“1847,” Ronald D. Dennis, ed., Prophet of the Jubilee (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997), 5–20.
Proclamation to the Welsh
DEAR COMPATRIOTS,—As we send this second volume of the PROPHET into your midst, we fervently beseech your most serious attention to it. Do justice to your own souls and to the truth as you read it, so that you may receive the benefit we intend in publishing it. We know it contains many important matters, which closely relate to each one of you; and although several things in it may appear new and unpopular at first glance, yet be patient, for your Bible is the same as ours. It is therefore in these accurate scales that we weigh every principle.
We know that we are (through the grace of our God) in possession of divine and precious treasures, which will enrich you also for eternity. We have received the gift of that heavenly pearl for which you search, from one chapel to the next, and from one denomination to the other, over the years—namely pure religion—the principles of heaven—the eternal gospel; that which brings life and purity to light. We are doing our best to present knowledge of it to you in every manner and way we can; and although it is so beneficial, thousands of you are disregarding God’s counsel against you, not obeying or listening to, the heavenly and important call that is presented to you.
Scores of us have been proclaiming this good news in your midst for some time now, at our own cost; and what reception have we had? One could reasonably expect those who admit the truth of the Christian religion in its original and pure establishment, and who profess such great zeal for it, to embrace it as the treasure of treasures when they hear it again being preached by us in its fulness, re-established as before, and with its preachers sent by divine authority as were sent those whom you hold in high regard.
But you know that it is the complete opposite of that. What better reception do God’s emissaries get from you now, especially from those who are zealous for the traditions of the fathers, than similar emissaries with the same sort of message got from their contemporaries? Rabbis, teachers, and the most zealous religious believers of the land were their chief enemies; these were the ones who preached most from the pulpits against them, who most often told unfounded tales about their characters, and who proclaimed that what they had was deceit, and that their leader was a deceiver, and all that without offering one proof of anything, except their assertions. Is that not exactly how such people behave towards us? The best welcome they received from the beguiled of such people was the shouting of false prophets, false teachers, deceivers, &c., after them in the streets. So it is with us. Were not the authors of their age spreading every unfounded false accusation about them, without taking the trouble to search out what they were? So do they with us. Did they not turn them and those who listened to them out of their synagogues? Is not the same done to us, and to the honest of heart who are searching for the truth? Did Christ not say that they would do so; and so it is.
It was said of them, “Those who disturb the world, such have come here also.” This is what we hear everywhere we go. “What does this speaker say,” says one; “These people are disturbing the city,” says another about them. We too are thus accused. They bring a new doctrine into our midst, which it is not fitting for us to receive, they said about them. These people are preaching a new gospel, which it is not fitting for us, sectarians, to receive, they say now about us. Did not our Teacher say that that was how false believers would deal with the truth? Yes; and our contemporaries prove his words and our religion, as true in this age as in that one. “Whosoever will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution,” was the case then; that is how we also feel, quite truly; and if we and they were scrutinized in every particular, and our contemporaries’ behavior towards us and our religion, it would be seen that it is true that the same cause brings about the same effect in this age as in that. Why is all this not evidence to you, gentle friends, of our similarity to them? Why do you take measures, and follow the steps of the persecutors of old, with your eyes open? Was their religion not unpopular then? What wonder that the same religion is as unpopular in its second beginning now? “Has any of the leaders believed?” says one. Oh no, they are the “filth of the world and the offscouring of all things,” say the others of that time. So is it now. They preached free to the poor. So do we. The preachers of that age were persuading people not to listen to them, that they were beneath their notice. So is it now, exactly. It was fear that their profit would fail that motivated those people. You judge whether that is the reason that the religious merchants and craftsmen of this age attack us! The salvation of their contemporaries was bound up in obeying their message. So now, gentle reader, it is equally as certain that the forgiveness, resurrection, ascension, and glory of our contemporaries depend on their obedience to the message of the Latter-day Saints; yes, even if all the people of the world were to speak ill of them, we know that the God of heaven has sent them. We know, dear Welshmen, despite our weakness. We bear solemn and sober witness in the fear of God, that we may be clean from the blood of all. We have received the keys to the dispensation of the fulness of times—the ministry of the covenant, that is the dispensation of the eleventh hour! The Lord of the harvest has sent us with a mission to gather his wheat into his barn, before he comes to burn the chaff with inextinguishable fire. Again, we testify quite fearlessly that your age and generation shall not pass away before the God of Israel proves beyond any argument, that the Latter-day Saints have been sent by him to prepare the way for his second coming, and he proves every jot and tittle of their message to be abiding truth. Is this testimony not important to you, and a sign of life to life, or of death to death, to everyone who has the advantage of hearing it? Willful neglect is no excuse for anyone. It is its importance that compels us, yes, that obliges us to be so plain with you, and woe betide us if we do not do