Progress of the Work in Great Britain—The Saints at Kirtland Reproved for Their Course During the Missouri Persecutions—The Prophet’s Address to the Twelve and Saints in Great Britain.
Saturday, October 10.—Elder George A. Smith returned to London, and was soon followed by Elder Woodruff.
Charges against Oliver Walker.
David Fulmer preferred a charge against Oliver Walker “for reporting certain slanderous stories of a fallacious and calumniating nature, calculated to stigmatize, and raise a persecution against the Church and individuals in it, in this place, [Nauvoo], and for other acts of unchristianlike conduct,” before the High Council at Nauvoo. The defendant pleaded that “he was not prepared to meet the charge, it being too indefinite.” Council adjourned till next day.
Sunday, 11.—High Council met according to adjournment. The charge against Oliver Walker was taken up, and the following substituted for the first charge:
Minutes of the High Council.
To the High Council of the Church of Jesus Christ at Nauvoo:
For and in behalf of said Church, I prefer a charge against Elder Oliver Walker, for several different offenses hereinafter set forth, as said to be by him done, performed, said, and committed, as well as various duties omitted, all of which was done at different times, periods, places, and seasons, subsequent to September 1st, A.D. 1838, to-wit.:
For a general course of procedure, of acts, doings, and words, and suggestions by him, the said Elder Oliver Walker, done, performed, said, spoken, hinted at, and suggested, both directly and indirectly, and as calculated to be derogatory to the character of the heads and leaders of the Church, and extremely injurious and hurtful to the upbuilding, welfare, being, and advancement of the same, namely, for fleeing from, quitting, and deserting the society, ranks, and needs of his brethren, in times of difficulty with, and danger from their enemies,”the mob;” restraining from the use of his brethren, his influence, efforts, and needful assistance, at such times of need; as also for joining with, and strengthening the hands, will, evil pursuits, and designs of the mob, and Gentile enemies of the Church, by expressions, hints, and suggestions of wavering and dubious nature, respecting the faith and order of the Church, and of the professed calling, qualifications, proceedings, &c., of Joseph Smith, Jun., as a Seer, Prophet, and one called to bring to light the fullness of the Gospel, &c., in these last days.
Likewise for advancing ideas, notions, or opinions, that the different orders or sects, namely, Methodists and others, could by a pursuit in their faith, order, and pursuits, as readily obtain every celestial attainment and Gospel advantage, as they could by embracing and pursuing the system brought forth by Joseph Smith, Jun., in these last days.
And moreover for suggesting within the last six months, at Alton, Nauvoo, intermediate and adjacent places, that in the Church at Nauvoo there did exist a set of pilferers, who were actually thieving, robbing, plundering, taking and unlawfully carrying away from Missouri, certain and chattels, wares and property; and that the act and acts of such supposed thieving, &c., was fostered and conducted by the knowledge and approbation of the heads and leaders of the Church, viz., by the Presidency and High Council; all of which items set forth as aforesaid, together with any and all corroborating acts, doings, hints, expressions, and suggestions in any way belonging to, or connected with, any or all of the aforesaid accusations, he, the said Oliver Walker, is hereby notified to prepare to defend in said trial.
Dated October 11, 1840, Nauvoo.
Walker pleaded that he was not prepared to defend himself, and the trial was deferred at his request till April conference.
Letter of Heber C. Kimball et al. to Messrs. Ebenezer Robinson and Don Carlos Smith—Reporting Affairs in the British Mission.
Manchester, England, October 12, 1840.
Messrs. Ebenezer Robinson, and Don Carlos Smith:
Dear Brethren:—We left Manchester immediately after the July conference, for the purpose of visiting the city of London. We visited the churches which lay on our route through Staffordshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, and Gloucestershire; and we had many interesting meetings, baptizing and confirming daily, as we passed along. We baptized forty in one day; many new doors were opening, and all things indicated a short work in England.
The last meeting we held among the Saints while on this journey, was in a field in Leigh, Gloucestershire, on the 16th of August. We had an interesting time; we baptized fifteen, and ordained one Elder and two Priests. Two Methodist priests came twelve miles to hear; we baptized them after the first sermon, and confirmed and ordained them at the same time, and sent them to preach the Gospel. We parted with the Saints there on the 17th, went to Cheltenham, (five miles), and spent the night. There were several Saints in that place.
