“1847,” Ronald D. Dennis, ed., Prophet of the Jubilee (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997), 53–68.
Catechism for The Colleges of the “Reverends”
(Continued from page 39 of the March Prophet).
ARE you sure that there is not another gospel or plan through obedience to which man can be saved, except through believing, repenting, and being baptized for the remission of sins, and the laying on of hands to receive the Holy Ghost?—Neither our Christ, his Father, or anyone of his servants has said a word about another one; and thus I conclude that they do not know of any plan but this one. If there is another one, it has another author, and some other bible that shows it. To say that perfect Christ has organized more than one perfect plan to take us to perfect heaven, is to say that all except one of them are imperfect; and since the work of each one proves it, that is an imperfect Christ, and that plan is to be without Christ in the world; and being without a perfect Christ as an acceptable sacrifice is to be without God; and to be without God is to be without anything; consequently, every man who claims that there is more than one plan to save mankind is a deist to that extent; yes, in spite of what they profess, their zeal, their long faces, and their frequent prayers, and their devotions!
What! are all the believers and preachers throughout the world who have not obeyed this kind of doctrine, deprived of the eternal gospel, like unto the pagans?—I cannot point out any difference, except that the former believe historically in Christ, and in teaching morality, &c, through the scriptures, although they do not understand the gospel.
Is it not possible for even the learned theologians of our colleges to have part in the first resurrection, and be with Jesus Christ, and be like him, through some of the new and convenient ways they have invented, without obeying this gospel?—Christ himself answers,—“Verily, verily I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” How, then, can anyone be saved in the kingdom of God if he refuses to “go into” it through the door? You will have the treatment, or the welcome of “thieves and ravagers” if you go to it any other way!
What will become of all those who are living on the earth, and who refuse to obey the gospel, at the second coming of Jesus Christ?—The Bible says that Christ will come with his mighty angels. and a flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
How is it that the Christian world (as it is called) has been so long deprived of the justice of the eternal gospel?—In fulfillment of many of the prophets, such as Daniel, and John; namely, that grievous wolves have come into the church after the time of the apostles, have brought in destructive heresies, transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances, &c, and are “making war with the Saints [who were authorized by God], until they overcame them.” Then they claim to this day that divine authority is not necessary, and they do not want it either; instead may everyone do the way he wishes!
How have the Latter-day Saints come to understand, and have the privilege of being instruments in the hand of God to restore the fulness of the gospel back among men?—Not because of any qualification, virtue, or worthiness in them more than in others; but, because the fulness of times has come, according to the design of the great God of the early council, for the gospel of peace to be preached to all the inhabitants of the earth, to prepare the way for the second coming of his Son, to prepare appropriate people, and invite them to the marriage supper of the Lamb, lest he come and smite the whole earth with a curse; for he does not delight in the death of the ungodly, &c.
How did they receive this gospel, and the right to preach it?—God sent that holy angel that John saw coming with the everlasting gospel to preach to every nation, kindred, and tongue, saying, “The hour of his judgment is come.”
Will not anyone who refuses this gospel be saved from the judgments that will come on the earth?—The same number as were saved from the old world after refusing the message of Noah! If one who refused him is saved, why not more? If so, it was useless for God to send him.
Are you not narrow-minded in your opinion, and very unkind toward the other religionists, who are so zealous in worshipping God according to the light they have, in saying that to them?—If Christ was unkind to the more zealous believers of his day when he called them “hypocrites;” and when he said,—“Generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” He who sees the evil that is coming on the country, and warns them clearly and honestly according to “the law and the testimony,” is kinder toward them, and benefits them more than ten thousand of those who shout “Peace, peace,” prophesying goodness all the time, when sudden destruction cometh upon them.
What is the condition of all those who died from the time the gospel was taken from the earth until now?—They will be judged according to the works they did in the flesh, before a just court, according to the light that was offered to them during their lives, and the use they made of it; for those who have no law, are also damned without the law, and doubtless thousands of them will rise in the judgment against this generation, and will condemn it; for had they received the advantages and the offer of it that this age has, they no doubt would have embraced the fulness of the gospel readily. Many of them desired to see the glorious light of the last days, and they could not; therefore, do not worry about them, for each one will give his own accounting to God. The harvest of your soul is now; the summer day of the gospel has dawned for you; and O, may you not close your eyelids against the divine rays of light of the Jubilee.
***Composed for the service of the Students of Oxford College, and others.
Duties of the Teachers
“THE teacher’s duty is to watch over the church always, and to teach and strengthen the members, seeing that no one of them fosters any iniquity; that there is no hardness with each other, lying, jealousy, or backbiting, giving rise to the root of bitterness in their midst; to see that they are not negligent in their meeting together; rather that the church meet together often; and that all the members do their duty. He is to take the lead of meetings in the absence of the elder or priest; and the deacons are to assist him in all his duties, when he requests them to do so; but neither teachers nor deacons have authority to baptize, administer the sacrament, or lay on hands; they are, however, to warn, expound, and teach, and invite all to come unto Christ.”—Doc. and the Cov.
