180 Years Ago In Church Periodicals: July 1832

ems_1-2The second edition of the Star featured The Vision, known to us today as Doctrine and Covenants 76. This was a big, big, big deal. Yet, it was presented without commentary, except for a little additional editorial note hidden in a generic bullet list of notes a few pages later, noting that it “is the greatest news that was ever published to man. It shows the economy of God, in preparing mansions for men: Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Also in the issue are revelations concerning Church government, Sabbath policy, etc. We also find some direct practical instruction for those considering a move to Zion.

More catastrophes abroad are noted, as are some foreboding indications that the dread Cholera is coming closer and closer, and its effects are deadlier than ever.

Add an uplifting note to the Elders suggesting they don’t scare people into repentance, a couple essays expressing why Scripture is so awesome, and some nifty proverbial aphorisms and hymns, and you have a jam packed issue!

Oh, and if that’s not enough, there’s also a great teaser for the next issue: A promised printing of the Prophecy of Enoch!

How would you feel if you flipped open the July 2012 Ensign and saw in the ‘Next Issue’ box a teeny tiny promise for a newly discovered/revealed  yet previously unknown ancient prophetic text?

Below is the full outline and selected highlights of this epic  issue.

 

The Evening and the Morning Star. Volume 1, Number 2. July 1832

FEATURES

Revelations

Extract From the Laws For The Government Of The Church of Christ [ D&C 42:11–77]

Don’t preach unless you have authority. Follow what it is the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Church Articles and Covenants (see Issue #1). Ten Commandments reiterated and elaborated upon. Consecrate properties to the Lord, and lay them before the Bishop, for the purpose of building up and establishing the New Jerusalem. If you sin and are cast out, you won’t get your stewardship back. Riches of the Gentiles will be transferred to House of Israel. Don’t be idle. Call on the Elders to see to the healing of the sick. Be just, and express faith. Don’t publicly teach content of new scriptures until you get the go-ahead. [This will especially be relevant for the Vision, which is Item #3 on the printed revelations list this issue!] – let those converted in the East move West, because Bad Things Are Going To Happen.

Also? Adultery is serious business. Don’t do it.

Commandment for Keeping the Sabbath, &c. [D&C 59]

Love God. Love your neighbor. Don’t steal, kill, commit adultery, or do anything like those things. Be thankful. Go to the house of prayer on the Holy Day, rest, pray, and pay devotions, confess your sins. Don’t have complicated food preparations. Be joyful, which is the spirit and meaning of Fasting. Everything on the Earth is yours – be wise with how you use it, and not be excessive. Recognize that God is the reason you have these things. Righteousness leads to Eternal Life.

A Vision [ D&C 76]

Heaven is a little bit bigger than we all assumed. And there’s different degrees. And the faithful will be called gods. It’s all pretty epic.

 

Selected

  • The Excellence of Scripture [Part 1]

  • Scriptures should be considered Excellent in:
    • Matters of divine revelation
      • The matters which are revealed
        • As the matters of the greatest weight and moment
          • Concern the rectifying our apprehensions of his nature
            • Well might the apostle say, ‘This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinner.” How dry and sapless are all the voluminous discourses of philosophers, compared with this sentence! How jejune and unsatisfactory are all the discoveries they had of God and his goodness, in comparison of what we have by the Gospel of Christ!”
            • And as the goodness of God is thus discovered in Scripture, so is his justice and holiness: we have therein recorded the most remarkable judgments of God against contumacious sinners, the severest denunciations of a judgment to come against all that live in sin, the exactest precepts of holiness in the world; and what can be desired more to discover the holiness of God, than we find in Scripture concerning him?”
          • Making known to men their state and condition
            • “So that the gospel of Christ is the fullest instrument of the discovery of the certainty of the future state of the soul, and the conditions which abide it, upon its being dislodged from the body. But this is not all which the Scripture discovers as to the state of the soul; for it is not only a prospective glass, reaching to its future state, but it is the most faithful looking-glass, to discover all the spots and deformities of the soul; and not only shows where they are, but when they came, what their nature is, whither they tend.”
            • Now if men have cause to prize and value a faithful monitor, one that tenders their good, and would prevent their ruin, we have cause exceedingly to prize and value the Scriptures, which gives us the truest representation of the state and condition of our souls”.
          • Discovering the way whereby to avoid eternal misery.
            • The Scriptures discovers to us the only way of pleasing God and enjoying his favour. That clearly reveals the way (which man might have sought for to all eternity eithout particular revelation) whereby sins may be pardoned, and whatever we do may be acceptable unto God.
        • As matters of the greatest depth and mysteriousness
          • Things which we may admire, but never comprehend
            • Eternal purposes and decrees of God
            • Doctrine of the Trinity
            • Incarnation of the Son of God
            • Manner of the operation of the Spirit of God upon the souls of men
        • As matters of this most universal satisfaction to the minds of men.
      • · The manner in which it is revealed.
    • As a rule of life
    • As containing that covenant of grace which relates to man’s eternal happiness·

The Simplicity of the Sacred Writers

HIRES_BIBLE_2012-00984A sign of the authenticity of the Gospel accounts is the lack of flourishes and rhetoric. Events described straightforward with clear power, without need for embellishment. Taking the whole of the Holy Scriptures into consideration, difficult passages should not be used as proof of God’s inability to speak clearly, but of blessing of multiple talents and perspectives given to mankind – these gifts should be used to illuminate scripture, rather than to cloud it and mock it with sophistry, as has been done by philosophers and atheists.

