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THE year 1874 opened with activity in all parts of the mission field. In order to prepare for a more extended missionary effort it was desirable that the Quorum of Seventy, upon whom the great burden of missionary work must rest, should be placed in as good condition as possible. On January 17, Elder C. G. Lanphear, president of the quorum, wrote an urgent appeal to the members of the quorum to report to him before the General Conference, stating if they were ready for duty; and on the 24th, the president of the Twelve issued the following letter:
Dear Brethren:In view of the wide, and every-day extending field inviting laborers, together with the increasing desire to hear on the part of all classes, and the activity of the enemies of truth, we feel prompted to address you, and bring to your consideration the present want of a more numerous and active traveling ministry. The world is ripening; creeds and theories changing; new questions arising; and new issues forced upon the religiously inclined, as well as upon the religious teachers. The spirit of irreligion is rampant, and Christianity is attacked at all points. The Iconoclasts (breakers of images) of to-day, are seeking to break down the temple and altar of God-the pillars of gospel truth, and obliterate (what sectarians have obscured) the foundation of hope.
At this juncture an unusual disposition is manifested to lend an ear to the words of life; the church feels this increased weight of responsibility to furnish an increase of laborers corresponding to this increased
demand; and its main resource in the matter is the Seventy. How many of you will respond like the ancient of the Lord, "Here am I, send me"? How many can so respond and take the field from the next annual conference? As many as can, and will probably do so, please inform us of their willingness and intention; and if drawn to any particular region, name it and the principal reasons for choosing such locality. If any are willing, and are prevented by obstacles they can not remove, advise us of such facts. Those already in the field, whether upon home or foreign missions, we request to communicate with us upon the condition, prospects, and wants of their several missions, of any change of labor contemplated by them. By complying with this request at as early a day as convenient, we will be the better enabled to provide for the various wants of different localities by having a better understanding and preparation against the conference. And we would here suggest, that it will be a praiseworthy act on the part of local brethren and branches, where a Seventy is resident and in shackles, to "loose him and let him go." Brethren, try it; and may the God of all grace reward you, and inspire those to help move the cause of Zion, and in hope of its complete redemption.
We remain your coworker in the vineyard of the Lord.
J. W. BRIGGS.
-The Saints' Herald, vol. 21, p. 92.
January 24 Elder J. S. Patterson wrote encouragingly from Birmingham, England. Spoke commendingly of the labors of Elders Bear, Avondet, Evans, and Brand, and of the efforts of local brethren who had nobly assisted them. They expected soon to organize several new branches where the membership had been materially increased
On February 1 President Smith wrote concerning concentration of effort, and gave examples of good results. He states:
Our work-the elders' work-demands that where an opening-a breach in the enemy's lines-offers a strategical point of attack, there should be a combined, a concentrated effort made at that point.
This has been most happily demonstrated in the following instance, as related by Brn. John H. Lake and Daniel F. Lambert, in a late letter from Montrose, Iowa, of which we make the following extract:
"We consulted with our Father as to where we should go, and immediately came to the conclusion that Farmington, Van Buren County, Iowa, the place where the Lord wished us to go. Accordingly, on Wednesday following (December 17), we went to Farmington, and began a series of meetings that evening, Bro. Lake making the introduction, by showing that we as a people stood upon the original platform of the
church. The next evening Bro. Lambert introduced the subject of the kingdom of God, which we treated upon in all its bearings, showing the officers who belong to it, and also its laws, their unchangeability and consequent power to save men with an eternal salvation. This done, we introduced the subject of the apostasy from the primitive church, showing in three ways that there had been such an apostasy. Firstly, that there had been prophetic declarations made showing that such an event would take place. Secondly, that the Christian world was without the officers, and had failed to practice the laws which had been placed in the church of Christ in its primitive organization. Thirdly, that God had promised to send an angel having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell upon the earth, which he certainly would not do if there had not been an entire apostasy from the primitive church. We then treated upon the restoration of the gospel, the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and other subjects. Our meetings were well attended, and we were greatly blessed, being enabled to labor together with confidence and satisfaction. At the close of the meeting, Tuesday, December 30, having held thirteen preaching meetings, we gave the opportunity for persons wishing to obey the gospel, to manifest it by rising to their feet; three arose. Brn. Lambert left on the first of January, and I attended to the baptizing of the three who had presented themselves the previous evening; and also two more who presented themselves at the time of baptism. I continued the meetings nearly two weeks longer, during which time I baptized six more, and left others believing who were not baptized."