On the 18th we took coach and rode forty miles, through a level farming country, something like Illinois prairie; we passed through Oxfordshire, leaving the Oxford University a little upon our left. This university consists of twenty colleges endowed, and five halls not endowed; and is considered the largest and most noted university in the world. We then took the railroad and traveled seventy miles, had a splendid view of Windsor Castle as we passed along. We landed at the London terminus of the Great Western Railway at 4 o’clock in the evening. From thence we took coach and rode a few miles into the city; we walked over London Bridge, and called upon Mr. Allgood, 19 King Street, Borough. Mrs. Allgood is sister to Elder Theodore Turley’s wife; she treated us kindly, gave us such refreshments as we needed, and directed us to lodgings in the neighborhood, where we spent the night.
After which we immediately commenced our researches through this great metropolis, for the honest in heart and the meek of the earth. We first commenced by visiting the ministers and preachers of the various orders, and requested the privilege of delivering our message unto the people in their churches and chapels; but of course you will not be astonished when we inform you that they denied us this privilege, and rejected our testimony.
We went to and fro through the city of London, from day to day, endeavoring to get some door open whereby we could warn the people and search out the honest in heart; when on diligent search we found the whole city given to covetousness, (which is idolatry), priestcraft, tradition, superstition, and all manner of abominations, wickedness and uncleanness; and all doors closed against us.
We did not hesitate to stand in the midst of the streets, and, Jonah like, cry repentance unto the inhabitants of that mighty city—the metropolis of England—the pride and glory of Britain—the boast of the Gentiles, and the largest commercial city in the world—containing over one million five hundred thousand souls, who are ripening in iniquity and preparing for the wrath of God; and like the ox going to the slaughter, know not the day of their visitation.
We shall long remember standing together in the midst of that people, and bearing a message which will prove a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death, not only unto them, but unto all those unto whom the sound of the everlasting Gospel shall come; even unto the whole world; and the judgment of the great day shall manifest the truth of it unto all nations. And it will ever sweeten the memory of that eventful period of our lives, to know that our labors, on that occasion, were not in vain; but we were enabled through toil, labor, diligent search, perseverance, and the great mercy of God, to find some of the blood of Ephraim—a few honest souls who were willing to receive and obey the Gospel; and that we were enabled to lay the foundation of a work in the city of London, which will not be removed until the city is warned, so that they will be left without excuse; and the Saints gathered out to stand in holy places, while judgment works. Until that time, the seed which we have sown there, will bring forth fruit, and the fruit will redound to the honor and glory of God.
We have baptized eleven only, in the city of London, but through the faith and the mercy of God, we ere long expect a harvest of souls in that place; but we are willing to acknowledge, that in our travels, either in America or Europe, we have never before found a people, from whose minds we have had to remove a greater multiplicity of objections, or combination of obstacles, in order to excite an interest in the subject and prepare the heart for the reception of the word of God, than in the city of London.
While conversing with the common people concerning the Gospel, we found their highest attainments to be,”Why, I go to church or chapel and get my children christened, what more is necessary?” When we conversed with the learned, we found them too wise to be taught, and too much established in the traditions of their fathers to expect any change in the last days. While conversing with the ministers of the various orders of the day, upon the principles of the Gospel, they would inform us that the ancient order of things was done away, and no longer needed; and some of them had preached forty years the good old religion, and God was with them, and they needed no more revelation, or healing the sick, or anything as manifest in the days of the Apostles, for we can get along without them in this day of refinement, light and knowledge.
When we arose to preach unto the people repentance, and baptism for the remission of sins, the cry of “Baptist, Baptist,” would be rung in our ears. If we spoke of the Church and body of Christ being composed of Prophets, and Apostles; as well as other members, “Irvingites, Irvingites,” would immediately dash into the mind. If in the midst of our remarks, we even for once suffered the saying to drop from our lips, “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy,” “O, you belong to Johanna Southcote,” would be heard from several places at once. If we spoke of the second coming of Christ, the cry would be, “Aitkenites.” If we made mention of the Priesthood, they would call us “Catholics.” If we testified of the ministering of angels, the people would reply,”The Irvingites have their angels, and even the Duke of Normandy is ready to swear that he has the administering of angels every night.”
These salutations, in connection with a multitude of others, of a similar nature, continued to salute our ears from day to day, until we were about ready to conclude that London had been such a perfect depot of the systems of the nineteenth century, that it contained six hundred three score and six different gods, gospels, redeemers, plans of salvation, religions, churches, commandments, (essential and non-essential), orders of preaching, roads to heaven and to hell; and that this order of things had so affected the minds of the people, that it almost required a horn to be blown from the highest heavens, in order to awaken the attention of the people, and prepare their minds to candidly hear and receive the doctrine of one Gospel, one faith, one baptism, one Holy Ghost, one God, and one plan of salvation, and that, such as Christ and the Apostles preached.