this; a necessity has been laid upon us. Answer, is testimony such as this not worthy of your attention, and your detailed investigation? It is true, dear Welsh people; search and test us fairly, and show our errors if you can; and we shall be grateful to you. We are answerable to God for what we say; we know that too, and yet we love and entreat an examination of our religion before the court of the unchanging word of that just Judge. Has anyone in the country proved one of our principles to be erroneous according to the Bible? No, not one! It is true that many have proved the false accusations of our enemies against us to be very offensive. And what have we to do with that until they attack what we believe, and not what we and they deny. Until they do this, what reason is there to persecute us, to revile us, and refuse to listen to us? Yet, for our part, persecute as you will, and we shall give thanks for the honor and the strength to suffer unfairly for those divine truths for which our elder brethren and our Lord also gave their lives as willing sacrifices for them; and despite all this, in order to convince you who seek a religion with strength in it, and make you heirs of substance, we testify, and we continue to explain the message that has been entrusted to our care; and we know that while we continue thus we can render our account joyfully when our Master comes to be glorified in all those who believe and obey our testimony. We are not without a feeling of our unworthiness to such a task as this, but we know that the eternal arms are beneath us. We also know that he who proclaims great and numerous truths to his contemporaries, thereby wins for himself numerous and mighty enemies. The popularity of the age is the strongest enemy of the truth, if it breaks over its banks: and under the present circumstance, if we possessed an angelic clarion—the apostolic zeal—and hearts as wide as eternity-and the wisdom of heaven—and the love of God burning as a fiery flame in our bosom, and if we were sent to proclaim the best message ever brought from the third heaven by the archangel Michael; yet, it would be as impossible for us to present knowledge of it to the people now as it was for Paul to prove the divinity of their crucified Messiah in Ephesus, when his voice was drowned in the middle of that great shout, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians.” If you want to prove the strength of traditional ties, teach some great and divine truth; and we would be surprised if it was not like unto trying to reason amid a battle, amid the roar of the cannons and guns with slaughter of war, while you are up to your ankles in blood. Speak to the rushing whirlwind as it rips the forest from its roots-preach to a sleeping man or teach a drunkard in his drunkenness; then you will see how difficult it is for the arrows of truth to penetrate the ears and lodge in the mind of a man that has made up his mind without searching-a man who believes the one side and refuses to listen to the other side;-then you will believe how great and difficult the task of the Latter-day Saints is to get the people to listen to their message.
Welsh people, how long will you take pleasure in mocking? how long will you turn a deaf ear to this important message from heaven? It is the voice of your Judge, offering you temporal salvation from plagues, diseases, famine and terrible judgments that are to come; yes, offering you also eternal salvation, without money and not for sale. Remember that God never sent a message into the world unless the temporal and spiritual salvation of that age depended on obedience to it! Remember how Noah was received! What was the result of rejecting his message! Remember Sodom and Gomorrah—the destruction of the Jews in spite of their faithfulness to the traditions of their fathers. Remember also the saying of our Lord clearly in your Bible and ours that, “as it was in the days of Noah, thus it will be in the coming of the Son of man.” Remember also his saying to you, that God has sent the Latter-day Saints to warn you that the time is near for him to take on his attributes, when you can see a difference between one who serves God and one who serves man. When he comes on the clouds of heaven, with his mighty angels, with flames of fire to take revenge on all who know not God, and are not obedient to the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, that is the one who was sent from heaven in these latter days, and the one whom we preach to you. He that has ears, let him listen to our message. He that has eyes, let him read our publication for himself. Indeed, we say to you, your eyes will see that it is true; choose life and goodness, then, so that you may live in paradise and glory.
ON Christmas day a certain King held a wedding feast for his son; he prepared a dinner, and he resolved to give him one of his territories on his wedding day. The woman that was to be his bride was exceptionally beautiful; her finery consisted of a magnificent crown with twelve diamonds set around it, and she wore it on her head. In her hand she carried a shining sceptre, from which the sun’s rays were reflected on the diamonds, until the road ahead of her was lit day and night, and she never walked in darkness, rather in the brilliance of the noonday sun. Her countenance was fair and pleasant; purity, innocence, and love could be seen imprinted on her beautiful cheeks. Her favorite work was to administer comfort and joy to all around her; she surpassed all the women in the kingdom in wisdom, faith, and the like virtues and graces. But, the inhabitants of the territory became jealous of her; they conspired against her and her chosen spouse, and in the end they succeeded in exiling the Son from their borders, which caused great sadness and prolonged grief to the bride, until she was comforted by the King’s promise to restore the Son back to his rights. And since those treacherous subjects had ignored and refused the dinner, he prepared a supper, and he invited all the inhabitants of the province to it, and he crowned his son King over the whole land;—he caused the beautiful sceptre in the hand of the bride, to reflect until all the lands in the territory were filled with a great light; inasmuch as this son was his only heir, he announced that all the kingdoms of the territory at this time were under his rule.
