The Founding of Zion.
The First Act in the Founding of Zion.
On the second day of August, I assisted the Colesville branch of the Church 1 to lay the first log, for a house, as a foundation of Zion in Kaw township, twelve miles west of Independence. The log was carried and placed by twelve men, in honor of the twelve tribes of Israel. At the same time, through prayer, the land of Zion was consecrated and dedicated by Elder Sidney Rigdon for the gathering of the Saints. 2 It was a season of joy to those present, and afforded a glimpse of the future, which time will yet unfold to the satisfaction of the faithful.
Description of the Land of Zion.
As we had received a commandment for Elder Rigdon to write a description of the land of Zion, we sought for all the information necessary to accomplish so desirable an object. The country is unlike the timbered states of the East. As far as the eye can reach the beautiful rolling prairies lie spread out like a sea of meadows; and are decorated with a growth of flowers so gorgeous and grand as to exceed description; and nothing is more fruitful, or a richer stockholder in the blooming prairie than the honey bee. Only on the water courses is timber to be found. There in strips from one to three miles in width, and following faithfully the meanderings of the streams, it grows in luxuriant forests. The forests are a mixture of oak, hickory, black walnut, elm, ash, cherry, honey locust, mulberry, coffee bean, hackberry, boxelder, and bass wood; with the addition of cottonwood, butterwood, pecan, and soft and hard maple upon the bottoms. The shrubbery is beautiful, and consists in part of plums, grapes, crab apple, and persimmons.
Agricultural Products; Animals, Domestic and Wild.
The soil is rich and fertile; from three to ten feet deep, and generally composed of a rich black mold, intermingled with clay and sand. It yields in abundance, wheat, corn, sweet potatoes, cotton and many other common agricultural products. Horses, cattle and hogs, though of an inferior breed, are tolerably plentiful and seem nearly to raise themselves by grazing in the vast prairie range in summer, and feeding upon the bottoms in winter. The wild game is less plentiful of course where man has commenced the cultivation of the soil, than in the wild prairies. Buffalo, elk, deer, bear, wolves, beaver and many smaller animals here roam at pleasure. Turkeys, geese, swans, ducks, yea a variety of the feathered tribe, are among the rich abundance that grace the delightful regions of this goodly land—the heritage of the children of God.
The season is mild and delightful nearly three quarters of the year, and as the land of Zion, situated at about equal distances from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as well as from the Alleghany and Rocky mountains, in the thirty-ninth degree of north latitude, and between the sixteenth and seventeenth degrees of west longitude, 3 it bids fair—when the curse is taken from the land—to become one of the most blessed places on the globe. The winters are milder than the Atlantic states of the same parallel of latitude, and the weather is more agreeable; so that were the virtues of the inhabitants only equal to the blessings of the Lord which He permits to crown the industry of those inhabitants, there would be a measure of the good things of life for the benefit of the Saints, full, pressed down, and running over, even an hundred-fold. The disadvantages here, as in all new countries, are self-evident—lack of mills and schools; together with the natural privations and inconveniences which the hand of industry, the refinement of society, and the polish of science, overcome.
The Future Glory of Zion.
But all these impediments vanish when it is recollected what the Prophets have said concerning Zion in the last days; how the glory of Lebanon is to come upon her; the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box tree together, to beautify the place of His sanctuary, that He may make the place of His feet glorious. Where for brass, He will bring gold; and for iron, He will bring silver; and for wood, brass; and for stones, iron; and where the feast of fat things will be given to the just; yea, when the splendor of the Lord is brought to our consideration for the good of His people, the calculations of men and the vain glory of the world vanish, and we exclaim, “Out of Zion the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.”
Dedication of the Temple Site.
On the third day of August, I proceeded to dedicate the spot for the Temple, a little west of Independence, and there were also present Sidney Rigdon, Edward Partridge, W. W. Phelps, Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris and Joseph Coe.
The 87th Psalm was read:—
His foundation is in the holy mountains.
The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah.
I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there.
And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her; and the Highest Himself shall establish her.
