“1847,” Ronald D. Dennis, ed., Prophet of the Jubilee (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997), 37–52.
Catechism for the Colleges of the “Reverends”
WHAT is the Gospel?—The plan of God to save man.
How many plans, or gospels, does God have to save men? The same number as he sent Christs to the world to organize it, namely one; and that one is so skillful, complete, and perfect, throughout, that it is suitable for everyone in every age and country, without change by taking away from it or adding to it one jot or tittle.
What is the first principle of the gospel?—Believe that its Author is truthful, crucified, and resurrected.
What is the second responsibility that man has?—Covenanting with God that he will obey his commandments the first opportunity he has, and that he will strive to shun evil, and please him.
What is the third thing?—Go with one of the preachers of the Latter-day Saints straight to the first water he can find, and receive his baptism in it “for the forgiveness of sins.”
What is the fourth thing?—Receive the Holy Ghost through the laying on of hands of the elders of the church, as in the days of the Apostles. Anyone who does all these things based on the correct principle will be Saints, or children of God, through the gospel of Jesus Christ; and if they continue in the confines of this sound doctrine, they will be able to rule with the Redeemer, Christ Jesus, on the restored earth, in a blessed state, without ever dying again.
And can the worst sinner obey all these conditions as soon as he understands them, without help from the Holy Ghost?—Most certainly; otherwise he will never obey them, for God did not promise his Spirit to help the sinner to believe that Jesus is the Christ, or to repent, or to walk to the water, because he gave testimony through his servants and reason to judge the first, natural ability for the second, and feet to obey the third, &c. Therefore, he cannot expect God to believe, repent, and be baptized for him, nor force him to do that. After receiving forgiveness did Peter even give the promise of the Holy Ghost. See Acts ii, 38, viii. 15–17, xix. 5, 6.
Is it any use to pray for God to convince them, and give to them, while they refuse to obey the gospel?—No, not one bit. In vain do they call Lord, Lord, without obeying his commandments. Not everyone [or anyone] who says, Lord! Lord! will enter into the kingdom of God, rather he who does his will. In vain will they try to worship him, through teaching for doctrine the commandments of men. God calls man to him, but our calling God to us, and according to our schedule, is what that would be! Which of the two is right!
It is not required of the Lord to do something different from what he has done before we can come?—No, or else he is at fault for not doing that something, and he would be choosing our salvation. What else can he do? If anything, he himself, and not we, will determine when that day comes.
Does not Paul say in Eph. ii, 8—”By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God?”-Quite right, and it proves that the salvation of man depends on his own faith to believe the plan to keep, namely the gospel, which was given through the grace of God to men. The gift is his Son, and not faith.
Are you saying that all the sinners of Wales can obey the gospel as soon as they hear it preached intelligibly, and thus be adopted as children of God?—One greater than we assures that, namely God. “Look unto me [that is through obeying the gospel], and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.”—God. “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”—Jesus Christ. Well, that is sufficient, come now, then!
Since this is how it is, what would the servant say to God as he gazed at the rejoicing, and the shouting for religion that is in the sectarian meetings? He would say as Ananias said to Saul of Tarsus,—“And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”
And then, if they were not to obey what would be the consequence?—He would say that “he that saith that he loveth God and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” Also, “he that knew his Lord’s will, and did it not, will be beaten with many stripes.”
Is it not possible for them to have religion by praying so fervently for it?—According to Christ’s word, it is not because of their long-windedness, with a show of long prayers, that any will receive his religion. Yes, if he were to pray as long and as often as the scribes, or those four hundred prophets of Baal.
Did not the Apostle say to the keeper of the prison “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house?”—Yes, he said that believing it was the first step, but not the only thing; but he, Paul, “spake unto him the word of the Lord, &c.,” and see what that word is in Mark xvi, 16. Then see his obedience before the light of the next day; Paul placed such importance on the baptism that he did not dare to delay any further. Thus let all do.
What would be the result if he had refused to receive his baptism after believing?—He would be worse off than before, inasmuch as the gospel is “the savour of life unto life, or of death unto death, to each one who hears it.”
Does not Paul say, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved?”—Yes indeed, that is how the church was to whom Paul wrote, namely the Romans; for they had been baptized already on their acceptance into the church, and Paul would not speak to them in this way, and in a different way to others.
If baptism is indispensable to gain forgiveness, why does Paul give thanks that he had not baptized any of the Corinthians?—If he himself is to be believed, he says in the following verse, “Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.”
Does he not say, “Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel?”—Yes, and he says that others watered those he planted. Through preaching the gospel he laid the foundation for their faith to act, but he made sure that others built higher up.
Did not Cornelius receive the Holy Ghost before his baptism?—Yes, to eliminate the center-walls of the difference that existed between the Jews and the Gentiles, so that this first one of the latter could obey the gospel. This was God’s exception. There was no promise to him of that, or to anyone else before or after. But despite that, his sins were not forgiven through that, nor did it make baptism unnecessary; for after that Peter commanded them to be baptized for forgiveness, and to be accepted into the Church.
