January 1864

Events in George Q. Cannon’s journal for 1864

1 January ff.

Minutes of conferences. Counsel to missionaries to carry the Spirit of the Lord with them; deliver from Babylon, gather to Zion

5–6 January

Priesthood ordinances. “We are not ‘Mormons’ — we are Latter-day Saints.”

10 January

Extracts from a letter from Brigham Young regarding immigration, the troops at Camp Douglas (Utah Territory), and other matters

21 January


23 January

Visit to “Ragley Park, one of the residences of the Marquis of Hertford”

9 February

Bearing trials of the deaths of his children George Hoagland and Georgiana

26 February

Positive response by Mr. Smith of the Tapscott, Smith & Co. shipping firm to Latter-day Saint people and principles

4 March

Dream of wife Elizabeth and others dressed in white

10 March

Greyhounds chasing hares

28 March

Inundation caused by the bursting of the Bradfield Reservoir, Sheffield

13 April

Visit to sites in London

14 April

Saw experiment of burning a dress

19 April ff.

Overseeing emigration

6 May

Dealing with immorality

10 May ff.

Chartering ships; skillfully reducing costs

16 May

Recounted in a letter to his brother Angus his feelings about death of his little girl

5 June

Heard Mr. Spurgeon, “a noted preacher who had the largest congregation in London”

10 June

Visit to Holland

12 June ff.

Took a steamer up the Rhine from Cologne to Mannheim; detailed account of subsequent travels through Germany and Switzerland

23 June ff.

In Paris

5 July

Report of visit to the Sandwich Islands by Ezra T. Benson, Lorenzo Snow, Joseph F. Smith, and Alma L. Smith

11 July

At risk of drowning after swimming to a boat

6 September

Pleased to return to America, “this beautiful land of Joseph”

7 September

“Indian difficulties” on the stagecoach route

19–20 September ff.

Travel west; Indian attacks; a “very narrow escape”

1 October ff.

Continuation of westward travels

1 January 1864 • Friday

Friday, Jany, 1st, 1864. Council opened with singing and prayer, after which I arose and said:— I am glad to see you again this morning; and I will say to those with whom I have not shaken hands, that I wish you, brethren, a happy new year; and I pray that many more such delightful seasons as we now enjoy, may, in the future, dawn upon us.

Elder John D. Chase, in representing the Nottingham District, said they had baptized considerably more than emigrated, although the emigration last year was comparatively large. The District is composed of the Nottingham, Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire Conferences. The Nottingham Conference numbers 645 members, the Leicestershire 313, the Derbyshire 212, and the Lincolnshire 210. There has been 226 persons baptized in this district during the last twelve months. The Work is progressing very fairly & many are ready to come forth and become connected with the Church,” &c &c

Elder Joseph Bull, in representing the Sheffield District said he believed the Saints were better people than they were half a year ago[.] The Travelling Elders were laboring energetically in seeking out the honest hearted; he had preached Tithing and in a general way it had been responded to. “Pay as you go” had been his motto & at this time the Conferences were clear of debt. During the past year, there has been baptized in the district 172 persons, and 114 emigrated to Zion last season. The total number of members at present in the district is 912, and the prospect of increase are very favorable, &c. &c.”

Elder Thomas Taylor in representing the Manchester District said, as far as the spiritual condition of the district was concerned he believed it was satisfactory, the Saints in a general way were doing the best they could, voluntarily and cheerfully endeavoring to free the Branches from debt; but the distress in some parts of the district prevented them from doing as much as they would otherwise do. There were 142 Saints who emigrated from the Manchester Conference last season, and at the close of last year there had been 300 persons baptized. In the Liverpool Conference there were 89 who emigrated last season; 50 have been baptized during the year. 22 emigrated from the Preston Conference, and 39 have been baptized. He also stated that baptisms were frequently taking place, and the meetings very well attended by strangers, who, generally speaking, were of a class disposed to impartially investigate the principles that were advocated &c &c”

At the conclusion of Brother Taylor’s representation, I spoke as follows:—

I can truly say, brethren, that the Spirit of the Lord is in our midst, and I believe you all feel its influence. I will tell you the feelings I have had since I have been here to day. I would like to sit down in some corner and give full vent to my feelings of joy and happiness, if it would not appear unmanly. If we could but only retain at all times the feelings we have now, we would never commit sin as long as we live. We fail, however, sometimes in carrying with us that Spirit which God bestows upon us to the full extent we enjoy it here to-day. We go out into the world and associate with all manner of men, and are thrown in contact with various influences which are opposed to the influence of that Spirit which we possess at the present time. We have, in consequence, to be careful in our movements, and watch these influences that they do not have power over us, and thus militate against our happiness. Here we are alike, — the same spirit pervades all, and creates in our bosoms pure and holy thoughts. The course that we should pursue, then, is to live in such a way as to retain the Spirit we shall carry with us from this Council. To do this we should seek unto God in secret, as well as in public, for the strength necessary to enable us to meet with wicked spirits without succumbing to their influence. The great secret of attaining to eternal lives is by doing the will of our Father in heaven every day — no matter what it is; and unless we perform every duty which the Gospel He has revealed to man in this age requires us to do, we cannot attain to that happy condition. It is only for such as keep His commandments. It is the man who works faithfully and diligently to rear the great superstructure of the kingdom that will receive the happiness which the establishment of that kingdom will confer. I want my brethren, who are here assembled, to realize, themselves, the importance of this principle, and teach it to the Saints. At the present you feel that there is nothing that the Work of God requires that you would not cheerfully do. Well, I trust that these feelings will not be evanescent, but that you will retain them, not only here, but have them with you when upon and after you return to your houses in Zion. It is he who is ever striving to do the will of God and to keep those commandments which have been revealed, that will attain to exaltation and glory in the presence of our Father and God. There are a great many habits we should seek to overcome. Many of the young brethren can see, since coming upon this mission, the folly of many habits which they may have indulged in or looked upon in a very lenient light. Now, instead of permitting ourselves to go back to the adoption of habits that we have, to a certain extent overcome, let us try, both here and hereafter, to improve, and to thoroughly subdue those propensities which have been and are common to us. When we return to our home in the Mountains, let us not forget the lessons we shall have learned while abroad among the nations, and prove to our brethren and former associates that we have learned to comprehend, at least, some of the responsibilities and duties of our Priesthood and callings. I would like you, my young brethren, to reflect upon these things, & and to seek diligently to put away every weakness, that you may rise and become great men in the kingdom of God. When I look around upon the young men assembled here, I am pleased to witness an improvement in them, and I hope that they will manifest an increased spirit of devotion to their callings and the Work of God from this time forward. I trust that the sending out of you, my young brethren, will be productive of much good, and that you will stand firm and immovable when evil threatens you and temptation crosses your path; and when you return home, let your good works be continued there amongst your former friends and associates, that they may be induced to follow your example. It would be a source of grief to me to learn that my young brethren, after they returned home, had fallen into evil practices. We are the freest people upon the earth, and because we have great liberty we are often inclined to overstep proper bounds and abuse it. It fills me with joy to see my brethren do well, and if I can add to their well doing it is a source of happiness to me. I want to see them take a course that is right before God. While the young men are taking a course contrary to what they are taught, I know they are obstacles to the Work of God, and it is retarded in consequence, & unless they are removed it cannot go forth as I trust it will. Observe the Word of wisdom. Never indulge in the use of articles which are there forbidden — that would prevent you from becoming perfect men of God. Never acquire the habits of drinking tea, or coffee, or smoking tobacco or drinking ale or spirits. I am not ultra on these points: but if I could instil my experience, and my thoughts and feelings upon the subject, into my young brethren, I am sure they would never even drink tea or coffee habitually, much less indulge in any habit that might be productive of more serious consequences. The use of all stimulants, as a habit; should be avoided by us, especially while men are young; for I have noticed, in my experience, that when people who have indulged in these things grow old, the necessity for indulging in their use becomes more pressing: even the simple habit of using tea and coffee, when people have advanced in years and become accustomed to their stimulating properties, cannot easily be cast off. That habit measurably enslaves those who practice it. For my own part I think the Spirit of God is far preferable to any artificial stimulant. The habitual drinking of tea and coffee, I am confident, has an effect that is injurious, though, perhaps, through a frequent use of these articles the effect may not be observed. Still you will find that, by a continued use of such drinks, the body becomes accustomed to stimulants & requires them. In relation to strong drinks, there are very few who will not readily acknowledge that man is better without them, and that we should not meddle with them. I trust the brethren will see the necessity of abiding the Word of Wisdom, and of encouraging its practice among the Saints. If we were to call upon brother Isaac Bullock, I believe he could preach a sermon upon it, and brother Kay also. Act, my brethren, just as well as you would at home, or as well as you think an Apostle or a Prophet should act. Let me say to those of the young brethren who may have been addicted to such habits, Leave off smoking, and drinking tea and coffee, and do not acquire the habit — so prevalent in this country — of drinking beer, and you will be astonished to find the influence you will obtain. But, if you do not observe these things and should associate with persons who do refrain from them, and to whom it is your duty to minister the word of life and salvation, you will feel humbled in the presence of those persons. You will, generally, find that, where a man is travelling and laboring in the ministry, among the Saints, and is addicted to the habits which have been named, the people, seeing his example and partaking of his Spirit and influence, will, in many instances, instinctively adopt the example set by him; and, I know, that if he should eschew such habits and take a proper course, the Saints will naturally follow that course.

Some of the brethren have been talking about giving the people reproof, and the effect it has had upon them. It is not always the best way to correct an evil to wage open war, in an unwise manner, from the moment you first. Before you can persuade people that you are right, and that the practices they may be indulging in are wrong, you must obtain influence with them. I have seen many instances of Elders overstepping their influence with the people in reproving them, and do more harm than they did good. They were animated with such a burning zeal that they could not bear to see a wrong without coming out and warring against it. Reproof is necessary at times, & must be administered if men would magnify the Priesthood; but the Elders should administer it wisely. We should endeavour to show the people that we are their best friends, and, when we do this, the people will receive reproof kindly and thankfully at our hands. Take an equitable and just course, and you will find that you will gain influence among the people, and when you have influence you can do anything in reason with them. Yet there are some who will never submit to reproof, however wisely it may be administered; such persons are entirely unmanageable under the wisest treatment; but when such a disposition is evinced, I take it as a pretty sure evidence that there is something really wrong with them, or they would feel differently — the Spirit of the Lord produces a different feeling, and those who possess it bring forth its fruits, and rebellion is certainly not one of them. May the Lord bless you. Amen.

After a hymn was sung; the meeting was adjourned with prayer by Elder G. W. Grant.

The Council met again at 3.15 P.M and after singing and prayer Elder George G. Bywater said that he had enjoyed himself very much both yesterday and to day in listening to the instructions that had been given, he could say that ever since he had been on this mission he had enjoyed his labors; the people in the Eastern Glamorgan Conference, over which he now presided, were the most able of any Conference in Wales, to sustain the Church funds. Tithing is observed by the majority of the Saints, they pay liberally to the Mission fund, the Individual Emigration account and every other fund. Scores have borne testimony that they have been blessed since paying Tithing, both temporally and spiritually. Many who have recently joined the Church, can also testify to the good results of paying Tithing. The prospects for this year were bright and encouraging. ‘84 persons have been baptized during the year, and 54 emigrated last season. We hoped we should be blessed in our Council &c, &c.

Elder John G. Holman, in representing the Chiltenham district said, he would be glad to see it better, though it might be a great deal worse. He hoped to continue the improvement that had been commenced. They were doing the best they could and did not want to do anything to make them ashamed of themselves. If the emigration was open the approaching season, he was sure that many more would emigrate than went to Zion last year. Occasionally they had a “dust” in Cheltenham our enemies feeling we were a little too zealous in making converts. If we do right while on our missions, it will result to our advantage.

He prayed that the Lord would enable us to take that course which would be right in His sight, and that His Spirit might be with us, &c.

Elder M. F. Farnsworth, in representing the Newcastle-on-Tyne district said, he had labored there about 17 months. We have baptized 129 persons during the past year, and emigrated 110. There are a great many who were cut off eight or nine years ago, desirous of returning to the Church; they confess they have been miserable since they unwisely left it, and want to renew their first works. The prospects for emigration he could safely <say> were good, the number who would go the coming season considerably exceeding that of last year. The brethren laboring with him were as good men as he could expect to be associated with. The Saints were kindhearted, and have, as a general thing donated liberally and cheerfully to support the Work, &c, &c.

Elder W. S. S. Willes in representing the Norwich district, said it was 33 years he had been acquainted the “Mormonism,” but had never realized its power, nor the blessings which it confers upon man, so much as he had since he came on this his first preaching mission. He could say that the District was in a healthy condition, it numbers 888 Saints, comprising the Norwich & Bedfordshire Conferences. In the Bedfordshire Conference there have been more added to the Church than emigrated during the last year. Present indications were that a great many more will be added to the Church there. From the Norwich Conference there were not many who emigrated last season; but the number baptized exceeded the emigration, &c., &c.

I here stated that brother W. S. S. Willes was one of the “Mormon Battalion,” and one of those who discovered the gold mines in California, which afterwards set the world agog.

The Hymn “We thank thee, O God, for a Prophet” &c was sung.

Elder John M, Kay, in representing the Birmingham district said, in the Birmingham Conference there <were> 1,012 Saints. There had been 122 persons baptized during the past year, and 92 emigrated to Zion last season. The Warwickshire Conference numbers 309 Saints, there were 32 who emigrated last season, and 27 baptized during the year. The Staffordshire Conference numbers at the present time 260 Saints, 68 having been baptized and 25 emigrated during the year. Its numbers are greatly increasing and the general prospects are very fair. The Brethren who were laboring with him had been diligent in the performance of their duties. He hoped that they would all go home in that way that we can meet brother Brigham and brother Heber, and the rest of our brethren there, without shame.

Elder Kay bore testimony to the remarks I had made upon the Word of Wisdom, and said that he had realized incalculable benefit from observing it. He concluded by exhorting the young Elders to be careful in all their movements, and to watch themselves, and prayed God to bless them & all his faithful servants.

