“1848,” Ronald D. Dennis, ed., Prophet of the Jubilee (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997), 113–128.
Since we have completed the task that we undertook a year ago to publish a book mainly for the Saints, but also a book that will be of service to whoever else wishes to understand our principles as we profess them in truth, we avail ourselves of the present opportunity to say a word about it to those who have not yet purchased it for themselves. The book is the “SCRIPTURAL TREASURY,” which contains a compendium of quoted verses, and notes by us, to prove the main points of the religion of the Latter-day Saints.
We have no doubt that this small Prophet has many readers who have not yet obeyed the gospel we preach, and possibly many of those are reasonable men, who also admit that a man has the responsibility of striving to come to a better understanding of the principles he professes. Helping our readers to do so was one of our chief aims in composing and publishing the Scriptural Treasury in its present format. Although it is organized in a completely different manner from anything we have ever seen; yet, inasmuch as the scriptures of the truth are our rules of discipline, and our religious standard, we trust that a compendium of the views of the inspired writers brought together, and placed face to face in this manner before the eyes of our reader, will be more advantageous for him to be able to understand and defend the principles professed by the Saints, than if he had to search the entire holy volume on every subject, as we did in composing it.
The Treasury has required considerable work and research, and many earnest prayers for guidance of the Holy Ghost, so that we would be able to understand properly the ideas and the chronology of the Old and the New Testament prophecies, about which there are so many different opinions; and not without considering seriously the eternal consequences of teaching the human mind, and penetrating research into its connections backwards and forwards, did we dare to select and gather the scriptures as they are here.
The importance and responsibility of the circle in which we have been placed, together with our love for, and our desire to teach those who have been entrusted to our care, the pure principles of the gospel, together with the understanding that duties will call us out of the country of our birth before long, and deny us the dear association of the Welsh Saints for a while, and consequently the advantages of serving them, are considerations that have motivated us to move forward to break through every obstacle to publish this work.
The remarkable increase that God has already given to this denomination against which so much is being said, besides the more remarkable growth we know that he will yet give it before long, shows that our fears are not unfounded that, after our departure, self-opinionated and self-imposing men will come to the church, trying to entice after them unstable souls, and perhaps the occasional weak and ingenuous Saint, to the old and heretical traditions and the more popular ones of the latest ages. This shows the usefulness of the Treasury to forestall them; for it is certain that the Saints’ proper understanding of the principles of truth is the best fortress to defend them in those principles.
Dear reader, search, prove, weigh, and seriously ponder, for the truth is valuable to your soul; and if you get more of that with any other party than with the Saints, for the sake of your life go to it at once, and hold fast to it. If you get better truth in any doctrines, than the Treasury contains, notify us for the sake of our soul, and we shall run after it; but remember this first, that no one can enjoy sweet virtue, or the blessed society of the Spirit of the truth, or go forward toward perfection, except to the extent that he walks correctly the paths of the truth.
Another motive that prompted us to understake this important work is, we have had, by the grace of God, more opportunities to have personal association with, to listen to, and to extract the honey from the treasures of the inspired servants of the living God, namely the holy apostles and prophets, over the seas, than anyone else we know in Wales, and which have never before been published in the Welsh language; and we could not hide the light we have received through them from our dear compatriots.
Now we shall leave the Treasury, and we shall present it to the attention of whoever sees fit to give his time to read it, at the same time hoping that no family of the Saints will be without it, and we pray for the Spirit of truth to bless it to fulfill its mission, that God will be glorified, and thus we shall have the pleasure of hoping that through it, we are serving our nation while thousands of miles away from them. Amen.
The Treasury can be had complete, as soon as it can be bound, for various prices corresponding to its binding, from 4s. to 5s. 6c.
