“1848,” Ronald D. Dennis, ed., Prophet of the Jubilee (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997), 17–32.
Reflections on the Year Gone By
THE year one thousand eight hundred and forty-seven is now numbered with those that have passed. Its hopes, its fears, its pleasures, and its sadness are over, yes, over forever! The unfailing chronicler who records temporal things for eternity has placed in the heavenly record vaults for safe keeping for the day of judgment, one more volume of the history of the yearly deeds of every owner of reason, good and bad. There they will stay in unchanging colors recorded on imperishable materials, so that not one sentence nor one iota of the factual register can be taken away or changed. Oppression, wars, and the injustice of nations toward each other-pride, prodigality, and the violence of kings, princes, and rulers-hypocrisy, deceit, and misanthropy of those who claim the title of Reverends, and who profess to be the leaders of the people, the sins of all peoples, and especially the lies of the religious zealots, who have concocted, who have declared, and who have published concerning the poor Saints, they are all printed on unchangeable chronicles, waiting to be read again in their faces, to be heard by the countless myriads, in the day of visitation. Oh what a sober thought! Yet, entirely factual! Where, at that time, will the ungodly hide? What giant rocks, at their call, will spring on the liars and the persecutors to hide them from facing the truth? Doubtless they would consider the mines of the world as but little to give for changing one sentence, or blotting out one word! Yet, they have no hope for that.
While their oppressors sleep, the groans of the bondsmen under their burdens, who starve while the former feast-the sighs of the troubled and the afflictions of the needy, the widow, and the orphans, have ascended to the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and testify against ungodliness in places on high, when there are also tears, and blood, and fatigue of the Saints, who have suffered because of the testimony of Jesus-their wondrous mission, shouting together in one loud chorus, “When wilt thou avenge us, Lord of justice, &c.?” On the other side, patience, virtues, works, meekness, brotherly love, charity, zeal, diligence, and the faith of the Saints of the Most High, have been recorded also, and they will continue in remembrance until that blessed day comes when it will be said to them, “Come ye blessed children of my father, &c.”
Happy indeed is the man who can say upon reading his own history for the year, that all is as he wishes. Who (even among those who wish to do good) can read his history for the year 1847, line after line, and the one sentence after the other, without wishing to change many of them, if he could? But that cannot be done-what is past is past forever, and, “that which is written is written.”
All this teaches us one particular and useful lesson; that is, let us take care that our history in 1848, is such that we will be glad to read it in the day to come, and likewise the history of every year that will be granted us until the word “end.”
The year 1847 was notable in its connection with the history of the Saints in Wales. The missionaries of the Most High have been zealous in fearlessly raising their voices and repeatedly declaring their message of peace within the hearing of thousands through the various counties of our country; and despite the shackles being removed that were on our brothers of the same blood-despite how frequent the false accusations that were declared and published about the children of God and their mission-and despite the wrath of the prince of darkness and his children, hundreds of the honest in heart have embraced the truth as it is in Jesus-have come to see the great light, and we have more reasons to be grateful to him who owns this work, because of his increasing readiness to seal such a blessing on the message-for confirming the word with such a host of divine witnesses, of wondrous signs, and of continuing circumstances of his own power. Also, we thank him for the health and the temporal blessings which he so abundantly imparts to us, together with the unity, the remarkable love, and the additional hopes which are in the possession of all his children throughout the land. Certainly the Saints have never been here in such a flourishing, loving, and successful condition as they are at present; yes, we can hardly bring to mind even one single exception. We give thanks for this. But, at the same time, despite how much has been done, who of the Saints-who of the officers, could not convince some other sinner? Who is that happy person in our midst to whose conscience the Spirit of truth testifies, “All thou couldst have done, thou hast done?” Hosts, yes, entire areas through our little country, have not yet heard our message, and the preciousness of their immortal souls, and the glory of our God, calls loudly for those who have accepted the divine treasure to strive more and more in the coming year than ever before, as the troubled days are approaching, in which the good seed cannot be sown here. Inasmuch as this small vineyard has been entrusted to us, we shall strive to properly use our talents, and thus we, and those who believe our testimony, shall have a swifter and more abundant entrance into the eternal resting place of the faithful.
However, it was not only in Wales that the year 1847 was noteworthy with respect to the success of the gospel; but even on the American continent. Despite the cruelty of the one part, thousands of the other part of those inhabitants have obeyed the gospel, and hosts have taken up their tents like Abraham of old at the call of God to leave Babylon lest they receive her plagues, rather choosing as did Moses of old the hideous wilderness with the people of God, than to dwell in the tents of cruel persecutors. And there is more call for preaching, greater hearings, and higher hopes throughout the States now than ever before.
