“1847,” Ronald D. Dennis, ed., Prophet of the Jubilee (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997), 165–180.
Review of The Lecture of the Rev. D. Jones, Cardiff, on “The Excellency of the Christian Religion”
(Continued from page 154.)
FOR the sake of reason and consistency, do not claim “the light of the sun,” since you have been born blind, and have not come to see any of the light yet. Do not think that this is too hard a statement, Mr. J.; for your deeds prove it. Your admittance that you have not got hold of the source of the light (that is through the spirit of light), but have mistaken it for the book, and denied the spirit of revelation, which alone enlightened the Saints formerly, is also a fact to prove that you are one of the children of the dark. And since you have already admitted that “Joe” had light of the same sort as the light of the sun, it is better for you to accept just this tiny bit to begin with, rather than stay in that pitch darkness any more. The path of the just is like the light, increasing more and more until midday; the young little Saints got the light of a little candle formerly, which increased, and perhaps thus was the candlelight of “Joe.” Mr. J., do not try to extinguish it then, because there is no danger for the honest man to get too much light; it is deceivers who take fright at the light, as you take fright at the little candle of “Joe.” No wonder that you shout so loudly “reject his candle, &c,” because to the extent to which it is had it would expose your heresies and those of others; but the greatest surprise was hearing a man with both his eyes closed, and in the middle of the black night, shouting at the top of his voice, “come into the light of the sun!” And on coming there, what was his sun but a book describing the sun which some others had seen eighteen hundred years ago! I can imagine hearing someone who had a grain of common sense trying to persuade him to come out of his black hole, and open his eyes, so that he might see the same sun now for himself; but he refuses the invitation, asserting that the book has been set in place of the sun, that there is no need of the sun now, and that it was only meant to enlighten the inhabitants of those ages; and that reading about it was “more excellent” now than enjoying it. And he boldly asserts that the other is telling lies, although his eyes see the sun; and he would be able to see it, if he were to open his eyes, but despite everyone he would not, lest anyone understand his previous blindness! So Mr. J. prefers to persuade everyone to stay in the darkness, to coming into the light of a candle to start with, which would increase until the sun of justice came over the public, and filled the world with light and knowledge of God, as the waters cover the sea. Well, one has pity on him, because he is depriving himself, poor thing! Next, note Mr. J’s prayer. “Let Joe’s candle be extinguished as he was extinguished.” “Joe’s candle” is his religion, necessarily; because the light of his candle is now in Dowlais, frightening and discomfitting Mr. J. and his brethren wondrously. Next, note how “Joe was extinguished (that is, he died).” Mr. J. and the world know, yes, the heavens know as well, that he was trampled by bloody murderers in Carthage jail, because of his religion. Well “thus” in effect this “Evangelical” “Reverend” prays for the people of Dowlais, to kill the Saints in Dowlais, and everyone everywhere who professes the same light as Joseph Smith! J. Smith was killed after giving himself into the hands of the government and under its protection, in order to have a fair trial; for he knew that the law of the land would acquit him, and his murderers knew that; and so they shot four bullets through him and his brother before getting a trial. Well, thus Mr. J. prays in his manner, for us to be murdered in our country, because of our religion, and without having a trial. Men are the candles that show his light according to the comparison of Mr. J., and so it is men he wishes to kill as Joseph Smith was killed, and not its light, namely its religion: because that cannot be killed in the same manner without that. We know from experience that scores of those who professed the same ministerial craft as he, and under the influence of the same Spirit have led the bloody armies of the mobs to kill scores of our dear brothers in America. Yes, they were the first instigators of the persecution there, as they are here; they continued to breathe their threaten-ings and their false accusations from the pulpits, &c, until they got a party of their followers cruel enough to follow them to kill the Saints, and burn down the houses of others about their heads, and exile thousands from the land of their birth without trial or mercy; yes, the Reverends did all this; and they will have the pleasure of drinking the dregs of the horrible cup of blameless blood which they themselves filled. And yet, brothers of theirs with the same father are to be found even in enlightened Wales, “in the land of the Bibles,” and “the garden of Christianity,” praying from pulpits for the committing of such wholesale butchery of their fellowmen! Trying to close the ears of the people from listening to us,—closing their chapels to those of our members who come to listen:—charging 6p each for their fellowmen to be allowed to come to their chapels to hear us and our religion being falsely accused! Yes, these men, having done everything they can, are trying to close the Press to us, and deprive us of the freedom of this the only way we know of in this country, which is free to publish anything for us. And now they are completing the picture of our horrible persecution by praying for all of us to be murdered as was Joseph Smith!! We wonder if the papal “court of inquisition” of old would not blush, before releasing such sentences over their pulpits. Read it on paper before your eyes, and the eyes of the public, Mr. J. “Let Joe’s candle be extinguished as he was extinguished,” is it! This sentence will be remembered, Sir, and its author will be remembered by godly Saints, when wallowing in their blood in the mountains of Wales, probably. You will remember it, Sir, and it will be imprinted on the lintel over the door