Here was an opening, and these two men rallied their ministerial forces and held a month's protracted meeting. The result was eleven were baptized.
So, also, the brethren in Canton, Illinois, having determined upon a continued effort, have been steadily driving home their charges upon the strongholds of sin; and now Bro. Forscutt writes:
"We had a glorious time here on Sunday last. Three were baptized, one of them a Mr. Seward, of Peoria, for several years elder; that is, presiding elder of the Disciple Church of that place, and as such recognized and honored by the congregation up to Sunday last, both on account of his ability and Christian uprightness. His conviction is due to the private endeavors of our excellent Bro. and Sr. Robinson, of Peoria; his conversion to the power of God in our glorious social meeting of Sunday afternoon last. God be praised, the ice is breaking, and the sunshine of truth again cheering us, not only by its lovely rays, but also by its causing the truth sown in the winter of barrenness to spring forth in the verdant foliage of the new life of the coming harvest."
Brn. D. S. Crawley and F. C. Warnky, down in Kansas have been steadily warning the people for the last two years; and now Bro. J. T. Davies is engaged, and there will be concentration of energies down there, by and by, and good results will certainly ensue.
Brn. Joseph C. Clapp and John H. Hansen are pounding away at the
doors of superstition and vice and folly, down in Kentucky, and will soon reap if they do not slacken their energies.
And so it is, and will be, everywhere.
What we now advise is, that the elders go two by two, and labor together. Find, or make an open door, seeking direction of our Father, and then begin in mildness, firmness, and amiability to tell the story of Jesus and him crucified, together with the things of the kingdom of God; and continue the effort, unless warned by the Spirit to go hence, until the harvest and the gathering appear. Concentrate your energies; make your labors effective. Boast not nor talk of mighty faith; but tell the people the Son of God will come.
As much as possible avoid going from branch to branch; but leaving the branches in the care of the proper custodians of their weal, strike out into the wide-spread harvest-field, where earnest souls are waiting to be garnered into God's great church.
It is, in our opinion, a good policy to hold several successive meetings in the same place; giving a fair opportunity for all who may become interested to investigate.
Try it, brethren, and report progress.-The Saints' Herald vol. 21, pp. 80, 81.
On February 3, Elder J. Avondet wrote from Geneva, Switzerland, stating that he had returned there from Italy and was busy in his ministry. He asked to be released.
The following items are from the Herald for February 15:
Bro. Jason W. Briggs delivered three lectures in the Union Hall, at Sandwich, Illinois, February 2, 3, and 4,1874, at the solicitation of Elders Blair, Rogers, and Banta in defense of Christianity, in reply to lectures delivered in the same hall, upon the "Origin, Evidences, and Absurdities of Christianity." What the result may be we can not yet say.
Bro. Blair left for Mission on the 7th inst.
Bro. J. J. Cramer was at Viola, Mercer County, Illinois, on the 5th, speaking to good houses.-The Saints' Herald vol. 21, p. 113.
