Previous chapter Table of Contents Next chapter
Vol. 1. Whole No. 5.] COMMERCE, ILLINOIS, MARCH, 1840 [Whole No. 5
A HISTORY, OF THE PERSECUTION, OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST, OF LATTER DAY SAINTS IN MISSOURI.
In August, 1836, the saints commenced settling upon their new location, in great numbers; and made preparations for the coming winter, by constructing comfortable dwellings for themselves, and gathering as much food for their cattle, horses &c. as their straitened circumstances would permit. Here they settled with the fond anticipation of being permitted to dwell in quietness and peace upon their possessions without molestation; consequently large entries of the public lands were made by individuals of the society, and extensive farms were soon opened; those who had not means to purchase lands, were under the necessity of loaning it of the citizens, at very high rates of percentage, frequently being compelled to pay fifty per cent. Others who could not obtain money by loan, would procure two or three months provision for their families, and then go to Fort Leavensworth or elsewhere, and work until they had earned enough to enter a forty or an eighty acre tract; thus by dint of hard labor and untiring perseverance, almost every man, in a few months found himself in the possession of sufficient land to make a good farm. In a few months nearly or quite all the best land of the territory, now known as Caldwell county, was purchased by the saints, several hundred buildings erected, and great preparations made for a crop the coming season. A principal part of the old inhabitants sold out and moved away, which however, were but few, there being only about fifteen or twenty families in the county.
Commencing a settlement at this season of the year, they were obliged to procure all their provision for themselves, and grain for their stock in the adjoining counties, and transport it some thirty or forty miles, which was a great detriment to the extensive improvements they were making. At the session of the Legislature, in the winter of 1836-7 an act was passed, calling the territory upon which the saints had settled, Caldwell co. The following spring it was duly organized, with proper officers, both civil and military. The emigration increased very rapidly, so much so, that notwithstanding the town of Far West had been laid out, and was building up very fast, yet several families, in the spring of 1837, moved still further north into the county of Daviess, some of whom entered lands and settled upon them, there being one township then in market which lay on the south side of the county, and immediately adjoining Caldwell on the north. Others purchased pre-emtion [preemption] rights, and settled upon the public domain, which was not in market, under the privilege of the pre-emtion [preemption] law.
Some time in the month of July, a mob spirit began to manifest itself in Daviess co. which continued to increase, until finally a lawless band of desparadoes [desperadoes] some twenty or thirty, headed by Mr. Adam Black, a Justice of the Peace, and Mr. Penniston a Colonel in the militia, went from house to house and warned every man, belonging to our society, to leave the county on or before a certain day by them specified, which was not far distant, or suffer the consequences, as they had resolved upon that day to clear the county of every Mormon in it. This intelligence, however, was not as terrifying as it might have been, had this been the first time that it had been proclaimed in the ears of the saints, but they, being made familiar with the sound in Jackson and Clay counties, were disposed to treat the subject at this time properly; therefore they informed this lawless banditti, that as for the day, it might come and go like all other days, but if it brought a mob with it they might expect a warm reception as every man would be at home well prepared for all such visitors; and as it respected leaving the county, that,
they would not do upon any consideration whatever. This had the desired effect, for the day came and passed off without any molestation, with the exception, of a few more threats being made on the part of the mob, which soon died away, and the idea of driving was hushed for the present.
In the mean time, the citizens of Caldwell were making every exertion to improve that county. The town of Far West was laid out one mile square, and the most of the lots sold; and in one year from the time of the first settlement in Caldwell, there were from one hundred to one hundred and fifty dwelling houses erected in that place, six dry good stores in operation, one grocery and several mechanic shops. There were in the county, nearly or quite three hundred farms opened and several thousand acres under cultivation also, four saw and five grist mills doing good business. Thus we can see that in the short space of one year, the solitary place was made glad for them, and the wilderness was converted into a fruitful field.
EXTRACT FROM THE BOOK OF MORMON
A Bitter fountain cannot bring forth sweet water:-Christ.
And now it came to pass that after I, Nephi, after that I had read these things which were engraven upon the plates of brass, my brethen [brethren] came unto me and said unto me, What meaneth these things which ye have read? Behold, are they to be understood according to the spirit and not the flesh? And I, Nephi, sayeth unto them, Behold, they were made manifest unto the prophet, by the voice of the spirit: for by the spirit are all things made known unto the prophet, which shall come upon the children of men, according to the flesh. Wherefore, the things of which I have read, are things pertaining to things both temporal and spiritual: for it appears that the House of Israel, sooner or later, will be scattered upon all the face of the earth, and also among all nations, and behold there are many who are already lost from the knowledge of those who are at Jerusalem. Yea, the more part of all the tribes have been led away: and they are scatterd [scattered] to and fro upon the isles of the sea: and whither they are, none of us knoweth, save that we now that they have been led away. And since that they have been led away, these things have been prophesied concerning them, and also concerning all those who shall hereafter be scattered and be confounded, because of the Holy One if Isreal [Israel]: for against him will they harden their hearts; wherefore, they shall be scattered among all nations, and shall be hated by all men.-Nevertheless, after that they have been nursed by the Gentiles, and the Lord hath lifted up his hand upon the Gentiles and set them up for a standard and their children shall be carried in their arms, and their daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders, behold, these things of which are spoken, are temporal: for thus is the covenants of the Lord with our fathers; and it meaneth us in the days to come, and also all our brethren who are of the House of Israel. And it meaneth that the time cometh that after all the House of Israel have been scattered and confounded, that the Lord God will raise up a mighty nation among the Gentiles, yea even upon the face of this land; and by them shall our seed be scattered. And after that our seed is scattered the Lord God will proceed to do a marvelous work among the Gentiles, which shall be of great worth unto our seed; wherefore, it is likened unto the being nourished by the Gentiles, and being carried in their arms, and upon their shoulders. And it shall also be of worth unto the Gentiles; and not only unto the Gentiles but unto all the House of Israel, unto the making known of the covenants of the Father of Heaven unto Abraham, saying, In thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. And I would my brethren, that ye should know that all the kindreds of the earth cannot be blessed, unless he shall make bare his arm in the eyes of all nations. Wherefore, the Lord God will proceed to make bare his arm in the eyes of all nations, in bringing about his covenant and his gospel, unto those who are of the house of Israel. Wherefore, he will bring them again out of captivity and they shall be gathered together to the lands of their inheritance: and they shall be brought out of obscurity, and out of
