“1848,” Ronald D. Dennis, ed., Prophet of the Jubilee (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997), 49–64.
A New and Excellent Way to Spread Knowledge of the Gospel
WE exhort the Saints to apportion the towns and areas where they live, so that he who is able, may have as many houses in his area that he can visit all of them every Sunday. Buy a few different pamphlets of the Saints, and lend one to each house that will accept it, urging all to read them, and keep them clean, then call the following Sunday to exchange them for a different one. Take that one to the next house, and take the one you get there to one door further on; and so on until you go around them all. Then the one that was in the house last Sunday can go to the first house the next Sunday; and so on until every house has been offered the entire selection. Back issues of the Prophet are very useful to loan in the area with the others, and for that purpose they can be had for a penny each! The other pamphlets also can be had, for this good purpose, for as cheaply as they can be printed! Profit is not our aim; rather to spread the godly truths that have been entrusted to our care. According to this plan, every pamphlet will get much more reading than any other way, and without must cost to the distributors, and none to the reader (unless he chooses to purchase some one or other), and all will be read by each one.
Dear Saints,—We trust that this will not be too much cost or trouble for you to do on behalf of your dear neighbors, which, especially those who are so unfortunate to be under the yoke of sectarian oppression, are almost completely ignorant with respect to our religion, except for the lying tales, and the disgraceful false accusations, that are declared and preached to them from their pulpits, in their schools, their societies, and their publications. You know, through undeniable facts, that such are wiles from the father of lies, and that to blind the minds of the lovers and seekers of truth, and to entice their immortal souls to darkness and perdition. Remember that we were the same before we had light; and now, let your light shine forth in this way to our gentle neighbors. You know that they are threatened with eternal excommunication by some of their “pastors,” if they come to listen to the preaching of the gospel! for until now, we do not know that it is an unforgiveable sin for them to read our books, if they get them for nothing; but hasten, who knows how quickly they will follow your heels in this also, as soon as they understand you are doing good.
God has already prospered this plan in some of the areas beyond the expectations of the distributors; and He will crown your labor with success proportionate to your diligence. Let no one say he has nothing to do until he fulfills this. If the pamphlets are fairly clean after finishing the one circle, let their owner sell them to another, and let that one begin in his neighborhood so that others become free. If the branch president does not have enough on hand to start, let him send here for some; but use those that are on hand to begin with, and more will come off the press before long. You will most likely encounter the occasional Pharisee who will consider that you are breaking the Sabbath by doing this, but Christ says it is permitted to do good on the Sabbath. You will no doubt meet a few bitter, cantankerous, and proud rascals, but do not quarrel with them; leave them behind you, and be patient. Perchance, the books will answer all their questions.
Zealous sisters,-Here is a place for you also to work, so that you may be blessed, and be a blessing to others. We all remember that our time is short to warn our nation, and that the day of tribulation is at the door.
Epistle of the Twelve Apostles
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, scattered throughout the world; proclaiming:-
DEAR BRETHREN,—At no period have the Saints, since the organization of the church on the 6th day of April, in the year 1830, been so extensively scattered, and their means of receiving information from the proper source so limited as since their expulsion from the state of Illinois; but the time has come when it will be profitable for you to receive such information, by this our Epistle, as our Father wishes for you, and which he has made manifest by his Spirit.
Knowing the designs of our enemies, we left Nauvoo in February, 1846, with a large company, for the purpose of settling in the place where the Saints might gather, and dwell in peace. For the first part of our journey, we had excessive rains, and very unfavorable weather, which, together with the scarcity of provisions, compelled us to leave a portion of the camp in the wilderness, to settle in a fertile land we called Garden Grove, where we made a large enclosure containing 16 houses; and soon after, from similar causes, we made another settlement in a place we called Mount Pisgah, leaving another portion of our camp there to tend the crops we planted in the soil. After making a road, building a bridge over a multitude of streams, for over three hundred miles, mostly on lands of the Pottawatamie Indians, we arrived near Council Bluffs, on the Missouri River, during the latter part of June, where we were met by Capt. J. Allen, from Fort Leavenworth, soliciting us from the government to enlist 500 of our brethren in the “Mormon Battalion” on their journey toward California, under command of Col. J. Allen, leaving hundreds of wagons, families, &c., destitute of assistance on which they depended, and that on the open prairies, in a savage country, far from any abodes, and farther still from the place they intended to settle.