The bride was sustained by this joyful news, and she fought through many hard battles, until in time the Emperor of the warring nation changed his war tactics, and he declared a general peace. He expected, through this trickery, to succeed in gaining possession of the sceptre, for he expected it would be the sceptre that would reign over all the nations; he embraced the woman lovingly, until she was overcome by cunning and treachery. But at this important and dangerous time the king himself came forward to the place, and only barely in time, to save the woman when she was about to give her authority to the emperor: he took the sceptre from her hand, and he took the empire unto himself, and he saved the woman from the hand of the treacherous emperor, by hiding her in a neighboring wilderness, so that her life would be spared. This angered the disappointed emperor, and he declared a fierce war of revenge on the woman, proclaiming his own greatness, and he asserted that he would have the authority of the bridegroom from the woman, putting to death everyone who doubted him. The woman wandered sadly in the wilderness for many days, having lost the diamonds from her crown, having been plundered from her sceptre, with no light by which to see her way except the beams of the moon shining through the branches of the trees. She lamented and wept greatly because of her sudden widowhood, longing for the return of her exiled husband. Nevertheless, she was comforted in the hope of the promise, and she sat alone in the woods waiting attentively, and listening to the rustling of the leaves and the songs of the birds, and she heard the heartening news, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh, go out to meet him, array yourself in your wedding dress that I gave you; put your pearls in your crown as before, and put on all the wedding adornments that he prepared for you, so the marriage may be completed; and let no one who has refused this, his second and his last invitation, partake of this great supper.” She waited for a messenger to arrive directly from the empire of the great King with this good news, according to his promise, and her sceptre was restored to her, together with all its splendor and its greatness thereunto appertaining; and authority was presented to her to proclaim in the name of the great King, through all the provinces and kingdoms of the territory, and to every kindred, tongue, and people throughout its borders, saying with loud voice, “Fear the great king, obey his laws, seek the wedding dress, and come in to his supper; for behold he is about to bring all his strong armies with him to avenge, and to destroy all the rebellious inhabitants of the territory, and none will be spared except those gathered for the supper. And he will crown his only son and heir king over all the territory.” Now, reader, what is the parable? Search it in detail, for you and we are in it. The following references will enable you to comprehend it.
The King and his Son are the Father and his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
The Woman—the Church of Jesus Christ.
The time the dinner was offered was when Christ and his apostles offered salvation to the Jews.
The traitors that exiled the Son of the King-the Jews. “We do not wish this man to rule over us.”
Persecutors of the Woman—The Church of Rome.
The emperor that embraced the Woman—Constantine the Great, when the church was linked to the government of Rome.
The shining sceptre—The priesthood after the order of the Son of God, which was given to the church.
It was taken from her—in the year 570 A.D., when the Pope in Rome declared himself head of the church throughout the world. (See Rev. xii, 4–6.)
The twelve diamonds—The twelve apostles.
The wife comes from the desert again (Rev. xix, 7–9), dressed in all her former adornments.
The time the Bridegroom is crowned—As soon as the woman is ready, and her friends have gathered to the supper.
The place where the woman is now—On the American continent, calling the guests from the four corners of the world, by sending her servants with loud voiced call, “Come to the Lamb’s wedding feast, for the woman has made herself ready.”
The manner in which she is recognized among all the women of the world—By her priesthood, her twelve apostles leading her, and all her officers according to the primitive plan, and being led by revelations from heaven, that is the only light that leads the church of Christ, or the people of God, in every age of the world.
The jealousy of all the women of the world towards her—This is proved by their cruel and persecuting acts, yes, all the women unite to shout, “Highway prostitute” at her.
The ones who refuse the dinner—The Jews refusing the gospel of Christ and his apostles.
The ones invited to the supper—The gentiles, when the apostles turned to them from the Jews. Acts xiii, 45–49; Rom. xi.
The dinner—The gospel that was first offered to the Jews, so that the first could be the last; and the second time to the gentiles, so that those who were last could be the first.
The ones that cannot partake of the supper—All who refuse that gospel again, when God sends his fishermen and hunters to gather them together-when he establishes his church on the apostolic plan—when an ensign is raised to the gentiles from afar, preaching the eternal gospel to every kindred, tongue, people, and nation, saying with a loud voice, You, all the inhabitants of the earth, listen when God speaks to you from heaven, for he has sent an angel with the everlasting gospel for man on earth, saying, “Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment has come; and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea, and the springs of water.”
The messenger that was to return the sceptre, is that angel that John saw in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel, to present to those that dwell on the earth. Rev. xiv, 6.
Now, the parable is true, and its interpretation certain.
Epistle of Alexander the Coppersmith
TO ALL HIS FELLOW CRAFTSMEN THROUGHOUT WALES,
Showing the best way to oppose the “Latter-day Saints, and defend our crafts.
