Prayer and prophecies written by Joseph Smith the Prophet in an epistle to the Church while he was a prisoner in the jail at Liberty, Missouri, dated March 20, 1839. The Prophet and several companions had been months in prison. Their petitions and appeals directed to the executive officers and the judiciary had failed to bring them relief.
1–6, The Prophet pleads with the Lord for the suffering Saints; 7–10, The Lord speaks peace to him; 11–17, Cursed are all those who raise false cries of transgression against the Lord’s people; 18–25, They will not have right to the priesthood and will be damned; 26–32, Glorious revelations promised those who endure valiantly; 33–40, Why many are called and few are chosen; 41–46, The priesthood should be used only in righteousness.
1 O God, awhere art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy bhiding place?
2 aHow long shall thy hand be stayed, and thine eye, yea thy pure eye, behold from the eternal heavens the wrongs of thy people and of thy servants, and thine ear be penetrated with their cries?
3 Yea, O Lord, ahow long shall they suffer these wrongs and unlawful boppressions, before thine heart shall be softened toward them, and thy bowels be moved with ccompassion toward them?
4 O Lord God aAlmighty, maker of bheaven, earth, and seas, and of all things that in them are, and who controllest and subjectest the devil, and the dark and benighted dominion of Sheol—stretch forth thy hand; let thine eye pierce; let thy cpavilion be taken up; let thy dhiding place no longer be covered; let thine ear be inclined; let thine eheart be softened, and thy bowels moved with compassion toward us.
5 Let thine aanger be kindled against our enemies; and, in the fury of thine heart, with thy bsword cavenge us of our wrongs.
6 Remember thy asuffering saints, O our God; and thy servants will rejoice in thy name forever.
7 My son, apeace be unto thy soul; thine badversity and thine afflictions shall be but a csmall moment;
8 And then, if thou aendure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy bfoes.
9 Thy afriends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands.
10 Thou art not yet as Job; thy afriends do not contend against thee, neither charge thee with transgression, as they did Job.
11 And they who do charge thee with transgression, their hope shall be blasted, and their prospects shall amelt away as the hoar frost melteth before the burning rays of the rising sun;
12 And also that God hath set his hand and seal to change the atimes and seasons, and to blind their bminds, that they may not understand his cmarvelous workings; that he may dprove them also and take them in their own craftiness;
13 Also because their hearts are corrupted, and the things which they are willing to bring upon others, and love to have others suffer, may come upon athemselves to the very uttermost;
14 That they may be adisappointed also, and their hopes may be cut off;
15 And not many years hence, that they and their aposterity shall be bswept from under heaven, saith God, that not one of them is left to stand by the wall.
16 aCursed are all those that shall lift up the bheel against mine canointed, saith the Lord, and cry they have dsinned when they have not sinned before me, saith the Lord, but have done that which was meet in mine eyes, and which I commanded them.
17 But athose who cry transgression do it because they are the servants of sin, and are the bchildren of disobedience themselves.
18 And those who aswear bfalsely against my servants, that they might bring them into bondage and death—
19 Wo unto them; because they have aoffended my little ones they shall be severed from the bordinances of mine house.
20 Their abasket shall not be full, their houses and their barns shall perish, and they themselves shall be bdespised by those that flattered them.
21 They shall not have right to the apriesthood, nor their posterity after them from generation to generation.
22 It had been abetter for them that a millstone had been hanged about their necks, and they drowned in the depth of the sea.
23 Wo unto all those that adiscomfort my people, and drive, and bmurder, and testify against them, saith the Lord of Hosts; a cgeneration of vipers shall not escape the damnation of hell.
24 Behold, mine eyes asee and know all their works, and I have in reserve a swift bjudgment in the season thereof, for them all;
25 For there is a atime bappointed for every man, according as his cworks shall be.
26 God shall give unto you aknowledge by his bHoly Spirit, yea, by the unspeakable cgift of the Holy Ghost, that has not been drevealed since the world was until now;
27 Which our forefathers have awaited with aanxious expectation to be revealed in the last times, which their minds were pointed to by the angels, as held in reserve for the fulness of their glory;
28 A time to come in the which anothing shall be withheld, whether there be bone God or many cgods, they shall be manifest.
29 All thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, shall be arevealed and set forth upon all who have endured bvaliantly for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
30 And also, if there be abounds set to the heavens or to the seas, or to the dry land, or to the sun, moon, or stars—
31 All the times of their revolutions, all the appointed days, months, and years, and all the days of their days, months, and years, and all their aglories, laws, and set times, shall be revealed in the days of the bdispensation of the fulness of times—
32 According to that which was aordained in the midst of the bCouncil of the Eternal cGod of all other gods before this dworld was, that should be reserved unto the finishing and the end thereof, when every man shall enter into his eternal epresence and into his immortal frest.
33 How long can rolling waters remain impure? What apower shall stay the heavens? As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri river in its decreed course, or to turn it up stream, as to bhinder the cAlmighty from pouring down dknowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints.
34 Behold, there are many acalled, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?
35 Because their ahearts are set so much upon the things of this bworld, and caspire to the dhonors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson—
36 That the arights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be bcontrolled nor handled only upon the cprinciples of righteousness.
37 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to acover our bsins, or to gratify our cpride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or ddominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens ewithdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.
38 Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to akick against the pricks, to bpersecute the saints, and to cfight against God.
39 We have learned by sad experience that it is the anature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little bauthority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise cunrighteous dominion.
40 Hence many are called, but afew are chosen.
41 No apower or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the bpriesthood, only by cpersuasion, by dlong-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
42 By akindness, and pure bknowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the csoul without dhypocrisy, and without eguile—
43 aReproving betimes with bsharpness, when cmoved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of dlove toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;
44 That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of adeath.
45 Let thy abowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let bvirtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy cconfidence wax strong in the dpresence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the edews from heaven.
46 The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant acompanion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of brighteousness and truth; and thy cdominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.