Letter from Wilford Woodruff and Others, 9 March 1838

  • Source Note
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Vinalhaven, Fox Islands, Me.
March 9th, 1838.
, and Joseph Smith jr., , , and the Saints in , Greeting:
Dear friends in the ;
I, , sit down to inform you, that I have just heard, correctly, of the deplorable state of things in , and I have this day held a with and , who are now with me upon these Islands, and we resolved to address a few lines to you concerning our feelings, and set before you a brief account of things with us, and the course we intend to pursue. I have labored principally alone upon these Islands, since left last fall, and the work of the Lord has prospered in my hands, or in other words, the Lord has worked with me during the winter. Elder has been with me for a number of weeks past upon the Islands. There is rising of 40 members in the on these Islands, and they are strong in the faith. I returned last evening from a mission in company with Elder . we have been visiting the most notable cities and vilages in the eastern country, and delivering unto them the word of God.
We preached in their City Halls, Chapels, School houses, dwellings &c., in such places as Camden, Belfast, Northport, Frankfort, Hampden and the City of Bangor. Doors were open in all of these places, and many others I might mention, and the people heard with profound attention; and many are believing. I never saw more doors open for doing good, than at the present time in the State of : But the Devil is stired up against me here on the Island.
One Methodist priest has applied several times for a warrant to take me, but the Officers, as yet, will not grant him any, for he cannot bring any accusation against me in truth or justice.
The most trouble I now have, is the stopping the papers. I have forwarded about 30 subscribers with the money, and now the press is burnt down, and our enemies roar in the midst of the congregations, and they set up these ensigns for signs.
I expect the report of these things will come like a clap of thunder in the ears of the Saints upon these Islands and else where. They do not know it yet, but are wondering why these papers do not come. We have appointed a time to meet the church, and we shall lay all these things before them and trust in God for wisdom to direct us. The Elders that are with me are expecting to go to their homes, and I shall be left to fight the battles alone. Brethren, pray for me out of Zion, for I have a load to bear; but in the name of Elijah’s God, I am determined to stand at my post. I feel as though the time of Jacob’s trouble had began, but I know God will deliver him out of it, and fulfil his word.
We are advising the Saints of God to go from this country to Zion, as soon as they can. I suppose this is right: many are preparing to go the following season.
Now we say to the Presidency of the church in Zion; we do not expect to counsel you, nor any one there, let God be your counsellors. But we ask, can it not be consistent with the will of God and your feelings and circumstances, to soon publish the Elders’ Journal from Zion, that we may have one weapon, to cut away some of the deep gloom, that will be cast upon the minds of thousands of the Saints, by wicked men and devils, and false brethren. The traveling Elders feel the wait of these things, equally, if not more than those who are in Zion; for we are naked targets to the press and tongue, as we pass through the midst of the Gentiles. O my God! have mercy and support us, I pray, through the toils that are to come, that our garments may be washed white in the blood of the Lamb! for it is through tribulation that we inherit the blessing and overcome.
Could the Elders’ Journal be continued, it would be great relief to the feelings of all the faithful; for while our enemies are publishing against us, even in , we should also know what God is doing for his Saints.
Brethren, we pray you to consider this last clause, not for our sake alone, but for the sake of all the faithful that are scattered abroad. We do not make these remarks because we have any lack of confidence in you,—No, God forbid, we believe you have done, and will do all that lies in your power for [p. 35]
Vinalhaven, Fox Islands, Me.
March 9th, 1838.
, and Joseph Smith jr., , , and the Saints in , Greeting:
Dear friends in the ;
I, , sit down to inform you, that I have just heard, correctly, of the deplorable state of things in , and I have this day held a with and , who are now with me upon these Islands, and we resolved to address a few lines to you concerning our feelings, and set before you a brief account of things with us, and the course we intend to pursue. I have labored principally alone upon these Islands, since left last fall, and the work of the Lord has prospered in my hands, or in other words, the Lord has worked with me during the winter. Elder has been with me for a number of weeks past upon the Islands. There is rising of 40 members in the on these Islands, and they are strong in the faith. I returned last evening from a mission in company with Elder . we have been visiting the most notable cities and vilages in the eastern country, and delivering unto them the word of God.
We preached in their City Halls, Chapels, School houses, dwellings &c., in such places as Camden, Belfast, Northport, Frankfort, Hampden and the City of Bangor. Doors were open in all of these places, and many others I might mention, and the people heard with profound attention; and many are believing. I never saw more doors open for doing good, than at the present time in the State of : But the Devil is stired up against me here on the Island.
One Methodist priest has applied several times for a warrant to take me, but the Officers, as yet, will not grant him any, for he cannot bring any accusation against me in truth or justice.
The most trouble I now have, is the stopping the papers. I have forwarded about 30 subscribers with the money, and now the press is burnt down, and our enemies roar in the midst of the congregations, and they set up these ensigns for signs.
I expect the report of these things will come like a clap of thunder in the ears of the Saints upon these Islands and else where. They do not know it yet, but are wondering why these papers do not come. We have appointed a time to meet the church, and we shall lay all these things before them and trust in God for wisdom to direct us. The Elders that are with me are expecting to go to their homes, and I shall be left to fight the battles alone. Brethren, pray for me out of Zion, for I have a load to bear; but in the name of Elijah’s God, I am determined to stand at my post. I feel as though the time of Jacob’s trouble had began, but I know God will deliver him out of it, and fulfil his word.
We are advising the Saints of God to go from this country to Zion, as soon as they can. I suppose this is right: many are preparing to go the following season.
Now we say to the Presidency of the church in Zion; we do not expect to counsel you, nor any one there, let God be your counsellors. But we ask, can it not be consistent with the will of God and your feelings and circumstances, to soon publish the Elders’ Journal from Zion, that we may have one weapon, to cut away some of the deep gloom, that will be cast upon the minds of thousands of the Saints, by wicked men and devils, and false brethren. The traveling Elders feel the wait of these things, equally, if not more than those who are in Zion; for we are naked targets to the press and tongue, as we pass through the midst of the Gentiles. O my God! have mercy and support us, I pray, through the toils that are to come, that our garments may be washed white in the blood of the Lamb! for it is through tribulation that we inherit the blessing and overcome.
Could the Elders’ Journal be continued, it would be great relief to the feelings of all the faithful; for while our enemies are publishing against us, even in , we should also know what God is doing for his Saints.
Brethren, we pray you to consider this last clause, not for our sake alone, but for the sake of all the faithful that are scattered abroad. We do not make these remarks because we have any lack of confidence in you,—No, God forbid, we believe you have done, and will do all that lies in your power for [p. 35]
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