Proverbs

“Aristotle consider friendship as of three kinds; one arising from virtue, another from pleasure, and another from interest; but justly determines, that there can be no true friendship, which is not founded in virtue.”

“A deaf and dumb pupil, when asked in writing, what is Eternity? Wrote upon his slate with his pencil, THE LIFE-TIME OF The ALMIGHTY.”

Communicated:

The Elders In The Land of Zion To The Church of Christ Scattered Abroad

Affirms belief in necessity of modern revelation, in opposition to the belief of many. That, “to every church in the past ages, which the Lord recognized to be his, he gave revelations wisely calculated to govern them in the peculiar situation and circumstances under which they were placed, and to enable them by authority to do the peculiar work which they were to perform.”

“Judgments of God in the past ages have come upon the people, no so much for neglecting the revelations given to their forefathers, as for rejecting those given immediately to themselves.”

– examples of times of Noah, Moses, and Christ.

“We conclude it as a mistaken notion that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the only rule of faith and practice”

– however, as long as the counsel is applicable, we should feel bound to them, and look forward to the future events contained in their prophecies.

Latter-day prophecies are plain the Bible, such as:

“preaching the everlasting gospel to all nations; the gathering of the elect from the four winds of heaven; the building up of Zion and Jerusalem, or the ingathering of the remnants of Jacob…the necessary preparation to meet the Savior at his second coming, with all his saints to dwell with them in the millennium reign.”

– these events cannot be accomplished with only the Bible to tell us they will occur. Revelation is needed to know how to fulfill these things.

The Lord has made known that it is the duty of the Bishop in Zion to make known the circumstances of the land, and to let know how many saints can be accommodated. Saints will not be permitted to receive an inheritance without recommend by either the Bishop in Ohio, or three Elders. Elders, don’t recommend people without first consulting with the Bishops to make sure all is ready and in order!

Entire churches should not transplant themselves without consulting with the Bishops. If groups of 50 and hundreds start showing up in Zion unannounced, it will cause confusion and chaos. Following policy will avoid this!

Being too hasty causes individuals to make bad business decisions.

“Although this is a day of sacrifice and tithing… to make lavish and unreasonable sacrifices is not well pleasing in the sight of the Lord.”

Gathering has been going on for about a year. Zion will eventually be like Eden, but certainly not there yet – still a bit of a wilderness., and quite rough and tough.

We will still be asking for provisions, because:

“besides the immigration of the whites, the government of the United States is settling the Indians (or remnants of Joseph) immediately to the west, and they must be fed.”

This summary is given for the benefit of the saints until they have their own copies of the Revelations to review for themselves.

“Although the Lord has said, that it is his business to provide for his saints in these last days, yet, remember he is not bound so to do, unless we observe his sayings and keep them.”

Scripture Study·

Hosea Chapter III

“We select this chapter for a few comments, because contains some figures of speech, as well as plain prophecy.”

[Hosea 3:1–5]

Many are spiritualizing the scriptures. This is absurd. They should be taken to mean literal events, and:

“we shall commence literalizing this chapter of Hosea, and say the first verse alluded to sending the gospel to the Gentiles, which Peter and Paul afterwards fulfilled.”

The woman, of course, means the Church,

“because the Lord has created a new things in the earth: A woman shall compass a man, and the Church of Christ will eventually triumph over the man of sin, and Satan will be bound.”

Second and Third verses refer to the son of perdition who sold his master for money.

Fourth verse speaks of the time the Children of Israel were to be scattered around, without sacred things. Doesn’t know what Teraphim are, suggests maybe he means the Urim and Thummim, or the “sacred spectacles or declarers”. This calls to the writer’s mind a selection from II Maccabees, “which the wisdom of men has seen fit to call Apocrypha”. [2 Maccabees 2:1-8], speaking of the hiding of sacred relics by Jeremiah as preparation for their restoration at a future day.

Fifth verse has reference to the gathering, and to serving with David as their prince. Since David is long dead, this must have reference to the Resurrection, wherein

“the heirs of the Celestial Kingdom [will] live twice in the flesh on the earth, once in a state of probation; and once in a state of approbation.”

