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January 1853


Events in George Q. Cannon’s journal for 1853

1 January

Cannon an instrument in healing Kitty Napela

4 January

Content of Cannon’s sermon on “being purified and tried in the fire and furnace of affliction”

5 January

Cannon’s sermon on faith, priesthood, and keeping covenants

25, 27 January

Sermons on ascending “the scale of creation” and on the plan of salvation

31 January

Healing of man who “had been blind upwards of thirty years”

13 February

Cannon’s teachings on the gift of the Holy Ghost

23 March

Interpreted tongues: “It was prophecy in regard to us and the work.”

7 April

“I preached on the doctrine of plurality . . . to prevent the influence of lies.”

27 April

Prayer for the salvation of the Hawaiian people

9 May

“Kawao, the wife of Kalaeloa, . . . troubled by a spirit for some time”

16 May

Spoke “on idolatry and on the foul spirits and power of the devil that was being made manifest among the children of men”

17 May

Received report of many baptisms in Honolulu, on Oahu

25 June

“Bro. Woodbury spoke in tongues . . . and I received the interpretation.”

22 July

Finished translating the Book of Mormon into Hawaiian (later was involved in revising and transcribing it)

28 July

Blessed that “my name would be had in honorable remembrance among this people throughout all future generations as one who had opened the dispensation of the gospel to them”

14 August

“The Lord has caused the work to roll in a manner to exceed my expectations.”

18 August

Letter from Brigham Young suggesting that “if possible you obtain a fitting island, or portion of an Island where the brethren can collect in peace”

23 September

“The Lord had blessed [Jonathan Napela] and delivered him putting the means in his hands the day before the time expired to liquidate the debt for which he was sued.”

27 September

“This evening Bro. Napela and I finished the reading of the Book of Mormon.”

5 October ff.

Semiannual conference. “I was appointed to collect means for the press.”

12 October

“Blessed[,] Bro. Lewis acting as mouth . . . that I should bear this gospel to many other lands.”

14 October

A group ascended Haleakalā volcano, on Maui, to see the crater

20 October

Explored island of Lanai as a potential gathering place

24 November

“Reading [John Lloyd] Stephen’s travels in Central American and in Yucatan”

31 December

Response to letters from “Uncle” (John Taylor) and Brigham Young. Questions about how to finance the return home.

1 January 1853 • Saturday

I started for Wailuku this morning. Kitty [Napela], Napela’s wife had been quite unwell, he had administered unto her and she had recovered. Several months <ago> she was attacked very violently one evening with a kind of sickness which caused her to have very strong tremors and frightened her <& her husband> very much, she called for me to come to her (I was in the other room) and desired me to pray for her which I did; I thought myself that if she continued long in her present state she must certainly die, her eyes were rigid and appeared to be set she not having the use of them; although she did not belong to the Church, yet she had been very kind to me and the rest of the elders, and I felt very sorry to see her in such a situation; we laid hands on her and rebuked the sickness in the name of the Lord and commanded it to depart, and she experienced relief immediately and fell asleep. She is a half white, her brother [John Richardson] is Circuit Judge of the Island, member of parliament &c. and quite influential; although she <says she> believes the work yet the her popularity and fear of opposition overcome every other consideration and she does not obey it. Held meeting this evening and had a very good one.

2 January 1853 • Sunday

Had a good attendance this morning. I spoke on the first principles. In afternoon held meeting and had a good meeting; after meeting Bro. Hy. & I administered to a great many who were sick. Bro. Napela baptised seven at Waiehu this evening.

3 January 1853 • Monday

Writing &c. Bro. Hawkins arrived from Kula.

