The Church Historian's Press

April 1851

1 April 1851 • Tuesday

There was a white man by the name of Birch living [here] he was sick and a few days ago hearing I was here had sent in for me to converse with me. His disease was a palpitation of the heart and he was not able to do anything. He had been afflicted many years; he had a native wife and several children; judging from his own account he was well off in respect to worldly affairs. He wanted me to come in frequently and converse with him; he had read the Voice of Warning he said he did not see anything that he could object to in it. I do not think that he was at all inclined to receive although he would not object to it. He wanted to read the Book of M. which I lent him. He did not like Mr. Conde and appeared to be very much exasperated when he heard what he had told the people. He told me that he had heard while I was at Lahaina the last time that Mr. Conde & Miss [Maria] Ogden and old schoolmistress [Lydia Brown] who had come out for the mission about twenty years ago had been down to see Mr. N. and tell him to turn me off & not let me stay about the place; Mr N. was not at home and they told his wife. Mr. Birch heard her telling Mr. Napela and he told her that they might mind their own business he would keep whom he pleased.

2 April 1851 • Wednesday

Engaged variously.1 Mr. N. returned last <to>night and brought me a letter from the brethren; they were all well. Bro. Keeler <heard>2 from some man that Bro. [Thomas] Morris who was living at Honolulu had sold his watch to raise money to pay his passage to California and he had started & been out two weeks and had to put back in consequence of the vessel springing a leak; and the Capt. would not refund his passage money.

3 April 1851 • Thursday

Mr. N. went to attend a trial at Ralepolepo [Kalepolepo]; when he returned I discovered he had been drinking a little. Kaauwai & him were in and they commenced asking questions I found out that some white man had been telling them some more tales; they were pretty well stuffed he warned N. to beware. they undertook to oppose some of the principles I had advanced I took the scriptures and defended them and showed them several things. K. remarked I was akamai that is wise in the scriptures I told him if he had the spirit of the Lord and truth he would be wise too. I have perceived a change in the feelings of N. this week toward me.

4 April 1851 • Friday

To-day was fast day with them they fasted from breakfast to supper. They had a trial this afternoon upon Napela for drinking and associating with a man that had been expelled from the Church and I understood that one cause was his associating with and entertaining me. One of his relations came in and told him if he was expelled from the Church he would lose his office of Judge When I ascertained my stopping with him was one cause of his difficulty was me staying with him3 I told him I would leave, and <for him> to go and tell Mr. Conde I was going; this he would not do. In conversing with him he told me he did not <want> to quarrel with the [Congregationalist] missionaries but still he did not <want>4 me to leave; he asked me if I had any place to go. I told him no I had not but the Lord would provide for me. He said that C. had told if he was in America they would turn him out of the Church if he associated with a Mormon!! I thought I would stay until morning and then leave for a few days.5

5 April 1851 • Saturday

A Mr. [James] Robinson who was living at the house of Mr. Birch gave me a letter of introduction to a Mr. Fern who lived at Peahi. I started about ten o’clock and arrived at a place called Hamakuapoko and afterwards to a place called Hamakualoa I stopped at the house of a man of the name of Daniela Ii the head deacon of the Church in this place. They had a tolerably good sized building to meet in. I told them my business and a few of the principles of our belief they were interested in it. They told me that Mr. [Rev. Jonathan] Green the missionary would be down to-morrow to administer the sacrament, upon hearing this I thought I would stay and have an interview with him.

6 April 1851 • Sunday

To-day the Church is twenty-one years old; it [the weather] is very wet and disagreeable. I went to the meeting house with my host, we sat there several <hours> at last Mr. G. made his appearance he was <passed> me without seeing me. He is an elderly man very plain in his appearance after getting [settled]; he commenced asking questions, first the decalogue6 and then other questions on various subjects.—He then commenced his discourse, he expatiated upon the sufferings of the savior &c. &c. and repentance. After he had finished his discourse I went out for a few minutes Mr. G. still sitting in the stand while I was out he went out and was followed by my host who I suppose told him who I was and what I wanted what their conversation was I did not know. They returned after some time & then they attended to the Sacrament, after which Mr. G. came and shook hands with me and said he was going to stay for a few minutes at a house a short distance and invited me to go with him. As we were going he asked me if I intended staying long at the islands &c. & said he supposed he had heard of me at Wailuku.