“RESPECTED” GENTLEMEN,—It is well known to you all, now, the remarkable success of the old Saints throughout our country, and that the people are running after them. You must also know that they are the worst enemies of our great goddess in this age and country, as before. And I understand a considerable amount of their trickery, since my fathers before me were famous and very successful in doing them harm, ever since the days of the old deceiver Paul and his followers, as he himself admits in his second epistle to his fellow heretic, Timothy, chap. iv, 14—“Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil,” he says. And since I fear they will become too numerous for us to be able to subdue them, if we do not awaken against them quickly, and that there is no hope of seeing practically anyone returning having once swallowed their deceit,-these considerations, together with my duty to keep up the memory of my fathers and their honorable craft, compel me to address you through this epistle. You will remember the praiseworthy epistle of our renowned leader, Demetrius, who wrote from our meeting place in Diana Square; and doubtless you are troubled to hear through it of the failure of all the schemes, the plots, and the stories we invented against the Saints; and indeed, gentlemen, neither we, nor our zealous leader, nor our fellow craftsmen, are at fault for that, because you know that we have preached bravely from the pulpits, and proclaimed every invention in the publications; but, no matter what we do, they are flourishing everywhere. The people are at fault certainly, because they do not believe our stories, rather they listen for themselves; and as soon as they do that, farewell to them; before we see them again, they have been baptized by them, and are as zealous in the cause of their deceit as any one of them. And now, Oh brethren, what shall we do to them? It would not be any use for us to declare any of the old tricks, or fight them with the old weapons that were successful in the days of our fathers, because these old Saints, through some device or another, have come to know us too well for us to succeed further. And I am very pained to inform you that they have, in their cunning, come to understand all our most secret stratagems! Yes, they have got their hands on the eloquent epistle of our immortal Demetrius as well, for I read it in its entirety in their monthly publication, “Prophet of the Jubilee,” for October, 1846, page 101; and so they rip the veil from the eyes of the people, so that they see us in our true colors! Oh, what shall we do? How did this happen? Pity you were not more secretive. There must be some “Achan” in our camp, and some traitor in our midst, surely. Search him out, and bring him before our commendable court quickly. I heard that some of our giants, and some of our high councilors, have fled to their side recently; is that possible? However, do not despair, for I have good news for you-a new way, an excellent way, yes, the best of the lot, to annihilate the Saints. We shall succeed now, surely. It is a way that has been greatly acclaimed in our meeting place also. (And for the sake of your lives, keep it secret from the Saints!) Our Assembly was held on the day after the last of the month of Ahithophel, in our main office on Copper Street, Diana Square, CARDIFF. A considerable number of our theological patriots came there on the praiseworthy occasion, to devise some plan to oppose the saints. Our chief apostle Demetrius was elected president, your obedient servant as vice president, and our revered trumpet, that is the clapper of our iron bell from Cardiff, as scribe. After various eloquent and heated lectures, and exhortations to carry on with our war until we conquer, the following was decided unanimously:—
1st. It was decided to change our method of warring with the Saints from now on, completely; not to persecute them in any way, nor talk about them, but to praise them; socialize with them, and admit that they are, at least, as good as we; and say that we are all going hand in hand to the top of the mountain, and that we shall all reach heaven, although there is a bit of difference in a few minor and insignificant matters. Speak fairly to their faces, because you know that we could never stand against them to their faces, and then what good is it gnashing teeth at them? We fervently exhort everyone who is in union with Demetrius’s family, to behave as falsely and unanimously as possible, and lend a chapel to them every now and then to preach, until we have won their trust.
2nd. That the most highly regarded men, one from each craft, are to form a committee, such as our general from Dowlais, our corporal from Abercaniad, our drum major from Cardiff, and our whipper-in from Merthyr, &c. That they are to bring a petition before the committee of the “Evangelical Union,” in their next hodgepodge, requesting that the Saints be allowed into the union like others (but for goodness’s sake, keep this secret); and all of you are asked to sign the petition without hesitation, and to pray for its success, for it is certain that the success of our crafts depends on bringing them into this quandary. Do not utter a word against their miraculous gifts, nor anything else, for they will not give them up for the sake of coming to our numerous family. But once having got them into the Demetrian family, we shall make the best of these things. Shhh! be wise as serpents now. If they enjoy these things now, they will disappear as soon as this knot is tied between us. Let us take this forward, dear boys. Do you not remember that this is how my fathers caused the spiritual gifts formerly, and that power of God that was poisoning our crafts, to disappear from the apostolic church? The hotter the persecution the more they flourished; but the moment they persuaded Constantine the Great to take the reigns of their church, and to unite it with the state, the great and the rich and the whole lot flooded in, and turned the poor, lowly saints out of their jobs, gradually changing the ordinances, and losing all society with the Spirit of God, until it all conformed completely to our crafts; and it is wonderful how clever our fathers were in closing up the great gap, lest the people notice the lack of the spiritual gifts afterwards, by asserting “that they were not needed any longer.” That is a smart device, and that saying continues to this day, with no one but the troublesome saints daring to say otherwise; but shh! do not give into tricks, or the cat will be out of the bag again.