to your eternal prison, unless you call it back and repent of it, before it gives birth to its bloody offspring, namely the shedding of innocent blood. Oh, dear Wales! What is the matter? Teaching like this flooding from the pulpits of our land! What! in this “enlightened age?” What will be the results before long? whose life will be safe? Shh! the groans and voice of our perished fathers who were martyred here have scarcely ceased echoing on the crags of our country,—their graves are still new under our feet; and the ruins of the crosses, the prisons, and the altars where they were sacrificed are still staring us in the face. And despite all this, behold some of their own children trying to blow the sparks of the old embers to burn their brothers of the same blood for their religion. And worse still, they do all this under the mantle of “Christianity.” Yes, this is the “excellence of Christianity,” say these men. Oh paganism, hide thy altars for shame; because thy animal sacrifices do not compete with the human sacrifices of these people! Why talk further about the papal inquisition, the druids, or Juggernaut himself, because a selection of those victims would be made; but as for the altars of this sort of “Christianity,” they will not be satisfied except with the blood of Saints, without trial or defense! And however much it drank deep of the blood of our godly brothers and sisters beyond the sea, behold its priests here still thirst for ours. And their open mouths are like the grave here still, shouting “give, give.” If they are asked “give” what, the answer is to be had from Mr. J. and his partners, namely “give” us more sacrifices “like” that of Joseph Smith, so that the same thing can be done with them. You dear Saints, be grateful with all your hearts for the laws of the land, to defend us from the altars and priests of this bloody “Christianity”!
Is it not to these people the apostle refers when he says “by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of?” Doubtless there are hosts in our country saying, on seeing the unchristian acts of its professors, and on hearing the persecuting lectures and sermons of those who claim to teach “Christianity,” “Give us atheism rather than that kind of Christianity.” Why take the trouble to review the assertions of such a bloody man as this? We would not consider it worth notice were it not for their assertions of Christianity, and their influence to shame that divine religion, and to deprive our fellowmen of the blessings. This lecture also shouts often for people to embrace Christianity rather than Mormonism, and not to touch the Book of Mormon but to read the Bible. What is this but to try to get the people to believe we do not believe the Bible? But we thank his “brother” before him for admitting that we “believe in the Old Testament,” even though this one denies that. Let our work defending the principles of the Old Testament and the New, from the denial and distortions of those aggressors, prove whether we believe the scriptures, or whether we do not: and let that testify whether it is we or our accusers who are the infidels, the deceivers, the idiots, the satanists, the baboons, and the monkeys, yes, and who really deserve all the other misnomers they give us. And let the reader and the public judge, whether it is we or they who have the excellent Christianity that the scriptures describe; because by its fruits you will ever know it. If reviling their fellowmen with the respectable names above is its fruit; if denying the spirit of revelation and all the most excellent gifts of Christianity is its fruit, then they most certainly have it. If Christianity teaches men to persecute, to make the freedom of the Press captive, and to raise riots, and to urge men to murder each other over it, then we shall easily admit that they are the Christians, and that Mormon Christianity does not know anything about these things, nor does it choose ever to understand anything about a religion that has brought forth such fruit. And may the great creator of the Christianity of the Saints save them and everyone, from the talons and altars of such a religion and its priests. But if the words are true of him who said, “ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.” If the principle that Christianity’s founder taught is true, namely, “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution,” and if that religion is “unchanging” as Mr. Roberts admitted, then the truth is that the “Mormons” are the only Christians to be had in Wales; and if the tree is unchanging, so is the fruit. The fruits of Christianity formerly were the “spiritual gifts;” why not now? Another fruit of that time was that all the Pharisees and false religious men of the age condemned it as deceit, and slandered those who professed it as false prophets, devilish men, traitors against the government, fanatics, ignorant men, and the filth of the world, and the offscouring of all things, &c. Why does the same Christianity that caused such men to persecute it not bear similar characteristics in this age? Consider, gentle reader, does not the religion of the Saints bring forth fruits quite like those of early Christianity? Were it not of divine derivation, it is unlikely that men like this would persecute it so much. He does well to counsel everyone to embrace the Bible, and thus do we say with all our heart, but again, we say, there is as much difference between shouting “embrace the Bible,” and embracing the doctrines it teaches as there is between Mr. J.’s “Christianity” and the religion of the Bible, or Mormonism; and whoever does not see this difference, we have pity on his condition. But enough now of such false Christianity. Let the scriptures be searched, and let their divine commandments be obeyed, and then God will prove that “Mormonism” is truth, and that it is the Saints that have the “Excellence of Christianity,” by contributing its divine gifts and its promises into your possession. Do our persecutors promise this? Oh, no; that is because they do not have the spirit of “Christianity” nor “her power.”
Thy spirit, mighty Lord—
Possess me in accord—me to perfect;
So that the world’s base way
Shall end without delay:
Desires of flesh and falsehood I reject.