Our camp, although aware of a cold winter approaching, with all inevitable consequences, namely discomfort, famine, poverty, sickness, and every undesirable thing; yet, in the face of it all, we obeyed the call of the President of the country with the alacrity that is due from children to a parent; and even though the best and the flowers of our camp had taken their departure in the battalion, yet the widow and the orphan, the old and the infirm, in full hope and faithful determination, went forward on their journey. A small portion went as far as the Pawnee Mission, where, finding it too late to pass the Rocky Mountains, they stopped to winter; but the majority stopped to winter in this place, which we call Winter Quarters. In under three months we built here over 700 houses. In July, there were 2000 wagons on the way from Nauvoo following after us.
In October, 1846, a cruel mob, clad in all the horrors of war, fell on the few remaining Saints who were in Nauvoo (who, for want of means and opportunity, had not been able to remove), and they murdered some, and they drove the remainder mercilessly across the Mississippi river, where they were totally destitute of houses, tents, food, clothing, money, or practically any of their own possessions, or anything to sustain their lives but the providencial care of their Father, and a few contributions from some benevolent and generous men from Quincy, St. Louis, and other places, whose names and kindness will never be forgotten. At that period the Saints were obliged to scatter to the north, south, east, and west, wherever they could find shelter and employment. And, hard as it is to write it, yet it is true, and it must ever remain a monument on the columns of history,—While the flower and best of Israel’s camp were risking their lives to sustain the wings of the American Eagle in a foreign country, their fathers, their mothers, their brothers, and their sisters, and their children, were driven by mob violence, out of the borders of a sister state of the same union; yes, they were obliged to flee from the fire, the sword, the rifles, and the cannons, as from death. From that time to this the Latter-day Saints have been roaming without home, from Canada to New Orleans, and from the Atlantic Ocean to the western Pacific Ocean, and many have taken up their abode in foreign lands. Their property in Hancock County, state of Illinois, was little or no better than confiscated. Many of their houses were burned up in flames by the mob, and they were obliged to leave most of those that remained without sale; but some received whatever others felt like giving them for their possessions, for the objective of their enemies was to depreciate possessions to the lowest extreme, so they could obtain them and everything under the excuse of paying the cost of their self-agitated war; and many of those who were living in abundance and independence received hardly enough for their handsome and valuable estates to assist them on their journey from the place; and there are thousands since that time who have been wandering to and fro destitute of the necessaries to sustain life, many of which, and their families, unable to endure such hardship, have sickened, and died, while the temple of the Lord is left in the midst of our enemies, an enduring monument, to testify to heaven and earth, and everyone who sees it, the faithfulness and diligence of the Saints.
On April 14th, we, together with 143 of the brethren, began our journey toward the west. We made a new road for close to one thousand miles, until landing in the Great Basin, where we arrived in the latter part of July. We found ourselves here in an extremely beautiful valley, of some twenty by thirty miles in extent. To the east there is a high mountain range, capped by perpetual snow. There is a beautiful line of mountains in the west, watered by showers of abounding rains. Utah Lake is on the south, hid by a range of hills, with a delightful prospect of the waters of the Great Salt Lake to the northwest as far as the eye can reach, interspersed with islands of different shapes and sizes. The valley reaches further to the north, along the eastern shores, for about sixty miles, to the mouth of the Bear river. The soil of the valley appears to be extremely fertile, although the moisture is not always sufficient to produce certain kinds of vegetation. Many streams run through it; and among others, the western Jordan (which runs from Utah Lake) at its height runs through the center of it from south to north. The climate is healthful and lovely-not too hot, rather dry and summer-like. Salt abounds at the lake. There is a variety of springs-warm, hot, and cold, coming up from the earth in several places; and there are excellent advantages with respect to streams to turn mills and machines of every kind and size. Timber is not very abundant across the valley; but plenty of box, fir, pine, and sugar maple, &c., trees may be found on the mountains, for present needs, until more can grow.
In this splendid valley we have established a city, the name of which will be, Great Salt Lake City; and for convenience of the Saints, we have instituted here the Post Office pertaining to the Great Basin. The city was surveyed, and divided into blocks of ten acres each, and each block has eight lots. The streets will be 45 yards wide, crossing each other at right angles. One block is reserved for a temple to be built on it, and several more in different parts of the cities as places to build public buildings.
Soon after our arrival in the valley, a portion of the battalion, who had been stationed at Pueblo, together with a company of the Saints from the state of Mississippi, came here, and they helped us to plough, plant, and sow near one hundred acres of land with a variety of seeds; and in building a row of houses around a ten-acre block, and nearly completing the same on one side. Building materials, such as stone, bricks, &c., are very abundant, and easy to get here.