Happening on that continent is one of the most remarkable events not only of the year, but of the age; yes, the latter ages, namely the exile of thousands of the Saints of the Almighty to the western forest. Happening there are miracles of their God as in days of old, extending his generous hand to feed hundreds of them with the birds of the sky, and with the wild animals of the forest, together with his strong arm keeping them from all their enemies, despite their numbers-to climb over every obstacle, though they lift their heads as high as the cloudy cap of the Rocky Mountains. He tamed the anger of the wild beasts, and even the incomparable rage of the “Blackfeet” (the Arabs of the forest) for their sakes; and he caused the savages to treat them with brotherly love, yes, he led them by the right hand until by the thousands before now they reached their chosen homeland; and there he feeds them with his goodness, as a shepherd feeds his flock. May their God multiply them and prosper them!
Several thousand inhabitants of the isles of the South Pacific became subjects of the kingdom of God also last year, and they are gathering in large numbers to greet their brethren of every color in Zion.
Great was the stir among the camps of the enemy throughout Britain, and thousands, or nearly that many, have enlisted under the banners of Zion during the past year, which diminished the sects of the age, although several of them decreased by 5000 last year! In short, the increase in number of the Saints throughout the world last year was no less remarkable than was their growth in godliness and good works; and the one and the other were no more remarkable than the false accusations, the persecution, and the enmity which false religionists cause to keep step with our progress. We thank our God for the well-known victories we won in the year 1847; and we trust in the same strong arm for more in the coming year. No doubt “a short work will the Lord make upon the earth” through us, if we take courage for his sake. May the mighty God, who gave us success with his work in 1847, lead us with his spirit, and give us more success in the coming year to gather his wheat into his garner. Amen.
Proofs of the Need for the “Gift of Healing” in the Church of the Baptists
SINCE the establishment of the Baptist mission in China until the present time, 26 of the female missionaries have died; the average missionary time was only four years and four months. Of the men 13 have died; the average length of their missionary warfare was seven years and six months. Twenty-six of the missionaries were obliged to leave their field of labor to search for health in some other climes; their average time in the field was five years and four months.
This is quite different from the average age of those missionaries Jesus Christ sent in his day; and it proves the preciousness of his promise to them, “Behold I am with you alway even until the end of the world.” When some of them were sick, they would call for the elders of the church to anoint them with oil in the name of their Master, and the prayer of faith would save the sick, unless their period of warfare had been completed. They believed the promise of their Master in their behalf, namely “they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover,” rather than fleeing to another country, and leaving their flock open to wolves. Who can read the foregoing failure? who can contribute so much money to send them so far, and keep them there at such cost? who says that the salvation of the souls of the pagans depends on hearing and believing their mission? yes, we ask who in their senses can think that the above missions have been sent by God, and think at the same time that the “gift of healing,” by the laying on of hands, anointing with oil, &c., (James v, 14), is not absolutely essential? Yet, we ask, who says “that those gifts were only for the establishment of the gospel, and that they are not needed now?” Let the sufferings of the aforementioned sufferers, poor things, say whether there is need for the “gifts of healing” in the church of God, yes, among the missionaries in this age. Let all the thousands of pounds that are taken from the destitute and widows, and the poor, and the Sunday school children of Wales, year after year, to pay the expenses of the aforementioned sick from every corner of the world, and from one climate to the other atmosphere in search of health;-let all this testify to the truth, and then the worth of the “gift of healing” will be told, or if the need for it continues to be denied in the face of these clear facts, let the collection of money as a substitute for it cease for shame. And yet, if the need for the gift of healing is admitted, its deniers will foresee that they will be asked according to the same logic, why are all the gifts Christ promised to the church not needed? And then the Baptists will foresee that that would be the same as admitting the fact, namely that their church is destitute of the gifts, and admitting that it is not the church of Christ, rather the church of Simon Menno, that is their church! And if so, all the collections, and consequently thousands of their livings would be ended. Ouch! to be spared such a fate!