The following Petition of complaint shows the suffering and the oppression that ostensibly religious men can bring on the children of God when they have the power. We know that the Saints have not told all their sufferings in the following. Soon after this execrable deed, the chief Steward was fired from his job by the Company! “And with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again,” says Christ. Mr. Bidelph came there as the chief Overseer after him, who, although he is not associated with any denomination, is much more charitable than the others mentioned. Here following is the petition:-
“To John Bidelph, Esq.,
“Inasmuch as we, the undersigned, 29 of us, were turned away from the mine at Cwmbychan and Bryn without just cause, and have as a result been deprived of our livelihoods:-
“And our dear wives, and our innocent children (no fewer than fifty in number), have suffered, and continue to suffer hunger and great poverty;-
“And furthermore, those Stewards who turned us away from the mine have decided to drive us out of this country, they sent the Bailiff and the Policeman to turn us out of the houses, and to sell our furniture, if the rent money was not brought forward immediately, and through that depriving us and our families immediately, not only of food, but also of refuge or shelter against the fierce storms of February,—and in the land of our birth;—
“The only offense we are accused of, or that anyone can accuse us of being guilty of is, that we dare to worship the God of our fathers according to the dictates of our own consciences, the holy scriptures being the rule of life and conduct. To prove this last statement that is incredible to some, we have in our possession undeniable facts, besides the confession of our persecutors. We have obtained, or all who sought one, and now have in our possession to show to the world, written testimonials, and signed by our employers in the above works for an extended period, that testify that we are ‘diligent, honest, sober, and good workers;’—
“And we also have irrefutable witnesses, who testify that the Stewards (apart from a few gentlemanly exceptions) formed, in a council held for that purpose, false accusations against those of us who call ourselves ‘Latter-day Saints,’ intending to influence their superiors to permit them to turn us out of the work; and among the names of the Saints, they put a few other names, and that to hide their true intent, and those got to go back to the mine right away, while we, and no one else, are shut out; and when work is given to strangers here, we are told time after time by the Stewards, who are either zealous sectarians, or else under their influence,—‘If you leave your religion, you will get work, and not without doing that.’
“Inasmuch as the foregoing account is too true, and too easy to prove to anyone who denies it; that we, our dear wives, and our little starving children, are living monuments to this day, and exiles, in a ‘free country,’ for the sake of science, to prove the above as the truth;—
“The oppressive Stewards of the neighboring works are following the examples of the above persecutors, and are turning the Saints from their mines for the same cause,—We earnestly and humbly plead for your kindness in searching into the injustices and the oppression that innocent people are suffering, but with forbearance, and allow us, together with hundreds of others who are in the above mines, who believe, but who do not dare to embrace our dear religion, such freedom and privileges that are allowed to all your other faithful workers; for after much waiting, and humbly beseeching our persecutors, it appears that all our earnest and frequent appeals to them are as ineffective as the sigh of a baby against a rushing whirwind. And we humbly pray, respected Sir, that you will grant us those justices that are assured to us and to all other faithful subjects of her Majesty, for which we pray constantly; that by so doing you will earn for yourself the reputation of father of the oppressed, and defender of freedom; and thus will the earnest prayers of exiled parents, and starving children, ascend on high to the Lord God of all the earth for him to bless you and yours an hundredfold. Amen.
“We humbly beseech you to receive this book from the hand of the bearer, in which you can read the main tenets of our religion, which will enable you to judge for yourself in the face of the accusations against us that are presented to you.
“For the above Society we wish to sign ourselves
Your obedient and humble servants.”
Then a list of the names of the sufferers follows.
Let the reader consider who is the God, and what is the kind of religion of these oppressors; and their cruelties and their wicked deeds do not prove which cause motivates them, any more obviously than they prove also the divinity of the religion and the godliness of the sufferers, and the truthfulness of the Son of God, namely, “Ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake;” also, “A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand,” which clearly proves that the Saints are not subjects of the same spiritual kingdom as their cruel oppressors.
Lest anyone doubt that the above is religious persecution, we shall add a few of the many testimonies we have before us. Evan Rees, one of the preachers of the Saints, asked Thomas Jones, Steward, if he could return to the works yet. He answered that the works were too full. Then E. R. asked, “Do you have anything against me as a worker?” The Steward answered, “No, not in the least.”
