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October 1855


6–7 October 1855 • Saturday to Sunday

Saturday, Oct. 6, 1855; Was our Semi-annual Conference. Bros. Lyman & Rich were busy getting ready to leave by the Senator this afternoon. When the Conference I had to explain the nature of this Conference as there seemed to be a misunderstanding in the minds of some in relation to the nature of this conference, and in relation to my office as President. In the course of the Conference I felt moved to make a good many remarks on this subject and to be very explicit. I was unanimously chosen as President of the Conference and Bro. Bull as Clerk. The authorities were unanimously sustained. The representation was necessarily imperfect in consequence of the unorganized state of some of the branches. We divided what had formerly been the San Francisco Conference into two: San Francisco and Alameda, and appointed Bro. Crosby to preside over the first, and Bro. Horner the latter. I felt impressed to give the saints a great deal of instruction in relation to the course they ought to take to sustain their officers; and set before them the danger of tampering with and complaining against authority. Bros. Lyman & Rich made some farewell remarks, replete with good instruction and counsel. We then adjourned until Sunday, the 7th. I accompanied the brethren down to the boat; before leaving the house they laid their hands on me and blessed me, Bro. Amasa being mouth, and gave me an excellent blessing. Bro. Lyman intends returning to the Valley this fall and will probably remain there a year. All the brethren have now returned home leaving us to ourselves; the loss of their society will make us feel lonely as we have had a constant succession of visitors since our residence here, somebody arriving and leaving all the time. Soon after Bro. Lyman’s arrival, July 15, Bros. N. V. Jones and Fotheringham arrived from Calcutta, via Hong Kong, and shortly afterwards Bro. Paul Smith and wife arrived from Australia, via Honolulu. They were a portion of a company that left Australia under the Presidency of Bro. Burr Frost, bound for San Pedro, but, through the incapacity of the vessel, leakage &c, were obliged to put into Honolulu to repair; she was, however, finally condemned, and as there were a good many charges against her, the brethren lost their passage money, and had to get away from there as best they could. About the time that Bro. Smith arrived, Bros. Hugh Findlay, Tait and Davis with his family, arrived from Bombay, en route for the Valley. On the 16th of Sept. Bros. E. Green, Jas. Keeler and Reddin A. Allred, my old fellow laborers on the islands, arrived here from Honolulu; and the next day, Bros. Woodbury and Frost arrived from the same place, in company with the majority of the Australian Saints who had been left there; they had started some time before Bros. G. K. & A. but they had been detained by head winds. A day or two after this Bro. Rich arrived from San Bernardino. All these foreign arrivals, with the constant passing to and fro of elders already in the country, many of whom had come up from San Bernardino by land, kept us lively, and we never lacked for company. The brethren from the islands, with the Australian Saints and many of the San Bernardino elders, left on the the 22nd of Sept., and several more left on the 1st of Oct., taking steamship for San Pedro.

Conference again convened at 11 o’clock a.m. on the 7th. I preached and then called on Bro. Horner; we had a very good meeting. In afternoon attended to the Sacrament and various items of business, and I gave the conference considerable instruction in relation to organization and their duties as Saints. We also appointed two teachers – Bros. Eveleth & Wilkie – for this branch, and Bro. Curtis was still supported as presiding elder of the branch. We then adjourned until the 6th of April, 1856. Although there has been no very extraordinary manifestation of the spirit, nothing more than a good, steady flow, filling our hearts with joy and satisfaction, yet I feel much pleased with our Conference, more pleased than I anticipated, and I am perfectly satisfied that beneficial results will grow out of it and a better feeling be engendered. My position is more properly defined and understood.