The errors of my days—
In truth, your words erase:—give me advice
Whereby I gain new strength
To drive them out at length;
Extolling thus your precious sacrifice.
Extract from the Letter of John Bowen from Llwyni
WE beg your indulgence to publish the following letter, because of the principle it contains, although it was not written to be published. It is easy to perceive from the research of its author into both sides whether Baptists or Mormons have the true Christianity. It can also be seen what harmful effects the writers cause who publish all this rubbish against the Saints. “Dear Brother,
“The best news I have to inform you, is that I was baptized “for the remission of sins,” by the Latter-day Saints, on Saturday, a week ago today. You will remember, that I was zealous in persecuting them when I wrote the previous letter; I did this out of conscience, and out of zeal for the church of God, as I supposed, and I believed that I was serving God by so doing. The reasons that prompted me to do that stemmed from my having heard so much against them from the pulpits, the schools, and also from the monthly publications, especially the Baptist, for which I was a distributor. Now, I know that it is practically all false accusations, that which I read against them; and great is my sorrow for giving credence to them before searching for myself. Now, after God by his grace and his goodness has granted me time to repent, for calling me “from darkness to light, and from the hold of Satan to the kingdom of his beloved Son,” namely to the church of the Saints, I say as you yourself said to me repeatedly, “Thanks to God for the opportunity.” I say to you that God gave me a testimony through his Holy Spirit the first time I went to the church of the Saints, “that the house of God and the gate to heaven were there.” Several things testify to me that the church of the Saints is the true church of Jesus Christ; apart from the fact that the signs which Jesus Christ promised follow these believers, the united efforts of nearly all the other denominations to persecute them with lies, prove that they are not of the world, were it not that the world has loved its own. Your work in so earnestly testifying to me that the Saints are in possession of the spiritual gifts caused me to search carefully the scriptures to determine whether these were promised, or, as nearly all our teachers say, whether “They were not to continue except to the end of the apostolic age, and that only to establish Christianity, and they are not needed now, &c.” It was not until I learned to believe the scriptures themselves instead of the explanations of men about them, that I was able to understand them. I read Mark xvi; Acts ii, 38, 39; Romans x; 1 Cor. xii; Eph. iv; and many other places where the spiritual gifts are mentioned; and I was greatly amazed at my previous blindness, failing to see the absolute necessity of the spiritual gifts, and the apostolic plan to be the church of God, all of which is obvious to me now; and immediately “I did not wrestle with flesh and blood,” but I informed my brethren the Baptists of my decision to leave them, and to join with those I believed were more similar to the truth. When they heard that, and although I left them with my head held high, yet I never had so much persecution from anyone during the eight years I was with the Baptists, as I have already suffered from them during this past week. May the gracious God forgive them. Those who professed to be my dearest friends before are my chief enemies now, and that only because I obeyed the commandments of Jesus Christ according to the scriptures; and in this are the words of Christ verfied, namely, “Ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.” I realize now that I deprived myself greatly by delaying for so long my joining of this religion, and compassion now fills my heart, when I consider how many hundreds who are probably with my old brethren yet, hiding in the lying sanctuaries that were published against the Saints; and my fondest wish for each one of them is in the words of Jesus Christ to Nathaniel, “Come and see;” and I assure them that no one who is honest in his principles who is searching for the truth, and who comes to the church of the “Latter-day Saints” will be disappointed; for God is with them in truth. That our entire nation will embrace this excellent religion soon, is my prayer.
“David and myself greet you and your family together with all the Saints there.
I am, your dear Brother,
THERE have been so many arguments among the wise of the various factions, and so much has been written by the one side and the other of them, that we do not consider it beneficial to take much notice of this subject here; not that we do not have more to say to them than we have read from them; not that we do not consider the method of great importance to understand and practice either; but because we have a much better, surer, and shorter way to put an end to this debate, and although it is a very old way, yet until lately it is entirely new to this age. This is to prove the one as fair as the other, and the one that is accepted by God, and that alone will bring the man who is honest in his principles in possession of the spiritual gifts that Christ promised, Mark xvi, 17, 18, as Christ promised,— “If anyone will do the will of my father, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself,” and then, if the promises are not received that Christ gave to the truly baptized through the one baptism after a fair trial, we counsel all men to try some other baptism, and so on until he discovers the right approach which will bring him within reach of the greatest light and blessings. Some oppose this, because the scriptures say that there is “one baptism.” We answer that we understand that there is one true water baptism for forgiveness; and recognizing that each one claims that their baptism is that one, we exhort everyone to be baptized, never mind how often, until they have the right one for sure. For it does not matter how often or how infrequently a man is baptized in the other ways, he cannot be considered baptized in the sight of heaven, unless it be that only one commanded by the author of the plan. For a man to obey something that some man calls a baptism, and stay with it to the point of refusing a better one is unwise, for when the true baptism is obtained, it will prove itself, independent of human witness; or rather its author will prove it true, by imparting the blessings; and to be destitute of all such blessings, after being baptized, is to admit either that we were baptized with a false baptism, or that the promise of Christ is void. Also we do not believe that God intended for the Bible to be the only way through which men may come to a knowledge of the truth. Understand us rightly! God did not intend for the world to be, nor did the apostles imagine that the 19th century would be without any church rule better than their writings. With all due respect to them, and belief in them, I shall say this in their own words. They said that the church (not the Bible) is the pillar and ground of the truth. 1 Tim. iii, 15.
