Zerah Pulsipher Sermons

29th day of Dec 1833

I [Wilford Woodruff] herd [sic] a report circulating on the 29th day of Dec 1833 that there was to be a meeting held in the neighbourhood by a Mormon priest. This meeting was to be held in the town of Richland Oswego County New York. …

The person that was to preach was Zerah Pulsipher an elder in the Church of Christ or of the latter day saints. He commenced the meeting with some introductory remarks and then prayed. I felt the spirit of God to bear witness that he was the servant of God. He then commenced preaching and that to [sic] as with authority, and when he had finished his discourse I truly felt that it was the first gospel sermon that I had ever herd [sic]. I thought it was what I had long been looking for. I could not feel it my duty to leeve [sic] the house without bearing witness to the truth before the people. I opened my eyes to see my ears to hear my heart to understand & my doors to entertain him who had administered to us.[1]

9 Jan 1838

The Seventies met again at Kirtland, President Salmon Gee presided. The quorum was addressed by Elder H. Wilcox, F. Vanleuven, J. Herritt, Truman O. Angel and Zera Pulsipher who gave an interesting account of his labors in Upper Canada since last October, having in company with Elder Baker baptized 29. The meeting was closed by President Josiah Butterfield. Elias Smith clerk.[2]

23 Jan 1838

The Quorum of Seventies met in the evening and Elder Zera Pulsipher preached and set forth the difference between the kingdoms of Christ and anti-Christ, followed by several others, and President Butterfield after addressing the Quorum closed the meeting with prayer. Elias Smith clerk.[3]

Dec. 28, 1845 Minutes of a General Conference of Seventies. The meeting assembled at the Council Hall pursuant to adjournment. . . . Pres[iden]t. J[oseph]. Young having arrived, rose and remarked that he knew the anxiety of the brethren to receive their endowments, and [advised] them to be patient, and every worthy man should receive his blessing; [and] if we could not get them in the House of the Lord, we should have them in the wilderness; for we had built a house to the name of the Lord, and he had accepted it at our hands[.] . . . Pres[ident] Pulsipher gave the brethren much good instruction on the same subject, and exhorted all to be prayerful &c.[4]

[Nauvoo,] 11 Jan 1846

Meeting of Seventies

Notes by Thomas Bullock

Pres. Zera Pulzipher feels rejoiced of improving the time. I desire to see my brethren together to speak to them on occasions like this – & feel justified before God when I let my Seniors speak without my correcting them. notwithstanding the difficulties now existing against the LDS and their animosities against us they have had abundance of chance to learn the gospel — all have had a chance to be warned — we are compacted together measurably satisfactory. Our heavenly Father has manifested himself in protecting the 12 [Apostles]. certain principles are enjoined on us at this time — to uphold the heads — let there be a universal awareness [[that]] there is perfect safety and that they will live to a good old age and go down to their graves like shocks of corn fully ripe.