Was not the “thief on the cross” saved without being baptized?—If so, he did that not through the gospel, but to the corresponding extent as it applies to the pagans without law, who are a law unto themselves, who are excused because of lack of opportunity. Besides this, that commission, “he who believes and is baptized will be saved,” had not been given at that time; furthermore, it is necessary to prove that “Paradise” and heaven are the same place before the salvation of the “thief” can be proved, which is a never-ending task!
[To be continued.]
Duties of the Priest
“THE priest’s duties are—to preach, teach, expound, exhort, and baptize; also to administer the sacrament, and visit the members in their houses,-and exhort them to pray vocally and in secret, and attend to all family duties: he has the right to ordain priests, teachers, and deacons. He is to take the lead of meetings in the absence of any elders; but when there is an elder present, he is to take the lead, and the other is to assist, by carrying out the other duties mentioned.”—Translated from the Doc. and the Cov.
This is one of the offices that pertains to the lower priesthood, that is the Aaronic, and it is just as indispensable, useful, and glorious in its place and its proper purpose as any other office. Every sect that we know about doubts the necessity of this office in the church now, except for the “established church,” and we cannot agree with them with respect to the assertion about the required qualifications, or the responsibilities pertaining to the office any more than in the consequences of it. It is not surprising that those who deny offices such as the apostleship, prophets, &c., together with the ordinances pertaining to them deny this also; but, from our part, we thank the fountain of light that we have not been covered by such darkness; it is easier to believe the present need for all “gifts” placed by the head perfectionist in his perfect machine, namely his church, until they answer the purpose, that is to perfect the Saints,—Eph. iv, 4–14, until the very last one of them has been perfected. We have a firm testimony of the angels of heaven of the existence of this office in his kingdom on the earth,-Rev. i, 6, v, 10; “And priests; and we shall reign on the earth.” This will be fulfilled in the future, of course, and since no one held any office except those given to them which they fulfilled in this life, and since each one receives according to deeds performed in the flesh, how can anyone join with his golden vessels this praiseworthy chorus that existed after the apostles, if there is no such office for them to earn and fulfill. Not at, but before the coming of the bridegroom does the bride adorn herself, “for the woman made herself ready,” will be said at that day. In this way will the church of Christ be governed perfectly in its original plan, and consequently it will have this office and every other office that has ever been, or that ever will be in it, except one, before he comes himself to fill that office. The existence of this office does not show, as some suppose, that sacrifice is needed as the law of Moses commands, for the shadows have been swallowed by the coming of the great reality himself. This office has the right to lay hands on the sick, calling on God to heal them, as Philip did with the Samaritans in the early days, but not to administer the ordinances of “anointing with oil in the name of the Lord,” nor to lay on hands for receiving the Holy Ghost, any more now than Philip did with the Samaritans; see Acts viii; or on the Eunuch; administering these two ordinances is something that pertains to the Melchizedek Priesthood, that is to the elders, and above. James v, 14.
Although a priest has the right to ordain others to the office of priest on down, it is not wise or usual for him to call and ordain others while an elder is available: nor for the one or the other to do the one thing or the other thing without putting it before the church, and if there are problems there, let the matter be brought before the council. The branch president is responsible for this, and in the council, or the conference, they should be approved at least, if circumstances call for their service before that, and if the divine leader directs. For the sake of proper order and to prevent the Saints’ being deceived in Wales as they have been in other countries, by evil men pretending to hold this office, certificates pertaining to it have been printed and no unknown person is to be received without this identification as a rule.
Finally, dear brethren, remember the counsel of your leader Paul, preach the word, be instant in season, and out of season; convince, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine—consider the great importance of your office—strive to be cloaked with the spirit of your office so that your labor will be crowned with success, and you and those who hear you will have entrance to eternal bliss.
The American Press Sides With the Saints
THE following is quoted from the “New York Sun.” This publication like many others has been very diligent in publishing false accusations against the Saints for years; and influencing others to reprint articles of the enemies, the oppressors, the ravagers and murderers of the Saints, who through doing this intend to throw a cloak over their own inhuman deeds at the expense of the innocent, and the purpose was answered remarkably well, to the point of exiling many thousands of the children of God to the midst of the uncivilized and the animals of the western desert; but soon the deeds of darkness were brought to the light of the sun. Isaiah describes these people as follows:—“Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?” This editor published the letter that was translated and published as good news in the “Baptist,” namely the one which was professed to have been written by Emma Smith, widow of Joseph Smith, putting a great insult on her own husband, and on the teaching she confesses that he sealed with his own blood. But although that letter carries its own refutations, yet we proclaim that every syllable of it is false, that Mrs. Smith had nothing to do with it, nor any knowledge of it until she read it in that paper, whereupon she put the law on its author; a verdict of slander was brought against him, with a large amount of compensation to the victim. But whether the editor of the “Baptist,” and the other authors in Wales, are as honest, as humane and just, as the American editors, to undo the harm they did, when things are rethought, and reason and truth are shown to them, is among the things of the future, yes, and it will either raise them up on the pinnacle of warranted greatness, or be one “more nail in their coffins.”