E. R. asked David Hopkin, a higher Steward, “Do you have anything against me as a worker, or anything as a man?” He answered, “Don’t bother me; I don’t know anything about you; the works are too full.” Then E. R. asked him, “Why have you taken scores of strangers in then, when you have turned the Saints out of the works? Tell me what you have against me.” D.H. answered, “I have nothing against you,” and then he went away angrily.
Once again: Mr. William Williams, Steward, said to William Howell, one of the preachers of the Saints, that he, and practically all the Stewards there, had decided that no one of the Saints will work in those works, as long as they can prevent them from doing so.
A VOICE from heaven calls out
Strongly on everyone to receive grace,
Through baptismal water to repent,
The end of the world draws nigh.
Before long the time
Will be swallowed up in vast eternity;
Blessed are those who embrace the honor
That is offered by the Saints.
Fear not the frown or scorn of the world,
Come under the yolk, it is high time;
Turn to the Doctor all together,
Without delaying a minute longer.
As Christ was, the Saints will be persecuted,
By men of the world for keeping their honor,
As they walk the path towards Heaven,
By the only path He prepared.
To the Rev. T. Williams Ebenezer Near Carmarthen.
REV. SIR,-I had the opportunity to listen to you on Sunday, the second of July last, in your chapel, Ebenezer; and I am pleased to announce that you preached better, in your manner, than I expected you could. Your sermon savored heavily of deep meditation, and was as melodious as if it had been delivered many times mingled with the beautiful sound of the birds in your fields. You had announced this sermon a week previously, and had said that it was through it that you were going to wash your hands of the blood of all your members. The chapel was filled to overflowing, and I had the opportunity to note the most particular things you said. Your text can be seen in Eph. iv, 14,—“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” After hearing the text, I understood precisely that you too could through “cunning craftiness, lie in wait to deceive,” as well as those the apostle described; because you used words belonging to a church in which there were “some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,” that the saints be no more carried about (see ver. 11–13). The text would be appropriate for you if there were apostles and prophets in the Baptist church, for the perfecting of the members, for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ, and that until the body becomes “a perfect man;” but fie on you, you took a text belonging to a church such as the Mormons have. But since you did not speak of anything relating to the text, it did very well to be the sleight of man, “and cunning craftiness, whereby to deceive” your members into thinking that the text related to the Baptists! At the beginning of your sermon, you said you were not angry with the Mormons, but that you hated Mormonism. You considered that calling the Mormons “Saints” was blasphemy! Why so, Mr. Williams? Can the Baptists be called “Saints,” then? If you say they can, then apostles and prophets, &c., are needed to perfect them; for if Baptists and Independents can be perfected without them, “Saints” can never be perfected without them. You said too that you expected to be believed before the Mormons, because no one has ever been able to bring an accusation of untruthfulness against you in all the time you have been at Ebenezer. Well, if you say that Mormonism is deceit, then all your members should believe you! A fine way to toss “children” to and fro, Mr. Williams! It is not right for you to judge for your members, for several of them have been listening to the Saints for themselves, which you have never done. The doctrine of the Saints is not so far from being self-testing, that there is no reason to put trust in persons. How were you believed in at first, Sir, before you established your reputation? Did some urge people not to believe you? You, who are called a servant of God, be just; let others have time to make their reputation known as you did; yes, let them, and do not forbid your members to listen to them, but let them “prove all things, and hold fast that which is good.”
