1843 April 10 Nauvoo Address

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1843 April 10 Nauvoo Address

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Sermons

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1843/04/10

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President Young instructed the elders not to go from church to church for the purpose of living themselves or begging for their families or for preaching, but to go to their places of destination, journeying among the world and preaching by the way as they have opportunity; and if they get anything for themselves, they must do it in those churches they shall build up or from the world, and not enter into other men's labors.
Several elders have been presented to us having traveled extensively the past season, preaching but little or none, living on the brethren and begging for their own emolument. Such elders, be they where they may, far or near, are instructed to repair forthwith to Nauvoo and give an account of their stewardship, and report the amount of leg service performed by them, and on their return be sure to keep out of the churches.
It is wisdom for the elders to leave their families in this place when they have anything to leave with them; and let not the elders go on their missions until they have provided for their families. No man need say again, "I have a call to travel and preach," while he has not a comfortable house for his family, a lot fenced, and one year's provisions in store, or sufficient to last his family during his mission or means to provide it.
The Lord will not condemn any man for following counsel and keeping the commandments; and a faithful man will have dreams about the work he is engaged in. If he is engaged in building the Temple, he will dream about it; and if in preaching, he will dream about that; and not, when he is laboring on the Temple, dream that it is his duty to run off preaching and leave his family to starve. Such dreams are not of God.
When I was sick last winter, some of the sisters came and whispered in my ear, "I have nothing to eat." Where is your husband? "He is gone a preaching." "Who sent him?" said I; "for the Lord never sent him, to leave his family to starve."
When the Twelve went to England, they went on a special mission, by special commandment, and they left their families sick and destitute, God having promised that they should be provided for. But God does not require the same thing of the elders now, neither does He promise to provide for their families when they leave them contrary to counsel. The elders must provide for their families.
I wish to give a word of advice to the sisters, and I will give it to my wife. I have known elders who had by some means got in debt, but had provided well for their families during their contemplated mission; and after they had taken their departure, their creditors would teaze their wives for the pay due from their husbands, till they would give them the last provision they had left them, and they were obliged to subsist on charity or starve till their husbands returned. Such a course of conduct on the part of the creditor is anti-Christian and criminal; and I forbid my wife from paying one cent of my debts while I am absent on the same principle.