The office of teacher is one that is essential and very important; essential, we say, because there are so many temptations put before the Saints who are young in the faith. The devil-enemy is a tyrant, and in their weakness he attacks them the most, to try to subvert their souls, because they have escaped the clutches of the heretical spirits to the kingdom of God. That is the time he uses his tricks and his most frequent and most effective temptations, because of their weakness. That is the time he leads his priests with their fabricated stories, their false accusations, and their threats, blaspheming the things they know nothing about, as in primitive times. Thus the necessity for the teachers to watch over them as if over their flock moving the obstacles from their way, explaining the hard-to-understand things, feeding them with the guileless milk of the word, so they will increase daily. Let every teacher understand the worth of the souls, together with their weakness, who are entrusted to his care; for they are worth the blood of the great chief Shepherd; the danger is that they will lose their first love, and become confused with the things that are contrary to godliness; and let it be remembered that this will turn a sinner from the error of his ways, saving a soul from death, and hiding a multitude of sins. Take care not to strangle them with food too strong in their weakness, for “strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age.” We fear that not everyone is teaching in wisdom; thus we exhort such to sympathize with the weaknesses of the new members in the faith, remembering that such were we at one time. The baby does not become a man immediately, nor the acorn an oak, nor do we become of full age thus; rather gradually, as the light of morning increases, until it reaches the brightness of mid-day. We know that there is an immense difference between joining the church of Jesus Christ and everyone else who professes the name; even at their first coming the enemy does not miss one opportunity to whisper in their ears the bad about this thing, and they use every chance to cause them to doubt the other thing; and we know from bitter experience that the stories of the backsliders, and now flooding their minds are the false accusations of the enemies of the truth, which we heard earlier, almost to the point of overcoming our frail faith; nevertheless, others have given light, and God has given us his patient spirit to cling to until our faith has been tried, something more valuable than perishable gold; and O how we give thanks by now for the rescue we had at that time from slipping; and thus we consider that others can be, and we strive to visit them frequently, and strengthen the feeble knees; so our “fruit will be holiness, and the end everlasting life.” The great importance of this office is seen in its divine position, in the benefit that flows to the Saints through the faithful application of it, and also in the accounting that needs to be given to the Giver for the use made of this talent. A wise, alert, and zealous teacher will make the Saints thus also. He is their nourishing father, under the leadership of his superiors in offices. He ought to know the condition and the spiritual trials of his flock, and see that there are no bitter roots among them causing hatred, which is a poisoned arrow from the bow of the enemy; see that they live peaceably, and have family worship as often as possible; for the most effective way to fulfill their other duties is through prayer. If they cannot worship together and pray at the family altar, they cannot receive gifts, or great growth in holiness, or beauty to their vow. We fear that slipping in this place will end in withering and grief.
The teachers should visit everyone who has neglected three church meetings in a row; and if there is not good cause, let him counsel with the branch president; then with this transgression, as with every other transgression of the members, it should be placed before a council of teachers when it convenes, if it is convenient to the place where such a council has been established; or send the accusations to a council of the elders; the transgressor is to be notified of the matter, and he is to be invited there, if he elects to defend himself. But, take care that every move originate from love, and a true desire to restore such to the right path so they can be saved, and rejoice together in the love of Christ.
Finally, dear brethren, be careful to give good examples and good teaching to the flock over which the Holy Ghost has placed you as supervisors, by keeping yourselves and your flock blameless and unspotted from the world, with a good conscience before God and men; and you and those with whose care you have been trusted will have a glorious entrance into the main fold, when the good shepherd gathers all his shepherds, and his scattered flock, to hear his voice in the blessed place of rest which is still only for those who suffer together with him, those who continue to the end, and those who await and love his appearance.
News from the Saints in the Wilderness
LATELY a letter came from the apostle in their camp, near Council Bluffs, to the east of the Rocky Mountains; dated January 23rd, 1847. Our columns do not allow space for the entire comprehensive letter; but the abridgement is as follows:—
“In our last letter we portrayed the city we planned to build, but it is already one we feel the benefit of. It contains about 700 houses, built of logs, mud, willows or clay, and covered with straw, and are comfortable and healthful dwellings for the Saints, although they will not endure the thaws, rain, or much sun in the summer.