“A strange excitement and sympathy is gaining ground in favor of the Mormons, throughout our land. The peculiar nature of their tenets, the strange origin of their faith, and the singularity of the personages selected for their prophets and leaders, together with the books, &c., published against them, had an influence on the popular opinion of the age against them for years. They were represented as unmoved in disgraceful habits, and it is most remarkable that the Mormons hardly opposed these charges [they did, we say, for we know they did all they could in that matter, and we also know that while truth was lighting its match, falsehood would set the world ablaze, and our defenses would be thrown there; not to the newspaper columns, but as in Wales, to the back of the fire without being read]. When a cruel mob rushed into Carthage prison and killed Joe Smith, and his brother Hyrum, the atrocious act shocked the country for a while, but it was soon forgotten. Subsequently a mob gathered in the state of Illinois, under the name of Anti-Mormons, with the aim of exiling them from their community, and compelling them to abandon their farms, their houses, and all their possessions, as well as the costly temple which they had built, as plunder for their persecutors. For this purpose they collected their cannons, and their arms of war against Nauvoo. The position of the Mormons attracted the attention of the other states; but as Illinois, their own state, gave them no assistance or protection, but rather commended the violence of the persecutors, it was believed that their characters were so bad as to merit the treatment they received, and their exile to seek a place of residence somewhere else. [What evil could they have committed to deserve exile from a republic, I wonder?] The Mormons defended their homes as well as they could, until they were overcome by the numbers of the rioters, and having the state against them, and public opinion; and when they had no aid and no protection from anywhere, they said, ‘We will go,’ and they did go into the wilderness, men, women, and children; some on foot, some in wagons, carrying with them the remains of their furniture, and leaving their homes, they fled to the wilderness. Some  joined the army bound for California, and another part went west of the Mississippi river. Thus 12,000 or 15,000 persons, from a state of comfort and prosperity, were driven from their homes to lie down on the banks of sickly rivers, or to deal as well as they could with savages and beasts, on the vast prairies of the west. But it now appears clear enough from various testimonies worthy of our belief—some are intimate with the Mormons, and have closely observed, and scrutinized their conduct and behavior, that great injustice has been done to those unfortunate people, so oppressed, robbed, and abandoned quite defenseless by a sovereign state which was bound to protect their rights. The late Capt. Allen of the U. S. Dragoons, who had 500 of the Saints in his army, testifies that they were all not only spirited and brave, good and faithful people, but describes them as wonderfully pure and unexceptionable in their moral conduct, frugal, careful, industrious, and self-denying, and manifesting heroic patience in suffering, worthy of the noblest Christian character. Again, one of the worthiest correspondents of the ‘U. S. Gazette,’ who has travelled and lived among the Mormons, writes that chastity, virtue, and love, together with a spirit of unity, and effort for family happiness, form absolute characteristics of this outcast people, as well as their temperance, orderliness, industry, courage, and steadfast determination in the objects of their desire. If this be so, words are inadequate to portray the incomparable injustice and cruelty they suffered in the state of Illinois. One can excuse the cruelties suffered by the Goths and Vandals, to some extent, and the persecutions of the dark ages; but that a free country such as America in these enlightened times, with all its institutions to ensure freedom for its citizens, should exile about 15,000 [over three times as many] of its citizens, without being proven guilty of any crime, through the power of arms, from their homes, and their possessions, and that the strong arm of the state should not be held forth for their protection, is a stain on our annals and on our country, which will take years to wash out. There is no parallel to it in the history of our country. And this is not the worst of the story either; riots, drunkenness, and crimes, are the results of the victory of the Anti-Mormons! A reckless body of people violated all the Mormon property, took possession of their farms, and desecrated their temple; the poor, the sick, and the aged, like the innocent children, were driven half-famished into the woods, and all their safeguards, and their livelihood, were outraged and cut off.
“If strong statements about the condition and character of the Mormons be true, the state of Illinois is bound in honor and by its own laws to restore these innocent victims to their homes, their property, and their rights, and the legislature, for the sake of justice and humanity—for the character of their state and their institutions, should direct the governor to issue a proclamation inviting the Mormons to return to their homes, and guarantee them protection against every attack on them. They are now, by the injustice of the state, dying in the wilderness of starvation and cold; or are prey to the savages and the beasts. Hosts of them are now lying on the earth on the banks of the Mississippi river, opposite the city they built through industry, and now see it all in the hands of the worst kind of robbers. Let Illinois awake to this good work before public opinion of the whole country demands for the Mormons justice for what has passed, and protection for the future.”—(From the New York Sun.)