Your “craftiness” did not end with your text, but followed you in your sermon. You said that you would judge the Mormons on what is in their books, and that those were still to be seen; but you announced that you would not recite them as they were written, but that you would put a summary of them before your listeners, so that they could judge for themselves. You claimed that the books said that the following things had to be believed before one could be one of the Mormons;—1. That Joseph Smith is a prophet. 2. That the book of Mor [Mormon], Mr. Williams; is it true that you cannot read properly?] is as divine as the Bible. 3. That Jesus Christ appeared in America, and “preached to the spirits in the prison” of hell. 3. That there are two Jerusalems. 4. That the Jews are to be gathered to the Palestinian Jerusalem, and the Mormons to the American Jerusalem. 5. That miracles, associating with angels, visions, strange tongues, exist in the church. 6. That the sick receive health, and the dead are resurrected. 7. That the “signs follow them that believe” (see Mark xvi, 17, 18)! 8. That the earth is to be a place of happiness. 9. That everyone since the time of the apostles, all the famous old revivalists, and our godly fathers, are in the depths of hell!! Those are some of the things which must be believed, you said, before one could be a Mormon; and those are the things you saw in the books of the Mormons themselves. In what books did you see the above things in the context you insisted they were in? Did you name where they could be seen in print? It is true that you said you had them in your house, but could the Mormons come there to see them? The truth is, no one has to believe the above things before joining the Mormons; the whole thing is nothing more than an allegation on your part. There is no necessity for anyone to believe more than that he is a sinner, and that he can have remission of his sins through baptism; and that he will receive the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands, according to the promise of it to “all who are far;” and also to believe that he should keep all the commandments of Jesus Christ till the end. If someone wishes to believe something further after becoming one of the Mormons, he is at liberty to do so. I wish to believe also that Joseph Smith is a prophet, that the “Book of Mor” is true-that Jesus Christ appeared to his “other sheep” in America, and that he preached (according to the scriptures) “to the spirits in prison”—that Jerusalem and Zion are places of deliverance to the people of God, from the plagues the scriptures speak of-that the Mormons magnify all the spiritual gifts, as well as that all the “signs shall follow”—that the sick receive health through the laying on of hands and the prayer of faith. But I do not wish to believe that all the believers, from the time of the apostles until now, are in the depths of hell! Oh no, Mr. Williams; I have a better belief—all the Saints have a better belief. It is only by you, and in your wicked bosom that such a dreadful belief is harbored. The Saints believe in a just God, who will pay each one according to his deeds, and according to the light he has received. The old fathers have labored diligently according to the knowledge in their possession, and they will be rewarded for their goodness. But as for you, who are kicking against the pricks, and love darkness when light is offered to you,—I do not know what to believe about you. Your condition is bad, and dangerous. You had better slow down, and come to listen to the Saints for yourself, instead of preventing your members from doing so.
But to move on, you remember that you said toward the beginning of your sermon that there was no account of the Mormons having performed so much as one miracle; but before finishing, you said that it was they who would come in the latter days to work “signs and wonders;” and you announced that God allowed Satan to accomplish such things through men, the same as he did to the sorcerers of Egypt, who, you said, performed clear miracles, like Moses! Do you, Mr. Williams, see your confusion? Where was the “craftiness” that is in the text, then? You also remember that you said that Christ’s miracles were public miracles, but that the Mormons’ miracles are miracles “in the church.” Read, if you can, 1 Cor. xii, 28,—“and God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles,” &c. If they were outside in the time of Christ, they were inside during the time of Paul. Listen to yourself again:—“If they say that the miracles are ‘in the chambers,’ believe it not; if they say ‘in the desert,’ do not believe it either.” Did you not perhaps see a mouse when you were studying this piece, which confused you? To mistake the coming of the Son of Man for miracles! [See Mat. xxiv, 26.] You said that miracles are not needed to prove that the New Testament is true: if so, miracles are not needed either to prove that God set “miracles” in his church. No, of course not; it can be believed that there are “miracles” in the church as much as “teachers.” It is the same verse that says that various things are in it. But you also said that miracles now would be a disgrace on “the miracles of Christ.” Why so, Mr. Williams? Would it not be God who would be performing miracles now, as well as then? and would he not receive the glory? If the frequency of miracles makes them powerless, as you claim, then a few can be performed in this age, for none have been since the age of the apostles; they would be quite a new thing. Perhaps you will say in answer, “Let us see some of the Mormons’ miracles, then; then I will believe.” Multitudes would have believed Christ too, had he come down from the cross, so that they might see, that is have proof that he performed miracles. If you and they were to see miracles, you would once again doubt whether God or Satan worked them. If you wish to have proof of God’s acts in this age, I say to you, “All things are possible to him that believeth.” If you and your sheep want a sign first, then you are “an evil and adulterous generation,” and the sign will not be given to you.