When we got to the house [he asked] what my object was in coming to these Islands and if I thought the gospel was not preached here. I told him I had come here to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to tell all men priest and people that the Lord had again established his church as it was anciently with the proper officers &c. and I had been sent to declare this and call upon all men to repent and turn to God; that I did not think the gospel was preached here or I should not have been sent here. He said he believed the Church of Christ and that the[y] preached the gospel of Christ &c. &c and he would not believe Joe Smith’s word; that he was an imposter &c. I asked him if he had read any of our publications? yes, he said he had I asked what they were called or who had written [them]; he said they were written by men who had once been Mormons. Says I, have you read any of ours? No, nor I would not read anything that Joe. Smith or any of his followers would write. I told [him] he was incompetent to judge whether we were right or wrong I said a Wise man hears both sides of the question and then judges. I then asked him if they had Apostles in their Church. he I said Paul says the Church is built upon the foundation of Apostles and Prophets Jesus C. being the Cheif corner stone.7 He said No. they had not apostles the Church was [not] built upon the foundation. Yes, but, Paul says these gifts <offices> were to continue in the Church for the perfecting of the Saints for the work of the ministry &c. &c.8 now I suppose you do not profess to be perfect do you sir? No says he we do not. Then says [I] you’r[e] not the Church of Christ or you would have these offices. By this time he was considerably excited he could not sit but walked about the room, he seized his hat & says God curse you; and went out and I followed, he turned back for his spur9 says I Mr. G. you have not the authority to curse me.—I did not curse you but says he I prayed God to curse you. Well says I, I do not think he will hear your prayers. He mounted his horse I said Mr. G. you would do well to take Paul’s advice “prove all things, & hold fast that which is good.”10 says he I have proved Mormonism and started his <horse> and left; before leaving as he was standing at the door; he said to a few that were at the door, in the native Ae enemi keia11 I spoke up and answered in Native that I was not and he could not prove me one from the Bible.

I went to the house with the calculation of starting for Peahi this evening. when I got to the house, they commenced to ask questions about the conversation. I told them he had called me an enemy, by this time, several had came in of his deacons and others that were standing round at the time he called me an enemy. I told them the conversation as well as I could and what it was for and showed to them some of our principles[,] baptism and laying on of hands. they liked it very much. The master of the house said that Green had told him not to entertain me, I proposed starting but they would not listen to it said I must stay until morning. One of the deacons took down the references that I had given them; they thought that Mr. Green had done wrong.

7 April 1851 • Monday

I started this morning for Mr. Fern’s and arrived there about ten o’clock. I presented my letter and was invited to stay all day which I accepted. There were four white men in all there working the land and in afternoon [they] were joined by Mr. R. [Robinson] the man who gave me the letter of introduction; he had arrived here on last Saturday evening. The evening was spent in reading from the Voice of Warning; they were all non-professors [did not belong to any church]; they said that they could not see anything to object to in the doctrine.

8 April 1851 • Tuesday

This morning Mr. F. pressed me to stay to-day the evening was again spent as last evening, with similar feelings in regard to the doctrine. Mr. F. had resided upon New Zealand many years he was cast away upon that Island with his shipmates when he was a boy; they were all eat but him; he was spared thro’ the influence of a chief woman. I went to-day in company with Mr. F. upon the top of a hill where they formerly used to have what the Natives called a heiau or temple for religious services and for offering human sacrifice, the foundation was very plain to be seen with the foundation of the Priest’s house close bye.12

9 April 1851 • Wednesday

I started this morning to return to Wailuku Mr. Fern invited me to call whenever in the vicinity and asked me if I needed anything. I told him I thanked him for his kindness but I believed I could get along. I stopped at the house of the Judge at Ka Lanikahua13 we got into conversation together, he told th me I could stay at his house if I wished. I told him what Mr. Green had said about me; he withdrew his invitation saying that he was their teacher &c. &c. He then asked me what the difference was between us. I showed <him> I <he> opposed me stoutly in baptism and wanted to twist the scriptures. I told him not to do that that it was wrong to pervert the word of the Lord; he ceased;14 I then showed him the principles of baptism and laying on of hands; he finally acquiesced and said they were according to the scriptures. I started and arrived in Wailuku after dark I found that Mr. N. had gone to the Kula.15

10 April 1851 • Thursday

I learned from N’s wife that Mr. Conde and his wife had been down visiting them to try and get them not to entertain me. She said she was afraid [of] their influence against N & her and that several of the heads of church were opposed to them for entertaining among the rest a man of the name of Naliipuleho a man I had conversed considerably with before, and who to all appearance had believed what I said; but she said he had been persuaded by Conde she said Napela did not care about it.

