Previous chapter Table of Contents Next chapter
THE English mission was the first foreign mission prosecuted by the Reorganization, and deserves special mention.
We have already noticed the appointment of elders to this mission and given some items from them while in the field.
We will now relate consecutively some of the events incident to the opening of the mission, as extracted from the writings of Elder Charles Derry, as published in Autumn Leaves. Elder Derry, though not the first appointed to go, was the first to reach that field, and the first missionary of the Reorganization to visit a foreign shore.
"On the sixth day of December, 1862, though not fully recovered from more than two months' sickness (for I had been very sick before I received my appointment), I bade farewell to my wife and children and started on my mission to England. . . .
"Through the kindness of Mr. William Brittain (since a noble brother) and his wife, my family was permitted to occupy a log house twelve feet square, and I must here say that the following brethren had kindly pledged their word to me, that, so far as they were able to prevent, my family should not suffer for the necessaries of life: Jairus M. Putney, William Brittain, Rufus Pack, John Leeka, Elijah Gaylord, and, I think, Daniel Harrington and Joseph Craven. Right nobly did they fill their pledge as wife testified to me, on my return. . . .
"I visited the saints at Montrose and was kindly aided there. I visited Nauvoo and shared the kind and generous hospitality of President Joseph Smith, his wife, and mother, whom I found to be plain, unassuming people, given to hospitality without display. I could see no visible evidence of pretensions to holiness, none of the 'Stand by, I am holier than thou' spirit, but they seemed to move among their fellows as though the equals of any, and their deportment made it plain that they considered all men their equals who lived an honest, upright life.
"Sister Emma, the mother of Joseph, expressed her great pleasure at my going on the English mission, saying also, 'I always loved the English people.' The words were uttered with such deep earnestness that I felt their truth. She stood before me as a noble specimen of true womanhood, and I was glad to have formed her acquaintance.
"In conversation with Joseph I remarked, 'Brother Joseph, how shall I meet the charge of the Brighamites when they declare, as their leaders teach them, that your father practiced polygamy?' His answer was about as follows:-
"'Brother Derry, I was but about twelve years of age when my father was killed, and I am not supposed to know all the privacies of my father's family, but this I do know, that there were other females in Father's family besides my mother. I knew them before my father's death, I knew them two years afterwards, and I do know that during those years they never bore children. Now the whole world knows that my father was a proper man. My mother, of course, bore him children, and if these other women had stood in the relation of wives to him, or had been used as such, it is reasonable to suppose they too would have borne children.'
"To my mind the answer was decisive, especially when I remembered that the pretended claim of polygamy was that it was for the purpose of 'raising up a righteous seed.'
"I had not personally known the Martyr, and hence could not speak from personal knowledge, but this was, to my mind, a clincher for the Brighamites. The facts were that
the Martyr's home was an asylum for the homeless who had come from England, having no friends or kindred that they could find shelter with; hence they were invited to enjoy the hospitalities of his home and family until provision could be made for them, and slander found this a grand opportunity to connect his name with the evil practice that obtained, after his death, an ascendancy in the church. . ..
"Brother Joseph Smith gave me the following letter of recommendation:-
"'Nauvoo, December 27,1862.
"To all whom this may interest:-- Know that our worthy brother, Charles Derry, has been duly called and appointed unto a mission to England, and that he has full authority to do and perform all acts towards the upbuilding of the Church of Christ, consistent with the calling of a seventy in said church; and the faithful everywhere upon whom he may call are hereby enjoined to aid and assist him forward in the accomplishment of his mission to the full extent of their willingness and ability. Know this, that the Lord loveth a free offering, and that he rewardeth those who diligently and earnestly serve him, and also, knowing the worthiness of this our brother, we have given him this our letter of commendation unto all the scattered Latter Day Saints throughout the length and breadth of his said mission
"'Witness our hand, the day and year above written,
"'President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.'