The wretchedness we saw our compatriots suffering in foreign countries, and our personal acquaintance with the missionary stations in various distant countries, cause in us compassion for their sufferers, but yet our reason together with the scriptures, and these and other facts, prove to us that the latter should not go there on such errands until God sends them, which if they did this, doubtless he would send the “gift of healings,” and the other gifts with them. Surprising the suffering that zeal without knowledge causes! Also, if the spiritual gifts were given to establish Christianity, it is surprising that the same God would not give them now to establish the same Christianity (if in fact it is the same) among the pagans; or it is surprising, if God sent these missionaries to establish it! Doutbless if a servant of God went to these sick ones, and offered to them the ordinance of the laying on of hands, they would excommunicate him as a DECEIVER because of it!
A Peek at the Slugger and the Dowlais Shopkeeper
(A scene from real life behind the curtain!)
HENGIST and Horsa were no more fervent on the day of the “treachery of the long knives,” than the above Reverends appeared according to their ability in the following scene; and through this little mirror it is easy to see who is the pivot, branch, and root, and whose are the delicious fruits that fill the most beautiful branches of Jerusalem!
One beautiful, summery day recently, when the Slugger of Independia was sadly making his way along between the agonies of colic and headache, because of cursing the Saints so much on previous evenings, he came within some hundred yards of near the bridge, and a certain “Reverend” Shopkeeper, red and corpulent, was seen striding toward him as fast as “Tobit” once crawled after the bird that took out one of his eyes when he lay drunk on the road; but what shaking of hands! Oh! such joyful eyes! They hardly went a hundred yards in the same direction, as all birds of a feather flock together, before it was understood that they were some of the Daviesite carrion crows, not only by name, but also through a shared taste for carcasses.
Shopkeeper.—”Well, dear partner, how goes the business of persecuting the old Satanists these days?”
Slugger.—“Indeed I do not really know how it goes, but quite badly in some ways; to tell you the truth, I am almost losing heart, for they are increasing the more they are opposed, despite the fact that we are all shouting at the tops of our voices that they are dying out.”
Shopkeeper.-[Halting rashly and alarmingly on the road, shouted] “What! losing heart did you say! Oh! no, one dare not lose heart or grow weary; on with it, follow them to every service, tell everyone to shout Satanists after them on the streets, and they will be sure to tire before long. The Satanists are preaching on the street tonight, near Caersalem; yes, they are blowing their old ram horns at our walls. Go there, and disturb their meeting, and I will send some of my noisy boys there, to cheer you, whatever you say. We must, Oh we must devote ourselves to persecuting them, otherwise they will reveal the feet of our great Goddess, and the hope of your profit too will fade like ours, and all of Dowlais will follow them. And also, listen brother [and looking about him he put his head near his ear], that is an excellent way for you to win fame, and who knows but you may win one of the fine temples of our Goddess if you are faithful for an instant. You see that every child who persecutes these Satanists wins respect through the publications, and soon earns a living. That is how I would have climbed up to a pulpit anywhere, but I can operate more successfully from behind the screen, you know, and have the occasional lecture in the chapels, and the publications against them, for in that way they will never be able to answer back.”
Slugger.—[Who pricked up his ears, and rejoiced from his head to his heels when he heard about the synagogue and the fame] “Oh! I feel my hatred for the old Satanists being kindled under the weight of your advice, and if only you would promise to write an account of the occasional debate for the publications, with my name victoriously attached, of course I would decide to persecute them with all my might, for you know how to fix them. Yes, that is a noble plan in order to climb up; on with it. But what subject, or scripture, is the best to cut them down?”
Shopkeeper.—“Subject! do not try to discuss subjects with them; otherwise they will certainly beat you, and about the scriptures do not say a word, for they will turn them all in their own favor. The best way I found was to shout that miracles had ended-and to tell all sorts of old fables against the people, and I have a sackful about Joe Smith that I could get for nothing. This is the best way, and the only way to oppose them.”
Slugger.—“I am of precisely the same opinion as you, brother; and Oh! now I remember [rubbing his scarf], I have a new and very delightful story about them at present.”
Shopkeeper.—[Standing up again so as not to miss a word] “Well, what is it? Tell me quickly, for I will not take another step until I hear it.”
Slugger.—“No, come on, I am in a hurry, so that I can go to their meeting tonight, and start before they get there; and so I will be sure of a chance to speak. Well, [walking forward slowly], one of the Saints’ preachers in Llanelli said—”
Shopkeeper.—[Contradicting him indignantly] “No, do not call them Saints; do you not know that I have named them Satanists, and that I am energetically teaching everyone to call them by that name? a much more appropriate name for them, but go on with the story.”