4 January 1853 • Tuesday

Held officer meeting <in evening.> Bro. Hawkins spoke and I followed I was blessed with a goodly share of the spirit and showed them, that <we> were now being purified and tried in the fire and furnace of affliction, as gold is refined by the goldsmith that the pure metal <may> be cleansed from the dross; that the Lord was trying and proving us and we ought to be in his hands soft and pliable as clay in the hands <of the Potter> that we might become glorious vessels to his honor and glory; he (the Lord,) is determined to prove us in all things even as he did Abraham in days of old until he found that he was obedient to him in all things, not even withholding his dearly beloved son of promise, but holding him and every thing else that he had at the disposal of his Creator. He would try his people according to their strength; as they increased in faith, and wisdom, and strength strength so would their trials increase until he had thoroughly proved them in all things, that at all times and under all circumstances they would <be> completely submissive and obedient unto him. I said, you have every cause to keep on and press forward with strength; the gospel has been preached in this place, Wailuku, a little over a year, you can behold and are the witnesses of your own improvement, and of <the> joy and happiness you have experienced during that time, do you ever think or try and <to> imagine what you will experience a thousand or a million of years from this time, if you keep on obeying the commandments and requirements of the Lord? It is, and will be, as Paul has said, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”1 We cannot comprehend, with our present limited capacities, the glories and joys that our Father has in reservation for his children; you must <not think> that you are reaping your reward here, it is true the Lord has, and is, blessing you, but you must remember that this is a state of trial, and that Satan has dominion over the hearts of the children of men, and until this state of things is altered, we must expect to be tried and persecuted. Do not envy the rich their riches, or the proud and high minded their honors and glory, for the <time> is coming, if you continue faithful, that you will despise these things, and these men and all that persecute you, shall be as dirt beneath your feet.

5 January 1853 • Wednesday

Bro. Hy. and Bro. Napela started for Lahaina, this morning; Bro. Hy. with the intention of returning to labor on Oahu in conjunction with Bro. Wm. Farrer; Bro. N. went on business. I felt sorry to part with Bro. Bigler, but he felt impressed to go there, and I could not consistently offer any objection or endeavor to dissuade <him> although I should have liked it much to have had his society. May he [be] blessed continually in all his endeavors to preach, for he is a worthy man.

Bro. Hawkins, Keeler and I went over to Waiehu and confirmed three of those baptised by Bro. N. on Sunday. We returned in time to hold afternoon meeting; Bro. Hawkins spoke on the principle of faith and upon the joy and privileges we enjoyed in being members and participators in the glorious work of the last days; I followed on the same subjects, and proceeded to show what our blessings consisted of, that we were in possession of the Holy Priesthood in the church with the pure ordinances and also laws even as in days of old, that the Lord had broken the silence of ages and had again clothed man with power to administer in all the ordinances pertaining to his kingdom, for this reason we had come here with <out> purse and scrip—for this reason, we could lay on hands for the healing of the sick and they recovered—for this reason, we were bold and fearless in declaring the word of God regardless of man—the missionaries here say that we are bold and impudent—we are, because we know that our Father and our God reigneth, and that his hand accompanies us and his power is exerted in our behalf.

Do you know the cause, I said, of the Lord taking away the holy priesthood from man on the earth and again restoring it in these last days? It was, because he (the Lord) knew that if he left it with them they would all be destroyed and thus his purposes <would> fail of which he had prophesied by the mouths of <all> the holy prophets since the world began, and the scriptures be unfulfilled; he knew this, and when the church fell into wickedness, as the apostles had prophesied it should, he took the holy priesthood from them, leaving <them> the law of conscience; for wherever the priesthood is given unto man if they do not hearken unto it, speedy destruction awaiteth them, for the Lord will not be trifled with. This was the cause of the destructions that befell the children of Israel, which we read <of> in the Bible; the Lord would send his servants holding his priesthood, <his prophets,> among them warning them of the judgments that were close at hand unless they speedily repented, and when they would not hearken as in the case of Jeremiah, their enemies were allowed to come upon them and scourge them and take them captive. It is a fearful thing to disobey the commandments of the Lord through his servants who hold the priesthood.