I then arose and said:— I presume there are not any here who feel particularly tired. I judge, however, by myself. Since I have been here my feelings have been too big for utterance, and I feel as though I could not express my feeling as I would like to do; but I pray that I may have a sufficient amount of the Spirit of God to enable me to speak with freedom and to your edification. I have been rejoiced to hear the remarks of brother Kay, for we all know that, whatever his failings, to which he has alluded, have been, he has stood by the breach in the hour of difficulty and trouble, and when the lives of his brethren were in danger. I was glad to hear his remarks upon the Word of Wisdom, also; and I trust that every word that has been or may be uttered, upon this or any other subject, will sink into your hearts, and make indelible impressions on your minds. Every item of doctrine that may be advanced should be taken to ourselves, and then we could teach it to others. If we do not seek to incorporate any of the principles taught to us, in our own lives, we cannot expect those whom we address upon the same principles, to incorporate them in their lives. If you do not act upon the items of instruction which I may be led to impart to you, it is not presumable that you will have the same spirit that I possess. It would be the same with me, if I were to neglect the instructions and counsels that President Young imparts, from time to time, to me; I would not possess the same Spirit that he is in possession of.

As the subject of emigration has been touched upon, I wish to make a few remarks relative to it. One of the Elders, in his remarks, alluded to his intention to borrow money, on his own credit, of individuals who had it, to assist those who were anxious to emigrate, and expecting to pledge himself to see it returned to those of whom it should be borrowed, when they reached Zion. Now, this is a point to which I wish to make allusion, lest a wrong impression should prevail and the Elders take a course which would involve them in embarrassment. I think it would be decidedly unwise for the Elder, who has proposed this plan for himself, to adopt it, as I am confident that he would involve himself in difficulties from which he would not be able to easily extricate himself, & it would result in injury rather than good. There is room for a great deal to be said upon this subject. While the Elders are under obligations to do all in their power to assist the Saints to gather, the Lord does not require them to carry them on their backs, or to involve themselves in embarrassments in their anxiety to assist them. The people must learn to exert themselves, and to use their own faith and energies for their deliverance. I have heard of letters which have been recently received from individuals who have gone out to the Valley on the means of others whose sympathies have been enlisted in their behalf, expressing great complaints. I will tell you one thing that I have noticed, brethren, and that is, those who have been helped out are the first to complain, if everything does not come up to their ideas, and all their wants, real or imaginary, are not at once supplied. I expect that many of you have experienced the truth of this. In many instances, the people who go to Zion on the help of others, seem to have greater difficulties to contend with than those who reach there by their own exertions. I have noticed scores of instances, in my experience, where Saints, after receiving assistance from the kindness of many of the Elders and others, have turned round & shown the greatest ingratitude. When a man has faith to emancipate himself from Babylon, by hard struggles and endeavors of his own, unassisted by anybody, there is every reason to know that such a man is a lover of his religion, and that he appreciates the home that Zion offers. He does not depend on any one for his deliverance from Babylon but God his heavenly Father; and it is in him that the individual trusts, believing that his own efforts will be rewarded by the blessing of God. Now, I have come to the conclusion that I will not counsel men to give aid to anybody, unless I feel led by the Spirit to do so. There are many cases where it is wisdom, if help can be obtained, to extend it; for there are very many worthy people who would be greatly benefited by a little aid, and who, if extricated from the midst of Babylon, would appreciate the blessings of Zion, when they reached there; but I consider the practice, in the case of many persons, has had an injurious effect. Indeed, I came to the conclusion, years ago, that if a small percentage, out of those who are assisted, will do right when they reach Zion, and be grateful unto the Lord for the kindness and blessings he has extended unto them, in delivering them from Babylon, that I should be satisfied. I have noticed that, where men have been diligent in their duties and have done all they could, reasonably, to deliver themselves from Babylon, the way has been opened by the Almighty for them to gather to Zion; and, when they went, they were filled with gratitude and joy. This is the principle upon which the Saints should be taught to act, in their endeavors to gather to Zion. The[y] should seek to deliver themselves, and have faith enough in God, that when they have done their best, he will do the rest. A great many of those who have been helped in their emigration, and who have not thus exerted themselves, are now drifting off, and are filled with a bad spirit. Upon this matter, I think the brethren cannot be too careful, and when they have any help to afford, they should act with caution, and by the dictates of the Spirit of God, upon all cases where individuals need it.

I feel on this point as I do with regard to the Elders occupying easy positions. An Elder, by being put in too easy a position, runs some risk of being stunted. Like the gathering of the Saints to Zion by their own exertions, so it is with the Elders when they are placed in a field where they have to exercise their faith and energy. I have often thought, if I were going to choose a field of labor myself, and you were going to make a selection for me, I would say, Select the most difficult field in the Mission. Why? Because I know the blessing of God would be with me, & I would then seek unto him. I know that in what is called a hard field, a man laboring in it is apt to be prompted to seek more for the assistance of the Spirit of God, and his faith in the Work is apt to be a great deal stronger than if he had a field where plenty abounded. I have sometimes, almost wished we had no such thing as a Mission Fund, because of the effects which I have feared are wrought out in the Elders’ faith. It gives me great pleasure to see an Elder going forth, in the midst of this people, to preach the Gospel, without depending on the Mission Fund, or any other fund, to support him. The disposition to depend on a Mission Fund for all they need, should not possess a servant of God; it is a feeling which ought to belong to the world only — to those who preach for hire. The Mission Fund was instituted to defray the expenses of the halls where the Saints worship. The feeling that we cannot preach or go forth to proclaim the Gospel without money, and without the Mission Fund, is too much like Sectarianism, and evinces, very strongly, a disposition to drift into the forms & usages of the world. It has been too commonly the practice with the Elders to lean upon their District and Conference Presidents, when they have been in want of anything, without exercising any faith, such as men of their calling ought always to possess. I would rather go among the people & pursue my calling, if it were without a coat to my back, than have a Mission Fund to call upon every time I was in need of anything, if it would have the effect of stifling my faith and preventing me from becoming a man of God, like my brethren. This is my feeling; and it is my desire to see my brethren become men of faith, and understand that they must look to God while they are travelling as the ministers of the Gospel. If you stifle that faith, and, instead of looking to the Almighty, you go to your District or Conference President when you want a coat or a pair of shoes, like a sectarian parson does to his congregation when his salary falls due, you prevent yourselves from becoming the men you should be. If the young men who are now here want to become men of God, and powerful to accomplish the good their fathers have done, they must look upon the Work of God in its true light. I can speak from experience, when I say that, when I have had to depend on the kindness and mercies of the people, among whom I labored to preach the Gospel, for food to eat and clothing to wear, I have had all that was necessary for my comfort furnished me, and I was exceedingly happy in my feelings. I lived near to God, who opened the way for me, and enabled me not only to live, but to preach the Gospel with abundant success.

The object of these remarks is to awaken you to a sense of your position, and the requirements which are laid upon you as the servants of God. You should strive to magnify the positions you at present fill, that you may be better qualified for others. Experience will prepare you for greater usefulness. The experience that First Presidency of the Church, and the rest of the brethren, have had in the positions that you now occupy, have made them the useful men they are. If we ever intend to get into the celestial kingdom, we must possess singleness of purpose and devotion to the Work of God, and labor for its welfare in the same way that they did. In speaking in this way, brethren, I do not wish you to understand that I am dissatisfied with the general policy of the Elders respecting the Mission or any other fund of the Church in these lands; but, I believe, an improvement may be very reasonably expected in this as well as in other directions. At one time, the plan to support the travelling ministry was, that the Tithing, as collected throughout the Conferences, should do so, as well as support the expenses for halls, &c. This plan was afterwards changed, & the counsel given was, that the Tithing collected from the Saints should not be touched, but should be sent to the Liverpool Office and held subject to the order of President Young as Trustee-in-Trust. When this change was made, it was said by the Elders, that there must be some fund provided for the maintenance of those in the ministry. Presidents Lyman and Rich, and myself, talked the matter over, and, finally, concluded to institute a fund for the purpose of defraying the hall rents and other expenses. This fund was called the Mission Fund. This fund, under the circumstances which surround the people in this Mission, appears absolutely necessary. If the means were not collected from them as it is needed, and it were left to every person to give spontaneously to any and every individual whom they might think needed it, the amounts necessary to meet current expenses would not be forthcoming, and debts and embarrassments would be the results. So far as these objects are concerned, the Mission Fund is unobjectionable; indeed, situate as the people are now, it is essential. But, if there be anything objectionable about it, it is in the encouragement which it gives to some Elders to lean upon it for the supplying of all their wants. Whoever indulges in a disposition of this kind is directly injured, and is taking a course to stunt himself in his growth as a servant of God. For my own part, I should think that no faithful servant of God would be in the least danger of suffering for the want of anything necessary for his comfort, if he were under the necessity of travelling and preaching without the aid which comes from the Mission Fund. We ought to be exceedingly careful and economical in the handling of means, and when there are funds under our control, they ought to be economically and wisely expended. The Tithing should be attended to by the Elders, and every penny that can be spared from the Mission Fund ought to be turned in that direction, to strengthen the hands of President Young, who, as Trustee-in-Trust, has a great many monetary responsibilities to meet. We know how anxiously and wisely he has, himself, labored to keep up the Church funds, and it is imperatively necessary that we should co-operate with him, that the Work may not be retarded, but may go forward with greater speed, and the independence of Zion be sooner accomplished. Every penny that we can refrain from expending should go for that purpose. I hope the Elders will take these remarks into consideration and act upon them. We must exercise faith, and learn to put our trust in our Father and God. The Lord has said that not even a sparrow should fall to the ground without his notice. Are not the ministering Spirits constantly about us? and do they not watch us? If you will read the revelations to Joseph, you will find, that while in the discharge of your duty, you can have all you want. When we do not realize the blessings we require, it is because we have not sufficient faith to call down those blessings. I never felt happier in my life than when I could pack all I had in my valise, and go forth among the people to preach the Gospel, depending on God and my own exertions for the result. When you are doing your duty, brethren, the Lord will love you and his power will be with you. The temptations which the young brethren have to meet are new to them; and when they are surrounded, as they are in this Mission, with easy circumstances, when compared with going to a new field, they are much more liable to give way to temptation than if they were laboring under difficult circumstances. The inducements which are offered in the world are great and trying, — and while the young men are not situate so that they are under the necessity of looking to the Almighty for that assistance they would require if they were on other missions, they are liable to give way to them. As I have said before, I want to see you all men of faith, — men who could go to the remotest parts of the earth, and cross the ocean, with faith that your way would be clear before you, although, perhaps, you might not be possessed of those things which are viewed as necessary for you to have. I would like to see you go forth, with sufficient faith in your God, so that you would live and be preserved from evil. This is the way that our brethren, who, in the rise of the Church went forth to proclaim the Gospel to the inhabitants of the earth, have become possessed of the faith they now have. Without that faith they never could have accomplished their missions with such wonderful success. They went forth, as the servants of God, trusting in him for food to eat; for clothing to wear, and for everything necessary to aid them in the accomplishment of the labors to which they had been called. Upon the same principle you can become mighty men also; and I pray that you may be thus blessed, in the name of the Lord Jesus. Amen.

The hymn, “Do what is right,” &c was sung; after which the meeting was adjourned with prayer by Elder Jesse N. Smith.

2 January 1864 • Saturday

Saturday, Jany 2nd. The meeting was opened this morning by singing and prayer, after which, I arose and said:— I am happy in again having the privilege of meeting with you this morning, and I trust that the Spirit which has been with us may continue to manifest itself in our midst and rest upon us more abundantly. I would be glad to hear from all the brethren present, but I would like to make a remark relative to speaking. I have found, in my experience, that there is a time to stop as well as to commence; for there are seasons when speaking would not be wise; and there are seasons, too, when we are speaking, that it is wise to be brief and stop at a certain time, when the Spirit of God has exercised its power, and when it would be decidedly unwise, and grieving to that Spirit, to prolong our remarks. I have been seldom, if ever, dissatisfied with saying too little. I would like the brethren to be concise in their remarks; not that I wish them to be especially brief, but to exercise sufficient wisdom, when speaking, to know when to stop. It is when you feel first rate that you should sit down. Brother McCune will speak to us this morning; and I trust that his health, which has of late been impaired, may be restored to him, and that he may have sufficient of the Holy Spirit to strengthen him bodily. May the Lord bless us all. Amen.

Elder Matthew McCune said — Brethren, I would ask for your faith to be exercised in my behalf, that I may be enabled to acquit myself of that which is expected of me. I suppose I am called upon to represent my Conference. I expect I have the smallest Conference in the Mission. It numbers about 130 members. The Scotch are slow to receive the Gospel, as a general thing; it is their national characteristic to be slow; but they seem to be very firm when they do receive and embrace it. I believe that I can say the Conference, over which I have been called to preside, is in good condition. I do not think we have more than about twenty men, altogether, in the Dundee Conference; the chief part of the flock are women. Many of the Saints have been in the Church from ten to twenty years. There are some who imagine they know all about the Gospel, and have little more to learn; but the majority of them are good, honest people, devoted to the Work, and zealous in its propagation. We have, nominally, four Branches; but, actually, only two. I have a great degree of joy in my labors. I have realized the Spirit of God resting upon me when speaking to the people upon the principles of our holy religion. We have, occasionally, the visits of strangers to our meetings; but as it was with Nicodemus, of whom we read in the Bible, they are ashamed to come in the day, so they come at night. I can testify to the remarks of President Cannon to us; and, in my travelling among the Saints and the world, I have experienced their truth. Elder John Sharp, Junr has been of great assistance to me; he has labored faithfully and diligently. May the Almighty bless us. Amen.

Elder Alfred Lee said — Brethren, I can truly say that I feel happy in your midst. It was something very unlooked for, at one time, for me ever to be in a land so far from home, as I am at the present time. I never supposed that I should be called upon to preach the Gospel to the world, outside of Zion. I firmly believe, however, that there is no occupation which we can be in, that is more calculated to develop and expand our minds, than preaching the principles of the Gospel of Jesus. With my field of labor I am perfectly satisfied. There are many in my field who have been in the Church a great number of years, and they are, generally speaking, those who think they understand everything concerning the Gospel. Still, take the Saints altogether, and you may conclude they are a good set of people. The Branches are not very far apart, which makes it very convenient for me, as I cannot walk a great distance without feeling the effects, to some extent. I take the liberty of going into the houses, shops and stores, to preach to the people the Gospel of salvation. I can take you into the business places of large firms in Bradford, where I have left my testimony, and you will hear individuals admit that the principles and doctrines of the Latter-day Saints are wonderful. I have warned them of the judgments which are coming to pass. I have told them, that not only will America suffer, but other nations, who may, at the present, be dwelling in peace and prosperity, will suffer from the ravages of war and pestilence. I have said to them — “You will cease to have peace in this land, although you think otherwise.” I know that the instructions which have been given, during our Council, are just as applicable to the old men as the young men. Bro’ Orson Hyde told us, before we came on our missions, that we should be in the midst of wars & pestilence; yet, if we remained true to our covenants, not one of us should be harmed. I pray that God will preserve and bless us continually. Amen.