darkness; and they shall know that the Lord is their Savior and their Redeemer, the mighty one of Israel. And the blood of that great and abominable church, which is the whore of all the earth, shall turn upon their own heads; for they shall war among themselves, and the sword of their own hands shall fall upon their own heads, and they shall be drunken with their own blood. And every nation which shall war againts [against] thee, O house of Israel, shall be turned one against another, and they shall fall into the pit which they digged to ensnare the people of the Lord.-And all that fight against Zion, shall be destroyed. And that great whore, who hath perverted the right ways of the Lord; yea, that great and abominable church, shall tumble to the dust, and great shall be the fall of it. For behold, saith the prophet, the time cometh speedily, that satan shall have no more power over the hearts of the children of men: for the day soon cometh, that all the proud and they who do wickedly, shall be as a stubble; and the day cometh that they must be burned.-For the time soon cometh, that the fulness [fullness] of the wrath of God shall be poured out upon all the children of men: for he will not suffer that the wicked shall destroy the righteous. Wherefore he will preserve, the righteous by his power, even if it so be that the fulness [fullness] of his wrath must come, and the righteous be preserved even unto the destruction of their enemies by fire.-Wherefore the righteous need not fear: for thus saith the prophet, they shall be saved even if it so be as by fire.-Behold my brethren, I say unto you, that these things must shortly come yea, even blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke must come: and must needs be upon the face of this earth; and it cometh unto men according to the flesh; if it so be that they will harden their hearts against the Holy One of Israel for behold, the righteous shall not perish; for the time surely must come, that all they who fight against Zion, shall be cut off. And the Lord will surely prepare a way for his people unto the fulfilling of the words of Moses, which he spake, saying: A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.-And it shall come to pass that all those who will not hear that prophet, shall be cut off from among the people. And now I, Nephi, declare unto you, that this prophet of whom Moses spake, was the Holy One of Israel; wherefore he shall execute judgment in righteousness; and the righteous need for fear, for they are those who shall not be confounded. But it is the kingdom of the devil which shall be built up among the children of men, which kingdom is established among them which are in the flesh: for the time speedily shall come, that all churches which are built up to get gain, and all those who are built up to get power over the flesh, and those who are built up to become popular in the eyes of the world, and those who seek the lusts of the flesh and the things of the world, and to do all manner of iniquity; yea, in fine, all those who belong to the kingdom of the devil, are they who need fear, and tremble, and quake; they are those who must be brought low in the dust; they are those who must be consumed as stubble; and this is according to the words of the p ophet [prophet]. And the time cometh speedily that the righteous must be led up as calves of the stall, and the Holy One of Israel must reign in dominion, and might, and power, and great glory.-And he gathereth his children from the four quarters of the earth; and he numbereth his sheep, and they know him and there shall be one fold and one shepherd: and he shall feed his sheep, and in him they shall find pasture.-And because of the righteousness of his people, satan has no power; wherefore, he cannot be loose for the space of many years; for he hath no power over the hearts of the people, for they dwell in righteousness, and the Holy One of Israel reigneth. And now behold, I, Nephi, say unto you that all these things must come according to the flesh. But, behold, all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people shall dwell safely in the Holy One of Israel, if it so be that they will repent.
And now I, Nephi, make an end; for I durst not speak further as yet, concerning these things. Wherefore, my brethren I would that ye should consider that the things which have been written upon the plates of brass are true; and they testify that a man must be obedient to
the commandments of God. Wherefore, ye need not suppose that I and my father are the only ones that have testified, and also taught them. Wherefore, if ye shall be obedient to the commandments, and endure to the end, ye shall be saved at the last day.-And thus it is. Amen.
By Judge Higbee and Parley P. Pratt Ministers of the gospel, of the Church of Jesus Christ of "Latter-day Saints." to the citizens of Washington, and to the public in general.
FRIENDS AND FELLOW-CITIZENS: Aware of the anxiety of the public mind in relation to the faith and principles of our society, and of the many erroneous notions which are abroad concerning them, and which are calculated to prejudice the mind before we can obtain a hearing, we cheerfully offer this address, in order to give some imformation [information] of our real principles, and hope it will be perused in the spirit of candor in which it is written.
The "Latter-Day Saints" believe in the true and living God, and in Jesus Christ, the son of God, who was crucified, according to the Scriptures, and who rose from the dead the third day, and is now seated at the right hand of God as a mediater [mediator].
We also believe in the Holy Scriptures of the prophets and apostles, as being profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness, and that all mysticism of private interpretation of them ought to be done away. The Scriptures should be taught, understood, and practised [practiced] in their most plain, simple, easy, and literal sense, according to the common laws and usage of the language in which they stand-according to the legitimate meaning of words and sentences precisly [precisely] the same as if found in any other book.
Words are but signs of ideas; and if the Deity would communicate ideas to mankind by words, he must of necessity do it according to the laws of the language; otherwise the communication would be unintelligible or indefinite, and therefore unprofitable.-The prophetical and doctrinal writings contained in the Bible are mostly adapted to the capacities of the simple and unlearned-to the common sense of the people. They are the common sense of the people. They are designed to be understood and practised [practiced]; without which no one can profit by them.
The gospel dispensation revealed and established one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one Holy Spirit; in short one system of religion, one church, or assembly of worshippers united in their doctrine, and built upon the TRUTH; and all bearing the general name of Saints. God is not the author of jarring and discordant systems. His Kingdom is not divided against itself; and for this reason we have no confidence in the sects, parties, systems, doctrines, creeds, commandments, traditions, precepts, and teachings of modern times, so far as they are at variance with each other, and contrary to the Scriptures of truth. We have, therefore, withdrawn from all these systems of error and delusion, and have endeavored to restore the ancient doctrine and faith which was once delivered to the saints, and to build society upon the truth, in its purity and fullness, hoping thereby to enjoy the peculiar gifts and blessing which were so abundantly bestowed upon the church in ancient times.
In saying this we do not call in question the morality, the sincerity, or the spiritual enjoyment of individuals belonging to any religious system. On the contrary, we feel assured that there are many sincere and zealous persons in every denomination. It is the Principles we reject, not men. It is the System that we wish to see established in purity, that those who are builded upon it may be pure also. It is the fountain that should be pure, and then the stream is easily kept so.
But if any persons prefer their own doctrines to those which we consider to be true, and we cannot by reason and argument convince them of the correctness or ours, we wish them to have the privilege of enjoying their religious rights unmolested. We have no disposition to persecute them.
We hold it as the duty of all men to believe the gospel to repent of their sins, and to be immersed in water in the name of Jesus Christ for remission of sins. And we hold that all who do this in a proper manner, and under proper authority, are legally entitled to the remission of sins, and to the gift of the Holy Ghost, according to the Scriptures.-Now faith and repentance go before baptism as a necessary qualification; and, therefore, infant baptism is of no use. All penitent believers should be baptized with the faith and expectation of receiving remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Ghost, as much so as Naaman the Assyrian washed seven times in Jordan with the expectation of being healed of his leprosy; or as much so as the Israelites sounded the trumpets around the walls of Jericho with the expectation of their being thrown down; for the same God who attached a promise to the performance in these cases, has attached a promise to the conditions of the gospel. (See Acts, chapter 2.)
But now, concerning authority in the administrator. When a minister from England comes to our Government to do business as an ambassador, he must be commissioned by his Government, or all his transactions will be null and void, and England would never fulfil [fulfill] any promise which he might make in her name, however sincere our nation might be in believing him sent.
And so it is with the ambassador of Christ. He must be specially sent, or commissioned to minister in his name, or all his baptizing and other ordinances will be null and void, so as never to entitle the candidate to remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Ghost according to promise.
