The Essential Joseph Smith
Foreword by Marvin S. Hill
“Beloved Brother Edward, I Commence Answering Your Letter,” Joseph Smith to Edward Partridge,
2 May 1833 (from copy in archives, Historical Department,
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah)
[p.41]Beloved Brother Edward,
I commence answering your letter & sincere request to me, by begging your pardon for not having addressed you, more particularly in letters which I have written to Zion [Independence, Missouri], for I have always felt as though a letter written to any one in authority in Zion, would be the property of all, & it matters but little to whom it was directed. But I am satisfied that this is an error, for instruction that is given pointedly, and expressly to us, designating our names as individuals, seems to have double power and influence over our minds[.] I am thankful to the Lord for the testimony of his spirit, which he has given me, concerning your honesty, and sincerity before him, and the Lord loveth you, and also Zion, for he chasteneth whom he loveth, and scourgeth every son & daughter whom he receiveth, and he will not suffer you to be confounded, and of this thing you may rest assured, notwithstanding, all the threatning of the enemy, and your perils among false brethren[.] For verily I say unto you, that this is my prayer, and I verily believe the prayer of all the saints in Kirtland, recorded in heaven, in these words, Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ thy son, preserve brother Edward, the bishop of thy church, and give him wisdom, knowledge & power, & the holy ghost, that he may impart to thy saints in Zion, their inheritance, & to every man his portion of meat in due season[.] [A]nd now, this is our confidence & record on high, therefore fear not little flock, for it has been your fathers good will to give you the kingdom, and now I will proceed to tell you my views, concerning consecration, property, and giving inheritances &c[.] The law of the Lord, binds you to receive, [p.41]whatsoever property is consecrated, by deed[.] The consecrated property, is considered the residue kept for the Lords store house, and it is given for this consideration, for to purchase inheritances for the poor[.] [T]his, any man has a right to do, agreeable to all laws of our country, to donate, give or consecrate all that he feels disposed to give, and it is your duty, to see that whatsoever is given, is given legally[.] [T]herefore, it must be given for the consideration of the poor saints, and in this way no man can take any advantage of you in law[.] [A]gain, concerning inheritances, you are bound by the law of the Lord, to give a deed, securing to him who receives inheritances, his inheritance, for an everlasting inheritance, or in other words, to be his individual property, his private stewardship, and if he is found a transgressor [he] should be cut off, out of the church, his inheritance is his still and he is delivered over to the buffetings of satan, till the day of redemption[.] But the property which he consecrated to the poor, for their benefit, & inheritance, [and] stewardship, he cannot obtain again by the law of the Lord[.] Thus you see the propriety of this law, again that which they have consecrated, which is the residue, signified in the law, that you will find in the second pararaph of the extract from the law, in the second number[.] [A]nd now brother Edward, be assured that we all feel thankful, that the brethren in Zion are beginning to humble themselves, & trying to keep the commandments of the Lord, which is our prayer to God, [that] you may all be able to do[.] [A]nd now, may the grace of God be with all, amen.