11 April 1851 • Friday

This evening Mr. N. returned he appeared to be glad to see me he asked me if I had suffered any. I told him I had not. He said he had some money he had forgotten to let me have it. I told <him> I got along very well. He asked me how I gotten done and the particulars of my travels I related to him my interview with Mr. Green he condemned his course much. He told me of his conversation with a young man [Eli Ruggles] a son of one of the missionaries who had been to the States and read the newspaper stories which he told to N. with all the necessary embellishments. I told them <him> it was all lies. I asked him what was the cause of the missionaries ill treating me I had preached to him more than anyone else I appealed to him to know if I had ever opposed the Bible in any particular [way], but <all> I had told him I had supported from the Bible Yes, he said that was so. Well says I,16 what cause have the missionaries to persecute me? He answered they have none I said so it was with Joseph Smith and all of us in America they had no more cause than they have had here.

12 April 1851 • Saturday

Received a letter from the brethren at Lahaina in which it stated that they had received a letter from Bro. Morris at Honolulu in which it stated that Bro. Clark had started for Tahiti three days after returning from Lahaina to Oahu [O‘ahu]. And that Bro. M. himself was going to sail the ensuing Saturday [March 29] after the date of [the letter] which was Mar. 25th. The brethren wanted to see me if possible or hear from me about sending one of us to Honolulu to complete their knowledge of the language and look out for letters &c. I concluded I would go myself and spoke to Napela about going he said I must stay until Monday. I forgot to write a dream I had on Friday Evening I thought that I was in a place where there were a good many stones from the size of an egg and upwards; and that there were several men pelting me though I was not hurt by any of their stones; I was returning them with hearty good will and I hurt them several of them very much I threw very straight I thought as I was driving them off there were two or three men behind me commenced throwing at me; after I drove the rest off I turned round to those that were behind me and picked up several stones and ran towards <them> and they ran. I then thought that the place changed and I was leading a small company of folks we were going down a descent the ground was a little muddy as though it had been raining, this was the last that I remember of my dream. I felt that it was a good one and felt to be encouraged.

13 April 1851 • Sunday

Attended meeting this morning Mr. B preached he is [a] teacher who [was] sent out by the Missionary Board.17 His sermon was an exhortation to do right &c. &c. This evening I sat up with Mr. Napela until about 12 o’clock; our conversation was principally concerning the gospel and the principles. I showed him Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream about the kingdom that was to be set up and reasoned upon it as well as upon a great many other principles;18 he said he had read the Bible but had never seen these places I told him it was so with me when I heard this doctrine I could see things I never saw before in fact it seemed like a new book. I think he has heard so much of Mormonism that he cannot get rid of it. I could not help pitying him he has a good deal to contend with, the mission families with his companions some of the heads of the church and his wife did not want me to stay (at least I judged so) at any rate they had difficulty one with one another whether I was the original cause or not I could not tell.

14 April 1851 • Monday

Started this morning before leaving N. said as soon as things were right at Lahaina to come back. I arrived at Ukumehame and stopped at the house of D. Malo’s we talked about two hours upon the principles (Napela having given him some insight into the principles while he was at Lahaina) he said when I got so I could talk fluently in the language he wanted to have [a] talk with me. I found the brethren all well. Keala & Pau had arrived from Oahu Pau was unwell they were going to Hawaii [the Big Island].

15 April 1851 • Tuesday

Busily engaged writing Journal.

16 April 1851 • Wednesday

Writing letters home.

17 April 1851 • Thursday

do. do. do. It was thought for Bros. Bigler & Farrer to go to Oahu [instead of Moloka‘i] to complete their studies.19

18 April 1851 • Friday

Engaged same as yesterday

19 April 1851 • Saturday

It was proposed that we should go and be rebaptised to-day as the brethren were going to sail this afternoon.20 We went and attended to it, the surf ran very high making it a very difficult job. Just after returning we attended to the reconfirming &c. as we had finished & the brethren were about starting a stranger came to the door and asked if we were the gentlemen from Salt Lake;—we said we were. He then said he had come from Hawaii & had seen Bro. [James] Hawkins there who had told him to find us & tell us he wanted to hear from us; and that he thought he would stay there more than a year. This was good news to us as we had thought he must have gone home; the last letter we received from him being dated the beginning of Feby. and signifying his intention of returning soon as he had warned nearly all the whites. We had written to him but had not received any answer. Upon closer enquiry as to Bro. H’s. success he told us he beleived he had baptised eight having heard a man say so. Bro. H. was learning the Native. This made our hearts rejoice I felt better at this news than any thing I had heard on the Islands as I was afraid Bro. H. had returned home without effecting anything. The stranger had not time to stop long as he was on his way to Honolulu and left with the brethren to go there. He was an Englishman and seemed very favorable to the work. He had a great deal of trouble finding us not being able to speak Native. I parted from the Brethren [Bigler and Farrer] with reluctance being sure I would feel the loss of their society very much and it was uncertain when we would meet again. I wrote to Bro. Brigham [Young],21 to Aunt [Leonora Taylor], Cha’s. [Lambert], Bro’s. [Joseph] Cain & [Arieh] Brower,22 Wm Taylor & Jas. Ferguson, and to my Quorum [30th Quorum of Seventy23] all long letters, also one to Elizabeth Hoagland.24