Slugger.—“Very well. Satanists they shall be then. Well, that preacher said that an angel was to come to the service one evening, and he invited everyone to come there to see it. There was great excitement and everyone gathered to the place; and after the appointed time had arrived, with the people waiting eagerly, the angel rushed into their midst from some other room, wearing a white robe, and the women screamed, and fled in fright, and the others fainted, and the angel swayed! But, so much the worse for him, some of the wise lads of Llanelli had come there, expecting that there would be some tricks there, and they grabbed the angel, and dragged him out, and began to kick him, and the angel began to cry out, and beg for his life! But they gave the big Satan a good thrashing for calling himself an angel, and then they left him. And the few weak-headed fools who believed them have left them because of it.”
Shopkeeper.—[His stomach heaving like a bellows from laughing] “Very good, that is a splendid story; send it on.”
Slugger.—“But it is rather too plain for anyone to believe it like that; would it not be better to alter it a little; and I cannot on my conscience verify it.”
Shopkeeper.—“What! believe it indeed! they will easily believe it from your lips. Do you not know that the title reverend at the end of the story sanctifies it in the eyes of the people, whatever it may be. Say that some minister from there wrote it to you as true. What does it matter if it is lies, if it serves a good purpose. All weapons are legitimate in war. Oh yes, I know that that is true enough, for it is very like the Satanists’ tricks. I have heard it before, and have written it down, and am going to publish it as true through every publication that accepts it, and those who doubted it before will believe it from there, you know. That is what I did before. Did you not read the stories of those women from Penydarren, and the account of their meetings, in the Baptist, and the tale of the man who broke his leg, and many other things, which would do great harm to our craft if the people found out the truth about them; and one must color a little at least, in order to prevent the people from going headlong to hell. Although many strange things have taken place in their midst, yet I will not believe even if they were to perform the greatest miracle ever. I have decided to persecute them to my utmost ability as long as I live; for I have done too much already to give up now.”
Slugger.—“Certainly I feel my old zeal rekindled by your advice, but I must go this way now; I shall see you again tonight.” And after shaking hands exit the Shopkeeper laughing up his sleeve at the fun he would have at the expense of his “cat’s paw.” And the Slugger for his part strode the other way, chewing his cud and thinking about this new way to fame, and whispering to himself, “Synagogue,” “living,” &c. The next view of the Slugger was at the top of the place where the Saints were due to preach. He had been as good as his word and got there first, and was busy shouting the “story of walking on the water,” &c., &c. And the reverend Shopkeeper was in the crowd, smoking a long pipe and laughing every now and again, until the mantle of darkness fell, and hid them from men’s eyes from shame!
If you happen to meet the “Shopkeeper”-beware
Of his kicks, he is a traitor;
Out of shame the man presents
His sledge to the Slugger’s head.
The “Slugger” also sledges,—at anyone
The jail is extremely cold;
It is too clear that a frown meets
The cultivators of all lies.
Praise for the Review of Capt. Jones
The lectures of the REV. E. ROBERTS, Rhymni, and his supporters, against Mormonism.
HE raises his head no more a Captain-joyful
Though their tempest was terrible,
A giant of strength, he beat them.
Your brilliant REVIEW-gentle and wise,
It deserves acceptance;
Doubtless it goes to show
Man’s power in his Father’s hand.
Reigning like a proper lion-a genial
Lamb too for a purpose;
A happy man full of grace,
Steadfast for his kingdom.
You shattered all their castles-vile things,
Without making mischief;
You revealed and pulled down
In dreadful shame their odiousness.
They scratch true professors of faith-awful and fierce,
They may not dwell in peace.
Doubtless, if shown in daylight,
They will see their naked shame.
Mr. Roberts, in the Apostolic Witness, says that it is too much of a compliment to the devil to interfere much with the Saints, in the form of writing or lecturing. And I say,-
The deadly enemy will not tangle-with the Saints,
If our Witness is prospering;
Roberts, it is well known;
In his deceit is worse than a d—l.
No man is found to hear him-who is
In his right mind and senses;
To men with buttermilk brains,
Very dull, he is quite a man.
The reverend men vomit-in vain,
For profit the devilish ones
Incomparable, bear their grudge.