Elder William Willes said — Brethren, I esteem it a great privilege to represent the Land’s End Conference on this occasion. The majority of the people in that Conference are women, as in the case of brother McCune’s Conference. Brother McCune’s Conference and mine may be considered twin Conferences. I have no reason to be dissatisfied with my field of labor. Our meetings are very well attended, and it is very rarely they are disturbed. The police are very strict in Devonport and Plymouth, on account of the number of sailors & soldiers there. We have a snug little council of Elders, Priests, Teachers, and Deacons, and they are united and diligent in all their duties. Elder John L. Dolten and myself are treated very kindly, by both Saints and strangers; and the Priesthood are very prompt in carrying out the counsels that we deem necessary to give them from time to time. Since I went to the Conference there have been 21 persons baptized. For the last ten or twelve years the Saints have met in very small places for worship; so I counselled with brother Halliday upon the propriety of getting another and more commodious room, in Devonport, to which we might invite the people to come and hear the principles of the Gospel expounded. We have, therefore, hired the Temperance Hall, in which we have, on various occasions, given lectures on our doctrines. We have had remarkably good attendance at each of our meetings, and excellent order has been observed by those who have favored us with their presence. My individual labors have been principally confined to the town of Devonport. I have visited Kingsbridge — a place where no Elder, it is said, had preached before. The Lord has blessed my labors there. One of the brethren informed me that the people want you back, and have offered to pay my expenses. I have never wanted a bed, or food to eat, and very often I have had money given me, while travelling in my field of labor. The people are exceedingly hospitable and kind, and almost universally, I have met with friends and willing auditors to the message of salvation which I bore. So far as depending on the Mission Fund is concerned, I can say that I have never done so. My dependence has been placed in my heavenly Father. I have been in the Church seventeen or eighteen years, and during that period I have ever felt to do all I could to build up the kingdom of God upon the earth, without regard to personal considerations. I came into the Church for the love of the Gospel, & the Lord knows it. May the Lord bless you and me, brethren, is my prayer. Amen.

Elder Willes sang his song, “The city I love so well,” &c after which [blank]

Elder Frederick W. Cox said — I never got up to speak in my life without feeling a degree of embarrassment. When I arise before a congregation, I feel the great necessity of being in possession of the Spirit of the Lord. I have been in England about six months, during which time I have labored in the Preston conference. I can say I am quite satisfied with my field of labor, and with the Saints among whom I have labored. There have been many there, from Zion, of whom the Saints speak in the highest praise, and whom they love for the upright and equitable course which they pursued in their midst. Brother Warren S. Snow is very warmly remembered by the Saints. I have enjoyed myself there, and I always expect to do so, as long as I do my duty. I was highly gratified with the representation of the field in which I am interested, by Elder Taylor. Preston is feeling the ill effects of the present distressed condition of the manufacturing districts, and the Saints have not escaped the general poverty which prevails. Many are dependent on the charity of the wealthy portions of the community. My sympathies have been roused greatly on behalf of the impoverished class in Preston and vicinity; and I have taught them to turn to the Lord their God, and be baptized for the remission of their sins. I have preached the word of the Lord according to the spirit which was in me, and he has blessed me, and my exertions have been crowned with success. May the Lord bless us all, is my prayer. Amen.

Elder Henson Walker said — I am thankful, brethren, for the privilege of standing before you at this time. I presume many of you may, to some extent, understand my feelings while standing before you. I have been in the Church twenty-five years, and this is the first time I have been on a Mission. I have been with the people who have gathered themselves together, both in Nauvoo & the mountains, all the time, and have striven to do the best I could to build up the Kingdom of God. It is a pleasure to me to be here. I have had the testimony of the Spirit since I have been on this mission, more than I ever had before. I have had great happiness in my labors in Cheltenham, and the Branches comprising that Conference. I have found some not as good Saints as I would like them to be; still I felt like opening the door of salvation to them, and trying to gather them to Zion, where they could walk in the ways of the Son, if they were desirous of doing so. I have endeavored to teach them the value of paying their Tithing, & have shown them that great benefits would be derived by doing so. A great many of them are, I am glad to say, living in the practice of this law. Brother Franklin Merrill has labored with me in the Cheltenham Conference with much diligence and zeal. I desire to do good, that I may go home perfectly free, and with the blessing of my Father in heaven and of my brethren. May God bless the young and old, and all the faithful. Amen.

The hymn, “The Spirit of God like a fire is burning,” &c., was sung; after which the meeting was adjourned with prayer by Elder Miles P. Romney.

The meeting was again opened at 3 P.M & after singing and prayer the Statistical and Financial Reports of the European Mission were read, containing the amount of Tithing paid in the different Conferences, the expenditure of Mission Fund in the support of Elders and the paying of hall rents, and the amount of book debt owing by the Conferences.

I then arose and said:— I am glad of one thing, in connection with the reports which have been read, and that is, that the remarks made in the Star, upon the indebtedness of the Conferences on the Book Account, have been acted upon by the Brethren, and that the debts have been lessened. I see that the debts of some Conferences remain precisely as they were before, and have not been lessened. Upon this subject I have been very much impressed since I have been in this Mission. Although counsel upon the subject of indebtedness has been repeatedly given to the Elders, and measures have been adopted, and of such a character that might reasonably be expected to check this evil, many of the Conferences have run into debt. Now, unless there are constant efforts on the part of the Elders to check this tendency to get into debt, & measures are taken to keep every account of the Conferences perfectly straight, embarrassment and difficulty will ensure, and the work of the Lord will be retarded. I trust, therefore, that, when the Brethren go from this Council, they will be determined to check this tendency, which has been too common among the Elders of this Mission, to drift into debt. I would like you to feel how much more pleasant & satisfactory it is, to have your fields of labor unembarrassed, than to be burdened with the responsibility of debts. I hope, too, that those Elders who may go into fields that are embarrassed in this manner, will spare no pains to get them clear, so that they can breathe freely. Some of the Conferences are embarrassed with debts. The brethren whose fields are in this condition should not rest satisfied until they know that every liability is liquidated. I have felt to blame some of the Elders for the want of management they have exhibited in not extricating their Conferences from debt. The Elders should labor for this object, & they should spare no efforts to have their accounts properly kept. “But,” says one, “I am not sent here to keep books.” If you are sent here to preach the Gospel, you are also expected to do other things that pertain to the Work of the Lord. Is there any distinction between your calling and mine, that I should have this business to attend to and you be exempted from it? Not the least. It is just as necessary to attend to the temporal business connected with the salvation of the people, as it is to preach the principles of life and salvation; and it is equally as necessary and binding upon you to attend to the business of your Conferences as for me to attend to the business of the Mission. To my mind there is no difference between us in this respect. “Well but,” says one, again, “this may reduce us to mere clerks.” I ask, — What of that? You may be promoted to the post of recording angels; and if you cannot keep books, such as you have now to keep, you certainly cannot keep their books. If I were laboring in a Conference, and the books were in an unsatisfactory condition, I would carry them under my arm & go forty miles to arrange them, and to ascertain the real state of that Conference and the extent of its indebtedness, rather than I would rest contented without a proper knowledge of how it stood. And if I could not keep books myself, I would not rest satisfied till I found some one who could show me. I would know the condition of my field, & I would exert myself until I arrived at a satisfactory conclusion respecting it.

The time has been when good preachers were supposed to be all that were necessary to preach the Gospel and counsel the Saints. But I would rather have a man who could counsel the Saints wisely, and tell them how to dispose of their means and prepare for their deliverance, even if he could not speak so fluently, than the best preacher who could be found, while destitute of these other qualities. I know that the Elders should counsel the Saints wisely in the disposition of their means. Such men have greater influence, and are of greater value than the men who can preach fine sermons alone, & who, by their long and eloquent discourses, make themselves popular with a certain class. The men who lack the judgment and wisdom to counsel for the practical welfare of the people, fail to bless the people temporally. You have come to these lands for the purpose of instructing the people upon the principles that are necessary to be observed. You should seek to understand & make yourselves familiar with the situation & circumstances of the Work, and the temporal as well as the spiritual wants of the Saints. When you have arrived at this knowledge, you should operate in your labors in that way which will most conduce to the spread of the Work and to improve the condition of the people. To preach the Gospel is but one of the duties of your callings. You are called by the Lord to counsel and teach in wisdom and legislate for the welfare and deliverance of his people. And, to do this, you may have to keep accounts, and may be called upon to use all your business qualities, that the temporal salvation of the people may not suffer. Each of you should be a savior to your flock, and their interests should be yours. Everything you do should be done upon proper and correct principles. I wish my young brethren to attend to these subjects — I wish them to realize that there is something more than the mere preaching of the Gospel expected from them. Many of them will, this year, be called to fill positions in which every energy and faculty they possess must be directed to the temporal welfare of the people. They should not allow one penny to be wasted, for that penny, if properly applied, would count for the benefit of the Work. Economise and act in your positions, brethren, as though President Young were here, to do so, himself.

I know that where Tithing is paid by the Saints, there is more of the influence of the Spirit of God felt and enjoyed. I can take this Report, which has been read this afternoon, and show you, all things being equal, that those Conferences which are the best financially, are, also, the best spiritually. It is an undeniable fact that where a Conference is in good condition with regard to the payment of Tithing, and when the funds of that Conference are properly cared for, (and by this I do not mean the amount of money paid in so much as I do the disposition manifested by the Saints and their strict attention, irrespective of their circumstances, to this matter; for the income in every field is not always alike), its condition, in every other respect, is decidedly good; and it is in such Conference where there is most good being accomplished. I think, there has been a little too much laxity on the part of some of the Elders with regard to the subject of Tithing; which I hope to see avoided in future. Though I speak in this manner, yet I am proud, as I look at you to-day, that God has given me such men to labor with.

Some of the brethren are fluent and good speakers, but they have not the influence over the people that other brethren have whose appearance and language in the Stand are not so engaging. I want you to be strong on all points, — that you can become not only beautiful speakers, but men sufficiently filled with wisdom and counsel to prove of benefit to the people in their present situation and circumstances, and to economise and to look after the temporal interest of the Kingdom of God. We ought to seek to strengthen the hands of President Young. He has a great amount of responsibility on his shoulders, and he can use all the means that comes into his hands for the building up of Zion & the establishment of the Kingdom. Every penny that you use of the Tithing that is collected, or that might be collected by teaching the principle, weakens his hands, and so much less goes up to Zion. Every penny lavishly or unwisely expended is actually taken out of the hands of the Trustee-in-Trust. Do you think, if we properly reflect upon this matter, we will ever again be found using the means in our hands in any other than the way which will be most beneficial to the Work? We would see that every penny went to build up the Kingdom of God. We do not, however, always think of this, or, I am sure, we would not wilfully or designedly spend any money, no matter how trifling, that would, if sent to the proper place, help to strengthen the ability of the Trustee-in-Trust to meet the demands made upon him. To do this it is not necessary that you should suffer. The Lord wants everything used in a manner that will best promote the interests of His work; and if you do this, he will be satisfied with you as his servants. To give you, however, an idea of the difference there is in the payment of Tithing in various Conferences, I will state that I find in one Conference the average is as much as three shillings and fourpence per head, for the year, while other Conferences average as low as three farthings per head. These are the extremes, yet by making a calculation like this, a pretty fair estimate of what the different Conferences have done in Tithing is obtained. It shows there is a great lack somewhere, and that an improvement should be effected with regard to this subject. Either the principle is not properly & sufficiently laid before the Saints, or means are consumed in other directions — doubtless to sustain the Mission Fund — that should go to the Tithing Fund. In talking upon this subject, brethren, I do not desire that you should run to extremes — on the contrary, I wish you to be exceedingly careful to avoid doing so; I have no doubt, however, that you will act cautiously in this respect. The Valley Elders are not likely, I should think, to take any extreme measures with regard to Tithing. If the Elders will do their duties and live in the light of the Spirit of the Lord, He will overrule things for them; and the deliverance of the Saints will be accomplished by the same means. If the Saints will perform their duties cheerfully, with faith in God, they will be preserved, and though poverty may cast its gloom over their pathway, the Lord will deliver them in his own due time. The Lord requires from the individual who pays his penny, a willing heart, which is, to the Almighty, as great an evidence of the faithfulness of that individual, as the shilling or the pound is from the man whose pecuniary circumstances admit of the contribution. Do not be afraid of talking to the Saints upon this principle, though they may be poor, and their circumstances claim your sympathy. You are not conferring upon them any blessing by refraining from teaching them to observe it, because of their poverty; on the contrary, you are drying up their faith by such a course. If you want to bless them, and teach them to become men and women of faith — such as can ask God for such gifts as they need with confidence and assurance of receiving them, — teaching them, brethren, the principles of salvation, whatever their positions may be. Let every Saint be taught — even though he or she should be unable to do anything more than to pray for his or her brethren in the Work of God — how blessed a thing it is to be in a position and to have the privilege to help pecuniarily, and every other way, in establishing the Kingdom of God, and in preparing the way for the complete triumph of truth and righteousness in the earth. There is no soul so poor that he cannot do something for the Work of his God; let the desire be once enkindled in his heart by correct teaching, accompanied by the Spirit of God, and he will find some way (even if he should be unable to do more than to supplicate the heavens in faith) to strengthen the hands of his brethren and sisters who are bearing the heat & burden of the day. Many of you know how willing you have been, when circumstances have required it, to give all you had to roll forth this Work; and if you would have felt slighted if, because you were poor, you had been neglected, and no privilege granted you of doing what you could for that Work which you so much loved. We have felt (and still feel, I hope) that we could not do too much for the Work of God; and do you not think there are thousands of poor Saints, in these lands, who have this feeling as well as we? By teaching them their privileges, therefore, we do not oppress them; but, on the contrary, are doing our duty towards them. There is a feeling which I have noticed for years past, among some of the brethren, to be extremely anxious that those who presided over them should have a full understanding of what good men they were, and be thoroughly informed of the value and extent of their labors. But, I can assure you, brethren, that if they do not know what manner of men you are, and how anxiously and diligently you labor for the Kingdom of God, there is a Spirit which reveals this knowledge to them; and they will now — though they may not in words manifest their appreciation of your labors — what devoted and faithful servants you are in the Kingdom of our Father and God. When a President of a field is living so as to enjoy the Spirit of his religion and the power and authority of his calling, he is able to divine the character and designs of men. And, if a man is laboring faithfully in his calling, his President will not be uneasy respecting him, but will be satisfied that he is doing his duty. Should there be anything wrong being transacted, and the Elders be transgressing, their President will be warned of it. He will feel an uneasiness and distrust that will keep him on the alert all the time until that wrong is exposed. It is necessary for the welfare and prosperity of the Work of God, that men who are called to preside in responsible stations should have this spirit and knowledge granted unto them. I know by my own experience that this is the case. So, if your President does not know of your good acts, you may rest assured they will be made known to him. There is no occasion for any of us to give ourselves any uneasiness upon this subject. If you continue to labor and strengthen the hands of your President, the Spirit of God will be with you. I do thank my heavenly Father for the Spirit of revelation which he has given, through which means the hypocrite and the transgressor have been detected. It has been through the spirit of revelation that those who have transgressed the laws of God have been exposed. He has exposed the transgressor in this Mission, and I can see that He has conferred his power to bring to light the evil deeds of those who have broken their covenants and who are filled with the influence of Satan. I do know that every man who violates his covenants in the Mission will be exposed; and I do prophecy that the Lord will reveal such transgressions and they will be brought to light. The transgressor will lose his influence with the people, and power among his brethren. I rejoice in this Work; but what would become of it, if our God left us alone to carry out his designs upon the earth! I know, although the wicked may try their best to overcome the Church and kingdom of God, that it will progress. I rejoice in it constantly. It is a glorious thing that no power upon the earth or in hell can injure this Work. Though all the world may array themselves against it and the combined armies of the earth may endeavor to annihilate it from the face thereof, it will be defended, and His people will be preserved, by the power of the Almighty. And even if we should be suffered to fall by the efforts of our enemies, we have the glorious consolation of knowing that our children will enjoy what we have labored to accomplish, and that they will bask in the sunshine of truth and live under the protecting care of God. Even if such should be our fate, we can then take part in the building up of His Kingdom behind the vail, and it will not be long before the Truth triumphs and Jesus will descend from heaven and dwell with his tried & faithful Saints, when the earth will resound with songs of hosannah! I thank God, my brethren, for this assurance. Then let us be true to our covenants. Let us be humble, prayerful, and God-fearing, & give ourselves up to the spread of this glorious Work — that he may do as he pleases with us, and that we may be as clay in the hands of the potter. I rejoice very much in these things and I know you all do. I love to associate with you because I know these are the feelings of your hearts, also. And although we may err a little, and through the lack of sufficient experience, be influenced to do things that we otherwise would not do, yet, as brother Brigham has said, and brother Joseph before him, the Latter-day Saints are the best people upon the earth.