I have many things you said written down, but I cannot find space at present to answer them individually. I can refer you to the books the Saints have published, and you will see them answered, if you take off the sectarian spectacles that are on your eyes. They cause frightful misconceptions,—they turn the Book of Mormon into the Book of Mor,—the Son of Man “in the chambers,” into miracles in them; and miracles in the church into miracles outside. These are the spectacles that saw all the old fathers in the depths of hell, and the Mormon preachers of Carmarthen coming from “the ends of the earth.” But one thing you said about the Mormons baptizing more than one, requires particular attention. If it is unscriptural for the Mormons to baptize after the Baptists, it is unscriptural also for the Baptists to baptize after the Mormons, as was done with two women in Llwyni, according to the account given in a recent issue of the Baptist. If you say further that the Saints baptize more than once themselves, I say that that is reasonable and scriptural. Your saying that Peter betrayed Christ (which was a great sin), and was not baptized again, does not prove anything; because he wept bitterly, and it is not a usual thing to turn a repentant man out of the church. If Peter had not repented, and thereby had been sent back to the kingdom of darkness, in which kingdom he was at first, how could he have been received back again to the kingdom of light, without being born again of water, in order to have remission of his sins? For every sin between brethren in the church, they are to forgive each other, and ask God’s forgiveness too through their Intercessor; and then they will not need to be baptized again. There is “one baptism,” or door to the kingdom of God, and one can go through it more than once, if necessary, without causing it to be “two baptisms,” or two doors. Paul addresses his brethren thus:—“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying AGAIN the foundations of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands,” &c. (Heb. vi, 1, 2.) That, and the following verses, show that one can begin again with religion in the above manner, if the man’s sin is not too great, after he has fallen, “to renew again in repentance,” and, of course, to be baptized, &c. What do you think, Mr. Williams, about that? Can the “cunning craftiness to deceive” manage to distort that to mean something else? Try, if you will.
By now, Sir, I am eager to end this letter. Perhaps we shall have the opportunity to write again. But one more thing must be said to you. You know that you gave a very apt sermon to keep your members from giving themselves freely to prove the Mormons for themselves. You showed the rebuke anyone would receive who went to hear them, or who gave his house, his garden, or his field to them to preach their views. You pushed down their throats that they should believe you before any of the Mormons, before you knew hardly any of them. If the community belonged to you, the poor Saints would not be allowed to step inside its boundaries. If you governed this kingdom, it would be a good thing for the Mormons that there was such a place as their New Jerusalem, so that they could flee to it. Thank goodness that the Baptist faith is not the established religion, and the Rev. T. Williams, Ebenezer, near Carmarthen, is not the Archbishop of Canterbury. You members of Ebenezer, do you know what you are? I ask in all seriousness, do you know that you are “spirits in prison,” and that the Rev. Mr. Williams is preaching to you, and that his intention is to keep you there for a long time? Oh, flee for freedom to the Mormons, “and you shall be truly free.” Farewell now, Mr. Williams; God bless you.
Yours, Rev. Sir,
Humbly and lowly,
Carmarthen, July 6, 1848.
THIS is the new covenant,
Assured by Jesus Christ;
All who refuse, who break it,
Will be remorseful on judgment day;
God was in the old covenant
With his children from early on,
From Jesus came the new one.
And the blessings in it full.
The angel brought the gospel,
And the blessings in his day,
This is the “time and times,”
“And half a time,” in their number:
John saw the same angel
Flying in the heaven,
One other came to meet him,
For us lowly ones to partake of the feast.
Several gifts through the same Spirit,
God promised without fail;
To our heavenly Father we give thanks,
That the gifts have been received.
Through the same Spirit are miracles worked,
And prophesying with them,
The tongues and the interpretation,
The church of God is now in force.
The world will hate you,—
This Jesus himself did say;
The opponents will be those,
Who will never taste of virtue.
Gehenna is sufficiently wide,
They will be punished for their work;
They will harvest the fruit of their life
In the vast eternity.
HELD in the Cymreigyddion Hall, in Merthyr, July 16th and 17th.
