Report of the First Presidency to the Church, circa 7 April 1841

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The Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, feel great pleasure in assembling with the Saints at another general conference, under circumstances so auspicious and cheering; and with grateful hearts to Almighty God for his providential regard, they cordially unite with the Saints, on this occasion, in ascribing honor, and glory, and blessing to his holy name.
It is with unfeigned pleasure that they have to make known, the steady and rapid increase of the church in this , the , and in Europe. The anxiety to become acquainted with the principles of the gospel, on every hand, is intense, and the cry of, “come over and help us,” is reaching the elders on the wings of every wind, while thousands who have heard the gospel, have become obedient thereto, and are rejoicing in its gifts and blessings.— Prejudice with its attendant train of evils, is giving way before the force of truth, whose benign rays are penetrating the nations afar off.
The reports from the Twelve in Europe are very satisfactory, and state that the work continues to progress with unparalleled rapidity and that the harvest is truly great.
In the eastern states, the faithful laborers are successful, and many are flocking to the standard of truth. Nor is the south keeping back—churches have been raised up in the southern and western states, and a very pressing invitation has been received from for some of the elders to visit that city, which has been complied with.
In our own and immediate neighborhood, many are avowing their attachment to the principles of our holy religion, and have become obedient to the faith.
Peace and prosperity attend us; and we have favor in the sight of God and virtuous men.
The time was, when we were looked upon as deceivers, and that Mormonism would soon pass away, come to nought, and be forgotten. But the time has gone by when it was looked upon as a trancient matter, or a bubble on the wave, and it is now taking a deep hold in the hearts and affections of all those who are noble minded enough to lay aside the prejudice of education, and investigate the subject with candor and honesty.
The truth, like the sturdy oak, has stood unhurt amid the contending elements, which have beat upon it with tremendous force. The floods have rolled, wave after wave, in quick succession; and have not swallowed it up. “They have lifted up their voice, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; but the Lord of Hosts is migh [p. 384]tier than the mighty waves of the sea.” Nor, have the flames of persecution, with all the influence of mobs, been able to destroy it; but like Moses’ bush it has stood unconsumed, and now at this moment presents an important spectacle both to men and angels.— Where can we turn our eyes to behold such another? We contemplate a people who have embraced a system of religion unpopular, and the adherence to which has brought upon them repeated persecutions—a people who for their love to God and attachment to his cause, have suffered hunger, nakedness, perils, and almost every privation—a people, who, for the sake of their religion, have had to mour[n] the premature deaths of parents, husbands, wives, and children—a people who have prefered death to slavery and hypocracy, and have honorably maintained their characters, and stood firm and immovable, in times that have tried men’s souls.
Stand fast, ye Saints of God, hold on a little while longer, and the storms of life will be past, and you will be rewarded by that God whose servants you are, and who will duly appreciate all your toils and afflictions for Christ’s sake and the gospel’s. Your names will be handed down to posterity as saints of God, and virtuous men.
But we hope that those scenes of blood and gore will never more occur, but that many, very many such scenes as the present will be witnessed by the saints, and that in the , the foundation of which has been so happily laid, will the saints of the Most High continue to congregate from year to year, in peace and safety.
From the kind and generous feelings manifest, by the citizens of this , since our sojourn among them, we may continue to expect the enjoyment of all the blessings of civil and religious liberty, guaranteed by the constitution. The citizens of have done themselves honor in throwing the mantle of the constitution over a persecuted and afflicted people; and have given evident proof, that they are not only in the enjoyment of the privileges of freemen themselves, but, that they willingly and cheerfully extend that invaluable blessing to others, and that they freely award to faithfulness and virtue their due.
The proceedings of the Legislature in regard to the citizens of this place have been marked with philanthropy and benevolence; and they have laid us under great and lasting obligations, in granting us the several liberal charters we now enjoy, and by which we hope to prosper, until our becomes the most splendid, our University the most learned, and our Legion the most effective, of any in the . In the language of one of our own poets, we would say,
In we’ve found a safe retreat,
A home, a shelter from oppressions dire;
Where we can worship God as we think right,
And mobbers come not to disturb our peace;
Where we can live and hope for better days,
Enjoy again our liberty, our rights:
That social intercourse which freedom grants,
And charity requires of man to man.
And long may charity pervade each breast,
And long may remain the scene
Of rich prosperity by peace secured!
In consequence of the impoverished condition of the saints, the buildings which are in progress of erection do not progress as fast as could be desired; but from the interest which is generally manifested by the saints at large, we hope to accomplish much by a combination of effort, and a concentration of action, and erect the and other buildings, which we so much need for our mutual instruction and the education of our children.
From the reports which have been received, we may expect a large emigration this season. The proclamation which was sent some time ago to the churches abroad, has been responded to, and great numbers are making preparations to come and locate themselves in this and vicinity.
From what we now witness, we are led to look forward with pleasing anticipation to the future, and soon expect to see the thousands of Israel flocking to this region, in obedience to the [p. 385] heavenly command; numerous habitations of the saints thickly studding the flowery and wide spread prairies of ; temples for the worship of our God erecting in various parts; and great peace resting upon Israel.
We would call the attention of the saints more particularly to the erection of the , for on its speedy erection great blessings depend. The zeal which is manifested by the saints in this is indeed praise worthy, and we hope will be imitated by the saints in the various stakes and branches of the church, and that those who cannot contribute labor, will bring their gold and their silver, their brass, and their iron, with the pine tree and box tree, to beautify the same.
We are glad to hear of the organization of the different quorums in this , and hope that the organization will be attended to in every stake and branch of the church, for the Almighty is a lover of order and good government.
From the faith and enterprise of the saints generally, we feel greatly encouraged, and cheerfully attend to the important duties devolving upon us, knowing that we not only have the approval of Heaven, but that our efforts for the establishing of Zion and the spread of truth, are cheerfully seconded by the thousands of Israel.
In conclusion we would say, brethren, be faithful; let your love and moderation be known unto all men; be patient; be mindful to observe all the commandments of your heavenly Father; and the God of all grace shall blesss you, even so, Amen.
, Clerk. [p. 386]