithe His people, to prepare them against the day of vengeance and burning, should have their names enrolled with the people of God; neither is their genealogy to be kept, or to be had where it may be found on any of the records or history of the Church; their names shall not be found neither the names of the fathers, nor the names of the children written in the book of the law of God, saith the Lord of hosts. Yea, thus saith the still small voice, which whispereth through and pierceth all things, and oftentimes it maketh my bones to quake while it maketh manifest, saying: and it shall come to pass, that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the sceptre of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the Saints, whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children enrolled in the book of the law of God: while that man, who was called of God, and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning; and all they who are not found written in the book of remembrance, shall find none inheritance in that day but they shall be cut asunder, and their portion shall be appointed them among unbelievers, where are wailing and gnashing of teeth. These things I say not of myself; therefore, as the Lord speaketh, He will also fulfil. And they who are of the High Priesthood, whose names are not found written in the book of the law, or that are found to have apostatized, or to have been cut off from the Church; as well as the lesser Priesthood, or the members, in that day, shall not find an inheritance among the Saints of the Most High; therefore it shall be done unto them as unto the children of the priest, as will be found recorded in the second chapter, and sixty-first and sixty-second verses of Ezra. 9
Now, Brother William, if what I have said is true, how careful men ought to be what they do in the last days, lest they are cut short of their expectations, and they that think they stand should fall, because they keep not the Lord's commandments; whilst you, who do the will of the Lord and keep His commandments, have need to rejoice with unspeakable joy, for such shall be exalted very high, and shall be lifted up in triumph above all the kingdoms of this world; but I must drop this subject at the beginning [of it].
Oh, Lord, when will the time come when Brother William, Thy servant, and myself, shall behold the day that we may stand together and gaze upon eternal wisdom engraven upon the heavens, while the majesty of our God holdeth up the dark curtain until we may read the round of eternity, to the fulness and satisfaction of our immortal souls? Oh, Lord, deliver us in due time from the little, narrow prison, almost as it were, total darkness of paper, pen and ink;—and a crooked, broken, scattered and imperfect language.
I have obtained ten subscribers for the Star. Love for all the brethren.
Yours in bonds. Amen.
Joseph Smith, Jun.
On the 6th of December, 1832, I received the following revelation explaining the parable of the wheat and tares:
1. Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servants, concerning the parable of the wheat and of the tares;
2. Behold, verily I say, the field was the world, and the apostles were the sowers of the seed;
3. And after they have fallen asleep, the great persecutor of the church, the apostate, the whore, even Babylon, that maketh all nations to drink of her cup, in whose hearts the enemy, even Satan, sitteth to reign—behold he soweth the tares; wherefore, the tares choke the wheat and drive the church into the wilderness.
4. But behold, in the last days, even now while the Lord is beginning to bring forth the word, and the blade is springing up and is yet tender—
5. Behold, verily I say unto you, the angels are crying unto the Lord day and night, who are ready and waiting to be sent forth to reap down the fields;
6. But the Lord saith unto them, pluck not up the tares while the blade is yet tender (for verily your faith is weak), lest you destroy the wheat also.
7. Therefore, let the wheat and the tares grow together until the harvest is fully ripe; then ye shall first gather out the wheat from among the tares, and after the gathering of the wheat, behold and lo, the tares are bound in bundles, and the field remaineth to be burned.
8. Therefore, thus saith the Lord unto you, with whom the priesthood hath continued through the lineage of your fathers—
9. For ye are lawful heirs, according to the flesh, and have been hid from the world with Christ in God—
10. Therefore, your life and the priesthood have remained, and must needs remain through you and your lineage until the restoration of all things spoken by the mouths of all the holy prophets since the world began.
11. Therefore, blessed are ye if ye continue in my goodness, a light unto the Gentiles, and through this priesthood, a savior unto my people Israel. The Lord hath said it. Amen.
