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Site Version July 2013

Order of Enoch


PASTORAL LETTER.

James J. Strang, an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, and a
Prophet of Almighty God, to the Churches in all the world,
and to all the Saints scattered abroad, greeting:-

For as much as it hath pleased God to reserve unto
himself a people to serve him in these times, when the whole
world is sunk in wickedness, and the fullness of the
Gentiles is very nearly come in, and the time is near that
God will pour out his wrath on them without measure, it
behooves us that we commune oft with one another, and
communicate spiritual treasures, such as God bestows upon
us; and especially that we gather together and strengthen
one another's hands, lest we be overcome of Satan and perish
in the destruction of the ungodly. I am more impressed to
address you now, because when iniquity is pouring forth
among the Gentiles without measure the church has not
altogether escaped from the inevitable consequence of too
great a conformity to the world: except so far as influenced
and changed by gospel principles, mankind are much the same
in all countries and all ages. And if we do not practically
conform to gospel principles, their influence is lost on us.
Though men may subscribe to and teach gospel principles all
their lives, yet unless they conform thereto in the
transaction of our common intercourse with men their
influence will be directly lost upon us. And the same
consequence which has fallen upon the Gentile world in
consequence of their corrupt systems, will also befall the
saints if they continue therein. Of this truth the history
of the last few years has furnished us many sad examples.

There has been much speculation among men as to the
cause of the great falling away in the church during the
last four years. It has been attributed to a great variety
of different causes, none of which are sufficient to produce
so general corruption and such wide spread ruin. But there
is one unnamed cause, abundantly equal to the production of
such results, which remains to this day, still active and
doing its work. So long as the saints conform in all things
to Gentile usages and customs, so long they must expect to
share the fate of those they thus imitate. And the poverty,
suffering and sin which are wide spread throughout the
earth, as the consequence of speculation, swindling and the
most unblushing oppression of the poor and needy, cannot be
escaped among the saints while they do these things. Let us
now try to make our religion a reality. The time has come
that the saints must practice their religion and profess
their faith, and he that will not do it will be cut off from
them. The same causes under like circumstances cannot fail
to produce like effects. And as the Gentile social system
has produced poverty, want and crime in all the world, in
the face of the greatest improvements in the science of
agriculture and the mechanic arts, so that in countries
where machinery, steam and water do the work of millions of
men there is a real want of both food and clothing, we
cannot flatter ourselves that while we pursue the same
course we can escape a still greater amount of suffering,
beginning in poverty, as most of us do.

I have been constrained by the most obvious signs of
the times to look over the world and see if there was
anything in the state of the nations to justify the oft
repeated assertion that the Lord delayeth his coming. Again,
I have turned my thoughts inwardly, to contemplate the
things which God has revealed relative to these days; and as
the servant of God set upon the walls of Zion to watch, I
admonish you to come out of Babylon and separate yourselves
from her uncleanness. For the day of God's wrath upon her is
near, and the time is at hand when his vengeance will be
poured out.

The earth presents to us a most unhappy picture. The
United States are engaged in a most bloody war against the
most powerful sister republic which she has on the earth.
This war she has waged without the authority of God, and for
causes very far from commensurate to the blood she has shed
or the misery she has inflicted. And passing by the nature
of the cause (for I will not pretend that this war is
causeless) there is good reason, from what God has said, to
believe that the greatest portion of its evils will fall on
those who have waged it. In the period of less than two
years that has elapsed since its commencement, with the very
small force engaged, the loss of life has been not less than
ten thousand Americans, and probably three times that number
of Mexicans. And the hatred, blood-thirstiness, and passion
for violence it is engendering, will remain through
generations to come, the consequences of men's corruptions
and the instruments of God's wrath upon the nations.
Whatever may be the future fate of Mexico, she is
practically denationalized. Yet every object professedly
sought by the war is further off than at the beginning.
Unceasing hostility and the desolation and waste of cities,
towns and provinces will follow thick in the future history
of the daughter of Babylon, and pestilence and famine will
soon commence their work, as they have already in the old
world.