After tarrying four or five weeks, we (that is, the high council) commenced our return, nearly destitute of provision. We were accompanied by a part of the battalion, who were quite destitute of provision, except for a small quantity of beef. We left there all the people, and the provision we could, to prepare places and food for others who were to come. All we had to depend on for subsistence was hunting for wild animals, such as the buffalo, deer, antelope, which were at that season of the year very scarce. Between the Green and Sweetwater rivers, we met 566 wagons loaded with Saints on their journey to the aformentioned valley. From there we passed Fort Bridger, South Pass, Fort John, and across the north bank of the Platte river to Winter Quarters, where we arrived the last day of October, all well, having completed this long journey, with oxen and horses, without much food except wild flesh, without losing a single man, although many were so sick and feeble when they left, that they were nearly unable to walk until they reached over half way.
Dec. 11, fifteen of the batallion arrived here, with a pilot from the valley, through much tribulation. These informed us that all the battalion had served out their time, and were discharged in California, and that a portion of them under the leadership of Capt. Davies had re-enlisted to sustain a military post in that land-that some had arrived in Salt Lake City, where they found the emigrants healthy and happy, except for just three deaths that had transpired in their midst.
The Saints are bearing all their privation in meekness and humility, doing all they can in preparation for their removal westward. Their hearts, and all their inclinations, are drawn toward the setting sun; for they desire to be so far removed from their oppressors, that there shall be an everlasting barrier between them and persecution. Although we as a people have been driven from state to state; although Joseph and Hyrum, our prophet and patriarch, were both murdered in cold blood, after giving themselves up to the hands and protection of the government, and the governor, together with his military leaders, after vowing they would have their protection, and a fair trial; yet we believe that in that state, and in other states, there are honest and noble men, who loathe being guilty of shedding innocent blood; and were it in their power, they would wipe away the bloody stains from their nation. If such wish to become innocent before God and the public, let them speak out against such oppression, such atrocities and thirsting for the blood of the Saints and the prophets in the country. The cause is between them, their country, and their God. But we reiterate what we have said many times before, and what we have ever shown by our conduct from the beginning, namely that we as a people, despite our sufferings and our persecutions, are faithful subjects, and are more ready than anyone else to defend the laws and institutions of our mother country, and we shall do our utmost for them, if we are permitted; and we exhort the Saints throughout the world to be obedient to, and respect, the laws that protect their persons, their property, and their rights, in whatever government and country they may live, suffering wrong, rather than doing wrong to anyone. This we have ever done, and mean still to continue to do. We anticipate sending a petition to the government as soon as circumstances will permit, to request the right to establish a territorial government in the Great Basin.
Now, brethren, we have given you a brief idea of the most salient things that have transpired among us since we were driven from Nauvoo, the present situation of the Saints in this vicinity, and our views in general, as preparatory to answer your important question, which is asked us constantly from every part of the world, namely, “What must we do?”
We answer,-Gather yourselves together speedily, to this place, and if possible be ready to start from hence by the first of May, or as soon as grass is sufficiently grown for the animals, and to go to the main city, carrying as much provision with you, if possible, as will sustain you until you produce more from the earth. Let all the Saints who have been scattered from Nauvoo, and other states, gather immediately to the east bank of the Missouri river, bringing with them all the stock, and other young animals, that they can buy. Also let all the Saints in Canada, and the United States, come as quickly as circumstances permit, together with their wealth, and all the things needed for the purpose of colonizing in a new land. Let the Saints buy all they can of young cattle and horses as they come along the way here, for they are greatly needed nere, and will be ready sale; and when here, let all who can continue on directly over the mountains; and those who cannot go further, let them work the land here, raising all kinds of crops needed for provisions, and so they can sell to others who may come, and through that prepare themselves to complete their journey. By interchange of labor and their brethren, even the poor will be able, not only to provide sustenance for their families, but to obtain animals, and to build wagons. By sale of their improvements and their increase to those who come after them, and who will be desirous of purchasing, all will be able to emigrate comfortably to the end of their journey, and their permanent home. It would be good for all the Saints from everywhere to prepare themselves also with an abundance of warm and heavy clothing, instead of some that is too light, since they experience various kinds of weather before they cross the mountains.
We have named the lands of the Pottawatamie Indians as the place to meet, because the journey is so long, that it is not only desirable, but necessary, to have some rest; and this is the nearest point that is convenient for that; and since it is wilderness country, it will not infringe on the rights of anyone; and also, this place is more convenient because it is so close to the borders of the state of Missouri, so that only a few days travel are necessary to be able to trade in every needful thing.
