, Letter, , Herefordshire, England, to JS, [, Hancock Co., IL], 7 May 1840. Featured version copied [between ca. June 1840 and 27 Aug. 1841] in JS Letterbook 2, pp. 151–153; handwriting of ; JS Collection, CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for JS Letterbook 2.
On 7 May 1840, wrote a letter from , England, to JS in , Illinois. Young had arrived in a month earlier, in company with fellow , , , and . Young wrote to the from the nearby town of only eight days before he composed this letter, reporting on a 15 April general of the held in , England. As in his previous letter, Young in this 7 May letter requested direction on the management of church affairs in England, specifically asking about publishing the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants. He also inquired about the leadership role of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and asked where immigrating Saints were to settle in the Nauvoo area.
The original letter has not been located. copied the letter into JS Letterbook 2 sometime before his death in August 1841, and possibly in June or July 1840. At the end of the letter, Thompson included a note, probably inscribed at the same time he copied the letter: “The Answer was sent by which gave them permission to publish the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and covenants and Hymn Book, but not to any into the of the , and likewise some general instructions. the letter was sent on the 19th day of July 1840—.” The response Thompson summarized was not copied into JS’s letterbooks, and no other version has been located.
Through the mercy of our heavenly Father I am alive and in pretty good health; better then I should have been had I remaind in I trust that you and family are well and I ask my heavenly Father that we may live for ever; but not to be chased about by mobs, but live to enjoy each others society in peace. I long to see the faces of my friends again in that once more. It is better for me to be here. because the Lord has called me to this great work but it is hard for me to be parted from my old friends who I have proved to be willing to lay down their lives for each other. I feel as though the Lord would grant me the priviledge of sometimes seeing my old friends in , give my best wishes to your . I remember her in my prayers and also and . I remember the time when I first saw and the trials [she] had when the work of the Lord first commenced in her family. I beg to be remember[ed] to and family also to and family and to all the faithful in Christ. the
The brethren that have come from are all well and doing well
I want to ask some questions. Shall we print the Book of Mormon in this immediately, they are calling for them for every quarter. The duties are so high on books, we need not think of bringing them from ; another question is the book of Doctrine and Covenants to be printed just as it is now to go to the nations of the earth, and shall we give it to them as quick as we can or what shall we do. Will the have to be together to do business as a , or shall they do business in the name of the . Why I ask this is for my own satisfaction, if the Lord has a word for us, for one I am willing to receive it. I wish you to write as soon as you receive this and let me know about the book of Mormon [p. 151]
Compilers of JS’s history later wrote that when Young departed his home in Montrose, Iowa Territory, on 14 September 1839 to begin his journey to England, “his health was very poor, he was unable to go thirty rods to the River without assistance.” In a 17 July 1870 discourse given in Salt Lake City, Young recollected, “I was determined to go to England or to die trying.” (JS History, vol. C-1, 967; Brigham Young, in Journal of Discourses, 17 July 1870, 13:211; see also Allen et al., Men with a Mission, 70–71.)
Journal of Discourses. 26 vols. Liverpool: F. D. Richards, 1855–1886.
Allen, James B., Ronald K. Esplin, and David J. Whittaker. Men with a Mission, 1837–1841: The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the British Isles. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1992.
Before the Twelve departed for their first mission to the eastern United States in 1835, JS instructed them, “When the twelve are all together or a quorum of them in any church, they have authority to act independently of the church and form decisions and those decisions will be valid; but where there is not a quorum of them together, they must transact business by the common consent of the church.” (Minutes and Discourse, 2 May 1835.)