The Essential Joseph Smith
Foreword by Marvin S. Hill

Chapter 3
“Dearly Beloved in the Lord We Are Under the Necessity to Disappoint You,”
Joseph Smith to Colesville [New York] Saints, 28 August and 2 December 1830
(from copies in Newel Knight Journal, typescript, pp. 128-36 and 196-207, in private possession)

[p.7]Dearly beloved in the Lord

We are under the necessity to disappoint you this time for reasons which I shall mention hereafter, but trusting that your meeting may not be an unprofitable one, may you all realize the necessity of getting together often to pray and supplicate at the Throne of Grace that the Spirit of the Lord may always rest upon you. Remember that without asking we can receive nothing, therefore ask in faith, and ye shall receive such blessings as God sees fit to bestow upon you. Pray not with covetous hearts that ye may consume it upon your lusts, but pray earnestly for the best gifts; fight the good fight of faith that ye may gain the crown which is laid up for those that endure faithful unto the end of their probation. Therefore hold fast that which ye have received so liberally from the hands of God so that when the time of refreshing shall come ye may not have labored in vain, but that ye may rest from all your labors and have fulness of joy in the Kingdom of God.

Dearly beloved brethren we are not ignorant of your tribulations, owing that ye are placed among ravening wolves, therefore we have the more earnest desire to come to see you, but our friends from the West have not yet come, and we can get no horse and wagon, and we are not able to come afoot so far, therefore we cannot come this saturday, but we look for our friends from the West every day and with safety we can promise to come next saturday, if the Lord will; therefore our desire is that ye should assemble yourselves together next saturday so that all things will be in order when we come. Be careful that the enemy of all righteousness will not get the advantage over you in getting the news abroad. Were it not for the prayers of you few, the Almighty would have thundered down his [p.8]wrath upon the inhabitants of that place, but be not faint, the day of your deliverance is not far distant for the judgements of the Lord are already abroad in the earth and the cold hand of death will soon pass through your neighborhood, and sweep away some of your most bitter enemies, for you need not suppose that God will be mocked at, and his commandments be trampled under their feet in such a manner as your enemies do, without visiting them in his wrath when they are fully ripe, and behold, the angel cries, thrust in your sickle for the harvest is fully ripe, and the earth will soon be reaped, that is, the wicked must soon be destroyed from off the face of the earth, for the Lord hath spoken it, and who can stay the hand of the Lord, or who is there that can measure arms with the Almighty, for at his commands the heavens and the earth must pass away, for the day is fast hastening on when the restoration of all things shall be fulfilled which all the Holy Prophets have prophesied of even into the gathering in of the House of Israel. Then shall come to pass that the lion shall lie down with the lamb, &c. But brethren be not discouraged when we tell you of perilous times, for they must shortly come, for the sword, famine, and pestilence are approaching, for there shall be great destructions upon the face of this land, for ye need not suppose that one jot or tittle of the prophecies of all the Holy Prophets shall fail, and there are many that remain to be fulfilled yet, and the Lord hath said that a short work will he make of it, and the righteous shall be saved if it be as by fire.

May the Grace of God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost be and abide with you from henceforth and forever, Amen.

* * *

Dearly beloved in the Lord

According to our prayers, the Lord hath called, chosen, ordained, sanctified and sent unto you another Servant and apostle separated unto this gospel through Jesus Christ our Redeemer, to whom be all honor praise henceforth and forever, even our beloved brother Orson Pratt, the bearer of these lines, whom I recommend unto you as a faithful Servant in the Lord, through Jesus Christ our Redeemer, Amen.

To the Church in Colesville

Having many things to write to you, but being assured that ye [p.9]are not ignorant of all that I can write to you, finally I would inform you that Zion is prospering here [Fayette, New York], there are many serious inquirers in this place, who are seeking the Lord. It gave us much joy to hear from you, to hear that God is softening the hearts of the children of men in that place, it being the seat of Satan. But blessed be the name of God, it also hath become the abode of our savior and may you all be faithful and wait for the time of our Lord, for his appearing is nigh at hand. But the time, and the season, Brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you, for ye yourselves perfectly know that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night, for when they shall say peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman, but they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, therefore let us not sleep as do others, but let us watch and be sober, for they that sleep, sleep in the night, and they that be drunken are drunken in the night, but let us who be of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and law, and for a helmet, the hope of salvation, for God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore comfort one another, even as ye also do, for perilous times are at hand, for behold the dethronement and deposition of the kings in the eastern continent, the whirlwinds in the West India, Islands, it has destroyed a number of vessels, uprooted buildings and strewed them in the air, the fields of spices have been destroyed and the inhabitants have barely escaped with their lives and many have been buried under the ruins. In Columbia, South America, they are at war and peace is taken from the earth in part and it will soon be in whole, yea destructions are at our doors and they soon will be in the houses of the wicked, and they that know not God. Yea lift up your heads and rejoice for your redemption draweth nigh. We are the most favored people that ever have been from the foundation of the world, if we remain faithful in keeping the commandments of our God. Yea, even Enoch, the seventh from Adam, beheld our day [and] rejoiced, and the prophets from that day forth have prophesied of the second coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and rejoiced at the day of rest of the Saints; yea, and the Apostles of our Savior also did rejoice in his appearance in a cloud with the host of Heaven to dwell with man on the earth a thousand years. Therefore we have reason to rejoice. Behold the prophecies of the Book of [p.10]Mormon are fulfilling as fast as time can bring it about. The Spirit of the Living God is upon me therefore who will say that I shall not prophecy. The time is soon at hand that we shall have to flee whithersoever the Lord will for safety. Fear not those who are making you an offender for a word but be faithful in witnessing unto a crooked and a perverse generation that the day of the coming of our Lord and Savoir is at hand. Yea, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make strait his path. Who will shrink because of offenses for offenses must come, but woe to them by whom they come, for the rock must fall on them and grind them to pow[d]er, for the fulness of the Gentiles is come in, and woe will be unto them if they do not repent and be baptized in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins, and come in at the strait gate and be numbered with the House of Israel, for God will not always be mocked, and not pour out his wrath upon those that blaspheme his holy name, for the sword[,] famine and destruction will soon overtake them in their wild career, for God will avenge and pour out his phials [vials] of wrath and save his elect. And all those who will obey his commendments are his elect, and he will soon gather them from the four winds of heaven, from one quarter of the earth to the other, to a place whithersoever he will, therefore in your patience possess ye your souls, Amen.

Brother Hyrum [Smith], beware of the freemasons, [Alexander] McIntyre heard that you were in Manchester and he got out a warrant and went to your father’s to distress the family but [Samuel] Harrison overheard their talk and they said that they cared not for the debt, if they only could obtain your body. They were there with carriages. Therefore beware of the Freemasons, this from yours & etc.