Letter from John E. Page, 23 September 1840

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

, Sep 23d. 1840
The & of the , & also to all the saints assembled in general .
Your humble servant embraces with pleasur this opportunity of to pin [pen] for your edification a few lines. I congratulate you with the stedy march and advancement of the cause of Christ, as has fallen under my observation. and have been treated with respect, and had the greatest attention paid us by the brethren and sisters; and, also the by gentlemen & ladies of the first class in society, we have been made welcome very hartily to their dwellings and comforts of life. When we separate with them, they grip our hands with tears standing full in their eyes, bidding us farewell and often leave something noble with us to help us on our mission; and a firm promise that they will duly reflect on the great things which we have told them. They ardently request us to send them some competent to preach to them; yes, dear bretheren the cause of truth is marching onward with unparalleled rapidity, and victory! victory! will soon be the shout of all the faithful in Christ, and thank the Lord, thank the Lord is the language of unworthy me, that I have lived to see 1840 with all its attendent evidences of truth of the Book of Mormon, and the book of Doctrine and Covenants. I must save a place in this communication to make some remarks concerning Bro. . I can say in truth & soberness that he merits the esteem and confidence of the saints and all good men for his diligence and economy while getting the Book of Mormon stereotyped &c here. The honest and frank course he has pursued towards the Gent. whith whom he has been concerned in business (viz. Mr. Shepherd Stearns & others) has conciliated their everlasting respect and esteem, from their own manifestations to me. Dear bretheren and Sisters your humble servants and [p. 181] sincerely solicit your special prayers sealed with a harty Amen. is truly a humble servant of the Lord & very agreeable companion in the ministry; our hearts are one our faith is one, and the Strong holds of Satan quake before us. We desire to have grace to perform our mission that we may return to our families & bretheren with triumph & joy. I anticipate that is in & I am waiting to obtain a few copies of the third Edition of the Book of Mormon. To raise means is hard, yet we trust in the Lord. I shall go to as soon as possible.
I have thirteen in this , many are believing, and some halting between two opinions, and have baptized in all since I star[te]d Eighty four. I have had a vision from the Lord, which manifested the present state of the world respecting the Jews, , the remnant of Israel, and also, the world— as hasty summer fruit so is this nation— as a vineyard of grapes fully ripe, ready to be gathered for the Press so are all the nations of the earth.
I want the to send some faithful and competent to this place to nurse the seed or word that has sown here, and shall leave this matter <​with​> to lay before the conference. Elders & are here and are using all their energies of both mind and body to fill their calling; I them deem them amply qualified to discharge the functions of their office, provided they keep humble.
Dear bretheren remember me to my family, and pray for them— remember me to and also all of the wives of the Elders in particular whose husbands are in the field. Tell them to pray for us. I hope the authorities of the church will see that they are provided for, for food and raiment that they may enjoy life with you. Yours in the bonds of the
Elder [p. 182]


  1. 1

    Possibly a reference to 1 John 5:4 or 1 Corinthians 15:57.  

  2. 2

    In their letter of the same date, Bent and Harris gave a similarly positive, but more detailed, account of Robinson’s efforts to produce a stereotyped edition of the Book of Mormon. Robinson contracted with Edwin Shepard and George Stearns to stereotype and print a new edition of the book. Shepard also helped Robinson engage the services of a paper vendor and a bookbinder. (Letter from Samuel Bent and George W. Harris, 23 Sept. 1840; Ebenezer Robinson, “Items of Personal History of the Editor,” Return, May 1890, 260–262; see also Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 1:129–132.)  

    The Return. Davis City, IA, 1889–1891; Richmond, MO, 1892–1893; Davis City, 1895–1896; Denver, 1898; Independence, MO, 1899–1900.

    Crawley, Peter. A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church. 3 vols. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997–2012.

  3. 3

    Although Hyde and Page intended to meet up eventually in New York City, Page was mistaken that Hyde was there already. After parting with Page in Cincinnati at the end of August, Hyde spent the following weeks in various parts of Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Writing from Burlington County, New Jersey, on 28 September, Hyde stated that he would soon return to Philadelphia, where he had preached earlier in the month and where he anticipated reuniting with Page. (Letter from Orson Hyde, 28 Sept. 1840.)  

  4. 4

    The 1840 stereotyped edition of the Book of Mormon was the third American edition. The Book of Mormon was printed first in Palmyra, New York, by E. B. Grandin in 1830, and then again in Kirtland, Ohio, by O. Cowdery & Co. in 1837. It is unclear precisely when the first copies of the new edition of the Book of Mormon were ready for sale or whether Page was still in Cincinnati when they became available. At a session of the general conference in Nauvoo on 4 October 1840, Robinson reported that the printing was “nearly completed.” He might have been referring, however, to the conclusion of the print run. Decades later, his reminiscence in the Return implied that he brought some copies with him when he returned to Nauvoo and had already distributed other copies to people who had paid for advance subscriptions. (Minutes and Discourse, 3–5 Oct. 1840; Ebenezer Robinson, “Items of Personal History of the Editor,” Return, May 1890, 261–262.)  

    The Return. Davis City, IA, 1889–1891; Richmond, MO, 1892–1893; Davis City, 1895–1896; Denver, 1898; Independence, MO, 1899–1900.

  5. 5

    Latter-day Saint efforts to initiate the gathering of Israel, of which Hyde’s and Page’s mission was a part, reflected the widespread interest of many North American and western European Christians in the gathering of the Jews and their resettlement of Jerusalem. (See Historical Introduction to Recommendation for Orson Hyde, 6 Apr. 1840.)  

  6. 6

    After Page’s letter was read at the general conference in Nauvoo on 3 October 1840, the conference appointed Samuel Bennett—previously the presiding elder of the church branch in Philadelphia—to “take charge of the church which he [Page] and Elder Hyde had raised up in Cincinnatti.” (Minutes and Discourse, 13 Jan. 1840; Minutes and Discourse, 3–5 Oct. 1840.)  

  7. 7

    On 17 July 1840, the Nauvoo high council appointed Bent and Harris to procure funds for printing a hymnal, JS’s revision of the Bible, and a new stereotyped edition of the Book of Mormon. (Minutes, 17 July 1840; “Books!!!,” Times and Seasons, July 1840, 1:140; Letter from Samuel Bent and George W. Harris, 23 Sept. 1840.)  

    Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

  8. 8

    Henry G. Sherwood, Charles C. Rich, and Dimick B. Huntington had earlier been appointed as a committee to build homes for the wives of the traveling members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. At a 2 May 1840 meeting of the Nauvoo high council, this committee was also assigned to oversee fencing and ploughing on the lots of land owned by these families. The families were also given food and other commodities, when needed. For example, on 15 June 1840, JS wrote to Bishop Newel K. Whitney instructing him to provide to a “Mrs Young”—likely Mary Ann Angell Young, wife of apostle Brigham Young—“any thing she wants” from a store Whitney was operating. (Nauvoo High Council Minutes, 2 May 1840, 58–59; Pay Order to Newel K. Whitney for “Mrs. Young,” 15 June 1840.)  

    Nauvoo High Council Minutes, 1839–1845. CHL. LR 3102 22.