The chief leaders of the church were the officers, who were and shall be inspired while it remains the church of God, and so they will be taught how to administer in baptism, and in every other ordinance, not by some ancient writings belonging to their fathers, despite how many beneficial examples, and profitable counsels there were in them; that was not their standard, but the Spirit of God which brought everything to their remembrance, and which was precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little, and there a little, according to their needs, a day’s portion in its day. This is why the manner of administering other ordinances besides baptism is so obscure in the scriptures.
Again about baptizing more than once, that does not make more than one baptism if a hundred baptisms were performed, any more than going through the same door of a house a hundred times makes a hundred doors. And if a man trying to go to his friend’s house had gone through some door to another house, would that be sufficient that he had gone through some door? If not, a man’s obedience to what some call baptism, would not be sufficient to go into the kingdom of God; for in someone else’s kingdom he would be without doubt, or, as Christ said, he would have come some other way besides the proper baptism, or the lawful door, and he would receive the welcome of a thief or a robber. The man who follows this counsel and who tries every kind of baptism until he gets the correct one, is much more rational for his own good, than the bigots who refuse the correct one, as a result of their own insincerity.—From the Scriptural Treasury.
The Persecution of Dowlais, and the Good It Has Done
THE threatening and self-stirring storm that has been in this town and its environs lately, has already gone past, and the bright light of the gospel of peace is shining more fervently than ever. Many of those who believed the curses of “Simei” have wearied at his untruthful and blasphemous tales, and are saying as some said at that time, What does this dog do in barking, my lord? And now, when second thoughts are enthroned, they will say, let them spew out their filth until their folly is obvious to all.
It was thought from the wind of the great bellows of Dowlais in the Star of Gomer, the Times, &c, that the sparks that he blew to start would have increased to a fierce flame by now, and that it would utterly consume “Mormonism,” so that soon only its ashes would be left. And we did not see anything more like this than the drunkard who came to his house, in the middle of the night, and searching for the fire he saw the light of the moon shining through the keyhole; he grabbed the bellows, and there he stayed blowing without seeing his mistake until he became sober! Thus do these blow their great bellows and their small bellows in all the keyholes, chapels, and houses, that they can get around Dowlais, and just as completely useless as the blowing of the drunkard; for, it is not Mormonism that is before their bellows any more than the fire was before the bellows of the drunkard. The lying and cruel ringleader of this persecution wishes for the readers of the Star to believe that Mormonism has received a “homestroke forever in these areas,” yes, he asserts that this is the “unanimous decision of all of the listeners.” How did he know this, one wonders, if there are there as many thousands as he suggests? But we know, and hundreds if not thousands know this way better than that; and we say also that we have never heard such heavy criticism placed on anything as placed on those lectures against Mormonism by the listeners, and hosts have wearied of such contradictory rubbish they heard there, and are searching into the principles of the godly religion that was so hideously and falsely accused. Time will prove that all things, including this, work together for the good of this eternal gospel. One sees an example of the shameless impudence of the lying persecutor in publishing in the Star that “two of the chief elders of the Mormons left them the following week, and others with them,” he says. Oh, how pleased he would be if this were true. But we say in truth, that it is a complete lie, and affirm that not one of the elders of the Saints left them after that; no, not one kind of officer left them, neither are there any signs of that! And as for one of the two members to which he refers as holding meetings, &c., he was never in but one or two of the biggest church meetings of the Saints; and he had evil and dishonest intentions in coming at that time, namely to seek an occasion to falsely accuse before the world. He had been excommunicated several months before the lecturing that took place in Caersalem. And the slanderous inclincation of the aforementioned man is seen in that which follows:—A secret council was held in Dowlais by the chief leaders of the persecutors to devise plans to persecute the innocent Saints; among others there were some who had been excommunicated from the Saints, because of unchristian conduct, as members of the council, and the aforementioned man in particular, when the following conversation took place.—As each one told his hideous and lying story in his turn; to select the best ones to tell in their public meetings, this Iscariot said that he had seen a dog in a meeting of the Saints, dressed in white, and beautifully decorated, and that the Saints said that he was an angel, &c. But this was too hideous for another who was near him, and who had been with the Saints for a long time, to tolerate; and he accused him to his face that that was a completely unfounded lie. “Hush, hush,” said the first, “what does it matter, we must tell lies about them, otherwise we shall not succeed, and we will not have anything to say, is that not right Mr. President?” “Oh most certainly,” said the president, “it makes no difference whatever, for it brings scorn on the Saints!” Yes, these are the witnesses that are believed by those who are of the same taste, although contrary to the testimony of scores of truthful people, who are with the Saints. Why believe false accusers now more than the backsliders from the other denominations are believed?
