In late May 1838, and wrote to JS to inform him of their recent return to , Ohio, from their mission in . Kimball and Hyde were members of the and had been appointed as traveling ministers and “special witnesses of the name of Christ, in all the world.” The two apostles started on their mission in June 1837, departing Kirtland with fellow missionaries and and traveling to , where the four men were joined by a few other missionaries. In July the group of missionaries sailed from New York City to , England, to begin what would be the first Mormon mission outside of North America. Over the next nine months, Kimball, Hyde, and others proselytized and organized of the church in and in a number of towns and villages in the Ribble Valley of Lancashire, where they enjoyed great success. By the end of their mission, over fifteen hundred people had joined the church. Kimball and Hyde departed England in April 1838 and arrived in Kirtland on 21 May, only to find Kirtland rife with rumors about and antagonism toward JS. In their letter to JS, they wrote that they had arrived on “monday last,” which indicates they wrote their letter sometime between 22 and 28 May.
In the letter, and briefly rehearsed their proselytizing activities in , reported on the caustic atmosphere they encountered upon returning to , and confirmed their steadfast loyalty to JS and the church. They also expressed their desire to move with their families to as soon as they could afford to do so, and they inquired regarding the spiritual well-being and harmony of the Saints in , Missouri. Kimball, the more senior apostle and first signatory, may have inscribed the letter.
When copied the letter from and into JS’s journal, Robinson wrote that JS received the letter on 6 July 1838. Robinson likely made the copy by late July; transcripts of this letter and a few other documents appear within a gap in regular journal keeping, with regular entries resuming late that month. The original letter is apparently not extant.
In health peace & saf[e]ty we arrived in this place on monday last, from the scene of our labor during the past year after a passage of 31 days. We cannot give a full account of our labors now, but suffise it to say the standard of truth is reared on the other side of the great waters, and hundreds are now fi[gh]ting the good fight of faith, beneath the shade of its glorious banner. We have fought in the name of the Lord Jesus, and under the shadow of the cross we have conquered, Not an enimy has risen up against us, but that has fallen for our sakes, Every thing we have done has prospered, and the God of the Holy Prophets has been with us, and to him belongs the praise Our bretheren in the East are poor yet rich in faith and the peace of our God abides upon them, we have not interfeered with the priests at all except when we have been assalted by them, We have preached repentance & & baptism & repentance, We have strictly attended to our own buisness and have let others alone We have experienced the truth of solomons words which are as follows When a mans ways please the Lord he maketh his enimies that they are at peace with him our enimies have seen their entire insufficincy to stand against the power of truth manifest through us, and have gone away and left us in peacefull possession of [p. 48]
In an autobiographical sketch, Hyde noted that he and Kimball arrived at Kirtland on 21 May 1838, which was a Monday. (“History of Orson Hyde,” 16, Historian’s Office, Histories of the Twelve, 1856–1858, 1861, CHL; see also Fielding, Journal, 1837–1838, 75–76.)
Historian’s Office. Histories of the Twelve, 1856–1858, 1861. CHL. CR 100 93.
Fielding, Joseph. Journals, 1837–1859. CHL. MS 1567.