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Sermon delivered at the General Conference of the Church in
Nauvoo, Ill. on April 8, 1840
Source: Times and Seasons 1 (April 1840): 94
Conference met pursuant to adjournment, after singing the President arose
and read the 3d chapter of John's Gospel after which prayer was offered by
elder Erastus Snow.
¶ The President commenced making observations on the different subjects embraced
in the chapter particularly on the 3d, 4th, 5th verses
1 illustrating it with a very beautiful and striking
figure, and throwing a flood of light on the subjects which were brought up to review.
¶ He then spoke to the elders respecting their mission, and advised those who went
into the world, to preach the gospel, to leave their families provided for, with the
necessaries of life; and to teach the gathering as set forth in the Holy scriptures.
¶ That it had been wisdom to, for the greater body of the church to keep on this
side of the river, in order that a foundation might be established in this place,
but that now, it was the privilege of the saints to occupy the lands in the Iowa,
or wherever the spirit might lead them.
¶ That he did not wish to have any political influence, but wished the saints to
use their political franchise to the best of their knowledge.
Orson Hyde - John Page Mission to Holy Land
¶ He then stated that since Elder Hyde had been appointed to visit the Jewish
people, he had felt an impression that it would be well for Elder John E. Page
to accompany him on his mission.
1. The three verses are:
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a
man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he
enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of
water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
2. The accusation of political influence by Church
leaders, causing members to vote as a block continued to follow the Church
from Ohio, Missouri and eventually in Illinois. It was the
fear of such influence, more than the actual exercise of it that contributed
both to the perks the Church enjoyed in Nauvoo and its persecution. Eventually,
Joseph would renounce this policy when it became apparent that the only
way the Church could hope for protection would be through concerted political
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