The "Latter-day Saints," after immersion, lay on hands, in the name of Jesus, for the gift of the Holy Ghost according to the ancient pattern. They are then considered saints, or members of the Church of Christ, in full fellowship and communion. They are
then taught to obserrve [observe] all things which are required or commanded by Christ and his apostles-such as meeting together often to sing, to pray, to exhort, to testify, to prophesy, to speak with tongues, to interpret, to relate their visions, revelations, and in short, to deify and perfect each other, be a free exercise of all the gifts of God as set in order among the ancient churches. We also teach them to walk in all the ordinances of God blameless: such as the partaking of bread and wine, in remembrance of his broken body and shed blood, on the first day of the week; and also, to send for the elders of the church, when any of them are sick, that they may pray for them, and lay their hands on them in the name of Jesus, or anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord, that he may be healed, according to the Scriptures. We also teach them to abstain from all immorality: such as injustice, pride, vanity, dishonesty, evil speaking, falsehood, hatred, envy, avarice, intemperance, adultery, fornication, lasciviousness, and to practise [practice] all the virtues; such as love to God and good will to man, brotherly kindness, charity, temperance, and industry. He that has two coats let him impart to him that has none, and he that has food let him do likewise; but he that will not work neither shall he eat. In short, we teach them to do all the good in their power-to visit the widow and the fatherless in their affliction, and to keep themselves unspotted from the world.
As to the fufillment [fulfillment] of prophecy, we believe in the great restoration of Israel, and the rebuilding of Jerusalem, in Palestine, and that, when that time comes, the Saviour [Savior] will come in the clouds of Heaven, and all the saints with him; that the dead in Christ will rise to meet him; and that he will destroy the wicked by the brightness of his coming, and bring the whole earth under his own dominion and put it into the possession of the saints; when there will be a reign of universal peace for one thousand years; after which comes the resurrection of the wicked and the last judgment.
As to the signs of the times, we believe that the gathering of Israel and the second advent of Messiah, with all the great events connected therewith, are near at hand. That it is time for the saints to gather together and prepare for the same. But we disclaim all fellowship with the predictions of the Rev. Mr. Miller, Rev. Joseph Wolff, and others-such as, that the Lord will come in 1840, 1841, 1843, 1847, and so on. We do not believe that he will come until the Jews gather to Palestine and rebuild their city.
Having given this brief sketch of our faith and principles thus far, the inquiry may arise whether we believe in any other writing or books besides the Bible? To which we reply in the affirmative; for, like all other Christians, we believe in every true book within our knowledge, whether on science, history, or religion. We have implicit confidence in the "Book of Mormon," not, however, as a new bible to exclude the old, as some have falsely represented. We consider the "Book of Mormon" as a historical and religious record, written in ancient times by a branch of the house of Israel, who peopled America, and from whom the Indians are descended.-The Book of Mormon corroborates and confirms the truth of the Scriptures, by showing that the same principles were revealed and enjoyed in a country and among a people far remote from the scenes where the Jewish bible was written.
Suppose a traveller [traveler] should find in China, in the East Indies, or in America, or New Holland, an historical record, handed down for thousands of years, or deposited in their sacred archives, or among their sepulchral ruins or their monuments of antiquity-and in this record should be found the principles of eternal truth, revealed to that nation, and agreeing with the revelation and principles contained in the Jewish records. Or suppose, for instance, when the ten tribes of Israel are discovered, preparatory to their return to Palistine [Palestine], a record would be found among them, giving their history from the time they were carried captive by Salmanezer, King of Assyria, and this record would be interspersed with prophecies and doctrine, as revealed among them since their captivity. Would it be any thing incredible or injurious in its nature, or any thing against the truths revealed in the Jewish records? Certainly not. So far from this, it would be hailed by every lover of truth as a most interesting and important discovery. Its light would be hailed as a new era in the history of the great events of modern times.
And similar in its nature is the Book of Mormon. It opens the events of ancient America. It pours a flood of light upon the world on subjects before concealed-upon the history of a nation whose remnants have long since dwindled to insignificance in midnight darkness, and whose former greatness was lost in oblivion, or only known by the remains of cities, palaces, temples, aqueducts, monuments, towers, fortifications, unintelligible inscriptions, sepulchres [sepulchers], and bones. The slumber of ages has now been broken. The dark curtain of the past has been rolled up.-The veil of obscurity has been removed as it regards the world called new. The ancient events of America now stand revealed in the broad light of history, as far back, at least, as the first peopling of the continent after the flood. This discovery will yet be hailed among all nations as one of the most glorious events of the latter times, and as one of the principal means of overwhelming the earth with knowledge. But why, then, is it so mush opposed and neglected at the present time? Why do prisoners groan in chains and martyrs bleed in its promulgation to the world? Answer. Upon the same principle that a Messiah was crucified, a Stephen stoned, a James slain, a Paul beheaded, a Peter crucified, a John banished, a Rogers, burned, a Columbus neglected, ridiculed, and envied, a Newton counted mad, and a Fulton laughed to scorn. In short, it is because they know not what it is.
N. B. If the people wish further information we are now here in Washington, and would freely avail ourselves of the opportunity of giving a course of lectures, if a suitable house and audience can be obtained.-We are willing, also, to supply the public
with such books as will give information on our religion, as well as the history of our unparalleled persecution in Missouri.
We reside, at present, at the corner of 9th and D streets. We are, respectfully.
E. HIGBEE. P. P. PRATT. Washington. February 9, 1840.
P. S. Editors through the States would oblige us by publishing the above.
New York, Feb. 19th, 1840 Brigham Young, H. C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, and P. P. Pratt, to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Commerce, Ill. and to the Saints in general, GREETING. Dear brethren, after so long a time we have met in New York and are about to sail for England. We have bespoke our passage on the old ship Garrick, which carried out Elder Kimball, and others three years since, we sail on Tuesday the 25 inst.
Bro. George Smith was here also, and is gone to Pensylvania [Pennsylvania] on a short mission and will probably be here to go with us. Bro. Hadlock is here, and is also going; Elders Taylor, Woodruff, Turley, and Clark have already gone over to Eng. Most of us have had a very long and tedious journey, and have suffered much from sickness &c, and some are not yet wholly free from the lingering chills and fever, more particularly elder Smith. In journeying through the several states we found many brethren, friends and churches, and many elders who were laboring to advantage; the work is rolling on.-Indeed there were many elders whom we had never heard of before, that were preaching and baptizing, and ordaining other elders, who were still rolling the work of truth, wide and more wide; and thus it spreads. Br. Kimball baptized one in Weathersfield, Genesce co N. Y. and 3 in victor Ontario co. near where the records were found. Many were believing, and a very urgent door for preaching, such as he has seldom witnessed. He has been taken down with the fever four different times on his journey, and has sufferred [suffered] much; but has persevered, and is brought through in safety, and is now tolerably well.
When we reflect upon the mountains of embarrassment which have intervened, to prevent the Twelve from accomplishing their present mission, and consider that most of them have persevered, through mobs, murderers, robbers, thieves; and through storms of persecution, poverty, sickness and death, and at last find themselves upon the sea shore, in health and peace and plenty; ready to set sail, it is a matter of joy and consolation to us and fills our hearts with gratitude to that god [God] who commanded us to cross the mighty deep for Christ's sake and the gospel's. We consider that there is no instance on record where men have been called to so great an undertaking, under the same circumstances of poverty, sickness and distress; both ourselves, families, and brethren; but yet through the mercy of God, we think the mission will be accomplished, and will stand on record, for the wondering gaze of succeeding ages, and to God and the Lamb be all the praise and glory.