This our great city was built much like “Jonah’s gourd,” which sprung up in a night as it were, in the middle of this wilderness, with 22 wards. A bishop and his counselors were organized to preside over each ward so that no one suffers for want of food or raiment; and if they suffer, it is their fault for not asking for it; or, if they are too lazy to work. But the fact that so many houses have been built in so short a time is proof to everyone of unusual industry, the kind that will bear comparison with the history of any nation in any age or country! We decided to build a water flouring mill here while wintering; and our dear president, Brigham Young, offered himself for the task of superintending the work, and behold the barley ready for grinding already. It is true that he has more cares before him than ought to be given to one man; but “the greater the toil, the greater the glory,” is our motto. He does not hesitate at anything that tends to gather Israel, or to promote the cause of Zion. He sleeps with one eye open, and one foot out of bed at night; and whenever there is a call, he is the first one to go forth, and his counselors are of one heart with him. He frequently mentions the mission of our dear brethren Hyde, Pratt, and Taylor, particularly the gathering of the Saints from the isles of the sea, and the best way for them to come from the four corners to their places of abode. Dear brethren, don’t you forget this important matter either, whatever else you do; it is not our fears that say this, rather we bring this to your remembrance. A company of 300 forerunners is being sent as soon as the weather permits, toward Yellow Stone, at the foot of the mountains, with everything necessary to raise a crop from the earth for some two or three thousand of the Saints who should follow after them; and those who remain there are to labor and to prepare for the coming of another camp; and thus the Saints who come will have sufficient without going so far as Missouri to purchase food. The sellers in this country imitate everyone else in trying to starve and exterminate the Saints by raising the price of wheat from 40 to 50 cents, and Indian Corn from 20 to 25 cents per bushel, ever since we arrived here.
On the 9th of October, when our wagons returned to the banks of the Mississippi, across from Nauvoo, they found the rest of the Saints lying on the banks of the river, without houses, beds, furniture, food, clothes, or anything; but death from starvation was staring them in the face! They had been driven out of the city by the mobs without pity, or warning, or mercy, besides many being afflicted with the illnesses and diseases of that country at the time. They did not have anything to live on there, or anything with which to start their journey. While in these distressful circumstances, they turned to the Lord, and he sent them a great flock of quails, which lit in their midst, on their beds, and by their feet, until the sick and everyone could catch them with their hands, until they were satisfied; thus their tables were laden with meat, morning and evening. Not only the Saints saw this, but the world also. A steamboat was passing by within six rods of them, and they saw them, and the travelers on it marvelled greatly; others on the shore (not of the Saints) marvelled when they saw such a sight; but you will marvel further still that those birds had followed the Saints along the road when they began their journey, lighting on their wagons, and under their feet, offering themselves as a voluntary sacrifice to save the lives of the Saints under the oppression of their persecutors. Declare this to the nations of the world! Tell the kings and leaders ! ! Proclaim this to those who profess to believe that God brought Israel through the wilderness in the days of Moses, so they may believe also that there is a God in these days, and that he is just as caring of his children now as at that time; and that he will yet feed them when the oppression of the enemy is unbearable. He is the God of the whole earth; before him bows every knee, and every tongue confesses to the name of Jesus Christ.”
“Since the foregoing was written we are informed through the news that General Taylor, and Santa Ana, have agreed on terms of peace between Mexico and the States, allowing California to have religious freedom, and to choose their form of government for the present time. It is said also that 200 Dragoons that travelled with the “Mormon battalion” have been called back, and the Mormon army is going forward to the desired place.”—(From the “Millennial Star”)
The Most Remarkable Wonders of the Seven Millennia!
THE chief wonders of the first millennium of the age of our world were, the transgression of our first parents, who were driven out of the garden, and which opened the door for all the degeneration that is seen on the earth, its things and its inhabitants; the building of Zion; and Enoch, together with all its inhabitants walking with God for three hundred years, and the taking of them and their city from the corrupt earth.
In the second millennium, the world and its inhabitants were drowned, except for Noah and his family; foolish men built a tower to climb up after Enoch; the languages were confused; the world was divided into seas and continents; its inhabitants were scattered across its face, and America was first populated by the Jaredites.
In the third millennium, Pharoah and his armies were drowned in the Red Sea, when Israel, the chosen people of God, went through on dry ground, and they were led by the brilliant glory of their Jehovah in a cloud of mist and a column of fire; and a temple was erected in Jerusalem to the Lord.
In the fourth millennium, the ten tribes of Israel were led away captive from Canaan, by God, to some country the Gentiles have not been able to find to this day: all the Jaredites were destroyed for their wickedness, and Lehi was led by God to the American Continent.
In the fifth millennium, the Savior of the world was born, crucified, and resurrected, and the majority of his apostles were martyred for declaring his message: and Jerusalem was destroyed, with over a million and a half of its inhabitants; the rest of the nation was scattered through the four corners of the world until this century.
In the sixth millennium, America, the most excellent country of all the countries of the world, was settled by the gentiles; the fulness of the gospel was presented, through the Book of Mormon, to mankind; the kingdom foreseen by Daniel was established, which has filled the whole world; and the Saints began to gather together in preparation for the second coming of their Messiah on the clouds of heaven, with all his angels, with a flame of fire, to take vengeance on all who refused his gospel, so that in the seventh millennium the earth could rest, its fulness restored, and the remainder of its residents free from all oppression, and pain, and death; each will sit under his vine and his own fig tree, without anyone to frighten him or to harm him, worshipping unanimously their Savior for a thousand years, when he will be the King of kings, and there will be no other king except by his appointment, and voluntarily humble to him; at that time all the kingdoms of the world will of necessity have come to belong to our Lord, and his Christ; and he will be a visible King to his Saints, when none of them will say I am sick; but during this last millennium, all the Saints will be perfected to be suitable residents of the new heaven, and the newly perfected and unchangeable earth; and he will finish the perfection of his work on this small earth, and move its sphere to a more brilliant light, and he will bring this his kingdom up to his Father, so that God will be all in all, and all like unto him!