It is just come to light the principle, order and plan of escalation of the Spirits which are in our bodies. (by faith all things have been organized – and if you hold me up while I speak, you will have the Sp of God in you –) many think they come forth like insects — but there are principles which the Great God and his council and our Sp have agreed to come here — altho we may not see it now – and it is not possible for us to know all things. if bro Joseph had told us what we now know when he was alive we could not have borne it. We had not humbled ourselves enough. there are some who have now received these things that they may be digested. Some of you recollect the washings and anointings in Kirtland and you now see there is some superior power opened to you here and you receive greater keys of knowledge which will prove your Salvation – and you can detect any one by these keys – and away with him. God has designed that these things should be manifest to you step by step and you see they come from the great council of Heaven. the Lord is verifying his word that his power is greater than the cunning of Satan. If there is one who has been thru all the ordinances of heaven old Lucifer will be gather all his forces against him. We have to observe old Nephi and Alma how they cried to God mightily and the Trees and forest were at their command – no man will ever rise to an exaltation with the Gods unless he has seen his own weakness. the Lord God organized certain principles and our Spirits assented to it that we mi[gh]t obtain to blessings power and authority and obtain an exaltation far above what we could have there and we co[ul]d not obtain it by any other way or in any other place. here we are — we have been tossed to and fro. many have had revelations and gathered to Zion in MO while Zion should be built up and the cloud and pillar of fire appear. Could God have unfolded the visions to us then—no, you could not possibly have understood them. It would probably have made you deny the faith – but we can now plainly discover that God has been dealing with us as with children, and if we improve well, his love will be over us and we shall be protected with a strong banner of defense. We have been taught by degrees. Can we associate with martyrs unless we pass thro some of the same scenery[?] The winding up scene is near at hand — the Elders shall be prepared to go and gather in all Israel for the last [p.6] scene. It is recorded that the Prophets should see these days, and they did see them. We are called as the Elders of Israel to gather up Israel for the time that Jesus will come in flaming fire and the Saints with him. Gods hand is not shortened that he cannot save us. let every man be prepared. it is not possible for us to fill our sphere of action unless we submit in all things and let our minds become as a storehouse of knowledge. let us be always ready to give an answer of the hope that is within us. Let your minds expand — let us be one. I do not say every man has a capacity to handle property, but no man who will hearken to counsel ought to suffer. make each others interest your interest and this will prepare you for an exaltation. We must keep a celestial law, but the time will come when that law will be laid before us, and if we do not keep that, we must be content with a less exaltation. (spoke of a sermon he preached in york State and W. Woodruffs coming in, held him up as an example to all) some of you will be gone for years. you must have the principles of honesty and integrity and spread forth the knowledge of the Kingdom and prepare the hearts of the people that they may go up to Zion. you who have gone thro the endowment; hold together be one and be bound in the bundles of love. if all do not get <it> here we are entitled to it in the mountains of Israel, for God will have a people who will gather in to the Zion of the Lord. you see the necessity of arming yourselves with all these powers. don’t fly in a passion with your brother — speak by the Spirit of the Lord and remember that he has feelings as well as yourselves. we have all our own propensities. let us overcome them and put down every thing so that we may govern our families and our children that they may remember we have given good counsel and all things will pass on easy. those who cannot or will not keep a celestial law must have a terrestrial law, and if they will not abide a terrestrial law they must sink down — dont descend or fall away. keep the holy order — get the keys and you will lay a foundation whereby you may have an exaltation in the kingdom of heaven. [5]

Winter Quarters, 7 May 1848

Z. Pulsipher spoke ab[ou]t taking care of ourselves— [[and]] the guard yesterday— [[and]] the ox that was taken by the Indians— – belonging to Anson Call— [[and]] the boys firing guns the narrow escape of Henry Jacobs wife [[and]] child from a rifle ball—I wish those careless aim put down[6]

[Salt Lake City,] Sept 1, 1850                             10 am

Meeting in Bowery….

Z. Pulsipher spoke on the persn. of L.D.S. in MO & exhorted there who [h]ad not passed thru the persn. to rejoice. cautioned the then not to sell Flour to emigrants to feed their horses [[and]] then let the poor go hungry. prepare a place so that the Presy. may teach us again—(B.Y. came) & spoke of the sign at Kirtland of the Steam Boat in the air [[and]] of the S[ain]ts who then left by 5 Boats to go to Mo.

inquired it is better to sacrifice a little to God, or give a good deal to the mob. . . .

ZP. Speaking of the boy Joseph bringing forth the plates [[and]] the wise men refusing to hear –

if you will obey council all will be well[7]

Salt Lake City, Sunday 12 January 1851 11 a.m.

Meeting of Saints in Bowery…

Z. Pulsipher Joseph saw this place & desired to come here, but he had to lay his bones down in Ill. his blood was spilt & now those very men who shot him want to shoot us. when we were throwing money by bushels to the merchants we were warned that money wod be scarce & now when people r called on to pay [illegible] the p[eo]pl[e]  [h]ad no money to pay it – &c. [8]

Salt Lake City, Bowery, 18 January 1851

               Special Meeting of the Seventies

About 10 ½ A. M., a large congregation of the Seventies had assembled in the Bowery, when President Joseph Young gave an introductory address, stating that the object of the conference, was to examine into the standing and situation of the Seventies; ascertain what vacancies exist in the quorums, and fill the same so far as it shall be wisdom; attend to ordinations—and to devise ways and means for prosecuting the building of the Seventies’ Hall of Science. There were present of the first presidents of the Seventies, Joseph Young, Zera Pulzipher, A. P. Rockwood, B. L. Clapp; also of the Twelve, W Woodruff, E. T. Benson, and W. Richards. After payer, by E. T. Benson, and singing, one hundred and four elders, priests and members were called upon, and ordained into the quorums of Seventies, under the direction of Presidents Rockwood and Clapp. The ordinations were attended to in the State House.