The Lord shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah.
As well the singers as the players on instruments shall be there: all my springs are in thee.
The scene was solemn and impressive.
First Conference in Zion.
On the 4th I attended the first conference in the land of Zion. It was held at the house of Brother Joshua Lewis, in Kaw township, in the presence of the Colesville branch of the Church. The Spirit of the Lord was there.
Death of Polly Knight.
On the 7th, I attended the funeral of Sister Polly Knight, the wife of Joseph Knight, Sen. This was the first death in the Church in this land, and I can say, a worthy member sleeps in Jesus till the resurrection. 4
I also received the following:
Revelation, given in Zion, August 7th, 1831. 5
1. Behold, blessed, saith the Lord, are they who have come up unto this land with an eye single to my glory, according to my commandments.
2. For those that live shall inherit the earth, and those that die shall rest from all their labors, and their works shall follow them; and they shall receive a crown in the mansions of my Father, which I have prepared for them.
3. Yea, blessed are they whose feet stand upon the land of Zion, who have obeyed my gospel; for they shall receive for their reward the good things of the earth, and it shall bring forth in its strength.
4. And they shall also be crowned with blessings from above, yea, and with commandments not a few, and with revelations in their time—they that are faithful and diligent before me.
5. Wherefore, I give unto them a commandment, saying thus: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy might, mind, and strength; and in the name of Jesus Christ thou shalt serve him.
6. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Thou shalt not steal; neither commit adultery, nor kill, nor do anything like unto it.
7. Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things.
8. Thou shalt offer a sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in righteousness, even that of a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
9. And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day;
10. For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High;
11. Nevertheless thy vows shall be offered up in righteousness on all days and at all times;
12. But remember that on this, the Lord’s day, thou shalt offer thine oblations and thy sacraments unto the Most High, confessing thy sins unto thy brethren, and before the Lord.
13. And on this day thou shalt do none other thing, only let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart that thy fasting may be perfect, or, in other words, that thy joy may be full.
14. Verily, this is fasting and prayer, or in other words rejoicing and prayer.
15. And inasmuch as ye do these things with thanksgiving, with cheerful hearts and countenances, not with much laughter, for this is sin, but with a glad heart and a cheerful countenance—
16. Verily I say, that inasmuch as ye do this, the fulness of the earth is yours, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which climbeth upon the trees and walketh upon the earth;
17. Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards;
18. Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;
19. Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.
20. And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man, for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.
21. And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.
22. Behold, this is according to the law and the prophets; wherefore, trouble me no more concerning this matter.
23. But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world and eternal life in the world to come.
24. I, the Lord, have spoken it, and the Spirit beareth record. Amen.
Directions for the Elders.
On the 8th, as there had been some inquiry among the Elders what they were to do, I received the following:
Revelation, given August, 1831. 6
1. Behold, thus saith the Lord unto the elders of his church, who are to return speedily to the land from whence they came: Behold, it pleaseth me, that you have come up hither;
2. But with some I am not well pleased, for they will not open their mouths, but they hide the talent which I have given unto them, because of the fear of man. Wo unto such, for mine anger is kindled against them.
3. And it shall come to pass, if they are not more faithful unto me, it shall be taken away, even that which they have.
4. For I, the Lord, rule in the heavens above, and among the armies of the earth; and in the day when I shall make up my jewels, all men shall know what it is that bespeaketh the power of God.
5. But, verily, I will speak unto you concerning your journey unto the land from whence you came. Let there be a craft made, or bought, as seemeth you good, it mattereth not unto me, and take your journey speedily for the place which is called St. Louis.
6. And from thence let my servants, Sidney Rigdon, Joseph Smith, Jun., and Oliver Cowdery, take their journey for Cincinnati;
7. And in this place let them lift up their voice and declare my word with loud voices, without wrath or doubting, lifting up holy hands upon them. For I am able to make you holy, and your sins are forgiven you.
8. And let the residue take their journey from St. Louis, two by two, and preach the word, not in haste, among the congregations of the wicked, until they return to the churches from whence they came.