20 April 1851 • Sunday

Attended meeting in Native Chapel Mr B. [Rev. Baldwin] preached. I went to the Seaman’s Reading Room yesterday25 and while looking over a paper found a letter from a correspondent in Swetzerland describing the Cretins as they are called, a people born idiots, without any <only an imperfect use of the> senses, they have not the use of speech, it being more like the sounds uttered by brutes than human beings.26 He says the name is derived, he thinks, from Christian on account of their incapibility to sin &c &c. They are confined to the valleys of Switzerland and some places on the bank of the Danube they do not extend beyond well defined limits. The disease<, if disease it can be called,> is ascribed wholly to local causes, water &c. Medical men have ascertained, that people living above 3,000 ft above the level of the sea are not subject to it. If this is the case the [Salt Lake] Valley is not likely to be troubled with Cretinism and if the strength of the intellect depends upon the height & purity of the atmosphere in a measure, our people are likely to be <of> strong intellect. The asylum established for the benefit of these poor creatures is built upon a mountain above this height, surrounded by mountains of a greater height which shields it from the severe cold. They have been very successful in ameliorating their condition commencing from infancy [but] if left without an effort to reclaim until later proving of no avail. A singular fact in their organization is as their knowledge increases, their capacity to talk increases in the same ratio; showing that the gift does not depend upon the organs entirely. Will it not be upon this principle that the animal creation will acquire the gift of speech? They will most assuredly progress as man progresses and bear the same relation to him that they do at present, that is in point of knowledge. It cannot be possible that they will remain stationary while man &c. is progressing from truth to truth principle to principle & knowledge to knowledge. Doubtless thro’ man the spirit of God will <be> extended to the brute creation and that spirit is knowledge no matter what being possesses that spirit it will be a source of knowledge and light to it. In thinking upon these things the thought struck me what are the spirits of these Cretins like. Does the body cramp the Spirit to this shape? or is the spirit like the body?

21 April 1851 Monday

Variously engaged.27

22 April 1851 • Tuesday

This evening Mr. Napela arrived from Wailuku here, they had come a company of them to get their daguerreotypes taken.28

23 April 1851 • Wednesday

Studying &c. to day.

24 April 1851 • Thursday

I thought of starting this morning for Wailuku; before leaving I went down to the Custom House to see if there were any letters, I got one from Bros. Bigler and Farrer from Honolulu, they had a very rough passage and both had been very sick (the first time for Bro. B. to be sea sick) and got wet in a rain storm upon deck their means being so low that they could not pay for a cabin passage in consequence of which Bro. Farrer had a chill. Bro. [Ornan] Clifford had company and could not assist take them in; they found a Native who said he would entertain them for a week, but wanted them to go with him to the missionary whose church he belonged to; they could not back out very well and accordingly went it was a Mr. [Rev. Lowell] Smith he was very gentlymanly and interpreted to the man for them the man said if they were good men he would keep them a week; they had been treated very well by him; but had taken their first lesson at eating poi.

I29 also found Bro. Hawkins letter to us in a store; instead of eight he had baptised fourteen it was dated 14th inst. [this month] he was living with a man of the name of Wood a blacksmith who <he> helped in his work and who went with him in return a[nd] helped him preach he did not say whether any of the number were whites or not. He was anxious to see us.—This was better news than we had expected and I felt to praise the Lord for his goodness.30 I started for Wailuku and arrived there in the evening a little after dark.

25 April 1851 • Friday 31

Mr. Napela <and family> returned to-day.

26 April 1851 • Saturday

Studying all day.

27 April 1851 • Sunday

Attended Native meeting to day Mr. Conde preached, it was [a] perfect terrifying sermon; the horrors of hell were set forth in a strong light; with the sins that placed a person in danger of Hell fire. After the sermon there was a call for money made to pay for fixing the house. The sermon was well designed for the object.

28 April–4 May 1851 • Monday–Sunday

Engaged studying the language &c.

Cite this page

April 1851, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed July 18, 2024