An impartial consideration of the disgraceful behavior of some of the preachers of the age (especially the Baptists) towards the Latter-day Saints, compelled me to compose the above, and to offer it for your public use, and I hope it will be convincing to many of the devotees of the said persecutors, so that they are not misled by their fabricated tales. What but Satan is stirring them up so that they do not leave their innocent and conscientious neighbors in peace to worship God as they please? Yet, I have not heard that one of the pious and respectable attackers has offered to disprove any of the Saints’ principles; they only revile them, tell the unfounded stories of their professed enemies about the characters of people who are dead, and others who are thousands of miles away from us;—revile them as Satanists, deceivers, false prophets, witches, &c., &c. Whether the free reviler or the willing liar is worse, is a difficult question to decide, because they are two brothers with the same father; the age of the one is six, and the other’s is half-a-dozen. No doubt he whose tongue is unclean enough to revile his fellowman, out of malice against his religion, is also black-hearted enough to form lies, and deliver them as truth even from a pulpit, to seek vengeance on him that way too! Poor even in their own minds are the false religions of those who have no better way than this to defend them, and to keep their devotees under their paws. But you innocent flock of Jesus, fear not the gnashing of the teeth of all the wolves, nor the blasphemies of all the priests of Babel the great, for the heavens rejoice at your incomparable courage, and smile upon you, multiplying you more and more; and no doubt hundreds, if not thousands, like myself, have been convinced that you must be of God, for all the old persecutors who were always at loggerheads with each other, to persecute you as zealously as they do now. There is no doubt about your religion, that it is the powerful actions that the Spirit of God brings you through it, that are disturbing the enemy’s kingdom, and alarming his servants against you. Go on, there is long life and happiness before you, and hosts almost without number are beginning to run after you, in the Mormon race for the highest feat.
May it go on with ease-through the ages,
With Jesus as protection;
Were all the strong and wise of faith
Against you, who shall deliver you?
I am your well-wisher,
DANIEL AB IAGO.
Letter of J. James Victoria
DEAR BROTHER JONES,—I am pleased to inform you that our branch is going along successfully, and some are obeying continually the ordinances of the gospel, with evident and successful signs throughout the conference in general of the constant goodness of our God toward us in his work of imparting his several spiritual gifts in our midst. I have one particular and very strange example to tell you about, and think it worthy of being chronicled in the Prophet. Last Sabbath night, at the end of our evening service, I went with a newly baptized brother, whose daughter was lying ill. Her age is about 16, and she was totally unaware of our principles; and her mother and the rest of her family is in the same perilous situation until now. The girl referred to was suffering from excruciating pain, with pains shooting through her whole body, so that it was necessary for her to stay in bed. Another brother and I went to the room where she was lying, and through our prayer to, and our faith in, the Savior, she received an immediate release from her pain. There were there six unbelievers as eyewitnesses of the power of God in her healing, and they marvelled at what they saw. Also, yesterday was a remarkable time here; the power of God was made manifest in a very obvious way in the preaching of the gospel by our dear brother John Pugh from Blackwood. He received some unusual assistance in preaching in our meeting at six, and he had the joy of seeing two who had been pricked in their hearts, and seeking part in Salvation; and afterwards they bore witness of the Son of God by giving obedience to the commandment that says, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you.” There are yet here many more who have promised to follow them; may the gracious Lord strengthen them, so that Zion will become a joyful mother of children, with hundreds of the race of Gomer among them. Your humble Brother in the Gospel of Christ,
P. S. Seven were baptized last week, which should be added to the number that brother W. Phillips has.—J. JAMES.
“Nightingale of the Glade” and Mormonism
MR. EDITOR,—Recently I happened to meet some poet who calls himself “Nightingale of the Glade,” and I had the opportunity to explain to him something of the principles that are believed in our midst, which he did not oppose: but I heard that after that, poor thing, as many do, he disregarded godly things, and used his talent to malign and falsely accuse the Saints, as follows, according to what I heard,-
“Latter-day Saints—I understood,
Were completely deceived,
By a poisonous fiendish knave,
Far to the left of the deepest pit.”
I wrote the following as an answer to him:-
It is awful to give a verdict—the damning
Condemnation at once;
The main point for the man is to prove the work,
And useless without this is the law.
Oh fair “Nightingale” wait for a moment—watch now,
And take back your verdict;
We challenge the bards and the best in the world
To scrutinize us and overthrow us.
Answer you, not opinion either—it is this,
Has the law changed?
No, and yes, is your language,
Answer—not in supposition.
If the “Nightingale” says yes—next
He will show the true side;
A true one had to be there,
Now it is one that knows no change.
The second Adam is our ruler—he
We claim is a man of God;
Whoever strays from his teaching by just one degree,
The foolish waverer is a godless person.
Our teacher does not turn back—learning
That does not bend its rule,
Our faith is not, foolish wretch,
Of a Being that is changeable.
Note the mistakes—of the author
In the creed of the Saints;
Excellent “Nighingale,” if there is falsehood,
Explain with fluent words.