9. And all this for the good of the churches; for this intent have I sent them.
10. And let my servant Edward Partridge impart of the money which I have given him, a portion unto mine elders who are commanded to return;
11. And he that is able, let him return it by the way of the agent; and he that is not, of him it is not required.
12. And now I speak of the residue who are to come unto this land.
13. Behold, they have been sent to preach my gospel among the congregations of the wicked; wherefore, I give unto them a commandment, thus: Thou shalt not idle away thy time, neither shalt thou bury thy talent that it may not be known.
14. And after thou hast come up unto the land of Zion, and hast proclaimed my word, thou shalt speedily return, proclaiming my word among the congregations of the wicked, not in haste, neither in wrath nor with strife.
15. And shake off the dust of thy feet against those who receive thee not, not in their presence, lest thou provoke them; but in secret and wash thy feet, as a testimony against them in the day of judgment.
16. Behold, this is sufficient for you, and the will of him who hath sent you.
17. And by the mouth of my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., it shall be made known concerning Sidney Rigdon and Oliver Cowdery. The residue hereafter. Even so. Amen.
Prophet and Others Depart for Kirtland.
On the 9th, in company with ten Elders, I left Independence landing for Kirtland. We started down the river in canoes, and went the first way as far as Fort Osage, where we had an excellent wild turkey for supper. Nothing very important occurred till the third day, when many of the dangers so common upon the western waters, manifested themselves; and after we had encamped upon the bank of the river, at McIlwaine’s Bend, Brother Phelps, in open vision by daylight, saw the destroyer in his most horrible power, ride upon the face of the waters; others heard the noise, but saw not the vision.
The next morning after prayer, I received the following:
Revelation, given August, 1831. 7
1. Behold, and hearken unto the voice of him who has all power, who is from everlasting to everlasting, even Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.
2. Behold, verily thus saith the Lord unto you, O ye elders of my church, who are assembled upon this spot, whose sins are now forgiven you, for I, the Lord, forgive sins, and am merciful unto those who confess their sins with humble hearts;
3. But verily I say unto you, that it is not needful for this whole company of mine elders to be moving swiftly upon the waters, whilst the inhabitants on either side are perishing in unbelief.
4. Nevertheless, I suffered it that ye might bear record; behold, there are many dangers upon the waters, and more especially hereafter;
5. For I, the Lord, have decreed in mine anger many destructions upon the waters; yea, and especially upon these waters.
6. Nevertheless, all flesh is in mine hand, and he that is faithful among you shall not perish by the waters.
7. Wherefore, it is expedient that my servant Sidney Gilbert and my servant William W. Phelps, be in haste upon their errand and mission.
8. Nevertheless, I would not suffer that ye should part until you were chastened for all your sins, that you might be one, that you might not perish in wickedness;
9. But now, verily I say, it behooveth me that ye should part. Wherefore let my servants Sidney Gilbert and William W. Phelps take their former company, and let them take their journey in haste that they may fill their mission, and through faith they shall overcome;
10. And inasmuch as they are faithful they shall be preserved, and I, the Lord, will be with them.
11. And let the residue take that which is needful for clothing.
12. Let my servant Sidney Gilbert take that which is not needful with him, as you shall agree.
13. And now, behold, for your good I gave unto you a commandment concerning these things; and I, the Lord, will reason with you as with men in days of old.
14. Behold, I, the Lord, in the beginning blessed the waters, but in the last days, by the mouth of my servant John, I cursed the waters;
15. Wherefore, the days will come that no flesh shall be safe upon the waters.
16. And it shall be said in days to come that none is able to go up to the land of Zion upon the waters, but he that is upright in heart.
17. And, as I, the Lord, in the beginning cursed the land, even so in the last days have I blessed it, in its time, for the use of my Saints, that they may partake the fatness thereof.
18. And now I give unto you a commandment that what I say unto one I say unto all, that you shall forewarn your brethren concerning these waters, that they come not in journeying upon them, lest their faith fail and they are caught in snares;
19. I, the Lord, have decreed, and the destroyer rideth upon the face thereof, and I revoke not the decree;
20. I, the Lord, was angry with you yesterday, but today mine anger is turned away.
21. Wherefore, let those concerning whom I have spoken, that should take their journey in haste—again I say unto you, let them take their journey in haste.