We feel very grateful to this editor for his sympathy at last for the people he has been persecuting and falsely accusing, and through that helping with his drops to fill the pail, until giving birth to their natural fruits, namely cruelty and devastation, but better late than never for the sake of their character, and their religion, and for the sake of the souls of the rest who search for the truth for him to have called back the opposition, and who can say what joy he would now have, had he researched those things before publishing them! But we would be most grateful to the editors of the Baptist, the Star, the Treasury, the Times, and the authors of our own country also, if they would be so thoughtful as to consider what use they make of their influence and be as honest on the side of truth as the Americans, and review the untrue and harmful stories they have published, half believing them perhaps, under the flowing infatuation. They can see the results of such comportment there in a mirror, they will read about similar things in the early days, and if they continue to fan the sparks until they ignite an ardent flame in Wales, it will be useless for them to feel pity for the blood of their victims while they are suffering, except the natural consequences of their pointless persecution. Oh no, it will be too late to shout hold! enough! at that time, and that they were not thinking, or intending to cause such a thing; such an excuse will not be valid, and they will be held responsible by the Judge of the whole earth, and the “King of the Saints.”
The Saints thank their supporter that they are not suffering so severely as the foregoing portrayal, although for others it would be just an unavoidable wait. And while there is sympathy throughout the world for their oppressed, and for the starving wretches of Ireland and the eastern continent, and all have refuge and a place to put their heads down to rest on the tender bosoms of some sympathizers, who have “the splendid ones of the earth,” “the Saints of the Most High,” those who have denied themselves all things, and who have consecrated themselves and all they have for the good of the world; and they have suffered the stress and heat of the day to build the kingdom of Emmanuel, as a city of refuge to all who may come; will these brave ones suffer everything, to have all plundered for their testimony of Jesus, and the word of God, without sympathy in this country; can Wales turn a deaf ear to such a call—is it possible that one Welshman will not share a little bit to alleviate their needs? Oh no, we hope that if there is one heart so cold as that, that it is not the heart of the reader. As for the Saints, there is no need to say anything to you, except to inform you of their need for assistance. The Council decided in Merthyr, that the President of every branch throughout Wales is to explain this matter to the Saints, and send whatever is collected here to Merthyr, every month, so that all can be sent according to the direction we received from Brother Orson Hyde. The Saints will go forward until they reach the end of their journey, and you know that they are our forerunners to prepare for us when all of you will be repaid an hundredfold for every assistance that you extend to your brothers and sisters in the Lord, yes, in this life, and the short time of its trials; and in the last words of our dear Brother Hyde before taking his leave of me, I say, “The Lord will bless the one who considers this call.” Amen, we say, with all our heart.
Sings of the Times
THERE is a multitude of these arrows that continue to circulate throughout the world, changing and multiplying as the world acknowledges, and the time is drawing nigh. The dispensations of him who holds the fate of the nations in his hand prove the truthfulness of his servants as loud as the sound of thunder,-as common as the light of the sun, and as close to thousands as is the feeling to the heart, and despite all this hardly anyone was considering this thing or taking it to heart, or recognizing who is at the helm.
The news from Ireland informs us that the famine, and consequently the wretchedness, and the deaths are increasing daily, “until this minute (says one) famine, sickness, and disease are increasing all around; and even in the northern parts. Their condition is worsening daily. The workhouses of Bedfort, and Omagh have been overflowing with poor people. And begging and stealing are multiplying even in the places that were practically free from them. From every corner of our country the mournful news that is heard about deaths from hunger is too numerous to record.” The Cork Examiner says that “fourteen have died from hunger in Bantry, today.” The Southern Reporter says the same. “It is our duty to publish that the deaths by starvation have increased so greatly, and such numbers are reaching us daily, that by now it is too great a task for us to publish them or to find space for them in our columns. Our correspondent sends the story of the 15th who died in Bantry, yesterday of hunger, and he says that another 20 have died this week; they are too numerous to hold inquests on them. We heard today of inquests on the 11th in Mallow, who died of hunger. Mournful news pours into our office from every corner, so that we cannot publish the tenth of it. According to the Police, over 50,000 have died of hunger already, besides many they do not know about.” And indeed, we ourselves admit the same, that our small publication does not have space for the mournful news we have heard, and seen, and read daily, for it is obvious that it is not only in Ireland, although in the forefront in heartrending suffering, but the disease is also crossing the seas—rushing through the continent, and many thousands are feeling its agony in France, Spain, Germany, Austria, Prussia, and Russia, to the point of being forced in some places to try to feed on grass like animals, and on bread, (as they call it) mixed with moss. It is not surprising that they are driven together by a master as harsh as hunger, as rioters in their final pangs to try to sustain life by plunder, despite the death that faces them. There are Roman provinces, together with others to some extent that are within the grasp of this strong conqueror. And needless to say that its influence is increasing in England, Scotland, and to some extent in our midst, although as if from afar the sound of its cannons are yet heard by those who flee here before it by the hundreds.