Hail to the good times to come,
We shall see our own Jesus
On a white cloud, great his splendor,
Coming to reign.
Description of California
“THIS country lies to the west of the ‘Rocky Mountains’, to the south of Oregon, to the north of Mexico, and to the east of the Pacific Ocean, which washes its coast, from 18° to 42° northern latitude. The appearance of this country is very attractive. Along its borders there is a fairly high plain, with splendid fruitful valleys, of different sizes here and there; to the east of the above range there is a plain reaching from 20 to 150 miles in width from east to west, and south to north the length of the country. This is without argument, one of the most luxuriant and fruitful found in the world; it produces abundant crops naturally of oats, clover, and flax. Sweet and pure grass grows commonly, which the animals enjoy greatly, but the oats often grow to five feet in height, the clover to two or three feet, and the flax is excellent. The soil of this valley is of deep, black and rich clay; but the upland is lighter and sandy. East of here there is another smaller valley, but just as fruitful as the other, along the borders of which is a row of fairly high mountains; and to the east of these is yet another very fruitful valley.
The produce that has grown there most abundantly until now is wheat, which produces in a normal season 30 to 60 bushels from one acre, and after sowing one bushel. I am informed by an honest farmer that he once had 133 bushels from sowing one, and the second crop from the same land 61 bushels without sowing; and despite how incredible this may seem to people in this country, I have no doubt of its truth, and it is not stranger than oats growing without sowing to 5 or 6 feet. I travelled (says the historian) through thousands of acres of such oats. The wheat is of a good and heavy species; and the main difference between it and the type we have is that several ears grow on the same stalk! This is one reason of its fertility, although the climate is the main cause, perhaps. Indian wheat, beans, peas, barley, tobacco, and all kinds of vegetables grow here in abundance; and I do not think there is any more suitable climate in the world for rice, cotton, and sugar cane, than that of California. The fruits are apples, pears, peaches, figs, almonds, olives, dates, oranges, lemons, citrons, pomegranates, and grapes; in a word, all the fruits found even in the southern hemisphere are easily found here. Some complain that there is a shortage of trees in comparison to the meadowlands which has nothing but grass and crops growing on them; but I judge that there are plenty of all kinds of trees for the use of the country, however numerous its inhabitants, besides being able to grow there quickly wherever wished.
The climate of this paradise is practically a continual Spring; at least one scarcely feels the cold of winter, or the heat of the summer. The reason for this marvel is the “tradewinds,” which blow from the north for the six summer months, and from the south the other six months. Sometimes it is more temperate in some parts even at 28° northern latitude in the season called winter. Running water has never been known to freeze there, nor still water to freeze to the thickness of window glass. There is no need for fires in the houses in winter, except for the service of the house, namely, boiling or baking food. The “rainy season,” as it is called, begins in November and lasts until February, during which period beneficial rain showers occur, and the rest of the year is dry, lovely, and healthful weather. Wheat is sown throughout the winter, and several kinds of vegetables remain green throughout this time. When the “rainy season” begins, the valleys and trees sprout, and all nature is clothed anew. It is possible to get two crops of some kinds of corn in the year. In October and January the vegetables are in full bloom; and it is appropriate to say of this country that “October is as lovely as May.” During this time numberless flocks of tame and wild animals are seen collecting together, leaping and bleating, from the mountains to these grassy and lush meadows and valleys, and greedily grazing their sweet vegetation with apparent happiness, and rejoicing in the complete enjoyment of the abundant preparations of nature for their sake.
As for the pastures of this land it is needless to say they are beyond anything I have ever seen. Here and there are seen numberless herds of cattle and horses. The farmers own from 1000 to 20,000 head of cattle, and sometimes as many horses! The prices of the former are from one to five dollars a head, and of the latter from two to ten. Usually whoever wishes to is permitted to slaughter any number he wishes provided he return the hide to the owner of the brand that is on it; and if there is no brand, it is all his. Their main reason for raising the cattle is for their hides; and thousands are slaughtered just for their hides. Thousands of horses here are killed because they are too numerous. There is here an abundance of pigs; and the sheep are countless; and they have young twice a year. There is here an abundance of game, such as elk, deer, antelope, bears, foxes, martins, beavers, muskrats, seals, and raccoons. On my journey through the valleys, I sometimes saw thousands of elk at one glance, and no fewer antelope. In the winter season the geese, ducks, and many kinds of waterfowl gather together like clouds to the straits, rivers, lakes, and to the fields of labor; and the cackling of their different voices and their giddiness are practically unbearable at times.
