THE EVENING AND THE MORNING STAR.
The Evening and The Morning Star was the first newspaper of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was published in fourteen eight-paged, double-columned monthly issues in Independence, Missouri, from June 1832 to July 1833. When the press in Missouri was destroyed by a mob, publication was resumed several months later in Kirtland, Ohio, with ten issues published from December 1833 to September 1834. W. W. (William Wines) Phelps, its editor in Missouri, printed in it a brief History of the Church, a number of LDS hymns, instructions to members of the Church, letters reporting its progress throughout the country, and many of the revelations received by the Prophet Joseph Smith. Oliver Cowdery, its editor in Ohio, printed reports and commentaries about the Saints’ difficulties in Missouri and some of the doctrinal writings of Sidney Rigdon, a counselor in the First Presidency.
Because the circulation of the Missouri-printed Star was small and localized, Cowdery reprinted all the original twenty-four issues in Kirtland between January 1835 and October 1836, in a new sixteen-page format, with numerous grammatical improvements, and a few articles deleted. The Evening and the Morning Star was succeeded by the Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate in October 1834 (HC 2:167). [See also Messenger and Advocate.] RONALD D. DENNIS
THE FAR WEST.
“The far west, as the section of country from the Mississippi to the Rocky Mountains may justly be styled, is not only distant from the Atlantic States, but different. Its principle river, running rapidly from the 48th to the 39th degree of north latitude, is always rily, always wearing away its banks and always making new channels: It is rightly named Missouri; for in plain English, it looks like the waters of misery,-or troubled water:-even as the sea which the prophet said, Casts up mire and dirt. With the exception of the skirts of timber upon the streams of water, this region of country is one continued field, or prairie, (as the French have it, meaning meadows,) and there is something ancient as well as grand about it, too; for while the eye takes in a large scope of clear field, or extensive plains, decorated with here and there a patch of timber, like the orchards which beautify the farms in the east, the mind goes back to the day, when the Jaredites were in their glory upon this choice land above all others, and comes on till they, and even the Nephites, were destroyed for their wickedness: Here pause and look to the east, and read the words of the prophet: Wo to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which is on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine! Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand.-The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet: and the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up. In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people, and for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.
To return: this beautiful region of country is now mostly, excepting Arkansas and Missouri, the land of Joseph or the Indians, as they are called, and embraces three fine climates: First, like that of New-York; second, like Missouri, neither northern nor southern; and third, like the Carolinas. This place may be called the centre [center] of America; it being about an equal distance from Maine, to Nootka sound; and from the gulf of St. Lawrence to the gulf of California; yea, and about the middle of the continent from cape Horn, south, to the head land at Baffin’s Bay, north. The world will never value the land of Desolation, as it is called in the book of Mormon, for any thing more than hunting ground, for want of timber and mill-seats: The Lord to the contrary notwithstanding, declares it to be the land of Zion which is the land of Joseph, blessed by him, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath, and for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, and for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, and for the precious things of the earth and fulness [fullness] thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush: let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren. His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together from the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.
When we consider that the land of Missouri is the land where the saints of the living God are to be gathered together and sanctified for the second coming of the Lord Jesus, we cannot help exclaiming with the prophet, O land be glad! and O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord: For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Thou [Jerusalem] shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land [Zion] any more be termed Desolate; but thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married, [joined together] so that the land of Zion, and the land of Jerusalem will be one, as they were before the days of Peleg: For in his days the earth was divided or separated to receive the oceans, on account of wickedness. Peleg died 305 years after Noah’s flood: Abram’s father was born 210 years after the flood, and Abram 288 after, which brings to mind Joshua’s words unto all the people, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor, and they served other gods. The building of Babel was wickedness, and serving other gods was wickedness: so that dividing, or opening the earth to let in the waters, which were in the beginning gathered unto one place, is one of the Lord’s great miracles, and shows to the world that them that look for signs among the wicked, have them to their own condemnation in all ages.