Chapter 21 - Notes
1. George Albert Smith was born at Potsdam, St. Lawrence county, New York, on the 26th of June, 1817. He was the son of John Smith, the sixth son of Asael and Mary Smith. John Smith was therefore a brother of the Prophet's father, and George Albert and the Prophet were cousins. In the fall of 1828, Asael Smith, grandfather of the subject of this note, received a letter from Joseph Smith, Sen., informing him of some of the visions the youthful Prophet had received. Soon after this a letter from the young Prophet himself was received by John Smith, and read in the hearing of George Albert. The letter declared that the judgments of God would overtake the wicked of this generation unless they repented. The letter made a deep impression upon George Albert; while his father remarked that "Joseph wrote like a prophet." In August, 1830, Joseph Smith, Sen., visited his brother John, bringing with him the Book of Mormon, a copy of which he left at the former's residence. During the temporary absence of his uncle, who was visiting other branches of the family, George Albert championed the Book of Mormon, and answered objections urged against it by the neighbors who came in to examine it. Meantime he formulated some objections of his own, which his Uncle Joseph on his return answered to his complete satisfaction; and he never afterwards ceased to advocate the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon. Notwithstanding this conviction, however, he was not baptized until some two years had elapsed as will be seen by reference to the date of his baptism in the text of the Prophet's narrative.
At this point I think it proper that a letter written by Asael Smith, grandfather of the Prophet Joseph Smith Jun., should be introduced. A copy of the letter was obtained by George A. Smith, the subject of the foregoing biographical note, while on a visit to Topsfield, in 1872. The original was in the hands of a son of Mr. Jacob Town, then the town clerk of Topsfield, and who, while unwilling to part with the original, because written to and received by his father, permitted President George A. Smith to copy it.
On the outside of the letter, besides the superscription, "Mr. Jacob Town, Topsfield Commonwealth of Massachusetts," is this: "Rec'd Feb. 14, 1796, from Asael Smith." From which it appears, when compared with the date under which it was written, the letter was one month on the journey from Tunbridge, Vt., to Topsfield, a distance of 150 miles, and was probably carried by private conveyance.
The letter is produced here for two reasons: first for its own intrinsic interest as a literary relic of one of the Prophet's ancestors, and of the American Revolutionary period; second, as showing the character of the stock from which the Prophet Joseph descended. This letter exhibits in Asael Smith a noble independence of character, united with a childlike humility before God, together with unbounded faith and trust in the wisdom of Providence and of His over-ruling hand in the affairs of nations. Loyalty to his country and faith in the stability of the government under the over-ruling providences of God are equally conspicuous. The letter will go far towards refuting the slanders which untruthful writers have been pleased to circulate concerning the character of that race from which the Prophet descended.
Asael Smith's Letter to Mr. Jacob Town.
"Tunbridge. Jan. 14th, 1796.
"Respected Sir:—Having a favorable opportunity, altho' on very short notice, I with joy and gratitude, embrace it, returning herewith my most hearty thanks for your respect shown in your favor of the 30th of November, by Mr. Willis, which I view as a singular specimen of friendship, which has very little been practiced by any of my friends in Topsfield, altho' often requested.
"My family are all, through the goodness of the Divine Benediction, in a tolerable good state of health, and desire to be remembered to you and to all inquiring friends.
"I have set me up a new house since Mr. Willis was here and expect to remove into it next spring, and begin again on an entire new farm, and my son Joseph will live on the old farm (if this that has been but four years occupied can be called old), and carry it on at the halves, which half I hope will nearly furnish my family with food, whilst I with my four youngest sons shall endeavor to bring to another farm, etc.
"As to news, I have nothing as I know of, worth noticing, except that grain has taken a sudden rise amongst us about one-third.
"As to the Jacobin party, they are not very numerous here, or if they are they are pretty still; there are some in this state, viz., in Bennington, who like other children crying for a rattle, have blared out against their rulers, in hopes to wrest from them, if possible, what they esteem the plaything of power and trust. But they have been pretty well whipped and have become tolerably quiet again, and I am in hopes if they live to to arrive to the years of discretion, when the empire of reason shall take place, that they will then become good members of society, notwithstanding their noisy, nucious behavior in their childhood, for which they were either capable of hearing or giving any reason.
"For my part, I am so willing to trust the government of the world in the hands of the Supreme Ruler of universal nature, that I do not at present wish to try to wrest it out of His hands, and I have so much confidence in His abilities to teach our senators wisdom, that I do not think it worth while for me to interpose, from the little stock of knowledge that He has favored me with, in the affair, either one way or the other. He has conducted us through a glorious Revolution and has brought us into the promised land of peace and liberty, and I believe that He is about to bring all the world into the same beatitude in His own time and way; which, altho' His ways may appear never so inconsistent to our blind reason, yet may be perfectly consistent with His designs. And I believe that the stone is now cut out of the mountain without hands, spoken of by Daniel, and has smitten the image upon his feet, by which the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver and the gold, (viz.) all the monarchial and ecclesiastical tyranny will be broken to pieces and become as the chaff of the summer threshing floor, the wind shall carry them all away, that there shall be no place found for them.