Large and navigable rivers are in this country also; the largest is the Sacramento,* which nature has made navigable for over 300 miles.
Every kind of fish can be found in large numbers in these rivers and straits.
As for merchandise in California, it would be difficult to find better advantages with respect to ports, &c. It is said that the strait of St. Francisco alone could safely contain all the navies of the world, and there are several other safe and convenient anchorages, such as Monterey, St. Diego, Bodego, &c. In every one of these places there are towns being built rapidly; and before long there will no doubt be seen here and there cities that will put to shame some that are a hundred years old.
The inhabitants of California do not number over 8000, two thirds of which are civilized Indians; and the rest are Spaniards or Mexicans, mostly negroes mixed with every blood, color, and class; and besides the Europeans and the Americans who are in their midst, the inhabitants are quite uneducated. It is estimated that there are only about 500 or 600 white people in this country, which are greatly respected.
To encourage immigration there, the government allows all who come, their choice of land, and on the condition that they live on their land and work it. From three to nine square miles can be obtained, according to the size of family. All those who came here with me have settled in the places they chose.
Lastly, I declare that I do not think there is a country in the world that contains such attractions, nor which offers such hopes and advantages for the immigrants as does California, and there is no country under the sun that nature provides so much for, to assist, please, and prosper its inhabitants.”—(From the “St. Louis New Era”)
N.B. The account of this country will be entertaining to our readers, although some may think that this portrayal is too good to be true; to these we answer only that none of it appears to be too incredible for us to believe; also it has not been disproved by those who have the chance to discover that it is not true.—ED.
Portrayal of the Religious World in a Dream!
WHILE traveling from place to place through the country, trying to benefit my fellow nation, and getting a lot of scorn and opposition from them, one day I turned off the road to a pretty grove to rest. While meditating on the scenes I saw, the divided and mixed up state of the religious world, and its similarity to what it was like in the time of the apostles, suddenly I was overtaken by sleep.
* Here the first camp of the Saints will gather, and some have arrived already.
†Here the first shipful of Saints who went from York around Cape Horn have landed.
‡This historian wrote this about three years ago. Thousands have gone there since then.
I saw myself in a great field, among the innumerable host of people of different classes, ages, and colors, all walking back and forth in opposite directions scowling at each other and being cross. In amazement, I asked one of them standing nearby, what could cause such a scene? Who were those people and what were they trying to do? He answered that they were people from all the countries of the world, and that those were their forms of worship, and that they all expected to arrive at the same place in the end. After observing the pains, the punishments, and the cruelties that were used by the pagan part of them on themselves, and on each other, I turned away in deep sorrow, to see the behavior of those who professed Christianity. As soon as I conversed with them, I was asked if I had a religion, and to which sect I belonged. I explained my condition impartially to them, expecting to receive guidance to the right path. By then, several had gathered around me; and to my great surprise, one said, it is over here;—no, said another, we are the ones who are right;—Oh no, don’t believe those people; we are the ones who are treading the right path, said others: and so, they went head to head with each other. I was even more surprised when I heard all of them, though contrary to one another, trying to prove their beliefs through the scriptures! I was so disappointed because of their contradictions, that I was about to turn away in hopelessness, when others came up to me to comfort me, sincerely inviting me to join with them; and they said that what the others were quarrelling about were just small things, unimportant, and unnecessary; and I could choose whether to believe them or not, if I felt like it; and all I had to do was to join with them and everything would be fine. Although I liked their generosity, logic taught me that they were too generous at the cost of the organization that was established, whatever it was. I knew that I would have to keep that one rather than the one I or they would have chosen; nevertheless, through their eloquent descriptions of the glory of heaven, the love of God, and the benefit of being Christian; through their gentle voices, and their singing, they charmed me into following them for a time; but soon I heard others quarreling, giving dire descriptions of the pains of hell, and threatening all who did not join them, that such would be their fate. Others claimed that there was no such place as hell, rather that all were imaginary pains; and there was no subject that one professed that another would not come along to deny. This disgusted me, and I announced my intention to leave them and their contention, and that I would not trouble myself any further about religion, if that sort of thing was what they called Chrisianity. At this, they urged me to inquire of their learned ones, promising that I should have light and a satisfactory explanation from them. But when I visited with the one and the other of them, they tried to explain the scriptures according to their own beliefs; and as proofs of what they said, they referred to some large books, which were completely different from each other, which, they said, contained the thoughts and opinions of the most famous theologians of the country; and indeed, their skillfulness in inspiring and explaining their own interpretations was so prompt, and their eloquence and their gentleness were so attractive, and like plaster on every wound, and my own desire for religion so great, that I decided to join the most popular ones, and swim with the biggest stream, in peace and respect. I left aside searching for myself, and I endeavored to believe and to obey them; but, before a partial spirit could plant its talons so deeply in my heart, so that I could not listen to anyone else, the scene changed, and I saw my danger. Suddenly they were all covered with a large cloud, and it was a wondrous sight! Some loud and frightening sound was heard, and despite the level of the tumult of the people before that, it silenced them and filled them all with fear, as they gazed intently on it. And behold a person like unto a man was coming from it toward us. Frightened, everyone tried to guess who it was, and what would be the results of his coming. Some said that it was a sign of the end of the world; others said, no; but the majority believed the former, because no one was to come henceforth from above, they said, until the end of the world. At that the bright being stood in their midst; and along with others I pushed toward him to hear his story, from whence he came, &c. But the only answer to be had from him was that he had come from some distant planet. I paid close attention to his behavior, together with what he said, this stranger; for he spoke the same language as we spoke. The learned of the various denominations drew near to him, and they asked him if he believed in and belonged to the Christian religion? He answered that he did not know anything about it, and that he had never heard of such a religion before; but he seemed desirous of understanding. The various factions endeavored to persuade him that they had the true religion. Then he became very displeased at these contentions, and he asked for their rules, or the standard of their religions, to bring the discussion to an end. They extended the Bible to his hand, praising it greatly, that it was the book of books; and that in it that which they had told him could be confirmed, and that he could have the pure gospel; and that it was the fountain of light and knowledge, which created in him a great desire to read it carefully.