– this was mentioned in Job, and Revelation, of those

“who were made …Kings and Priests unto God, and reigned on earth, or, … they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”

Items for the Public

  • We also publish a weekly secular paper, “The Upper Missouri Advertiser.” – Subscribe!!!
  • Coming Next Issue: an extract from the Prophecy of Enoch!
  • How awesome is the Vision published in this issue? It “is the greatest news that was ever published to man. It shows the economy of God, in preparing mansions for men: Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
  • May was wet and nasty. Nevertheless, prospecting for farming looks pretty good.
  • Frontier Indian was is still going on, and probably will for a while, as it is well funded by the government.
  • Cholera Morbus arrived in lower Canada, worse, it is said, than in Europe. “The will of God must be done whether by pestilence, famine, or the sword.”

Epistle

·To The Elders of the Church of Christ, Who Preach Good Tidings To The World

Prepare for the gathering to Zion, preach the gospel, and be good examples – bold, yet humble and meek.

“Walk in the valley of humility and pray for the salvation of all; yes, you are to pray for your enemies; and warn in compassion, without threatening the wicked with judgments which are to be poured upon the world hereafter.”

You have no authority to threaten the current generation biblical stories of destruction

“in order to scare mankind to repentance. No. You are to preach the gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation, even glad tidings of great joy unto all people…You therefore must reason…with great care and not pervert the meaning of God’s sacred word. ”

– Be a light unto the World.

Foreign News

The end is nigh.” France is rebelling, the Cholera is killing, Reform and Revolution in England, earthquakes, rumors of wars, and a partridge in a pear tree. “Watch the signs of his coming, the ye be not deceived.”

Worldly Matters

  • David Ritter has 12 individuals making $10,000 worth of Razor strops each year. Then he uses 5 people to make $3,000 worth of monuments, chimney pieces, etc.
  • An election in Montreal led to a riot, and the death of several men.
  • “Romance of Real Life”, in which a couple are found drowned, apprantly having chosen to kill themselves after being seen intoxicated that morning. “Both were habitually intemperate.”
  • A mother boiling soup accidentally had the cauldron drop, spilling the contents and causing the scalding death of two of her children playing on the ground in front of the fire. A third child was accidentally dropped into the boiling liquid and died in the attempt to save the other two children.
  • Last Sunday, 1400 emigrants arrived in New York from Europe, and 428 arrived yesterday. 2000 arrived in Quebec over three days in May.
  • In Sweden, an amazing Church bell was made… of glass.
  • A man laying pipe in a well died of charcoal fumes.
  • A 9 year old girl reached out for a bird cage, and fell to the ground. Luckily, her fall was broken by a young man passing by the moment. She survived with broken bones. No mention of the fate of the young man.
  • In Augusta, a storm caused a one-layer-thick brick wall to collapse onto a small house, which “killed two negroes that were in it, a woman, and child of three or four years old, and crippled two others.”
  • Following a rain, the waters of the Kennebec river in Main rose 20 feet above low water mark, “carrying away bridges, mills, houses, and large quantities of lumber.”
  • “24 Steam boats have been destroyed on the western waters, since the breaking up of the ice last spring.”
  • Massive Polish banishment to Siberia is underway, under pretense of “discovery of a new plot”

The Comet of 1832!

Check it out on August 22nd, September 19th, November 13th! Other times and dates are noted where it will be visible, and how close it will be to the earth and sun.

Cholera Morbus

A chart displaying the names of 18 World cities affected by the Cholera, “the amount of their population…the number of persons effected by cholera…and the … number of deaths.” – the numbers are not pretty.

Horrors of the Cholera Morbus

An account of how violent, quick, and terrifying the effect of the Cholera are.

“It is no wonder that the approach of such a pestilence has struck the deepest terror into every community.”

Hymns

  • The Celestial Home
  • The Pilgrim’s Hymn

More Selections

·Bad Company, &c. [Part 1]

  • “The three following classes will perhaps include the greatest part of those who deserve this appellation [of ‘Bad Company’].
    • “All those who endeavor to destroy the principles of Christianity – who jest upon Scripture – talk blasphemy – and treat revelation with contempt.”
    • “Those who have a tendency to destroy in us the principles of common honesty and integrity…gamesters of every denomination, and low and infamous characters of every profession.”
    • “Commonly most dangerous to youth, include the long catalogue of men of pleasure. In whatever way they follow the call of appetite, they have equally a tendency to corrupt the purity of the mind.”
  • Then there’s ‘Ill Chosen Company’ besides
    • Trifling, inspid, follow no business, led by no ideas of improvement, “whose highest praise is that they are only not vicious.”

Avoiding keeping their company doesn’t mean complete avoidance of them. This is impossible. Basically, don’t spend enough time with them in social interaction in a way that their habits become yours, that you admire these qualities, and naturally emulate them.

“Custom will soon render the most disgustful things familiar.”

More Proverbs

“God will hear, if man will pray.”

“Mental pleasures never cloy; unlike those of the body, they are increased by repetition, approved of by the reflection, and strengthened by the enjoyment.”

“A great man with the Lord, is what the world would call a poor wretch, or he is of no note. Thus the simple confound the wise.”

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