Capt. Jones was unanimously elected to preside over the Conference, and he began the morning session at 10 o’clock, through singing and prayer. Then he addressed the congregation appropriately and very effectively on the importance, the consequences, together with the beneficial purposes, of the work that was before us, showing clearly the necessity that each had to be spiritually minded, and to be sanctified in his spirit, before he can enjoy the spiritual benefit that is sought through him.
After that he called on the representation of the branches, which was given as follows:—
[table showing branches, presidents, elders. priests, teachers, deacons, baptisms, and total].
After a few brief and comprehensive observations by the president relative to the remarkable success of the work, and the need there is for the influences of the Spirit of truth to teach the Saints to go forward towards perfection in the proper understanding of, and the practice of sound doctrine, before true love can increase, and that the Saints enjoy great happiness in the Holy Ghost, he called elder A. Evans up, who gave great praise to the Saints who are scattered throughout the North, and said that they were greatly endeavoring to shun evil, and to live in a godly manner, and that they were enjoying the gifts of the Holy Ghost to a great extent, especially the gift of healing. And that the more they are persecuted, the more ingrained they become in the doctrine, and also that they are practically without exception continuing in a unity of the faith, and in brotherly love, and that there are higher hopes there for growth than there ever have been. He said also that there is a great call in many places for more preachers, and he earnestly pleaded for his fellow officers from these parts to come to assist him in the northern reaches of the Welsh vineyard.
Then the following places were established as branches, and the following persons to watch over them;—Pontypridd,-elder John Phillips, president. Swydd Ffynnon,—elder B. Evans, president. Llanfabon,—elder Robert Humphreys, president. Cefnmawr,—elder John Davies, president. Nash Point,—Thomas Llewelyn, president. Peel,—elder John Bowen, president.
Then the president called for whoever had any accusation against any branch president, or conference, to make that known at this time, or if there was any accusation against him, to bring it forward to the light of day, and not to hide anything: and although he called for that many times, no one uttered a word against him, or against any of the others. Then the president asked for a raise of the right hand as a sign of their satisfaction that all the presidents be sustained in their several offices through the faith and prayers of the Saints, which was done unanimously.
The president proposed, and it was seconded, that all of us on behalf of the church in Wales accept, and sustain through our faith and our prayers, President Brigham Young, together with his counselors as the presidency for the church throughout the world,-and president Spencer for the church in Britain. It was proposed by elder W. Phillips that we accept president Jones to preside over all church matters in Wales, which was seconded and approved unanimously. Then the morning meeting was adjourned until the afternoon. The president announced that there was an abundance of food prepared cheaply for the visitors.
Two o’clock, after beginning the meeting as usual by singing and prayer, it was found necessary to dispense with the sacrament this time, because it would be impossible to push through the congregation to distribute the emblems. The president presented details on the main purposes and forms of the temporal deliverance that God provided for his children in the various ages of the world, from the judgments he poured out on the ungodly; and he particularly explained the greatest deliverance in the last days, through the gathering of the Saints together in time from the four corners of the world to Zion. He showed that this was not a work to be done without due consideration, or with haste, rather it was a work that requires and deserves the serious consideration of each one; that there is a need for more wisdom, patience, and determination, to carry it forward than anything that has been done before; and that the chief motto of the Spirit of God, which is working mightily in his Saints to gather, is, with this part as with every other part of the divine work;—“do all things in a seemly and orderly fashion.” The president announced that the way of deliverance, after waiting long, was open-that there was an invitation to the exiled children of Zion to gather to their own home, to the country that God has prepared to be a saving Goshen to all the wretched of the earth who obey his commandments. He said that he, together with some other hundreds of the Saints, intended and were preparing to begin as the firstfruits of the other thousands of the race of Gomer who were yet to be delivered before long on mount Zion. He earnestly beseeched all the Saints, and the Officers especially, to be diligent in fulfilling the important stewardship that was entrusted to them of warning their fellowmen of the judgments and the disaster that are to come like a sudden and immediate destruction upon all who refuse this divine mission, and who refuse this deliverance. This lovely meeting was ended with prayer by elder W. Howells.