February 15, Elders Bear and Avondet wrote the following letter from Geneva, Switzerland, which portrays the difficulties and discouragements met with in those fields:
Bro. Avondet and myself are in Geneva at present, a long time since we desired to meet. A few days ago Bro. Avondet returned from Italy to Geneva, and sent me word that I could come there to see him; both of us rejoiced to see one another, as brothers in Christ Jesus, working for our Master. His mission is just as hard as mine, and both of us are almost at the last extremity in our temporal wants; the rich do not want the gospel, only the poor, and they can hardly sustain themselves, and are therefore
not able to help to support us in the necessaries of life; times are hard, very hard. It is very difficult for us to get labor and support ourselves in that way, because there are at present hundreds and hundreds of the laboring class without employment; and another thing, the wages are so low; and a third thing is, people have no confidence in us, when we have to go and hire ourselves out for work. They say, "If your church is the church of God, as you say, why do they not sustain you with proper means to carry on the work?"
All the missionaries of the other denominations are sustained with the necessary means to commence their work; but till the present we have not. We are in a land and among a people all different to America, and have to break new ground. In America there are branches scattered very near all over, where the traveling elders can get supplied more or less; here it is not so. We have to pay for all we need; to beg we are not accustomed, and can not do it. I have used up my means, and also money which was my wife's; she was willing that I should use it for the sake of the gospel. Bro. Avondet has also used his own means to carry on the work.
We counseled together what would be the best for us to do, and come to this conclusion, to write to you and the churches in America, and ask this question: will the church in America sustain us with the necessary means for us to live, and the printed word to build up the church of Christ in these countries, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany, or not?
We are satisfied that the church can be built up here; that many will embrace it, when we can spend our time in spreading the truth; if the church can not sustain us immediately, then we are not able to stand any longer, and ask to be released, which would give us pain indeed to give up our mission when the Spirit testifies unto us that a great work can be done here; but we are in this position now, that we can see no way for us, if the church does not take immediate action in our behalf and the work of God in these countries. We also concluded that if the church in America would help us, we would like to travel together, if you give your consent to it; we think we could do more good in going together than single; two testimonies are better than one.
We hope the church will sustain, not only in word, but in deed also; or release us from our mission, and let better men try here with means only as we had. When the work is once started, then the mission will supply itself.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 21, pp. 177, 178.
The following from the Herald for March 1, will be found interesting:
Bro. David Smith is again ill. The abiding faith and prayer of the Saints are requested in his behalf. He has been so constantly engaged since he first began his ministry that he is missed very much, and almost constant inquiry is made about him.
Bro. Jason W. Briggs started for the field in Michigan on the l6th ultimo. Bro. Blair left for Wisconsin on the 17th ultimo.
Read the letter of Brn. Wandell and Roger in this number, and praise God that his Spirit watches over his work. Here is an illustration of what the church might have done in preventing evil doctrine from destroying the greatness of the work. The time will soon come when elders who wish to make a sacrifice of their lives to preach to the isles of the sea may have an excellent opportunity to do so. Who will go?
We left the quiet (?) of the "sanctum" on the 13th ultimo, and visited the Saints at Canton, Fulton County, Illinois, to be present with them during their services on Lord's Day. It has seldom been our lot to have a more enjoyable visit than we had with the Canton folks. It was in Canton that we read the rudimental principles of human law, in the office of Judge William Kellogg, now deceased. We formed many acquaintances during our stay in the town, and upon returning there after an absence of eighteen years, some of them gave us a very kindly welcome. The Saints in Canton, St. Davids, Orion, and Lewiston rallied, and on Sunday we held three services; two morning and evening, in the opera house, and an afternoon session in testimony-meeting in the Saints' "hired house," a small but pleasant hall. The evening service was largely attended, some hundreds being present. Bro. Jeremiah Jeremiah has charge of the flock at Canton; but on the occasion of our visit, Bro. Mark H. Forscutt had charge of the public services, morning and evening. The singing was good and cheering; of the preaching we have nothing to say; an excellent spirit seemed to prevail among the Saints. The citizens of Canton are quite interested in our people and very respectful and attentive during worship.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 21, p. 144.