There is another point that I wish to speak upon while on my feet. We are very apt, when we go into a field of labor, to condemn the policy of our predecessor, and regard it as a policy to be openly denounced. I do not think we have a right to mention our predecessors, if we cannot speak of them in any other way than condemnatory language. When a man goes to a field, it is not uncommon for the people to be anxious to look at him and see what sort of a man he is, & there are some persons, who, if they discover any tendency on the part of the new comer to criticise the conduct or the policy of his predecessor, will take advantage of it and tell him how many grievances they have had to meet with from the hands of those who were there before. They will do it delicately, and in a manner to conceal their real purpose; and they will whisper in his ear and tell him how good a man he is, and how much better his policy and general conduct towards themselves and the Saints are than those of his predecessors. Such persons are simply trying your vanity, and become instruments of injury, in the hands of the Adversary, to you. I want to put you all on your guard respecting such a spirit and influence, that when you meet it you may know that it is not of God. You should be careful what conclusion you come to & what impression you may make on the minds of others about the action and policy of your predecessors. You cannot tell the circumstances under which they acted, and what motives prompted them to pursue a course that, perhaps under the circumstances which surround you, you might not think it wise to adopt. It is possible that their motives were as pure as yours are, and, such being the case, it would be decidedly improper and an evidence of the want of wisdom on your parts, to condemn the course they took while acting in the positions you occupy. You must remember that the circumstances under which they labored may have been entirely different to those which surround you, & their policy was, doubtless, as wise and proper, situated as they were, as yours may be in the circumstances under which you are placed. We must act according to circumstances in all our labors. What may have been necessary to be observed & practiced at one time, would, under other circumstances, perhaps, be deemed inappropriate. Since I have been here I may have given counsel upon some points that some of my brethren of the Twelve, should they preside over these Missions at any future time, might feel to change, because circumstances might require it. The change, however, that might be made would not necessarily show that the policy which I had pursued was a wrong or an unwise one. When we are placed in positions of this kind and have occasion to consider the course of action taken by our predecessors, let us bear in mind the situation of affairs at the time they occupied those positions. To condemn the policy of a man, under such circumstances, is very unwise, to say the least. There is a certain class of individuals who think, because it is said that “the Lord is the same yesterday, today and for ever,” his course of action towards the human family never changes, and that he never gives a revelation to his servants, or a command to his people, which he revokes afterwards. It is, certainly, true that the Lord is unchangeable in his justice and mercy; but he may deem it wisdom and more compatible with his designs and purposes to reverse tomorrow that counsel which he may give to his people today. To think that the Almighty acts otherwise, is but a narrow comprehension of his greatness. The Lord controls the affairs of the earth according to the varied & changing circumstances of the inhabitants; and what may be necessary — whether in the character of his revealed will or the judgments he may see fit to send upon the earth — in one generation, or dispensation, may be necessary to change in another generation, or dispensation, that his purposes may be effected to his honor and glory. It is a lesson we have had from the Prophet Joseph. He has told us that we should not set stakes. We must be, as brother Heber often says, like a tallowed rag. Well, I make these remarks that you may be careful how you speak of your predecessor. And be careful, also, about the insinuations of flatterers. Do not allow men or women to flatter you and tell you what good men you are, and how much better and wiser is your policy than that of your brethren. To me it is disgusting; and those who use such means to insinuate themselves in my favor I view with the same feeling. The young Elders, especially, should be guarded against such persons. The Elders, however, should not fish for compliments from the people; for, generally, it is a course of that kind which encourages individuals to adopt that style of conduct to obtain favor from those who preside over them. By giving place to flattery a man puts himself under the influence of a wrong spirit, and very soon gets what we term, in our parlance, the “big head.” This complaint manifests itself in various ways, and, if not cured, is very apt to result in apostacy. My brethren, the truly great man is always humble. You never see him a slave to flattery and self importance. Such a man cultivates humility, and you may see it portrayed in his conduct.

Brother Kay told me last night that many who urged complaints against Elders, who had cut them off from the Church for inability to pay their Tithing, had been cut off, he had discovered, for something else. People are very apt to take advantage of the ignorance of the Elders respecting their cases, and represent themselves as having been unjustly dealt with. Now, I believe that, in many cases, we would find, by investigation, that there were other reasons than those frequently assigned as the causes for action being taken upon them by Elders in the past. I, therefore, think that the Elders should be careful in giving credence to stories of this sort, & should not give implicit heed to them. It seems to me that a man who values his standing in the Church of God would rather sacrifice everything than forfeit it. I think such persons who, under the circumstances which surrounded the Saints in years past, would pay Tithing and respond to the other calls for the building up of the kingdom, rather than allow themselves to be cut off — even had such extreme measures been in force — would prize their association with the Work of the Lord more than those who would permit themselves to be cut off for not doing so, and I would esteem the former for their praiseworthy love and devotion to the Work. I love such Saints because they value their positions as members of the Church. Do not, therefore, believe every man because he tells a fine story. See what manner of men and women they are, and you may readily discover the real cause of their complaints.

I think it would be well now to give the meeting into the hands of the brethren to speak as they feel led by the Spirit; and I pray that while they speak they may be influenced by it, and that we may have a time of rejoicing together. Amen.

Elders Joseph L. Barfoot, Edmund F. Bird; George Gibbs, Justin C. Wixom, David P. Kimball, Miles P. Romney, Septimus Sears, William Sanders, Parley P. Pratt, John L. Dolten, James Lythgoe, John South, David E. Jones, Thomas O. King, Charles S. Kimball, Franklin Merrill, George W. Grant, David Gibson, Jonas N. Beck, James C. Brown and Samuel Neslen, expressed their pleasure at meeting in General Conference, and of listening to the counsels that had been given for their benefit; they also bore testimony to the joy and satisfaction which filled them for the privilege of being the messengers of life and salvation to the nations of the earth.

Many of the other Elders also spoke upon the principles of salvation; the Spirit of the Lord was powerfully manifested in the remarks that were made, and many excellent and precious truths were dwelt upon.

The hymn commencing, “Come, come ye Saints,” was sung; after which the meeting was adjourned until Monday morning. Prayer by Elder Joseph G. Romney.}

3 January 1864 • Sunday

Sunday, Jany 3. 1864. Met in General Conference with the Saints to-day at the Odd Fellows Hall, and held 3 meetings. A number of the brethren spoke, in the morning and afternoon and an excellent spirit prevailed. The Hall was much crowded. I spoke for a short time in the afternoon and occupied the entire time in the evening. Took dinner &tea at Sister Crump’s and supper at Sis Boddingtons.

4 January 1864 • Monday

Monday, Jany 4/64. (See minutes) {At 10.30 A.M. the Council again convened, and opened with singing & prayer after which I spoke a few words as follows:— I do not expect that we shall be able to hold a very long meeting to day, in consequence of the party which the Saints of Birmingham Conference intend to hold this evening, and at which, I presume, the brethren would like to be present. We will, therefore, have a short meeting this morning; and, this afternoon, I would desire to see the Presidents of Districts in this room for a short time, with regard to the course we shall pursue the ensuing year, & that the necessary changes in the various fields may be made.

Elder Charles Norman, in representing the Channel Islands’ Conference, said, — I shall never forget the happy times I have spent with you, while in this Council, and I thank President Cannon for his kind invitation. I have been so very happy while in this Council that, if it were necessary, I would gladly spend the rest of my days here with you. As far as my Conference is concerned, I have as good people to labor with and amongst as, I expect, can be found anywhere else. I have learned a great deal since I have been at this Council; and I intend, God being my helper, to strive to build up his kingdom upon the earth with increased zeal. It is true, we have not baptized as many as we could wish, in the Channel Islands’ Conference; but the Saints are united and faithful. I desire to magnify my calling, and I pray that the Spirit of God and the power of my Priesthood may rest upon me. My meeting in this Council with you, and the blessings which I have received while here, have given me a foretaste of what I may expect when I go home to Zion. May the Lord be and continue with us, is my prayer. Amen.

Elders Jens Hansen, P. C. Carstensen, Jens, C. Olsen, and C. C. Sorensen made some remarks in the Danish language, expressive of the joy they felt in the society of their brethren, and the great happiness they had experienced while laboring in the ministry in their native land; the interpretation of their remarks was given by Elder Jesse N. Smith.

Elder Robert Pixton said — Brethren, seeing that I am called to speak, I do not think I can do better than to represent the Conference I have labored in. The Warwickshire Conference is in a good condition, and doing well. In financial things the Saints have acted cheerfully. The brethren, who have assisted me in the ministry, have labored faithfully. Brother Joshua K. Whitney is one with me, and is doing all the good he can in building up the kingdom of our God. I pray, my brethren, that we may go forth into our fields with renewed diligence, and that we may discharge the important duties of our callings with more zeal and success than we have ever done before. I want to be humble and prayerful, & ready, at all times, to be used by God our heavenly Father as he directs. May this be so with you & me, is my prayer. Amen.

Elder Charles B. Taylor said — This is the happiest time of my life. I have constantly endeavored, since I have been on this mission, to do all the good I could, and help, as much as possible, to build up the Lord’s kingdom upon this earth. I have been laboring in the Staffordshire Conference since I have been in this country. As in other places, there are some in my Conference who think they have all the light and intelligence concerning the Gospel that are necessary for them to have, and that there is nothing more to be learned by them. Such persons have their own peculiar ideas about the Gospel, and they know so much that it would almost be superfluous for anybody to attempt to instruct them. I have done more fire-side preaching since I have been among the Saints than anything else. Brother Kay represented our statistics for the past year. The prospects betoken, at the present, that a much larger emigration will take place than did last year, from the Staffordshire Conference. Elder Finley C. Free has labored with me, and we have got along together without other than the best of feelings. He has labored faithfully. May we all remain attached to this Work, and magnify our callings, is my continual prayer. Amen.

Elder William Gordon said — Brethren, I feel glad to meet with you. I can say I rejoice in the Work of my Father. The field of labor that I have been called to labor in is the Glasgow Conference. My labors since I have been in the ministry have been confined to that Conference; and I have rejoiced in the privilege it has afforded me of bearing testimony of the great Work with which I am associated. I can say that the people of the Glasgow Conference are a good people, and most of them are striving to live their religion. We have been obliged to cut some off for practicing iniquity. Respecting those who are laboring with me I can say, they are doing their best to honor their callings, and many, who in previous years left the Church, have, by their instrumentality, been brought back into the fold. There have been 124 persons baptized this year, and 106 have emigrated. There was a debt against us a few months ago, but, by a little exertion on our part, we have reduced the sum considerably, and very soon we hope to be entirely free in that respect. I pray that we may magnify our callings, and that by our united help to establish the kingdom, we may be successful servants. Amen.

Elder Collins M. Gillet said — Brethren, I suppose when we rise, here, we are expected to express our feelings. I will say that I am happy, and have been exceedingly pleased while in this Council. It has been wisely observed, by one of the Elders, that we never felt better. I can endorse that sentiment; and can say, furthermore, that since I left my home and entered upon my labors in this mission, the Spirit of the Almighty has been with me, — it has been my counsellor and guide. This has been because I have been in the path of duty. I take pleasure in representing the Reading Conference. I trust that if we have not increased in numbers, there is a slight increase in quality. I believe there is a little better influence prevailing, and more honesty and sincerity among those who are called Saints. Our prospects for the future are, to me, very promising. Brethren, I feel to press onward in the cause of truth, that I may be prepared for eternal exaltation. May God give us his holy Spirit, is my prayer. Amen.

Elder William H. Shearman made some remarks expressive of his pleasure at having the opportunity of meeting with his brethren in Council, stating that, having been called to labor in the Millenial Star office, he had but “a very small field to report, still, to him, at least, a very important one — it was himself.” He felt truly glad of the privilege of coming upon this mission, had derived great benefit from his experience thus far, and looked forward to his future labors in these lands with pleasurable and hopeful anticipations. His feelings, he said, were in perfect unison with those of his brethren who had spoken, and with the instructions and counsels which had been given. He then dwelt upon the power of faith, and the necessity of cultivating and possessing it to an increased degree, so that we might be able to accomplish anything which it might be necessary for us to perform in the discharge of our duties. He said that he believed that the words of Jesus, — “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove” — meant just what they said, and needed no qualifying; and that the time would come when, through our knowledge and faith, we should be able to control the elements.