In addition to this warning the God of War speaks, through rivers of the blood of men to the inhabitants of the countries, and even louder he sends his pestilences abroad, beginning in the east. It is said that the cholera morbus is busy destroying the Turkish nation before it, as if sharpening its arrows for others, and it is not know who will escape this time. Also, a pestilence has broken out in Cain, Mecca, &c., in Egypt, which in the space of nine days swept to the spirit world no fewer than 15,000 people! Despite how lamentable it is for us to publish the foregoing, yet it is more grievous still to have to acknowledge the fulfillment of the following prophecy in the face of everything. “And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, [for they are a punishment for such things] to give glory to God; but they gnawed their tongues for pain, and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains, and repented not.” Oh what a wretched and obstinate condition! if signs and wonders were effective in convincing men, the world would soon be convinced; but thank heavens, a better way has been provided for that, namely through preaching the gospel as a seed of grace.
Good News From California
THE ship Brooklyn from New York, has landed her passengers in San Francisco [in California]. Part of the emigration from the United States have reached the Sacramento valley, and many more are on their way, which are expected there within a few days. The very bears, the deer, the antelopes, and the wild horses are puzzled and frightened at the visit of such hosts of strangers as these in those unfamiliar valleys and forests. Sometimes droves of the latter gallop through the horses of the immigrants, attracting some to follow them; and it is a great hardship to catch them afterwards. These Saints intend to settle in San Francisco, in a land where they can have plenty of the finest land in the world, without payment, rather as a reward from the government for settling the country. The climate here is remarkably temperate. Neither the heat of the summer nor the cold of the winter here, as in other places of the same latitude, cause extremes of the one or the other, and that because breezes, called trade winds, blow from the north for the six summer months, and from the south during the other part of the year; and because of this, together with the excellent aspects of that paradisiacal country, it is said that disease and pestilence are unknown there save in name only. In Monterey, one of the main towns of that land, a newspaper is published, which informs us that they have built some small ships that sail along the shores. They are building houses, mills, and erecting schools, &c., after the American fashion, and the whole country is alive, with clothing of every kind, and exotic goods, the price of which has fallen by half since the United States have taken possession of the country; and they have taken away the duties, which amounted to more than the present price. We are glad to know that the Saints have had a good welcome there, and that popular opinion is in their favor, although they are exiles from their own country. A paper by the name of “Friend,” published in Honolulu, says,—“We feel it our duty to make a few observations with respect to the Mormons, with whom we are acquainted. We lived in Illinois, not far from the Mormons. At the time of the last war, many hard and incredible things were said about them: probably, much of it true, though many things have been highly colored. At all events, they have landed here in our midst. Here they will make their home; and those of us who preceded them have not the right to prevent them; and whatever faults they may have had before, it is hoped that all will be corrected here; and we plead with our friends that they will be able to secure favor and harmony with everyone. May God rule their councils in wisdom.” This is an example worthy of emulation by the editors of Wales, namely praying for us, instead of constantly cursing us and falsely accusing us; and this one will have his wish also, by seeing that “God does rule over the councils of the Saints in wisdom” for his glory, and the good of the whole world.
Another newspaper tells about the position and hopes of the Saints who have arrived there,—“It is said that they number in the hundreds of thousands, very many of whom have come off from other denominations. This is true of the company who came now on board the Brooklyn at least; for many are seen in their midst who were with the Baptists for years, others with the Methodists, the Independents, &c., yes, every denomination has its representative among them, and all are in unity of spirit, purpose, and cooperation now, under the wing of Mormonism. It is our understanding that California is the central rendezvous of their campaign; and especially it is in the beautiful valleys around San Francisco that the Latter-day Saints will begin to settle. And leaving aside the exaggeration used to describe the beauty and excellence of this place, one must confess, on every consideration, that it is a lovely, advantageous, and blessed place,—the best location to settle a colony to be found along the borders of the country. The natural facilities of the country and the bay conspire to show that flourishing cities and towns will rise up to beautify the scene before many years elapse. The watchword of the Mormons now is ‘California.’ The few who have come already are but a fraction of those who are yet to come soon. We believe, from the accounts we have had, that over 25,000 of them are already on their way here from the United States. We have heard also that a ship filled with them has started from Liverpool, as the first-fruits of the numberless hosts who will come from the eastern continent.”
“Whatever views different classes of Christians may form of the tenets of this people, one thing is certain, that this general and remarkable movement from the four quarters of the globe to California contains a new and beneficial chapter in the colonizing of a vast, fruitful, and sparsely inhabited region. These people will have an influence on California, and they will contribute wonderful civil, social, moral, and religious improvements to its destiny. We cannot but hope for a brighter day, and most certainly we are far from taking a dark view of the subject.”