March 6,1874, Elder A. H. Smith wrote a detailed account of his trip across the continent. Leaving his companion, Elder James McKiernan, at Council Bluffs, Iowa, he hurried on to California, arriving in Sacramento on July l9, 1873, and two or three days later in San Francisco, since which he had been engaged in getting the Australian missionaries off, and in other duties.
A letter from Elder J. Avondet from Geneva, Switzerland, dated March 24, 1874, brought the cheering news that the appeal for help had been responded to both from America and England, and he and Elder Bear had resumed work with renewed courage. Elder Bear had gone to Zürich, where he was soon to be followed by Elder Avondet.
The annual conference met at Plano, Illinois, April 6, 1874
Joseph Smith and W. W. Blair presiding; H. A. Stebbins, secretary; T. W. Smith and Z. H. Gurley assistants. The conference continued six days, adjourning on the 11th. The attendance was not so large as the year before, but the sessions were pleasant and harmonious. Among other items of business are the following:
President J. Smith offered his congratulations to the conference on the moral aspect of the church at the present. There was a strong feeling now to see righteous dealings among the brethren, and between them and all men. District and branch officers are disposed to call to accountability those who act otherwise; and it is exercising a salutary effect. In the world there is an increasing desire to hear the preaching of the word and the arguments of the elders in our defense. There is also a strong and increasing feeling of infidelity in the world. The preachers of other churches expect to attack us and make us their mark, but when infidelity or spiritualism presents its attacking forces, these other churches look for our elders to meet them. Brethren may feel a strong assurance of their position and a firm reliance of the truth of the latter-day work, and yet not go out of the way to attack any. The work in California is showing far better than ever before, and the efforts there to injure the work and destroy its efficacy failed to destroy the faithful or injure the work.
The efforts of the brethren in England have given them a hold upon those people with whom they have come in contact. In Wales also there are good prospects. The president also rehearsed the movement made in sending missionaries Wandell and Rodger to Australia, and the circumstance of their stop at Tahiti, saying, "It is a happy evidence of the directing watchcare of the Father."
One prominent cause of difficulty in the church in some places has come from an apparent love of office and power, creating personal animosity, and quarrel after quarrel has grown out of these and kindred feelings. In several places such difficulties yet continue, in Iowa, Kansas, Pennsylvania, and California.
Bro. Bays, of Kansas, had been relieved of the difficulties and wrong-doings alleged against him, and was laboring in Texas as appointed by the First Presidency.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 21, p. 257.
Preamble and resolution on death of Elder Isaac Sheen were adopted: 1
1Whereas, It having pleased our Father in heaven to call from labor and toil on earth to rest and reward in the paradise of God, our faithful brother, and servant of God, High Priest Isaac Sheen, who was also General Church Recorder and Church Librarian therefore be it
Resolved, That while we bow in humble submission to the will of God in this our bereavement yet we can not help but realize a deep and heart-felt sorrow that we have been thus deprived of the faithful and earnest labors of one whose course has always been that of a consistent Christian, and in his death the church has lost a steadfast and valiant
The following missions were sustained or appointed: C. W. Wandell and Glaud Rodger Australia; J. L. Bear and John Avondet to Germany, Italy, and Switzerland; J. T Davies in charge of Wales; J. C. Clapp and J. H. Hansen to the Southeastern Mission; D. H. Bays to Texas; James Caffall in charge of Spring River District; J. R. Lambert Southwestern Iowa, Eastern Nebraska, and Northeastern Kansas; W. H. Kelley, J H Lake, J. W. Briggs, E C. Briggs, C. G. Lanphear, Robert Davis, Duncan Campbell, E. C. Brand, George Hatt, James McKiernan, F. Ursenbach, Reuben Newkirk, D. B. Rasy, Gilbert Watson, S. B. Reeves, G. E. Deuel, J. W. Gillen, and J. S. Snively were sustained in fields to which they had been formerly appointed; Z. H. Gurley and Robert Warnock to Utah Mission; B. V. Springer and A. J. Fields Southern Indiana and Northern Kentucky; E. L. Kelley Minnesota and Michigan; George Shaw Nova Scotia; I. A. Bogue Michigan; Thomas Taylor in charge of European Mission; Benjamin Hughs in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin; M. H. Forscutt as circumstances permit; Robert Evans Wales; Nicholas Stamm in Central Iowa; Charles Derry Western Iowa and Nebraska, and S. J. Stone Eastern States. The following missionaries were released from former appointments: J. S. Patterson (after latter part of summer), William Redfield, G. T Chute, and Frank Reynolds.