The Lord has again sent forth his servants in these last days as he did in days of old when he was on the earth; what was their duty in those days? why it was to go forth calling upon all men every where to repent and obey the commandments of the Lord, and if they would not hearken unto their words, to wash their feet against that people or nation and go on their way, leaving them in the hands of the Lord, and he speedily visited them with a just retribution. This is the way the Lord has sent us forth, we are his messengers, we declare his word, not our own, and it is your duty to hearken unto it even as unto the voice of the Lord; ye need not be destitute of criterions <criteria> whereby you may judge of the truth of our words, for ye have the printed scriptures and also the spirit of truth in your hearts, therefore, hearken unto my words this day, for unless ye will hearken unto our words the Lord will scourge you and his judgments will come upon you; arise every one of you and forsake your sins, repent and humble yourselves before the Lord and seek his spirit, do this with all your might, mind and strength; what is the pleasure and enjoyment in committing sin, you who are sinners tell me, are you not filled with fear and dread? You may have a few moments gratification occasionally, but is this an equivalent for the fear and dread that you endure and the punishment that awaits you hereafter? How is it with the man or woman doing the will of the Lord and living holy and pure before him? why they are filled with his holy spirit which is the sweetest of all things that man can enjoy on earth, there is nothing to compare with it, which fills them with joy unspeakable and with light and intelligence, they are happy in <their> outgoings and <their> in comings, when they are laying down or when they arise, at all times and under all circumstances they are happy, because they know they are approbated and justified by their Father in heaven, and they feel his spirit in their hearts. Brethren and sisters seek for these things, seek to be holy and pure holy that you may enjoy this spirit which is sweet and joyful past the power of tongue to express.

Next Sunday is the day set apart for partaking of the Lord’s sacrament; which of you are prepared to partake of this ordinance with pure hearts and clean hands? I bear testimony before you <all> that if my heart was bared before you this day it would be pure before our heavenly Father; can you say so? are <you> cleansed from <your> wicked thoughts? Because if not, ye cannot escape condemnation if ye partake of the bread and wine, for you are unworthy. I know that in the churches of men established upon these lands, they can eat and drink with whoredom and lust in their hearts, but ye cannot do so in the church of Jesus Christ, unless ye are speedily visited in judgment—therefore repent, arise and repent of all your sins and be holy that you may be blessed; these are not my words or the words of man, but they are the words of the Lord through his spirit; and if an holy angel from the Lord were to descend and stand in your midst our words would agree, because I know that the words which I utter are the dictation of the spirit of the Lord. We will hereafter stand together before the judgment seat of the Lord and if ye have committed sin, the condemnation will fall upon you, your blood will be upon your own heads, I will <be> clean and will be able to testify that the truth has been preached unto you. I spoke at some length upon these things and was blessed very much <with> the spirit, and they appeared to drink it in eagerly. Bro. Hawkins added a few remarks exhorting them to remember continually what they had heard for they were truth. I married a couple in the meeting this afternoon.2

6 January 1853 • Thursday

Unwell from cold. Writing &c. Bro. Hammond arrived from Lahaina; he left all well there, sickness was prevalent among the natives—I was rejoiced to see him, and we spent a pleasant evening. Bro. Rice was over this afternoon to see me about his date of baptism and also to get a recommend as he intended to go to Honolulu, and from there to the coast the first opportunity. Bro. Rice’s wife is a half white and is in the church, he intends to leave her, as she will not accompany him. I3 formerly thought that he had not made every exertion that he might have made to get her to go along with him, and lest he should be laboring under wrong impressions. I felt strongly impressed by the spirit to instruct Bro. Kipp (who was nearly in the same situation) and him somewhat on the matter, that I might not be hereafter blamed for <not> having done what my office and priesthood required of me in teaching the children of men the principles of salvation. I told them that it was their duty to use every effort in reason to get them to accompany them, and then if they would not accompany them they would be clear and justified before the Lord and their brethren, whereas if they did not do this I knew that the Lord would be displeased with them, and their (the women’s) blood might yet be required at their hands, for after they left they might fall into wickedness and thus miss their salvation. It was our duty to save not to destroy. I said a good deal on this subject endeavoring to give them correct views of the subject. Bro. R. has since tried to get his [wife] to accompany him but without success.

7 January 1853 • Friday

Started to Makawao to-day in company with Bros. H., H., & K.

8 January 1853 • Saturday

I Baptised a white man of the name of Wm. Franklin, this morning.4 Returned in afternoon to Wailuku.

9 January 1853 • Sunday

Felt unwell but was blessed and strengthened by the spirit. During intermission baptised four. In afternoon attended to sacrament, had a very good meeting. After meeting went over with Bro. Rice to his place; in evening Bros Hammond & Keeler arrived having spent Sunday meeting at Kula.

10 January 1853 • Monday

Returned to Wailuku. Writing &c.