But notwithstanding this, we do not feel discouraged concerning a work being perfected in London, but firmly believe that many souls will embrace the fullness of the Gospel there, though it will be through faith, diligence, perseverance, and prayer.
Having spent twenty-three days together in this first mission in the metropolis, and the time drawing near for our October conference, Elder Woodruff left the city on the 10th of September for the purpose of attending several conferences. He attended the Bran Green and Gadfield Elm conference, held in Worcester on the 14th of September, and also the Froomes Hill conference, held in Herefordshire on the 21st of September. At these two conferences, he heard represented, 40 branches of the Church, containing 1,007 members, and 113 officers, viz., 19 Elders, 78 Priests, 15 Teachers, and 1 Deacon; the whole of whom had received the fullness of the Everlasting Gospel, and been baptized in less than seven months in that part of the vineyard which he first opened in the month of March; and the work is still progressing very rapidly throughout that region; and among the number baptized there have not been much less than one hundred preacher sects.
He also attended the conference in the Staffordshire Potteries, which met at Hanley on the 28th of September; where were represented 231 members, 9 Elders, 32 Priests, 9 Teachers, and 9 Deacons; most of whom received the work since our arrival there last winter and spring. While he was attending these conferences, Elders Kimball and George A. Smith continued their labors in London until the first of October, at which time we met together again in Staffordshire, and enjoyed each other’s company while journeying together to Manchester, where the quorum of the Traveling High Council, with many Elders and Saints had the privilege of once more sitting in a general conference together, on the 6th of October in the Carpenter’s Hall, where we heard represented 3,636 Saints, and 383 official members.
At the July conference there were 2,513 Saints, and 256 official members, making an increase in three months of 1,113 Saints and 127 official members, besides over 200 Saints, including many Elders, Priests, Teachers and Deacons, who have emigrated to America; which would make over 1,300 additions to the Church in Europe during the last three months, and over two thousand since our conference in Preston on the 15th of April; which representation at that time was 1,671 Saints, and 132 official members.
Thus you see the Lord hath given us an increase, and blessed the labors of the servants of God universally in this land, for which we feel thankful; and our constant prayer to God is that His kingdom may roll forth, that the messengers bearing the everlasting Gospel may be diligent, meek, and humble, not weary in well doing, but waiting with patience for their reward, which lies at the end of the race, that their joy may be full.
Heber C. Kimball,
George A. Smith.
Saturday, 17.—A conference was held in Philadelphia, Elder Orson Hyde presiding; 896 members were represented, including 24 Elders, 11 Priests, 6 Teachers, 5 Deacons, in Pennsylvania, New York City, New Jersey, and vicinity.
Remarkable Visions by Orson Pratt.
Parley P. Pratt and family arrived in Manchester, and resumed the editorial labors of the Star. Brother Orson Pratt has recently published a pamphlet, entitled “An interesting account of several Remarkable Visions, and of the late Discovery of Ancient American Records,” comprising 31 pages giving a brief sketch of the rise of the Church.
Letter of Joseph and Hyrum Smith to the Saints in Kirtland—Reproving the Saints for Neglect of their Brethren and Sisters During the Missouri Persecutions.
Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois,
October 19th, 1840.
To the Saints in Kirtland, Ohio:
Dear beloved brethren in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ:—We take this opportunity of informing you that we yet remember the Saints scattered abroad in the regions of Kirtland, and feel interested in their welfare as well as in that of the Saints at large. We have beheld with feelings peculiar to ourselves the situation of things in Kirtland and the numerous difficulties to which the Saints have been subjected, by false friends as well as open enemies.
All these circumstances have more or less engaged our attention from time to time. We likewise must complain of the brethren who are in office and authority in the stake of Kirtland, for not writing to us, and making known their difficulties and their affairs from time to time, so that they might be advised in matters of importance to the well being of said stake; but above all, for not sending one word of consolation to us while we were in the hands of our enemies, and thrust into dungeons. Some of our friends from various sections sent us letters which breathed a kind and sympathetic spirit, and which made our afflictions and sufferings endurable. All was silent as the grave [from Kirtland]; no feelings of sorrow, sympathy, or affection [was expressed] to cheer the heart under the gloomy shades of affliction and trouble through which we had to pass.
