- Whereas brother Richard Hewitt has called on me today to know my views concerning some doctrines that are preached in your place, and states to me that some of your elders say that a man having a certain priesthood may have as many wives as he pleases, and that doctrine is taught here: I say unto you that that man teaches false doctrine, for there is no such doctrine taught here, neither is there any such thing practiced here. And any man that is found teaching privately or publicly any such doctrine is culpable, and will stand a chance to be brought before the high council, and lose his license and membership also. Therefore, he had better beware what he is about.
- And again, I say unto you, an elder has no business to undertake to preach mysteries in any part of the world, for God has commanded us all to preach nothing but the first principles unto the world. Neither has any elder any authority to preach any mysterious thing to any branch of the church unless he has a direct commandment from God to do so. Let the matter of the grand councils of Heaven, and the making of gods, worlds, and devils entirely alone, for you are not called to teach any such doctrine — for neither you nor the people are capacitated to understand any such principles — less so to teach them. For when God commands men to teach such principles, the saints will receive them. Therefore, beware what you teach! For the mysteries of God are not given to all men; and unto those to whom they are given they are placed under restrictions to impart only such as God will command them, and the residue is to be kept in a faithful breast, otherwise he will be brought under condemnation. By this God will prove his faithful servants, who will be called and numbered with the chosen.
- And as to the Celestial glory, all will enter in and possess that kingdom that obey the gospel and continue in faith in the Lord unto the end of his days. Now, therefore, I say unto you, you must cease preaching your miraculous things and let the mysteries alone until by and by. Preach faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, and baptism for the remission of sins, the laying on of the hands for the gift of the holy ghost — teaching the necessity of strict obedience unto these principles, reasoning out of the scriptures, proving them unto the people. Cease your schisms, and divisions, and your contentions. Humble yourselves as in dust and ashes, lest God should make you an example of his wrath unto the surrounding world. Amen.
- In the bonds of the everlasting covenant, I am your obedient servant, Hyrum Smith.
A letter written by president Hyrum Smith, 15 March 1844, and published in the Times and Seasons, written to the brethren of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, living on China Creek, in Hancock County, Illinois.