3rd. It was decided to send an epistle to our dear brother Havard, to warn him not to take that petition any further from house to house along the roads of Lacharn, to prove that the Saints are those “false prophets” that the scripture says are to come in the last days, nor to try to get people to sign that they will not listen to them when they come there. We are glad to see our Calvinist brothers waking from their slumber to join this good work; for indeed they are further behind in this than others, although not as indifferent as the Wesleyans either in helping us against these mighty enemies, for they, like their father Wesley of old, are too generous and innocent to persecute anyone, whoever it may be. Some of the great ones of the assembly judged that the petition of their brother Havard was an excellent device, and worthy of emulation, and that he deserved praise for his zeal and faithfulness; but no matter what, the effect it had on the people afterwards was completely the opposite, like every previous device; the people were not satisfied without hearing them for themselves. There was also considerable pleading as to who this Havard is. Some insisted that he was the one whose mother kept the old “Elian’s Fountain!” while others did not know; but it was agreed to warn him and everyone else not to do anything of the sort until we see the effect of our petition in the Evangelical Alliance. The attack of the Methodist Treasury on the Saints was also condemned. It is so foolish, accusing them of “professing perfection of persons!” Every lad who knows anything about the Saints knows that that is a completely false accusation; and then, what good is it to our cause to be so foolish as to tell such obvious lies against them? That is how the people find our weakness, and leave us. Be clever, be valiant and brave, and we shall preach at the funeral of the Saints before long, bringing peace throughout our country, and success to our crafts as before; and may the Spirit of our zealous fathers’ God support us against this troublesome people who are trying to turn the world upside down, and bring disgrace and bareness to our great goddess, is our prayer, Amen.
I am, your zealous fellow craftsman,
ALEXANDER, JR., THE COPPERSMITH.
Main College, corner of Copper Silver Street, near Diana Square, Great Cardiff.
The Latter-Day Saints Versus Sectarians
OFTEN it is asked of us, “What is the difference between you and the other sects in Wales?” We answer simply, that it is exactly the same as the difference between the sects and the holy scripture! But to be plainer still, we state that is it too great a task for us to find space or time to show the difference among the various sects; consequently, the easiest way to show the difference is to show what we believe to be the first principles of the gospel, and allow the reader to compare them with the creeds of the sects, and then form his own opinion that would hold sway in the scales of truth.
We believe that the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is the “power of God unto salvation,” and that it has an influence on the mind of man today, as it did eighteen hundred years ago. That it is essential for one to have the right or the authority, and a divine mission from God, and receive it through a better medium than paper and ink, in order to preach “the word of life” and to properly administer the ordinances of the gospel (as it was with the apostles), before we can be saved, or become members in the church of Jesus Christ, “which is the column and foundation of truth”, through which we are perfected, sanctified, and prepared to inherit a fulness of the blessings of heaven, a part in the adoption, that is the redemption of the body, and to be able to reign with our blessed Jesus on the restored earth, when the King of kings shall come, and his angelic host with him, and after which we can be forever with the Lord. What we utterly fail to believe, yes, even though the claim is made by all the sects of the world, is that it is possible for us to receive the gospel in its purity and its saving power from anyone, without their having been authorized by God, that is their having received the ministry of the covenant, or in other words having received a dispensation unto themselves from God, as Aaron received; and we believe that they need to be sent in behalf of, or in the name or authority of Jesus Christ, which authority is considered in the scriptures as priesthood. You may be angry or not; but we cannot believe this no matter how hard we try, and that because the claim offers not a grain of reason or scripture as a foundation on which our faith can act; and we must admit that we are too stubborn to believe a single thing in this world, or in the next world, without a sufficient foundation on which to hang our faith; and the required foundation is the true testimony of those who know the thing; and if that testimony is not logical and scriptural, it cannot be truthful, and thus please excuse the Saints because of their inability to believe.