Backsliding is disgraceful—but in Saints,
It seems, not so awful:
Each blow, they hope, is harmful,
Our foes are heeded in full.
As for the other backslider he refers to as being an “elder,” and speaking with tongues, &c, along the roads. It is true that one very young and weak member was beguiled by the evil persecutors to cast his “pearls before swine,” and to recite such sacred things, and to speak with “strange tongues” before the dogs, and the result was as Jesus Christ rightly said, “they turned and devoured them.” What stronger witness than this is possible to have that the Saints enjoy the spiritual gifts that were enjoyed in the early church of Christ, and which the New Testament promises to the church, while it remains the church of Christ? Behold a confession of our professed enemies of that, and examples of them made public!! Well, we hope that that is sufficient to hold them without excuse if they continue to refuse them then. Besides that, the man referred to has come to see his sins, and has sincerely repented for being persuaded to make such misuse of sacred things. And from reliable witnesses we report that he is earnestly seeking to keep from being excommunicated from the church. And so, the victory of the noble Mr. Davies, and others, is false every word, yes, so that there is not even one member, much less “two elders and others,” who have left the Saints yet. But, the truth is, instead of the Saints being a “blasphemy and a curse,” as Davies says, and instead of some leaving them in Dowlais, not so much as one has left them since this last persecution began! And furthermore, let the world understand that there has been more success and growth among the Saints, even in Dowlais, since that than ever before! Instead of our meetings dwindling to nothing afterwards, as is said, the hundreds who come to listen will testify that our Hall there is more full of respectful listeners than it has ever been, and so far from receiving the homestroke and dying, that some, more or less, have been baptized by us in Dowlais every week since the aforementioned uproar; and whoever doubts it, can see on the books of our church that not so much as one week has passed since then until now in which some new people have not been accepted as church members by the Saints there; and time will prove that everything, yes, the worst that our enemies can do and say, is for the benefit and spread of our religion, for the multiplying of its subjects, and for the strengthening of the Saints in more unity and love. We thank him whose divine work this is, and not our persecutors, and we plead for strength from him to continue in it, patient and industrious until the day of the coming of our Lord.
Fondest brothers, fondest sisters,
This is Jesus’s creed revealed,
Ushered in to raise the lowly,
Who can but in joy be sealed?
Here’s the spirit that was promised,
Here’s its blessing, such delight:
All its gifts by name acknowledged
Poured upon us in their might!
Description of California
THE following was quoted from a letter from the above country, which was published in the “New York Herald:”—
“With respect to California (said one writer), despite all it has been praised, not half of its advantages, its climate, and its fruitfulness have been described—it is a country that providence prepared in Eden for the children of freedom. Yet, there is need for many things to organize this paradise as a happy dwelling place for man; it is true that there is already a name of government, but only a name. The head Hispanics in the country do not understand what a free vote is, and election to office through the voice of the majority is unknown here. General Kearny is busy organizing the previous disorder with respect to the government; and his fatherly kindness to this point causes the inhabitants to look to him for protection and justice. Under his administration unity and brotherly love have been created between the immigrants and the old inhabitants to some extent. They associate with one another in feasts, with the flags of America waving victoriously overhead; and if the armies of the United States were recalled now, the inhabitants would defend themselves as a republic independent from Mexico.
“With respect to the quality of the land of California, the soil is usually black and fertile to a depth of about four inches, and it produces abundantly every species of corn and vegetables that grow from the earth in any place. There is not one country that rivals this one for growing tobacco, hemp, flax; and as for the fruit of the vine, it is far superior to every country that I have ever seen. I saw here several vineyards of the Hispanics, but they are too lazy to tend them. I say that not many years will pass before the whole world will fetch their wines from California.
“As for its suitability for raising animals, it is difficult to have better; nutritious grass, and wild oats, grow abundantly in every part of it; even now the hills and meadows are covered with green grass two feet high, where at one glance one can see thousands of head of cattle voraciously grazing, and continuing to do so all the year round, for this land continues to be green every season, and has been thus since the beginning of time. You in the states boast of your breeds of cattle, such as the Durham, the Devonshire, &c, but come here, and you will see two or three thousand oxen fattening along these meadows, and then you will admit that this country is better to raise animals than any country under the sun. And although no one takes care of them here, yet they grow here into the biggest and the fattest in the world. Every lake and river is alive with every species of fish, especially the Salmon. There are in these mountains and woods countless hosts of Elk, Deer, and every species of reptile; and the geese and several kinds of duck fly in clouds through the air. Diseases are unknown here, and a lifetime lasts until it becomes a burden. The mountains are rich with valuable ore; and iron ore and copper can be seen along the face and sides of the mountains; in a word, an abundance of everything grows here except for loaves of bread; and these idle Hispanics are too lazy to work for them. The price of flour here now is 20 dollars (over four pounds) per barrel, and is very scarce nonetheless. Beef, beef, is their motto; and they practically live on meat only; they work together, they dwell together, and they lie down together with their animals, and the chief wonder is that hooves, horns, and hair are not growing on every Indian and Hispanic that are in this country!