The First Presidency and Bishopric were appointed a committee to appeal to the church for tithes and free-will offerings, to assist the missions, and for other legitimate purposes.
The following missions were made and described as follows: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, with T. W. Smith in charge; Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Nova Scotia, the Provinces, and New Brunswick, with J. C. Foss in charge, and Massachusetts, Rhode Island,
soldier of the cross, and an able advocate of the cause of scattered Israel. And be it
Resolved, That as a conference we sincerely and sorrowfully sympathize with his family in their loss of a husband and father, and offer them whatsoever consolation Christian affection and earnest prayer for divine strength to bear their loss, with patience, can afford, feeling to "weep with them that weep."-The Saints' Herald, vol. 21, p. 266.
Connecticut, and New York, C. N. Brown in charge.
A committee was appointed, consisting of Joseph Smith, J. W. Briggs, and Elijah Banta, "to adopt a style and form of church seal." This committee subsequently reported as follows:
"We, your committee on church seal, respectfully submit the following design, with legend, date, and motto: 'Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.' Emblem, a Lion and a Lamb lying down at rest. Motto, 'Peace.' 'Incorporated 1872.'"
The committee was continued and empowered to purchase the seal. This seal is still in use.
Henry A. Stebbins was chosen to the office of Church Recorder, and it was provided that he should act as Church Secretary ex officio, until a secretary be appointed.
John Scott was chosen Church Librarian.
It was provided by resolution "that the elders of the Quorum of Seventy use all practicable means to be at liberty to labor in their calling, and that the tithing fund, as far as practicable, be applied for the sustaining of their families while in the field."
Z. H. Gurley, who was called by revelation to the apostleship, was ordained on the 9th under the hands of Joseph Smith, W. W. Blair, and J. W. Briggs, and on the 10th John T. Davies, who was also called by the revelation of 1873 to the office of seventy, was ordained under the hands of J. W. Briggs and C. G. Lanphear. The following resolutions were adopted concerning church history and general assembly:
Resolved, That we recognize the necessity of a call for a General Assembly of all the quorums of the church authorities, so far as practicable, and we refer this matter to the President of the Church, praying that the Lord may direct respecting the proper time and place for said meeting. We further believe that the President has a right to call the meeting contemplated in this resolution.
Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed by this conference to collate, write, compile, and edit said history at as early a date as practicable.
The following resolution on the purchase of books was adopted:
That the Board of Publication be and are hereby empowered to purchase all books as are deemed necessary for church purposes, the same to be paid by the church, and such purchases not to exceed seventy-five dollars per annum.
The following persons were by vote received into the church on their original baptism: Ardilla Taylor, Alfred Guinand, Hyrum K. Drown, David Crider, Sarah Crider, Jesse Seelye, Mary Ann Seelye, Lucinda Updyke, Dimmis Dutcher, and Sarah Weaver.
The annual conference for the Pacific Slope was held at Sacramento, California, April 6 to 9. A. H. Smith presiding; J B. Price and Richard Ferris secretaries. The conference was a successful and pleasant one, closing its sessions by the adoption of the following:
Resolved, That we sustain Joseph Smith as president and W. W. Blair and D. H. Smith as his counselors; also the Quorum of Twelve, and all other quorums of the church in righteousness; also Elder A. H. Smith as president of the Pacific Slope Mission; and Elder H. Green as president of California Mission.