However, we can easily believe that there is the same animosity in the hearts of the human race now, against God and his gospel, as there was in the time of Jesus Christ, and that the idea of the flesh is just as hostile to the order of God now as when the apostle declared it. We also believe that it is as necessary for God the Father, Jesus Christ, together with the Holy Ghost, to act now for the salvation of men, as it was for them in the days of Peter, Paul, and others; and consequently, that the duty of man is similar now, that there is need for similar endeavors, obedience to the same order, with faithfulness throughout, in our days, before we can arrive at the same “goal” by running the same “race.” Since we believe this, we are different from those who go about teaching, for commandments, the traditions of men, professing “a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof;” and out of love for them, in an attempt to convince them, we say as did John of old, “If there come any unto you, and bring not the doctrine of Christ, he hath neither the Father nor the Son,” &c.; or as Paul says, “Though we, yea, though an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed;” and because of this the sectarians are offended greatly by us, and with many excuses they move sideways as far as they can from us, and then they shout, “Oh look, there is a great difference between us and the Saints.” That is exactly what the sectarians of the first century said against the same religion. But if anyone comes to us preaching the pure gospel, the one which is the power of God, he will offer it in its original power, promising (if he knows that he is a servant of God) a promise to his listeners of “the gift of the Holy Ghost,” now as before, on the following conditions:-
1. Faith in Jesus Christ, and his revealed word, that he is the Son of God, and a sufficient Redeemer for sinners. To believe in Christ is a task no more difficult than the sufficient testimony that is heard about him; thus, what keeps you from believing a word just as true about him, when the word of untruthful men is frequently believed? It is an easy thing to believe in Christ, and a reasonable thing as well, but not any easier than it is to obey his commandments after believing his truth, and the importance of them-after believing that Christ is a Redeemer, and you a sinner; then, as a sinner it is easy to repent of your sins against your merciful Redeemer, that is to determine between you and God, in the name of your redeemer, to be a subject of his government from then on: furthermore, this is a task of fewer than five minutes. Then the next thing is to fulfill that promise or that oath, and the first step toward the water is the first to that, without which it is impossible to fulfill, and then come to make the covenant binding which you promised on your word. “Be baptized, and wash away your sins.” And yet one more thing this time, I say to you, if your motives are pure, by the laying on of hands of the servants of the living God you will receive the gift of the Holy Ghost from God as before, which will work powerfully in you and through you, to sanctify you and to lead you in the center of the light; and he will impart to you heavenly gifts in his own time, and that as soon as they will benefit you, such as the spirit of prophecy, tongues, interpretation, the gift of healing, discerning of spirits, revelations, or any other gifts, for it is He who “divides to every man [on these conditions] severally, as he will;” yes, it is he who knows best.
Now, reader, you see already that there is considerable difference between us and the sectarians, yes, more than anyone thinks; but we pray you, what difference do you see between this and the scriptures? If any, we wish to know what it is. If none, the choice is life and goodness. If you doubt the truth of the tales of the country against us, come and see: there is a welcome for everyone; yes, put us to the test honestly and thoroughly, and if you can find deceit, show it to me, for the sake of my soul, and I shall leave it then and there. Come and see, then, before it is too late!!
Merthyr Tydfil Conference
ON the first Sunday and Monday of January, a Conference was held by the Saints in the Cymreigyddion Hall, in the above town. The meeting started at half past ten, through singing praises and praying as usual. Then Captain D. Jones addressed the listeners warmly on the occasion, and he opened the conference by proposing that brother John Taylor (one of the apostles who came over from America recently) be the president. He said that he was very glad to have the honor of making them acquainted with Mr. Taylor, in Wales for the first time for him or any other apostle to visit our country-that his thoughts on this occasion, were being transported over the depths of the Atlantic Ocean to the far corners of the western land where he worked together with Mr. Taylor for years in this work—to the persecutions, together with the pleasure and the blessings they received together there; he had the honor of being a fellow prisoner with him for the gospel of Jesus Christ and for the testimony of Jesus, whom they preached together from the jail to thousands of their persecutors; and he was not far from him when four bullets were shot into his body. His thoughts and his desire ran quickly at that time toward the land of his ancestors, thinking of the time when he would be able to see his brothers and his sisters of the same blood after their having obeyed this eternal gospel, and in a conference in the hills of Wales, rejoicing together under the guidance of the Holy Ghost, and that today his expectations had been exceeded by the presence of this our brother. He rejoiced with the listeners, because this happy day had come to them, and he expected all to pray with him for the presence of our God to be with us throughout the conference. The proposal received unanimous approval.
Then Mr. Taylor took the chair, and he addressed the conference briefly and succinctly. He had joy in meeting with so many brothers and sisters in the Lord in a foreign land, and although they were not of the same language, they were under the guidance of the same Spirit, bound together in the same eternal covenant, and traveling together on our spiritual course toward the same western paradise, where we shall all better understand one another, when the pure tongue is restored to everyone, we shall all according to our faithfulness meet together in Zion, around the table of our God, to sing the song of Moses and the sweet song of the Lamb for over a thousand years, without worry, pain or sorrow. He earnestly beseeched the God of the Saints to bless his children in Wales with more of his Spirit to keep them in the unity of the faith, love, and joy;—that his heart was full of blessings, and that he will bless every man who is honest of heart. After that he requested that brother Jones carry on with the matters of the conference in Welsh, which was done as follows:
Glamorganshire Conference-Number of branches, 30; elders, 28; priests, 50; teachers, 25; deacons, 19; baptized since the last conference, which was held here July 12, 287; total membership 841. Monmouth Conference-branches, 8; elders, 6; priests, 11; teachers, 10; deacons, 3; baptized since the previous conference, 54; total membership 138. The total for these two conferences is-Branches, 38; elders, 34; priests, 61; teachers, 35; deacons, 22; baptized in the last five months, 341; members, 979. The following persons were called as elders:-Daniel Evans, Hirwaun; William Jenkins, Cardiff; William Hughes, Merthyr; Samuel Evans, Clwydyfagwyr; Thomas Hughes, Machynlleth; William Clark, Harlech; David Roberts, Ffestiniog; Richard Griffiths, Rhosllanerchrugog; William Evans, Dihewyd; Samuel Morris, Merthyr; Joseph Davies, Aberdare. Also called were 15 priests 17 teachers, and five deacons; the president ended the morning session with prayer.