In his life Jesus gave—a promise,
Unfailing to his family;
We hold, the Saints that follow,
Will you change and give in?
Will you admit that which belittles—as deceit,
To blind us, wait,
“From the deepest pit,” slow down,
The oppression is too thick.
If there is blasphemy in the disciples—this,
For claiming the signs,
Wholly well of this blasphemy
The apostles will not escape.
We still remain—to walk,
Along the old paths;
In one age is it false,
To another the best lesson?
Llwynygell. DAVID ROBERTS.
Letter of Abednego Williams Nantyglo
RESPECTED EDITOR,—One of my chief aims in this letter is to inform your readers that I am the one who published the song that is being sung against the Saints of the Almighty through the fairs, the markets and along the streets; that is, the song that was printed in Brynmawr, the one that maligns the dear Saints as “Smithites,” &c. Yes, I myself with sincere remorse say that I was so bad as that; and O! if I could delete all that, and undo the harmful influences that it has no doubt caused; yes, if I could but move the obstacles I put in the way of the weak in their search for the truth, it would cause me the happiness my conscience now refuses me. Here I am making one more effort to call that rubbish back, and I earnestly beg some space in your columns for my sad confession so that I shall be free from the consequences of the influence of that song, at least in the sight of your readers. The only excuse I have for having published such a thing is that I was in darkness, and after composing it under the influence of prejudice of the teaching I had from the pulpits, the publications and from the heads of ministers who should have known better. But now, I understand that such is an insufficient excuse here; but O, what about being sufficient before the court of truth in the day that comes! For goodness’s sake, forgive me, and allow me through your columns to beg humbly for all the Saints to forgive me. I pray constantly to the God of the Saints whom I persecuted, through Jesus Christ, to forgive me also. The way in which my closed eyes were at last opened, and by which I understood that the people of God in truth are those whom I scorned, was the following: I confessed that I was blind, and I was spiritually drunk, yes, dizzy; while in this state I did this great evil against you, and for this have mercy on me, dear Saints. If a drunk man, especially if he were blind also, were to trample on your feet, I know that you would excuse him if only he were to pull away and ask your forgiveness. In a like manner I also seek your forgiveness. As an occasional word will have a greater impact than others on the drunk man, so my own consideration was attracted to the saying, “Prove all things, hold fast that which is good,” together with another saying, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” I went to listen to determine whether the Saints promised this priceless gift, or whether they say as do other sects, “that such a thing cannot be had now, that it is not necessary, &c.” And to my great surprise I heard from them the gospel of the Son of God, and they promised as did Peter of old, that I myself, the lowest of all, could have forgiveness, and that God would impart the Holy Ghost in his gifts to me on the aforementioned conditions. This was too fair an offer to refuse, and nothing short of obedience could calm my troubled conscience. I was baptized, and through the laying on of hands of the servants of God, thanks be to Him forever, I received the influences of the heavenly Comforter, and of the association of His Holy Spirit. Again, I am thankful for my salvation to the point of getting the chance to come into the kingdom of God. I made terrible scorn in that song because of the testimony of the Saints; but by now I myself testify humbly and soberly, that I have received many supernatural witnesses to prove that the Church of God is the Church of the Latter-day Saints; and since I have this knowledge, I am completely willing to suffer, through the help of my Heavenly Father, all the anger, and to profess in the presence of my compatriots that they might also hear the way to inherit the kingdom of God and its blessings. I suggested also in that song that you make Mormonism a profitable venture by charming money from the charmed; but now I know that that is as completely contrary to the truth as anything I published. I know that I and all of the Saints I know received this glorious plan and its heavenly gifts for free.
O, that I could see hosts of my dear contemporaries come in, so that they could receive and inherit the fulness of the promises of the Son of God, then they would know that He is true and unchangeable, and they would get his Spirit to bear simultaneous witness with their own spirits that they would then be the children of God; and if children, heirs also, that is the heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. I earnestly beg a share in the prayers of the Saints so that the enemy will never entice me to bring shame on this holy name, and so that we all arrive at the crowning achievement in Christ Jesus.
Latter-day Saints—the purpose
In my life, I see,
Is to find my God, the light of the Lord,
The true high God Almighty.
Your humble brother in Christ.
Nantyglo. ABEDNEGO WILLIAMS.
Who Is Ready to Start Home?