I, then, followed with some remarks elucidatory of the principle of faith and upon the necessity of its development in the conduct of the Saints; which remarks were reported by brother Graham, but retained by him in skeleton notes until I had time to correct and revise them for the press.

The hymn, “An angel came down from the mansions of glory,” &c., was sung; after which the meeting was adjourned with prayer by Elder Wilford Woodruff, Junr.}

In afternoon met in counsel with the leading Elders and made the changes and appointments in view of the prospective release of a number of the Elders. {As intimated in my remarks, a special meeting was held in the afternoon of this day, composed of the Presidents of Districts, and a few other brethren. The changes for the ensuing year, in the various fields of labor, and the release of several Elders to return home, were made at this meeting. Other business was conducted with reference to the welfare and progress of the Work in the European Mission.} After which attended a very fine Concert of the Saints at the Odd-Fellow’s Hall. Refreshments were handed round, and the singing, recitations and so forth passed off in a <highly> satisfactory and pleasurable manner. Bro Charles Cook was the Conductor of the Singing

5–6 January 1864 • Tuesday to Wednesday

Tuesday Jany 5th <& 6th>/64 (See Minutes) {At 10.30 A.M the Council was opened by singing the hymn, “How often, in sweet meditation, my mind,” &c. Prayer by Elder John Sharp, Junr.

After the hymn, “Hail to the brightness of Zion’s glad morning,” &c., was sung, I arose and said — While the subject is on my mind, I wish to say to the brethren, and especially to the young brethren, that they would find it greatly to their advantage to do all in their power to cultivate the habit of singing. I am not, naturally, a singer myself, still I have found it very convenient to know a few tunes. I think it an excellent habit, and one that all should cultivate.

There was a Council meeting held here yesterday afternoon, composed of the District Presidents, and some others of the Elders, at which the releases, changes and appointments were made, for this year, as follows:—


Elder John L. Smith

From the Presidency of the Swiss, Italian, and German Mission, to return home.

Elder Jesse N. Smith

From the Presidency of the Scandinavian Mission, to return home.

Elder John Smith, (Patriarch)

From laboring in the Scandinavian Mission, to return home.

Elder J. P. R. Johnson,

From laboring in the Scandinavian Mission, to return home.

Elders Paul A. Schettler, and John T. Gerber,

From laboring in the Swiss, Italian and German Mission, to return home.

Elder Warren S. Snow,

From the Presidency of the Southampton District, to return home.

Elder Richard Bentley,

From the Presidency of the London District, to return home.

Elder John M. Kay,

From the Presidency of the Birmingham District, to return home.

Elders Thomas E. Jeremy & George G. Bywater,

From the Presidency of the Welsh Mission, to return home.

Elder George Halliday,

From the Presidency of the Bristol District, to return home.

Elder Joseph Bull,

From the Presidency of the Sheffield District, to return home.

Elder John D. Chase,

From the Presidency of the Nottingham District, to return home.

Elder Samuel Neslen,

From the Presidency of the Norwich Conference, to return home.

Elder Matthew McCune,

From the Presidency of the Dundee Conference, to return home.

Elder Thomas O. King,

From the Presidency of the Bedfordshire Conference, to return home.

Elder Parley P. Pratt,

From the Presidency of the Nottingham Conference, to return home.

Elder William Gordon,

From the Presidency of the Glasgow Conference, to emigrate.

Elder James Bullock,

From the Presidency of the Lincolnshire Conference, to emigrate.

Elder William Sanders,

From the Presidency of the Kent Conference, to emigrate.

Elder George Taylor,

From the Presidency of the Worcestershire Conference, to emigrate.

Elder Alexander Ross,

From the Presidency of the Leicestershire Conference, to emigrate.

Elder William North,

From the Presidency of the Derbyshire Conference, to emigrate.

Elder Francis D. Hughes,

From the Presidency of the Western Glamorgan Conference, to emigrate.

Elders James Lythgoe, John Alexander, and Joseph Machin,

From laboring in the Manchester District, to emigrate.

Elders John Miller, George Webb, and John R. Howard,

From laboring in the Norwich Conference, to emigrate.

Elder William Warnock,

From laboring in the Edinburgh Conference, to emigrate.

Elder James C. Brown,

From the Presidency of the Edinburgh Conference, to emigrate.


Changes and Appointments

Elder Isaac Bullock,

is removed from the Presidency of the Scottish District, to the Presidency of the London District, comprising the London, Kent, and Essex Conferences.

Elder Henson Walker,

is removed from the Presidency of the Cheltenham Conference, to the Presidency of the Scottish District, comprising the Glasgow, Edinburgh & Dundee Conferences.

Elder William H. Shearman,

is appointed to preside over the Birmingham District, comprising the Birmingham, Warwickshire, and Staffordshire Conferences.

Elder Frederick W. Cox,

is removed from laboring in the Preston Conference, to the Presidency of the Newcastle-on-Tyne District, comprising the Newcastle-on-Tyne and Durham Conferences.

Elder Collins M. Gillet,

is removed from the Presidency of the Reading Conference to the Presidency of the Sheffield District, comprising the Sheffield, Leeds, & Hull Conferences.

Elder William Willes,

is removed from the Presidency of the Land’s-End Conference, to the Presidency of the Bristol District, comprising the Bristol and Land’s End Conferences.

Elder Edmund F. Bird

is removed from the Presidency of the Dorsetshire Conference, to the Presidency of the Southampton District, comprising the Southampton, Reading, & Dorsetshire Conferences.

Elder George W. Grant,

is removed from the Presidency of the Herefordshire Conference, to the Presidency of the Manchester Conference.

Elder William H. Waylett,

is appointed to preside over the North Wales District, comprising the Carnarvonshire, Flintshire and Denbighshire Conferences, in which Conferences he has been travelling.

Elder David P. Kimball,

is appointed to preside over the Southampton Conference, in which Conference he has been travelling.

Elder David Gibson,

is appointed to preside over the Bedfordshire Conference, in which Conference he has been travelling.

Elder Junius S. Fullmer,

is appointed to preside over the Dorsetshire Conference, in which Conference he has been travelling.

Elder Franklin Merrill,

who has been laboring in the Cheltenham District, is appointed to preside over the Worcestershire Conference.

Elder John Sharp Jun,r

is appointed to preside over the Dundee Conference, in which Conference, he has been travelling.

Elder Heber J. Richards,

is appointed to preside over the Nottingham Conference, in which Conference he has been travelling.

Elder Stephen W. Alley,

is appointed to preside over the Derbyshire Conference, in which Conference he has been travelling.

Elder Evan A. Richards,

who has been laboring in the Welsh Mission, is appointed to preside over the Western Glamorgan Conference

Elder George Swan,

is appointed to preside over the Leeds Conference, in which Conference he has been travelling.

Elder John V. Hood,

is appointed to preside over the Glasgow Conference, in which Conference he has been travelling.

Elder M. F. Farnsworth,

is removed from the Presidency of the Newcastle-on-Tyne District, to labor in the Nottingham District.

Elder Septimus Sears,

is removed from laboring in the London Conference, to the Presidency of the Liverpool Conference.

Elder George Sims,

is removed from the Presidency of the Essex Conference, to the Presidency of the Kent Conference.

Elder Elnathan Eldredge, Junr

is removed from laboring in the Manchester Conference, to the Presidency of the Preston Conference.

Elder Miles P. Romney,

is removed from laboring in the London Conference, to the Presidency of the Cheltenham Conference.

Elder Justin C. Wixom,

is removed from laboring in the Bristol District, to the Presidency of the Leicestershire Conference.

Elder Joseph G. Romney,

is removed from laboring in the Millennial Star office, to the Presidency of the Norwich Conference.

Elder Henry C. Fowler,

is removed from laboring in the Sheffield Conference, to the Presidency of the Hull Conference.

Elder John Nicholson,

is removed from laboring in the Hull Conference, to the Presidency of the Sheffield Conference.

Elder Joseph H. Felt,

is removed from laboring in the Manchester District, to the Presidency of the Durham Conference.

Elder Charles W. Stayner,

is removed from laboring in the Essex Conference, to the Presidency of the Newcastle-on-Tyne Conference.

Elder Charles A. Benson,

is removed from laboring in the Newcastle-on-Tyne District, to the Presidency of the Herefordshire Conference.

Elder Jonas N. Beck,

is removed from laboring in the Welsh Mission, to the Presidency of the Reading Conference.

Elder John Rider,

is removed from laboring in the Bedfordshire Conference, to the Presidency of the Essex Conference.

Elder John South,

is removed from laboring in the Kent Conference, to the Presidency of the Land’s-End Conference.

Elder J. A. Cunningham,

is removed from laboring in the Newcastle-on-Tyne District, to labor in the Bedfordshire Conference.

Elder Benjn F. Stringham,

is removed from laboring in the Sheffield District, to labor in the Bedfordshire Conference.

Elder John L. Dolten,

is removed from laboring in the Bristol District, to labor in the Cheltenham Conference.

Elder Finley E. Free,

is removed from laboring in the Birmingham District, to labor in the London District.

Elder Henry Arnott,

is removed from laboring in the Nottingham Conference, to labor in the Lincolnshire Conference.

Elder Henry Walters,

is removed from laboring in the Manchester District, to preside over the Lincolnshire Conference.

Elder John Bird,

is removed from laboring in the Lincolnshire Conference, to labor in the Staffordshire Conference.

Elder Harry Luff,

is removed from laboring in the Bristol District, to labor in the Leicestershire Conference.

Elder John C. Graham,

is appointed to assist in the editorship of the Millennial Star.

Elder John Day,

is removed from laboring in the Lincolnshire Conference, to labor in the Liverpool Office.


I think the brethren will all feel satisfied with their appointments. It is expected that those of the District and Conference Presidents whose names have not been mentioned, will continue to labor in the fields in which they have been laboring. We have endeavored to have the inspiration of the Spirit of the Lord in making these arrangements, that everything might be done according to his mind and will. You all have the opportunity of showing to the Lord and to the Saints, when you get into your new fields of labor, what manner of men you are. As Presidents of Districts and Conferences and Travelling Elders, your responsibilities are very great, and when you mix with the people it is soon seen whether you are the men you profess to be, and whether you are qualified for such positions and equal to the management of the things entrusted to you. In the position of a President of a Conference there is a great deal of care required. The man acting in such a position should go into the midst of the people as a man of firmness and judgment, and yet filled with humility. I do hope that, as soon as you get into your fields of labor, you will not apologize to the people for your weakness, and tell them how incapable and unfitted you are for such positions as you may hold. Do not tell them that you are more fit for lassoing cattle and driving teams, &c., than you are for your present duties; because you are not. Should any of you, however, even be more fit for the former than the latter, the people will find it out soon enough without your telling them. Go, therefore, into your fields of labor as men of God, appointed by him to minister unto them the things pertaining to their salvation, and they will find that you have power which no other men, devoid of the authority you have, possess. The people will realize, my young brethren, if you will pursue a course that becomes the servants of God, that, although young in years, you have a power superior to that possessed by the generality of men — a power which comes, alone, from our Father and God. There is a power and an influence with Elders from Zion which are very much felt. One of the greatest preachers in this Mission at one time, remarked, “How is it that these boys, who come from Zion, have so much greater influence with the people than I have?” There was a power, which those who came from Zion wielded, that he felt he had not got. Do not, therefore, go and tell the people how inadequate you are for the responsibilities which rest upon you. Do not say, when you arise to address a congregation upon the principles of the Gospel, “unaccustomed as I am to public speaking,” &c or anything bearing the same idea. There is no necessity for you to mourn over your weakness & want of that ability which is possessed by men of the world. Go to work and do the best you can.

Another thing I wish to caution you against[.] There are some men who like to be exceedingly witty and funny. Now, the exercise of this faculty in some is very well in its place; but people look for something different from a preacher of the Gospel. People look for propriety in speech as well as in conduct, from persons who claim to be ministers of the Gospel. I, therefore, do not wish my young brethren to try and obtain a reputation among this class or among the Saints for being witty. I have seen young men get a credit for wit, but they never became men of weight among their brethren and sisters. Now, do not seek to have such a credit; do not let the strength of your intellect run in that direction; but when you get up to preach the Gospel, do it in a serious manner. When the Spirit of God rests upon a congregation, a laugh will break the current of the Spirit. Do not allow yourselves to study and think how you can best amuse the people, without having their instruction in view. That sort of thing is but evanescent, and does not live. Try and cultivate your language and manners and everything about you, so as to make yourselves fit servants of God; and if you establish a character of this kind, it will be far better for you and more lasting, than to give vent to jokes & obtain a reputation for being wits. I do not want the people to remember, when I am gone, how funny I was, and what witty sayings I uttered. If they recollect me, I want it to be for good, and to be remembered for my good deeds.

There have been some allusions made to the female sex. I will say another word or two upon the subject. Keep the sister’s at arm’s length. Do not be too familiar with them. Do not allow them to take liberties with you, nor you with them. If you want wives, this is not the place to get them. Leave them alone until you see the prophet of God. We have no business to make any such arrangements here. Our missions are of a different character.

When you go from this place, I want you to bear in mind what has been said upon these and other subjects during the period we have been together. Remember what has been said upon finances, and take the steps necessary, under the circumstances in which you may be placed, in your fields, to effect a reformation where such is needed. Do not be lavish — you that may have means under your control — but dispose of the funds in the way prescribed, and according to the requirements of your fields; and endeavor, in all your financial operations, to benefit the people.

There is a case that will have to come before the Council, of an Elder who came on a mission to these lands in 1860, and who, last season, was released to return home. He has been suspended from acting in the Priesthood for refusing to return home when released to do so. I have written to him to attend this Council, and, in the event of his having any excuse for not doing so, I requested him to write, or he might expect that he would be dealt with. Bro’ Jeremy will now will now state the case, as the Elder, whose name is [first and last names redacted], labored in Wales under his Presidency.

Elder T. E. Jeremy said that he had caused several brethren to visit [first and last names redacted], and endeavor to persuade him to repent of the course he was taking before the Saints. Said that he ([first initial and last name redacted]) was in the habit of attending Methodist meetings, and making himself conspicuous among that sect with the view, it was affirmed of becoming a preacher among them. [last name redacted] had rejected those who were sent to expostulate with him, and considered that no man away from Zion had any authority over him. He professed to have immediate revelation from the Divine Source respecting his mission, and maintained that he was sent to the rich and noble & wise of the earth to proclaim the Gospel. He refused to return home, to Zion, and did not desire to hold any further communication with the Elders. Elder Jeremy said that [last name redacted] had endeavored to lead the Saints away from their duties, by misrepresentations of the nature of his mission, and had tried to injure the progress of the Work in Carnarvonshire Conference. He further stated that [last name redacted] was known to live with a woman who bore a disreputable name; and when reminded of the woman’s bad name, and advised by the brethren to leave her house, he flatly refused to do so.