"President Smith also gave me the following:-
"'NAUVOO, December 28, 1862.
"'Mr. Hugh Herringshaw, Sing Sing, New York:-Permit me to introduce to you the bearer of this, Bro. Charles Derry, who is now on a mission to England. I can safely recommend Bro. Derry to you as an upright and honorable man and one who is deeply interested in the latter-day work in its truthfulness and greatness. Any attention you may choose to show him for my sake at his coming, you will, I feel assured, be willing to continue for his own, after you
shall become acquainted with him. All are well, I believe, in whom you are interested here. I subscribe myself,
"'Yours most respectfully,
"I did not visit the above named gentleman, because I wanted to prosecute my journey to England, but I truly appreciated the letters of recommendation and hope I may ever prove worthy of them. And none can tell, but those under like circumstances, the good that those letters of recommendation did me. The realization that I had the confidence and esteem of God's acknowledged servants was better than gold. . .
"After spending a few days with Joseph, he took me with his team to Colchester, Illinois, to the home of a brother who was his uncle by marriage, where I was treated kindly. From there I went to Bishop Rogers', near Sandwich, enjoyed his hospitality and that of his wife, and with him I visited Batavia. . . .
"Bishop Rogers gave me seventy dollars to carry me across the sea to Liverpool, and, after a season of prayer in Sr. Mead's house, he bade me farewell, imploring God's blessing upon me, and returned to his home."
On January 20,1863, Elder Derry arrived in New York City, and the next day engaged passage in the "City of Baltimore," of the Inman Line. Commenting on his experiences, he writes:-
"Realizing the dependent condition of my family, I used the utmost economy on my journey, traveling by the cheapest modes and boarding in the most frugal manner, and although my means would have secured me a cabin passage across the ocean, I contented myself with a steerage passage, and by this means I could spare forty dollars to send my wife and have ten dollars left when I landed in Liverpool. I should then be nine dollars and fifty cents richer when landing in Liverpool than when I left my home, and I felt blessed in the sacrifice. We set sail on the 24th of January.
"We arrived at Liverpool on the fourth day of February, after a very stormy voyage, and I soon learned by the newspapers that there had been great destruction on sea and land.
"After landing I secured lodgings where I stayed in Liverpool when I started on my outward bound trip for Utah nine years before, Mrs. Powell's, Great Crosshall Street. Another lady kept the house now, but I was treated kindly and lodged for a reasonable sum. I had the first good night's rest that I had enjoyed for fourteen nights. . . .
"I bought a few things needful and then ordered one thousand of President Joseph Smith's first epistle to the saints printed. On the 6th I visited George Q. Cannon, then president of the Brighamite churches in England. I made known my mission to him and requested the privilege of presenting the matter before his people. He treated my statement with contempt and absolutely refused to allow me to speak in their meetings. I offered him some pamphlets to read. He refused them, declaring that the leaders of the Reorganized Church were apostates. I invited him to an open discussion of the matter. He flatly refused. I then turned to his counselors, Chauncy W. West and Jacob Biggler, and invited them to investigate the matter with me, but, like their chief, they refused.
"In a few days the Millennial Star contained a statement from the pen of its editor, Cannon, claiming to be 'The whisperings of the Spirit,' warning the members of his church that the Spirit had made known to him that apostates would soon be in their midst seeking to lead them from the truth. Of course when I appeared among the branches, they remembered Cannon's pretended prophecy, and my presence among them was esteemed as evidence that George Q. Cannon was a prophet. But I had been the means of making him aware of the presence of the one he was pleased to brand as an apostate, and I had assured him in the name of Jesus Christ that we would make our message ring from one end of the land to the other.
"Having got one thousand of Joseph's epistles printed, I circulated them, as many as I could among the Brighamites. My means were now nearly exhausted. I visited a number of people in Liverpool and to as many as would permit me I presented the teachings of the Reorganized Church, showing their harmony with the revelations of God in former and latter days.