When we contrast the parting of Jacob and his son Benjamin, at the time of sending into Egypt for corn, and how it grieved the Patriarch to part with his son for so short a journey, with our having to part with tender wives and helpless offsprings, under cirstances [circumstances ] of poverty, sickness, and death, robbed, plundered and driven, houseless, and unprovided for, either the journey or for our families. When we look upon the sufferings of the society around them, and think on the many long miles of our journey and sickness we have had to endure by the way, also the mighty deep which lies before us, and the distance which well separate us from home and country, and friends and wives and children, and from all things naturally dear to our hearts, we are led to think that our sacrifice is almost as great as the old Patriarch's was in the absence of his son; but God will give us grace to perform all these things; and we hope that our transit from sorrow to joy may be like Jacob's when he found that Joseph was yet alive and had sent waggons [wagons] and a great preparation to carry all Israel to Joseph the young dreamer, who had been lost but now was found; who had been in bondage, and in chains and dungeons, but was now exalted to a
prince, and was able to settle his Israelite relations in the best of the land. ("He that hath ears to hear let him hear." We would renewedly [renewably] commend our families to the mercy of God and to the kind attention of the saints, and ourselves to their prayers. We hear continually of the sickness and deaths which still prey upon the Saints in the west, and feel to cry how long O! Lord.
The work of the Lord is still rolling on in all this region where it is preached. The church in Philadelphia now numbers near one hundred, and 8 or 10 come forward for baptism almost daily; some are still coming forward in New York, doors are open more than can be filled at present. The Saints here in N. Y. are filled with faith and joy and charity and hospitality, and the same may be said of the saints in general in all this region.-The spirit that prevails is "westward Ho!" to suffer, to live, or to die with the saints their brethren. There is scarce a saint here who would stay another month if they had means to go west. It is the bad times here and not the good times which keeps them from emigrating. There is but little money, little employment, little business of any kind here, and consequently they are most all groaning in poverty; but their deep poverty abounds unto the riches of their liberality, in forwarding the elders on their journey, and in every good work., while some of them almost lack daily bread. We think at present the church in N. York, with the utmost economy would not be able to emigrate, if land could be given them free of cost when they get there, much less to purchase; yet they hope to come some time another, through the utmost perseverance and industry, and looking to God to open their way: Brethren pray for them. Concerning printing in the west, Br. Charles Ivin of New Jersey, (one of the committee to raise means in this country) had concluded some time ago that he would spare five or six hundred dollars, which we hope he will forward to Commerce for that purpose, We are glad to hear of your resolutions in Commerce for that purpose. We are glad to hear of your resolutions in Commerce to publish the word of God, and pray that you may be successful, and we would take this opportunity to exhort the saints who have not been reduced to poverty by persecution to aid liberally in this matter, as the fulness [fullness] of the gospel as well as a good Hymn book is very much wanted abroad. It is awful times of distress, perplexity, and embarrassment in the commercial world, both here, and in Europe. Tens of thousands are starving, or living on charity. Fires and tempests, ship wrecks, and famine, fearful sights and great signs, the sea heaving beyond its bounds, and all nations are perplexed beyond measure. Merchants weep and howl because no man buyeth their merchandize [merchandise] any more. But the saints rejoice, for they know what it means.
Elder P. P. Pratt has just returned from Washington city, after warning them faithfully. Whether he will be able to go with us to Eng. at this time is uncertain; he could have done it had he not been called to Washington just as he was getting ready to cross the ocean. but it is a good thing that he went to Washington, for by so doing we can go from America feeling our duty to this Government for the present more fully done.
We must now close by saying, may the the God of Israel bless and preserve the saints in America, and deliver them from their great tribulation, may he go before us, and be with us and enable us to return to this land with our hundreds of thousands of souls saved in the kingdom of God.
We remain your brethren in the everlasting covenant.
P. P. PRATT,
H. C. KIMBALL,
Commerce, March 4th, 1840.
BROS. SMITH & ROBINSON, Having a few moments leisure time, I cheerfully improve them in communicating a few lines to you; and should you think them worthy of a place in your paper, you are at liberty to give them an insertion.
On the 14th of Nov. last, I left this place on a journey eastward, intending to go as far as Philadelphia. At that time I had just began to recover from a long course of the fever and ague, having been afflicted with that disease about 4 months. When I arrived
at Springfield, I fell in company with Brother George W. Robinson, of this place, who was going eastward to Vermont & other States, having with him the history of the church from 1833, written by President Rigdon, read and approved of by the Quincy conference. His design was to procure the printing of this book and put it into immediate circulation, together with some other business. We agreed to unite our exertions to accomplish this work; and having been spoken to by President Rigdon previous to this time, to take an active part in publishing it, I the more readily took hold with bro. R. to throw out before the world a history of the various persecutions which this church has suffered since its organization in 1830.
We pursued our journey in company as far as Putman co. Ia. In crossing one of those large prairies in this State, a violent storm of wind, snow, rain and hail arose from the north-east, which we were compelled to face, brought the ague upon me again. We lay by, a day or two at bro. William Hauks, who received and treated us with the greatest kindness. He lives about sixteen miles west from Terre Haute. We held a consultation in Pleasant Garden, Ia. where it was advised for me to remain for a season, and preach the gospel, and raise all the funds I could to defray the expenses of printing the book. Bro. Robinson went on to Cincinatti [Cincinnati] and engaged the printing of the work at that place and informed me immediately by letter. I continued laboring in the vicinity of Pleasant Garden for a number of weeks. There were many, apparently, believing the gospel; but few were ready to obey it. Yet there is a prospect of doing much good; and if some experienced elder would call and spend some time there, I am persuaded that great good would be the result.
About the first of January, I began to exert myself to raise funds to pay for printing the book at Cincinnatti [Cincinnati].-I called upon some of the rich men who professed to be brethren in the church; and asked their liberality for this very necessary work. But they said like one of old, "go thy way for this time; and at a more convenient season I will call for thee," or assist thee. I called at another time; but that convenient time never came. There are men who wish to be thought very liberal and philanthropic if they can without being to any expense about the matter: But when a draft is made upon their purse their philanthropy retreats behind the bulwarks of a thousand specious and plausible excuses. God knows just how much virtue and righteousness there are in them all; and may HE reward such according to their liberality. I visited some of the poor brethren in the same place, and found them willing to divide the last shilling, and the last loaf. How great the contrast! It reminds me of the poor beggar and the rich man that we read of in the bible: Also, of the words of Christ which say, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." I am happy to say however; that I found those who were willing to assist; and did relieve me out of all my trouble in that respect. There are men who have forecast enough to make to themselves friends with the mammon of unrighteousness, that when they fail on earth, they may be received into everlasting habitation. As they wanted not their right hand to know what their left hand doeth; I say may the Lord bless them forever. Let their companion be the son of peace; and let him never depart from their habitation. Let their business be prosperous, and their fields bring forth in plenty. Let the arm of the Lord protect them, and his angels guard their way. In the midst of these exertions I have been much afflicted with the ague; and also, while preaching the gospel. About the 6th of Jan. I started for Cincinnatti [Cincinnati] to get the books and carry them on eastward to distribute them and raise all the funds I could for the church, but when I arrived there, the books were not done, and would not be short of about ten days, at this time my health became so poor through exposure etc. that I abandoned the idea of going any farther east at that time; but concluded to leave the books and return directly home, and take some little time to recruit my health; and also, till the cold weather was past, and then try it again.