I inquired if it was not true that [last name redacted] had endeavoured to weaken the faith of the Saints.

Elder Jeremy replied that it was so; and that [last name redacted] had told the Saints that Tithing had no right to be taught in this country; but that it was only to be observed and obeyed in Zion.

Elder William H. Waylett bore testimony to the statement of Elder Jeremy, and that he had personally visited [first and last names redacted], and found him to be possessed of a bad and rebellious spirit.

Elder David E. Jones also bore testimony to the statement of Elder Jeremy, and remarked that [last name redacted] had told him and others of the brethren, that there was no further occasion to preach the Gospel in North Wales, as he had closed up the Work.

I then said—You have heard what these brethren have stated. When a man refuses to return home, while having a family there, as [first and last names redacted] has done, it is clear that something is wrong, and that he is in transgression. I now move that [first and last names redacted] be cut off from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This motion was seconded and unanimously carried by the brethren present. I then spoke again as follows — To obtain an approximate idea of the numbers that will be likely to emigrate the coming season, I would like those of the Conference Presidents who think they will not have as many from their Conferences as last year, to stand on their feet. (About six Presidents of Conferences rose to their feet.) I will now request those who think there will be more go from their Conferences next season than went last season, to stand up. (Mostly all the Presidents of Conferences here arose to their feet.) I would like the Elders to pay proper attention to the instructions that may come out in the Star from time to time, or through any source, upon the subject of emigration, that you may be able to conduct the business in a straight-forward and satisfactory manner. You can save the brethren in the office a great deal of unnecessary trouble — and at emigration periods, that is a consideration — by observing and seeking to understand everything connected with the business of the emigration. If the Elders were to make it a practice to constantly read the Star, they would realize considerable information and benefit therefrom. It would prove to them just as profitable as the Scriptures; and, in saying this, I do not disparage the worth of the Bible. There is scarcely a point upon which you ought to be informed, and which you will be required to act upon when the business commences, that has not been written upon. I think the course a wise one of reading, & causing to be read, in the different Branches, the editorials in the Star, when they are of a character particularly important for the Saints to understand (as brother Bull said he had done in his District). You have an invaluable aid in the Star, and adopting a course of this kind will keep that periodical before the Saints, and its value will be increased. I would not exchange the volumes of the Star, which have been published, for any encyclopœdia that I know, because its contents are of a character that will teach men and women the pure principles of salvation.

I closed my remarks with some advice to the Elders respecting the course necessary to be taken where Conferences are in debt. I strongly recommended those of the Elders who may return home the coming season, in making the transfer of the business of their Conferences to their successors, to have written statements, with the signatures of the persons succeeding them, relating to the financial condition of the Conferences when they left. This plan, I considered, would prevent any misunderstanding hereafter.

I thought it would, also, be well for the successors to have copies of such statements. The same advice, I said, would apply to those who would not be emigrating this year, but who might be removed from one field to another.

Five persons here came forward to whom I administered, assisted by several of the Elders.

The hymn, “O, ye mountains high,” &c., was sung; after which the meeting was adjourned, Prayer by Elder Oscar F. Lyons.

At 4 o’clock P.M. the meeting was called to order by singing, “Weep, weep not for me Zion.” Prayer by Elder Franklin Merrill.

After singing, — “Children of Zion, awake from your sadness,”

Elder Jesse N. Smith arose & said, While speaking before, I omitted to mention a few items connected with our labors in the Scandinavian Mission. I have thought they might prove interesting to you, so I have requested permission to speak for a short time upon them. We publish a periodical, semi-monthly, in the Danish language, which is called the Skandinaviens Stjerne, or the Star of Scandinavia. Its number of subscribers is 2,500. I have found it somewhat difficult to find brethren who could assist me in the publication of that periodical, as the Gospel has failed to gather into the fold many who were endowed with the education supposed by the world to be necessary for ministers & preachers of the Gospel to possess. Still the Lord has opened up the way for us, and controlled circumstances in our favor. In those lands, however, education is not so common, among the masses, as it is in these countries and in America. Almost all the learned of the land are fostered by Government, and it is almost an universal understanding that those who are educated are the proteges of Government; and that the latter owes them positions. All the wise and learned are Government officials. It is, perhaps, politic on the part of the Government to adopt and pursue this course.

There are thirteen Conferences in the Scandinavian Mission. By some fatality our financial matters have become somewhat entangled; but I can refer to them with satisfaction, because active steps have been taken to reduce our indebtedness. We have excommunicated from connection with the Church about six hundred, during the past year. Such a course, on our part, was unavoidable, having borne with them as long as we could justifiably. We have found, however, as one of the brethren remarked was the case in his field of labor, that where we lose one soul in this way, we gain many good, honest hearted people. It has been with considerable regret that I have seen people leave the Church; still I am convinced that myself and the Elders have done our best to save them. I have great faith in the spread of the Gospel there. My sympathies have been largely tried in behalf of the Saints, for they are very poor as a people. We depend upon the Millennial Star for most of the matter for our little periodical, — deeming it the best source from which to obtain the necessary matter, containing, as it does, besides the editorials, many excellent articles which we have published in our Star. It is the universal testimony of the people that our Star does good. It finds its way into places where the Gospel has been but little known, & by this means many have been led to give the principles thereof the consideration they merited. I have felt, at many times, in a critical position, but I have asked the faith and prayers of my brethren, which I know I have received, for the Lord has strengthened me and made me equal to my calling. The brethren from the Valley have succeeded in getting the confidence and love of the Saints. We could not expect to enjoy their confidence unless we met them half way, and love them in return. I have travelled a great deal, myself, and very often alone. If I never did before, I have, since I labored there, learned to trust in my God. The kingdom of Denmark was the first in Scandinavia to throw open its doors to the Gospel. I have felt that God will remember that nation, if they continue to act towards his Work, as they have done, and that he will overrule the designs of nations who may seek its overthrow. I believe that so long as the nation of Denmark, or the nation of England, or any other nation, will give shelter to the Lord’s anointed, he will preserve that or those nations. Brethren, I solicit on behalf of my brethren in Scandinavia, as well as myself, your prayers and faith, that we may feel their effects when laboring for the same Work that you are engaged in building. My feelings are very warm for that land, for I am convinced that the Lord has a great & mighty work to achieve amongst its inhabitants. May God bless and preserve us, is my constant prayer. Amen.

I then said — I think we may devote the rest of the time to those who have not yet spoken. I would like to hear the voices of all who have been in this council. I have the greatest joy in seeing my brethren feel well; it enhances my happiness. If it should only be but a few words that you utter, I shall feel happy to hear them. Remember, however, one thing that I have endeavored to impress upon your minds, that is — speak to the point. I hope that the Spirit of the Lord will rest upon and be felt by us, while the time is occupied in this direction.

The following brethren readily availed themselves of the privilege granted them, of expressing the happiness which they experienced while convened as a Council, and the determinations they felt to labor for the work of salvation:— Elders Joseph H. Felt, William North, Ensign I. Stocking, George Taylor, William Lewis, Charles A. Benson, Junius S. Fullmer, Evan A. Richards, James Bullock, Francis D. Hughes (The last named, who was one who had been administered to, for partial restoration to eye-sight, in the morning, said that, by the power of God, he could then see with his eyes as well as any person in the room), Joseph G. Romney, Thomas Priday, Thomas C. Patten, Henry C. Fowler, John Rider, William H. Waylett, Oscar F. Lyons, Charles W. Stayner, George Webb, John V. Hood, Matthew Lyon, George Swan, George Stokes, Harry Luft, Benjamin F. Stringham, James A. Cunningham, John Nicholson, Finley C. Free, David L. Davies, Wilford Woodruff Junr John Sharp junr Heber J. Richards, George Sims, Stephen W. Alley, Elnathan Eldredge Junr Joseph Machin, Joshua K. Whitney, Robert Watson, John Bird, Oswell Knight, John Day and Henry Amott:

I then arose and spoke as follows:— I will make a remark or two on the manner of administering to the sick, by the laying on of hands and in anointing with oil. I have seen some ignorance exhibited on the part of the Priesthood, as to the right mode of administering to the sick. I have seen men, when using the oil, take the bottle in their right hands and administer with their left hands. I have, also, seen men, in laying their hands upon the sick, to pray over them, when using but one hand, place their left hands upon their heads. This is not proper. When one hand only is used it should be the right; for in the right hand is the power of the Priesthood. You who have received your endowments will, doubtless, know this. Therefore, when you lay your hands upon the head of an individual — whether it is to heal the sick, to ordain to the Priesthood, or to confirm upon him the Holy Ghost — let your right hand always be used; and when you administer with one hand alone, let it be with your right. Again, when you lay your hands upon the heads of persons, for any purpose which I have mentioned, do so in the name of Jesus Christ, and by the authority of the Priesthood, which you have received. Do not be content with expressing your intention “to confirm” the individual, or “rebuke disease,” or “to ordain” to such and such office in the Priesthood; but say, that you do confirm the individual a member in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, &c; and so, also, in regard to other ministrations.

Another thing I will refer to. I should be pleased to hear the use of the word “Mormon,” or “Mormonism,” when applied to ourselves & the Gospel, discontinued, as far as possible, among the Elders and the Saints. This subject was alluded to at the last General Conference of the Elders held in this place. The term “Mormon” is not a proper one to be applied to the Saints of God; and we should refrain from its use as much as we possibly can. We are not “Mormons” — we are Latter-day Saints. Our religion is not “Mormonism,” — it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, & we take our rightful name through obedience to the commandments that he has revealed. We have become members of the Church of Jesus Christ. We are not followers of Mormon. We are just as much followers of Nephi, Lehi, Elijah, or any of the ancient Prophets of God. We are as properly Brighamites, Josephites, Smithites, or any other ites, as we are “Mormons” or Mormonites.” When I use the term “Mormon,” I feel as though I was condescending to the use and acknowledgement of an epithet applied to us by our enemies.

I have been highly pleased with the remarks that have been made. I desire to see humility on the part of the brethren. If they are humble, they will be strong in faith and influence among the Saints. It will prove their safeguard when assailed by the insidious attacks of the Adversary. I would like all to realize the truth of a remark made by brother Heber J. Richards: he said he was but the agent, not the motive power. Many have not yet learned this. To judge by the course they have pursued, the reverse of this sentiment has been the view of many. The great thing for us to learn and retain a knowledge of, throughout our lives, as our experience increases and our sphere of usefulness extends, is, that we are but agents after all. There is great danger, when men become accustomed to preaching and standing before congregations, of their forgetting this. Those who have got the idea in their minds that they can preach pretty good discourses, and have disregarded the Spirit of God, have lost that Spirit, and have been thus made weak and susceptible to the encroachments of Satan. Men may get into the habit of speaking and be able to deliver long and eloquent discourses, but if it is not the Spirit of God which they speak by, they can do but little, if any, good. If they have the Spirit of God their words will be sealed by its power, and the effects that will be produced will be far superior to those which follow the words of uninspired men. By the words of the latter there will be few who will be benefited, and, although they may be able to interest a congregation, they will not be able to do them permanent good. The Spirit of God conveys truth to their minds, and seals upon them impressions that can never be effaced.

I think we had better come together to partake of the Sacrament; before we separate; and would like us to do so tomorrow. I wish the brethren to think of all that should be attended to, before we separate and go to our respective fields of labor. If there is any instruction required, now is the time, while we are together, to impart and to receive it.

It is sometimes the case that persons who labor for, or are in any way connected with the Church, view their interests as being distinct from the interests of the kingdom of God, and as requiring their first or primary consideration. Now there should be no interests outside of this Church, that, to us, are of greater importance than the interests of the Work of God. We should have no interest separate from it, and all that we have, and are, should belong to that Work. We should use every faculty that we have for the advancement of the interests of the Church of God, and never feel that we have separate and distinct interests from it. We will find this the best and safest preventative against apostacy. So long as a man feels that all he has, and all that he ever hopes to possess, belong to the kingdom of God, and he feels to use all for the advancement thereof, there is less danger of apostatizing than there otherwise would be. He is identified with the Work — he forms a part of the great structure — and there is no distinction between the man and the kingdom, because he is completely absorbed in it; therefore, such an individual — so long as he retains that spirit and feeling — is very unlikely to forsake the Church of God. You young men, who are growing up into years and experience, be careful upon this point. Completely identify yourselves and everything you have, with the kingdom of God, and you will become great and mighty men. It is upon that principle that heaven is organized — there, is no diversity of interests, or it never could be the exalted sphere of happiness that it is. Therefore, if we ever expect to attain to the same sphere of glory in which the Most High dwells, enthroned amidst innumerable hosts of celestialized beings, we must have no interests aside from those which pertain to that exaltation. We ought to feel that there is nothing in our possession but what we would cheerfully give, were it required, to further the prosperity of our Father’s kingdom; & we should, in our teachings and instructions to the Saints, impress this very important principle upon their minds, for with their growth and experience the importance of this principle will grow and enlarge within them, and they will thereby become more identified with, and attached to the Work of our Lord.

I would like the brethren to come here tomorrow morning fasting, and we will partake of the Sacrament. I feel to bless you; my heart is full of blessings towards you. You will from this time have more of the power of God, more of the Spirit of prophecy and revelation. The enemies of the Work of God will have no power over us; we will trample every opposing power under our feet; we will triumph over evil and apostacy, through the power of our God. May God grant it. Amen.

The hymn “Awake, awake the world from sleeping,” &c., was sung. Meeting was adjourned with Prayer by Elder Frederick W. Cox.

6 January 1864 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Jany 6th Meeting was called to order at 11.30 A.M. by singing — “When first the glorious light of Truth,” &c. Prayer by Elder George W. Grant. Singing, — “Ye children of our God,” &c

Elders Alexander Ross, John C. Graham, and George Reynolds expressed the pleasure they felt in associating with their brethren in Council, and their increasing desires to be useful in the cause of God upon the earth.

I then administered the Sacrament to the Elders, and afterwards spoke for some time on various subjects of interest.

Several of the Elders who had taken severe colds, while in Birmingham, were administered to; after which the hymn, “When shall we all meet again,” &c., was sung.