"I made but little headway in Liverpool as very few were disposed to listen. I found many who had left the church because of polygamy and kindred evils, but these were yet too sore and disgusted to listen to anything that savored of 'Mormonism,' as it was termed. Truly all seemed dark, but my trust in God remained. The opposition I met was hard to endure; but it confirmed me in the divinity of my mission."
On February 13 he left Liverpool for Chester, where he visited a Mr. Coward, who had been to Utah, and spent a fortune, only to be disappointed in the character of those whom he had received as leaders. Elder Derry passed on through Gassford, Lightwood Green, Elsmere, and Wolverhampton, and on February 18, 1863, found himself at West Bromwich, the place where he was first baptized, and where his early labors in the church had been performed. Here he decided to make a stand and if possible rally his old friends around the standard. This was a commendable thing for an honorable man to do. It was evidence that he feared not the record that he had made among his neighbors. Though branded as an apostate, these people knew him, and knew him to be a man of integrity, and for no act of his early life did he blush with shame or fear to look his fellow man in the face. Surely his message would be received. But like the Master, he soon found that "a prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house." And, like his Master, he was not without friends, among whom was Mr. Richard Stokes, who made him welcome to his home, the first home that had been offered him since his arrival in his native land.
Of his work in West Bromwich he writes:-
"My mind had been very unsettled in every town I had visited, and no prospect of doing anything by way of preaching had presented itself, but here in West Bromwich I felt to make a stand. The news quickly spread that Charles Derry had returned from Utah. Old women commenced this gossip. Some said I was 'broken,' that is, worn down. Poor souls, they knew not what I had suffered in mind and body since last I saw them. The Brighamite brethren spread their doubtful rumors and expressed their dark suspicions about the object of my mission, proclaiming me an apostate. . . .
"I then went to a Brighamite meeting in West Bromwich, but found their minds very much poisoned against me. One man, named Southwick, saw me as I came in and remarked aloud to me, 'Charley, thee be'st a weak team, lad.' I acknowledged the corn, but I realized that the Lord was strong.
"Everyone took special pains to cast a slur or utter a sneer in their testimony, but they fell powerless. I arose to bear my testimony, but I was commanded to sit down. I did so, and the president told me I should have the privilege to say what I pleased at the close. I thanked him and took my seat until the close, when I arose to claim the privilege promised. The president then demanded to know what I wanted to say. I told him he would hear by the time I got through. He then insisted upon limiting me to two minutes. I had to submit but I put in my two minutes, nor did I waste words. None dared a reply, but all seemed to shun me, or to utter some contemptuous sneer. And this in the branch in which, nineteen years ago, I had been baptized and from which I had been sent out to preach the gospel. Yet I thank God not a soul among them could point to any wrong I had done, and I am persuaded that had I come among them as a missionary from Utah I would have been received as an angel of God, but now, in their eyes I must wear the brand of an apostate."
He continued to make West Bromwich an objective point, visiting other places in the vicinity, and laboring from house to house as the people were willing to hear him, an
occasionally preaching in the open air. Sometime in March a room was obtained for him by a friend, but even then obstacles were thrown in his way that rendered his occupancy difficult. Of this and of his sickness about this time he wrote as follows:-
"Mr. Withers has obtained me a room in the Park foundry. I made arrangement with the gentleman that has the letting of it for eighteen pence per week, and I can use it every Sabbath and one evening in the week. . . .
"I went to get the key of the room I had rented and learned from the man I had rented it from that I could not have it. The Wesleyans had interfered to put a stop to my use of it, and the committee had determined I should not have it. The man professed great sorrow and consented to let me have it on Sunday and Wednesday next. I fixed temporary seats in it and had been at the expense of publishing notices of the meetings. . . .