               After an intermission of thirty minutes, and partaking of refreshments by the congregation, and arrival of President B. Young, the assembly were severally addressed by President Zera Pulzipher, W. Woodruff, J. M. Grant, and Joseph Young, on the importance of the Seventies attending to their several duties; of there being a reformation among the Saints; and their living so as to have a fulness of the Holy Spirit at all times. The record of the names of the presidents of the several quorums of Seventies was read, when about eighty were found to be in the Valley. Offerings were made for the Seventies’ Hall of Science, and conference adjourned to early candlelight, when the Bowery was filled. [9]

September 8, 1851

B Pulsipher spoke & said I feel thankful to Hear the Aged Brethren speak & bear their testimony of the Prophet Joseph. We have had many revelations. Let us improve upon them.[10]

Tuesday, Sep. 9, 1851

2 o’clock, P.M.

Conference being called to order, and opened in the usual manner. The Patriarch John Smith, said he had been through the whole scene of persecution, of mobbing, and murders, from 1832 to the present time; and alluded to the night of the murder of Joseph and Hyrum in Carthage Jail, and called on the people to pay their tithing, that it may be said of us, well done good and faithful servants; and was followed in similar remarks by President Kimball, Edward Hunter, W. W. Phelps, Isaac Chase, and Zera Pulsiper.[11]

Wednesday, April 7, 1852

6 P. M.

The House was crowded by the Officers of the Church, when Elder G. A. Smith, Z. Pulsipher, and President Young addressed the Elders.[12]

Zera Pulsipher spoke & Bore testimony of the [ ] work.[13]

October 6, 1852

2 P.M.

Elder Zera Pulsipher remembered the time when he had to travel 325 miles to get a council of elders—comparing the rise of the Church with the present day; and bore a testimony of having seen a vision, when an angel appeared to him, having a Book of Mormon in his hand; and exhorted the new-comers to the valley, to keep the commandments of God, to be humble and prayerful, and respect and obey the counsel of the authorities; and showed that those who neglect their prayers and their duty, generally fall away from the Church, and are damned.[14]

Salt Lake City, Tabernacle, 15 February 1853

Z. Pulsipher was glad [[to]] see so many bef[ore him]. hopes it [[will] not [[be in]] <vain> [[I]] am aware [[you]] do not [[all]] comprehend [[the]] nature [[of]] your call. [[On]] Earth the man [i]s fallen into degredation [[an]] this [[is the]] dispensation [[you]] restore them agn. [[The]] experience [[of]] this Ch[urch] [[for]] 21 yrs shows they [[have]] made greater advancement than [[the]] Ch[urch] [[of]] Enoch [[in the]] same time. [[We]] never staid 7 yrs [[in]] any place with [[of v the]] same ◊uppose [[an]] [h]ad [[to]] flee away    our past home when [[we]]] reflect [[on]] it [[we]] can only remember [[a]] few incidents [[a]] few transactions [[& the]] rest [[is as a]] dream. [[It will be]]just [[as]] much [[as we]] can do [[to be]] prepared [[have a]] restitution [[of all this]] [15]

April 9, 1853

Z Pulsipher spoke of the mob scenes in Missouri.[16]

Salt Lake City, Tabernacle, 1853 May 22 10 am

Meeting in Tabernacle called to order by Pres. Pullman…

Zera Pulsipher It [[is the]] natural propensity [[of a]] human heart [[to be]] aspiring after new things [[a]] but very few [[of]] us realize what [[that]] now enjoy or that noledg [knowledge] does cover these vallies as it actually does               any p[er]son who [[will]] give heed [[to the]] teachings [[of the]] Spirit [[will]] gro up [[with the]] K[ingdo]m but if grows above is [[a will]] fall                [[there]] r more p[eo]pl[e] commune [[with]] God among this p[eo]pl[e] than any[[where]] else &c &c[17]

April 7, 1855, 7 p.m.