After making a few remarks upon the subject of emigration, and requesting the Presidents of Conferences to obtain and furnish me, as early as practicable, the approximate number of those who would be likely to emigrate, the approaching season, I moved the adjournment of the Council, sine die, which was seconded and carried.

I then gave the closing Benediction.}

7 January 1864 • Thursday

Thursday, Jany 7th All the brethren, with scarcely an exception have been complaining of colds. I have escaped entirely and never felt better in my life, though my labors have been exceedingly arduous. Since we have been here the weather has been piercingly cold. After taking leave of the brethren and Sis Kay this morning, I started for Bristol. The ride was an exceedingly cold one. Was met at the Station by Bro Geo. Halliday and by him conducted to his room, where we took dinner. Late in afternoon started by rail for [blank] {Wincanton} and was met at the Station by Bro Wm Alford with a pony and trap — a two wheel vehicle with two seats. He drove us to their place at [blank] {Bourton,} four miles distant. Bro. John Alford was at the house and had supper ready for Bro Halliday and myself when we arrived. My object in making this visit was to comply with a very pressing invitation which I had received from Bro John Alford to make his Mother, an old lady upwards of 80 and a very firm member of the Church, a visit, to counsel with them her and her son John respecting family matters.

8 January 1864 • Friday

Friday Jany 8. 1864.1 {A clear cold day. Bro John Alford took Bro Halliday and myself to a tower which had been erected upon a crowning spot of ground commanding a fine view of the surrounding country, in commemoration of King Alfred, it being the spot, so said, where he erected his standard & rallied his Saxon subjects, to repel and drive out the Danes who had invaded his kingdom. The tower is of brick and [blank] feet high, a winding staircase inside leads to the summit, up which we climbed, and from the platform at the top gained a view of hill and dale, & beautiful landscape which I have seldom seen excelled.

A tablet in front of the tower bore the following inscription:— [5 lines left blank]

We returned to Bro Alford’s, having walked about 10 miles. I enjoyed this trip exceedingly as it was sufficiently cool to make walking a pleasure, and the country through which we passed was very fine & interesting. Going and returning we saw traces of ditches and embankments which were said to have been thrown up by the Danes to defend themselves in their position when assailed by King Alfred. In the evening had quite a long & interesting conversation with Mother Alford & her son John, and we blessed the old lady & him. The old lady is very firm in the work in which her husband had died a member in full standing. Her son William, though nominally a member, has but little faith & her daughter, who lives with her is quite opposed to the principles. Her son John appears to be very faithful and anxious to gather.

9 January 1864 • Saturday

Saturday, Jany 9th Bro John Alford took me over in his trap to [blank] Station, (Bro Halliday having walked ahead there), where Bro H, and myself took train for London. We found Bro’s Bentley, Jesse, N. Smith John L. Smith, Bullock, Barfoot and Free here. Wrote some letters.

10 January 1864 • Sunday

Sunday, Jany 10th Met with the Saints in Conference at the Music Hall, Store Street, a very fine building, which had been hired expressly for the occasion, a number of the Elders spoke in the afternoon and I occupied the evening. The Hall was crowded during the two meetings and an excellent spirit prevailed. I received a letter from President Young to-day, which gave me great pleasure, as it relieved my anxiety respecting the coming down of teams this season for the purpose of carrying up the poor from Florence, rumors have reached here from various quarters that teams were not to be sent down this year. I insert the following extracts:—

G. S. L. City, Nov 30th 1863.

Dear Brother,

Your welcome favors of Sep. 28 and Novr 24 came duly to hand, the latter while I was absent on a short visit to Sanpete county.

Your account of your trip to Scandinavia was read with much interest, and we coincide with your trust that your visit was mutually agreeable and beneficial, and feel assured that it will be followed by very satisfactory results.

In regard to sending Brother Widerborg, or some other Scandinavian in the Spring, I cannot at present write definitely, but think it probable that we shall be able to accomodate you. But in case anything transpires to prevent, you of course will have to do the best your judgment may direct in selecting from the Elders who are going to remain another season in your field. It is also possible that we may, as you request, be able to send you two or three Welsh Elders in the Spring, but cannot now determine.

We were pleased to learn of the continued good condition of the mission and its affairs on your return, and especially of the good health and good conduct of the young Elders sent from here, regretting that R. H. L. Parker took so injudicious a course.

As yet but little has been said in regard to next season’s immigration, though we presume the way will be open, in which case as heretofore, we expect to send ox-trains to Florence, the number not yet concluded upon. They will, probably, arrive there on or before the first of July, in readiness to load up and return. So far as what are called ‘independent’ passengers are concerned, if the early chartering of ships makes a material difference in price of passage, and their number will warrant, it may be well to forward them in time to reach Florence, fit out and start as soon as the grass will sustain their animals. But as to those who expect to be brought from Florence, their expenses, should they tarry long there waiting for the trains, would probably out-value the difference between an earlier and later price of passage. However, on this point you will doubtless be able to judge in time, keeping in mind that the trains sent, as before stated, will probably be ready to return on or before the first of July. Though probably one or more persons will be sent from here to New York, and one or more to Florence, in the Spring, as our agents to attend to business and the affairs of our immigration, still it will doubtless be best for you, as usual, to send over in time the two most suitable persons you may have at your disposal as assistants, of course furnishing them plainly and fully the necessary instructions, &c. In addition to those two assistants I will suggest br Paul A. Schettler as an excellent person to send to Florence to assist in the book-keeping there, that we may have an accurate account of all loading and business transactions in which the church is a party.

On the 16th inst, in company with Elder John Taylor, my sons Joseph A, Brigham Junr, and John W and several others of my family, also quite a number of our Home Missionaries & others of the brethren, & I started on a short visit to Sanpete. We went by way of Nephi to Manti, and returned by the road through Spanish Fork Cañon, reaching home on the 25th having enjoyed a very pleasant and, we doubt not, mutually beneficial trip. I spoke at only a few of the meetings, having caught a cold in a meeting at Lehi, on our way south, that somewhat interfered with my speaking, though not with my traveling, and from which I am pretty well recovered.

The troops and others at Camp Douglas remain very quiet, the Lord having thus far thwarted their evil designs, at present the great majority of them are in the mountains getting out wood for camp use. Their past plans having failed, they at present are trying to induce an influx of outsiders by inflated representations of rich gold and silver deposits in Utah’s mountains, awaiting discovery and development. ( I think they will wait a good while) But the new discoveries in the territories of Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona bid fair to outblow them, which will again result in sad disappointment in their fond expectations, and lend greatly to hasten their departure without having accomplished the purposes for which they were sent here.

As you will learn by the ‘News’ our theatre is well attended, and affords innocent & useful relaxation, recreation and amusements to a large number, many of whom might otherwise spend their leisure hours in a less beneficial manner.

The grain crop of the past season has been comparatively light in several places, but there has been enough raised to very comfortably last the people till another harvest, provided it be wisely distributed and economically used, notwithstanding the large quantities of flour that have been sold to the mines north and west of us. Winter weather set in tolerably cold and stormy on the 21st inst., which will probably check further exportations of breadstuff until the people can learn how much should be retained for home consumption, and govern themselves accordingly.

The health of the people has materially improved since cold weather set in, and is again becoming usually good.

Brother Wells is again about, after a lengthy and, part of the time, severe illness; and br. Kimball enjoys his usual health. My health and that of your friends generally is good.

My son Brigham informs me that he has written to you, and wished me to give you his kind remembrance and respects. Please also accept the good wishes and prayers in your behalf of,

Your Brother in the Gospel

(Signed) Brigham Young

11 January 1864 • Monday

Monday, Jany, 11th. Had an Editorial to write while the Brethren went out visiting.

In the evening attended a Concert, in the Music Hall, Store Street, given by the choir of the London Conference under the direction of Brother George Careless. The singing was most excellent and gave much gratification to every one present. The Sisters composing it were most beautifully dressed in white. Many pieces were much applauded none heartier than two pieces sang by a company of children whom Brother Careless had trained. They were encored.

12 January 1864 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Jany, 12th. Variously engaged. In the evening saw a Miss Bateman in her splendid character of “Leah”, at the New Adelphi Theatre, in the Strand, several of the Saints having kindly extended an invitation to myself and other Elders to accompany them there.

13 January 1864 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Jany, 13th. Visited Bro’s Humphrey’s and Stickles who were living at Bow, a suburb of London, and spent the afternoon with them and their families. We did not see Sister Humphries, she having been just confined. A young man, not in the Church, a brother of Brother Stickles and their families have recently arrived from South Africa en route for Zion, they having joined the Church in that land. The afternoon & evening were spent very agreeably. From there we went to the Poplar Branch and held a very fine meeting with a Hall full of Saints and some strangers at which Bro Jesse N. Smith and myself spoke. Bro’s Humphrey and Stickle kindly furnished us a cab to take us to Florence Street: we reached there a little after midnight.

14 January 1864 • Thursday

Thursday, 14th, My birthday was on Monday the 11th, it not being convenient on that day to celebrate it, Sister Griffiths provided a big dinner for us to-day of which the Elders partook with Bro and Sister Andrews and Brother and Sister Tuddenham and family. In the evening attended a meeting of the Priesthood at the Goswell Road Hall. We had a fine time together. Bro Bullock and I addressed the meeting.

15 January 1864 • Friday

Friday, Jany, 15th. Visited the Crystal Palace to-day in company with Bro’s Bentley & Jesse, N. Smith, and spent a very delightful day in traversing the grounds and visiting the interior of that magnificent structure. Returned to London & in the evening saw the play of “Bel Demonio,” which was splendidly put upon the stage at Mr Fechter’s Theatre — the Lyceum. Mr Fechter, who is a German, took the principal part, he is a very finished actor, though his foreign accent is quite distinguishable.

16 January 1864 • Saturday

Saturday, Jany, 16th. Met Brother Wootten in company with Bro’s Bentley & Smith by appointment who after providing us with dinner kindly showed us over the Houses of Parliament, and the grounds of Westminster Abbey, the surroundings of which he is very familiar with, being a clerk in one of the Government offices, he afterwards took us to the spot where Charles the 1st was beheaded, near which stands a statue of his son James the Second pointing to the spot where his father was killed. Spent the evening at Bro’ Groves’, in company with Bro’s Bentley, Bullock, and the two brothers Smith.

17 January 1864 • Sunday

Sunday, Jany 17th. Visited the Saints’ hall at Lambeth in company with Bro’s Bentley, Jesse N. Smith, and Bull. Meeting commenced about 3, brother Smith and myself spoke. Brother Bentley and I took tea with Bro & Sister Gray. In the evening Bro Bull and myself occupied the time.

18 January 1864 • Monday

Monday, Jany, 18th. Went with Brothers Bentley, Jesse N. Smith, and Bull to Bro’ Payne’s at Woolwich, where we found Sister Smith from London. Brother Payne afterwards took us through the Arsenal where we had an opportunity of seeing vast quantities of munitions of war, gun carriages, wagons, saddles and harness, and every thing necessary to equip an army for the field. We saw very large masses of iron welded together under tilt hammers for the purpose of making Armstrong guns. Took tea at Bro & Sis Payne’s and returned by rail in company with Sister Smith to London.

19 January 1864 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Jany, 19th. Variously engaged. Took tea in the evening with Sister Andrews, Bro A being absent. They lived in the same house with Brother Bentley. Our conversation in the evening was very interesting that we did not get to bed until a very late, — or more properly speaking, — early hour. This is a London fashion, scarcely any body ever thinks of going to bed before midnight or later, which makes them late risers.

20 January 1864 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Jany, 20th. I had an appointment to meet Brother Kay at Leamington at 2.15 p.m to-day; but having to see a lawyer, Mr Carr, of Liverpool, (Grimmer & Carr) on some business for brethren in the Valley, Brother Jesse N. Smith started by train for Leamington to meet Brother Kay, & I remained in London and met Mr Carr. I afterwards started for Leamington, reached there at 5.45 P.M. and was met at the Station by Brothers Kay and Smith. Bro Smith and I stopped at Brother Hole’s where a number of the Saints came and spent the evening with us. I found Leamington a very beautiful town, very clean and somewhat fashionable. It has waters which possess peculiar properties, and it is a place of resort for invalids and others who wish for recreation. The people complain of a falling off of their business and say that since the tradespeople of Birmingham and other places have commenced to resort to their town in the fashionable season, the aristocracy and gentry have deserted them for they will not mix up together. A ball now-a-days in Leamington is a very different affair they say to what it was a few years ago. The aristocracy of those days were not uncommonly present on such occasions, now, there is nothing but tradespeople seen, and they are stingy and mean in their dealings with the people.

21 January 1864 • Thursday

Thursday, Jany, 21st. After looking around the town, and drinking the waters of the Spa, Bro’s Kay, Smith and myself started for Stratford-on-Avon, the birthplace of the illustrious William Shakespeare. We passed Warwick Castle on the way & had a very fine view of that building. Were met at the Station by Brothers Robert Pixton and W. Timms who took us to Brother Morriss’ whose family, though not in the Church, kindly entertained us. After eating, Bro Morriss took us through the fields to the village of Shottery, distant a little over a mile from Stratford. Here was situate the Hathaway Cottage the residence of Shakespeare’s wife, Ann Hathaway. A collateral descendant of Ann Hathaway’s was living in the Cottage, an elderly woman, who showed us through the various rooms and pointed out the various relics of the family. The Cottage is “a long tenement, with thatched roof, and timber-framing filled in with brick & plaster work. The foundation of the walls consists of slabs of the lias shale obtained in the neighborhood. The edifice had been a single dwelling, though apparently composed of two distinct houses. It is now divided into three tenements. A stone in the central chimney with the inscription I H 1697, indicates the time when the house was last repaired by a John Hathaway. Since that time the external appearance has been little altered. Going into the interior, we observe an old kitchen with stone floor, roof of strong beams, and spacious fireplace, with cozy chimney corners for the privileged. The every day sitting place of the family is a tolerably large apartment, with timbered roof and some portions of the wainscot panelling still existing. The bacon cupboard to the left of the fireplace has the letters I H E H I B and date 1697 marked on the crossbar of its latticed door. These are the initials of John and Elizabeth Hathaway, and some third person unknown, perhaps the joiner who made it. Above the parlor is a bedroom containing an old bedstead of carved oak, which may possibly be as old as Ann Hathaway’s time, and which is said to have been handed down as an heir-loom. There is also a specimen of heavy home-spun linen preserved in an old chest, which is marked with the initials E H.