“Send farmers here instead of soldiers; and tell them that a beautiful and abundant Eden is to be had, if they come to this place where it is located. If the inhabitants of some parts of the states were to come here, doubtless the change would cause the old to dance, the sick to get well, and the thin to get fat on the fat of this land. As for the doctors and lawyers of your country, it is better for them to stay there, for there is no need here for the one more than the other. But farmers, merchants, printers, cobblers, tailors, and all honest and industrious craftsmen can become rich here quickly. There is a great need here for all kinds of workers, and they should bring the tools with them, for there are no craftsmen here to make such things. Lately 300 wagons from the state of Missouri landed here (in the Sacramento valley), but it is easier and more comfortable to come by sea, not to mention that this way you can bring with you the things you choose.
“In this valley, namely Sacramento, is the most numerous settlement of Americans of any region of California, and this large and luxuriant valley is quickly being filled with people. Silence spread over it during the passing centuries, except for the gentle songs of the varied feathered families, which sounded through its woods intermingled with the sounds of wild beasts, together with the sound of oars and songs of the red inhabitants of the forest when they rowed their canoes laden with furs down its crystalline rivers. Recently the first pioneer landed here, with his axe and his rifle on his shoulder, until the banners of our country waved in the air; and already the desert is blossoming like the rose. The sounds of the happy ploughman are whistling after his plough—the songs of the milkmaid amidst the lowing of her cattle, and the merchandising signs of the hammer, the saw, and the axe, echoing on the walls of homes from the quiet waters of the straits of San Francisco to the chalky rocks of the lumpy white mountains; and before long these splendid and dear valleys of this land will be a happy homeland to thousands more of free sons and daughters, who, in ease and fulness will take paradisiacal shelter under the branches of the Freedom Tree. Although there is as much merchandising in Monterey at present as there is in San Francisco, yet because so many navigable rivers pour into that strait, the latter will probably be the chief market port of this country. But the days will surely come when the railways will be driven through the mountains, the lowlands will be raised, and the need for fiery engines will be seen, which will run with the speed of the wind from Vancouver to Panama, and when the inhabitants of the wilderness will thank the God of freedom that they are also free.”
To whoever considers the above description as too colorful, or too good to be literally true, we say that it is a literal translation of the words of an eyewitness. That is all, and if it were only half true, who would not wish the enjoyment of part of it! We are glad to hear that such a paradise is before us, and already under the feet of some of our exiled brethren, and although it is not one of them who is this witness, we hope we can say, after hearing his story from them, like the queen of Sheba, for another thing, namely that “the half has not been told us” of its goodness.
Proclamation to the Saints
Dear Brethren and Sisters,—We feel a desire and responsibility to present to you, through the medium of the PROPHET, especially to those who are scattered throughout the country, and under many other disadvantages, interesting counsels and directions, and we hope they will be received, and we pray they will be as beneficial to you as is our wish.
It is an unspeakable privilege to have membership, and even an office, in the church of God. It is a privilege that bestows the right to all the other good and godly privileges that God has promised, and which are not to be had in any other place. But it is expected that we be in the church circle not only in name, but that our behavior will be heartfelt and in accordance with the responsibilities of that circle, and in a spirit of grace and prayer will we enjoy the promises. It is true that many obstacles are on the path, and the temptations are strong and numerous; neither is that any wonder when we consider we have the “old man” to crucify, together with his lusts and his desires, and that the enemy is losing his hold on us. Yes, he has many ways to try to pull us back, one to some old sweet sin, and the other to popularity or worldy wealth; but the most cunning and most destructive for the true Christian is the influence of the hypocritical spirits, those who assume the form of the angel of light. Beware of those that come to you in sheep’s clothing, with the appearance of humility, uttering words of puffed up vanity, with great compassion, and fairly crying, “because you were beguiled to such heresy,” as they call that which they know nothing about. Not infrequently they will offer to pray for you, and they will tell tales and deathbed testimonies, in order to tug at your feelings, and make you feel nostalgic, not for the truth as much as for the sweet old fellowship, and the old Pharisaic tune. Beware of them, we say again; the fact that their tales bring discomfort and melancholy to your heart, proves that they do not have the Spirit of God, for that brings joy in the Holy Ghost, and nurtures love for all truth, and not for the old traditions of man. “Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God.”
Another very popular method the enemy has to prevent you from going forward in the godly work, is to send his servants from one corner of the country to another like shooting stars, their bag full of an assortment of blasphemous stories; and sometimes one person will swear that some fellow or other performed them in one place and that he was there, and another person will swear that it was someone else who caused them to happen, but in a completely different place, and the whole thing is verified! And often these things are heard from the pulpits! To the Saints who are scattered, again we say, “Believe not every spirit,” and especially believe that the false prophets are those who shout that the Saints are failing here, and dwindling to nothing there. That is their desire, but it will not come to pass eternally.