To the Saints who are in England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, we say,—Emigrate as speedily as possible to this vicinity, looking to, and following the counsels you receive from the presidency in Britain; take ships to New Orleans, and steamboats from there directly to Council Bluffs, which will save much expense. Those who have but little means, nor hope of getting any, will soon exhaust that means if they remain where they are; therefore, it is wisdom that they remove without delay, for there is here an abundance of land, on which, through just their labor, they can speedily better their condition. Let all who can of all the Saints from every part of the world come, and bring with them all kinds of seeds, vegetables, flowers, and plants of all kinds of trees; in short, of everything that will please the eye, and gladden the heart, and cheer the soul of man, and that will grow out of the earth. Also, the best variety of technical machines for farming or technical use, yes, everything that tends to comfort, bless, and promote the success of any people in the world. So far as possible, however, bring drafts or plans of the machines, and they can be made in the places where they are used, through which great expense in transportation can be saved.
The brethren must recollect that their journey from this point will be through a savage country, and that not only their safety will depend to a great extent on their having an abundance of good firearms, together with powder and lead, but those will be necessary for hunting along the way; otherwise there is no certainty but what some uncivilized rascal will try to steal their animals from them.
Let the branch presidents read this epistle to those who are entrusted to their care, giving instruction and counsel abundantly as they are led by the Spirit, exhorting them to live in all things according to righteousness, and to walk humbly and piously in the fear of God, and to do his will in all things, so they may have his Spirit to lead them and to assist them speedily to the gathering place of the Saints. It is the duty of all parents to train up their children in the way they should go, instructing them in every correct and useful principle so fast as their understanding increases to receive them; and setting an example worthy of imitation; for all parents are responsible for their children until they arrive at the age of accountability. Mothers should teach their little ones to pray as soon as they are able to talk. Those who preside should be particular to instruct parents concerning their duty, and the teachers and the deacons should see that they do it faithfully.
It would be desirable for all emigrants to bring with them a copy of all books that are practical, historical, technical, and all other kinds that may be for the benefit of the rising generation. We have a printing press; and it would be of great benefit for all who can to bring writing and printing paper with them. Useful also will be all kinds of musical instruments, &c. Let every elder keep a journal, so the church historian will have historical facts concerning the church and the world.
Since Joseph Smith was murdered, many false prophets and false teachers have arisen, and tried to deceive many; but we have mostly tarried with the body of the church, and seeking to watch over, and lead the Saints to safety, leaving those false prophets to run out their race themselves, and die a natural death. And now, we intend before long to reorganize the church according to the original pattern, under the supervision of a first presidency and a patriarch. We feel that it will be the privilege of the twelve, after that, to spread out across the world, not to hinder, but to promote the gathering, to preach the gospel, and to gather the honest in heart from the four corners of the world. We exhort all the elders throughout the world especially to remember and conduct themselves according to the “Doctrine and Covenants,” preaching nought to this generation but repentance; and those who have faith to repent, lead them down into the waters of baptism, lay hands on them for the reception of the Holy Ghost, and confirm them in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, comfort their hearts, teach them to behave uprightly towards their fellowmen, administer to them the sacrament in remembrance of the death of Jesus Christ, and if they want further information, tell them to flee to Zion,-there the servants of God will be ready to wait upon them, and teach them all things that pertain to salvation; and everything different from this in your teaching cometh from evil, and it is not required at your hand, but leads to snares and temptations. Should any ask, Where is Zion? tell them in America. If any ask, What is Zion? tell them the pure in heart.
It is the duty of the rich Saints, according to their ability, to help the poor to emigrate; and if they choose, they may covenant with each other to be repaid at the first opportunity. It is also the duty of the rich to strive to lead out, rather than delay coming, so they can set up useful machinery, factories, and whatever jobs they choose, which will give work to the poor, and produce all kinds of clothing and things necessary for the comfort, growth, enjoyment, glorification, and happiness of the Saints; and no one needs to be ignorant in these matters, if he walks sufficiently humble before God, as to keep and understand the still small voice of the Holy Ghost within him continually.
Let all the Saints who love God more than their own dear selves-and none are Saints unless they do this-gather without delay to the place appointed, bringing with them of all things within their reach, to build, adorn, and glorify the house of the Lord, together with wisdom and skillful knowledge, carved work of all woods and metals, and anything that ever was, or is, or is to be, for the exaltation, glory, and salvation of the living and the dead, temporal and spiritual, for time and for eternity. Come then, walking in righteousness before God, and your labor shall be accepted; kings will be your nursing fathers, and queens will be your nursing mothers, and the glory of the whole earth shall be yours in connection with all those who shall keep the commandments of God; or else, the Bible will fail, the ancient prophets, which the present generation professes to believe, for the time has come for the Saints to go up to the mountain of the Lord’s house, and the name of the Lord shall be there,-and the excellency of the Lord will be there, the glory of the Lord will be there, and the exaltation of his Saints will be there. There he will hold them as in the hollow of his hand, when the scourges of Jehovah flow through to depopulate the earth, and to lay waste the nations because of their wickedness, and to cleanse the earth from pollution and blood.
