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August 1853


1 August 1853 • Monday

We arose this morning and after breakfast—Bro. Geo. to return by way of Kahakuloa home, and Bro. H. & I to Lahaina—it was very sultry the latter part of the road; we arrived a little after one o’clock and found Bro. R. [Reddin] A. Allred & Sis. H. [Mary Jane Hammond] and family well. I was unwell this afternoon, troubled with a head ache and with pain in my eyeballs and the brethren administered and I experienced immediate relief. Bro. [John] Winchester arrived on his way to Honolulu.

2 August 1853 • Tuesday

I arose this morning and requested the brethren to lay hands on me—and I received benefit from the administration. Wrote a letter to Elizabeth [Hoagland]. Attended meeting in afternoon & preached, enjoyed the spirit much. While at meeting received a letter from Bro. Woodbury stating their safe arrival and of the flattering prospects of the work—of the baptism of ten on Sunday and one on Monday—of Bro. Green’s speaking in tongues and of Bro. W’s interpretation—and of Bro. G’s good prospects of getting the language.

3 August 1853 • Wednesday

Attended morning meeting & spoke on the object of the Holy Spirit. Afterwards wrote a letter to Bros. Woodbury & Green, Molokai, and also a letter to Bro. Chancy [Chauncey] W. West, Siam, directed to 2 ½. Juan Bazar St., Calcutta, Hindoostan, giving him all the news.1 I afterwards started to Wailuku and met Bro. Hammond with some papers directed to Bro. B. F. Johnson, from Salt Lake, there were two copies of the “News” that I had not read and I concluded to turn back and stay all night to read the papers. I attended the afternoon meeting & enjoy preached & enjoyed much of the spirit. The papers contained much that was excellent—the portion of the conference minutes that we had not received—a sermon by Bro. Brigham [Young] on “heirship” and also a sermon by Bro. Parley [Pratt] on the spirits that were being manifested to the world—these together with all the rest, the editorial &c. was highly instructive to me, and I felt thankful for the privilege of perusing it.2

4 August 1853 • Thursday

Arose early & finished reading the papers & started a little after break of day and arrived at Wailuku about 11 a.m., and found Bros. Snider, Keeler & McBride here, and all well. As to-day was fast day the brethren had assembled & Bro. Keeler had commenced meeting;—after washing and changing my linen I went down to meeting and after sitting a while listening to the brethren’s remarks, I arose and spoke and instructed them on the object of fasting and the necessity there was for them to seek the spirit that they might worship acceptably. We dismissed meeting for a short time and met again and continued until about five o’clock when we dismissed—I felt refreshed in spirit and truly felt to praise the Lord, as I was enabled as well as Bro. Keeler to speak and instruct His Saints.

5 August 1853 • Friday

Writing &c. Attended Council meeting this afternoon of thes officers and selected some priests to go to different places to labor and gave them much instruction, being assisted by Bro. Keeler, in relation to principle and the duties of their offices—and it was a delightful time.

6 August 1853 • Saturday

Wrote to Bro. Lawson and also wrote a few lines to Bro. Green. The brethren went up to the mountain to <the place> where the Ki root grew—the brethren had an oven full of the root baking there—it is very sweet & would, I think, make excellent molasses or liquor.3 While they were gone I was called on to baptise a man & his wife, which I did & confirmed them members in the church and conferred also the gift of the Holy Ghost upon them. In evening <afternoon> had meeting and I called upon Bro. Keeler to speak—he spoke well & by the spirit; I followed, and then called on the brethren to speak; many of them confessed their sins and were forgiven. One of the priests said that he had had intercourse with his wife’s sister—he had had children by her before—& he was desirous to forsake this sin.

7 August 1853 • Sunday

Had Bible Class in morning and enjoyed the spirit in explaining principle to the saints. Afterwards had public meeting and had a very large congregation—I preached on the coming falling away and on the coming forth of the gospel by the ministry of angels to Bro. Joseph [Smith]. During intermission baptised seven & <with> one that had been baptised before made eight. We attended to the sacrament in afternoon & was blessed, although many in the congregation were4 very uneasy going out and coming in often which prevented a free flow of the spirit, and for which we had to reprimand them. Administered to several & also blessed a child of one of the brethren’s.5

8 August 1853 • Monday

Writing &c. and also reading and revising the translation with Bro. Napela. Bros. Keeler and Kaelepulu, a priest, started for Bro. Keeler’s field this morning. We blessed our brother, the priest, before they left.