“Before closing, we consider ourselves duty bound to give publicity to the testimony of Captain Richardson of the ship Brooklyn, in regard to the behavior and character of the emigrants who came on board the ship during a long voyage round Cape Horn. He greatly extols their conduct and their character, which was beyond anything he had ever seen. He says they live together in more unity and love than he had thought anyone could under the same circumstance; they were cheerful, peaceful, and very orderly, without exception. They came here with determination to work the land, with all necessary preparations for that, such as ploughs, carts, wagons, scythes, and all kinds of husbandry implements, and tools for building ships, houses, mills, &c. And they have not forgotten to bring with them materials for schools, instruction, &c. Captain Richardson informs us that during most of the passage they maintained orderly and beneficial worship services; and that they continue to tend to their religious duties constantly on shore, after leaving the ship. This numerous and lively company are soon to establish their new homes; and may they enjoy more peace and justice than in the ones they left. Although we think differently from them on several doctrines, ceremonies, yet our best wishes and prayers are with them. May the providencial tenderness and cheerfulness of the Most High God rest upon them. They are to lay the family, civic, and religious foundations in our midst. And O, may they be such that coming generations shall rise up and call them blessed.” “Monterey, August 13, 1846.”
It would be wonderful if more of those who hold the keys of popular opinion had such accurate spectacles, and a heart as honest and sensible as this one; no doubt the coming generations would call them blessed. And we are certain, that if the writers and editors of the United States had been as free of prejudice and as patriotic as this one, they would not have caused their charmed ones to behave so inhumanly, to spill so much innocent blood, or to suffer so severely the fruit of their deeds; but the Latter-day Saints would have forever caused their overloading with temporal and eternal blessings. Oh, that others would be wiser in the day of their influence, taking warning, and giving fairness to the truth, wherever its source.
We take great satisfaction in informing our readers of the safe arrival of the ship Brooklyn at the desired port. It will be recollected that we announced its departure from New York in January 1846 with the company under the leadership of Dr. Brannan. No doubt gratitude will rise from the hearts of the Saints in Wales also to him who holds the sea as in the palm of his hand, and the wind in his fist, for his fatherly care over our brothers and sisters, during their voyage, requesting an extension of his goodness for their needs in the future, until they turn that desert into a meadow—land, and into a refuge for thousands of people of the Saints of the Most High from the judgments of the world. And may pleasant breezes of heaven blow sweetly on these flowers, so that their godly examples and teaching will perfume the entire continent, and the world as well.
“On the 16th of December, I preached to a large gathering in Bolton, on the resurrection of the body, and after that I went with one of the brethren to sleep that night. After a while, I viewed myself travelling in company with two or three of my brethren in the ministry, conversing on the things pertaining to the kingdom of God, when all at once a very fine looking stranger fell in company with us, and he said, ‘Well brethren, how do you all do?’ We looked at him, and we answered that we did not know him. Then he said, ‘If you keep my name secret whilst I am with you, I will tell you who I am.’ We promised we would. By then we had arrived at the home of the brother where we intended to take lodging; and after we had all gone in, and were seated in a private room, the following conversation took place: ‘My name,’ said the stranger to us, ‘is James. I am one of the apostles that were on this earth in the days of the Savior. You now see my resurrected body. Handle me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as you see me have.’
We then viewed him very closely, and O that I had words to describe the beauty and glory of that body! His flesh and skin looked so pure and shining, and his cheeks were like the rose. I then put my hand on his cheek; and then he said, ‘Be careful! for I am very choice of my heavenly body.’ I asked him, ‘Brother James, how did your contemporaries treat you?’ He answered, ‘Very much the same as the people of this age treat you and the apostles at the present time. They mocked and derided us, casting our names out as evil. The priests contended with us, and they told the people we were false prophets, and impostors; that we were not fit to live on the earth; truly like the people say about the twelve that God has sent in this dispensation. And the truth is, that the people are the same now that they were in that age; and they will not receive the pure principles of Christ from you now, any more than they believed the truth from our mouths. In our days, only a few believed our testimony; and but few will believe your testimony.’ Said I to him, ‘Brother James, the people have got a large and splendid chapel reared to your name in this country; I wonder if they let you preach in it.’ ‘Oh no,’ said he, ‘they would not let me preach in their chapel, any more than they would one of the twelve of the present age; and if they were to allow me, my preaching would be in direct opposition to all their false traditions. You know my writings; what little they have of them, they do not practice; and they are not nearly so plain as when I wrote them. They have changed and lost the plainest parts of my writings; and if I should tell them of it, they would not believe me. Thus, all that you can do is to preach wherever you can get the opportunity, and gather out the honest in heart from among them; after that the disobedient will be cut off from the earth; for all the Lord does is to warn people, and if they reject his warning, he will destroy them with his judgments.’ Then I asked him what he thought of the twelve apostles who lead the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints now? Said he, ‘They are good men; and if the Saints will obey their counsel, they will be exalted in the kingdom of God.’ Said I, ‘They have come to understand many of the glorious principles since the organization of the church.’ ‘Yes,’ says he, ‘but they are but babes yet to what they will be when they get their immortal bodies, as you now see me have.’ ‘When did you get your resurrected body?’ To this he did not answer definitely. I said, ‘Oh, I wish that I had an excellent and immortal body like the one you have.’ He answered, ‘It will not be long, if you continue to be faithful, before you and all the Saints will have bodies like this body.’ At this, we were called to supper in another room; then he said, ‘If you promise not to reveal who I am, I will take supper with you.’ At this I awoke; and behold it was a dream! Perhaps some will think that this is just imagining; but to me, in fact, it was tangible, substantial, and glorious; something I shall never forget, in time nor in eternity. It took place truly just as I have described, and it makes my heart rejoice every time I think of it. O! human language cannot portray the beauty and glory of that body! I am willing to suffer every contempt, and scorn, and persecution in order to obtain a glorious resurrection. May it be so. Amen. I am, your brother in the eternal gospel, M. SIRRINE.”