Another trick the enemy has after failing in every other way, is to try to cause a rift between the flock and their pastors. They know very well that the strength of the Saints originates from God through his Holy Spirit. They know that “Do all things properly and in an orderly fashion,” is his motto, and consequently that the growth of the Saints depends on hearing the voice of their teachers, and keeping a unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace, as every member’s physical growth depends on the nourishment he receives through his mouth; and if the enemy, through reporting lying tales about them, through diminishing or betraying the trust of the members in their pastor, he can expect great plunder. We understand that the enemy now has a host of agents throughout Wales on this errand. They say that they are well acquainted with “Capt. Jones,” and others, and that they have debated such and such with him, and surely have defeated him, and rendered him mute. They will say many things that were told to them, so they say, and from tales with not one word of truth in them. And as incredible as this may seem, it is abundantly true that we have walked together with some who professed to go along the country preaching the gospel, and who professed a perfect knowledge of us, and we found out from their heart such a mixture of lies that it is not decent to repeat them! And at the same time, when we made our identity known, they shouted in our faces the name by which we are known. Some of such a family are those who gossip so much about us in Llwyni, Pontyberem, Llanelli, to Monmouthshire, and in places throughout the North also. Do not believe them; there is not a word of truth in their rubbish or their false arguments. We are not aware of ever having exchanged two words with such persons, and we do not think that our eyelids have ever opened on one of them, nor did we know of their existence, until their boastful tales, and their names came back to us. Whose character is safe under the breath of such slanderers as these? And who of their beguiled ones would not consider themselves to be serving God by killing us, as their brethren did to our own godly brethren in America recently? Oh men, if you know nothing about the worth of a good name, consider your responsibility in the days to come!
To the Saints we say, Though we do not claim perfection, yet the Spirit will jointly testify the truth together with your spirit, through its gifts and its many sweet blessings, and it is the Spirit that feeds you with the genuine milk of the word. Your growth in every good deed, and spiritual comforts, together with the hopes you hold, that “evil men of evil treasures of the heart, bring out evil things” against their betters. To our sorrow we admit that even the best at times slip, yes, even those who ought to be examples to their flock, yet we say, those evil men referred to, and the like, are not the agents in the hand of God to set straight such as these, nor is that the way for you to understand that, rather your privilege is to gain knowledge from God through his Spirit according to his plan, and then to hold fast to that plan, and not to persons any longer or because they belong to that plan. It is necessary for you to have a test of your faith in this regard, as in all other things, before you are perfected in faith. But when in the midst of temptation, “in your patience possess ye your souls.” You have a Father to watch over you at that time. You know the way to him, and there are courts in his house where all will have justice. Oh to have patience until that time then. Be prudent and gentle, praying always, especially in secret, with every prayer and request, for God your Father to keep you from the clutches of heretical spirits, to comfort you and perfect you in every good deed, remembering the proverb that says, “Avenge not yourselves (but rather suffer wrong); vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord.”
News from the Saints Who Are in the Wilderness
CAPT. Drake and Mr. Campbell report through the St. Louis Republican for August 24, that on their journey from California toward St. Louis they met with hosts of emigrants going toward the west. They met with the first company of the Saints beyond the Rocky Mountains hastening to go to the Great Salt Lake to search for the best place to winter. After that they met with the second company, containing from five to six hundred wagons. They were moving along very successfully, and peacefully together. A few days before our reporters met them, the Saints had hunted and feasted together very amicably with the nation of the Pawnee Indians. The travelers came past the place where the aforementioned feast had been held; but they considered themselves quite fortunate that they had not met up with the Indians despite that. This proves much in favor of the Saints, not only that “the envy of Ephraim is departing” quickly, according to the prophecies, but the behavior of these barbarians proves that they like justice, and repay goodness to the Saints for their fairness to them. Further, our reporters say, “that the Mormons have plenty of pigs, chickens, geese, and fat cattle with them, together with an abundance of provisions to last for a year-and-a-half!” This is so contradictory to the stories that were published recently and flew on the wings of the breezes, and that were considered sweet in the mouths of some we knew, namely “that the Mormons are eating each other in the wilderness, and an end to them will be had before long, &c.” But we thank our gracious God, that is the sustainer and leader of the Saints, and not of the Christians (in name) who have banished them, neither their brethren of the same taste as they who rejoice in their cruelties, and imitate them even in Wales, to whatever extent they can. This is like practically all the other accusations against the Saints, and more truth is to be had in them if they are taken completely opposite from what they state.
With the Latter-day Saints
Is the most divine religion now,
And this will be proclaimed
Until it fills the whole earth.
But when they depart
Such war and pestilence will be seen!
If the gentiles knew of their prosperity,
They would not talk of moving the Saints!
