Letter from Wilford Woodruff and Jonathan H. Hale, 18 September 1837

  • Source Note
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come on the Lords business, we believed him faithful that had promised, and we felt willing to trust in his name, we soon came to a house, where we were received and we retired to rest. We arose in the morning made ourselves known as servants of the Lord, we inquired if there was any religion or priests on the Island; we were informed that there was a Baptist priest, a small church and a meeting house at the center of the Island. The town of Vinalhaven includes both North and South Fox Islands: Pop. 1800. The inhabitants are generally wealthy, intelligent, industrious, generous and hospitable to strangers. North Island is 9 miles long, and 2 wide, pop. 800. South Island is 10 miles long, and 5 wide, pop. 1000 &c. As it was Sabbath morning there was to be preaching in the meeting house, we concluded to attend considering it a proper place to introduce the gospel. When we arived at the place, meeting had commenced, the deacon came to the door and we informed him that we were servants of the Lord, that we had a message for the people and wished to be heard, the deacon informed the priest that we were preachers of the gospel. He invited us into the stand and gave out an appointment for us at 5 o’clock P. M. After the priest had closed his discourse he invited us to his house during the intermission. We presented him the book of Mormon, he appeared friendly and said he should like to read it. We met according to appointment and preached to them the first principles of the gospel. We then gave out appointments for the four following evenings to be held at the several school houses on the Island. The people came out in great numbers and heard with attention and manifested much anxiety, and in fourteen days we held nineteen meetings. The Baptist priest became alarmed seeing that his craft was in danger; and fearing that if he held his peace all Fox Islands would believe on our words, accordingly he strove to use his influence against us, but without effect as you may judge on learning the fact that on Sunday the 27th while we met with a congregation, he had not so much as one to meet with him at his usual place of worship, for the excitement was so great that the members of his church and deacon, were attending our meetings and inviting us to visit them, and inquiring into these things. The Lord clothed us with his Spirit and we were enabled to stand up and boldly declare those things that are commanded us.— And the sound thereof soon reached the neighboring Islands and some of the inhabitants soon hoisted their sails to convey them over the waters to hear the tidings for themselves. On Sunday the 3rd of Sept. we preached to a large congregation assembled together from these Islands, at the close of our meeting we opened a door for , and a respectable sea captain and his wife offered themselves as candidates, we then assembled where there was much water and after offering up our prayers unto God, we then lead them down into the sea and baptized them and we returned rejoicing. On Monday following we visited the South Island to set before them the truths of the everlasting gospel. We held five meetings, the people came out by hundreds, to hear and filled the school houses to overflowing.
Notwithstanding the anxiety of the people to hear more upon this important subject, yet we were under the necessity of returning to the North Island, to attend an appointment on Sunday, accordingly we met and preached to the people and opened a door for baptism and another sea Captain and a young lady came forward and we repaired to the sea shore and baptized them, and on Tuesday following, we administered the ordinance of baptism unto three others.
A Methodist priest on the South Island fearing whereunto these things would grow, came over to the Island where we were baptizing and made friends with the Baptist priest (like Herod and Pilate) and called a meeting, we attended. The Methodist priest arose and commenced warm hostilities against the book of Mormon, and our principles, we took minutes of his discourse that we might be correct in answering him. As he could not bring proof from the word of God against our principles, and in order to make an impression upon the minds of his hearers against the work; he took the book of Mormon in his hand, and with an out stretched arm declared that he feared none of the judgments of God that would come upon him for rejecting that book as the word of God. When [p. 2]
come on the Lords business, we believed him faithful that had promised, and we felt willing to trust in his name, we soon came to a house, where we were received and we retired to rest. We arose in the morning made ourselves known as servants of the Lord, we inquired if there was any religion or priests on the Island; we were informed that there was a Baptist priest, a small church and a meeting house at the center of the Island. The town of Vinalhaven includes both North and South Fox Islands: Pop. 1800. The inhabitants are generally wealthy, intelligent, industrious, generous and hospitable to strangers. North Island is 9 miles long, and 2 wide, pop. 800. South Island is 10 miles long, and 5 wide, pop. 1000 &c. As it was Sabbath morning there was to be preaching in the meeting house, we concluded to attend considering it a proper place to introduce the gospel. When we arived at the place, meeting had commenced, the deacon came to the door and we informed him that we were servants of the Lord, that we had a message for the people and wished to be heard, the deacon informed the priest that we were preachers of the gospel. He invited us into the stand and gave out an appointment for us at 5 o’clock P. M. After the priest had closed his discourse he invited us to his house during the intermission. We presented him the book of Mormon, he appeared friendly and said he should like to read it. We met according to appointment and preached to them the first principles of the gospel. We then gave out appointments for the four following evenings to be held at the several school houses on the Island. The people came out in great numbers and heard with attention and manifested much anxiety, and in fourteen days we held nineteen meetings. The Baptist priest became alarmed seeing that his craft was in danger; and fearing that if he held his peace all Fox Islands would believe on our words, accordingly he strove to use his influence against us, but without effect as you may judge on learning the fact that on Sunday the 27th while we met with a congregation, he had not so much as one to meet with him at his usual place of worship, for the excitement was so great that the members of his church and deacon, were attending our meetings and inviting us to visit them, and inquiring into these things. The Lord clothed us with his Spirit and we were enabled to stand up and boldly declare those things that are commanded us.— And the sound thereof soon reached the neighboring Islands and some of the inhabitants soon hoisted their sails to convey them over the waters to hear the tidings for themselves. On Sunday the 3rd of Sept. we preached to a large congregation assembled together from these Islands, at the close of our meeting we opened a door for , and a respectable sea captain and his wife offered themselves as candidates, we then assembled where there was much water and after offering up our prayers unto God, we then lead them down into the sea and baptized them and we returned rejoicing. On Monday following we visited the South Island to set before them the truths of the everlasting gospel. We held five meetings, the people came out by hundreds, to hear and filled the school houses to overflowing.
Notwithstanding the anxiety of the people to hear more upon this important subject, yet we were under the necessity of returning to the North Island, to attend an appointment on Sunday, accordingly we met and preached to the people and opened a door for baptism and another sea Captain and a young lady came forward and we repaired to the sea shore and baptized them, and on Tuesday following, we administered the ordinance of baptism unto three others.
A Methodist priest on the South Island fearing whereunto these things would grow, came over to the Island where we were baptizing and made friends with the Baptist priest (like Herod and Pilate) and called a meeting, we attended. The Methodist priest arose and commenced warm hostilities against the book of Mormon, and our principles, we took minutes of his discourse that we might be correct in answering him. As he could not bring proof from the word of God against our principles, and in order to make an impression upon the minds of his hearers against the work; he took the book of Mormon in his hand, and with an out stretched arm declared that he feared none of the judgments of God that would come upon him for rejecting that book as the word of God. When [p. 2]
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