« PreviousContinue »
The Editor of the YOUNG WO- latter walked away, and I followed MAN'S JOURNAL has requested me them some distance, impelled by to tell how I first obtained a wit- curiosity and interest which apness of the divine origin of the peared unaccountable. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- If that can be called a testimony day Saints. I do not believe I of the truth, the manner of its can comply. About all that can reception can only be explained be done in the premises is to state on the ground of its being through a few facts connected with my the agency of the Spirit of Truth, early experience in relation to and "which maketh all things maniconnection with the work of God: fest."
When a lad of about sixteen When about eighteen years old, years, in the city of Edinburgh, I I was in the town of Bingley, was walking along public i Yorkshire, having been sent there thoroughfare which passes through to work by an employer. In my the meadows, one Sunday morn- lodgings I found a pamphlet ening My attention was attracted titled "The Necessity of Mirato two men, who were bare
cles,” by Elder Orson Pratt. headed. One of them—the shorter After having "devoured" the conof the two-who had a bright, tents, I informed my fellow-lodger, kindly face, was preaching. At a man named John Thompson, that moment he was testifying that what I had read was "true.' that God had raised up a prophet Mr. Thompson remarked: "The in these days and established the Latter-day Saints are Mormons. gospel in its fullness, as it existed They are out at Salt Lake, in in the days
of the ancient America, where they say they are Apostles. A glow passed through waiting for Christ to come. Their my being and according to my teachings here are very different recollection, I
perfectly to their teachings and practices satisfied that this preacher spoke out there. They are
a very bad the truth. A number of people people." who were standing around shout- The reply to this was: “I do ing derisively at the two men, and not know anything about what some of them picked up stones as you say, but I do know that what if about to pelt the objects of that pamphlet contains is true.” their anger.
This excited my It did not appear that I could be sympathy for the preachers and any more strongly convinced that indignation toward the persecu- this position was correct than I tors. My feelings were so intense was at that moment. that I involuntarily buttoned my sumed that the Holy Spirit had jacket and had there been shed His light upon my mind and actual disturbance I believe I given a witness of the truth should have taken an active part far as that testimony extended. in defense of the preachers. The After my return to Edinburgh,
It is pre
and probably three or four years eccentric way he opened the door after my having first seen him, without knocking, and, walking the man whom I heard testify to directly up to me, said: "Now, the divine mission of Joseph John, I have come to learn about Smith called at the house of my this religion you wrote to parents business. He
about." Feeling incompetent to instantly recognized, and, give the desired explanation, I
to an inquiry, said: "I subsequently introduced him to an Elder of the Church of the Elder. Next Sunday my Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." friend and I attended meeting I think it was at this time that and heard preaching by Elders he turned to me and exclaimed, Amasa Lyman and Charles C. “And you will be one, too.” If Rich. My friend and myself were not then it was about that time, baptized and confirmed in a few he explained the gospel to me. days afterwards. I cannot tell I never offered a word in opposi- exactly where my testimony of tion, because I was convinced of the truth of the work of God its truth.
began, because I cannot I wrote to a friend, who was at mental search find a place since that time fifty miles distant from my first acquaintance with it that me, informing him that I had I did not have a testimony of its found the true gospel of Christ. divinity, so far as I was capable He came to Edinburgh and at of comprehending its divinity. once called to
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF THE CHURCH, FROM THE TIME OF THE MARTYRDOM OF THE PF.JPHETS JOSEPH SMITH
AND HYRUM SMITH.
of the most important record In the month of July, 1845, ever presented to
this or any President Woodruff wrote to the other generation, and is now for Millennial Star, Vol. 6: “I had sale at our office in Liverpool and also the pleasing reflection of by our agents throughout the knowing that I had, upon the 7th United Kingdom. Let our day of June, 1845, the pleasure mies cease to accuse us of wishof securing unto the Church the
ing to keep this work secret. We copyright of the Book of Doctrine
say unto all, come and buy, and and Covenants of the Church of read for yourselves, digestit, Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, learn wisdom, and practice holibrought forth by the mouth of the Prophet, Seer and Revelator, On the morning of the 24th of Joseph Smith, which book is one
May, 1845, the capstone of the
Temple in Nauvoo was laid in its to be with you. With the velocity place, when “Hosannah to God of light my thoughts crossed the and the Lamb” rent the skies by briny deep, and traced you in the worshiping assembly. Presi- your various meanderings throughdent Brigham Young, in a letter out England and Scotland, the written by him to the President land of
father's nativity. of the British Mission, in the
The work of the Lord summer of 1845, said: “It is has prospered in Philadelphia part of our religion to support since you were here; some twenty any government wherever we may or thirty new members have been be that will protect us in common baptized; our congregations have with other citizens; for to this greatly increased in numbers; the end governments are instituted; | Spirit of the Lord is in our midst, and as England has ever been therefore union is strong. true and faithful to us as a people,
In the city of New York in
with others, the the cause is onward, new Elders cannot be too particular bers are joining the Church, all to enjoin on all the Saints to are alive on the subject of buildyield obedience to the laws, and ing up Nauvoo and finishing the respect every man in his office, Temple.
Elder Pratt letting politics wholly, entirely has thrown flood of light and absolutely alone, and preach throughout all this part of the the principles of the gospel of sal. vineyard, to the joy of many vation; for to this end they were Saints. Boston is blessed with ordained and sent forth. We more Saints than any other city have thought it may be very in the Eastern States. Elder Wilagreeable to the feelings of the lard Snow has charge there, under English Saints to furnish a bell the direction of Elder Pratt. That for the temple, if it is their branch, I think, numbers between pleasure. You can forward it the three and four hundred members. first conveyance, and we will have
The northern sections it hung as the building is going of the States, the almost innumerup.
