The Mission of the Twelve to England, 1840-41: Mormon Apostles and the Working Classes
Though the mission of the Twelve to England ended in 1841, the harvest would continue for years to come. In a period when Britain was experiencing chronic economic and social difficulties, the Mormon apostles and their co-workers presented an attractive alternative for many working-class Englishmen. More appealing to them than either the system they knew or a socialist utopia governed by the dictatorship of the proletariat was the gospel message of a millennial world government headed by Jesus Christ. Poverty and hardship could be set aside for the hope of building God's true Zion in the New World. The gospel principles preached by the representatives of Zion were readily believable for they were mostly familiar, and they satisfied an inner longing among some members of the working classes that they seemed unable to find in previous wandering from sect to sect. This, as much if not more than the uniqueness of Mormon doctrine, would seem to account for the impressive missionary success in 1840–41.