22. And it mattereth not unto me, after a little, if it so be that they fill their mission, whether they go by water or by land; let this be as it is made known unto them according to their judgments hereafter.
23. And now, concerning my servants Sidney Rigdon, and Joseph Smith, Jun., and Oliver Cowdery, let them come not again upon the waters, save it be upon the canal, while journeying unto their homes; or in other words they shall not come upon the waters to journey, save upon the canal.
24. Behold, I, the Lord, have appointed a way for the journeying of my Saints; and behold this is the way—that after they leave the canal, they shall journey by land, inasmuch as they are commanded to journey and go up unto the land of Zion;
25. And they shall do like unto the children of Israel, pitching their tents by the way.
26. And, behold, this commandment you shall give unto all your brethren.
27. Nevertheless, unto whom it is given power to command the waters, unto him it is given by the Spirit to know all his ways;
28. Wherefore, let him do as the Spirit of the living God commandeth him, whether upon the land or upon the waters, as it remaineth with me to do hereafter.
29. And unto you it is given the course for the saints, or the way for the saints of the camp of the Lord, to journey.
30. And again, verily I say unto you, my servants, Sidney Rigdon, Joseph Smith, Jun., and Oliver Cowdery, shall not open their mouths in the congregations of the wicked, until they arrive at Cincinnati;
31. And in that place they shall lift up their voices unto God against that people; yea unto him whose anger is kindled against their wickedness, a people who are well-nigh ripened for destruction.
32. And from thence let them journey for the congregations of their brethren, for their labors even now are wanted more abundantly among them than among the congregations of the wicked.
33. And now, concerning the residue, let them journey and declare the word among the congregations of the wicked, inasmuch as it is given;
34. And inasmuch as they do this they shall rid their garments, and they shall be spotless before me.
35. And let them journey together, or two by two, as seemeth them good, only let my servant Reynolds Cahoon, and my servant Samuel H. Smith, with whom I am well pleased, be not separated until they return to their homes, and this for a wise purpose in me.
36. And now, verily I say unto you, and what I say unto one I say unto all, be of good cheer, little children, for I am in your midst, and I have not forsaken you;
37. And inasmuch as you have humbled yourselves before me, the blessings of the kingdom are yours.
38. Gird up your loins and be watchful and be sober, looking forth for the coming of the Son of Man, for he cometh in an hour you think not.
39. Pray always that you enter not into temptation, that you may abide the day of his coming, whether in life or in death. Even so. Amen.
A Chance Meeting of Elders.
On the 13th [August] I met several of the Elders on their way to the land of Zion, and after the joyful salutations with which brethren meet each other, who are actually “contending for the faith once delivered to the Saints,” I received the following:
Revelation, given August, 1831. 8
1. Behold, and hearken, O ye elders of my church, saith the Lord your God, even Jesus Christ, your advocate, who knoweth the weakness of man and how to succor them who are tempted.
2. And verily mine eyes are upon those who have not as yet gone up unto the land of Zion; wherefore your mission is not yet full.
3. Nevertheless, ye are blessed, for the testimony which ye have borne is recorded in heaven for the angels to look upon; and they rejoice over you, and your sins are forgiven you.
4. And now continue your journey. Assemble yourselves upon the land of Zion; and hold a meeting and rejoice together, and offer a sacrament unto the Most High.
5. And then you may return to bear record, yea, even all together, or two by two as seemeth you good, it mattereth not unto me; only be faithful, and declare glad tidings unto the inhabitants of the earth, of among the congregations of the wicked.
6. Behold, I, the Lord, have brought you together that the promise might be fulfilled, that the faithful among you should be preserved and rejoice together in the land of Missouri. I, the Lord, promised the faithful and cannot lie.