Resolved, That we accept services of Bro. A. Haws, and he is appointed to labor under direction of Pacific Slope Mission.
Resolved, That we heartily indorse [endorse] by our faith, prayers, and energetic actions, the reformatory spirit of the present great temperance movement in the land; praying that it may culminate in a true heaven-born temperance, in all things, and especially in speedily ending the crying evil of intemperance on the earth.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 21, p. 315.
Some time before Elder Charles Derry had temporarily dropped out of the active missionary force and had settled on a homestead in Madison County, Nebraska. He was not idle long, however, but worked locally to establish the church in that frontier region. On April 6, 1874, he wrote a cheery letter from Deer Creek, Nebraska, and closed with the following paragraph regarding the work in his vicinity:
Bro. Spencer Smith, on Cedar Creek, Antelope County, is doing his best; he is a worthy brother, and his family love the cause. Bro. Chauncey Loomis is president of Deer Creek Branch, and has the cause of God at heart. Bro. William Lewis has charge of the Shell Creek Branch, and is a worthy brother; but has been absent in the East all winter. It may be that the wilderness may yet blossom as the rose. In God's name, and by his help, we will do our best to make it so. The
elders and Saints in Columbus, you know their record needs no finishing touch of mine.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 21, p. 340.
April 3, 1874, Elder Isaac Sheen died at Plano, Illinois. Of his death the Herald of April 15 stated as follows:
It is with sorrow that we notice the departure from this life of Bro. Isaac Sheen.
A man so long known as a steadfast defender of the faith, and so intimately connected and acquainted with every step of the progress of the work, can but be seriously missed from his place by the church. An able and discriminating collector of statistics, a careful compiler of facts, he was a strong man in the points upon which he had collated his proofs. A man of radical temperament, he was quite positive in debate, and what was to him right, he defended with all his powers; what was wrong, he opposed with vehemence, without fear of persons or consequences; he made some enemies and many friends.
Bro. W. W. Blair, in his discourse upon the occasion of the funeral, said of Bro. Sheen:
"Bro. Isaac Sheen was born at, Leicestershire, England, December 22 1810. He emigrated to America in 1830, and for near ten years resided chiefly in Philadelphia and Germantown, Pennsylvania.
"He was raised under the influences of the Baptist Church, and drew thence, probably, his earliest thoughts concerning religion. On coming to America he associated largely with the Friends, for whom he formed a strong attachment. Like them, he took a deep interest in the cause of universal freedom; and he labored effectively for the abolition of American slavery, even periling his own life to secure to the colored man the sweets of human liberty that he himself enjoyed.
"In 1840, in the city of Philadelphia, he first heard the doctrines taught by the Latter Day Saints; and he received them with all readiness of mind, and in the same year was baptized and confirmed by Erastus Snow.
"In 1841 he was ordained at Kirtland, Ohio, by Elder Zebedee Coltrin, to the office of an elder
"In August, 1842, he went to Nauvoo, Illinois, and thence to Macedonia, Hancock County Illinois, where himself and family remained until January, 1846.
"At the time of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, he took decided grounds against the usurpations of Brigham Young and the Twelve. He was always an uncompromising and outspoken opponent of polygamy and its kindred evils, and used his time and means freely in combatting [combating] them.
"In 1846 himself and family located in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he remained till 1863, when they removed to this place.
"In October, 1859, he first met with the Reorganized Church, at a semiannual conference, at the residence of Bro. Israel L. Rogers, where he readily embraced the work, and united with us. He was appointed by this same conference to edit and publish, with the aid of Elders Wm. Marks
and W. W. Blair, The True Latter Day Saint' Herald. His connection with the Herald continued until 1872.
"On April 6, 1860, he was selected as the president of the High Priests' Quorum, which office he filled with ability and acceptance till his death. He was appointed Church Recorder, and also held that office at the time of his decease."-The Saints' Herald, vol. 21, pp. 240, 241.
