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The Wentworth Letter

I posted my initial impressions of the Kindle over at Wheat and Tares.  One of the coolest “books” I received at Amazon for free was the Wentworth Letter.  For those of you who don’t know, Joseph Smith wrote a history of the church to John Wentworth, the editor of a newspaper called the Chicago Democrat in 1842.  (I guess Joseph was more open to Democrats than most Mormons today.)  🙂  The letter is an important piece of history because it contains the 13 Articles of Faith that are now part of the Pearl of Great Price.  It was fun to read the letter.  You can download it for free whether you have a Kindle or not.  If you don’t have a Kindle, download the Kindle App for your pc (or iPad, iPhone, etc).  

Apparently Mr. Bastow, a friend of Wentworth, wanted to write a history of New Hampshire.  That’s a little odd because Joseph starts out stating he was born in Vermont.  In order for Wentworth to publish the letter, Joseph asks Wentworth to

publish the account entire, ungarnished, and without misrepresentation.

Joseph says

My father was a farmer and taught me in the art of husbandry.

Curious wording–husbandry–don’t you think?  As a polygamist, it seems he was a natural husband.  So one of the cool things about the Kindle is the built in dictionary.  I had a feeling that husbandry had a different definition, so I highlighted the word so the dictionary would pop up.  Here’s what it said:

1 – The care, cultivation, and breeding of crops and animals:  crop husbandry.

2 – management and conservation of resources.

<ORIGIN> Middle English: from HUSBAND in the obsolete sense ‘farmer’; compare with HUSBANDMAN.

Ok, so that better explains Jesus’ parable in Matthew 21:33-46 about the husbandman–why don’t they just translate that as farmer?

Anyway, back to the letter.  Joseph goes on to explain the Book of Mormon, and rehearses the mob violence in Missouri.  He almost quotes The Standard of Truth, just before giving the Articles of Faith.  So, have any of you actually read the Wentworth Letter before?  What are your impressions?

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