"On the Sunday, Mr. Pardoe and I went to the room to hold meeting, but I found all closed, and old Mr. Withers' folks living near there refused to allow me to enter. I went to the police authorities to get proper assistance to obtain an entrance, but they refused to interfere. Seeing that I could get no redress, I occupied a piece of waste land close by and preached, taking also occasion to tell my views of a religion like that which would prevent a man from enjoying his legal rights simply because he believed differently from them.
"I visited a Mr. Charles Tyler, formerly a Mormon, and explained our position to him. He treated me kindly and assured me I had a true friend in his brother, Henry Tyler. Thank God that, though cast down, I am not subdued. I shall struggle on and leave the result with God. . . .
"On the 23d of March I felt a slight cold, but I visited among the people and tried to get another room. I got one on the 25th and tried to get seats. I was taken sick with bilious complaint and continued so for several days. Mr. Stokes was kind to me, but their poverty afforded few
comforts, but I am thankful for any, and may God reward them. . . .
"March 31. . . . I continued my preparations for meetings and visited quite a number. Some received me kindly while others treated me very coolly. I wrote letters and studied the Scriptures, and on Sunday, the 5th of April, I held a meeting in the room in the morning at which about eight Brighamites from Wolverhampton were present, and although I was sick, the Lord blessed me and gave me great liberty. Nor did they open their mouths against me, although I gave privilege for any proper questions to be presented. At night I went to preach again, but I was suffering so much pain that I had to close the meeting in the midst of my sermon. Our Brighamite friends were not present this evening. . . ."
He was quite sick for a time, and improved so slowly that it was with much difficulty he attended to his occasional appointments in his hired room. His bodily weakness would not permit him to continue his open air meetings. On May 2, 1863, his heart was cheered by a letter from Elder W. W. Blair announcing the success of the Annual Conference at Amboy, Illinois, and that Elders Jason W. Briggs and Jeremiah Jeremiah would soon sail for Europe to assist him in his arduous labor. May 3,1863, he began to reap the fruit of his labor by the baptism of Henry Tyler, and from this time on accessions were made occasionally, though their numbers increased slowly.
On May 11,1863, he had an experience which illustrates the anxiety of the missionary to obtain news of the church's progress and his willingness to sacrifice for the coveted information. Of this and events succeeding Elder Derry states as follows:-
"On the 11th of May I found four Heralds in the post office, but I could not obtain them without paying four shillings and ninepence. I had no money, but I was hungry for church news, and I pawned my overcoat to get the money to pay for them. This of course left me exposed to the weather, but from them I gained
much encouraging information, though I was disappointed on searching the conference minutes to find that nothing had been said about sustaining the one lonely missionary struggling to establish the truth in England. I concluded it was an oversight and determined to do the best I could.
"Mrs. Henry Tyler has now become interested in the work, also Mr. William Tyler and wife and his niece, and Charles Tyler, William Morgan and wife, of Oldbury, and George Morgan are manifesting greater interest in the truth. On the 15th Mrs. Jane Fox, of Birmingham Heath, gave in her name for baptism. A Mrs. Mattie is very favorable to the work, but her husband is opposed. I am greatly encouraged with the prospect before me.
"On the 16th I wrote a letter to Mr. John Maxwell, of Wigan, Lancashire, also one to Mr. George Lidget. Two strangers passed by the house I was writing in, and Mrs. Stokes, my landlady, asked me if those were the men I expected. I looked out and saw Elders Jason W. Briggs and Jeremiah Jeremiah. My heart was truly glad to see them. I invited them in, and Mrs. Stokes prepared dinner, after which I took them around to see my friends. I am now no longer alone. I have two able men to bear the burden with me, and my hopes for the future are greatly enlarged. We all slept at Stokes'.