"Give my best regards to your parents and tell them that I have taken up with the eleventh commandment, that the negro taught to the minister, which was thus—
"The minister asked the negro how many commandments there were, his answer was 'Eleben, sir.' 'Aye,' replied the other, 'what is the eleventh? That is one I never heard of.' 'The eleventh commandment, sir, is mind your own business.'
"So I choose to do and give myself but little concern about what passes in the political world.
"Give my best regards to Dr. Meriam, Mr. Willis, Joseph Dorman and Mr. Cree, and tell Mr. Cree I thank him for his respects and hope he will accept of mine. Write to me as often and as large as you can and oblige your sincere friend and well-wisher.
(Signed) Asael Smith
"Mr. Jacob Town, Jun."
The following appears on the back of the first page of the letter, being evidently of the nature of a postscript—
"Give my hearty thanks to Mr. Charles Rogers for his respects shown in writing me a few lines, and tell him that I should a wrote to him now, had I had time, but now waive it for the present, as I have considerable part of what I intended to a writ to you.
"If I should live and do well, I expect to come to Topsfield myself next winter, which, if I do, I shall come and pay you a visit. Farewell.
"Tell Mr. Joseph Cree that if he will come here and set up his trade, I will warrant him as much work as he can do, and good pay."
On the margin of the second page of the letter appears the following—
"I expect my son Joseph will be married in a few days."
2. D&C 84.
3. Three children had previously been born to Joseph and Emma: a son, on June 15, 1828, who died the same hour; and a son and daughter, on April 30, 1831, who lived three hours. These latter children were born the same day as the Murdock twins, whose adoption into Joseph's family at the age of nine days, is mentioned on page 260.
4. Joseph Young, mentioned above, was named for his grandfather Joseph Young, a physician and surgeon in the British-American army during the French and Indian war. John Young, the father of Joseph Young, subject of this note, was a native of Hopkinton, Middlesex county, Massachusetts. He married Nabby Howe, who bore to him eleven children, of whom Joseph was the seventh child and second son. Joseph was born on the 7th of April, 1797, in Hopkinton, Middlesex county, Massachusetts. In early life he became attached to religion, and was very moral and devout. In his youth he assisted his father in agricultural pursuits. He was a Methodist preacher for a number of years, and labored in the United States and Canada. On April 6th, 1832, he was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, by Elder Daniel Bowen, in Columbia, Pennsylvania; and was ordained an Elder a few days afterwards under the hands of Ezra Landon. After preaching in the state of New York for several months, he took a mission to Canada, in the summer of 1832, in company with his brother Phinehas, Eleazer Miller and others. They organized two small branches, and returned to Mendon in about four months. He then went to Kirtland with Heber C. Kimball and his brother Brigham, as related in the text.
5. Heber Chase Kimball was born June 14, 1801, in Sheldon, Franklin county, Vermont. His parents were American born, though of Scotch extraction, the ancient name of the family being, it is believed, Campbell. His opportunities for acquiring an education even of the common school order were extremely limited. At the age of nineteen he was apprenticed to his elder brother, Charles, to learn the potter's trade. He served some two years as an apprentice and then worked for his brother as a journeyman potter. While yet in the employ of his brother they together moved to Mendon, Monroe county, where the latter established a pottery. While living here Heber married Vilate Murray, of Victor, a town near Mendon, but in the adjoining county of Ontario. Soon after his marriage he joined the Baptist church. Three weeks later, and some time in the winter of 1831, a number of the Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began preaching in the town of Victor, and Heber C. Kimball and a number of the Youngs attended their meetings. Then followed the visit to the branch of the Church in Columbia, Pennsylvania, mentioned in the biographical note of Brigham Young. After his return from Columbia he was baptized by Alpheus Gifford, on the 15th of April, 1832. During the summer of 1832 Heber C. Kimball was ordained an Elder and with the Youngs labored part of his time in the ministry, and succeeded in raising up several small branches of the Church. In September he made the journey to Kirtland, spoken of by the Prophet in his narrative.