At six o’clock in the evening, the congregation was addressed by elder W. Hughes from Llanelli. He said that he had gone there a little over a year ago purposely to preach the gospel; and the result was that God enabled him to do so, despite all the rage of the enemy, and his own inability. He had had lectures, false accusations, and all the frowns and scorn, and the obstacles, that the zealous false religion in favor of human tradition, could put in his way; yet he had succeeded in convincing over one hundred and sixty of those dear inhabitants; and they rejoice greatly in their present privileges, and their hopes for the future,—they give thanks that they have come out of darkness to this wondrous light,-and they are striving greatly to live godly lives, and increase in all the knowledge of God,-and they yearn greatly to see the blessed day when they can go to Zion.
Elder W. Henshaw testified in English of his knowledge of the divinity of this great work, the great joy he has received through it in every way, together with seeing his success; and his determination was to do his best for it until the grave.
Elder W. Phillips added his testimony to the same effect. He showed from the scriptures that it was not God’s practice in any age to do any work on the earth for which he did not reveal his secret unto his servants the prophets. He showed the absolute necessity there is for apostles and prophets, &c., in the church, before it can be the church of God. He testified that such offices are in the church now, together with the other spiritual gifts, and that to deny those is to deny the religion of Christ, and to say that the above are not needed is to say also in fact that the church of Jesus Christ is not needed, since it is impossible to be the church of God on the earth without having in it such offices and gifts.
Elder H. Williams, declared his joy at seeing such a remarkable growth in this divine cause, and seeing scores of his old contemporaries having embraced it since he was here before, and rejoicing in it; he said also that he, together with his fellow laborers, had had the privilege of being an instrument in God’s hand in bringing close to one hundred, from darkness to the light of the gospel, and a children of God, and that they are all striving to conduct themselves in a manner that befits the excellent character they have been given. And he also showed the excellence of the divine plan that has been entrusted to us, inasmuch as imperfect men could not make a perfect plan to perfect themselves, much less to perfect others. Inasmuch as a perfect plan has been entrusted to us, he beseeched his fellow officers of these environs to come to assist him and his brethren here to spread knowledge of that through Carmarthenshire,—that there is there a great call for preaching, but the workers are very few,—that there is there work that several could have,—and that thousands of people who are honest in heart are desirous of having the truth, &c.
Elder W. Evans, Rhymni, said that he had just come back from the North, where he preached for a time, and he reported that the northern Counties are ripe for the harvest, and that there is an earnest call in many places for hearing this divine gospel. He demonstrated that his determination is to do whatever he can, despite every obstacle, to build the kingdom of Emmanuel; and he sincerely exhorted the preachers of the South to come to give a helping hand to their brethren in the North, so the honest in heart can take hold of the truth.
He was followed by the president, who through earnest exhortations persuaded the officers to move towards the North. He reminded them of the “parable of the rusty sickle,” which was delivered to the congregation at the previous Conference. He also said, that God, and good men, considered them responsible for the use they made of their talents, &c.
Elder W. Howells, in English, gave many interesting and eloquent counsels on different important matters, together with the above, and he declared his rejoicing for having discovered, after preaching for years with the Baptists, that he had hold of the true church, and the true gospel, and the true gifts of the Holy Ghost, in his great happiness. Then elder A. Clark closed the evening meeting with prayer: the singers sang several sweet anthems during the meeting, to the great enjoyment of the listeners, and praise to the blessed God who is the only one worthy of that.
Monday the 17th, at ten o’clock in the morning, the Hall overflowing with people, elder A. Evans began the meeting, and showed the various duties of the priesthood, together with the manner of calling officers to fill them, the necessity and usefulness for them, and the duties of the members to obey them. He was followed by the president on the same things, and also on the difference between human wisdom and godly wisdom in the calling of persons to fill the various offices, and the difference that is in their manner and their purposes of administering in the human and the godly ordinances. He proved also that it is similar now to what it was in the days of Christ and the apostles, the one age and the other choosing college-trained wise men, and God in the one age and the other “hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.” He expounded on several things in an instructive manner, too long to note here. Called to the priesthood, elders 15, priests 33, teachers 19, deacons 6, all to be ordained in their various branches.