9 August 1853 • Tuesday

Transcribing &c.

10 August 1853 • Wednesday

do. do. Had meeting in afternoon and preached & had the spirit.

11 August 1853 • Thursday

Transcribing &c. I kept to-day as a fast day.

12 August 1853 • Friday

do. do. Received two letters, one from Bro. Lewis, Kauai stating that they numbered 116—the elder that they sent there, Kaele, had baptised 91 and <had> ordained 3 teachers when they arrived—the teachers had been baptising—they, Bro. Lewis & Kauwahi, had instructed and ordained them Priests and had those that had been baptised, rebaptised. Bro. L. says he almost despairs of getting the language on account of his age. He speaks of having the conference in Lahaina, about the 1st of Nov.

Bro. Hammond’s letter stated that they had baptised two on Sunday & had had a good meeting. In evening afternoon had officer meeting.

13 August 1853 • Saturday

Yesterday Bro. [H. K.] Kaleohano brought me a horse from Kula to go up there [Waiakoa]. Started and arrived there in time for meeting of officers in afternoon and instructed them.

14 August 1853 • Sunday

Held meeting early in morning and preached to the saints. After breakfast went down to the lower meeting house [at Oma‘opio] and had Bible class. Afterwards preached and the saints paid excellent attention & I had a good flow of the spirit which filled me and I was enabled to preach to my heart’s content. At noon we dismissed meeting for a short time and met again and confirmed several <18> that had been baptised—there had been ten baptised this week and there was <were> eight of these confirmed <baptised> yesterday—there were eight <nine> baptised to-day. We also attended to the Sacrament & taught the Saints on various principles. Started for Wailuku, and arrived about 9 o’clock, p.m.—it was a beautiful evening—the moon shining bright making it nearly as light as day. This visit to Kula has been a very pleasant one, the spirit manifested by the saints a good one and it is very evident that they are growing & increasing in knowledge of principle and in love—the officers are all very zealous and are apparently doing all they can to disseminate the truth. My heart was filled with peculiar feelings of love and gratitude to my Heavenly Father when looking upon the saints and in contemplating the work that had been done and was now being done, in bringing them to the knowledge of the gospel, and listening to them rejoicing in possession of the gift of the Holy Ghost and the truth. I could feel and realize this very sensibly when I cast my mind back on my situation when and the opposition and contempt that I had to contend with when I first commenced preaching in Kula—my congregations very frequently varying from six to fifty—many times I would have been glad to have had a little salt to have eat with my potatoes, having nothing oftentimes to eat with them but molasses—a most sickening dish—those days poi was a regular treat—then we were comparatively friendless, now we had them on all hands—the Lord has caused the work to roll in a manner to exceed my expectations; to look at Kula one would scarcely think that there could be as many as there are living here. I feel that my tongue and my pen are too feeble to express my feelings when I reflect on the Lord’s great goodness to me in bestowing upon me His Spirit and the revelations thereof, causing me to stay & labor here—for I have now the proof of the truth of the voice of His Spirit before my eyes—for it plainly revealed to me that if I stayed and magnified my office I should be blessed and be made instrumental in doing much good; but that if I should go home without giving it a trial I should be condemned and would not be blessed—O that I may ever be so blessed with the spirit that I may be enabled to take <the> right path—the path that the Lords [sic] wishes to be taken, as I most assure<d>ly know that if I had returned without trying to effect anything and somebody else had come afterwards and effected that anything, I should ever have felt to be condemned & reproached for so doing.

15 August 1853 • Monday

Writing &c.

16 August 1853 • Tuesday

Transcribing, Revising &c.

17 August 1853 • Wednesday

do. do. In afternoon attended meeting and preached to the people and enjoyed it much.