11 January 1853 • Tuesday

Another birth-day has rolled completing my 25; time flies swiftly, when I reflect upon it I can scarcely realise it.

12 January 1853 • Wednesday

Translating &c. In afternoon went over to meeting at Waiehu.

13 January 1853 • Thursday

Translating &c. Visiting and administering to sick and the Lord confirming the administration by healing. Bro. Hawkins arrived from Makawao. This evening just as <we> were about going to bed one of the brethren came and wanted us to accompany to him to administer to his sister who was in travail. She did not belong to the Church but had faith to believe in our administration and was willing to covenant with the Lord to keep his commandments henceforth; her pains had commenced rather early in the day yesterday. We accompanied him and I took the oil with me. We found her in great pain; after informing her of the object of the ordinance &c., and causing her to enter into a covenant with the Lord, we administered unto her by giving her a dose inwardly, and anointing her head, and rebuking all unnatural pains &c. &c. by the laying on of hands; we afterwards prayed with them before leaving, and told them to have faith for we felt that she would soon be relieved. As we went home we prayed in a secret place in her behalf. We afterwards heard that she gave birth to a fine daughter directly after we left the house, and we thought that it must have been about the time we were praying.

14 January 1853 • Friday

Translating.

15 January 1853 • Saturday

do. do. Attended meeting this afternoon, and although there were not very many there, neither did I feel like saying a great deal, yet I was blessed with the spirit very much and was enabled to edify and teach <the saints> as well as myself. What very different feelings a man experiences while speaking by the influence of the spirit, than he does when not having it much. Although I have endeavored to avoid speaking much when I have felt that I was not influenced altogether by it, yet what I have done, has thoroughly convinced me of always having a goodly portion if I wished to be successful in teaching principle; for a man may utter truths clothed in the same language when not influenced by the spirit as he does when influenced by it, yet they fall short, far short of the spot where they ought to reach. In my own experience it seems as though my language was light and <had> not the weight sufficient to carry it to the hearts of the hearers; I have therefore, after trying and not being able to succeed in pulling the right string, as a general thing been very brief in my remarks. But the Lord has been very kind to me in this thing, and I have been blessed with the spirit of teaching to an extent, that I have very often thought, was far beyond my deserts.

16 January 1853 • Sunday

As Bro. Hawkins was going to Koolau [Ko‘olau] in a few days I thought I would get him to stay here to-day and preach, as he is almost a stranger, and I would go to Kula and attend his meeting; I accordingly started about daylight and arrived there a while before meeting time. Sickness in the shape of colds is quite prevalent here. There were not <as> many as usual in attendance this morning, I spoke and enjoyed a tolerable flow of the spirit. Again held meeting in afternoon and was blessed about as in morning. Either in consequence of many of the people being sick or something else, my feelings were that many of them did not drink in the teachings with the avidity and eagerness that I love to see them manifest. Administered to some sick. Went to Makawao and found all tolerably well but Bro. Franklin who was troubled with fever. I spent a very pleasant evening at Bro. Burnham’s; they are, and have been very kind indeed.

17 January 1853 • Monday

Started very early called at Bro. Winchester’s found him and Bro. Kipp and families, and I ate breakfast and then started for Wailuku after a riding about <a> mile and a half I met Bro. Hawkins on foot. I let him take the horse back with him as it was the horse that he had rode down, and had let me have him to ride to Kula. He told me of having baptised the woman who was delivered of the child last Thursday. I arrived in Wailuku about noon and found a letter from Bro. Hy stating his safe arrival in Honolulu. Bro. Lewis also dropped a few lines in it, he was unwell from the effects of a cold.5 Bro. Hammond also wrote, he arrived in Lahaina quite unwell. but he thought he was improving.6

18 January 1853 • Tuesday

Translating &c.

19 January 1853 • Wednesday

do. do. Bro. Napela and family returned this evening from Lahaina and bro’t me a letter from Bro. Lewis, Honolulu, and one from Bro. Woodbury, Molokai. Bro. L. was unwell from the effects of a cold; his letter breathed a good spirit, as also Bro. W.’s.; he has received a letter from his wife [Elvira Woodbury] on the coast; she is well and likely to be prospered. Held meeting this afternoon.

