Joseph's letter to the Relief Society, March 1842.

Mar 31, 1842
Joseph Smith, Jr.

Joseph Smith, Letter to Emma Smith and the Relief Society, March 31, 1842, The Joseph Smith Papers website, accessed August 18, 2023

Willard Richards
Brigham Young, Emma Hale Smith, Joseph Smith, Jr.
Emma Hale Smith, Nauvoo Relief Society

To the President of the F R So N [Female Relief Society of Nauvoo] Greeting

Can the “Female Releif Society of Nauvoo” be Trusted with some important matters that ought actually to belong to them to see to which men have been under the necessity of seeing to to their chagrin & Mortification in order to prevent iniquitous characters from carrying their iniquity into effect such as, for instance a man who may be aspiring after power & authority and yet without principle; regardles[s] of god, man or the Devil or the interest or welfare of men, or the virtue or innocence of women? Shall the credulity, good faith, & steadfast feelings of our Sisters for the cause of God or truth be imposed upon by believing such men because they say they have authority from Joseph or the first Presidency or any other Presidency of the church and thus with a lie in their mouth deceive & debauch the innocent under the assumption that they are authorized from these sources! May God forbid!

A knowledge of some such thing having come to our ears we imp[r]ove this favorable opportunity wherein so goodly number of you may be informed that no such authority ever has, ever can, or ever will be given to any man & if any man has been guilty of any such thing let him be treated with utter contempt & let the curse of God fall on his head, & let him be turned out of Society as unworthy of a place among men, & renounced denounced as the blackest & the most unprincipled wretch & finally let him be damned.

We have been informed that some unprincipled men whose names we will not mention at present have been guilty of such crimes: we do not mention their names, not knowing but what there may be some among you who are not sufficiently skilled in Masonry as to keep a secret, therefore suffice it to say there are those & we therefore warn you & forewarn you in the name of the Lord to check and destroy any faith that any innocent person may have in any such character for we don’t want any body to believe any thing as coming from us contrary to the old established morals & virtues & scriptural laws regulating the habits customs & conduct of Society unless it be by message del[iv]ered to you by our own mouth, by actual revelation & commandment. and all persons pretending to be authorized by us or having any permit or sanction from us are & will be liars & base imposters & you are authorized on the very first intimation of the kind to denounce them as such & fly from <​shun​> them as the fiery flying serpents, whether they are prophets, seers, or Revelators, patriarchs, Twelve apostles, Elders, Priests. or what not, Mayors, Generals, or what not, city council alderman, Marshall, Police, Lord Mayor or the Devil, are alike culpable. & shall be damned for such evil practices; & if you yourself yourselves hear adhere to any thing of the kind you, also shall be damned.

Now beloved Sisters do not believe for a moment that we wish to impose upon you, we actualy do know that such things have existed in the church & <​are​> sorry that we are obliged to make mention of any such thing & we want a stop put to them, & we want you to do your part & we will do ours part for we wish to to keep the commandments of God in all things <​as​> given <​directly from heaven​> to us from heaven, living by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord.—

May God add his blessings upon your head & lead you in all the paths of virtue piety and peace that you may be an ornament unto those to whom you belong8 & arise up and crown them with power9 & by so doing you shall be crowned with honor in heaven & shall sit upon throne jud[g]ing them whom you are placed in authority of over in the world and shall be judged of God for all the responsbilitys that are conferred upon you

At a more convenient & appropriate season we will give you further information upon this subject

We are your humble servants in the bonds of the new & Everlasting covenant

Let that epistle be had as a private matter in your society & then we shall learn whether you are good masons—

Joseph Smith P. C. J. C. L.

B[righam] Young Prst Twelve.

P.S. if the Lord be God serve him & if Baal

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