We are at peace with all nations, with all countries, with all governments, and with all authorities under the whole heavens, except the kingdom of darkness, which is from beneath; and we are ready to stretch forth our hands to the four quarters of the globe, extending salvation to every honest soul; for our mission in the gospel of Jesus Christ is from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth; and the blessings of heaven are upon us; and when every other arm shall fail, the power of the Almighty shall be made manifest in our behalf, for we ask nothing but what is right, we want nothing but what is right, and God has said that our strength shall be equal to our day; and we invite all presidents, emperors, kings, princes, judges, and rulers, from every nation, country, and tongue, under the whole heaven, to come and help us to build a house to the name of the God of Jacob, a place of peace, a city of rest, a habitation for the oppressed of every clime, yes, for those who love their neighbors as they do themselves, and who are willing to do as they would be done unto. This we are determined to do, and we will do also through the strength of our God; and we will help those who sustain wholesome laws to nurture and defend purity, virtue, and goodness, and to punish doers of evil.
The kingdom which we are establishing is not of this world, but it is the kingdom of the great God; its fruit is righteousness, peace, and salvation for every honest soul who receives it, from Adam down to the latest who receives it. We have good will towards all men, and we desire to clothe them with temporal and eternal salvation; and we will do them good so far as God will give us the power, and men will permit us the privilege; we will do no evil or harm to any man, but if men will rise up against the Almighty to overthrow his cause, let them know assuredly, that they are running on the thick bosses of Jehovah’s buckler, and as God lives, they will be destroyed.
Come then, ye Saints; come, ye honorable men of the earth; come then, ye wise, ye learned, ye rich, ye great, according to your riches, your wisdom, and the knowledge ye have of Jehovah and his work, from all nations, kindreds, countries, peoples, and tongues, under the whole heavens, and join the standard of Emmanuel; help us to build the kingdom of God, and to plant and nurture the principles of truth, life, and salvation, and you shall receive your reward among the sanctified, when our Lord Jesus Christ cometh to make up his jewels, and no power on the earth or in hell can prevail against you.
The kingdom of God consists of correct principles; and it mattereth not so much to us what a man’s religious faith is, whether he be a Presbyterian, or a Methodist, or a Baptist, or a Mormon, or a Campbellite, or a Catholic, or an Episcopalian, or Mahometan, or even pagan, or anything else, if he will bow the knee, and with his tongue confess the Lord Jesus Christ, if he will support wholesome and peaceful laws, we hail him as a brother; and we will stand by him while he supports us in these things; for every man’s religious faith is a matter between him and his God alone; but if he shall deny the Jesus, if he shall curse God, if he shall indulge in debauchery, and drunkeness, and crime, if he shall lie, and swear, and steal, if he shall take the name of the Lord in vain, and commit all manner of sin wantonly, he shall have no place in our midst, for we have long sought to find a people that will work righteousness, and distribute justice equally, that will acknowledge God in all their ways, who will respect and obey those ordinances and laws that are recorded in that sacred book called the Bible, which we verily believe, and which we proclaim to the ends of the earth.
We do not claim pre-eminence; we want no pre-eminence; but where God has placed us, there we will stand; and that is, to be one with our brethren, and our brethren are those who keep the commandments of our God, and who will do the will of our Father who is in heaven; and shoulder-to-shoulder we will stand, and with them we will dwell in time and in eternity.
Come then, ye Saints of Latter-day, and all ye great and small, wise and foolish, noble and ignoble, rulers and ruled, who are on the face of the earth, who love virtue and hate vice, and help us do this great work, which the Lord hath required at our hands; and inasmuch as the glory of the latter house shall exceed that of the former, then ye shall be rewarded an hundredfold, and your rest shall be glorious. Our chief motto is, “Peace with God, and good will to all men.”
Written at Winter Quarters, Omaha Nation, west bank of Missouri river, near Council Bluffs, North America, and signed December 23, 1847, in behalf of the Quorum of the twelve apostles.
BRIGHAM YOUNG, President,
WILLARD RICHARDS, Scribe.
We were obliged, because of the shortness of our small columns, to omit some things of this lengthy Epistle: but nothing, however, that bears any connection with the Welsh Saints; but such parts as have direct reference to those who are in other countries, and under different circumstances.