In the afternoon session the holy supper was administered to a large crowd; afterwards brother Taylor, and brother Webb from Bristol sang songs which they had composed in praise to God for the occasion. Then the president addressed the Saints warmly in relation to their great privileges, and their responsibilities to live more proper, spotless, and godly lives than everyone else, and to take heed not to sadden the pure spirit of God, but to nurture it through prayer and faithfulness in the appointed practice and manner, and keeping all the commandments of Jesus Christ-to be careful to nurture brotherly love in the unity of the faith, &c. He explained in an excellent manner the purposes, the great importance, and the usefulness of this holy ordinance; and he closed the meeting by praying to God to bless his Saints, &c.
In the evening, Mr. Taylor preached the gospel in his zealous and warm and clear manner, by drawing to the crowd’s attention new and old treasures, on which they feasted (judging by their cheerful appearance, and their attentive listening) with relish and great eagerness. He was followed by Capt. Jones, with a short and warm oration, suitable to the occasion, with sincere and persuasive invitations for the listeners to come in to the kingdom of God (those who had not yet obeyed the gospel), so they would have the spirit of adoption to guide them to all truth, to testify to them the truthfulness of our heavenly call, so they would be sanctified and prepared to inherit the glory of the Saints in the light, &c.
Monday, three meetings were held, in which the splendor and great importance of the various church offices were shown, the responsibilities of the officers and the Saints, together with their privileges, and the hope that has been set before them. Many of the officers who had been called (and who were present), were ordained by the president and brother Jones, in English and in Welsh.
In the evening, the president bade farewell to the large crowd with a short and comprehensive address, which no doubt lodged itself in the hearts of the Saints. He left his blessing with them, with the expectation that they would meet again in Zion, after coming out of the great affliction, and their garments having been made white by the blood of the Lamb. He said he would like to have stayed with them longer, but that he had to make great haste to call on other conferences in England, &c.; he had come about seven thousand miles lately, to visit with the Saints; that he had left his family with the Saints who had been exiled from Nauvoo, in the middle of the western desert, hundreds of miles from white people; that the savages of the forest were behaving in a more loving and Christian way toward them than many of the professed Christians [!!] and that he was about to sail from England in a few days toward America, to join with his family and the Saints by the time their camp began its move toward California. He was pleased to see so many of the Welsh who had obeyed, and who were happily enjoying the privileges and gifts of the fulness of the gospel; and he expected that shortly thousands who were honest in principle would come into the church of Christ yet, &c. It was easy to detect the love nurtured in the hearts of the Saints toward him, and the benefit they received, through their cheerfulness, and the welcome he had received from everyone. He blessed them again, and left on the railroad train to Cardiff.
Thus ended the most well attended, the sweetest, the most worshipful, and the most edifying conference, that we have ever had in Wales; and we think, judging from the hosts of the world who came there, from their attentive listening, from their cheerfulness, and their courtesy through it all, that they received great light and happiness, and from the readiness of the admissions old persecutors were sorry for having believed the false accusations of the preachers and the writers for so long; they saw now that it was all lies of wicked men, and they admitted that God was no doubt in our midst, and several said that they would be in our midst before long! And certainly all principled men who love the truth and who wish to have it from all the committed and the uncommitted, would say the same, if they were to listen for themselves, instead of believing the false witness of our persecutors; and the gracious Lord, whose work this is, will cause it to be so, for their benefit, and for the glory of his name, Amen.
EDWARD EDWARDS, } Scribes.
