Report of the First Presidency to the Church, 4 October 1840

  • Source Note

Document Transcript

The of the , would respectfully report; that they feel rejoicing to meet the saints at another and under circumstances as favorable as the present. Since our settlement in , we have for the most part been treated with courtesy and respect, and a feeling of kindness and of sympathy, has generally been manifested by all cfasses [classes] of the community, who with us, deprecate the conduct of those men, whose dark and blackning deeds, are stamped with everlasting infamy and disgrace.
The contrast between our past and present situation is great. Two years ago, mobs were threatening, plundering, driving and murdering the saints. Our burning houses enlightened the canopy of heaven. Our women and children houseless and destitute, had to wander from place to place, to seek a shelter from the rage of persecuting foes.— Now we enjoy peace, and can worship the God of heaven and earth without molestation. And expect to be able to go forward and accomplish the great and glorious work to which we have been called. Under these circumstances we feel to congratulate the saints of the Most High, on the happy and pleasing change in our circumstances, condition and prospects, and which those who shared in the perils and distresses, undoubtedly appreciate. While prayers and thanksgivings daily ascend to that God, who looked upon our distresses and delivered us from danger and death, and whose hand is over us for good. From the unpropitious nature of the weather, we hardly expected to behold so many of our friends on this occasion, in this however, we are agreeably disappointed, which gives us strong assurance that the saints are as zealous, untireing and energetic as ever in the great work of the last days; and gives us joy and consolation, and greatly encourages us, while contending with the difficulties which necessarily lie in our way.
Let the brethren ever manifest such a spirit, and hold up our hands, and we must, we will go forward, the work of the Lord shall roll forth, the be reared, the of Israel be encouraged; be built up. And become the praise, the joy, and the glory of the whole earth; and the song of praise, glory, honor and majesty to him that setteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb forever and ever, shall reverberate from hill to hill, from mountain to mountain, from Island to Island and from continent to continent, and the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God and his Christ.
We are glad indeed to know that there is such a spirit of union existing throughout the churches, and at home and abroad; on this continent, as well as on the Islands of the sea, for by this principle and by a concentration of action shall we be able to carry into effect the purposes of our God.
From the Elders abroad we receive the most cheering accounts; wherever the faithful laborer has gone forth reaping, sowing the seed of truth, he has returned with joy, bringing his sheaves with him; and the information we receive from all quarters is, that the laborers are few and that the harvest is great. Many wealthy and influential characters have embraced the gospel, so that not only will the poor rejoice in that they are [p. 187] exalted, but the rich in that they are made low.
The calls to the southern states are indeed great, many places which a short time ago would think it a disgrace to give shelter to a Mormon, on account of the many false misrepresentations which were abroad, now desire to hear an of the .
On the Islands of the sea, viz. great Britain, there continues to be a steady flow of souls into the church— have been organized in many large and populous cities and the whole land appears to be thirsting for the pure streams of knowledge and salvation. The have already printed a new edition of the Hymn book, and issue a monthly periodical in that land. Several families have already arrived here from England and a number more are on their way to this place, and are expected this fall.
If the work roll forth with the same rapidity it has heretofore done, we may soon expect to see flocking to this place, people from every land and from every nation, the polished European, the degraded Hottentot, and the shivering Laplander. Persons of all languages, and of every tongue, and of every color; who shall with us worship the Lord of Hosts in his holy temple, and offer up their orisons in his sanctuary. It was in consideration of these things, and that a home might be provided for the saints, that induced us to purchase the present city for a place of gathering for the saints. and the extensive tract of land on the opposite side of the . Although, the purchase at that time and under the peculiar conditions and circumstances of the church, appeared to many to be large and uncalled for; yet from what we now see, it is apparent to all, that we shall soon have to say. “The place is too strait give us room that we may dwell.”
We therefore hope that the brethren, who feel interested in the cause of truth, and desire to see the work of the gathering of Israel roll forth with power will aid us in liquidating the debts which are now owing, so that the may be secured to the church, and which eventually will be of great value. From the good spirit which is manifested on this occasion, the desire to do good, and the zeal for the honor of the church, inspires us with confidence that we shall not appeal in vain, but that funds will be forthcoming on this occasion, sufficient to meet the necessities of the case.
It is with great pleasure that we have to inform the church that, another edition of the book of Mormon has been printed, and which is expected on from , in a short time. And that arrangements are making for printing the book of Doctrine and Covenants Hymn book, etc. etc. So that the demand which may exist, for those works will soon be supplied.
In conclusion we would say. Brethren and Sisters be faithful, be diligent, contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints—let every man, woman and child realize the importance of the work, and act as if its success depended on their individual exertion alone, let them feel an interest in it, and then consider they live in a day, the contemplation of which animated the bosom of Kings, Prophets and Righteous men, thousands of years ago the prospect of which inspired their sweetest notes and most exalted lays’ and caused them to break out in such rapturous strains as are recorded in the scriptures; and by and by, we shall have to exclaim in the language of Inspiration,
“The Lord has brought again
The Lord hath redeemed his people, Israel.” [p. 188]