“When we first read the ‘vision’ of brother Sirrine, we considered it similar to a ficticious vision; but after that, we saw brother Sirrine, and he assured us that it was not ficticious, rather a substantive vision, as he truly worded it. Joel says, ‘And in the last days, your old men will dream dreams; and your young men will see visions.’ And the wise man says, ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish.’ May the heavens permit the veil to be parted from our eyes, all of us, so that we may know as we are known. ORSON HYDE.”
[From personal acquaintance with brother Sirrine for years, on this side and the other side of the seas, that his name is attached to the foregoing “vision” is sufficient seal of its truthfulness.—ED.]
The Ivorites Excommunicating Their Members because of Their Religion!!!
IT has been said, “there is nothing new under the sun;” and perhaps the following story is not new, rather another fulfillment of the oppression and cruelties of the persecutors of the dark ages; for, may the entire race of Gomer listen! There are some of their tribe who claim to be the chief patriots, and philanthropists of our age, and are themselves spreading the veil over the Goths and the Vandals! It is quite true that the committee of Lodge 299, Ivor-Hael Lodge, Carmarthen Union, Ivorites, have excommunicated a party of religionists from their society, on the admission that it was because they dared to worship the God of heaven consciously according to the holy scriptures! But, it is worthy of the others of this generous and respected society to publicly inform the circumstances, and the persons who caused them this shame; and it will be seen who of them is so philanthropic and just as to take their broom to clean these foul stains from out of their remembrance. Three days before this remarkable period in the history of the Ivorites, as the Latter-day Saints were preaching (by permission of the owner) in the hall of the Yew Tree, Blaina, one of the “Reverends” of the Baptists again, by the name of Thomas Evans, stood up to face them; and by doing so he showed his foolishness, bringing the reproach of the crowd on him, and causing the listeners to disregard him; and then he rushed out in shame. Nevertheless, that did not answer the purpose, except to get more and more angry, not knowing how to get additional revenge on the Saints; but the third day after that the following persons were seen gathering under the name of committee of the society, which had been called for that purpose, and that “reverend” was the chief councilor and dictator as to what should be done with the Saints (in their absence, notice, but as one of them came to know by accident), and his brother, namely Dafydd Havard, one of the Baptists, was placed as chairman, and Dafydd Thomas as assistant-chairman. Then one other of the Baptists, by the name of W. Williams; George Davies, Wesleyan; John Daniel, Wesleyan; James Mark, Independent; Thomas Griffiths, Baptist; and John and Benjamin Thomas, as this committee in the Ivorite inquisition, alias Sectarians! Let the reader imagine the vengeful “reverend” on his throne now; and the first step was to divest the robe, namely the job, from off one of the Saints, and put it on himself. With this, he swelled more and more like the “toad who was trying to imitate the ox,” until he collected enough brass in his face to twist and torture the publications of the Saints, in a way that has them denying the divinity of the scriptures; and the proof that he gives of this is because they believe the Book of Mormon to be true! And consequently, admitting the truth of the New Testament is denying the divinity of the Old! Yes, according to this reasoning, admitting the truthfulness of the one epistle of the Testament denies the divinity of the other! Yes, it would be the same thing for this “reverend” to assert that believing the last witness in court is to deny the one before, although they be as compatible with one another as the Book of Mormon is with the Scriptures.