7. I, the Lord, am willing, if any among you desire to ride upon horses, or upon mules, or in chariots, he shall receive this blessing, if he receive it from the hand of the Lord, with a thankful heart in all things.
8. These things remain with you to do according to judgment and the directions of the Spirit.
9. Behold, the kingdom is yours. And behold, and lo, I am with the faithful always. Even so. Amen.
Arrival of the Prophet and Party at Kirtland.
After this meeting with the Elders, Sidney Rigdon, Oliver Cowdery, and myself, continued our journey by land to St. Louis, where we overtook brothers Phelps and Gilbert. From this place we took stage, and they went by water to Kirtland, where we arrived safe and well on the 27th [August]. Many things transpired upon this journey to strengthen our faith, and which displayed the goodness of God in such a marvelous manner, that we could not help beholding the exertions of Satan to blind the eyes of the people, so as to hide the true light that lights every man that comes into the world.
Anxiety of the Saints to Receive the Word of the Lord.
In these infant days of the Church, there was a great anxiety to obtain the word of the Lord upon every subject that in any way concerned our salvation; and as the land of Zion was now the most important temporal object in view, I enquired of the Lord for further information upon the gathering of the Saints, and the purchase of the land, and other matters, and received the following:
Revelation, given in Kirtland, August, 1831. 9
1. Hearken, O ye people, and open your hearts and give ear from afar; and listen, you that call yourselves the people of the Lord, and hear the word of the Lord and his will concerning you.
2. Yea, verily, I say, hear the word of him whose anger is kindled against the wicked and rebellious;
3. Who willeth to take even them whom he will take, and preserveth in life them whom he will preserve;
4. Who buildeth up at his own will and pleasure; and destroyeth when he pleases, and is able to cast the soul down to hell.
5. Behold, I, the Lord, utter my voice, and it shall be obeyed.
6. Wherefore, verily I say, let the wicked take heed, and let the rebellious fear and tremble; and let the unbelieving hold their lips, for the day of wrath shall come upon them as a whirlwind, and all flesh shall know that I am God.
7. And he that seeketh signs shall see signs, but not unto salvation.
8. Verily, I say unto you, there are those among you who seek signs, and there have been such even from the beginning;
9. But, behold, faith cometh not by signs, but signs follow those that believe.
10. Yea, signs come by faith, not by the will of men, nor as they please, but by the will of God.
11. Yea, signs come by faith, unto mighty works, for without faith no man pleaseth God; and with whom God is angry he is not well pleased; wherefore, unto such he showeth no sign, only in wrath unto their condemnation.
12. Wherefore, I, the Lord, am not pleased with those among you who have sought after signs and wonders for faith, and not for the good of men unto my glory.
13. Nevertheless, I gave commandments, and many have turned away from my commandments and have not kept them.
14. There were among you adulterers and adulteresses; some of whom have turned away from you, and others remain with you that hereafter shall be revealed.
15. Let such beware and repent speedily, lest judgment shall come upon them as a snare, and their folly shall be made manifest, and their works shall follow them in the eyes of the people.
16. And verily I say unto you, as I have said before, he that looketh upon a woman to lust after her, or if any shall commit adultery in their hearts, they shall not have the Spirit, but shall deny the faith and shall fear.
17. Wherefore I, the Lord, have said that the fearful, and the unbelieving, and all liars, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie, and the whoremonger, and the sorcerer, shall have their part in that lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
18. Verily I say, that they shall not have part in the first resurrection.
19. And now behold, I, the Lord, say unto you that ye are not justified because these things are among you.
20. Nevertheless, he that endureth in faith and doeth my will, the same shall overcome, and shall receive an inheritance upon the earth when the day of transfiguration shall come;
21. When the earth shall be transfigured, even according to the pattern which was shown unto mine apostles upon the mount; of which account the fulness ye have not yet received.
22. And now, verily I say unto you, that as I said that I would make known my will unto you, behold I will make it known unto you, not by the way of commandment, for there are many who observe not to keep my commandments.
23. But unto him that keepeth my commandments I will give the mysteries of my kingdom, and the same shall be in him a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life.