We beseech the most serious attention of the Saints, and especially the officers, to the important things that are in the above Epistle. We trust that the presidents will make this known in an intelligible manner to the Saints who are under their care; and if there is something unintelligible in it, ask for a clarification, and you shall have it to the best of our ability through the Prophet. Behold the awaited time has come, and again we ask, “Who is ready to start homeward?” We would be pleased to hear from those who are eager to start next February, as soon as they can, namely what their circumstances are, and whether they can get seven or eight pounds for each member of the family after preparing here to start? for not much less will take them to Council Bluffs from here. Those who choose to go at that time, and who can afford to help others of their poor brothers and sisters, inform us how many, &c. Let the Saints remember that “a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.” Let everyone remember also that each one has his free agency to go or to stay, and that everyone has a complete right to his freedom, his rights, and his own possessions, so that the poisonous tongues of our perverse and lying enemies will be stifled with respect to this glorious gathering; for no doubt neither Noah nor Lot ever heard a hundredth part of the lying and baseless tales, when going to the ark, or fleeing from Sodom, that numb the ears of the Saints in their emigation, which, together with a thousand other important reasons, cause us tolong night and day to escape somehow by the skin of our teeth from the stupor, oppression, and recalcitrance of this wicked and perverse generation, to settle once again in that place, and among those blessed people, “where righteousness dwells.” Ringing our bell loudly, and making a lot of noise about our going, will not facilitate anyone’s departure, and perhaps it would be best not to make extensive preparations, such as selling possessions, &c., which is too rash, before having personal advice to that end, or until delving thoroughly into the relevant circumstances. It is indisputable that there is a need for wisdom, careful organizing, and faithfulness, to carry forth this great procession in an effective and beneficial manner for all. “In your patience possess ye your souls,” is very pertinent counsel in this matter also. “Do all things in a proper and orderly manner,” is our motto in this as in every other thing. There is nothing wrong with having someone come with you if he wishes, even if he is not a church member, but it is not permitted for a man to leave his wife in order to go, regardless of how oppressive she may be, nor is the wife to go without the permission of the husband. Let those who are yoked so unequally, pray and strive more that their unbelieving spouse will be convinced through them, and receive salvation.
Who lives at present
Are they Saints of the great King?
I was owned by the children of God,
But their enemies came.
And the Saints in anger they drove,
The Saints are on their journey
Along the vast wilderness,
They lost, yes, their city,-
But when God sees fit
They shall own the heavenly kingdom,
And Nauvoo. J. D.
The Persecution in Pembrokeshire
Pembroke, March 17th, 1848.
DEAR BROTHER,—I have baptized but four since I last saw you, i.e., two months ago; but we are suffering a bit of persecution here also, especially in Haverfordwest. The practice of our religious neighbors has been for some time to disturb our worship in the chapel; but last Sunday, when I was preaching, the chapel was filled with men and boys, who began to scream and whistle, until it reached a great shout of hurrah, and prevented me from preaching. When I came out of the chapel Sunday night, the street was full of rioters maligning me and threatening me, and some of them flung dirt at me. Some of them closed the door, and were holding it shut, while others were inside; they tried to extinguish the light, and you may judge to what purpose, but through great effort I prevented them from doing so. I got hold of one of those who were holding the door, thinking to get his name, but soon his partner wrested him from my grasp. Our custom is for one brother to stand by the door to watch that these wicked lads not come to disturb us. Last Monday night, we met in the chapel to hold a worship service, and one of the brethren stood by the door; the rioters rushed at him, and they pushed him over the stairs to the street, and they beat him badly; he shouted out for his life, and when I reached him, several had hold of him on the ground, kicking him, &c., and he was covered with blood. The next day, he showed himself to the magistrate, and asked for protection of the law, and the magistrate counseled him to get a warrant for the attackers; but to our great surprise, when the guilty parties were brought forward, and they were proved guilty before the magistrate, they received neither punishment nor chastisement, nor did our brother receive a bit of compensation or protection, rather he was obliged to pay all the costs himself!! Expecting that the magistrate would counsel them not to disturb us further, I explained to him their constant tricks, and that these were the main leaders of the continual rioters. The magistrate asked whether the chapel was registered, and I answered that it was; but they would not believe me unless I went to the clerk of the court to obtain a copy of that; and without a word of blame to the rioters, he said that the only thing I could do was to warrant them to appear before the Quarter Session, which would cost me about 20 pounds, they said. I went to the clerk of the office where the chapel was registered, and asked for a copy of the license; but he would not trouble himself to search the books for it. This is how the connection is between the great and the small, the noble and the common, the officers and the subjects, the believers and the unbelievers, all one against us testifying that they are children of the same father, and that because our religion is godly, and endangers the kingdom of the devil, he stirs everyone up against us. The rioters felt stronger with this support of the civil officers, so that they threatened in my face that they would do worse outrage in our chapel the next Sunday than ever before, and that they were determined to persecute us, until they overcame us somehow!