"On the morning of the 17th I was permitted to baptize John Pardoe, Joshua Lyall, and Richard Stokes, who were confirmed by Elders Briggs, Jeremiah, and myself. In the afternoon Elder Briggs preached, and this afternoon we organized the first branch of the Reorganized Church in England, consisting of the following six members: Henry Tyler, John Pardoe, Richard Stokes, Joshua Lyall, Jane Fox, and Sarah Withers. Elder Henry Tyler was called to preside; John Pardoe was ordained an elder, and Richard Stokes a deacon. These compose the West Bromwich branch of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
"On the 18th Elders Briggs and Jeremiah and myself counseled together and concluded to publish the Word of Consolation, with some little alteration. I read the pamphlet
to them, in order to see what changes were necessary. . .
"When the brethren learned that my overcoat was in pawn, Bro. Jeremiah told Bro. Briggs he would give two shillings and sixpence towards fetching it out. Bro. Briggs responded that he would give two shillings, so my coat was soon released from the pawnbroker's shelf and found its way onto my back to my joy and comfort, and my heart swelled with gratitude to my brethren. Bro. Jeremiah started on his mission to Wales.
"On the 20th of May we ordered one thousand copies of the Word of Consolation printed by Mr. Hudson at two pounds ten shillings per thousand. . . .
"On the 23d I received a letter from John H. Morgan, of Lidney, Gloucestershire, assuring me of his joy in reading my letter and in hearing of the Reorganized Church under the presidency of Joseph, the son of the Martyr. He had been looking forward to this day and he is with us heart and hand. He wanted me to visit him and organize a branch there. Bro. Briggs and I counseled together, and he decided to visit him soon.
"We continued to hold meetings in West Bromwich and attended Brighamite meetings occasionally, but they would not allow us to speak in their meetings."
As stated above, Elder Jeremiah proceeded to Wales, while Elders Briggs and Derry continued the work in England. On May 26, Elder Derry rebaptized Jane Fox. They had at the organization received her on her original baptism, but not being satisfied, she requested rebaptism, which was granted; he also at the same time baptized her son, Isaiah Fox.
Elder Derry continues as follows:-
". . . On the 31st we held a sacrament meeting. This was the first time we had partaken of the sacred emblems in the Reorganized Church in this land. Three were confirmed into the church. Mrs. Ann Stokes, wife of Bro. Richard Stokes, was received as a member. The testimonies of the saints were comforting. There are now ten members in this West Bromwich branch. . . .
". . . William Tyler was this day received into the church on his original baptism. . . .
"June 5. I left West Bromwich and went to Dudley and visited Thomas Angel. . . .
"On the 7th I preached the first sermon at Blakeley. This is a branch that I organized many years before. I showed that polygamy was no part of the gospel. A great many people were present because they wanted to see 'Charley Derry.' Bro. John Heywood, the husband of Mary Heywood, by whom I had sent the appointment, received me kindly, but the presiding elder, George Boddison, abused me and told me I deserved flogging. . . ."
Elders Briggs and Derry labored together until June 16, 1863, when Elder Briggs departed for Wales. Of this Elder Derry writes:-
"June 16. Jason left me and went down to Wales in response to Jeremiah's call. I feel more and more the need of the wisdom and power of God to enable me to battle wisely and successfully with the evils of the world. It is true I have a little branch of the church to stand by me, which is very different from what it was when no man stood with me; but I feel that I lose a mighty warrior from my side. But he is going to move the cause of Zion in another place, and, besides, Bro. Jeremiah is alone and needs his help, and I pray that God may bless and preserve him that he may reach there in safety. I felt to bless him as we parted, and the hard pressure of the hand told me how he loved me, and how hard it was for him to part from me, although no word was spoken."
Elder Derry labored in England with what local assistance he could get, and on July 11, 1863, baptized John Cheetham, a boy who had courageously borne much since he first heard the message. On the 12th he ordained William Tyler a teacher.