GENTLE SAINTS,—After a long wait, behold the desired time has come for whoever wishes to begin his way toward the object of his affection. After frequent asking—“When can we go toward Zion,” here is a full answer. And who is ready to get underway? Thousands of our brethren before this have through every obstacle arrived at the place which their Father indicated as a place of refuge for them—“until the wrath has subsided.” Thousands of others are on their way in the wilderness, and the western states; about three hundred are starting from Liverpool, and a similar number to follow them in March, &c. And the way is open to whoever is ready to follow them as quickly as circumstances permit, in righteousness and order. The awaited time has come for the gentle Welsh also to have temporal deliverance from oppression, violence, persecution, famine, and destructive judgments. Who is ready, we ask? The center point of the gathering is the valley of the mountains near the “Salt Lake,” in California. The recommended way is through New Orleans, up the Mississippi river, and the Missouri, to Council Bluffs, and from there overland in wagons, to the end of the journey. Those who do not have sufficient means to carry them further than Council Bluffs, will receive houses there built for them by their brethren, and small farms cheaply, prepared by other Saints who have gone ahead; and where everyone will be able to raise plenty of food, &c., very easily to assist them in going further; and thus they will have establishments, namely dwelling places, small farms ready to be worked, mills, and everything necessary at their service. Further on, over, and over, they will have the like until they reach the end of their journey; thus, no one will have to suffer hunger or much of the fatigue compared to what the first pioneers suffered. In these generous and beneficial arrangements and preparations are seen the love and the unity that are among the Saints and their brethren throughout the world, their strivings to benefit them, and their care for them temporally, and spiritually. Also seen is the great wisdom that governs all their movements! In time we expect to be able to provide a detailed account of the lovely country where the Saints dwell, together with the cost of going from here to there, &c., &c. But to come closer to home at present, we ask again, who is ready to start? The question is not who wishes to go, for we know that the extent to which the Saints receive the Spirit of God, their eyes will be opened to understand the absolute necessity for them to have this temporal salvation as well as the spiritual. As for anyone who does not perceive this now, let him be patient, and stay where he is; but, if he prays to God for the Holy Ghost, that Spirit will be as certain to draw his heart toward Zion, as his fondest work is to lead to a unity of the faith. As for anyone who does not agree with this emigration now, the time will come when the signs of the times will testify to him all too clearly concerning his misunderstanding, that “On Mount Zion” will be his only deliverance. Yet, we say, and we wish everyone to notice, there is no compulsion for anyone in this regard, any more than with respect to any other principle pertaining to the kingdom of God, but complete free agency, and each one can choose his time to go if he wishes; not in haste, but in an orderly way. Yet, we foresee that more wisdom will be necessary to carry out this emigration in an organized and beneficial manner, than with anything else at this time. And upon studying the best, cheapest, easiest, and surest way for the benefit of everyone who goes, we can do nothing less than pray frequently—“O! Thou who didst begin this good work, give an abundant portion of thy Spirit to thy children, in wisdom, love, and humble spirit to guide them in the right way.” No doubt some will have a greater test of their faith in this matter than they have ever before had. Let not anyone expect to receive a recommendation from us to go, except on righteous principle. Righteousness, and the respect we have for the name we profess, together with the success of the work here, and the character of the Saints who stayed behind for a while; all this compels us, we say, to inquire as to who is free from worldly debt. For, let everyone understand clearly, that we cannot recommend emigration for anyone while still in worldly debt, except he be able to reach an agreement with his creditors first. And further concerning this, inasmuch as we are going to the place “where righteousness dwells,” it cannot be expected for them, neither will they, suffer injustice from anyone throughout the world; we know of some who were sent all the way from Nauvoo, back to England, just to pay their debts to the world, or to leave the church. But to exhort the Saints, we say, In all things, act righteously towards everyone, and pay what you can, and perhaps you have been paying your money for so long previously to philanthropic, just, and generous men, whose hearts the Lord will open at your petition, to forgive you that amount which you cannot pay (if such is the case after every effort and diligence); but let not anyone shame the holy name that he professes by trying to practice unrighteousness. With this still in mind, we ask, Who is ready to start?
God expects honesty from his Saints in this also, namely in warning our dear compatriots of the danger of staying in Sodom. Inasmuch as he out of his goodness has imparted the dispensation of the gospel to us, doubtless our nation will request it from our very hands; and let all the Saints know, especially the priesthood, that whoever neglects opportunities to warn his fellowman, and to invite him to shelter in time, is behaving, not only unrighteously, but also unkindly toward such, and his conscience will be pricked, and there will be sorrow in his heart because of that, even after arriving in Zion, and he will have a desire in his soul to return again, perhaps, to complete those of his duties he neglected before starting from here. With this still in mind, we ask, Who of you Saints is ready to start?