18 August 1853 • Thursday

Revising &c. until about noon when I received a package of papers and letters; they consisted of several numbers of the “Deseret News” for Bro. McBride & myself, mine was No. 15 of June 18th; I also received three letters one of them [from Brigham Young] addressed to Pres. Lewis and myself containing instructions in regard to the course we were to pursue here, and also approving of the course that had been taken up to the present as far as he knew—in not preaching the gathering, &c. very strong; his counsel was for the saints “to be patient, quiet and forbearing in their conduct and conversation, to treasure up the principles of eternal truth as fast as they can comprehend them, & hold them above all earthly price, & abide the providences of God the Lord in opening away for their deliverance; in the meantime, I will suggest that, if possible you obtain a fitting island, or portion of an Island where the brethren can collect in peace & sustain themselves unmolested, it might be much pleasanter for them, & they be better able to prepare themselves for gathering to this continent when the way shall open. In haste I remain your brother in the Gospel of Christ

“Brigham Young”

To George Q. Cannon or

Philip B. Lewis, Honolulu,

Sandwich Islands.6

I felt gratified at receiving this counsel and felt to obey it, as I see the necessity more and more every day for something of this kind to be brought about and the saints themselves perceive the importance of it—Blessed be the Lord for having permitted me to come forth in an age when prophets and apostles are again on the earth and I permitted to associate with them. The other letters were from Chas [Charles] & Mary Alice [Lambert], and Elizabeth [Hoagland]. The last afforded me much gratification as it is about two years since I received any news in the shape of a letter from Elizabeth. Her letter was all I could have desired; it breathed strong assurances of love and affection—her reasons for not writing oftener <were> that she had received none from me since she last wrote and that she remembered me constantly in her prayers. This letter conveyed peculiar feelings of pleasure to me and I felt to bless her for her kindness and patience. In Chas. & Mary Alice’s letter they state that they are all well excepting Angus who is complaining of a pain in his side—may the Lord have mercy on him and grant that he may be spared. They were expecting me home this fall and Chas. said they had planted my lot with potatoes and corn expecting me home—David [H. Cannon] and him were working together at farming &c. Anne [Ann Woodbury] & her husband [Orin Woodbury] were down on Cottonwood and felt happy7—they had not been in the City very lately on account of the very high water which had carried away a great many bridges in the valley—it was higher than any time since we landed in the Valley—bread stuffs were rather scarce and the grasshoppers had destroyed several fine fields of grain. I did not get a line from Uncle [John Taylor] or from Bro. Joseph C. [Cain] although the papers that the latter sent me were evidence to me that I was not forgotten by him.

We also received a letter from Bro. Johnson stating that Bro. Lewis had written that they numbered 140 and good prospects ahead; also that his (Bro. J’s) feelings and Bro. Wm’s & Hy.’s. were to have our semi-annual conference at the regular time; and also spoke about the propriety of our getting a printing press of our own as material proper for printing the Book of Mormon was not on [the] Islands and talked about petitioning the Pres. [Brigham Young] to have me stay and take charge of it. Aole paha.8 Bros. [Nathan] Tanner, [Thomas] Karren & [David] Rice were going ahead on Hawaii [Hawai‘i]; Bro. R. had not baptized any but the prospects were good; the other brethren numbered 139 at Kohala they called for help.

This afternoon <I> wrote a long letter to Bros. Johnson, Bigler & Farrer on Oahu. Bro. Winchester arrived with his wife [Louisa Winchester] from Honolulu; they were well. He brought a note from Bro. Hammond they were well—I also received one from him in company with the other letters.

19 August 1853 • Friday

Wrote to Bros. Hammond, Green, & Keeler & Lawson. Held council meeting of officers in afternoon—I preached and seldom, if ever, enjoyed a greater flow of teaching I was filled & so were all present. We ordained three to the Aaronic Priesthood, Opunui, Peleleu & Hoopiiaina; and Paiwi a teacher; and Ehu and Lepo, deacons.

20 August 1853 • Saturday

Revising &c. to-day.

21 August 1853 • Sunday

Held Council meeting in morning early and selected two of the brethren (Priest Kimo Pelio and teacher Kaui) to go to Kohala, Hawaii to the assistance of Bros. T. & K. there. Held Bible Class and then preached and was blessed very much and spoke with power on the work of the Lord in sending forth his angels and building up his church as a place of refuge before sending his judgments upon the nations that this was all known by his servants and they had been sent to warn the nations, &c., &c. the people generally paid good attention. In afternoon met again and we had a good meeting; we ordained Bro. Pelio, an elder and Bro. Kaui, a Priest, and Bro. Nawelu, a teacher for Kahului, and Bros Kapu and Namauu, deacons and gave them instruction on their different callings and offices.