20 January 1853 • Thursday

Translating &c. preached in afternoon, a funeral sermon on one of the sisters who had died yesterday morning. And then went over to Waiehu to attend meeting there but was too late; they had dispersed.

21 January 1853 • Friday

Translating &c.

22 January 1853 • Saturday

do. do. Stormy.

23 January 1853 • Sunday

Preached on Priesthood and showed the difference there was between the ways of the Lord and <the> ways of men as shown by the priests <of the day;> and then went on to show the confusion that had resulted from men running before they were sent, although all professing to have a call from the Lord and yet all the denying revelation, ministering of angels, miracles, dreams, visions, prophecy &c. &c.; all professing to believe the prophecies of Isaih [Isaiah] and Joel, &c. &c. yet denying the very principles by which their prophecies can ever possibly be fulfilled. In afternoon met again and had a very good meeting, and exhorted and taught the saints to strive for the meek spirit of the Lord, that if they could look upon sin and approve of it, that they were not filled with the spirit of the Lord, and they ought to strive earnestly to attain unto this that they might abhor the least appearance of sin, that if they obtained this spirit it would fill them with joy and unspeakable, the sweetest of all feelings,—in this strain I exhorted and taught them and it was a season of enjoyment to me and I was softened down. O Father grant unto me that I may ever appreciate the force of these teachings, for thou knowest that I ardently desire to be ever found in possession of thy Holy spirit, for O how inconceivable the joy, happiness and all the feelings experienced by the possessors of this blessed spirit of thine. I love its influences therefore grant unto me O my Father that I may be ever assisted and led by thee to keep possession of it for the sake of thy well beloved. Amen.

24 January 1853 • Monday

Writing journal and also wrote a letter to Bro. Lewis, Bros. Hy & Wm.,7 Bro. Hammond, and also Bro. Woodbury. In afternoon Translating &c.

25 January 1853 • Tuesday

Translating &c. in morning; in evening attended officer meeting. I did not feel like saying much as I felt barren, on my way down to the meeting house I desired the Lord to bestow upon me the necessary portion of the spirit to teach and instruct the Saints.

When I arose on my feet and I did not feel as though I had any thing particular to say; the thing that was uppermost in my mind was in regard to their state of living &c. And when I commenced to speak upon it I found that I was supported by the spirit. I told them that the way they were now living was not <the> way that they Lord desired to see them live—we had come to these lands to teach and instruct in relation to things both temporal & spiritual—the Lord had created both and it was his design to save both; if you ever attain to salvation your bodies will be saved as well as your spirits, therefore how very necessary it is for you to lay aside your present habits and press forward diligently hearkening and obeying all the words of the Lord given thro’ his priesthood. You who live here have had abundance of instruction, but what effect has this had upon you? Where are the fruits that these words if attended to would have produced? You are degraded and low in the scale of creation and in order that you may ascend it is proper to attend to these things, to cleanse your bodies, your clothing, your houses, and all that pertains to you, that you may be pure and holy and that you may begin to ascend to <the> position that the Lord desires to see you occupy.8