No doubt many obstacles, and some very large, or will be considered thus, will be thrown in the way of some as they are about to start; such as, children of some parents who are dragging behind, or parents weeping before their children; their old neighbors as the cruelest opponents, or the most earnest in persuading them to stay. No doubt the thousand old tales invented by the father of lies, and which were proclaimed by his servants, about the emigration, &c., will come to the memory clearly; yes, it is indisputable that the devil and all his children will strive as much, if not more, to keep the Saints from obtaining this deliverance, as they strived to prevent Lot from going out of Sodom, or Noah and his family from going to the ark; and in time let it be remembered by such ones of the Saints that God’s call is to them, saying,—“Come out of her (Babylon), my people,” &c. And also, let the words of Christ be remembered, “He that loveth father, or mother, or relatives, or houses, or lands, more than me is not worthy of me.” Furthermore,—“Through much tribulation shall one enter into the kingdom of God.” And also, “He who endures to the end will be saved.”
Let the poor pray to God, their Father, to open the hearts of their religious brothers and sisters who are rich to help them to pay their expenses to Zion, and once there they can repay them with interest. That is how the American Saints did-that is how the Saints in England did and are doing-and we hope that the Welsh Saints will not hold back in their readiness and their generosity in this. Although all the Saints, like others, are free to do as they wish with their possessions, with no church compulsion; yet, we do not hesitate to say, that those who do this for the poor and faithful Saints, are deserving of more of the fruit, blessing, and interest, from their money, than they will receive through any other way that we know of; for there, labor will be worth more than money. The instruction we received is, serve our nation for one more year, which we are content to do, although it would be much more attractive to go, as soon as possible. And also, we counsel all who can, to prepare themselves for that time, and perhaps we will be allowed the pleasure of their company as we leave this weary captivity!
Distributors, Take Note!
WE earnestly implore your efforts to spread the Prophet again this year; and we hope that no one will be satisfied to let the numbers of subscribers diminish, but rather to increase, as the need for it increases, and as the interesting news increases that of necessity comes through it. We ask for every distributor to question carefully, and often, how many he can sell this year, in case we send too many to any place, to rest on the hands of the distributor when they would be of greater use in some other place. Send, then, at the first opportunity, for whatever number of the Prophet that is needed, that is the number they can sell; and it will be expected for them to continue at the same number for the entire volume; otherwise the rest that remains on hand will cause confusion with the volumes.
There is more than the whole subscription for an entire year of the Prophet owing us for books, which were received this past year; either from the subscribers, or from the distributors, or perhaps from both! Yes, dear Saints; consider, for there is as much as that in your hands of money that should by rights be assisting to carry out this work faster! We ask you, What, seriously, is this if not binding our hands from publishing? You do not realize, perhaps, while only a little bit for one, and a little bit for another is owing, that that is a lot; while it rests on a small operation like ours to bear up under it all; and also, that pays in advance for everything that is printed! There has never been a publication, we believe, that has been carried forward through so many obstacles as the Prophet, and we hope that its distributors will not be guilty of starving it to death, by refusing to pay for it.
Also, since we intend to leave this country for a spell before very long, we call the attention of the whole world as far as we can, Saints and everyone else, to this, namely,—If we are indebted to anyone anywhere, bring one, and bring all of them forward to us, and we shall pay them! Pay close attention to this, and let the backbiting enemies who are spreading their blasphemies about us be silenced, and we shall close up their way for this before starting; and we challenge the whole country to prove that we refused to pay one penny that we owed when it was demanded. Let our enemies pattern their behavior according to this honesty before saying a word to anyone else; and let every one of the Saints strive to imitate this, if no other example is worthy. Since we proclaim such a fearless challenge to the world, we are fearless also to exhort our debtors to pay us as soon as at all possible.
WE have volumes of “Capt. Jones on Mormonism, in 1846,” for from 3s. to 4s. 6c. Also, volumes of the Treatises we published in 1847, for from 3s. 6c. to 5s. 6c. Also, the two volumes of the PROPHET bound together, for from 4s to 6s., according to their binding. The distributors can get the foregoing with the PROPHET if they send the money. We also have a variety of English books and the Millennial Star, biweekly, for 3c per issue.
Direct letters, prepaid, to CAPT. JONES, Wellington Street, Merthyr. No one can expect a response, if there is no stamp on the letter. We are tired at last of paying postage for everyone!