Letter from Joseph Smith to Sidney Rigdon (27 March 1843)
Nauvoo March 27, 1843
Sidney Rigdon Esqr.
It is with sensations of deep regret and poignant grief that I sit down to dictate a few lines to you, this morning, to let you know what my feelings are in relation to your-self, as it is again[s]t my principles to act the part of a hypocrite, or to dissemble in any wise whatever, with any man. I have tried for a long time to smother my feelings, and not let you know, that I thought, that you were secretly and underhandedly, doing all you could, to take the advantage and injure me: but, whether my feelings are right or wrong, remains for Eternity to reveal. I cannot any longer forbear throwing of[f] the mask, and let you know of the secret wranglings of my heart; that you may not be deceived, in relation to them, and <that you may> be prepared, Sir, to take whatever cou[r]se you see proper in the premises. I am, Sir, honest, when I say that I believe, & am laboring under the fullest conviction that you are actually practising deception and wickedness against me and the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. and that you are in connection with John C. Bennett, & Geo W. Robinson in the whole of their abominable practices in seeking to destroy me and this people and that Jared Carter, is as deep Sir in the mire, as you <, Sir,> are in the mire, in your conspiracies and that you are in the exercise of a trait[o]rous spirit against our lives and interest by combining with our Enemies and the murderous Missourians. My feelings, Sir, have been wrought upon to a very great extent, in relation to yourself, ever since soon after the first appearance of John C. Bennet in this place. there has been something dark & my[s]terious hovering over our business concerns that are not only palpablle but altogether unaccountable in relation to the Post office, and Sir from the very first of the pretentions of John C Bennet, to secure to me the Post office, (which, by the by I have <never> desired, if I could have justice done me in that department,) <without my occupancy> I have known, Sir, that it was a fraud practiced upon me, and of the secret plottings & conniving between, him & yourself in relation to the matter the whole time, as well as many other things which I have kept locked up in my own bosom but I am constrained at this time, to make known my feelings to you. I do not write this with the intention of insulting you or of bearing down upon you or with a desire to take any advantage of you or with the intention of ever laying one straw in your way, detrimental to your character or influence, or to suffer any thing whatever that has taken place, which is within my observation, or that <has> come to my knowledge to go abroad, betraying any confidence that has ever been placed in me but I do assure you most sincerly that what I have said I verily believe & this is the reason why I have said it, that you may know the real convictions of my heart, not because I have any malice or hatred, neither would I injure one hair of your head, and I will assure you that these convictions are attended with the deepest sorrow & remorse. I wish to God it were not so, & that I could get rid of the ackings of my heart on that subject and I now notify you. that unless something should take place to restore my mind to its former confidence in you, by some acknowledgments on your part or some explanations, that shall do away my Jealousies, I must as a conscientious man, publish my withdrawal of my fellowship from you, to the Church, through the medium of the times & Seasons, and demand of the conference a hearing concerning your case; that if on conviction of justifiable grounds, they will demand your license. I could say much more but let the above suffice for the present, yours in haste,
Sidney Rigdon Esqr. Post Office Nauvoo