Letter from Orson Hyde, 15 June 1841

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LETTER FROM ELDER .
LondonJune 15th, 1841.
President Smith:
Sir, With pleasure I take my pen to write you at this time, and through you to the Times and Seasons; and through it, to the saints at large; and to all whom it may concern.
May grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, rest upon you abundantly, and enable you to serve him acceptably—secure to yourself that honor which cometh from above—guide the counsels of the saints in wisdom, that peace and good will may reign predominant in Zion, and joy and gladness swell every grateful heart.
Most gladly would I embrace an opportunity of a personal interview with you, did one offer, but such a favor is beyond my reach at this time. I have just seen the 12th No. of the Times and Seasons, containing the minutes of your conference—the report of the presidency—the celebration of the anniversary of the church; and the laying of the foundation of the . This, to me, was a precious gem. It brought tidings from my own country; and from the place rendered doubly endearing from the fact that there is the home of my and children.
I was sorry that had been so tardy in his movements, that objections were made to him. Most gladly would I have hailed him as a companion to the Oriental Continent; but my hopes of that are fled. I shall go alone, or find some other person in all probability to go with me.
I have writ[t]en a book to publish in the German language, setting forth our doctrine and principles in as clear and concise a manner as I possibly could. After giving the history of the rise of the church, in something the manner that Br. did, I have written a snug little article upon every point of doctrine believed by the saints. I began with the Priesthood, and showed that the saintswere not under the necessity of tracing back the dark and bloody stream of papal superstition to find their authority, neither were they compelled to seek for it among the floating and trancient notions of Protestant reformers; but God has sent his holy angel directly from heaven with this seal and authority, and conferred it upon men with his own hands: quoting the letter and testimony of . Next was on the use and validity of the holy scriptures in the church. Next on faith, set forth from the scriptures and the book of covenants—then on repentance—then baptism—then laying on of hands—then the different offices of the church. Next the power and authority of each one; and in fine the whole order, doctrine and government of the saints. I have not written it as a law binding on the German saints; but have taken this course to illustrate and set forth the true principles of our doctrine to them, fully believing that it would meet with the cordial approbation of those whom I have the distinguished honor to represent, could they but see it. I have written a lengthy preface and introduction to it. I here copy an extract from the introduction.
“When in the course of Divine Providence, it becomes our duty to record one of those remarkable events which gives birth to a new era. and lays the foundation for the renovation of the moral world; it fills the mind with wonder, astonishment, and admiration: How welcome are the rays of the morning light, after the shades of darkness have clothed the earth in gloom! So after a long and tedious night of moral darkness under which the earth has rolled, and her inhabitants groaned for the last fourteen hundred years; an angel! an angel!! commissioned from the Almighty, discended, and rolled back the curtains of night from the minds of some, and caused the sun-beams of truth to enlighten, cheer, and warm the hearts of many. Welcome! welcome to our earth, thou messenger of the Most High! and thrice welcome, the tidings which thou hast borne!!”
LETTER FROM ELDER .
LondonJune 15th, 1841.
President Smith:
Sir, With pleasure I take my pen to write you at this time, and through you to the Times and Seasons; and through it, to the saints at large; and to all whom it may concern.
May grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, rest upon you abundantly, and enable you to serve him acceptably—secure to yourself that honor which cometh from above—guide the counsels of the saints in wisdom, that peace and good will may reign predominant in Zion, and joy and gladness swell every grateful heart.
Most gladly would I embrace an opportunity of a personal interview with you, did one offer, but such a favor is beyond my reach at this time. I have just seen the 12th No. of the Times and Seasons, containing the minutes of your conference—the report of the presidency—the celebration of the anniversary of the church; and the laying of the foundation of the . This, to me, was a precious gem. It brought tidings from my own country; and from the place rendered doubly endearing from the fact that there is the home of my and children.
I was sorry that had been so tardy in his movements, that objections were made to him. Most gladly would I have hailed him as a companion to the Oriental Continent; but my hopes of that are fled. I shall go alone, or find some other person in all probability to go with me.
I have written a book to publish in the German language, setting forth our doctrine and principles in as clear and concise a manner as I possibly could. After giving the history of the rise of the church, in something the manner that Br. did, I have written a snug little article upon every point of doctrine believed by the saints. I began with the Priesthood, and showed that the saintswere not under the necessity of tracing back the dark and bloody stream of papal superstition to find their authority, neither were they compelled to seek for it among the floating and trancient notions of Protestant reformers; but God has sent his holy angel directly from heaven with this seal and authority, and conferred it upon men with his own hands: quoting the letter and testimony of . Next was on the use and validity of the holy scriptures in the church. Next on faith, set forth from the scriptures and the book of covenants—then on repentance—then baptism—then laying on of hands—then the different offices of the church. Next the power and authority of each one; and in fine the whole order, doctrine and government of the saints. I have not written it as a law binding on the German saints; but have taken this course to illustrate and set forth the true principles of our doctrine to them, fully believing that it would meet with the cordial approbation of those whom I have the distinguished honor to represent, could they but see it. I have written a lengthy preface and introduction to it. I here copy an extract from the introduction.
“When in the course of Divine Providence, it becomes our duty to record one of those remarkable events which gives birth to a new era. and lays the foundation for the renovation of the moral world; it fills the mind with wonder, astonishment, and admiration: How welcome are the rays of the morning light, after the shades of darkness have clothed the earth in gloom! So after a long and tedious night of moral darkness under which the earth has rolled, and her inhabitants groaned for the last fourteen hundred years; an angel! an angel!! commissioned from the Almighty, discended, and rolled back the curtains of night from the minds of some, and caused the sun-beams of truth to enlighten, cheer, and warm the hearts of many. Welcome! welcome to our earth, thou messenger of the Most High! and thrice welcome, the tidings which thou hast borne!!”
Page [551]