THIS Conference was held Sunday, October 3rd, in the Hector Hall, Nantyglo. The hall was overflowing with listeners by ten o’clock. Capt. D . Jones was selected as president, who, after beginning by singing and praying, addressed the crowd warmly about the necessity of having a religion that would bring them a knowledge of God, and the enjoyment of his promises; and he showed the difference between that and the bigotry of the doctrines of men, or a religion of whim and feelings only. He rejoiced greatly upon seeing such a numerous and noble congregation of his fellow nation, the majority of whom if not all, were in possession of such an excellent religion, which is self-proving, and which gives the power of God to its possessor. He said that the purpose of this Conference was not to change or improve the religion, but to strive to come to a more correct knowledge of it, and to organize the best means of spreading it among our fellowmen, and also to perfect unity and love among the Saints. After that the different presidents represented the eight branches of the conference, and they described their circumstances almost without exception as being in unity, and increasing in the enjoyment of the gifts and joy of the Holy Ghost. They showed that there were better signs of growth, and hopes of multiplying, and that the Saints were more fervent and energetic through it all than they had ever before been. The number of elders present is 12, priests 25, teachers 18, deacons 8. Baptized since the previous Conference 24. The number of all members is 209. A great number has moved to other parts of Wales, and are sowing the good seed with increase.
At two o’clock, the meeting for the Saints only was begun, although there were there several of our friends from the world by permission. After partaking of the ordinance of the supper of the Lord, the president showed its excellence and its usefulness, &c, in English, and he gave many sweet and beneficial counsels in Welsh also, until it was thought that every bosom was rejoicing, and every heart cherishing more and more the splendid religion, which brings them such enjoyment and hopes. Afterwards one was received into the church, and four children were blessed. Elder W. Phillips from Merthyr was chosen unanimously to be the president of this conference, because the previous president, elder J. Morris, was laboring successfully in Pembrokeshire, and this was agreed upon unanimously. It was agreed also that every branch would choose its distributor of the PROPHET, and to pay for it monthly for however many members there were—that all the distributors would pay the conference president, and that the profit from them was to be for his support; and it is earnestly requested that all well-wishers of this divine work will do all they can to spread the PROPHET, and pay for it.
It was agreed also to do all we can to aid and supply the needs of the American Saints who are in the wilderness, and to send the money collected from now to the end of the year with the missionaries who will be returning to America at that time. This sweet and beneficial meeting ended at five o’clock with prayer and singing.
At half past six, the evening meeting began. Elder Eliezer Edwards, D . Jones, Penycae, and Thomas Giles, Merthyr, preached in a lively and clear manner on various principles, and they were followed by the president, who showed that the earth is the happiest heaven and the eternal destiny of all the godly of the human race—that here will be the “resting place which is kept for the people of God.” He proved that this was the expectation of the patriarchs and the prophets, together with all the Saints, and that the chorus of the gentlest anthems of the angels was, “and we shall reign on the EARTH,” Rev. 5, 10. He also showed the necessity there was for a godly emissary to establish the heavenly kingdom on the earth, and to bring men to be subjects of it in preparation for the great restoration, and the coming of the king to his kingdom. He proved that this work, or the establishment of this kingdom, had a small beginning like the “stone that was cut out of the mountain,” and it will increase gradually until it fills the earth with the knowledge of God, as the waters cover the sea; and the whole earth at that time will have become heaven for the resurrected and transfigured Saints. After that the president testified that this heaven had already begun on the earth—where, and how, and he earnestly invited everyone to hasten to obey its laws, so they could have enjoyment from it. It is not here possible to do justice to the talks that were delivered in this meeting, but it was easy to understand from the respectful and attentive hearing, together with the happy faces of the whole crowd, that their hearts rejoiced in the hope of enjoying these glorious promises. Success, I say, to it until it fills our country, and crowns our fellow nation, and the world, with his joy. Amen.
DAVID JONES, Scribe.
The kingdom has come, in its time,
Without an end to it, ever more;
It was cut as a stone, from the mountain,
And will roll forth, over the nations.
To Our Distributors
SINCE there is just one more issue of the Prophet to come out this year, all distributors are earnestly requested to prepare to settle their accounts for the year for the other books as well as for the Prophet by the Conference.
N.B. We would be glad to buy back our own books, namely the following, and pay full price for them, if they are clean, that is the Old Religion Anew, the Reply, the Scales, the Proclamation, and no. 1, 7, 8 of the Prophet. Whoever has them, let him send them here, and he shall have the money, or other books, in their place. Not every author will do this, nor does this wonderfully increasing demand for our books testify that our religion is in decline in the least!
*** We have books of Welsh hymns bound for sixpence each.
Next Glamorgan Conference
IT is intended to hold the above Conference in the Cymreigyddion Hall in Merthyr, Sunday and Monday, December the 26th and 27th, that is the first days after Christmas.
*** Visitors from America are expected at the Conference, and all the Saints are earnestly requested to strive to fulfill the promise we made to assist the Saints who are in the wilderness, by that time.
We expect that the various presidents throughout Wales will take care of this.