The following items concerning the elders in the field are from the Herald of May 15:
Elder John T. Davies left Plano on the 16th of April for his field of labor in Wales. He was at Pittsburg [Pittsburgh] when we last heard from him.
Bro. T. W. Smith left for Amanda, Ohio, and the East on the 30th of April.
Brn. J. W. Briggs and Z. H. Gurley are still at Plano, Bro. Briggs recovering from illness, and Bro. Gurley doing local labor with excellent promise of success. He has filled an appointment near Courtland, Dekalb County, with great apparent good.
Bro. J. C. Clapp writes more and more encouragingly of the mission of himself and Bro. J. H. Hansen in Kentucky.
Bro. H. A. Stebbins was still at Pecatonira on the 2d, and would remain there preaching during that week, perhaps longer.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 21, pp. 307, 308.
On April 21 the First Presidency and the Bishopric in compliance with a resolution adopted by the General Conference made an urgent appeal for financial aid, and published their appeal in the Herald for May 1, 1874. 2
2 Brothers, Sisters, in Christ: The vastly inadequate help that the chief officers of the church, including the Bishopric, have been able to give to the various missions assigned by the church was never more strikingly and painfully made apparent than at our spring conference, when the reports of Brn. John S. Patterson, from England, John Avondet and John L. Bear, from Switzerland, were given.
The conference, taking into consideration the great necessity for present and direct aid, by resolution duly presented and adopted, authorized the Presidency and the Bishopric to make an appeal to the Saints for help.
We therefore, hereby present the fact, that our brethren who are in the field should be sustained there by the church; and that in order to do this it is imperatively necessary that means be forthcoming. And, as we know of but two methods by which such means can be legitimately raised, one by tithing, the other by free-will offering, or consecration, we, as officers of the church, as servants of Christ, and as coworkers for the upbuilding of Zion, do earnestly request you to set apart so much of your earthly substance as you feel willing to devote to the promulgation of the gospel, and place it in the hands of the Bishopric, as at the "apostles' feet," that it may be applied to the proper sustaining the missions which have been asked and taken.
There are tracts authorized for the missions-they must be paid for when printed. Our brethren abroad have not the means to pay for them; some, indeed, can only stay in the field by sustaining themselves there by manual labor, and labor is difficult to obtain in the old country. We must no longer be sluggards in this matter.
We believe any man can "consecrate of his substance" if he will; and we think he will if he has the love of God shed abroad in his heart.
April 27 Elder W. H. Kelley wrote of progress in Minnesota, and reported the favorable termination of a debate between himself and the Honorable Mr. Manning.
The following items are from the Herald for May 1:
Brn. Wendell and Rodger had baptized nine at Sydney, Australia, at last advices [advises], March 14. They were expecting to baptize again in a few days, and to organize the church there. The blessings of God seem to be with these brethren.
Bro. J. C. Clapp, writing from Farmington, April 8, says: "Bro. Hansen has baptized eight, all heads of families."
Bro. W. H. Garrett writes from Pittsburg [Pittsburgh], that four had been baptized there lately.
Four were baptized at Plano during and just after conference.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 21, p. 281.
Elder George N. Davison, under date of May 6, gives some interesting items from California. He states:
May 1, 1874, conference convened at Bro. J. H. Lawn's, San Benito Branch, and continued four days, with the best love and unity the writer ever witnessed. Upwards of a hundred Saints were present, including Elders Green, D. S. Mills, Alexander H. Smith, and J. R. Cook. It was a season long to be remembered, for the Spirit and power of God were present as demonstrated by unknown tongues, visions, and healing. Four were baptized, among whom was an old-time elder who labored in the field in the days of Joseph the Martyr. Brn. H. Jacobs and J. P. Burton were ordained elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Many were convinced of the truth of the work, and some are investigating.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 21, pp. 341, 342.