But, reader, stop and pause at the greatness of God; and remember that even Moses, when on the top of Pisgah, lifted up his eyes and looked westward first, to view the promised land.” Vol. 1 No. 5, October 1832 Evening and Morning Star Vol. 1 No. 5 October 1832 Page 71
Levi Hancock (Journal, Handwritten): The longest and most detailed near-contemporaneous account of Zelph’s discovery was written by Levi Hancock, later one of the Presidents of the Seventy. He makes no mention of the Hill Cumorah or of Onandagus’s wide fame but does write that Zelph was a white Lamanite:
On the way to Illinois River where we camped on the west side in the morning, many went to see the big mound about a mile below the crossing, I did not go on it but saw some bones that was brought with a broken arrow, they was layed down by our camp Joseph addressed himself to Sylvester Smith. “This is what I told you and now I want to tell you that you may know what I meant; this land was called the land of desolation and Onendagus was the king and a good man was he, there in that mound did he bury his dead and did not dig holes as the people do now but they brought there dirt and covered them untill [sic] you see they have raised it to be about one hundread [sic] feet high, the last man buried was Zelf, he was a white Lamanite who fought with the people of Onendagus for freedom, when he was young he was a great warrior and had his th[igh] broken and never was set, it knited [sic] together as you see on the side, he fought after it got strength untill [sic] he lost every tooth in his head save one when the Lord said he had done enough and suffered him to be killed by that arrow you took from his brest[sic].” These words he said as the camp was moving of[f] the ground; as near as I could learn he had told them something about the mound and got them to go and see for themselves. I then remembered what he had said a few days before while passing many mounds on our way that was left of us; said he, “there are the bodies of wicked men who have died and are angry at us; if they can take the advantage of us they will, for if we live they will have no hope.” I could not comprehend it but supposed it was all right. (Levi Hancock Diary, LDS Church Archives)
TO THE SAINTS IN THE LAND OF ZION, AND ABROAD.
The Lord chastens them that he loves, and blesses such as keep his commandments. Let us, then, entreat the disciples of the Lord and Savior, to beware of breaking his commandments: Keep them that the world may profit by example. Bring not a reproach upon your Redeemer’s cause and kingdom. When vain members transgress, the world stigmatises [stigmatizes] the whole body, and the innocent suffer wrongfully. Illegal acts and foolish moves pain the sincere. God judges the righteous, and he is angry with the foolish virgins among them, every day.
Brethren in the Lord, good advise is like springs in the wilderness; you may drink at one and drink at another, and pure water always tastes agreeable. Never plan your business on Saturday so that it might interfere with the solemn duties of the Sabbath, for the Lord will not hold you guiltless if you do. His sacred command is: Observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy. The Lord is not well pleased with the disciple that does any thing on that holy day that should be done on laboring day. Nor should a disciple go to meeting one Sabbath here, and another there; let all that can, be strict to attend meeting in their own place, (and let those elders who are faithful, visit the several churches from time to time, instructing them in the knowledge of the truth and in the peaceable things of the kingdom,) that they may surround the sacrament table of the Lord, with a pure heart, as an earnest, that they are at peace with their brethren, and in favor with him whose still, small voice, whispers: Thy sins are forgiven thee. Neither should the children be allowed to slip off and play, rather than meet where they may be trained up in the way they should go to be saved. We are the children of God, and let us not put off his law. When a saint works on the Sabbath, the world can reply: So do we. When the saints travel to do business on the Sabbath, the world can reply: So do we. When the saints go from one meeting to another to see and be seen, the world can reply: So do we. When the children of the saints play on the Sabbath, the world can reply: So do ours. Brethren, watch, that you may enter into the Lord’s sacred rest.
THE JUDGMENTS OF GOD.
One of the holy men of old says, When the Lord’s judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness, and we sincerely hope and pray that they may; for, if the judgments of God were ever in the earth, now is the time: To say nothing of cholera, that goes from continent to continent; from nation to nation; from kingdom to kingdom; from city to city, and from house to house, taking and sparing and none can find out his coming or going, to stop his dreadful career, let us select the following:
In looking over the English papers received by the last arrival, we have met with the following singular paragraph.
-> Love the Lord and keep his commandments, without being reminded of it every day.
Love your neighbor as yourself, and make his welfare your welfare, and the Lord will reward you for it.
Love labor, and whatever you do, remember the poor and needy.
Love goodness because it is good, not because philosophers praise it.
Thank the Lord for the blessings you daily enjoy from his holy hand.
Thank the Lord for the light of revelation, whereby men can know his will.
Thank the Lord for all things for his goodness is endless.
Ask the Lord for what you want to sustain life, and not for wealth, for the love of money is the root of all evil.
Ask the Lord to bless your enemies as well as yourself, for they are the workmanship of his hand as well as yourself.
Remember you were born to die, and to live again.
Remember that God requires you to be holy to him, and just to man continually, to be in his favor.
Put away light conversation, and vanity and lies.
Put away every habit that might make a spot on a good name.
And finally: Be wise; be humble; be industrious; be sober-minded; be prudent, patient, and charitable.