When the Lord created our first parents and afterwards thrust them <out> from the garden of Eden on account of sin; he taught them how to make garments &c. and Adam by the labor of his hands, no doubt, soon surrounded himself with every thing necessary—so it is with you, you have the bone and sinew, and by seeking the spirit of the Lord and hearkening unto instruction you can also raise yourselves and surround yourselves with what is necessary for your comfort. You must not allow the devil to put the thought or word cannot, into your hearts or mouths, there is no such word in the language of the saints, we can do every thing through the power of our God assisting us. If the devil can only keep you in your present situation and pacify you to live as you are at present living, without making any exertion to exalt yourselves, it is all that he wants; he does not care how much you boast of being the saints of the Most High or how long you live in this church, if you make no improvement nor strive to advance by hearkening unto the voice of the spirit & of the servants of the Lord; this is he what he dreads, and when you are striving to improve and pressing forward with all your strength to obey all the commandments, you will then see that he will rage and make every exertion to retard your progress. It frightens me when I see the world smiling on us and not opposing us. I want no favors with of them neither do I want to shake hands with them; but when they are frowning upon us and exerting themselves to stop us, I can rejoice and feel pleased for I know that we are doing something or the devil would not rage so. It is what he has tried to do from the commencement to prevent this work from coming forth in this generation; he tried to get possession of the plates of the Book of Mormon and to kill Joseph Smith thinking by this means to stop its appearance in this generation, but the power of the Lord was greater than the cunning of the devil, and he was delivered. And when Joseph the prophet was killed, the devil and wicked men thought that the work was stopped, but again the Lord supported his people; we were then driven out robbed of nearly every thing and went into the wilderness; but we were industrious and the Lord blessed us, although we had nothing scarcely but our hands, yet we had <have> by the blessing of the Lord <become> comparatively rich, and all this by labor. Th You can do likewise; it is a trick of the devil and a thought and suggestion of his, when you feel inclined to live as you are now are living for I know that this is not the desire of the Almighty and I know he is not pleased with it. His word will be fullfilled, there will be a remnant of the redskins saved and become a white and a delightsome people, and if you will not live up to the word of the Lord there are others that will, for his9 word cannot fail, it shall be fulfilled. I do not lean on Joseph Smith’s word only for the truth of this nor on the Book of Mormon I <also> know <for myself> that they are true for the spirit manifests them to me.

In order to alive aright and fulfill the word you must be a peculiar people, independent of those you see around you, not copying after them but making yoursselves examples, and copy continually after the servants of the Lord and after <their> teachings. We know that oil and water will not mix—the oil will float, so it is with you if you will live up to the principles of truth, you will not <be> able to mix with those who are in possession of error, you will float above them. You know my disposition and manner well enough to know that I do not assume or ride over you, neither do I wish to, but I know that if you do not listen and hearken unto all my words the Lord will be angry with you; the manifestations of the spirit to me are, that you have to arise and make more progress than you have made, his patience is getting weary, he desires to see you improve upon the instruction and teaching which you10 have had and which has been glorious.

Regulate your families, teach your wives and children to do right, and know and remember your own places; it is not the wife’s place to dictate to, and teach the husband any more than it is your place to dictate to, and teach me. Paul says that the wife stands in the same relation to the husband as the church does to the Christ; how is it with the church, does it not or ought it not to obey implicitly the word of Christ? So it is with the wife, if the husband is living right and obeying those who are in authority over him, the wife ought to hearken to and obey his word even as the word of the Lord, so also ought you to hearken to and obey my word while I stand in the relation I do to you. But if men will not be governed and be obedient, they must not expect that their words will be obeyed or that they can govern.11

I was blessed with the spirit and by spoke by its power on these subjects to some length.

26 January 1853 • Wednesday

Translating &c. In evening held meeting and was greatly blessed with the spirit, I told them that they were the salt of the earth, the city set on a hill, &c., and that it was their duty to endeavor to set an example before the world and show unto them that they were indeed saints.12 Bro. [H. K.] Kaleohano met with us and spoke before I did.

27 January 1853 • Thursday

Translating &c. Reading manuscript &c. with Napela. In afternoon went to Waiehu to meeting there was a good attendance and I had quite a good flow of the spirit. I read part of the 2nd chap. Phillippians and went on to show the importance of salvation that it was the greatest of all gifts, in it was comprehended every other gift, happiness and everlasting life, wisdom, riches, honor, and knowledge upon every subject in heaven or earth, exaltation and every thing to satisfy us; these were all contained in the glorious gift of salvation, therefore the apostle could well exhort the saints to work out their salvation with fear and trembling; it is the case with all good men, they fear and tremble lest they should fall, or miss such a glorious gift, for they know that they are in a state of trial or probation, preparing themselves for eternal life and for the presence of the Lord; they realise the great object of their leaving their former state of being to take a body, and they now labor here zealously to exalt that tabernacle and spirit, by performing righteous actions, in the presence of the Father. If you were to see a spirit you would see a being shaped exactly as we are, but you could not feel it; if you were to see my spirit you would see me—this spirit existed before it took a body and was sent by the Father, as we all have been, to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Do not you remember when the Lord Jesus appeared unto the disciples after his resurrection, they thought him a spirit but he told them to handle him and see, for a spirit had not flesh and bones, as he had.