24. And now, behold, this is the will of the Lord your God concerning his saints, that they should assemble themselves together unto the land of Zion, not in haste, lest there should be confusion, which bringeth pestilence.
25. Behold, the land of Zion, I, the Lord, hold it in mine own hands;
26. Nevertheless, I, the Lord, render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s.
27. Wherefore, I the Lord will that you should purchase the lands, that you may have advantage of the world, that you may have claim on the world, that they may not be stirred up unto anger.
28. For Satan putteth it into their hearts to anger against you, and to the shedding of blood.
29. Wherefore, the land of Zion shall not be obtained but by purchase or by blood, otherwise there is none inheritance for you.
30. And if by purchase, behold you are blessed;
31. And if by blood, as you are forbidden to shed blood, lo, your enemies are upon you, and ye shall be scourged from city to city, and from synagogue to synagogue, and but few shall stand to receive an inheritance.
32. I, the Lord, am angry with the wicked; I am holding my Spirit from the inhabitants of the earth.
33. I have sworn in my wrath, and decreed wars upon the face of the earth, and the wicked shall slay the wicked, and fear shall come upon every man;
34. And the Saints also shall hardly escape; nevertheless, I, the Lord, am with them, and will come down in heaven from the presence of my Father and consume the wicked with unquenchable fire.
35. And behold, this is not yet, but by and by.
36. Wherefore, seeing that I, the Lord, have decreed all these things upon the face of the earth, I will that my Saints should be assembled upon the land of Zion;
37. And that every man should take righteousness in his hands and faithfulness upon his loins, and lift a warning voice unto the inhabitants of the earth; and declare both by word and by flight, that desolation shall come upon the wicked.
38. Wherefore, let my disciples in Kirtland arrange their temporal concerns, who dwell upon this farm.
39. Let my servant Titus Billings, who has the care thereof, dispose of the land, that he may be prepared in the coming spring to take his journey up unto the land of Zion, with those that dwell upon the face thereof, excepting those whom I shall reserve unto myself, that shall not go until I shall command them.
40. And let all the monies which can be spared, it mattereth not unto me whether it be little or much, be sent up unto the land of Zion, unto them whom I have appointed to receive.
41. Behold, I, the Lord, will give unto my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., power that he shall be enabled to discern by the Spirit those who shall go up unto the land of Zion, and those of my disciples who shall tarry.
42. Let my servant Newel K. Whitney retain his store, or in other words, the store, yet for a little season.
43. Nevertheless, let him impart all the money which he can impart, to be sent up unto the land of Zion.
44. Behold, these things are in his own hands, let him do according to wisdom.
45. Verily I say, let him be ordained as an agent unto the disciples that shall tarry, and let him be ordained unto this power;
46. And now speedily visit the churches, expounding these things unto them, with my servant Oliver Cowdery. Behold, this is my will, obtaining moneys even as I have directed.
47. He that is faithful and endureth shall overcome the world.
48. He that sendeth up treasures unto the land of Zion shall receive an inheritance in this world, and his works shall follow him, and also a reward in the world to come.
49. Yea, and blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, from henceforth, when the Lord shall come, and old things shall pass away, and all things become new, they shall rise from the dead and shall not die after, and shall receive an inheritance before the Lord, in the holy city.
50. And he that liveth when the Lord shall come, and hath kept the faith, blessed is he; nevertheless, it is appointed to him to die at the age of man.
51. Wherefore, children shall grow up until they become old; old men shall die; but they shall not sleep in the dust, but they shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye.
52. Wherefore, for this cause preached the apostles unto the world the resurrection of the dead.
53. These things are the things that ye must look for; and, speaking after the manner of the Lord, they are now nigh at hand, and in a time to come, even in the day of the coming of the Son of Man.
54. And until that hour there will be foolish virgins among the wise; and at that hour cometh an entire separation of the righteous and the wicked; and in that day will I send mine angels to pluck out the wicked and cast them into unquenchable fire.