I now expect to leave for England soon, by way of Cincinnatti [Cincinnati], Philadelphia
and New York; and I humbly ask the prayers of all the saints that God may go with me, and prosper his work exceedingly through my instrumentality.
It is with joy, I anticipate the day of siting [sitting] under a large oak with brother Turley on the other side of the Atlantic; and meeting with the saints in England once more. As ever, I am your friend and brother in the kingdom & patience of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Eebruary [February] 8th, 1840.
BRO'S. SMITH & ROBINSON, Dear brethren: I improve this opportunity of addressing a few lines to you, to inform you of the spread of truth in the State of Michigan.
I left the city of New York the 5th of Aug. 1838, and came to the State of Michigan: I commenced laboring in Lenawee co. I there raised up and organized a church of 11 members. I still continued my labors in different parts of the State as the way opened, and in the fall of 1839, I removed from Lenawee co. to Washtenaw co. where I continued my labors: I was greatly assisted by the visit of brother Orson Pratt when on his way to England, he called and tarried with me two weeks, and preached 14 sermons, which greatly excited the minds of the people, and they began to search their bible to see if these things were so.
Since he left I have continued preaching, and the honest has still continued searching; while those whose crafts are in danger, still continue to oppose: but, (say they,) "we could get along with it very well if it was not for Joe Smith, and that Book of Mormon;" and while they saw the truth was spreading, and the honest were searching, they thought to stop the cause of Christ and break down the truth. A Baptist challenged me for a debate on the book of Mormon; I accepted it, the day was then appointed for the debate to commence: he then asked me if he might get who he pleased to assist him: I told him he might, he then employed three to assist him, one Methodist and two Universalians: We met on the 16th of January at 11 o'clock A. M. with a large congregation to investigate the truth of this wonderful Book. We then chose two moderators on each side, and they chose the fifth man to give the descision [decision], and if he did not wish to give the descision [decision], it should be given by a vote of the congregation.-The question was then written and handed to the Judge, and also the number of minutes that we were to speak on each side, which was confined to 20; the question was this, "Is the book of Mormon a divine revelation from God." We then commenced and spoke four times each, and then gave an intermission of 15 minutes: commenced again and spoke three times on each side, we then dismissed till seven in the evening. The congregation then gathered, and we commenced and made three more pleas on each side, and then submitted the question for decission [decision]: The Judge then arose and said he would not give the descision [decision], for he was not a believer in either book, but should call upon the congregation to give the descision [decision]: he then called the vote as follows: Has the book of Mormon been proven to be a divine revelation, from God, this day by the weight of argument, you that do believe that it has, may signify it by the raising of the right hand; all hands were raised through the whole assembly, both men and women. My opponants [opponents] said they would not allow that vote, and that none should vote but the male adults, and that should be by their rising up. They were all seated that could be, and the question was again stated by the judge, and the male adults arose and they counted 35; they then took their seats, and the vote was called on the negative, and 3 arose on their side. And thus I can truly say, that the saying of Isaiah is fulfilling, where he says, "For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid."-Thus you see the cause of truth is onward with Omnipotent strength in the State of Michigan: Since that debate I have had calls in every direction of the country, and also great calls for the book of Mormon to read for themselves, and wish to now [know] of me how long before you will have more of them for sale, and also your hymn books.
I preach from 5 to 6 times a week, and sometimes more, and then cannot
fill all the calls; the harvest is truly great and the laborers but few.
Yours in the bond of of the everlasting covenant. M. SIRRINE.
TIMES AND SEASONS
COMMERCE, ILL. MARCH, 1840.
APOLOGY-We are sorry to say that this number has been delayed beyond its usual time, but the circumstances have been unavoidable; our paper, (although purchased last fall at Cincinnatti, [Cincinnati] did not arrive until the last of the present month, which has been a great disappointment to us, as well as our patrons.
IMPORTANT FROM WASHINGTON
Below will be found a report from the committee on the Judiciary, to which was referred the memorial presented by a delegation of brethren sent from this place, last fall, to Washington, to petition Congress for redress for the wrongs we have sustained by the mob in Missouri.
The memorial was accompanied by a large number of documents seting [setting] forth the true situation of the case, and plainly showing that the petitioners had made application to all the constituted authorities of Missouri for redress, in vain; and that the Governor, instead of granting them protection, as citizens, had issued his order to have them all EXTERMINATED,-an order, which this committee very well knows, was in open violation of the constitution of the United States, and a violation of all law, either human or Divine, still they did not feel themselves authorized to interpose in the matter, because it transpired in the SOVREIGN [sovereign] State of Missouri.-No! they could not heed the cries of helpless widows and orphans, made so by the execution of the most unhallowed order ever issued by man. The cries of bleeding innocence could have no impression upon their minds,-constitutional rights, cruelly wrested from upwards of one hundred thousand American citizens, could not induce this magnanimous committee to put forth the helping hand, for a moment, to their relief: but at the very first call from the greatest forgerer in America, William P. Rathbone, they were ready to report a bill for his relief-which they did do, at the same time, this report was offered; this is a fair specimen of the notions of Justice, cherished in the bosom of the wise men and rulers of the nation. Oh Liberty! whether hast thou fled? Oh Patriotism! whether hast thou gone? surely the balances are fallen from the hands of Justice; the wreath no longer encircles the head of Liberty; and Republicanism has bowed at the shrine of despotism and tyrany [tyranny].