The Savior existed with the Father before he came to the earth, and was God, the son of God; he took he a body and filled his mission on the earth; he is our Redeemer, for if he had not done what he has done, we should have slept an eternal sleep never being able to attain <to> the resurrection; but he died that we might live; forsook his Father’s throne and took upon him human nature that he might atone for us; and burst the bands of death, attaining the victory over death and the grave, and thus becoming the first fruits, none having ever risen, until he rose, from Adam down. Thus thro’ him becoming a Mediator, Redeemer and Atoner we attain unto the redemption of our bodies. There are two great opposing powers contending with us at the present time; the Lord is struggling with us by his spirit, and endeavoring to direct us in the right path to work out our salvation, teaching <us> that it is sinful to disobey the laws of the Lord, to lust or to commit whoredom, to steal, to lie, &c., &c., but continually strengthening us and striving with us to repent and forsake all these things.

On the other hand, the spirit of the devil is endeavoring to lead us astray and striving against the influences of the spirit of the Lord, for he knows that if we only do as it counsels that we shall attain unto salvation, and that he (the devil) will have no power over us. This is his desire to get us to disobey the spirit of the Lord that he may lead us captives at his will to destruction, and when he has us once in his power, he will desert us and leave us to destruction—Not so with the Lord, he will support us continually and especially when we are in distress; who then will not be a servant or a handmaiden to the Lord? Who would be a servant to the devil? Bear it <in> mind all of you, that when you follow the dictates of his spirit you in opposition to the spirit of the Lord, that moment you become subject to him. How are you to know the one spirit from the other? The fruits of the spirit of the Lord are peace, love and every thing good,13 it is continually stimulating us to forsake sin and to do good at all times, nothing evil proceeds from it; the spirit of the devil is continually opposing all these things, and he laughs & rejoices when he sees <you> commit sin—think of these things, <dear brethren & sisters,> every time you are tempted to commit sin and strive against it. May the Lord bless and save <you> for Christ’s sake. Amen. After meeting administered to two sick persons who had covenanted with the Lord to forsake their sins; also upon an old <man> who had been baptized, who was blind.

Last evening I was called upon to go down to see the daughter of one of the deacons, who was unwell, she was [a] woman grown and had been baptised; her pain was in her knee, and from it ascended to the body and descended to her toes; her leg was rather withered. Her mother told me that her mother had died with it, and when her mother died it seized her sister the aunt of the girl who was now afflicted, but upon her being baptized it left her together with the palsy with which she was <also> afflicted; and shortly afterwards it seized the girl who now had it. I anointed her knee and rebuked the pain and she received ease.14

These few days I have felt very happy and my happiness finds vent in tears when I think of the Lord’s goodness, long suffering and mercy to me; all the sins that I have been guilty of, present themselves before <me> when I think of the blessings I enjoy and it excites my wonder at His condescension. Glory be to his great and holy name for causing me to stop upon these lands for I would rather have these feelings than all the world with its contents, I pray that it may be ever so. Bro. Keeler arrived this afternoon.

28 January 1853 • Friday

Translating &c. To day is Ann’s [Ann Cannon’s] birth-day and completes her 21st year. I hope she is happy. It is also Uncle and Aunt’s [John and Leonora Taylor’s] marriage day. Peace be with them all.

29 January 1853 • Saturday

Translating &c.

30 January 1853 • Sunday

Bro. Keeler spoke this morning on the foundation of the Church, and with upon the disposition of this generation to seek signs, showing that it was a characteristic of the generation in which Jesus lived. I followed on the same subject and went on to show the object of miracles &c. and the necessity there was of examining and finding the truth, for the devil had power to work miracles. In afternoon held meeting and I spoke on the coming of the savior, and of the glorious prospects we had before us; on the resurrection, and on the millenium; I had the spirit of teaching and was enabled to edify and instruct them in relation to many things that they had not heard before; they appeared very much pleased and we had the spirit.15

31 January 1853 • Monday

Writing Journal &c. I forgot to mention that the old man on whom I laid hands on Thursday last for his blindness had began to get his sight and was able to see the next morning after being administered <to>—he had been blind upwards of thirty years.16

Footnotes

  1. [1]1 Corinthians 2:9.