N.B. It would be too long to give a report of the excellent sermons of brother Taylor here, although it would be desirable for the Saints to have them. We know, under the blessing of God, that they have benefitted and have given great knowledge to those who heard them, for the fruit is beginning to spring forth already; and although only nine were baptized in the following two days in Merthyr, we hear that several have obeyed the gospel already, and that the nine who were received in the first meeting after the Conference are only the first fruits of an abundant harvest of valuable souls who are about to come to the kingdom of God. I hope those prophets who prophesied from chapel to chapel of the death of Mormonism, some within six months, others before the end of the year, &c., will read these accounts, and ask themselves which sect among them has experienced a similar increase in the same time! Let them, and the preachers and authors who are preaching the funeral sermon of Mormonism, contemplate a bit until she has died, for up to now she is not even sick, nor is there any likelihood of that either! I wonder if by now they will confess that it is they who are the “false prophets of the latter days?” But whatever they do it makes no difference, for “by their fruits shall they be known” after all. It is useless for them to shout false prophets at the Saints, in order to blind the people, when their own prophecies prove so clearly as Nathan said to David, “Thou art the man.” But go on, you poor wretches; vomit out your desires, and the wickedness of your hearts, through prophecies; we shall go forth, preaching the gospel, to save souls, until, through the power of our God, our country will be filled with knowledge from God through “Mormonism,” and all those whom you have deluded will hear her, and they will be released from their tiresome bondage to the glorious freedom of the children of God; their shackles will be broken, and their heavy burdens, and their taxes and excessive loads, to maintain the great sectarian goddess of this age, will be cast down. Soon the light of the Jubilee will banish their names and their priesthood from our country.
THE PLAGUE.-The newspapers of England tell us that the plague called the Cholera Morbus is fast approaching Europe, and we fear that the consequences will be dreadful.
Comfort of the Saints
WE LAUD our privileges, O united brethren;
And we sing songs joyfully each one:
It is lovely to journey in unity and peace,
Along the wilderness to Zion and her feast.
Despite the crosses we bear now,
O let us not be disheartened—the reward is great;
Let us lift up our heads, relief is nigh—
Our course will end in peace ere long.
The sun, the moon, and the stars will be darkened,—
All the powers of heaven will be shaken, by God;
But this will be a sign to the faithful throughout the world,
That soon the Lord will come to gather them together.
How sweet is the thought of living without pain,
In a land without affliction, in the presence of the Lamb:
The thought is pleasant, but better is the enjoyment;
A thousand times better is the possessing, than the talking about the land.
If the bliss is so great, what ought we to be?
Keen or complacent, to reach the goal?
Let us strive bravely—God gives strength—
If faithful we strive, the striving becomes reward.
WAR IN NAUVOO AGAIN.-We are informed through additional effects, and even more grievous, of the matchless madness, and of the inhuman cruelty of the rioters who live in the environs of this city. Almost all the Saints had left Nauvoo before the start of this riot, and the Americans from various states had purchased their possessions, although at their own price, and were inhabiting them, and the few remnants of the old inhabitants (that is the Saints) were about to leave. But it is seen that the enmity continues, and the opposition increases more and more against the latest inhabitants, and that because the mobs are losing their purpose, losing the prize they expected from the beginning, that is to get those fair inheritances through violence, and possess them themselves. A letter from our friend Joseph A. Stratton, of St. Louis, informs us that because of the election of some man by the name of Carlin to the office of peacekeeper, that this war began. This peacekeeper, together with a large number of rioters, went to Nauvoo, under the pretense of seeking one Pricket as a prisoner, but their objective was to plunder and destroy the city. Within a few days Carlin had gathered about 700 armed men in Carthage, and he put them under the leadership of Colonels Singleton, Chittendon, and others. Finally, after much fuss, they were sent to the inhabitants of Nauvoo, to inform them they had better yield to the rioters, that they were too strong for them: or if they wished to fight, a man should be placed to lead them. The rioters came nearer, and they camped within three quarters of a mile where the defenders of the city waited, and after shooting some number of balls without much effect, the rioters retreated. The rioters numbered about 800 now, but those on the side of Nauvoo were only about 300 without many weapons. The next day there was another battle, and the rioters were forced to flee, leaving fifteen of their number dead on the field, and among them General Smith. Only one of the people of Nauvoo was injured. The fighting continued the next two days also, but the same ones kept the upper hand. But the fifth day a number of armed men landed in the place, to decide amongst themselves without further loss of blood; and the decision was reached-that all the Saints and inhabitants of Nauvoo give their arms to the rioters, and flee from the state within five days. And so it was; the Saints, poor things, left completely, and left many of their possessions behind.
THE SIGNS FOLLOW THE BAPTISTS!-A few days ago, one Mr. W—, a respected minister with the Baptists, not a hundred miles from Llanybydder, was heard testifying in the presence of several that the signs mentioned in the commission, followed in his church. He said they cast out devils, through which wicked men became good men; that they spoke in new tongues, through which many who were ungodly came to pray; and that they healed the sick, through his laying on his own hands on the heads of his children whenever they complain, and this took them to their place immediately!!!
POPERY-There is not a week that goes by that we do not hear of some of the priests of the Church of England turning over to the old mother church; and no less often young preachers of the nonconformist sects turning to the Church of England. This, together with a multitude of other things, leads us to think that that time is near, when it will not be permitted for anyone to buy and sell without the mark of the beast on his forehead.