We have thought able branches of the Church are 2000 lbs. weight would do, but on the increase, notwithstanding we leave this to your judgment." the Elders in general are called
Elder J. M. Grant, addressing to Nauvoo. The interior of the the President of the British Mis- different States are now beholding sion, dated at Philadelphia, July hundreds of their best citizens 12th, 1845, said: “I have received leaving their homes to locate with both of your interesting letters, the Saints and help to build the and also the minutes of your Temple of our God. From the general conference. While read- south the news is cheering to me ing the same my soul was filled and all Saints. You are aware of with joy; for a moment I seemed my labors in South Western Vir
ginia and North Carolina. Before branches of the Church of the I left there I organized a confer- living God.
The present ence, of two hundred members, prospects of the Saints in the consisting of seven churches in east are indeed cheering. seven different counties; the last The influence of Rigdon, with account shows an increase of over his organized apostasy, is twice 150 since I left the field. The dead, plucked up by the roots, accounts received from Alabama, lost, swallowed up and engulphed Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, in its own pit of corruption. and Tennessee, go to show that
Let every High Priest, the South keeps not back. The Elder, officer and member be
from Canada proves that careful not to teach, either pubthe North is giving up also as the licly or privately, any doctrine prophet said.
The leaven is or precept contrary to the word working in all North America. of God or the principles of sound The earth brings forth her morality
and virtue. strength; the Saints in Hancock The same eternal relation of percounty, and the adjacent ones, fect government on the part of will this
raise grain the father, and of perfect obedienough to support half the whole on the part of the children, State.”
should be maintained that exists A conference was held at Jack- between the eternal Father and son, Michigan, July 5th and 6th, His Son Jesus Christ. 1845, and one in the town of The press, if rightly used, can be Florence,
St. Joseph County, made a mighty engine of truth, Michigan, June 7th and 8th, 1845. more terrible to this guilty generNine branches were represented. ation than the hand writing on the In the month of August, 1845, wall was to Belshazzar. Elder Orson Pratt arrived in the With anxious desires for your city of New York, having been welfare, and with the warmest appointed to
Elder feelings of affection and love, I Parley P. Pratt in the presidency subscribe myself, your faithful over the Churches in the East. shepherd in the new and everlastIn his message to the Saints in ing covenant." the eastern and middle States he The following conferences were said: "It is with feelings of no held in the fall of 1845 : At ordinary kind that I now enter Sheffield, England, 24th of August. upon the highly responsible duties Elder James Ure presided. There of watchman and shepherd, were seven branches represented, and a presiding officer over you. containing 394 members, 11 Great are the responsibilities and Elders, 26 Priests, 10 Teachers highly important are the duties of and 7 Deacons; 56 having been one who is entrusted with the baptized since last conference. oversight and welfare of numerous At Preston, England, August 31st.
Elder Leonard Hardy presided. Clark presided in this conference. Eleven branches
repre- The Leamington Conference met sented, containing 542 members, on the 5th of October Presi18 Elders, 23 Priests, 16 Teachers dent Wilford Woodruff presided. and 4 Deacons; 45 having been There were represented 4 branches, baptized since last conference. At containing 92 membes, including Burke's Garden, Tazwell County, 4 Elders, 5 Priests, 1 Teacher and Virginia, on the 31st of August. 3 Deacons. The Carlisle ConferElder James Parke presided. At
niet on the 5th October, Glasgow, Scotland, 31st of when there were represented 5 August, Elder McCue presided. branches, containing 167 memThe branches represented 1148 bers. Elder Thomas Barton premembers, 1 High Priest, 39 sided. The Garway Conference Elders, 49 Priests, 37 Teachers, 25 met on the 19th October. Elder Deacons; 58 being added by bap- William Allen
William Allen presided. There tism since last conference. At were represented 5 branches, conManchester, England, August | taining 107 members, 3 Elders, 15th, Elder Milton Holmes pre- Eight Priests, 3 Teachers, and 1 sided. Twenty-five branches were Deacon. On Sunday, the 5th of represented, containing 1769 mem- October, 1845, the first meeting bers, 44 Elders, 97 Priests, 57 in the Nauvoo Temple was held. Teachers, 27 Deacons, and 115 In Vol. 6 Times and Seasons, page baptized since last conference. At 1017,
find the following: Leominster, Herefordshire, Eng- "Through the indefatigable exerland, on the 14th of September. tions, unceasing industry, and Elder E. F. Sheets presided. heaven-blessed labors, in the Ten branches were represented,
midst of trials, tribulations, containing 181 members, includ- poverty and worldly obstacles, ing 9 Elders, 12 Priests, 3 solemnized in some instances by Teachers and 1 Deacon. Mars death, about five thousand Saints Hill conference met on the 21st had the inexpressible joy and of September, in the parish of great gratification to meet for the Suckley, Worcestershire, Eng- first time in the House of the land. There were represented
represented Lord in the city of Joseph eleven branches, containing 466 From mites and tithing millions members, including 15 Elders, had risen up to the glory of God, 25 Priests, 11 Teachers, 7 as a temple where the children Deacons. The Staffordshire con- of the last kingdom could ference met at Burslem, on the together and praise the Lord. It 28th September There
certainly afforded a holy satisfacrepresented 13 branches, contain- tion to think that since the 6th ing 329 members, including 35 of April, 1844, when the first stone Elders, 37 Priests, 20 Teachers, was laid amid the most straightand 10 Deacons. Elder Hiram ened circumstances, the Church