The morning meeting ended by about one o’clock, and at half past two the scene had completely changed, so that the Hall, instead of being overflowing with people, was filled with large tables, and those had been adorned with the finest dishes, and were laden with many delicacies; and not only that, but surrounding them were many of the shining fair sex, and having dressed themselves and the tables in the finest manner possible, and as if they were all eager to excell over each other in cleanliness, cheerfulness, kindness, and everything good and virtuous. After they had all filled their Teapots, “each one better than the other,” the president asked a blessing on the feast, earnestly praying for the spirit of love and unity to govern every heart and motive. After that they sat at one table after the other in an orderly manner, and ate their fill, with plenty left over, and everyone praised and enjoyed, until close to one-and-a-half thousand partook of that meal until eight o’clock, when the tables were moved, and the scene was changed to a public meeting; and several eloquent and interesting lectures were delivered by several persons; and despite how late this missionary feast continued, we saw no signs of anyone tiring; and during the whole Conference and the feast, we did not hear of one complaint, or reproach, or finding fault with one word or anything of the purposes, or the feast, the method, or the teaching, neither did we see one sign of a sad heart, or a sad face, or a scowling look, rather everyone from the world, and the Saints, especially the merry sisters who served, smiling cheerfully as if they were in their element; and for their incomparable cheerfulness, their efficiency, and their unequaled nobility, they won the unanimous praise, love, and gratitude of every lover of mankind who enjoyed their delicacies.
At the end of the meeting the clerk read the receipts for the past year, which were entirely satisfactory. Many of the beneficial effects of this excellent Society for spreading the gospel throughout the country were made evident, which is strong encouragement to be more energetic in supporting it in the coming year, which, we hope, all will be. The gratitude of the meeting was expressed to our gentle friends of the world for their gentility and their cheerfulness. In short, we say that we have never before seen such love, unity, and orderliness, among such a multitude of people, or any congregations more noble in appearance, or more signs either of the influence of the Spirit of the living God; we could not think of anything that resembled it more than the heaven that the Spirit of prophecy mentions, when the Lord God will make on mount Zion a feast of sumptuous baskets, and of pure clarified wine, when all the children of Zion will gather together, and the veil that covers all the peoples has been done away, when there will be no more pain, or any of the inhabitants saying, “I am ill,” or anyone disagreeing, but all singing the songs of Moses and the sweet song of the Lamb, and “everyone’s harp in tune like David’s harp at the feast.” And may that happy time come quickly is our prayer. Amen.
WILLIAM DAVIES, Scribes.
On the 25th of July the Council (with about sixty officers present) decided unanimously;—That, inasmuch as President Jones intends to emigrate from our midst toward Zion in the spring;—That he has printed so many such excellent and useful books and pamphlets, which are, and will be, in great demand and requested, after his departure;—Also that all the branches throughout Wales (with two or three exceptions) do the following:—That every branch contribute, by collection, to be made every week from now until the next Conference, in their church meeting; that the branches choose their distributors by vote, and that each be responsible to the branch for its stewardship to distribute the books, and to give an accounting to them for the money he receives; that he give a public accounting to the branch as to how it is between him and the subscribers, who are in debt, and to encourage them to pay all their debts in full between now and then; that they are to choose their treasurer and their scribe to keep the accounts, and the money that is to be received through the above collections; and that every branch also is to get the full value of the money that is thus collected from books, to be sold to those who request them after that; and thus the branch will have that treasury on hand to be used as they agree, for the benefit of that branch, and not for personal purposes, but according to the agreement of all; and thus all the branches will be enabled to pay their debts easily, and others can get books also.
The council trusts that all the Saints will agree with this, as we are unanimous in accepting it, and propose it for your consideration, and we hope all the presidents will take care to place this plan into operation as soon as possible, and that they will use their influence to explain the necessity and the usefulness of it. For the council,
EDWARD EDWARDS, Scribe.