Report of the Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the memorial of a delegation of Latter Day Saints, commonly called Mormons:
The petition of the memorialists sets forth, in substance, that a portion of their sect commenced a settlement in the county of Jackson, in the State of Missouri, in the summer of 1831: that they bought lands, built houses, erected churches, and established their homes, and engaged in all the various occupations of life: that they were expelled from that county in 1833, by a mob, under circumstances of great outrage, cruelty, and oppression, and against all law, and without any offence [offense] committed on their part, and to the destruction of property to the amount of $120,000: that the society thus expelled amount to about 1,200 souls, that no compensation was ever made for the destruction of their property in Jackson: that after their expulsion from Jackson county, they settled
in Clay county, on the opposite side of the Missouri river, where they purchased lands, and entered others at the land office, where they resided peaceably for three years, engaged in cultivation and other useful and active employments, when the mob again threatened their peace, lives, and property: and they became alarmed, and finally made a treaty with the citizens of Clay county that they should purchase their lands, and the Mormons should remove, which was complied with on their part, and the Mormons removed to the county of Caldwell, where they took up their abode, and re-established their settlement, not without heavy pecuniary losses and other inconveniences; that the citizens of Clay county never paid them for their lands, except for a small part. They remained in Caldwell from 1836 until the fall of 1838, and during that time had acquired, by purchase from the Government, the settlers and pre-emptioners, almost all the lands in the county of Caldwell, and a portion of the lands in Daviess and Carroll counties; the former county being almost entirely settled by the Mormons and they were rapidly filling up the two latter counties.-Those counties, when the Mormons first commenced their settlement, were, for the most part, wild and uncultivated, and they had converted them into large and well improved farms, well stocked. Lands had risen in value from 10 to 25 dollars per acre, and those counties were rapidly advancing in cultivation and wealth; that in August, 1838, a riot commenced, growing out of an attempt of a Mormon to vote which resulted in creating great excitement and the perpetration of many scenes of lawless outrage, which are set forth in the petition; that they were finally compelled to fly from those counties; and on the 11th of October, 1838, they sought safety by that means, with their families, leaving many of their effects behind; that they had previously applied to the constituted authorities of Missouri for protection, but in vain. They alledge [allege] that they were pursued by the mob; that conflicts ensued; deaths occured [occurred] on each side; and, finally a force was organized, under the authority of the Governor of the Sate of Missouri, with orders to drive the Mormons from the State, or exterminate them. The Mormons thereupon determined to make no further resistance, but submit themselves to the authorities of the State. Several of the Mormons were arrested and imprisoned on a charge of treason against the State: and the rest, amounting to about 15,000 souls, fled into the other States, principally in Illinois, where they now reside.
The petition is drawn up at great length, and sets forth, with feeling and eloquence, the wrongs of which they complain; justifies their own conduct, and aggravate that of those whom they call their persecutors, and concludes by saying that they see no redress, unless it be obtained of the Congress of the United States, to whom they make their solemn last appeal as American citizens, as Christians, and as men. To which discision [decision] they say they will submit.
The committee have examined the case presented by the petition, and heard the views urged by their agent with care and attention; and, after full examination and consideration, unanimously concur in the opinion that the case presented for their investigation is not such a one as will Justify or authorize any interposition by this Government. The wrongs complained of are not alledged [alleged] to be committed by any of the officers of the United States, or under the authority of its Government in any manner whatever. The allegations in the petition relate to the acts of the citizens and inhabitants, and authorities of the State of Missouri, of which State the petitioners were at the time citizens and inhabitants. The grievances complained of in the petition are alledged [alleged] to have been done within the territory of the State of Missouri. The committee, under these circumstances, have not considered themselves justified in inquiring into the truth or falsehood of the facts charged in the petition. If they are true, the petitioners must seek relief in the court of Judicature of the State of Missouri, or of the United States, which has the appropriate Jurisdiction to administer full and adequate redress for the wrongs complained of, and doubtless will do so fairly and impartially; or, the petitioners may, if they see proper, apply to the Justice and magnanimity of the State of Missouri-an appeal which the committee feel Justified in believing will never be made in vain by the injured or oppressed.-It can never be presumed that a State either wants the power, or lacks the disposition, to redress the wrongs of its own citizens committed within her own territory, whether they proceed from the lawless acts of her officers, or other persons.
The committee therefore report that they reccommend [recommend] the passage of the following resolution:
RESOLVED, That the Committee on the Judiciary be discharged from the further consideration of the memorial in this case; and that the memorialists have leave to withdraw the papers which accompany their memorial.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Rom. 1:19
The word gospel, in its first and simple signification, is good tidings, it matters not from what source they come; but when applied to Jesus Christ it refers to those holy precepts and pure principles emanating from the Author of our exisence [existence], and is here defined by the apostle, as the power of God manifested in the salvation of the believer. Here was power in that gospel which the apostles administered to the world to save those who believed it. When I speak of salvation, in this treatise, I mean salvation in its most unlimited sense to become an heir of God, and joint heir with Christ; to become one
with Christ, as he and the Father are one; to overcome, and set down on his throne, as he overcame and sat down on his Fathers; to be made perfect, as he is in all things pertaining to the kingdom of God, is to be saved. To exalt mankind to this high station, is the design of the gospel of Christ. However nearly allied to this, may be the systems of men, they will come infinitely short of effecting this object. This gospel may be perverted, and so changed, as to loose [lose] its efficacy, and not have power to save those who believe it.-No substitute, nothing but the thing itself will answer. I have often heard men say that the sincere worshiper would be saved, it matters not what religious system be embraced. If this theory be correct, sincerity becomes the principle means of salvation instead of obedience to the gospel, and the sincere Mussleman [Muslim ?] who bows at the shrine of Mahomed [Mohammed ?]: The ignorant Hidoostan who worships the work of men's hands; The zealous Roman who confesses to his priest, and the honest prottestant [Protestant] of modern times, will all be united with the apostles in the kingdom of God-however wide may be their differences in this life.
It was not because the Galatians were not sincere, that Paul said, I fear lest I have bestowed labor upon you in vain; it was because the gospel he administered to them, had been perverted by others attemping [attempting] to teach, and the Galations [Galatians] became their adherents.-Not that they preached another gospel, or denied the fundamental principles of the gospel of Christ; but subverted it by making as they supposed, additions and improvements. See Gal. 1:6,10. Being in possession of these facts, the apostle indignantly says, I would that they were even cut off that trouble you. He also says, though we, or an angel from heaven preach any other than that we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Paul had but little hopes of, or fellowship with, those subverters of the gospel, however zealously they might advocate its fundamental principles: for of itself, it is a perfect system, and will make those perfect who obey it. It is a scheme of infinite wisdom, therefore its perfection consists in its being just what it is, and nothing else; for were it susceptible of improvement, it would argue that is was not perfect, for perfection reaches beyond improvement, therefore, any alteration in its ordinances, or any of its ramifications, tend to destroy its power of saving, or perfecting men: Hence the necessity of Christ bestowing on those whom he called to preach the gospel, the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, that leads into all truth; this he said should bring all things to their remembrance, whatsoever he has spoken unto them. John 19:26, also 16:13. Being thus endowed with the spirit and power from on high, they were capable of teaching that system which Christ delivered to them, without alteration; for the comforter brought to their minds what they had forgotten, and lead them into all truth and prevented the introduction of error. The Lord never called a man to that office, unless he qualified him in that manner, for that qualification is absolutely necessary for the salvation of the world; for without it the gospel never was and never will be preached in purity, and administered in righteousness, consequently will not make those pure to whom it is administered. Therefore, as Paul said, so say I, how can a man preach, except he be sent. Answer he can teach for doctrine, the commandments of men, and make void the law of God through the traditions of the fathers, as did the Scribes and Pharisees of old. The lack of that calling and qualification in the multitude of modern divines, is evidently the cause of contentions, differences, and divisions in the christian world, and of the dublety that rest upon the minds of the religious world, relative to the true points of Christ's doctrine. In view of what is above stated the apostle said, 2nd Timothy, 4:3, 4 . for the time will come, when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears, and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and they shall be turned to fables. Having made these remarks to prepare the mind, I shall now proceed to examine the gospel as preached by the apostles. E. S.
