Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate/Volume 1/Number 12/Extracts of letters and conference minutes
CLEAR CREEK, Ill. July 7, 1835.
After laboring for a season, we embrace another opportunity, to inform you of our prosperity in the cause of our Redeemer. Through the providence of our God, we are yet with our brethren in this place. And by the assistance of our heavenly Father thro' the merits of Jesus Christ, we have succeeded in establishing a church here, which is composed of twenty members in good standing, faith and fellowship. However, they are young and inexperienced in the work of the Lord, and are unacquainted with the devices of the adversary of the souls of the children of men; and that wicked one would feign make them miserable like himself. Therefore, pray for them, that they may stand, and not be moved, when the hour of temptation comes:—For it is evident that all men must be tried like gold seven times purified before they are fit for the Master's use: and are capable to endure the glories of the celestial world. But here, as in all other places, as soon as the people began to listen to the voice of the Savior, the enemy began to rage and send forth his floods of unhallowed persecution, and circulated slanderous stories to keep the people from embracing the truth.
But in this the sayings of the Savior must be fulfilled; for says he: "My sheep hear my voice and will follow me." Notwithstanding persecutions, slanderous reports, and the weakness of human nature, and the proneness of the wandering of the hearts of the children of men, these few disciples meet all the enemy heaps upon them with Christian fortitude, in humility as becomes the saints of the Most High.
We held a meeting yesterday, and baptized three; and for the first time Mr. Dudley (the champion of this place) appeared to speak face to face; he has however taken much pains to work behind our backs. By working in this way he is no worse than others of his profession. In this short investigation the saints received much strength: for they beheld the spirit that Mr. Dudly was of, was not that meek and lowly spirit which reigns in the bosom of the meek and humble follower of Jesus. He spent his time in spiritualising the scripture and darkening the word of God, in such a manner, that it was evident he was a blind guide; and after he had sufficient time to harangue the people in this way, he was exhorted to repent and turn from his evil ways and seek the Lord while he may be found.
We have endeavored to avoid controversies with all men as much as possible; but in the name of the Lord Jesus, we have defended his cause in all places, and circumstances, according to the ability which God has given us:—And we bear this record to our brethren and the world, that in not one instance, has God suffered that we should be confounded.
We have been in this place about four weeks, and have labored night and day for the salvation of this people, with all diligence and patience, seeking the face of the Lord always. We frequently mourn and weep before the Lord for this generation: But we are men and all that we can do is to set the truth before the people, and then they are left agents unto themselves and are at liberty to choose life or death: and in this thing there is joy to that servant who has the dispensation of the gospel committed to him in these last days: that the servants of God are not compelled to save all mankind, (as some of the sectarians would have it); but preach the truth that such as will come may come and partake of the tree of life.—And they will have to save themselves, by obeying the truth in all things.
We have baptized nineteen in this place, and fourteen of that number we have baptized since we last wrote. May the Lord have mercy on us all, even so: Amen.
To John Whitmer, Esq.
KIRTLAND, Sept. 17, 1835.
After a short illness, of which I am recovering, I would inform you, that since I wrote from Green county, Ia. I have labored about six weeks in that place, for the good of my fellow men. When I came to Eel River church in said county, I found a small band of Latter Day Saints, say ten in number, somewhat weak in the faith. There had been once a large church here, but the greater part of the members had removed to Missouri; so that the remaining few were like sheep without a shepherd. During my short stay here I baptized 18, and ordained one teacher. The brethren desire if any travelling elder passes that way he would call and tarry a season. I have been engaged in my mission, since I left home last fall, nearly ten months.
G. M. HINKEL.
To John Whitmer.
Extracts of Conference Minutes.
Council met in Kirtland, Sept. 28: and took into consideration the case of Elder G. Bishop, who had previously been suspended by the travelling council, for interpreting some passages of Scripture in an improper manner; and also for persisting in said erroneous opinions, &c. He made a humble confession and asked the forgiveness of the councils and the church; and promised to do better for the future. He was forgiven, restored and received in fellowship.*
*The points on which Elder Bishop was suspended, were not points on the gospel, as we know of; but of some other mysterious passages: for instance one respecting the two witnesses: Rev. chap. XI. He stated that J. Smith, jr. and O. Cowdery were the two persons alluded to, &c. which is incorrect.
Also, Elder P. H. Young, who had been disfellowshipped by the High Council, for alleged improper conduct, personally appeared before said council; and the charge not being sustained, he was honorably acquitted, and restored to his former standing and fellowship.
WARREN PARRISH, Clerk.
Minutes of a Conference held at Black River, Sept. 19, 1835.
After being organized according to order, the conference proceeded to business. Six small branches were represented as composing this conference.
There have been 28 members added to these several branches since our last conference of June 19.
Resolved,—That the next conference of this district, be held in the village of Lerayville, Jefferson co. on the second Tuesday of January 1836; commencing at 10 o'clock, A. M. And also public preaching the Sabbath following, at 10 o'clock, A. M.
D. W. PATTON, President.
J. Blakesly, Clerk.