1833: mobs move in on Saints in Missouri

One hundred sixty years ago this month, the saints in Missouri were facing great hostilities while the saints in Kirtland had barely begun building the first temple of this dispensation.

In History of the Church is this account: "On the 20th of July [1833T, the mob collected [consisting of from 300-500T, and demanded the discontinuance of the Church printing establishment in Jackson county, the closing of the store, and the cessation of all mechanical labors. The brethren refused compliance, and the consequence was that the house of W.W. Phelps, which contained the printing establishment, was thrown down, the materials taken possession of by the mob, many papers destroyed, and the family and furniture thrown out of doors."The mob then proceeded to violence towards Edward Partridge, the Bishop of the Church, as he relates in his autobiography:

" `I was taken . . . to the court house, on the public square in Independence; . . . surrounded by hundreds of the mob, I was stripped of my hat, coat and vest and daubed with tar from head to foot, and then had a quantity of feathers put upon me. . . .

" `I told them that the Saints had suffered persecution in all ages of the world; . . . that I was willing to suffer for the sake of Christ; but, to leave the country, I was not then willing to consent to it. By this time the multitude made so much noise that I could not be heard: some were cursing and swearing, saying, "call upon your Jesus," etc.; others were equally noisy in trying to still the rest, that they might be enabled to hear what I was saying. . . .

" ` I bore my abuse with so much resignation and meekness, that it appeared to astound the multitude, who permitted me to retire in silence, many looking very solemn, their sympathies having been touched as I thought; and as to myself, I was so filled with the Spirit and love of God, that I had no hatred towards my persecutors or anyone else.'

"Charles Allen [another Church memberT was next stripped and tarred and feathered, because he would not agree to leave the county, or deny the Book of Mormon. Others were brought up to be served likewise or whipped." (History of the Church 1:390.)

On July 23, the same day on which the cornerstones of the Kirtland Temple were laid (see article on page 5), the brethren in Missouri, in order to prevent bloodshed, signed an agreement with the mob's leaders to leave the county before the first of April 1834. The brethren sent Oliver Cowdery to Kirtland to report to the First Presidency. He arrived in Kirtland in September 1833.

Joseph Smith received the revelation concerning Zion (Section 97) on Aug. 2, 1833. Of this revelation, Joseph Fielding Smith wrote:

"While [the ProphetT was aware of the fact that trouble was brewing in Jackson County and the spirit of opposition was very great he did not know that the mob had risen and had destroyed property and violently handled some of the brethren. In this revelation the Lord said that He desired to make known His will concerning the brethren in Zion. Many of them had truly humbled themselves and were seeking wisdom. Because of their repentance they would be blessed, for the Lord was merciful to the meek, and all who will not humble themselves will be brought to judgment. . . . " (Church History and Modern Revelation 2:189.)

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