The Essential Joseph Smith
Foreword by Marvin S. Hill
“Again I Say unto You,” Extract from the Laws for the Government of the Church of Christ,
9 February 1831 (from The Evening and the Morning Star
[Independence, Missouri] 1 [July 1832], 2:)
[p.12]Again I say unto you, that it shall not be given to any one to go forth to preach my gospel, or to build up my church, except he be ordained by some one who has authority, and it is known to the church that he has authority, and has been regularly ordained by the hands of the church. And again, the elders, priests, and teachers of this church, shall teach the Scriptures which are in the Bible, and the Book of Mormon, in the which is the fulness of the Gospel; and they shall observe the Covenants and church Articles to do them; and this shall be their teachings. And they shall be directed by the Spirit, which shall be given them by the prayer of faith; and if they receive not the Spirit, they shall not teach. And all this they shall observe to do, as I have commanded concerning their teaching, until the fulness of my Scriptures are given. And as they shall lift up their voices by the Comforter, they shall speak and prophesy as seemeth me good; for behold, the Comforter knoweth all things, and beareth record of the Father, and of the Son.
And now behold, I speak unto the church: Thou shalt not kill; and he that killeth, shall not have forgiveness, neither in this world, nor in the world to come. And again, thou shalt not kill; he that killeth shall die. Thou shalt not steal; and he that stealeth and will not repent, shall be cast out. Thou shalt not lie; he that lieth and will not repent, shall be cast out. Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shall cleave unto her and none else; and he that looketh upon a woman to lust after her, shall deny the faith, and shall not have the Spirit; and if he repent not, he shall be cast out. Thou shalt not commit adultery; and he that commiteth adultery and repenteth not, shall be cast out; and he that has commiteth adultery and repenteth with all his heart, and forsaketh it, and doeth it no more, thou shalt forgive him; but if he doeth it again, he shall not be forgiven, but shall be cast out. Thou [p.13]shalt not speak evil of thy neighbor, nor do him any harm. Thou knowest my laws, they are given in my Scriptures, he that sinneth and repenteth not, shall be cast out.
If thou lovest me, thou shalt serve me and keep all my commandments; and behold, thou shalt consecrate of thy properties, that which thou hast unto me, with a covenant and a deed which cannot be broken; and they shall be laid before the bishop of my church, and two of the elders, such as he shall appoint and set apart for the purpose. And it shall come to pass, that the bishop of my church, after that he has received the properties of my church, that it cannot be taken from the church, he shall appoint every man a steward over his own property, or that which he has received, inasmuch as shall be sufficient for himself and family; and the residue shall be kept to administer to him who has not, that every man may receive according as he stands in need; and the residue shall be kept in my storehouse, to administer to the poor and the needy, as shall be appointed by the elder of the church and the bishop; for the purpose of purchasing lands, and the building up of the New Jerusalem, which is hereafter to be revealed; that my covenant people may be gathered in one, in the day that I shall come to my temple: And this I do for the salvation of my people. And it shall come to pass, that he that sinneth and repenteth not shall be cast out, and shall not receive again that which he has consecrated unto me: For it shall come to pass, that which I spake by the mouths of my prophets shall be fulfilled; for I will consecrate of the riches of the Gentiles, unto my people which are of the house of Israel. And again, thou shalt not be proud in thy heart; let all thy garments be plain, and their beauty the beauty of the work of thine own hands, and let all things be done in cleanliness before me.
Thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread, nor wear the garments of the laborer. And whosoever among you that are sick, and have not faith to be healed, but believeth, shall be nourished in all tenderness with herbs and mild food, and that not of the world; and the elders of the church, two or more shall be called, and shall pray for and lay their hands upon them in my name, and if they die, they shall die unto me; and if they live, they shall live unto me.— Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die, and more especially for those that have not hope of a glorious resurrection. And it shall come to pass, that those that die in me shall not taste of death, for it shall be sweet unto [p.14]them; and they that die not in me, wo unto them; for their death is bitter. And again, it shall come to pass, that he that has faith in me to be healed, and is not appointed unto death, shall be healed. He who has faith to see, shall see; he who has faith to hear, shall hear; the lame who have faith to leap, shall leap; and they who have not faith to do these things, but believe in me, have power to become my sons, and inasmuch as they break not my laws, thou shalt bear their infirmities. Thou shalt stand in the place of thy stewardship: Thou shalt not take thy brother’s garment; thou shalt pay for that which thou shalt receive of thy brother. And if thou obtainest more than that which would be for thy support, thou shalt give it into my storehouse, that all things may be done according to that which I have spoken. Thou shalt ask and my Scriptures shall be given as I have appointed; and for thy safety it is expedient that thou shalt hold thy peace concerning them, until ye have received them; then I give unto you a commandment that ye shall teach them unto all men; and they also shall be taught unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people.
Thou shalt take the things which thou hast received, which thou knowest to have been my law, to be my law, to govern my church; and he that doeth according to these things shall be saved, and he that doeth them not shall be damned, if he continue. If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries, and the peaceable things of the kingdom; that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal. Thou shalt ask and it shall be revealed unto you in mine own due time where the New Jerusalem shall be built. And behold, it shall come to pass, that my servants shall be sent forth to the, east and to the west, to the north, and to the south; and even now let him that goeth to the east, teach them that shall be converted to flee to the west; and this in consequence of that which is to come on the earth, and of secret combinations. Behold, thou shalt observe all these things, and great shall be thy reward. Thou shalt observe to keep the mysteries of the kingdom unto thyself, for it is not given to the world to know the mysteries. The laws which ye have received, and shall hereafter receive, shall be sufficient for you both here, and in the New Jerusalem. Therefore, he that lacketh knowledge, let him ask of me and I will give him liberally, and upbraid him not. Lift up your hearts and rejoice, for unto you the kingdom has been given; even so. Amen.
The priests and teachers, shall have their stewardship given them [p.15]even as the members; and the elders are to assist the bishop in all things, and he is to see that their families are supported out of the property which is consecrated to the Lord, either a stewardship, or otherwise, as may be thought best by the elders & bishop.
Behold, verily I say unto you, that whatever persons among you having put away their companions for the cause of fornication, or in other words, if they shall testify before you in all lowliness of heart that this is the case, ye shall not cast them out from among you; but if ye shall find that any persons have left their companions for the sake of adultery, and they themselves are the offenders, and their companions are living, they shall be cast out from among you. And again I say unto you, that ye shall be watchful and careful, with all inquiry, that ye receive none such among you if they are married, and if they are not married, they shall repent of all their sins, or ye shall not receive them.