So, too, though Europe is not convulsed with any
general war, the elements of disorder and destruction are
every where active. The British Empire, which has by her
policy and arms for a long time held sway throughout the
earth, is just beginning to crumble to dust. A little
territory of the extent of a small State, she has extended
her dominion throughout the sea and to the four quarters of
the earth. The sun never sets on her empire. The reveille on
her legions beats time to the hours as the earth rolls
round. The terror of her arms has carried desolation into
every country on the face of the earth, and the bones of her
sons who have fallen in her wars lie bleaching in the sun
forever. So omnipresent has been her power that neither
wilderness, mountain or island sufficed to hide the refugee
from the emissaries of her oppression. The very name of
Britain has become a terror to the most secluded and savage
tribes. And with a mechanical power in actual use equal to
the labor of one half the human race, the fifteen or sixteen
millions of inhabitants of England are now in a state of
destitution bordering on starvation. A majority of the
people are real paupers, dependent on public and private
charities for the bread that preserves life. And with the
immense wealth and power of the nation, it has not the
ability to furnish bread to fill the mouths of starvation.

France, Germany, Poland, Hungary and provinces of other
countries of Europe have suffered for want of food. And this
not because there is any lack of men to work the lands, not
because there is a lack of skill or any indisposition to
work, but because the established order of things makes some
men drones and others swindlers; and the habit of individual
spunging and swindling induces those habits in nations. And
the loss of that fellow-feeling among men which is necessary
to heartily loving our neighbors as ourselves and doing as
we would be done by is so general and pervasive in its
influence, that few men ever think of consulting the
interest and general good of mankind in any of their
undertakings or avocations. And the man whose entire income
is derived from the labors of others, without making any
real return, and, consequently, who in a moral and religious
view lives by mere swindling and robbery, is no less
respected in society than those who are engaged in producing
that which is necessary for the use of man.

Such are the consequences of the Gentile social system,
under the most favorable circumstances. The examples I have
named can be found in kind wherever man is, differing only
in degree as the system has been more or less expanded. So
entirely have they carried out the system of setting man
against man, that the very commandment "Thou shalt love thy
neighbor as thyself" has been struck out of the decalogue,
and men have forgotten that God has engraved it on stone as
a perpetual memorial against this ungodly generation. The
selfishness engendered in all the intercourse of men is the
fruitful cause of national wars and individual sufferings.
The affairs of men have been so regulated, and the
institutions established among them are of such kind and
nature as to set man against his fellow man, and make it the
interest of every one to injure others. While the interest
of man is sought in the injury of his neighbor, it is vain
to hope that men will do to others as they would that others
should do to them. And though we may go forth proclaiming
gospel brotherhood and gospel equality from year to year,
yet so long as we practice on the same system which has
produced all these evils among the Gentiles, so long we must
suffer them among ourselves. It is vain to talk about or to
hope for the fullness of the spirit of God, or the
establishment of his kingdom, if we will not make our
religion a practical reality, by doing the things we teach.

The doctrine of the equality of the saints in their
temporal things was taught in the beginning of the church.
Such an equality has been the hope of the poor and the
virtuous from the commencement of the gathering. As early as
January, 1831, the word of the Lord came by his prophet
showing by parable the justice of equality among the
children of the kingdom; (D. & C. sec. xii. p. 5;) and adds,
"be one; if ye are not one, ye are none of mine." A most
thrilling admonition is also given, that the cry of the poor
has ascended up to God, (id. 4,) and that the enemy in
secret chambers sought their lives, and in consequence
thereof the Lord said, "ye hear of wars in far countries,
and ye say there will soon be wars in far countries, but ye
know not the hearts of them in your own land; wherefore
treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, lest the wickedness of
men reveal these things to you with a voice louder than that
which shall shake the earth." D. & C. sec. xii. p. 4, 6.

This revelation by the wickedness of wicked men has
been made so often, that the saints ought now to seek to
obey God rather than to follow their own devices. As the
saints learned not wisdom by what they heard, will they also
refuse to learn by what they suffer? When God requires us to
make any sacrifice to his cause, he requires a willing
sacrifice. But if we give not willingly, he will not suffer
us to possess what he requires. When the church went up to
Missouri they went under a special command to consecrate
their property, that all might be made equal. This command
was never kept; yet they did not keep that which they
refused to consecrate. Because the rich refused to make the
poor rich with them, their enemies made them poor with the
poor. Together were they driven out in destitution. From
that time to this they have been driven from city to city,
and from country to country; constantly going out robbed and
plundered of that which they have greedily kept back from
the Lord. Saints, will you that these things shall always
be?