About this time, after correspondence with Elder Briggs, Elder Derry made arrangements for a discussion with William O. Owen, who had formerly been a Brighamite and as such emigrated to Utah, where
he became satisfied that an imposition had been practiced upon him, and so returned to England to expose "Mormonism" by delivering lectures against it. The propositions as finally agreed upon were: 'First. 'Is new and immediate revelation indispensably necessary to the accomplishment of God's purpose on the earth?' Briggs to affirm; Owen to deny. Second. 'Is the Book of Mormon a divinely inspired record?' Briggs to affirm; Owen to deny. Third. 'Is Mormonism, as a whole, consistent with the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments?' Briggs to afirm [affirm]; Owen to deny."
This debate began at Birmingham, July 18, 1863. Of this and a subsequent debate Elder Derry writes:-
"Bro. Briggs showed in a pointed manner the necessity of continued revelation. Owen used a good deal of bombast and sophistry, and declared that all the arguments Briggs had brought were true Christianity and not Mormonism. Jason replied in a masterly manner for fifteen minutes, to which Owen replied by complaining that nothing had been said worthy of reply. Jason's physical powers giving way, on the second night I took his place and presented our side of the question. Mr. Owen found it convenient to resort to his usual bombast and did not attempt to meet the question. The Rev. Bray occupied the chair and allowed him to wander as he pleased. It was amusing to see how loudly he was cheered by the audience, and how we were met by hisses and groans whenever we arose to speak.
"The next day Mr. Owen visited us and invited us to go and take tea with the Rev. George Whitehead. We did so, and were kindly treated by the gentleman and his lady, and at night we went to the debate. Bro. Briggs did splendid work, and Mr. Owen never attempted to disprove a single principle, but contented himself with vilifying the character of Joseph Smith and the three witnesses. His weakness was manifest to all but bigots. My heart vas gladdened to see the power of truth over error. The next evening Bro. Jason opened the debate as usual, showing the prophecies in the Bible concerning the stick of Ephraim, the sealed book, add truth springing out of the earth, and that the
Book of Mormon answered the description and came in the time and manner foretold.
"Owen resorted to his usual 'clap trap' for argument and endeavored to make the book ridiculous from its account of the twelve barges, and he plainly misrepresented some things in connection with the book, but he was loudly applauded. We had not gone there for applause and were not disappointed. The chairman, Mr. Bray, said our conduct throughout the debate had been irreproachable. We were thankful for this crumb of comfort. At the close I told Mr. Owen he had kept his word. He inquired how. I replied, 'You said you would have to talk against your conscience, and you did.' He denied it, and wanted me to take that back. I told him I never took back a truth.
"On the 25th of August I discussed with Owen, this question: 'Are the abominations of Utah the legitimate fruits of Mormonism proper?' He affirmed; I denied. I am not aware that I had a single friend but little John Cheetham. Bro. Jason was confined to his bed, but the Lord was with me, and, although I had the hisses and groans of the audience while Owen had their loud applause, the Lord gave me courage and patience, and he did not allow his truth to suffer or his servant to be confounded. Rev. Whitehead, at the close of the debate, gave me eight shillings as our share of the proceeds of the admittance fee, and he assured me that he had lost fourteen pounds sterling by Owen's lectures."
Elder Briggs was quite sick for some time, but slowly recovered.
On September 18,1863, Elder Derry visited Thomas Taylor, of Birmingham, who had emigrated to Utah some years before but returned disappointed.
On the l9th Elder Derry bade adieu to Elder Briggs and took a tour through Dudley, Stourbridge, Kidderminster, Worcester, Gloucester, Newman, and Lidney, or Forest of Dean. At the last-named place he continued until October 5, 1863, where he found a branch raised up by Elder J. W. Briggs.
He then went to Almondsbury and Bristol, thence into South Wales. He labored but a short time in Wales, when he returned to England, and labored in Bristol and Lidney until near the close of the year, when he again visited Wales.
Elder Briggs after recovering his health resumed his labors in Birmingham and other places, and held another discussion of two nights with Owen at Wednesbury.
