The Return of W.W. Phelps
In Episode 2 of the podcast, which you can listen to here on itunes and here on stitcher, i talk about how William Law -- the publisher of the Nauvoo Expositor -- was the latest in a long line of leaders of the early Mormon religion who left the church and started to fight against its founder, Joseph Smith.
In Episode 2 I talk about two of those men who left and how they both came back to the church after leaving it, and fighting against Joseph. Those men were two members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles when they left -- Orson Hyde and Thomas Marsh. Orson Hyde came back in 6 months and Thomas Marsh came back -- I think 18 years later.
Another leader of the religion that left and fought against Joseph was W.W. Phelps.
In late 1837 Joseph Smith received a revelation telling him that W.W. Phelps had "done things which are not pleasing" in the sight of the Lord. And, that if he didn't repent he would be "removed out of his place."
W.W. Phelps refused to be held accountable by the religion for whatever it was he did that was "not pleasing" to the Lord, and would be excommunicated from the religion in March 1838.
After being separated from the Mormon religion for a space of time W.W Phelps would write a letter to Joseph asking for forgiveness.
In return, Joseph would send a letter back to Phelps telling him he had forgiveness.
Phelps would be rebaptized late June 1840.
After being rebaptized W.W. Phelps would write the hymn Praise to the Man in honor of Joseph Smith the Prophet.
The early years of the Mormon religion is full of great stories like this.