After reading the book impartially, he liked the doctrine that he read, especially after reading the story of Jesus Christ, the purpose of his coming to the world, the gospels, and the letters of the apostles to the churches. His breast was filled with joy when he read the great promises they made on conditions so attainable. But when he read 1 Cor. xii; Rom. xii; Eph. vi, and other places where he understood that God had established a church on the earth, and set apostles, prophets, &c, in it to lead it, and promised to his subjects forgiveness, and justice, and that he would give the Holy Ghost to them in its gifts, such as healing the sick, speaking with strange tongues, interpreting through the Spirit, prophesying, visions, and ministering of angels, &c, he decided, at the expense of everything, to obey the conditions, and become a member of such a glorious church as that. It did not occur to him to doubt the existence of such a church, and he could not imagine that those who professed such zeal for it, and had presented him with the valuable book they confessed to be a standard and rule for their churches, did not enjoy the sweet gifts it promised. He asked some of them to take him to one of their apostles, as they talked with him about these joyful promises. They answered him,—“Apostles, indeed! there are no such strange beings as that in our churches in these days, pale, and he did not say a word for a moment, so great was his disappointment. Then he again asked the same thing, for he could not believe that he had understood their answer correctly; but he was forced to believe them the second time, since all of them testified with a scornful smile that it was foolishness to inquire after apostles in this age. After recovering somewhat from his surprise, he said, “Well, well! if I cannot have the privilege of talking with apostles, I have a degree of hope yet: the book that you recommended to me says that the officers next to them are prophets; take me to one of them, then.” The answer to this was again similar to the other. Again, like a man running for his life, he inquired of the one and of the other, who among them had the church that possessed the offices and the gifts that good book described; for each one claimed to have it, and each claimed to believe the book; but not one of them possessed, or believed in, or even saw the need for those apostles, prophets, or spiritual gifts. The stranger accused them all of having deceived him cruelly, by putting a description of such a church in his hand, exhorting him to read the book, and he, by doing that impartially, believed they had these things; and now, here they were denying them! and cutting him down from the highest degree of hope and joy, to the extremes of hopelessness, by claiming that they did not enjoy those gifts. Yet, they all claimed to operate according to that book! At this, he said that the inhabitants of this planet were a hypocritical and deceitful people, more so than the people of his own world. You are all, said he, saying one thing, and thinking something completely contrary to it; and not in one single thing do you agree with one another, except in denying the book you profess to believe! He said that he thought, when he had hope for that religion, that by changing his country, he had gained something worth more than the planet where he used to live; but now, to his disappointment, not only had he lost hope of ever finding it, but these new and strange friends vex him the most, since he did not know what in the world to believe of anything they said. He asked whether it was the custom of this country to say everything backwards! This excited the multitude against him, especially when they saw that he was too logical to join with any of their factions. He upbraided them for their hypocrisy, and said that he did not want the thing they called Christianity; if he could not have the religion the book described, he would be without any excuse. At this, they despised him and shouted after him that he was a deceiver; others said that he had gone crazy, &c.; and all the bad boys in their midst threw rocks at him; and the most quarrelsome of the learned men shouted from their high places in the crowd that they should beware lest they be deceived by that wicked man; and when they told the people that he, by refusing their religions, was insulting greatly all their godly fathers and indicating that they were going to hell, they shouted in one great, loud voice for over two hours,—“Away with such an impudent deceiver from our country; great is the great goddess our fathers worshipped.” The stranger escaped to the top of a mountain, to a secret place, naked, hungry, and wounded. Upon seeing the treatment he received, without any cause, I took pity on him, and I tried to defend him; for I, upon hearing his defenses, and upon reading the book, had come to believe in, and tried to show the others the necessity for all the offices and the spiritual gifts in the church, before it could be the church of Jesus Christ; and the corners of my eyes were already beginning to open to see the harmful effects of the apostasy from that form of doctrine delivered to the world by Jesus Christ and his apostles; and the more I manifested that to the people, the more their pastors were jealous of me; they called me a dangerous heretic; and, without any other accusation against me, they turned me out of their midst, warning others not to come close to me, that I was affected by a plague more dangerous than leprosy. At this, they pointed their fingers scornfully after me, and told false stories about me, trying to blacken my character; and then the boys shouted—“That’s the man who believes in the need for apostles, prophets, and miracles.” “There’s a false-prophet,” said others; and at last some proper “Reverend” came there from somewhere else, and he shouted—“Beware of this wicked and deceitful man there, for he is a Mormon.” With that name coming from his mouth, behold it coming through all the mouths that were there, until, amidst their noise, and seeing everyone holding a rock, I and a few others who believed the Bible fled from their midst for our lives. At this I awoke, and behold it was a dream!