6. Brigham Young was born in Whitingham, Windham county, Vermont, June 1, 1801. He was the ninth child and fourth son of John and Nabby Howe Young. He was early taught by his parents to live a strictly moral life, it was not until he was in his twenty-second year that he gave serious thought to religion. He soon afterwards joined the Methodist church. On the 8th of October he married Miriam Works, daughter of Asa and Jerusha Works, and for a number of years followed the trade of carpenter and joiner, painter and glazier. In the spring of 1829 he made his home at Mendon, a small town some fifteen miles south and east of Rochester, in Monroe county, where his father also resided. A year later he saw for the first time the Book of Mormon, a copy that was left at the house of his brother, Phinehas H. Young, by Samuel H. Smith, brother of the Prophet. In the fall of 1831 Elders Alpheus Gifford, Elial Strong and others appeared in the vicinity of Mendon, preaching the restored Gospel, as revealed through Joseph Smith the Prophet, and Brigham believed their testimony. In company with his brother, Phinehas, and Heber C. Kimball he visited a branch of the Church in Columbia, Bradford county, Pennsylvania. The three brethren remained with the branch of the Church about a week, during which time their faith was much strengthened in the mission of the modern Prophet. On returning to Mendon, Brigham Young in company with John P. Greene started for Canada to find Joseph Young, an elder brother of Brigham's, then a preacher in the Methodist church. On meeting his brother Brigham related what he had learned of the new dispensation and Joseph rejoiced at hearing the glad tidings. Together they returned to Mendon, where they arrived in March, 1832; and on the 14th of April following, Brigham was baptized by Eleazer Miller, and confirmed a member of the Church at the water's edge. Almost immediately afterwards Miller ordained him an Elder in the Church. During the summer of 1832 he preached in Mendon and vicinity and assisted in raising up several branches of the Church. On the 8th of September his wife died of consumption, leaving him with two small children, both girls. After the death of his wife he made his home with Heber C. Kimball, the latter's wife taking in charge his motherless babes. In the same month of September, in company with Heber C. Kimball and his brother Joseph, he went to Kirtland on his visit to the Prophet, as related in the text.
7. The above incident is thus related by President Brigham Young in his own history:—In September, 1832, Brother Heber C. Kimball took his horse and wagon, Brother Joseph Young and myself accompanying him, and started for Kirtland to see the Prophet Joseph. We visited many friends on the way, and some branches of the Church. We exhorted them and prayed with them, and I spoke in tongues. Some pronounced it genuine and from the Lord, and others pronounced it of the devil. We proceeded to Kirtland and stopped at John P. Greene's, who had just arrived there with his family. We rested a few minutes, took some refreshments and started to see the Prophet. We went to his father's house and learned that he was in the woods chopping. We immediately repaired to the woods, where we found the Prophet, and two or three of his brothers, chopping and hauling wood. Here my joy was full at the privilege of shaking the hand of the Prophet of God, and receiving the sure testimony, by the spirit of prophecy, that he was all that any man could believe him to be as a true prophet. He was happy to see us and bid us welcome. We soon returned to his house, he accompanying us.
In the evening, a few of the brethren came in, and we conversed upon the things of the kingdom. He called upon me to pray; in my prayer I spoke in tongues. As soon as we arose from our knees, the brethren flocked around him, and asked his opinion concerning the gift of tongues that was upon me. He told them it was the pure Adamic language. Some said to him they expected he would condemn the gift Brother Brigham had, but he said, "No, it is of God."—Millennial Star, vol. 25, p. 439.
The gift of tongues here spoken of was first exercised in one of the Pennsylvania branches; next at Mendon, where the Youngs and Kimballs resided; then in the branches between Mendon and Kirtland; then in Kirtland under the circumstances above related, and shortly afterwards it was a gift quite generally exercised by the Saints in Ohio. "And it came to pass," writes John Whitmer in his history of the Church (chap. 10), "that in the fall of 1832, the disciples in Ohio received the gift of tongues, and in June, 1833, we received the gift of tongues in Zion."
8. The part of the above letter, beginning with the words, "It is the duty of the Lord's clerk," etc., and ending with the words, "As will be found recorded in the second chapter and sixty-first and sixty-second verses of Ezra," was accepted afterwards as the word of the Lord, that is, as a revelation upon the matters treated therein, and appears in the Doctrine and Covenants as section 85.
9. "And the children of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai; which took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name: these sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found, therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood."—Ezra 2:61-62.
10. D&C 86.