The following items were published in the Herald for June 1, 1874:
Bro. Daniel P. Lambert is teaching school near Burnside, Hancock County, Illinois, and preaching on Sundays. He has lately baptized some there, of whom the Spirit beareth witness.
Bro. Blair baptized two in Mission, La Salle County, Illinois, lately;
Come, then, Saints, let your faith be shown by your works; and let your works be commensurate with your desires for the advancement of the work of God, and your righteousness before him.
Nor can we forbear to say to you, that when Bro. John T. Davies gets into Wales, it is thought likely that the elders there will issue a small paper, to be printed periodically, in the Welsh language; Saints who feel interested in the mission can materially aid it by subscribing for that paper. Should the brethren decide to make the effort there, we ask for it a cordial co-operation.
Let us help "set up a standard against iniquity" by now putting forth an effort to sustain the Lord's ministry in the field; by tithes and offerings paid into the church treasury.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 21, pp. 284, 285.
Bro. Gurley, one at Sandwich; Bro. Stebbins, six at Pecatonica; Bro. J. Smith, two at Plano. Others are baptizing elsewhere, and so the work spreads.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 21, p. 337.
The following news from and comment on Australia was published in the Herald:
We are pleased to learn of Bro. C. W. Wendell, from Sydney, Australia, under date of June 5, 1874, that he has been favored with the receipt of letters and other mail matter from this place.
The enemy is not asleep, for Bro. Wendell says, "Spiritualism has been introduced here for the first time (I believe). It is creating quite an excitement. The sects are also trying very hard to get up a revival. Morning and midday prayer-meetings are in fashion. This excitement thins our congregations, and probably will for a while. My health is not the best. We are at peace among ourselves, and the Saints are rejoicing in the truth.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 21, pp. 465, 466.
June 11 Elder J. C. Clapp reported the organization of a branch near Farmington, Kentucky, to be under the care of Elder J. H. Hansen.
Elder J. T Davies wrote June 12 from Aberaman, South Wales, giving an account of his voyage and journey from America to that place, where he arrived on the 9th.
The following statement is from the pen of President Joseph Smith regarding the condition of President D. H. Smith:
Bro. David H. Smith is at Nauvoo, where he will probably remain during the summer and fall. . . . Letters lately received state that he is recuperating. He should have had rest from labor some time before he was compelled to take it. This constant warfare tells on the toilers.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 21, p. 368.
About this time Barnet Moses Giles, of Utah, a new aspirant for prophetic honors, issued a proclamation entitled, "A Voice from our Father and God in Heaven." He sent messages to President Brigham Young, of Utah, and also to Presidents Joseph and D. H. Smith of the Reorganization. He delivered some lectures in Utah but accomplished nothing, and his efforts soon ceased.
The elders in Europe had published in the Continental Herald and Swiss Times the following challenge to the elders from Utah:
Inasmuch as for several years some men who claim to be followers of
Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and are sent out as missionaries under Brigham Young, the Mahomet of the Rocky Mountains, Utah Territory, have preached not only in the United States of America, but also in nearly every country of Europe, that polygamy was instituted by said Smith, and that it was and is a true doctrine of said church; we find ourselves bound to make known to the public, that Joseph Smith never brought forth such a doctrine, never preached and never practiced it, and that this doctrine of polygamy is not and was never a doctrine of true Mormonism, and is contrary to the standard works of the church, namely: the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Book of Doctrine and Covenants. And we feel it our duty, first, to do all that is in our power to warn the people from such impostors and their abominable teachings, and secondly, to cast off this stain from Joseph Smith and the original church of Mormonism; and we therefore challenge these men who preach such doctrine, to prove it in public.
J. L. BEAR.
-The Saints' Herald, vol. 21, pp. 372, 373.
Thus in every place where the Utah elders and the elders of the Reorganization have met have the former been invited by the latter to discuss the issues, but they have steadfastly refused.
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