Carthage Hancock Co. Ill. February the 6th 1840.
To the Editors of the Times and
Seasons, and all the saints of our God, and fellow laborers in the dispensation of the fullness of times, greeting.
Dear brethren, realizing that all the faithful are wishing to hear from the Elders abroad, and to know how the work of pruning the vinyard [vineyard], progresses in these last days; I have thought proper to give you a short sketch of my, labors since the 6th of July, 838 : for on that day I started from Kirtland, Ohio, with my family in company with the camp of saints (called the Kirtland camp) numbering in all women and children five hundred aud [and] fifteen souls fifty eight teams, a large number of cows &c. This company consisted principally of the poor saints of Kirtland with the sick, lame, blind and all that could not move without assistance.-We had a fine journey to Dayton Ohio, when we stoped [stopped] and labored four weeks on the turnpike then resumed our journey and arrived at springfield, (the seat of goverment [government] for Illinois) Sep. the 15th, and finding that several in the camp were sick with fevers, the Council thought best for me to stop and take care of them which I accordingly did by renting a house and taking them into it and making other nesessary [necessary] provisions for their comfort. I then commenced preaching in Springfield in my own hired house, but the prejudice of the people (on account of the difficulties at Far West) were so great that they generally would not hear, but a few were enquiring [inquiring]. When many of the brethren who were coming from the east heard that I was in Springfield, they turned thither and stoped [stopped] also and I soon organized them into a branch of the church called the Springfield branch over which I was apointed [ appointed] to preside, after which we held our meetings in the Campbellite meeting house I continued preaching in Springfield and its vacinity [vicinity] until January 8th, 1839, the church at this time numbering about forty members in good standing. I then removed my family to Carthage Hancock Co. Ill. in the vacinity [vicinity] of Crooked Creek; and in April I baptized several and organized a branch of the church called the crooked Creek branch over which I was chosen to preside, which I have endeavered [endeavored] to do, preaching to the church and in other places until the present time having had many calls for preaching which I could not attend to on account of my ill health and indigent circumstances. I have baptized and confirmed in this vicinity fifteen members, and Br. John E. Page has baptized several, and James Carle two: this branch numbers about fifty members in good standing and many more appear to be believing whom I hope will soon become Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise, by being baptized for the remission of their sins.
Now let thy servant O our God! And gathering home to Zion's land,
Be cloth'd with power divine; Which was to Joseph given:
That they may spread thy truth abroad That they in safety their may stand,
And cause the light to shine: When Christ descends from heaven:
'Mong nations who, in darkness are, To burn the wicked in his wrath,
For darkness fills the earth, And to receive his bride;
That they may shun the devils snare With righteousness to fill the earth,
By having a new birth. Which then is purified.
From your fellow laborer in he gospel of Jesus Christ. JOEL H. JOHNSON.
For the Times and Seasons.
Nauvoo, Feb. 4th, 1840.
To the President of the quorum of High-priests:
Dear Sir, and beloved brother in tribulation.
As I was not with the Church in Missouri in their almost unparalleled afflictions, yet I suffered (although not phissically) [physically] with bleeding Zion.-And thinking that a brief account of my labors in the vinyard [vineyard] of the Lord, would not be unaccepted, I have thought proper to drop you a few lines.
I became a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, on the 2nd of July 1832 and at the same time was ordained an elder and immediantly [immediately] commenced travelling [traveling] and proclaiming the fulness [fullness] of the gospel, and
since that time I have baptized into the church in all 123 persons 20 or more of which have been ordainad [ordained] to the ministry, I have travelled [traveled] and preached the gospel in some 14 states and preached some in Upper Canada, during this time I have had several debates and have discussed the subject of our faith with various gentlemen publicly and privately in several different places and I can say that as yet the Lord has verified his promise and has not forsaken me for which I feel to render sincere and unfeigned thanks to his Holy name.
Although as yet no man has laid violent hands upon me, yet my life has been threatened and mobs have come out against me, and all this for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I commenced travelling [traveling] in the northen [northern] and eastern states, since then I have spent 2 years in the states of Virginia and North Carolina. When in North Carolina; a most unwaranted [unwarranted] and unparallelled [unparalleled] persecution was raging against the saints in Missouri, meanwhile misrepresentations touching the troubbles [troubles] in Missouri and our faith were spreading in every direction through the papers of the day and by letters from the hostile Missourians, some of whom had gone to Missouri from Virginia and North Carolinia [Carolina], and were writing to their friends in the south and abusing the suffering saints in Missouri by misrepsesenitng [misrepresenting] them in the worst manner, this together with the opposition of the sectarian clergy, created no small excitement in the south, a certain portion af [of] the inhabitants combined and united their efforts to destroy the work of the Lord in that region upon the principle of the Missouri mob, but without avail, for the principal leading characters in the country discountenanced the mob and no violence was committed. It was during this that I published a small pamphlet, for the purpose of correcting the misrepresentations, which had prejudiced the public against the Latter Day Saint, and then circulated this pamphlet gratis by mail in almost every direction, this had the desired effect for as the pamphlet circulated prejudice and hostile feelings seemed to abate on every side, as I had no means of obtaining all the particulars of the Missouri persecution, but few particulars are in the pamphlet, and as it was extremely difficult to obtain confirmed facts, likewise in it are some few mistakes, but I believe nothing of any particular consequence, my faith and confidence in the presidency and in the church are good, and I wish to be considered as a living stone in the temple of the Lord. I am determined through the grace of God to be a humble faithful follower of our Divine Master, and to perform my part in the building up of the kingdom of these last days, preparatory to the second advent of the Mosiah [Messiah] , when his faithful servants shall rest from all toils and sorrows that they have experience while passing through this vail [veil] of tears, wherein I may have erred I pray for forgiveness from the Lord, and his church, and ask of our Heavenly Father wisdom and strength to enable me to eye his glory in all things and magnify my calling and adorn my profession as his servant that I with all the faithful saints may see him come with the clouds of Heaven, and be caught up to meet the church of the first born.
Please accept assurances of my high consideration and esteem, and believe me truly your bother in the gospel
FRANCIS G. BISHOP.
P. S. By means of certain testimonials from highly respectable sources in the south together with the pamphlet before mentioned, I had ready access to many of the inhabitants of the State of Kentucky. I was kindly received and gave lectures correcting the misreprsentations [misrepresentations] against us in some eight large towns in that State and frequently was solicited to return, or send some other preacher that way. F.G.B.
Philadalphia [Philadelphia] Pa. Jan. 29th, 1840.