Dear brethren, could you realize that your brethren were thus circumstanced, and were to bear up under the weight of affliction and woe which was heaped upon them by their enemies, and you stand unmoved and unconcerned! Where were the bowels of compassion? Where was the love which ought to characterize the Saints of the Most High? Did those high born and noble feelings lie dormant, or were you insensible to the treatment we received? However, we are disposed to leave these things to God, and to futurity, and feel disposed to forget this coldness on the part of the Saints in Kirtland, and to look to the future with more pleasure than while we contemplated the past; and shall by the assistance of our heavenly Father, take such steps as we think best calculated to promote the interests of the Saints, and for the promotion of truth and righteousness, and the building up of the kingdom is these last days.
The situation of Kirtland was brought before the general conference, held at this place on the 3rd instant, when it was resolved that Elder Almon W. Babbitt should be appointed to preside over the stake of Kirtland, and that he be privileged to choose his own counselors. We therefore hope that the Saints will hold up the hands of our beloved brother, and unite with him in endeavoring to promote the interests of the kingdom.
It has been deemed prudent to advise the eastern brethren who desire to locate in Kirtland, to do so; consequently you may expect an increase of members in your stake, who probably will be but young in the faith, and who will require kind treatment. We therefore hope the brethren will feel interested in the welfare of the Saints, and will use all their endeavors to promote the welfare of the brethren who may think proper to take up their residence in that place.
If you will put away from your midst all evil speaking, backbiting, and ungenerous thoughts and feelings: humble yourselves, and cultivate every principle of virtue and love, then will the blessings of Jehovah rest upon you, and you will yet see good and glorious days; peace will be within your gates, and prosperity in your borders; which may our heavenly Father grant in the name of Jesus Christ, is the prayer of yours in the bonds of the covenant,
An Epistle of the Prophet to the Twelve.
To the Traveling High Council and Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Great Britain:
Beloved Brethren:—May grace, mercy, and peace rest upon you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Having several communications lying before me from my brethren the Twelve, some of which ere this have merited a reply, but from the multiplicity of business which necessarily engages my attention, I have delayed communicating with you to the present time.
Be assured, beloved brethren, that I am no disinterested observer of the things which are transpiring on the face of the whole earth; and amidst the general movements which are in progress, none is of more importance than the glorious work in which you are now engaged; consequently I feel some anxiety on your account, that you may by your virtue, faith, diligence and charity commend yourselves to one another, to the Church of Christ, and to your Father who is in heaven; by whose grace you have been called to so holy a calling; and be enabled to perform the great and responsible duties which rest upon you. And I can assure you, that from the information I have received, I feel satisfied that you have not been remiss in your duty; but that your diligence and faithfulness have been such as must secure you the smiles of that God whose servant you are, and also the good will of the Saints throughout the world.
The spread of the Gospel throughout England is certainly pleasing; the contemplation of which cannot but afford feelings of no ordinary kind, in the bosom of those who have borne the heat and burden of the day; and who were its firm supporters and strenuous advocates in infancy, while surrounded with circumstances the most unpropitious, and its destruction threatened on all hands; like the gallant bark that has braved the storm unhurt, spreads her canvas to the breeze, and nobly cuts her way through the yielding wave, more conscious than ever of the strength of her timbers, and the experience and capability of her captain, pilot, and crew.
It is likewise very satisfactory to my mind, that there has been such a good understanding between you, and that the Saints have so cheerfully hearkened to council, and vied with each other in this labor of love, and in the promotion of truth and righteousness. This is as it should be in the Church of Jesus Christ; unity is strength.”How pleasing it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Let the Saints of the Most High ever cultivate this principle, and the most glorious blessings must result, not only to them individually, but to the whole Church—the order of the kingdom will be maintained, its officers respected, and its requirements readily and cheerfully obeyed.
Love is one of the chief characteristics of Deity, and ought to be manifested by those who aspire to be the sons of God. A man filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race. This has been your feeling, and caused you to forego the pleasures of home, that you might be a blessing to others, who are candidates for immortality, but strangers to truth, and for so doing, I pray that heaven’s choicest blessings may rest upon you.
Being requested to give my advice respecting the propriety of your returning in the spring, I will do so willingly. I have reflected on the subject some time, and am of the opinion that it would be wisdom in you to make preparations to leave the scene of your labors in the spring. Having carried the testimony to that land, and numbers having received it, the leaven can now spread without your being obliged to stay.
