, 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.
whether we shall proceed to publish it immediately or not or whether we shall do according to our feelings. If I should act according to my feelings I should hand the Book of Mormon to this people as quick as I can could. The people ar[e] very different in this country to what the Americans are; they say it cannot be possible that men should leave their homes and come so far, unless they were truly the servants of the Lord; they do not seem to understand argument, simple testimony is enough for them, they beg and plead for the book of mormon and were it not for the priests of the the people would follow after the servants of the Lord and enquire what they should do to be saved: The priests feel just as they did in the days of the Saviour. If they let “this sect alone all men will believe on them and the Romans will come and take away our place and Nation. I wish you would tell me how gets along with his business and all the boys on the —and the whole breed. I think a great deal about our friends, families and possessions. I look for the time when the Lord will speak so that the hearts of the rebellious will be pierced, you will remember the words of the Saviour to his desciples, he says to you is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven, but to them that are without all things in parables. The brethren here are very anxous to emigrate to that , some want to come this fall, where shall they go. their customs are different to ours and it would be more pleasant for them to settle by themselves.
Almost without exception it is the poor that receive the gospel: I think there will be some over this fall, my counsel to such as intend to come is, that they go to the western states where you can live among the farmers and wait for orders from the Authorities of the , and all will be well. You must excuse my bad writing, I have only catched at ideas. I want to know about the Brethren’s coming over this fall I think some of us will come we shall send our papers to you and to a number of the rest of the brethren
I wish you would have the goodness to give me a pretey general knowledge of the Church for I feel for them and pray for them continually
We need help very much in this , one American do more here than a number of the who are raized up here by the preaching of the Gospel, we have sent for some to come. I wish you would encourage them to come as quick as they can [p. 152]
The Half-Breed Tract comprised approximately 119,000 acres of Lee County, Iowa Territory, between the Mississippi and Des Moines rivers that the federal government had set aside in 1824 for children of American Indians who had intermarried with white settlers. (Roberts and Moorhead, History of Lee County, Iowa, 1:55–56.)
Roberts, Nelson C., and S. W. Moorhead, eds. Story of Lee County, Iowa. 2 vols. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing, 1914.
The first company of English Saints to immigrate to the Nauvoo area comprised 41 individuals who departed Liverpool on 6 June 1840. The second company, numbering 201, left Liverpool on 8 September 1840. (Historian’s Office, Brigham Young History Drafts, 40; William Clayton, Penwortham, England, to Brigham Young and Willard Richards, Manchester, England, 19 Aug. 1840, Brigham Young Office Files, CHL; Historical Introduction to Letter from Heber C. Kimball and Others, 25 May 1840; Clayton, Diary, 8 Sept. 1840.)
Possibly a reference to the Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star, a newspaper edited by Parley P. Pratt and published in Manchester, the first issue of which appeared the same month Young wrote this letter to JS. ([Parley P. Pratt], “Prospectus,” LDS Millennial Star, May 1840, 1:1–2.)
At a 14 April 1840 meeting of the Quorum of the Twelve in Preston, those present requested that “twenty of the Seventies be sent for, and that it be left discretionary with the president of the Twelve, to send for more if he think proper.” (“From England,” Times and Seasons, June 1840, 1:119.)
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.