Looking at the house as a whole, we would infer that this, in Queen Elizabeth’s time, was the dwelling of a substantial farmer. It must at that time have possessed the appearance of taste & comfort, when its occupants were surrounded with abundance. The garden and orchard which formerly belonged to the house have not been detached from it.” We drank at the well in front of the house, and returned to Stratford again. We then visited the Church in which he was interred. The Church is a very old one, and is pleasantly situate on the bank of the Avon. “The monument is on the north wall of the chancel, at an elevation of about five feet from the floor. It must have been erected soon after the death of the poet, and is mentioned in the commendatory verses prefixed to the first folio edition of his works, published in 1623. The niche in which the bust stands is arched over and fronted with Corinthian columns of black polished marble, of which the capitals and bases are freestone gilded. Architraves of marble have been substituted for former ones of alabaster. The arms of Shakespeare, in relief, are supported above the entablature. The armorial bearings are — a shield or, on a bend sable, tilting spear of the first, the point upwards, headed argent. The crest is a falcon with spread wings, grasping in its talons a golden spur, and standing on an esquire’s helmet. The supporters are two boys in a sitting posture. The one towards the right has the eyes closed, and rests the right hand on a skull, while holding in the left an inverted flambeau, as if to extinguish it. This figure probably represents Death. The one on the left holds a spade in the right hand, and rests the left on a fragment of rock. The eyes of this figure turn towards the others, and it probably represents the Grave. A skull, colored brown, occupies the summit of the monument. The poet is figured with a sheet of <paper> on the cushion before him; and in his hand, at one time, was a pen of lead, for which a real pen had been substituted, but both are now removed. The dress was a slashed doublet colored scarlet, over which was a black gown without sleeves. Originally the cushion was green in the upper part and crimson in the lower, with the cord along the middle and the tassels gilt. The bust, which is of a bluish limestone, had been stained with the natural colors. The face and hands were flesh-colored, the eyes of a light hazel, and the hair and beard auburn. In this state it was allowed to stand till 1748, when the monument was repaired, & the original colors carefully restored at the instance of Mr John Ward, grandfather of Mrs Siddons and of Mr Kemble, who gave the profits arising out of a performance of “Othello,” for that purpose. Unfortunately, Mr Malone, in 1793, was permitted to execute what he considered an improvement; namely, to coat the bust with white paint. This piece of barbarity has spoilt the expression. The sculptor who executed the bust was Gerard Johnson, a Dutchman of Amsterdam, — the same who made the monument of John Combe. Probably it was modelled from a cast taken after death, sent to the sculptor, who lived in London. Mr Fairholt has made a number of acute and valuable strictures, some of which we quote:— ‘A very careful examination of the bust, will enable us to detect minute and delicate traits of features, which would scarcely have been preserved to us except through means of the artist working from a cast. There are slightly indicated furrows in the forehead; a very marked peculiarity in the muscle which passes from the summit of the nose round the lower part of the right eye; and a most life like exactness and individuality about those which surround the mouth, particularly on the left side. The eyes are not only badly executed, but are untrue to nature. They are mere elliptical openings, exhibiting none of the delicate curvatures which ought to be expressed; the ciliary cartilages are straight, hard, and unmeaning; and the glands in the corners next the nose are entirely omitted. The remarkable want of truthfulness can easily be accounted for, if we believe the sculptor to have worked from a cast of the features, in which the eyes would have been closed. In his copy it was essential that they should be opened; and the inartistic manner in which this is done is a still greater proof of his inability to have executed the rest of the face so well, had he not entirely followed a good model in every particular.’ It is thus almost absolutely certain that we have here the genuine lineaments of Shakespeare’s features, — a thing which makes it a thousand-fold more valuable than an idealized bust, though it were the work of a Phidias or a Praxiteles. The brow is capacious, though not unnaturally high. The central ridge from the top of the forehead towards the crown is elevated, as is the case in many poets. To this remark Schiller is an apparent exception; but in him the same elevation becomes evident when we notice the depth of the ear. A remarkable feature in this bust is the length of the upper lip. It is related by Mr Britton, that when he, Sir Walter Scott, West, and Spurzheim, were invited by Bullock to examine a cast made by him from the monument, Scott could not reconcile himself to the extraordinary length of the upper lip. It was found, however, on applying the compasses, that Scott’s own upper lip was a quarter of an inch longer. It may be remarked that no wood-cut or engraving hitherto made gives at all the expression of the bust, which is a remarkable one. In fact, from the gradation of depth, this could hardly be done except by a photograph, or, of course, by a perfect cast. There are distinctly two men in Shakespeare, just as there are in Socrates and Immanuel Kant. If, by cutting off the view of the lower portion of the face with a book or a like object, you look at the upper part of the face and head, so as to include the eyes, the expression is intellectual and noble; while, if you similarly cut off the view of the upper part of the face, the expression of the lower is sensual and gross. These two antagonistic elements undoubtedly existed in the character of the man, and there is evidence of the struggle between them in his sonnets.

Below the cushion in the monument is the following inscription:—

Jvdicio pylivm, genio socratem, arte maronem

terra tegit, popvlvs mæret, olympvs habet.







Obiit. Aṅo. Doi. 1616.

Ætatis. 53. Die 23 Ap.

Immediately below the monument, in front of the altar-railing, are the graves of Shakespeare and his family. The slab nearest the wall is the gravestone of Anne Hathaway, his wife. A brass plate in the stone contains the following epitaph, expressive of a daughter’s dutiful regard:—

Heere Lyeth Interred the Bodye of Anne, Wife of Mr. William Shakespeare, Who Depted. this Life the 6th Day of Avgvst, 1623, Being of the Age of 67 Yeares.

Vbera, tu mater, tu lac vitamq. dedisti,

Væ mihi; pro tanto numere Saxa dabo!

Quam mallem, amoneat lapidem, bonus Angel’ ore’

Exeat ut Christi corpus, imago tua.

Sed nil vota valent, venias cito Christe, resurget

Clausa licet tumulo mater, et astra pretet.

Under the slab rest undisturbed the ashes of the poet himself.

The following lines are inscribed on it:—

Good friend for iesus sake forbeare,

To digg the dvst encloased heare:

Bleste be yE man yT spares thes stones,

And cvrst be he yT moves my bones.

Tradition ascribes the lines to Shakespeare himself, and assigns as a reason for them his horror of having his bones lifted and thrown into the adjoining charnel house.”

From there we proceeded to visit an old bridge over the Avon, built by Sir Hugh Clopton, Lord Mayor of London, at his own expense, in the reign of Henry the Seventh.

We then visited Shakespeare’s house; but were too late to be shown the interior, as soon as it grows dark visitors are no longer admitted, no light being permitted within the building. Tradition and concurrent evidence point to this house as the one in which he was born, and at least must have been the home of his boyhood. It is a “humble edifice, with nothing of interest about it except its air of antiquity.” The following is a description of the interior. “It was unquestionably, however, a highly respectable house in the sixteenth century; and in looking at it we must divest our minds of the associations which would be connected with such a dwelling in our own day, and judge of it rather, from the social status of the family which then occupied it. The basement floor now consists of a butcher’s shop in front, with a kitchen behind. Entering by the doorway, we observe a dilapidated, cheerless apartment, with its broken stone pavement, its open window, a sill board still spread out, and the hooks sticking in its walls. It was here one of the Harts (a grandson of Joan Hart, Shakespeare’s sister) had plied the trade of a butcher. The gloomy place back from this is the old kitchen. Doubtless the dreamy boy would often sit by its glowing hearth, and hear many a tale of the olden time. In his youthful days books had not become common, and few could read; in consequence of which, the people were thrown back on the unwritten literature of story and tradition. The byegone history of England was rich in events that would tell by a fireside, from the days of Robin Hood and his merry men in Sherwood forest, down to the murder of the young princes in the Tower by the hired villains of Richard the Third. By this kitchen hearth, the sitting place of some portion of the household at least, now cold and deserted, Shakespeare, as a boy, had often listened to these old tales, as they plied the busy task in the long winter evenings; and many an old ballad had he heard sung or recited about Douglas and Percy, and other heroes, as he sat on the chair in one of those ample chimney corners, and gazed into the gleaming embers, or looked up the wide chimney at some passing star. In the window of this apartment there existed at one time a pane of stained glass, having on it the arms of the Merchants of the Woolstaple. This was supposed to favor the idea that John Shakespeare was a wool merchant; but probably the pane had been transferred from one of the chapel windows by one of the Harts, while engaged in repairing them. There was, moreover, on the wall a representation in relief of the combat between David and Goliath, with the inscription,—

Goliath comes with sword and speare,

And David with a sling;

Although Goliath rage and sweare,

Down David doth him bring.

Samuel, XVII., A.D. 1606.

Ascending by a dark and narrow staircase, we enter the chamber where the poet was born. It is a rather low room. The old ceiling is covered with lath and plaster, but the antique oaken floor still remains, though much worn at the seams. The whole surface of the walls, and even the ceiling, is covered with the names of visitors, among which may be seen the autographs of Scott and Byron. These inscriptions made a narrow escape from destruction on the occasion of a quarrel, having been brushed over with whitewash; but as the important article of size had been omitted in its preparation, this coating was carefully washed off, and the names were restored. Washington Irving speaking of them says: ‘The walls of its squalid chamber are covered with names and inscriptions in every language, by pilgrims of all nations, ranks, and conditions, from the prince to the peasant; and present a simple but striking instance of the spontaneous & universal homage of mankind to the great poet of nature.’

In this room there is a plaster cast of the bust in the monument, which may be studied with advantage, as the other is too high for close inspection. The place now looks bald and dingy, but we have no doubt it wore an air of taste and comfort in the sixteenth century, when it would be hung with the painted cloths then common.”

In the evening we held a meeting at Bro Morriss’ where a number of the Saints had gathered from the surrounding country, they having been notified that we would be there that evening. Bro’s Kay, Smith, and myself spoke, and we had a very good meeting. Mrs Morriss and some of her children seemed to be favorably impressed with what they had heard.

Arrangements having been made by Brother Timms for us to go over to his house at [blank] a distance of twelve miles, he had started home on foot in the afternoon, and had left a pony and trap with a driver to carry us to his place. We started at 11 P.M. and when we all got into the vehicle (Brothers Kay, Pixton, Smith, myself and the driver) we thought that the animal was entirely overloaded, as we estimated our united weight at 950 lbs; but the driver assured us that his pony could take us without any difficulty, as he had drawn nearly as heavy a load twelve miles in the single hour. As the vehicle was only two wheeled we had to be very careful in having those who rode in front, climb in first as there was danger of lifting the pony off his feet, and even after we were in, those behind had to sit as close over the axle as we could to keep the pony to the ground. We had a very pleasant and merry ride, and reached Brother Timms’ between twelve and one, where we received a hearty welcome.

22 January 1864 • Friday

Friday, Jany 22nd A rainy day. Brothers Smith, Pixton, and myself walked over to the town of Redditch, while Brother Kay, and Brother Timms and family followed in a covered cart. We stopped at Brother Harris’s, whose wife is not in the Church, who kindly entertained us. Himself, son, and daughter are members, and they are very anxious to gather to Zion, to which Mrs Harris is averse. Brother Harris is a baker by trade, and is doing a good business. His father, who lives with him, is an old man of 77 years of age, who has hardly been 20 miles from his birthplace. The country in this neighborhood is very beautiful, and we caught some very fine views from a ridge on which we travelled from Brother Timms’ to Redditch. In the evening met with the Saints at a tea party in their Hall, which was tastefully decorated for the occasion. Many of the Saints had walked a long distance to be present. Brother Smith & myself spoke, and we had a very good meeting. We slept at Brother Harris’s.

23 January 1864 • Saturday

Saturday, Jany 23rd. Redditch is noted for the manufacture of needles, in the straightening and sorting of which many of the females obtain employment, and at which they become surprisingly dexterous. In company with Brother and Mrs Harris, and Brother and Sister Timms, we visited Ragley Park, one of the residences of the Marquis of Hertford. It is situate close to Alcester, a town 7 miles distance from Redditch. The park is a noble one and well stocked with deer; but is gradually being encroached upon for agricultural purposes. The house is a very noble edifice; but as damp was in it, the servants in charge did not like to open the rooms for our inspection, as the admission of light and air would prevent them freeing the building from the noxious vapors.

Every thing connected with the place showed the want of the master’s eye, the stables, carriage-houses, and grounds, as well as the mansion itself wearing a look of dreariness and partial decay. The owner had never visited this place, though drawing a large revenue from the adjacent property; but spent the most of his time in France, and when in England at other residences which he owned and admired more than he did this. Returned to Alcester, and ate luncheon at Sister Lyon’s. Here we parted with Brother Pixton and Brother and Sister Timms, and returned in the cab with Brothers Kay, Smith, Harris, and his wife to Redditch. It rained all the way, Brother Harris who rode on the outside, only escaped a wetting by the excellence of his overcoat. We took rail for Birmingham this evening, and received a warm welcome from Sister Kay.}

24 January 1864 • Sunday2

Sunday, Jany 234rd/64. In afternoon went to the Farm St. Chapel in company with Elders Kay and Smith[,] and I addressed the Saints upon the practical duties of their religion. <Bro Smith followed.> In evening met with the Saints at Oxford St. Chapel, Bro. Smith spoke and I followed and had great freedom. Took Supper with Bro & Sister Kay and Bro Smith at Bro Napper’s.

25 January 1864 • Monday

Monday, 25th. Quite unwell in the night through eating a late supper last night. Started in company with Bro. Smith to Liverpool where I found all well. Bro’s Bull and Shearman were busy as <in> preparing my editorials published in the Western Standard, San Francisco, California, to publish in book form. Reading letters received during my absence.

26 January 1864 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Jan. 26/64. Wrote a letter to my wife, Sarah Jane, and dictated several other letters.

27 January 1864 • Wednesday

Wednesday, 27/64 Busy in the Office, writing and dictating letters.

28 January 1864 • Thursday

Thursday, 28/64. Wrote <an> Editorial for the Star – The General Council — Debts — Our teachings should be exemplified in our Conduct.

29 January 1864 • Friday

Friday, Jan. 29/64 Wrote to my wife Elizabeth, and to Bro. Chauncey W West, and dictated a number of letters.

30 January 1864 • Saturday

Saturday, 30/64. Attending to business in the Office and dictated a number of letters –

one long one to Bro. Clayton.

31 January 1864 • Sunday

Sunday, Jan. 31/64. <Met with the Saints this morning>[.] Bro’s Geo. Reynolds and J N. Smith spoke; I followed in a few remarks. In evening I addressed the meeting.

Cite this page

January 1864, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed May 23, 2024 https://www.churchhistorianspress.org/george-q-cannon/1860s/1864/01-1864