Letter from Orson Hyde and John E. Page, 1 May 1840
and , Letter, , Franklin Co., OH, to JS, [, Hancock Co., IL], 1 May 1840. Featured version copied [ca. June or July 1840] in JS Letterbook 2, pp. 144–145; handwriting of ; JS Collection, CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for JS Letterbook 2.
While en route to Europe, and wrote a letter on 1 May 1840 from , Ohio, to JS in , Illinois. At a 6 April 1840 general of the held in Nauvoo, Hyde was appointed to serve a proselytizing mission to , , , Constantinople, and the Holy Land with the specific objective of gathering the Jews and restoring the house of Israel. Page was selected to accompany him at another session of the same conference two days later. Hyde left Nauvoo on 15 April and met Page the following day in , Illinois.
While in other letters and provided fairly detailed accounts of their activities during the first months of their missions, they devoted this 1 May letter almost exclusively to asking JS for permission to translate the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants into German and to publish a new hymnal. In letters they wrote on their missions, members of the frequently discussed the need for new editions of church publications. On 22 November 1839, wrote to JS requesting authorization to publish the Book of Mormon in , and on 7 May 1840 wrote to JS asking permission to publish the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants in . In the letter featured here, Hyde and Page also requested JS’s direction on their plan to write a book to be published in , in which they planned to describe the church’s organization and teachings and summarize the origins of the Book of Mormon. JS responded to these questions in a 14 May 1840 letter addressed to Hyde and Page in .
The original letter has not been located. copied the letter into JS Letterbook 2 sometime in 1840, likely in June or July.
of God. We wish to be co-workers with you and with the spirit of the Lord. We did not convers so much upon these literary works as we should have done before we left. The fact was, we did not begin to see the greatness of our mission before we left home; our minds were in a nutt shell. It seems to us that we should spread this work among all people, Languages and tongues so far as possible; and gather up all jewels among the Jews besides.— who is sufficient for these things; As agents for the abroad; and as co-workers with yourself in spreading this Kingdom to the remotest corners of the Earth; are we at liberty to translate and publish any work, that we may think necessary, or that the circumstances in which we are placed seem to require whether original or works published by the church? If we are not at liberty to take this wide range, please tell us how far we may go. We are setting this great work before the people as an inducement to them to help us. If we are setting our standard too high, a word from you will bring it down.
We have held a two days meeting in this place But in consequences of continual rains which swelled the creeks so high that the people could not get to us. The meeting was 4 miles from , one only . We have now an opportunity to ride as far East as , beyond the Metropolis, and have the privilege of stopping to preach by the way
Will you write to us at and much obliged— Your Bretheren in the Kingdom of God.
P.S. Will you please send word to , that I want her to write to me at Ohio please bear it in mind and oblige thy,