REMARKABLE FULFILMENT [FULFILLMENT] OF INDIAN PROPHECY.
Forty or fifty years ago, while living in their ancient rudeness, and practicing customs which now remain only as vestiges, the Cherokees were accustomed to be addressed, when assembled in their town houses, by certain individuals who were to be found in every village. Whether these individuals were a distinct class of men and set apart for the special purpose of talking, and relating traditions to the people, or whether they were nothing more than the leaders or head men of the villages, we are not prepared to say.
It is a fact, however, which many living eye witnesses can testify, in addition to many very interesting particulars (with which, perhaps, we may hereafter entertain our readers) related of these men, that they actually foretold the events which are now taking place in relation to the south western Indians. It was their custom, on the occasions above mentioned, to take their station (some say they would ascend the town house, wearing leggins [leggings] made of dressed but unsmoked deer skin, and fanning themselves with the wing of some particular bird) and relating the traditions of the nation to the people.
The language they employed was somewhat different from the one in common use, many words and phrases being interspersed in their speeches which were not understood by the mass of their hearers, especially when mentioning the names of places where the Cherokees had formerly resided. They would tell of the events which had happened to their forefathers and would bring their account to the time in which they lived, when a new era in their history would commence in consequence of approaching settlements of the white man.
In speaking of the future destiny of their nation, they foretold with a remarkable exactness the principal events which have since taken place in its history. This part of their address was something like the following.
Our elder brother [meaning the white people-using the singular for the plural] has become our neighbor: he is now near us, and already occupies our ancient habitations-But this is as our forefathers told us-They said my [our] feet are turned towards the west-they are never to turn round. Now mark what our fathers told us. Your elder brother will settle around you-he will encroach upon your lands, and then ask you to sell them to him. When you give him a part of your country, he will not be satisfied but ask for more. In process of time he will ask you to become like him-He will tell you that your mode of life is not as good as his-Whereupon you will be induced to make great roads through the nation, by which he can have free access to you. He will learn your women to spin and weave and make clothes, and learn you to cultivate the earth. He will even teach you his language, and learn you to read and write, &c. &c. But these are but the means to destroy you, and to eject you from you habitations. He will point you to the west, but you will find no resting place there, for your elder brother will drive you from one place, to another until you get to the great western waters.-These things will certainly happen, but it will be when we are dead and gone.-We shall not live to see and feel the misery which will come upon you.
Such in substance was a portion of their speeches and it is that which we have denominated prophecy, and as for the fulfilment [fulfillment], we leave it to the reader to judge for himself.
It is, perhaps, difficult to say upon what ground the forebodings of untutored men were predicted. It will hardly do to say that they judged from the past conduct of the whites towards other Indian tribes, because they were in a great measure ignorant of the behavior of whites, except towards the Cherokees themselves, and there was nothing in that behavior, at that time, to create suspicion that the events which they seem to have foreseen would actually take place. [Cherokee Phoenix.]
-> REMARKS.-Notwithstanding the Indians may doubt, or even fear the policy of the government of the United States, in gathering and planting them in one place, &c.-they may be assured, that the object is good, and they will soon be convinced that it is the best thing that has come to pass among them for many generations.-[Star.]
SIGNS OF THE TIMES.
Our reader will expect from us, some of the signs of the times; and, as watchmen that would strive to be approved in all things before the Lord, we will try to collect a few of the many, and lay them before the world. It is a day of strange appearances to them that are without the true knowledge of God. That the watchful might not be deceived, the Lord while speaking of wickedness, which is spiritual Babylon, by the mouth of Jeremiah, says, My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the Lord. And lest your heart faint, and ye fear for the rumor that shall be heard in the land; a rumor shall both come one year, and after that in another year shall come a rumor, and violence in the land, ruler against ruler.
To begin: An eastern paper thus peaks of Europe:-Austria has an immense army in the field. Russia an immense force ready to march upon the Rhine, and a fleet of 42 sail ready for sea! Belgium and Holland are both armed for battle. England has a large squadron, for practice, in the north seas. A large number of National Guards has been called out in France, to form a new army. The Emperor of Russia says Christmas dinners will be eaten by some people with long faces. A Napoleonite has said there will be another march to Paris. Lord Durham has gone to Copenhagen to gain the Alliance of the Danes. The Dutch ambassador has very unexpectedly left England, and Joseph Bonaparte has suddenly departed for that country; the Grey ministry are evidently out of favor with the court, and the French ministry are about adopting Soult’s project of moving the French army toward the frontiers.