Another thing—there have been whisperings of the Spirit that there will be some agitations, excitements, and trouble in the land in which you are now laboring. I would therefore say, in the meantime be diligent: organize the churches, and let everyone stand in his proper place, so that those who cannot come with you in the spring, may not be left as sheep without a shepherd.
I would likewise observe, that inasmuch as this place has been appointed for the gathering of the Saints, it is necessary that it should be attended to in the order that the Lord intends it should. To this end I would say, that as there are great numbers of the Saints in England who are extremely poor, and not accustomed to the farming business, who must have certain preparations made for them before they can support themselves in this country, therefore to prevent confusion and disappointment when they arrive here, let those men who are accustomed to make machinery, and those who can command capital, though it be small, come here as soon as convenient, and put up machinery, and make such other preparations as may be necessary, so that when the poor come on, they may have employment to come to. This place has advantages for manufacturing and commercial purposes, which but very few can boast of; and the establishing of cotton factories, foundries, potteries, &c., would be the means of bringing in wealth, and raising it to a very important elevation.
I need not occupy more space on this subject, as its reasonableness must be obvious to every mind.
In my former epistle I told you my mind respecting the printing of the Book of Mormon, hymn-book, &c. I have been favored by receiving a hymn-book from you, and as far as I have examined it, I highly approve of it, and think it to be a very valuable collection. I am informed that the Book of Mormon is likewise printed, which I am glad to hear, and should be pleased to hear that it was printed in all the different languages of the earth. You can use your own pleasure respecting the printing of the Doctrine and Covenants. If there is a great demand for it, I have no objections, but would rather encourage it.
I can say, that as far as I have been made acquainted with your movements, I am perfectly satisfied that they have been in wisdom; and I have no doubt, but that the Spirit of the Lord has directed you; and this proves to my mind that you have been humble, and your desires have been for the salvation of your fellow man, and not for your own aggrandizement, and selfish interests. As long as the Saints manifest such a disposition, their counsels will be approved of, and their exertions crowned with success.
There are many things of much importance, on which you ask counsel, but which I think you will be perfectly able to decide upon, as you are more conversant with the peculiar circumstances than I am; and I feel great confidence in your united wisdom; therefore you will excuse me for not entering into detail. If I should see anything that is wrong, I would take the privilege of making known my mind to you, and pointing out the evil.
If Elder Parley P. Pratt should wish to remain in England some time longer than the rest of the Twelve, he will feel himself at liberty to do so, as his family are with him, consequently his circumstances are somewhat different from the rest; and likewise it is necessary that someone should remain who is conversant with the rules and regulations of the Church, and continue the paper which is published. Consequently, taking all these things into consideration, I would not press it upon Brother Pratt to return in the spring.
I am happy to inform you that we are prospering in this place, and that the Saints are more healthy than formerly; and from the decrease of sickness this season, when compared with the last, I am led to the conclusion that this must eventually become a healthy place. There are at present about 3,000 inhabitants in Nauvoo, and numbers are flocking in daily. Several stakes have been set off in different parts of the country, which are in prosperous circumstances.
Provisions are much lower than when you left. Flour is about $4 per barrel. Corn and potatoes about 25 cents per bushel; and other things in proportion. There has been a very plentiful harvest throughout the Union.
You will observe, by the Times and Seasons, that we are about building a temple for the worship of our God in this place. Preparations are now making; every tenth day is devoted by the brethren for quarrying rock, &c. We have secured one of the most lovely situations for it in this region of country. It is expected to be considerably larger than the one in Kirtland, and on a more magnificent scale, and which will undoubtedly attract the attention of the great men of the earth.
We have a bill before the legislature for the incorporation of the city of Nauvoo, and for the establishment of a seminary of learning, and other purposes—which I expect will pass in a short time.
You will also receive intelligence of the death of my father; which event, although painful to the family and to the Church generally, yet the sealing testimony of the truth of the work of the Lord was indeed satisfactory. Brother Hyrum succeeds him as Patriarch of the Church, according to his last directions and benedictions. 1
Several persons of eminence and distinction in society have joined the Church and become obedient to the faith; and I am happy to inform you that the work is spreading very fast upon this continent. Some of the brethren are now in New Orleans, and we expect a large gathering from the south. I have had the pleasure of welcoming about one hundred brethren who came with Brother Turley; the remainder I am informed stayed in Kirtland, not having means to get any further. I think that those who came here this fall, did not take the best possible route, or the least expensive. Most of the brethren have obtained employment of one kind or another, and appear tolerably well contented, and seem disposed to hearken to counsel.