One of the magistrates asked me at the time, what we thought about the expression he had read on one of our letters of invitation, “authorized by Jesus Christ?” I answered that it was a commission or divine right to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. At this he said mockingly, that he would be very sorry to hear that any of his relatives were beguiled by such heresy; and they turned me out of the room! Like this you see, Dear Brother, how those who profess to have a mission from God in this enlightened age, and this Christian country, are received! This reminds me of the words of our blessed Master, namely, “I come in my Father’s name, and ye try to kill me; if another shall come in his own name [in the name of some Missionary Society, church, or reverends], him ye will receive.” Quite similar, is it not? But despite it all, I and all the Saints give thanks for being counted worthy to suffer a bit for the sake of him who suffered so much for us, and we thank him more and more for the divine testimony we have of what we are doing, and that we have the divine treasure, namely the gospel of the Son of God, in clay vessels. Oh, brethren, pray for us, that our Father will hear us.
Your brother in the gospel,
Remarkable Healing of Broken Bones
ESTIMABLE EDITOR,—There is much shouting about signs, and challenging for as much as ONE example of the spiritual power of God among the Saints; and with your indulgence, I will inform you of one great blessing among many that I have seen, and I testify in truthfulness of spiritual healings that the children of God have received through the exercise and ordinances of the Church of Jesus Christ, which took place before my eyes, under my hands, and within my own family a few days ago. Yet, I am not so unversed in the wiles of the devil, and in the unbelief of this age as to expect this obvious fact to be a means of convincing those of this age who hear it (for it is not the case with those who see with their own eyes), any more than the powerful works of the Son of God convinced his contemporaries of his divinity, which is obvious from the facts of his challenge to them to believe him because of his works; despite that, the more miracles he performed the more they stoned him, yes, and crucified him finally because of them. I do not doubt that their anger would be such to the extent that they were able to see the powerful works of God through his children; if one were to rise from the dead, they would be just as desirous to kill him again, for fear of his influence, as were those to kill Lazarus whom Christ had raised from the dead.
My purpose in offering the following story for your publication, is so that the Saints may rejoice and give thanks together with me and glorify God for his goodness, who is the only Provider of every bounteous blessing. Only he deserves the praise. The story I propose took place as follows:-
Two months ago, my eleven-year-old boy was crushed between the trams in Cyfarthfa Colliery, so that the bones of his leg were broken in two places. He was carried to my house; and, according to the rules of the works, the doctor hired by the works came there soon, and set the bones in place, and put splints around the leg. The doctor said the bones were broken in two places. Soon after the doctor left I administered to the boy the divine ordinance according to the scriptures (see James v, 14, &c.), and he was eased of all pain at that time, and the boy testified that he was completely well, and earnestly begged to take off the splints and get up from his bed; but we refused him this, lest we be punished by the doctors, as we and several other Saints who had been divinely healed had been threatened. The third day the doctor visited him again; and after looking at the leg, with great surprise he testified that the bones had knitted already. Again the doctor admitted that the bones had been broken in two places, and that he had never seen such healing before; for he did not know of the administration of the ordinance. After this another doctor came to the house, and questioned the women that were in the house in a very surly manner about “the oil they had put on the boy’s leg, that he wanted to see it,” &c. The women answered that they had not put oil on his leg, which was a truth in itself. He begged every day to get up and go outside, assuring us that he was quite well. Then we allowed him to go around, provided he took a stick in his hand and took care not to let the doctor see him outside; and he was so pleased with the freedom that we could hardly keep him in the house another minute, except when the doctor was expected. Like this he went around Merthyr with the splints hanging around his leg, and he did not dare to remove them. On the eleventh day the doctor came and asked where the boy was. My wife answered that he was in the field playing with the boys with no stick or anything. He had to see before he would believe; then he said that he was healing so well the last time that he had thought of allowing him the next time to get up to the fire, with his leg on pillows; but to his surprise there the boy was before him! My wife said to the doctor that some of the neighbors, on seeing the boy walking so soon, said that the bones had not been broken, and others said that “only the small bone had been broken.” The doctor replied that he was not a bit surprised at their disbelief, because it appeared to be such an incredible thing to see the healing of broken bones so soon; and it would be difficult for the doctor himself to believe, except that he knew for a fact beyond all argument that the bones had been broken. He refused to take off the splints, nonetheless. The next day the boy went past the shop of the doctors on his way to Merthyr, and they looked at him through the window in astonishment; and as soon as they took the splints off his leg, the boy went back to work completely well, where he has been working since that time until the present.