At the Fall Conference of 1863, held at North Star branch, Iowa, Elder Joseph F. Speight was appointed to go to England. This he did, President Joseph Smith taking him to Colchester, Illinois, December 31, to take train over the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railway for Sandwich. That night it turned extremely cold, and on the next day, January 1, began the noted storm of 1864. President Smith and Speight reached Sandwich, after a stop of three days at Colchester, and twelve hours at Galesburg. On Wednesday, January 4, Bishop Rogers fitted Elder Speight out and sent him on his way. He joined his family in England, but paid no attention to the church afterward.
As related in the last chapter Elder Jeremiah proceeded to Wales shortly after his arrival in England, and soon had such an interest that he solicited aid from the elders in England, in response to which Elder J. W. Briggs visited him in July, 1863. They soon organized a branch composed of about eighteen members at Merthyr-Tydfil, Glamorganshire, South Wales. They revised and translated into the Welsh language, and published the "Word of Consolation." Labor was done with some success by Elders Briggs and Jeremiah in several places, including Monmouthshire, Aberdare, Aberaman, Cymbach, Llirwin, Dowlais, Rhymney, and New Tredegar.
In September Wales, was visited by Elder Derry, who in company with Elder Jeremiah labored in Pennydaren, New Tredegar, Hargood, and Ponty Pengham.
On November 18, 1863, there was a special conference held at Pennydaren, over which Elder Jeremiah presided.
In November Elder Briggs wrote from Birmingham,
England, as follows concerning the work in England and Wales:-
"Notwithstanding the multiplied obstacles in our way in this land, the work is going forward in every locality that we have visited to labor. Several branches have been established since I wrote to you before.
"The news from Wales is encouraging for the progress of the work. I have been laboring for some time past in this place and vicinity, and have held nine public discussions in Birmingham, West Bromwich, Wednesbury, and Wolverhampton. At the latter place I found some of the old saints, who then, for the first time, were informed of the existence of the Reorganization, and they seemed much interested concerning it. I shall look after them again this week. The work is going steadily onward, and with perseverance and patience, the kingdom of God will be reëstablished in this land where the false shepherds have reveled so long, undisturbed in their ill gotten gains, lording it over the flock and not feeding them, but themselves of them. . . . Charles Sheen was baptized last week, and others in this city are ready to be.
"We are to hold a conference at Pennydaren, December 26 and 27, at which time we hope to adopt means to accelerate the work, and spread it wider. I am not in the least discouraged, for truth must prevail, so the Reorganization must prosper; for it is the system of truth which is ordained to make us free."-True Latter Day Saints' Herald, vol. 4, p. 183.
The conference mentioned in the foregoing letter was held as proposed. The following elders reported: J. W. Briggs, Charles Derry, Jeremiah Jeremiah, William Jones, John Watkins, James Clifford, William Davies, John Rogers, Rees Johns, George Davies, James Griffiths. The following branches were reported: Cymbach, 17 members; Tredegar, 14; Pennydaren, 32; Llanelly, 15; West Bromwich, 18; Lydney, 10.
The following elders were appointed missions: William Davies, John Morgan, Hopkin Thomas, Rees Johns, David Thomas, John Rogers, Daniel Rees, George Davies, James Griffiths,
James Clifford, David Jenkins, John Jenkins, David Griffiths, Evan Thomas, Lewis Williams, Nicholas Morgan, John Griffiths, John Lewis, William Jones, John Jones, Isaiah Thomas, John Watkins, David Owen, Robert Humphrey, and Thomas Williams. The following priests were also appointed: Evan Griffiths and Rees Thomas.
It was resolved to commence the publication of a periodical, the character of which was left to the decision of the next conference.
Priests Evan Griffiths and F. M. Frowan were called to the office of elder.
Though much tribulation and sacrifice had been endured by these pioneers in the English mission, the year 1863 closed with fair prospects of success, and they felt much encouraged to continue their efforts
Previous chapter Table of Contents Next chapter