The Presidency of the Seventies met in their Council Hall.

Singing Prayer by Elder Zera Pulsipher.[18]

October 7, 1855, 10 a.m.

Zera Pulsipher [and others]. . . were unitedly and unanimously voted to go on missions to the Saints in Utah Territory.[19]

Bountiful Quarterly Conference, 17 November 1855

Zerah Pulsipher . . . said he had many things upon his mind but did not feel like speaking out all his reflections but that [?] there was great things at hand. Had seen much persecution in its Church & days when it seemed impossible to be delivered from our enemies while even prophets & leaders were in prison & chains but the Lord had always delivered us so far & made a way for our Escape. The prophets were some of them finally slain for their testimony but Had gone where they could do more for us than they could to have remained. The Lord has carried out the same order in this day as He has in all ages by sending Angels & giving revelations to establish his work in its beginning. And while we are in the midst of prosperity if we do not do right the Lord can prepare a whip to scourge us more severely than any thing we have yet felt. Prosperity is one of the most dangerous snares we can fall into if we forget God[.] One thing the people should guard against & that is not to loose the spirit of God nor as to get so far out of the way that we believe the presidents are wrong & we find fault with them untill we apostatize not thinking that we can get wrong ourselves as was the case with many in Kirtland who fell away though the same example of unbelief.[20]

[1] Woodruff, Wilford. Waiting for the World’s End, ed. By Susan Staker [Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1993], 1-2.

[2] Journal History, 9 January 1838.

[3] Journal History, 23 January 1838.

[4] Seventies Record, Book B. Cited in Devery S. Anderson and Gary James Bergera, The Nauvoo Endowment Companies (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2005), 213-214.

[5] Thomas Bullock, booklet E (#7), 1845 November 16-1846 April 12, in Historian’s Office general church minutes; 1846-1850, CR 100 318_1_48_5 at the Church History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah

[6] In Historian’s Office general church minutes; 1846-1850; 1848 May-July;  CR 100 318_2_8_9 at the Church History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

[7] Historian’s Office general church minutes; 1846-1850; 1850 Aug CR 100 318_2_36_8 Salt Lake City, 1850 August 18- September 1, at the Church History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

[8] Thomas Bullock, booklet (#10), 1850 December 29-1851 March 9 in Historian’s Office general church minutes; 1846-1850, CR 100 318_2_42_3a at the Church History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

[9] Deseret News, 1:197, 18 January 1851.

[10] Wilford Woodruff Journal, Kenney 4:66.

[11] “Minutes of the General Conference”, Tuesday, Sep. 9, 1851, afternoon session; Millennial Star, 1 February 1852, vol. 14, p. 35.

[12] “Minutes of the General Conference”, Wednesday, April 7, 1852, evening session; Millennial Star, 9 Feburary 1853, vol. 15, p. 132.

[13] Wilford Woodruff Journal, Kenney, 4:119

[14] “Minutes of the General Conference”, 6 October 1852, afternoon session; Millennial Star, 31 July 1852, vol. 14, p. 335.

[15] Salt Lake City, Tabernacle, 1853 February 15, in Historian’s Office general church minutes; 1851-1855; 1853 January-April 3, CR 100 318_60 at the Church History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

[16] Wilford Woodruff Journal.

[17] Salt Lake City, Tabernacle, 1853 May 22-29, in Historian’s Office general church minutes; 1851-1855; 1853 April 17-June26, CR 100 318_2_62_17 at the Church History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

[18] Minutes of the General Conference”, April 7, 1855, evening session; Millennial Star, 18 Aug. 1855, vol. 17, p. 515.

[19] Minutes of the General Conference”, October 7, 1855, morning session; Millennial Star, 5 Feb. 1856, vol. 18, p. 69.

[20] Bountiful Ward conference minutes, 1855 November 17-18, in Historian’s Office minutes and reports (local units); Utah settlements (arranged by county), 1851-1862; Davis County, 1855-1856; Box 1, Folder 23 CR 100 589, CHL.


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