An Example of Oppression on the Saints
THAT which follows is worthy of being chronicled among the feats of our religious age:—Lately, a mob of rascals, for the most part, if not all of them, sons of believers, attacked a house in Cwmcelyn where the Saints were preaching, breaking the windows and doors with rocks, in order to disturb the worship. At last, the man of the house went to fetch the constable by the name of William Owens, one of the Baptists, and an Ivorite, to defend his house against the persecutors. And after the the rioters had fled, the constable came, to be sure; and the way he defended the Saints was by demanding a crown for his journey ! And despite everyone, and everything, he would not go, and he did not go away except to return, until he got it! The excuse he offered for his endless importunity was, “because he had insisted from the beginning that he would want a crown,” he said, and he would rather plunder his neighbor than break his word! We hope that no one else is found throughout Wales holding to his word as firmly as this man. Too much of the good thing is good for nothing, says the Englishman; thus can the sufferer admit, that the word of the other had cost him a crown.
An Example to Prove the Divinity of Mormonism!
A YOUNG girl by the name of Margaret Jones who was employed at the works of Thomas Brewer, Esq., Nantyglo, was baptized by the Saints, on her profession of faith in the Son of God. When the steward, William Munkle, understood that, he told her that he would turn her out of the works if she did not deny her religion! The girl answered that she would not deny her Lord, despite losing her job. “Well,” said he, “go away this minute; for Tom Brewer and I are determined that not one Saint will have employment in these works while our two eyes are open!” It is difficult for us to believe that a gentleman, of the character and influence of Mr. Brewer, has lowered himself to take vengeance on some who are so dependent, through such persecution as this. Yet, the fact forces us to believe that, against our will, because of his servant. Despite it all, the worst of our wishes toward him is, that He who sustains his “eyes open,” will be long-suffering with him, until in time he will come to see that it is hard to kick against the pricks, and that he will come to see that that which concerns the children of God is near to his own heart. We are reminded of the words of Christ,—“All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
To Our Distributors
You know, dear brethren, of many of the obstacles in our way to publish our principles, and to defend them, as the giants of tradition defend their fortresses, and aim their cannons against us from the four winds. You know how small our circulation is, and that cash has been our motto from the beginning (nor could it be otherwise); and while we extend to you our heartfelt thanks for your help until now, we earnestly beseech you for your assistance and your cooperation in the future, by striving to sell the Prophet, &c, as much as you can; and, especially, you would facilitate our way, by sending the money for them as soon as you can, to publish the multitude of treatises that we have on various doctrinal topics, &c, already prepared for the press, and a great need for them; for profit is not our objective, rather the spread of truth throughout our country. Most of the money for the previous volume has yet to reach us, but it will have a hearty welcome when it does. We are all fellow workers in this last vineyard; and no doubt it will be according to our faith in this, as in the fulfillment of every other duty, that each will receive his “penny” at the end of the great harvest under our hands.
The first complete volume can be obtained, if they are requested soon. If there are any of the first issue on hand that cannot be sold, please send them back at your earliest convenience.
Every effort will be made to answer questions of the distributors with respect to doctrine, teachings, and anything else that is of benefit to the Saints, not to contend with words, and endless questions, but to present every ray of light, and do the good we desire for everyone, to the extent that our small publication is able.
*** Address to Capt. D. Jones, George Town, Merthyr Tydfil.
A MAN by the name of Morgan Thomas, one of the members of the Merthyr branch, was excommunicated some time ago, because of disgraceful and unrepentant transgressions. He is well known among the Saints for the great trouble he has caused; and it is so indisputable that he has felt as much of the mighty workings of the spirit of God as any man, by his being delivered from the hand of the enemy; and despite all this, we have heard that he is now a cruel persecutor. Pity him; the word is verified that says, that “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
John Pugh, formerly of Llwyni, wishes to announce that he is calling back, with all his might, the false accusations that he declared against the Saints, that he perceives his sins to be atrocious, and that he desires forgiveness from the Saints and God, together with having the privilege of coming back into the church, and an interest in the prayers of the Saints, so that his behavior and his confession may co-testify to all that he is bringing forth fruits meet for repentance. He came before the council, and made satisfactory restitution to all. He has written to the church in Llwyni, for the same purpose, regularly; and we are pleased to announce that they have accepted him and his wife back.