But it was of no avail whatever defense was put forward, they agreed to cut off all the Saints without warning, and without returning their money, although some of them had been paying into them for years, without ever getting a cent of it back; and one, whom they knew was with the Saints, had paid to them 9s in the last meeting before being cut off. If a more appropriate name can be had for such work as this than wholesale swindling institution, we would like to know what it is. Whether this is an example of Welsh Ivorism, or of oppression and the transgression of this clan of their rules, is proved through facts that undo the transgression, or their conformity through their tolerance of that. But we hope that there is enough virtue in their brethren who belong to other lodges, either to administer justice, or to separate themselves from unjust oppressors, for whoever says, “God is generous” to them, is a participant in their wickedness. Until the above fact is proved to the contrary, let the Welsh remember (and we shall be more fair than they by telling others), before heaping up money in the chests of the Ivorites, they must give up every right to free agency, and their own opinions about religion, and hand over, not only their money, but the pearl of greatest price, and the best of God’s gifts to men, namely an independent mind, into their hands. What is the slavery of the most enslaved Negro in comparison to the Ivorite slavery of the fairest Welshman who dares to choose his own religion in his own free country? What can they do but appeal to the reason of their other brethren for the justice that is out of reach of the laws of their country to win it back for them!
Vainly every Ivorite-hopes to block
The Mormons so forthright;
They have no sense, no insight
To know that God gives us might.
Baptisms by the Saints in February 1847
Merthyr Tydfil.—Twenty were baptized in this branch in this month, who along with all the other faithful members are greatly enjoying their privileges, and are in the comfort of the Holy Ghost.
Nantyglo.—Despite the depth of dust and mud that have been thrown in the faces of these brave lovers of truth, they are increasing in love, patience, gifts and graces, as well as in numbers. In this young branch of the church of Jesus Christ, 16 were baptized in the month of February, on their profession of faith in the Son of God, and his gospel; although they are greatly threatened, they are solid in the faith that was once given to the saints, and they are greatly rejoicing in the comfort of the Holy Ghost in the midst of oppression, magnifying their privilege of being worthy to bear all things for the sake of the name of Him who laid down his life for them.
Penycae.—Two were baptized, and others have promised to obey soon.
Tredegar.—One was baptized. Also there is regular preaching in the “Gen. Picton,” Sirhowy.
Blackwood.—One more; and many are gravitating to the Hall to hear the gospel preached.
Abersychan.—Despite the opposition here, through the generosity of the owner permission has been obtained to preach every Sunday in a convenient Hall; and here, as in every other place in which the people are able to understand what we profess, instead of that which we deny, our gospel is winning their love according to their honesty; and do not our opponents understand and confess this, by threatening and chastising their members, to prevent them from listening to us, and falsely portraying our religion? Despite all this, five were baptized this month, on their profession of their faith in Jesus Christ.
Cwmbach.—Here, only three obeyed during the month.
Llwyni.—Two were baptized, and it is hoped the resistance will open the eyes of many others.
Cwmbychan.—In this new place also, our brethren are preaching diligently, and two have been baptized already during this month, despite how much the Sectarians warn everyone not to listen to the “babbling of the false prophets,” &c.
Rhymni.—Two were baptized from the Baptists, and it is strange how their former brethren persecute them.
Cardiff.—Five were baptized, according to what we have heard, the majority from other religions.
Dowlais.—This town is like a boiling pot, between two factions as different from each other as are Sectarianism and Apostolicity; the former as if about to die defending the mantle they have drawn over the faces of their worshippers, and becoming enraged every time the latter lift the veil to allow others to see things as they are, especially when their members, and their deacons who are honest in their principles, escape to the light, shouting, Life! Life! Although we have not had a letter, more than fifteen have been counted to us who were baptized here this month; and we give thanks to the fountain of light, that the dawn has broken through this wretched obscurity.
Elder Morris baptized some in Pembrokeshire; and elder A. Evans has sent comforting news of the success and joy of all the churches throughout the North; brother R. Evans informs us the same also; and it may be seen that we have many reasons to thank Him whose work this is, together with exhortations to diligence.
[N.B. We repeat our request for every branch president to send to us the number that were baptized, at the end of each month!]
Arrangements of the Preachers
PRIEST John Price has moved to Risca, and has received a warm welcome. Priest James John intends to go there also soon.
We saw Elder Robert Evans in Wrexham lately. He is diligent and successful in the North, and has baptized several lately, and sends greetings to the Saints in the South, wishing for an interest in their prayers.
Two were baptized in Rhosllanerchrugog at the beginning of the month, and the branch is blossoming.
Elder W. Davies, Rhymni, went to Brecon to preach, and he intends to be in those environs for some time. Success to him.
Priest John Richards, Merthyr, has migrated toward Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, for the gospel.
THIS Conference will be held in the CYMREIGYDDION HALL (White Lion), Merthyr, beginning Sunday, the 18th of April, at 10 o’clock in the morning.
THIS Conference will be held Sunday, April the 25th, in the CAUKER’S ARMS HALL, Nantyglo.
It is requested that the presidents of all the above branches and Conferences come there, so they can represent the numbers, growth, and condition of their branches. Food may be obtained from Mr. Evans, Caukers’ Arms.
N.B. It is expected that President F. D. RICHARDS (lately from America), from Liverpool, will visit the two Conferences.