This evening I wrote a long letter to Elizabeth.

22 August 1853 • Monday

Writing & Revising.

23 August 1853 • Tuesday

Transcribing & wrote a letter to Bros. Tanner & Karren, Hawaii; one to Bro. Farrer, Oahu;9 & one to Bros. Hammond & [Reddin] Allred, Lahaina10 to send by Elder Pelio who is going in the morning.

24 August 1853 • Wednesday

Revising and transcribing. Preached in afternoon.

25 August 1853 • Thursday

do. do. do.

26 August 1853 • Friday

Bros. Pelio & Kaui started this morning—they have been waiting expecting to go direct from Kahului on a vessel to Hawaii, but have been disappointed. Bro. Kailihune arrived this afternoon from Hamakua & Koolau [Ko‘olau] where he had been laboring with Bro. Hawkins; he was in the enjoyment of the spirit and reported they baptism of 46 since they had been gone, (about four weeks); the branches he says are in a healthy state. Held officer meeting and enjoyed it much; gave the officers instruction on various subjects and chose several to fill appointments for the ensuing week.

27 August 1853 • Saturday

Revising &c. &c. This morning we were agreeably surprised by having Bro. Rice step in—he left Lahaina very early in the morning, he came afoot—he and Bros. Tanner and Karren came up yesterday, and they had gone on to Honolulu. He reports the work in a prosperous condition there—about 200 baptised—opposition strong, they having been before the Judge three times on various pretences—the people are all on a ferment11—Bro. I. W. Kahumoku, a young man who was ordained an elder and sent from Honolulu in company with Bros. T. & Karren, is dead;—it was with sorrow that I heard this news as I had learned to love Bro. K. from report alone—he was a young man—a mere boy; but from the time of his joining the church he had been indefatigable in his exertions, completely devoted to the work, sparing no pains to magnify his priesthood—his influence was great and he was a son of thunder. His death was a sudden one supposed to have been brought on by exposure—the day before he died he preached an hour an[d] a half. He has gone to reap the reward of his labors, & I pray that when the Lord sees fit to call me home, it will be in a time when I am wholly devoted in his service, and I know that in order that this may be the case I must always be devoted to his cause.

28 August 1853 • Sunday

Bible Class in morning—afterwards public meeting and I preached on the Book of Mormon and was abundantly blessed with the spirit—had an excellent meeting and enjoyed the spirit very much all day. I listened with great pleasure to many of the brethren—they improve and speak with power. Selected a teacher, Kapaweuweu, and a deacon, Napahi.

29 August 1853 • Monday

Revising and transcribing. Bro. Hawkins arrived from Kula; he was well.

30 August 1853 • Tuesday

do. do. Fixing up the meeting house &c. I received a letter from Bro. Hammond and one from Bro. Woodbury, Molokai. Bro. H. states the ordaination of 3 Priests, 2 Teachers and 2 deacons; he and Bro. Allred intended to go to Lanai [Lana‘i]—they were all well. Bro. W. stated the increase of the work and the prospects were good; several influential men had joined. They were all well.

31 August 1853 • Wednesday

Revisi Transcribing &c. all day.

Footnotes

  1. [1]Chauncey W. West was one of four missionaries called in August 1852 to open work in Siam (now Thailand). In late January 1853 the Siam missionaries sailed from San Francisco along with the nine missionaries bound for India. Upon reaching Calcutta, they discovered that transportation to Siam was almost impossible to obtain. After counseling with Nathaniel V. Jones, president of the East Indian (Hindustan) Mission, they decided to remain in the East Indian Mission and labor there. West was assigned to labor on the island of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). For fuller treatments of the East Indian and Siam missions, see Britsch, From the East, 8–42; Britsch, Nothing More Heroic.

  2. [2]A portion of the minutes of the April 1853 general conference were published in the April 16, 1853, Deseret News, while the sermons Cannon mentioned were printed in the April 30, 1853, Deseret News.

  3. [3]Ki, also known as ti, has a slender, upright stem that averages three to ten feet in height. The leaves, which typically grow between one and four feet long and from four to six inches wide, are closely arranged at the top of the plant in a “feather-duster” cluster and were used in preparing, transporting, serving, and storing food. The root, which can weigh up to three hundred pounds, is high in fructose, which caramelizes when steamed. The cooked ki root was a favorite sweet of the Hawaiians. For additional information, see Krauss, Plants in Hawaiian Culture, 15, 186.