In February, 1831, less than one year after the
organization of the church, a command was given that the
saints consecrate their property for the poor, by a deed
which could not be broken; receiving their inheritances
according to their several wants, and requiring them to put
all their surplus production from time to time into a common
storehouse, and receive supplies of what they lack from it.
D. & C. sec. xiii. p. 8, 9, 10, 12. In May, 1831, those who
had so consecrated their substances, are commanded to
organize themselves that they may be alike and receive
alike, and have a common storehouse. D. & C. sec. xxiii. In
August, the same year, Martin Harris and all who were going
up to Zion were commanded to make this consecration, to
purchase lands in Zion for the saints. D. & C. sec. xviii.
p. 6, 7, 10, 11, 12. In November, of the same year, the Lord
said, "in your temporal things you shall be EQUAL, and this
not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the
manifestations of the spirit shall be withheld. Now this
commandment I give unto my servants for their benefit while
they remain, for a manifestation of my blessings on their
heads, and for a reward of their diligence; and for their
security for food and for raiment, for an inheritance; for
houses and for lands, in whatsoever circumstances I the Lord
shall place them, and whithersoever I the Lord shall send
them." D. & C. sec. xxvi. p. 3, 4.

In the succeeding years the ancient order established
by revelation of God in the antediluvian world was again
revealed as the order of the church for an everlasting
order, and with many other precepts and commandments the
following were received:-

D. & C. sec. lxxv. p. 1, 2. 3. "Verily I say unto you,
the time has come, and is now at hand, and behold, and lo,
it must needs be that there be an organization of my people,
in regulating and establishing the affairs of the storehouse
for the poor of my people, both in this place and in the
land of Zion, or in other words, the city of Enoch, for a
permanent and everlasting establishment and order unto my
church, to advance the cause which ye have espoused, to the
salvation of man, and to the glory of your Father who is in
heaven, that you may be equal in the bands of heavenly
things, yea and earthly things also, for the obtaining of
heavenly things; for if ye are not equal in earthly things,
ye cannot be equal in obtaining heavenly things: for if you
will that I give unto you a place in the celestial world,
you must prepare yourselves by doing the things which I have
commanded you and required of you.

"And now, verily thus saith the Lord, it is expedient
that all things be done unto my glory; wherefore a
commandment I give unto you, to prepare and organize
yourselves by a bond or everlasting covenant that cannot be
broken.

"And he who breaketh it shall lose his office and
standing in the church, and shall be delivered over to the
buffetings of satan until the day of redemption. Behold this
is the preparation wherewith I prepare you, and the
foundation, and the ensample, which I give unto you whereby
you may accomplish the commandments which are given you,
that through my providence, notwithstanding the tribulation
which shall descend upon you, that the church may stand
independent above all other creatures beneath the celestial
world, that you may come up unto the crown prepared for you,
and be made rulers over many kingdoms, saith the Lord God,
the Holy One of Zion."

Sec. lxxxvi. p. 4, 5. "It is expedient for my servant
Alam and Ahashdah, Mahalaleel and Pelagoram, and my servant
Gazelam, and Horah, and Olihah, and Shalemanasseh, and
Mehemson, to be bound together by a bond and covenant that
cannot be broken by transgression except judgment shall
immediately follow, in your several stewardships, to manage
the affairs of the poor, and all things p[er]taining to the
bishopric both in the land of Zion, and in the land of
Shinehah; therefore I give unto you this commandment, that
ye bind yourselves by this covenant, and it shall be done
according to the laws of the Lord. Behold here is wisdom,
also, in me, for your good. And you are to be equal or in
other words, you are to have equal claims on the properties,
for the benefit of managing the concerns of your
stewardships, every man according to his wants and his
needs, inasmuch as his wants are just: and all this for the
benefit of the church of the living God, that every man may
improve upon his talent, that every man may gain other
talents; yea, even an hundred fold, to be cast into the
Lord's storehouse, to become the common property of the
whole church, every man seeking the interest of his
neighbor, and doing all things with an eye single to the
glory of God.

"This order I have appointed to be an everlasting order
unto you and unto your successors, inasmuch as you sin not."

