ASAEL SMITH'S LETTER, Page 3
The text of the letter located in the right column was taken from Richard Lloyd Anderson, Joseph Smith's New England Heritage, 124-129.
Jacobs Letter to
|the God of the whole earth) are not sufficient to evince to you that religion is a necessary theme. Then I would wish you to study the nature of religion, and see whether it consists in outward formalities, or in the hidden man of the heart; whether you can by outward forms, rites and ordinances save yourselves, or whether there is a necessity of your having help from any other hand than your own. If you find that you stand in need of a Savior, Christ saith: "Look unto me and be ye saved all ye ends of the earth." Then look to him, and if you find from scripture and sound reason that Christ hath come into the world to save sinners, then examine what it was that caused him to leave the center of consummate happiness to suffer as he did--whether it was to save mankind because they were sinners and could not save themselves or whether he [came] to save mankind because they had repented of their sins, so as to be forgiven on the score of their repentance. If you find that he came to save sinners merely because they were such, then try if there is any other|