We would wish all the Saints’ most earnest attention on the plight of our American brothers and sisters who are exiles in the wilderness, by the thousands, because of their testimony of Jesus, and the word of God, on the plan that was drawn up by the council to assist them in their great and varied needs.
N.B.—Newly published by us in Welsh, a pamphlet, proving from their fruits, who are the “False prophets of the Latter Days.”—Price a Penny. Also, “What is Mormonism?”—Price a Halfpenny. A defense in the face of the insolent accusations of the “Cuckoo of Ton,” in the Star of Gomer.—Price a Penny.
*** The following English books can be obtained here, with a large reduction in their prices for cash; namely, The Book of Mormon, 3s.—Doctrine and Covenants, 2s. 6p.—Hymn Books, 1s. 6p., besides several small pamphlets. Also, the Millennial Star may be obtained monthly with the Prophet, by sending names and money, price 3p. each. It is published on the 1st and the 15th of every month.
Baptisms in March
WE are sorry to inform our readers that we are unable to publish how many, or even close to how many, were baptized last month, because of the negligence of the presidents in sending the number to us. Until now we have not received word from half of the places where we have heard that some have been baptized; but we hope this is the last time that we shall have to offer this excuse; and we shall announce the ones we know.
Merthyr.—Nine were baptized for the confession of their faith and their repentance.
Dowlais.—Eighteen were baptized. The “man of sin,” shows in many ways his jealousy for the truth here, and having failed to prevent the honest in heart from embracing it in another way, he regroups, as he did in America when on the verge of dying, by indicating, suggesting, and prophesying that the Saints are doing, saying, or thinking something or other treasonable against some civic organizations, wishing through that to raise a riot, or some excuse to avenge their anger on the innocent; and we will be disappointed if this spirit increases in their evil bosom where it was nurtured, until it is believed by others, yes, even by themselves finally,—until they consider that they are serving God by perjuring themselves to try to prove it! Marvel as you will, we have seen this spirit giving birth to such villainy before now, more than once, yes, to the point of practically drinking a stream of innocent blood.
Penydarren.—Three were baptized last month.
Rhymni.—We have heard of six being baptized. Some who were members, and others who were preaching with other denominations, with approbation and influence. Great is their privilege.
Nantyglo.—We have heard of some; but we do not know how many, or in any place throughout the Monmouthshire conference.
Llwyni.—Two were baptized, with hopeful signs that others will love the truth.
Cwmbach.—One was baptized here, others promising, and still delaying.
Treboeth.—Brother J. Matthews announces that he has baptized two, and that there is a great call for preaching in those environs, and more than they can fill.
Dihewyd.—Five were baptized, with cheerful expectations for more soon.
Cardiff.—We cannot give a number, but we think we can say that more here than in any other branch this month; and perhaps because of the hotter persecution there the success is such. We are glad that everyone there is happy and firm in the faith despite it all. May it go forward.
Llanybydder.—Daniel the Blind and his booklet have caused quite a stir lately, and great are the crowds who have been listening to the preachers of the Saints, and many are believing our religion, after reading his booklet and ours. Last week two were baptized there. There was a large crowd there cheerfully and respectfully listening to the preaching, with signs that many believe. Three others promised to obey the Sunday following that one. Thus it is seen that the false prophecy is that of Daniel the Blind, where he proclaims, “Everyone will leave before long,” although that is as true as nearly all the rest of his booklet. Pity him, let him go ahead if he wishes; his worst, and that of all his supporters, tends to increase “Mormonism.”
Brechfa.—This is another place near Daniel; yes, where he is well known. Six have been baptized since he began to raise his arm against us.
Carmarthen.—In the place where his booklet was printed, and despite the influence of his partner also, everything is working together for the spread of the truth, which proves that we are baptizing more in the places where they are the most well known, than was ever done before in the same amount of time. Six were baptized, and hosts have been gathering to listen, ever since their persecution began; and thus we expect the reaction to be in these works also, and in every place, to the extent that they read our defense, and compare “Haman” and him without bias, and judge the two sides according to the scriptures.
Rhosllanerchrugog.—Three were baptized lately. Elder R. Evans baptized some here and there through the North. Abel Evans reports, after visiting the majority of the churches throughout the North, that they are all, nearly without exception, warm in the spirit, and firm in the “faith which was once delivered unto the Saints,” and enjoying the gifts and great blessings abundantly in every branch, and going forth toward perfection. May He who began the good work in them sustain them until the day of our Lord Jesus Christ is our prayer for all of them. Amen.