Such is the prospect of affairs in the East, upon rumor, and our own country is not exactly in a state of peace; for besides the Indian war, which has been a source of considerable trouble upon the frontiers of Illinois, there is raging, to an alarming extent, a war of opinion for political power and party continuance. Our politics are wild. Mark that, our politics are wild! The extremes to which men resort to obtain office, in any present party, is certainly barren of that honor and honesty which produced the exalted privilege. It is said to be an enlightened day and age, but the depravity of the times would argue a state of wickedness similar to that which brought the flood. The United State boasts of the freest constitution, and the happiest government, in the world, but if the county prisons and state penitentiaries, may number their citizens of affliction and crime, especially for the last four or five years, without reference to the many murderers that have filled a large share of the chapter of atrocities, and the keen revenge that has been practiced between freemasons and their opponents:-they might as well fall to the dust, with the other crumbling nations of the earth, and cry, unclean! unclean!
Again: Are they free from censure, that pretend to worship God? Is there not something strange, or, at least, a falling away from the ancient order of divine things? In the days of Christ and the apostles, religion was preached and practiced for the sake of eternal life in the world to come: But now religion is preached and practiced for the sake of this present world and the things that are in it. Christ said: Follow me, but now the language is: Follow ME! [man] Christ asked no aid of the governments of the earth to spread the gospel. He rendered to Caesar his own, and to God his own. Now nearly all denominations are eager to obtain converts for temperance societies, and bible societies, when a large portion of these proselytes are unbelieving, and probably die so, with a full knowledge that Christ said, except a man be born again he can not enter into the kingdom of God. When no such societies existed, we were at war for our liberty and the blessings that have resulted from it, and it has been told us that our ancestors prayed to the Lord, for assistance, and he granted it, and we believe it, for it is thus recorded in the Book of Mormon:
And it came to pass that I beheld many multitudes of the Gentiles, upon the land of promise; and I beheld the wrath of God, that it was upon the seed of my brethren; and they were scattered before the Gentiles, and they were smitten. And I beheld the spirit of the Lord, that it was upon the Gentiles; that they did prosper, and obtain the land of their inheritance; and I beheld that they were white, and exceeding fair and beautiful, like unto my people before that they were slain.
And it came to pass that I Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles which had gone forth out of captivity, did humble themselves before the Lord; and the power of the Lord was with them; and I beheld that their mother Gentiles was gathered together upon the waters, and upon the land also, to battle against them; and I beheld that the power of God was with them; and also, that the wrath of God was upon them that were gathered together against them to battle. And I Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles which had gone out of captivity, were delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations.
As to so many appendaged societies to the gospel, we must say, that neither the Savior, nor his apostles, nor the Scriptures, have taught any thing more necessary, than to repent and believe on the Lord Jesus, and be baptized for the remission of sins; to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; and continue faithful to the end, to inherit eternal life. Camp-meetings and protracted meetings, like the wind that blows before a storm, seem to increase, as the judgments of the Almighty are sent forth to purify the world. Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord, is a command from the most High, but when we observe, ministers and members, among almost every sect upon the globe, not only mingling in all the political rancor, and crowding themselves into the contentions and broils of the day; not only engaged in nearly every speculation that the love of money urges the avaricious into, but, as often as the world that lays no claim to goodness, found guilty of every crime that disgraces the human family, they might, with all them that pestilence is hurrying to their long home, shrink from their greatness, and cry: God be merciful to us sinners!
Such are the signs of the times, from the king upon the throne to the beggar upon his knees.-Such is the commotion of the world; her pain has begun, and trouble succeeds trouble, as wave follows wave upon the ocean. Instead of the good old times, when men would inquire of the Lord on all great matters, and pray to the Lord when trials come, the faithless days have arrived when the majority of men seek for Public Opinion, whether it comes from wise men or fools; from the moral or wicked. All flesh in the world seems to trust in an arm of flesh, even while the Lord is feeding the inhabitants with judgments. From the east comes a rumor; from the west comes a rumor; from the north comes a rumor, from the south comes a rumor, while the Lord is sending forth judgment unto victory, among the nations, great are the times with events, for this generation: And while the solemnities of eternity are thus bursting upon our minds, we do humbly beseech the disciples, the wicked, yea, all flesh, to watch, for the signs in heaven, and the signs on earth, like the hand writing upon the wall of Belshazzar, declare that the world has been weighed in the balances, and is found wanting.
The set time to favor Zion, is come; and when the righteous are gathered, the wicked will be cutoff, for the earth must rest from sin.