55. And now behold, verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, am not pleased with my servant Sidney Rigdon; he exalted himself in his heart, and received not counsel, but grieved the Spirit;
56. Wherefore his writing is not acceptable unto the Lord, and he shall make another; and if the Lord receive it not, behold he standeth no longer in the office to which I have appointed him.
57. And again, verily I say unto you, those who desire in their hearts, in meekness, to warn sinners to repentance, let them be ordained unto this power.
58. For this is a day of warning, and not a day of many words. For I, the Lord, am not to be mocked in the last days.
59. Behold, I am from above, and my power lieth beneath. I am over all and in all, and through all, and search all things, and the day cometh that all things shall be subject unto me.
60. Behold, I am Alpha and Omega, even Jesus Christ.
61. Wherefore, Yet all men beware how they take my name in their lips—
62. For behold, verily I say, that many there be who are under this condemnation, who use the name of the Lord, and use it in vain, having not authority.
63. Wherefore, let the church repent of their sins, and I, the Lord, will own them; otherwise they shall be cut off.
64. Remember that that which cometh from above is sacred, and must be spoken with care, and by constraint of the Spirit; and in this there is no condemnation, and ye receive the Spirit through prayer; wherefore, without this there remaineth condemnation.
65. Let my servants, Joseph Smith, Jun., and Sidney Rigdon, seek them a home, as they are taught through prayer by the Spirit.
66. These things remain to overcome through patience that such may receive a more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, otherwise, a greater condemnation. Amen.
Preparations to Move to Hiram.
The early part of September was spent in making preparations to remove to the town of Hiram, and renew our work on the translation of the Bible. The brethren who were commanded to go up to Zion were earnestly engaged in getting ready to start in the coming October. On the 11th of September I received the following:
Revelation, given in Kirtland. 10
1. Behold, thus saith the Lord your God unto you, O ye elders of my church, hearken ye and hear, and receive my will concerning you.
2. For verily I say unto you, I will that ye should overcome the world; wherefore I will have compassion upon you.
3. There are those among you who have sinned; but verily I say, for this once, for mine own glory, and for the salvation of souls, I have forgiven you your sins.
4. I will be merciful unto you, for I have given unto you the kingdom.
5. And the keys of the mysteries of the kingdom shall not be taken from my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., through the means I have appointed, while he liveth, inasmuch as he obeyeth mine ordinances.
6. There are those who have sought occasion against him without cause;
7. Nevertheless, he has sinned; but verily I say unto you, I, the Lord forgive sins unto those who confess their sins before me and ask forgiveness, who have not sinned unto death.
8. My disciples, in days of old, sought occasion against one another and forgave not one another in their hearts; and for this evil they were afflicted and sorely chastened.
9. Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin.
10. I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.
11. And ye ought to say in your hearts—let God judge between me and thee, and reward thee according to thy deeds.
12. And him that repenteth not of his sins, and confesseth them not, ye shall bring before the church. and do with him as the scripture saith unto you, either by commandment or by revelation.
13. And this ye shall do that God may be glorified—not because ye forgive not, having not compassion, but that ye may be justified in the eyes of the law, that ye may not offend him who is your lawgiver—
14. Verily I say, for this cause ye shall do these things.
15. Behold, I, the Lord, was angry with him who was my servant Ezra Booth, and also my servant Isaac Morley, for they kept not the law, neither the commandment;
16. They sought evil in their hearts, and I, the Lord, withheld my Spirit. They condemned for evil that thing in which there was no evil; nevertheless I have forgiven my servant Isaac Morley.
17. And also my servant Edward Partridge, behold, he hath sinned, and Satan seeketh to destroy his soul; but when these things are made known unto them and they repent of the evil, they shall be forgiven.
18. And now, verily I say that it is expedient in me that my servant Sidney Gilbert, after a few weeks, shall return upon his business, and to his agency in the land of Zion;
19. And that which he hath seen and heard may be made known unto my disciples, that they perish not. And for this cause have I spoken these things.
20. And again, I say unto you, that my servant Isaac Morley may not be tempted above that which he is able to bear, and counsel wrongfully to your hurt, I gave commandment that his farm should be sold.