  4. [4]Changed in ink from was.

  5. [5]Keeler recorded additional information concerning the day’s events: “[This morning] Bro Cannon spoke to me to speak to the people I refused on the acount of haveing a bad spirit after the meeting I had a talk with Bro Cannon on the Subject he Said if I would take up my cross & pray to the Lord it would leave me I done soe & proved his words true to the leter I opened the meeting by prayer then spoke on the duty of the Saints in regard to Sacrement of the Lords super &c after me Bro Cannon spoke a few minits & gave the meeting into the hands of the Brethren & sisters of the Church” (Keeler journal, Aug. 7, 1853).

  6. [6]This letter has been included as Appendix 2, Item 17. In April 1854, Young explained in greater detail his thinking regarding a gathering place for the Hawaiian Saints: “The Elders in the Sandwich Islands are looking for a location for the Saints of the Pacific Isles where they may temporarily be gathered and preserved from those pernicious influences which appear in part the result of their intercourse with the whites. . . . To avoid as much as possible such disastrous results, it was considered wisdom to gather them upon some island where they can be instructed in the principles of virtue and moral practice, and have their minds prepared to receive light and intelligence emanating from God for their exaltation and glory. . . . The island location [would] serve as a subsidiary gathering place like others which we contemplate establishing in various parts of the Continent” (First Presidency, “Eleventh General Epistle,” Apr. 10, 1854, in Deseret News, Apr. 13, 1854).

  7. [7]Cottonwood, an area southeast of Salt Lake City, was named for a luxuriant growth of cottonwood trees that grew along a creek in the region.

  8. [8]Aole paha is a polite refusal that literally translates as “perhaps not.”

  9. [9]Cannon’s brief note to Farrer, begun at 9:30 p.m., says: “I drop you a few lines as I have chance to send to Lahaina by Bro., or more properly, Elder Kimo Pelio who is on his way to Hawaii with another of the brethren, a priest. The news I have written & sent yesterday to Bro. Johnson &c. &c. all I have now to say is, I would like if you can & it is agreeable all around, if when you come up you would come with the calculation of staying a fortnight or upwards & read with me [the translation of the Book of Mormon] to see that there is nothing left out. Give my love to all All is peace here except in the breasts of the devil & his servants (the m——s)” (Cannon to Farrer, Aug. 23, 1853, typescript, WFC).

  10. [10]Hammond noted that Cannon’s letter was “the first which we have received since he left us about the 8 of last month. He also writes in native; all things were prospering with him at Wailuku, some new ones coming in now and then. At Kula he found much faith and a good spirit, and a continual increase to their numbers” (Hammond journal, Aug. 25, 1853).

  11. [11]Two weeks after Tanner and Karren arrived at Kohala on the Big Island in June, they were summoned to appear in court. According to Woodbury, “the Calvinist priest (name [Elias] Bond) was building a meeting house; his church members had to pack [carry] the material 7 or 8 miles, and when when [sic] they nearly all left his church and joined the (mormons) truth, the brethren told them they kneed not work any longer for the priest. Suit was entered against the Elders, and they wer fined and the Saintes ordered to go to work again for the priest” (Woodbury diary, Aug. 27, 1853). The following month, when Latter-day Saint children missed school to attend a fast meeting, they were fined by the judge and “put in the stocks” (Tanner journal, July 28, 1853). On August 2 “orders came for the school children to go & pack sand agan for Bonds Church. . . . Our Native Elders & Preasts are forbiden to go out of their little neighbourhood to preach without a purmit from Preast Bond under fine of 40 days hard labour, what cursed bondage we have to indure, Lord help us” (Tanner journal, Aug. 2, 1853). In response to what was taking place, Tanner and Karren determined to go to Honolulu to seek redress for the “greivences and indignities which they have received from the Judge, set on by Priest Bond” (Hammond journal, Aug. 26, 1853). The result of their visit with Richard Armstrong, minister of public instruction, was less than hoped for. Tanner wrote, “He acted the dog & Would not Sho him Self an honast man” (Tanner journal, Aug. 30, 1853).