Sec. xcviii. p. 1, 2. 3. 10. 11. 12. "Verily I say unto
you my friends, I give unto you counsel and a commandment,
concerning all the properties which belong to the order,
which I commanded to be organized and established, to be an
united order, and an everlasting order for the benefit of my
church, and for the salvation of men until I come, with
promise immutable and unchangeable, that inasmuch as those
whom I commanded were faithful, they should be blessed with
a multiplicity of blessings; but inasmuch as they were not
faithful, they were nigh unto cursing. Therefore inasmuch as
some of my servants have not kept the commandment, but have
broken the covenant, by covetousness and with feigned words,
I have cursed them with a very sore and grievous curse: for
I the Lord have decreed in my heart, that inasmuch as any
man, belonging to the order, shall be found a transgressor;
or, in other words, shall break the covenant with which ye
are bound, he shall be cursed in his life, and shall be
trodden down by whom I will.

"A commandment I give unto you, that ye shall organize
yourselves, and appoint every man his stewardship, that
every man may give an account unto me of the stewardship
which is appointed unto him: for it is expedient that I the
Lord should make every man accountable, as stewards over
earthly blessings, which I have made and prepared for my
creatures. I the Lord stretched out the heavens, and builded
the earth as a very handy work; and all things therein are
mine; and it is my purpose to provide for my saints for all
things are mine; but it must needs be done in mine own way:
and behold this is the way, that I the Lord have decreed to
provide for my saints: that the poor shall be exalted, in
that the rich are made low; for the earth is full, and there
is enough and to spare, yea, I prepared all things, and have
given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves.
Therefore if any man shall take of the abundance which I
have made, and impart not his portion, according to the law
of my gospel, unto the poor, and the needy, he shall, with
the wicked, lift up his eyes in hell, being in torment.

"Let all things be done according to counsel of the
order, and united consent, or voice of the order.

"And again, a commandment I give unto you concerning
your stewardship which I have appointed unto you: behold all
these properties are mine, or else you faith is vain, and ye
are found hypocrites, and the covenants which ye have made
unto me are broken: and if the properties are mine then ye
are stewards, otherwise ye are no stewards. But verily I say
unto you, I have appointed unto you to be stewards over mine
house, even stewards indeed: and for this purpose I have
commanded you to organize yourselves, even to shinelah,
(write or publish,) my words, the fulness of my scriptures,
the revelations which I have given unto you, and which I
shall hereafter, from time to time, give unto you, for the
purpose of building up my church and kingdom on the earth,
and to prepare my people for the time when I shall dwell
with them, which is nigh at hand.

"And ye shall prepare for yourselves a place for a
treasury, and consecrate it unto my name; and ye shall
appoint one among you to keep the treasury, and he shall be
ordained unto this blessing; and there shall be a seal upon
the treasury, and all the sacred things shall be delivered
into the treasury, and no man among you shall call it his
OWN, or any part of it, for it shall belong to you all with
one accord; and I give it unto you from this very hour: and
now see to it, that ye go to and make use of the stewardship
which I have appointed unto you, exclusive of the sacred
things, for the purpose of shinelane, (writing or
publishing,) these sacred things, as I have said: and the
avails of the sacred things shall be had in the treasury,
and a seal shall be upon it, and it shall not be used or
taken out of the treasury by any one, neither shall the seal
be loosed which shall be placed upon it, only by the voice
of the order, or by command.

"And again, there shall be another treasury prepared
and a treasurer appointed to keep the treasury, and a seal
shall be placed upon it; and all moneys that you receive in
your stewardships, by improving upon the properties which I
have appointed unto you, in houses or in lands, or in
cattle, or in all things save it be the holy and sacred
writings, which I have reserved unto myself for holy and
sacred purposes, shall be cast into the treasury as fast as
you receive moneys by hundreds or by fifties, or by
twenties, or by tens, or by fives; and let not any man among
you say that it is his own, for it shall not be called his,
nor any part of it; and there shall not any part of it be
used, or taken out of the treasury, only by the voice and
common consent of the order."