21. I will not that my servant Frederick G. Williams should sell his farm, for I, the Lord, will to retain a strong hold in the land of Kirtland, for the space of five years, in the which I will not overthrow the wicked, that thereby I may save some.
22. And after that day, I, the Lord, will not hold any guilty that shall go with an open heart up to the land of Zion; for I, the Lord, require the hearts of the children of men.
23. Behold, now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming.
24. For after today cometh the burning—this is speaking after the manner of the Lord—for verily I say, tomorrow all the proud and they that do wickedly shall be as stubble; and I will burn them up, for I am the Lord of Hosts; and I will not spare any that remain in Babylon.
25. Wherefore, if ye believe me, ye will labor while it is called today.
26. And it is not meet that my servants, Newel K. Whitney and Sidney Gilbert, should sell their store and their possessions here; for this is not wisdom until the residue of the church, which remaineth in this place, shall go up unto the land of Zion.
27. Behold, it is said in my laws, or forbidden, to get in debt to thine enemies;
28. But behold, it is not said at any time that the Lord should not take when he please, and pay as seemeth him good.
29. Wherefore, as ye are agents, ye are on the Lord’s errand; and whatever ye do according to the will of the Lord is the Lord’s business.
30. And he hath set you to provide for his saints in these last days, that they may obtain an inheritance in the land of Zion.
31. And behold, I, the Lord, declare unto you, and my words are sure and shall not fail, that they shall obtain it.
32. But all things must come to pass in their time.
33. Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.
34. Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days.
35. And the rebellious shall be cut off out of the land of Zion, and shall be sent away, and shall not inherit the land.
36. For, verily I say that the rebellious are not of the blood of Ephraim, wherefore they shall be plucked out.
37. Behold, I, the Lord, have made my church in these last days like unto a judge sitting on a hill or in a high place, to judge the nations.
38. For it shall come to pass that the inhabitants of Zion shall judge all things pertaining to Zion.
39. And liars and hypocrites shall be proved by them, and they who are not apostles and prophets shall be known.
40. And even the bishop, who is a judge, and his counselors, if they are not faithful in their stewardships shall be condemned, and others shall be planted in their stead.
41. For, behold, I say unto you that Zion shall flourish, and the glory of the Lord shall be upon her;
42. And she shall be an ensign unto the people, and there shall come unto her out of every nation under heaven.
43. And the day shall come when the nations of the earth shall tremble because of her, and shall fear because of her terrible ones. The Lord hath spoken it. Amen.
Chapter 16 – Notes
2. Speaking of this second of August meeting, in addition to what the Prophet relates in his narrative, John Whitmer, in his History of the Church, (ch. 9) gives the following interesting details from a statement of Oliver Cowdery’s: “On the second day of August, 1831, Rigdon stood up and asked, saying,
“‘Do you receive this land for the land of your inheritance with thankful hearts from the Lord?’
“Answer from all: ‘We do.’
“‘Do you pledge yourselves to keep the law of God in this land which you never have kept in your own lands?’
“‘Do you pledge yourselves to see that others of your brethren who shall come hither do keep the laws of God?’
“After prayer, he arose and said: ‘I now pronounce this land consecrated and dedicated unto the Lord for a possession and inheritance for the Saints, and for all the faithful servants of the Lord to the remotest ages of time. In the name of Jesus Christ, having authority from Him. Amen.'”
4. Polly Knight’s health had been failing for some time, according to a statement made by her son, Newel. She was very ill during her journey from Kirtland to Missouri. “Yet,” says her son, “she would not consent to stop traveling; her only, or her greatest desire was to set her feet upon the land of Zion, and to have her body interred in that land. I went on shore and bought lumber to make a coffin, in case she should die before we arrived at our place of destination—so fast did she fail. But the Lord gave her the desire of her heart, and she lived to stand upon that land.”—Scraps of Biography, p. 70.
5. D&C 59.
6. D&C 60.
7. D&C 61.
8. D&C 62.
9. D&C 63.
10. D&C 64.