Brothers Robinson and Smith lately had a letter from Elders Kimball, Smith and Woodruff, which gave us information of the commencement of the work of the Lord in the city of London, which I was glad to hear. I am likewise informed that Elders have gone to Australia and to the East Indies. I feel desirous that every providential opening of the kind should be filled, and that you should, prior to your leaving England, send the Gospel into as many parts as you possibly can.
Beloved brethren, you must be aware in some measure of my feelings, when I contemplate the great work which is now rolling on, and the relationship which I sustain to it, while it is extending to distant lands, and thousands are embracing it. I realize in some measure my responsibility, and the need I have of support from above, and wisdom from on high, that I may be able to teach this people, which have now become a great people, the principles of righteousness, and lead them agreeably to the will of Heaven; so that they may be perfected, and prepared to meet the Lord Jesus Christ when He shall appear in great glory. Can I rely on your prayers to our heavenly Father on my behalf, and on all the prayers of all my brethren and sisters in England, (whom having not seen, yet I love), that I may be enabled to escape every stratagem of Satan, surmount every difficulty, and bring this people to the enjoyment of those blessings which are reserved for the righteous? I ask this at your hands in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let the Saints remember that great things depend on their individual exertion, and that they are called to be co-workers with us and the Holy Spirit in accomplishing the great work of the last days; and in consideration of the extent, the blessings and glories of the same, let every selfish feeling be not only buried, but annihilated; and let love to God and man predominate, and reign triumphant in every mind, that their hearts may become like unto Enoch’s of old, and comprehend all things, present, past and future, and come behind in no gift, waiting for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The work in which we are unitedly engaged is one of no ordinary kind. The enemies we have to contend against are subtle and well skilled in manoeuvering; it behooves us to be on the alert to concentrate our energies, and that the best feelings should exist in our midst; and then, by the help of the Almighty, we shall go on from victory to victory, and from conquest to conquest; our evil passions will be subdued, our prejudices depart; we shall find no room in our bosoms for hatred; vice will hide its deformed head, and we shall stand approved in the sight of heaven, and be acknowledged the sons of God.
Let us realize that we are not to live to ourselves, but to God; by so doing the greatest blessings will rest upon us both in time and in eternity.
I presume the doctrine of “baptism for the dead” has ere this reached your ears, and may have raised some inquiries in your minds respecting the same. I cannot in this letter give you all the information you may desire on the subject; but aside from knowledge independent of the Bible, I would say that it was certainly practiced by the ancient churches; and St. Paul endeavors to prove the doctrine of the resurrection from the same, and says,”Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?”
I first mentioned the doctrine in public when preaching the funeral sermon of Brother Seymour Brunson; and have since then given general instructions in the Church on the subject. The Saints have the privilege of being baptized for those of their relatives who are dead, whom they believe would have embraced the Gospel, if they had been privileged with hearing it, and who have received the Gospel in the spirit, through the instrumentality of those who have been commissioned to preach to them while in prison.
Without enlarging on the subject, you will undoubtedly see its consistency and reasonableness; and it presents the Gospel of Christ in probably a more enlarged scale than some have imagined it. But as the performance of this rite is more particularly confined to this place, it will not be necessary to enter into particulars; at the same time I always feel glad to give all the information in my power, but my space will not allow me to do it.
We had a letter from Elder Hyde, a few days ago, who is in New Jersey, and is expecting to leave for England as soon as Elder Page reaches him. He requested to know if converted Jews are to go to Jerusalem or to come to Zion. I therefore wish you to inform him that converted Jews must come here.
Give my kind love to all the brethren and sisters, and tell them I should have been pleased to come over to England to see them, but I am afraid that I shall be under the necessity of remaining here for some time; therefore I give them a pressing invitation to come and see me.
I remain, dear brethren, yours affectionately,
“My son Hyrum, I seal upon your head your patriarchal blessing, which I placed upon your head before, for that shall be verified. In addition to this, I now give you my dying blessing. You shall have a season of peace, so that you shall have sufficient rest to accomplish the work which God has given you to do. You shall be as firm as the pillars of heaven unto the end of your days. I now seal upon your head the patriarchal power, and you shall bless the people. This is my dying blessing upon your head in the name of Jesus. Amen.”—History of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 266.