- THE ELDERS IN KIRTLAND, TO THEIR BRETHREN ABROAD.
Dear Brethren in Christ, and companions in tribulation:
- It seems good unto us to drop a few lines to you, giving you some instruction relative to conducting the affairs of the Kingdom of God, which has been committed unto us in these later times by the will and testament of our Mediator, whose intercessions in our behalf are lodged in the bosom of the Eternal Father, and ere long will burst with blessings upon the heads of all the faithful.
- We have all been children and are too much so at the present time, but we hope in the Lord that we may grow in grace and be prepared for all things which the bosom of futurity may disclose unto us. Time is rapidly rolling on and the prophecies must be fulfilled. The days of tribulation are fast approaching, and the time to test the fidelity of the saints has come. Rumor with her ten thousand tongues is diffusing her uncertain sounds in almost every ear. But in these times of sore trial, let the saints be patient and see the salvation of God. Those who cannot endure persecution, and stand in the day of affliction, cannot stand in the day when the Son of God shall burst the veil, and appear in all the glory of his Father, with the holy angels.
- On the subject of ordination, a few words are necessary. In many instances there has been too much haste in this thing, and the admonition of Paul has been too slightingly passed over, which says, Lay hands suddenly upon no man. Some have been ordained to the ministry, and have never acted in that capacity or magnified their calling at all. Such may expect to lose their calling, except they awake and magnify their office. Let the elders abroad be exceedingly careful upon this subject, and when they ordain a man to the holy ministry, let it be a faithful man who is able to teach others also, that the cause of Christ suffer not. It is not the multitude of preachers that is to bring about the glorious millennium, but it is those who are called, and chosen, and faithful.
- Let the elders be exceedingly careful about unnecessarily disturbing and harrowing up the feelings of the people. Remember, that your business is to preach the gospel in all humility and meekness, and warn sinners to repent and come to Christ. Avoid contentions and vain disputes with men of corrupt minds, who do not desire to know the truth. Remember that it is a day of warning, and not a day of many words. If they receive not your testimony in one place, flee to another, remembering to cast no reflections, nor throw out any bitter sayings. If you do your duty it will be just as well with you as though all men embraced the gospel.
- Be careful about sending boys to preach the gospel to the world. If they go, let them be accompanied by someone who is able to guide them in the proper channel, lest they become puffed up and fall under condemnation, and into the snare of the Devil.
- Finally, in these critical times, be careful, call on the Lord day and night, beware of pride, beware of false brethren who will creep in among you to spy out your liberties, etc. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; let your light shine and show yourselves workmen that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Apply yourselves diligently to study that your minds may be stored with all necessary information.
- We remain your brethren in Christ, anxiously praying for the day of redemption to come, when iniquity shall be swept from the earth, and everlasting righteousness brought in.
A letter to the brethren abroad, published December 1833, in The Evening and Morning Star.