  2. [2]Keeler reported that Cannon and Hawkins “administered to a child that was sick after they ware done there . . . [they] went to the next house & heard that the Teacher of this plase [was sick] Brother C and H went and administered to him and left for home got back just in time for meeting this afterknoon Bro C. called on Bro H to speak he done soi [so] and spoke a short time after he was done Bro C got up & spoke well and to a conciderable length with mutch of the spirit I was mutch edified with his sermon and felt to rejoice mutch in hearing him open up principal” (Keeler journal, Jan. 5, 1853).

  3. [3]Written over a.

  4. [4]Hammond described Franklin as “a hard case” who “has took hold of the truth right” (Hammond journal, Jan. 8, 1853).

  5. [5]At this point Cannon started to write the next day’s entry, but after writing Tues he crossed it out and added an additional line.

  6. [6]On January 14 Hammond wrote about his cold: “I never had a worse one in my life it has perfectly unstrung me for any buisness at all. the whole Islands are down with it whites & Natives” (Hammond journal, Jan. 14, 1853). A week later he noted, “Almost the whole town is sick with a heavy cold” (Hammond journal, Jan. 20, 1853).

  7. [7]Cannon included with his letter to the O‘ahu missionaries a copy of his translation of the Word of Wisdom, which he sent for them to review. After reading it, Farrer observed, “I did not think that I could improve it much” (Farrer diary, Feb. 25, 1853).

  8. [8]This topic would become a dominant theme for the Latter-day Saint elders in Hawai‘i for the remainder of Cannon’s mission and for years afterwards. Their preaching was not simply a value judgment but was seen as a necessary step toward reversing the dramatic decrease in population the islands were experiencing since the arrival of Captain James Cook in 1778, which decrease was due in part to the introduction of new diseases and the continued practice of infanticide. It was not until the mid-1870s, nearly one hundred years after Captain Cook reached the islands, that the general population began to increase. For a detailed look at the Hawaiian population during the 1800s, see Schmitt, Demographic Statistics of Hawaii. Eleven years after Cannon left Hawai‘i, Brigham Young informed King Kamehameha V that the Latter-day Saint missionaries would “not confine their labors to spiritual matters only. According to the precepts of our religion, the spiritual and temporal are so intimately blended that we view no salvation, or system of salvation as being complete, which does not provide means for the welfare and preservation of the body as well as the salvation of the Spirit” (Young to Kamehameha V, Mar. 24, 1865).

  9. [9]Written over y.

  10. [10]Written over h.

  11. [11]Following the pattern taught by the Apostle Paul (see Ephesians 5:22–28), Cannon saw a family leadership structure that mirrored the hierarchical structure of the Church. Since women didn’t have access to priesthood leadership positions, they would necessarily have a secondary place under that structure. Recognizing some of the negative possibilities inherent to this model, such as inappropriate domination by the man, Cannon took the opportunity to clarify Paul’s teachings to ensure that his audience understood that women needed to “hearken to” their husbands only when the men were “living right.”

  12. [12]Matthew 5:13–15.

  13. [13]Galatians 5:22.

  14. [14]Recalling this event years later, Cannon offered a more clearly written, succinct summary: “A woman, one of whose limbs was withered, . . . was afflicted with palsy. She was baptized, and was speedily restored to health. A niece of hers was afterwards afflicted somewhat similarly; she requested us to administer to her, and when we did so, she was restored to health” (Cannon, My First Mission, 55).

  15. [15]Keeler provided further information on the missionaries’ preaching: “I wread the Sixteenth Chapter of Mat and spake from the 61–17 [sic] verses I spoke short Br C followed & spake well in the afterknoon [he] Spake from the fourth Chapter of Thessulonians” (Keeler journal, Jan. 30, 1853).

  16. [16]Cannon retrospectively reported that this man “was afterwards able to go about without any guide; and I have frequently seen him come into meeting, winding his way among the people, without any aid, to a seat which he was accustomed to occupy near the speaker. His restoration caused a great stir in the neighborhood, for his blindness was well known” (Cannon, My First Mission, 55). Latter-day Saint missionary Reddick Allred later wrote of seeing a man “who was restored to sight thro. the administration of Elder Geo. Cannon, & Napela” (Reddick Allred journal, Mar. 31, 1853).