These commandments, though they are more perfect in
system than any other[s where] recorded, contain no other
doctrine than what has always been taught by the gospel and
the Melchisedec priesthood. Before Israel went into Egypt
each patriarch was the head of a house, consisting in some
instances of many thousands of persons, all holding one
common estate and inheritance, in the use of which they
enjoyed equal benefits. The family of Job could not have
been less than 10,000 souls; that of Melchisedec was
doubtless larger, and Abraham's probably numbered 4,000, all
heirs with him of the promise of the land of Canaan for a
perpetual inheritance. Gen. xvii. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.
Israel, when they entered into the land of Canaan, received
their inheritances by families, not by individuals, and
usually each family received a city and the country around
extending half way to the next city for its possession.
During the ministry of Christ he and the chief of his
disciples had no separate property, but Judas, one of the
twelve, was treasurer and purveyor for the whole. And though
doubtless some individual disciples retained their estates,
yet when a certain rich young man came inquiring what he
should do to inherit eternal life, Christ told him to "sell
what he had and give to the poor," and follow him. Matt.
xix. 21. And about a year after the crucifixion of Christ,
when the church was receiving great accessions, "the
multitude of them that believed were of one heart and one
soul; neither said any of them that ought of the things
which he possessed was his own; but they had all things
COMMON: neither was there any among them that lacked; for as
many as were possessors of houses or lands, sold them and
brought the prices of the things that were sold and laid
them at the Apostles' feet; and distribution was made to
every man according as he had need." Acts iv. 32, 34, 35.

Finally, it pleased the Lord, when he chose me to be
the shepherd of the flock, as he chose David to be king of
Israel, not from among princes and rulers, but from the
field, to show me still more clearly by many visions and
revelations the true order for establishing judgment and
justice, exalting the poor and delivering the needy. The
work was once begun both in Kirtland and Zion, but failed by
means of a multitude of transgressions. And from that time
till this the church has not ceased to be scourged by her
enemies, nor will she until she obeys this commandment. So
general was the feeling in favor of the common stock and
equality at the time the church was finally driven from
Missouri, that Joseph wrote from prison to prevent it,
telling them that though the principle was correct they had
no authority to do the act, and must wait until God gave
commandment. In his wisdom he has withheld the commandment
till the great falling away is past.

The time has now come. The command went forth in July,
1846. (See Voree Herald, No. 7.) The work is begun, and
every thing is ready for those who will come up to the help
of the Lord, against those who have trodden down his
children and had no compassion on the needy and the
oppressed. The organization (including children) now
consists of sixty persons, and applications for admission
are being constantly received. The entire system is founded
on UNION, EQUALITY, and a strict regard to the law of God
and the discipline of the church. The association owns a
farm of five hundred and sixty acres of land, four hundred
acres of which might be cropped the coming season, and
considering soil, water, salubrity and location, probably
the very best in Wisconsin; several good stone buildings, a
valuable water power and a property in all worth not less
than $11,000, on which they owe debts a very little over
three thousand. This property lies in, and in the immediate
vicinity of Voree, is beautifully located, very productive
and entirely healthy.

This we offer to the saints as the home of the poor and
the asylum of the oppressed. Here we propose to share each
others joys, and each others sorrows; each others toils, and
each others possessions; and to teach mankind that love and
truth wins with peace and sweetness, what force and fraud
labors in vain to compel. Here we intend to gather a
community who shall be equal in their temporal things; who
shall do to others as they would be done by; and who shall
love their neighbors as themselves. Here salvation shall be
present, and the gospel a practiced reality. Here peace
shall reign.

The Lord and his saints say come. Let him that heareth
say come. He that is poor and needy, let him come. Yea, come
buy food, raiment and habitation, a perpetual inheritance in
Zion, without money and without price. And whosoever will,
let him come and possess the land with us freely.

JAMES J. STRANG.

[Gospel Herald, 3 February 1848]

 

Continuing Faith

For baptism for the remission
of sins, it is necessary only to have
faith toward God, and to repent of all sin.

To receive baptism by immersion, contact:

 

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Mormon Road and Hwy. 11
Burlington, Wisconsin

(800) 862-5667


 

 

One example of our
concise priesthood lineage

Prophet Joseph Smith, 1829

Ebenezer Page, 1830
(Early Mormon in N.Y., Missouri, brother of John E. Page,
Later an Apostle at Voree, Wis., and Beaver Island)


Elder Wingfield Watson, 1858
(Lived on Beaver Island)

Elder Joseph H. Hickey, 1907
(Son of L.D. Hickey who lived at Palmyra, N.Y., Nauvoo, Ill.,
Voree, Wis., and was an apostle on Beaver Island)


Elder Steve Barany, 1953
(Son-in-law of Joseph H. Hickey, died in 2010 at 95)

Others

 

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© 1996-2013 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  All Rights Reserved.
The First Presidents of this Church were Joseph Smith Jr. 1830-1844, and James J. Strang 1844-1856.
The First Presidency was at Voree, Wisconsin 1844-1850, and St. James (Beaver Island), Michigan 1850-1856.

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