ELDER D. C. SMITH,
Highly esteemed brother in the bonds of the new and everlasting covenant: It really rejoices my heart to be able to state to you that the work of the Lord, even the fulness [fullness] of the everlasting gospel is spreading, and prospering mightily in these earstern [eastern] lands. I have calls in every direction, on the right hand and on the left.-
A dozen elders might well be employed in Chester Co. Pa. where I have been
laboring the principle part of the past season, I can fill but a small part of the calls I have for preaching. 53 in that Co. have already embraced the fullness of the gospel, and are organised [organized] into a branch. On Saturday last (Jan. 25) a conference of elders was held in the Brandywine branch; pres't. Joseph Smith Jr. being present, was called to preside, and James Rodeback appointed clerk. Two elders and two priests were ordained; great harmony prevailed in the meeting, and much important instructiou [instruction] was given to the elders and members present by pres't. Smith among them, I trust has tended much to strengthen, and confirm them in the faith of the everlasting gospel. Multitudes are believing the proclamation which the Lord has sent us to declare in different parts of the land: mountains of prejudice have been broken down, and many noble hearted men and women in that Co. manifest a zeal for the cause of truth worthy the highest admiration. The march of truth is onward, and proud sectarianism is fast falling into ruins.
Elder Elisha M. Davis and Henry Dean are preaching in Lancaster Co. near Straughsburgh, they have baptized 18, and I understand there is a great enquiry [inquiry] after truth in that Co. Elder B. Winchester has baptized 65 in this city, and a great number more appear to be convinced of the truth of these things, the spirit of enquiry [inquiry] is general. I am now on a visit to the city, to assist elder Winchester a short time, when I expect to return to Chester Co. Yours in the bonds of the new covenant.
Please insert the following, in your fifth Periodical.
TO THE ELDERS ABROAD.
Having a desire for the welfare of all Brethren, and more especially for those who are conducting the everlasting gospel to the nations of the earth, stimulates me at all times to importune at the feet of our heavenly father, for he [the] Holy Spirit to perpetually remain with you, and be your guide both by sea and by land, and not depart from you at any time while declaring repentence [repentance]unto the inhabitants of this generation, I am aware that in consequence of the magnitude of your calling that you have left houses, lands, wives and chrildren [children] for the sake of the everlasting gospel which has been committed to you by the revelations of our God. And I am aware also that nothing of an earthly nature can hinder you from performing that duty which you owe to the inhabitants of the nations of the earth; for my mind can already discover your footsteps making their way to the Islands of the sea, thence bending your course south to the shores of Asia, and Africa, where the inhabitants are strangers to civilization, then my mind can discover the spirit of the God of Daniel attending you, ready to deliver you from bondage or any kind of harm. My mind can also trace your footsteps into the solitary groves to importune at the feet of your heavenly father in behalf of your families, I can then discover your minds satisfied by reflecting that God is the same as yesterday so to-day and forever, that Elijah was fed by the ravens and that your families are of the household of faith as well as him and will feed and clothe them, and if they ask for bread he will not give them a stone, and if they ask for a fish he will not give them a scorpion.
Wherefore let not your hearts be troubled but as with horns of unicorns push the people together, say to the north give up and to the south keep not back; that the sound of the everlasting gospel may penetrate the ears of all living that your garments may be clear from the blood of this generation, and that you may return home to your families and sit down in the Kingdom which our God has estabished [established] by his own right hand in these last days. A. RIPLY.
Payson, Ill. Feb. 4th, 1840
MESSRS. ROBINSON & SMITH.
Believing that all information respecting the spread of the gospel will be acceptable to you I therefore improve a few moments to inform you that the work of God is gaining ground in these parts. There has been a considerable
number baptized of late in this section of country: And there are more believing, there appears to be a considerable inquiry manifested in the minds of many concerning the work.
The saints are generally strong in the faith, looking forward for the fulfilment [fulfillment] of the promises of the coming of our Lord and Savour [Savior] Jesus Christ, when he should reign on mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously. Although the cruel hand of persecution has been laid heavely [heavily] upon the church its progress is still onward "for truth is mighty and will prevail". The chastisement the church has recieved [received] is like a sieve although differing from the one of human invention for while it sifts out the bran the flour is still preserved, the honest in heart are not to be shaken by persecution, but it serves to increase their humility and strengthen their faith in God, and show them their dependence upon Him; and while they look back and see the sufferings of the saints of old and with what patience they endured scourging and imprisonments and even death itself for the sake of the gospel and the testimony of Jesus, they can rejoice that they are counted worthy to suffer with them and thus become members of that heavenly conpany [company] "that came out of great tribulation and washed their robes white in the blood of the Lamb".
On the 13th of Dec. last Lorenzo D. Webb died in this place aged 22 years 7 mo. and 11 days. He has been a member of the church about five years, he was a person of gentle and affable disposition, kind and generous hearted and his loss is severely felt by his friends and acquaintances, but while we mourn we do not mourn as though we had no hope, he died in the faith of the gospel and in hope of a glorious resurrection and immortality. His health has been poor for two or three years, but his last illness (which was short but voilent [violent]) he bore with the greatest fortitude and resignation and when informed we thought he could not live he expressed a willingness to depart and be with Christ, he fell asleep without a strugle [struggle] or a groan.
I must now close by subscribing myself your friend and brother in the gospel of Christ.
EDWARD M. WEBB
AGENTS FOR THE TIMES AND SEASON.
John E. Page, Warsaw, Hancock Co.
William Smith, Plymouth, Hancock Co.
Joel H. Johnson, Carthage - -
S. B. Stoddard, Quincy, Adams Co.
Elisha H. Groves Columbus - -
Harlow Redfield, Pittsfield Pike Co.
Daniel Tyler, Griggsville, - -
John Vance, Macomb., McDonough Co.
Jared Carter, Springfield Sangamon Co.
John Gaylord, Victoria, Knox Co.
Lewis Robbins, Rushville, Schuyler Co.
Jabez Capps, P. M. Mount Pulaski Logan Co.
Wm. Johnson, Lewiston, Fulton Co.
Benj. Winchester, Philadelphia.
Stephen Post, Centreville, Crawford Co.
Charles Carter, P. M. Beaver. Beaver Co.
Wm. P. McIntire, Strongstown, Indiana Co.
NEW YORK Joseph L. Robinson, West Leyden, Lewis Co.
MASSACHUSETTS. Nathaniel Holmes, Georgetown, Essex Co.
NEW HAMPSHIRE. Chilon Mack, P. M. Gilsum.
Zadock Parker, Lisbon,
John Taylor Willard Richards,
Hyram Clark, Wilford Woodruff,
Theodore Turley, Joseph P. Fielding.
SCOTLAND Samuel Mulliner, Edinburgh.
TRAVELLING [traveling] AGENTS
Almon Babbit, P. P. Pratt,
Orson Pratt, Heber C. Kimball,
Brigham Young, George A. Smit
Samuel James, Daniel Shearer,
Alexander Williams, James Blakeslee,
Esaias Edwards, Benjamin Clapp.
SOUTH CAROLINA Lysander M. Davis.
TENNESSE. [Tennessee] G. H. Brandon.
NORTH CAROLINA. Jedadiah M. Grant.
THE TIMES AND SEASON
Is printed and published every month at Commerce, Hancock co, Ill. by E. ROBINSON AND D. C. SMITH, EDITORS AND PROPRIETORS.
TERMS: ONE DOLLAR per annum, payable, in all cases, in advance. Any person procuring 10 subscribers, and forwarding us ten dollars current money, shall receive one volume gratis. Letters on business must be addressed to the Publishers, POST PAID.
Previous chapter Table of Contents Next chapter