About two years ago this boy broke his other leg in a similar fashion, and received similar healing; but despite all the threatening and scolding on the part of the doctor, around the boy went, and eventually to work without the doctor’s permission. Let anyone who wishes tell whatever tales he chooses about this thing, as they did about the leg of William Hughes, &c., &c., yet not one man would dare to stand to my face and refute the above truths. There are hundreds of others that know that it is true; and I acknowledge the Almighty God with gratitude for the blessing.
I am, your brother in the gospel
45, Cyfarthfa Row,
Georgetown, March, 1848. } THOMAS REES.
These are the names of those who heard the testimony of the doctor,—
DAVID X JOHN,
MARY X JOHN,
A Remarkable Dream and Its Fulfillment
“WHEN in a deep sleep one night, I found myself in a large field amidst a large crowd, and listening to some stranger preaching, and speaking much about some book that he held in his hand. After he had finished, I approached him, and asked him what book it was. He gazed intently into my eyes for a moment; then, extending the book into my hand, he said, “Treasure this book in your memory, and print it in your heart; and while you keep hold of it, all the spirits of the court below cannot harm you.” I took the book and went (according to the instructions of the man) into a dungeon that was nearby. He bade me knock on the first iron door I came to, which, after I knocked, opened on its rusty hinges; and the first greeting was a huge lion leaping towards me, roaring and opening his jaws as if he would finish me at once; but I noticed that he was restrained by a great chain, which heartened me to go on past him. At this he saw the book under my arm, and in a voice like a man’s voice he persuaded, begged, and begged earnestly, and pleaded gently, and in every way, to get possession of the book. He promised surely to give it back to me in a while. But I remembered the advice I had been given, and that my life depended on keeping hold of the book. And after pressing it closer to my bosom, I ventured along a narrow road, as through the middle of a den filled with every kind of beast on chains, and all wanting the book from me, but in vain. After reaching the furthest edge, I knocked at another iron door, which opened to a room very similar to the last, but its inhabitants were snakes, scorpions, and the like. I soon understood that they had in them a strong attraction toward the book to destroy it and myself, I supposed; but I held onto it with my hands until I reached safely through to the third room, which to my surprise, except for the road which was through the middle, was full of men, most of them naked, standing up in chairs on every side, obviously in great pain. At times, they gnashed their teeth, but they could not reach to maul each other. My attention was drawn from this heartrending sight to a large man who came along the road from the furthest edge towards me slowly; and as loud as were the cries of the rest, the cry of this one pierced my heart even more keenly;-groans every step-his hands folded—his hair white, and his gown long and black, frightened me as he drew nearer to me; but when he was close to me, I took heart, and asked him what could cause such pains and excruciating torture as that? Then, he lifted his head a little, and gazed at me in astonishment, as if he had not seen me before; he opened his clothing, and then I saw his breast shining like a blazing fire, and immediately he closed his garment again; and all he said was, “If I had that book, I would not be in these pains;” then he went past groaning as before. But I chose to turn back; and through difficulties and great dangers I came out of their midst safely.
I awoke, and behold it was a dream; yes, a dream that affected me more than any other thing ever before. I imagined and pondered much about what it signified, and what book that was, but all in vain, until in a few months when in another part of the country, over 200 miles from there, I went with my friends on a Sunday afternoon to listen to some stranger who was preaching some new and strange things in a nearby field. As soon as I arrived, I remembered my dream. I recognized the scene at once. After he finished, I asked him to see the book he held in his hand; and after gazing at me with the same eyes as I saw in the dream and in a similar voice, which pierced through the marrow and the bones, he handed the book to me, reciting the above words about it exactly as I had dreamed. This affected me until I almost fainted; despite this I quickly opened the book, and read, for the first time ever, the title “BOOK OF MORMON.” As soon as I found it, I believed it, and I obeyed it, and thanks be to its divine author for the enjoyment of its precious promises.”
IT is intended to hold the Monmouth Conference in Nantyglo, on the last Sunday of April.
We expect to see there a number of the Saints who can come, and especially the officers, and all branch presidents, prepared to represent the branches, their number, how many baptized since the previous Conference, the number of the various officers, together with the spiritual condition of the Saints, &c.