Letter from Church Members in New York City, circa 29 November 1841
on behalf of New York City church conference, Letter, , New York Co., NY, to the (including JS), , and others, , Hancock Co., IL, ca. 29 Nov. 1841. Featured version published in “Letter from the Church of New York,” Times and Seasons, 15 Mar. 1842, vol. 3, no. 10, 728. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
On behalf of a of the of the church held 29 November 1841, wrote a letter commending the work of to the highest authorities of the in , Illinois, including JS. In 1840 and 1841, Page had done much missionary work in the branches of the church in , , and but had failed to fulfill his appointed mission to Europe and with fellow apostle ; Page and Hyde journeyed together to the eastern , but while Hyde continued overseas, Page instead remained in the East. In January 1841 the publicly reprimanded Page for this negligence.
Over the ensuing months, attempted to explain his actions and tried to regain favor with church leaders in . In July 1841, after delivering a few sermons in , Page asked , who was also then in the city and in contact with JS in Nauvoo, “to present his [Page’s] best respects to the authorities of the Church.” According to Bernhisel, Page gave “exceedingly flattering accounts of the progress of the work where he labored during the past winter & Spring and this summer.” In a 1 September letter written from , Page notified JS that he would be traveling back to New York and that he hoped to leave from there to go overseas to join on his mission. In that letter, Page asked JS to write to him in New York “care of .” It is not known when Page arrived in New York, but it was likely between 1 September and 29 November 1841, when the letter featured here was written. It is also unclear what conversations he had with Foster or other Latter-day Saints in New York. Nevertheless, it appears that Page and his character were discussed at the church conference in New York City held 29 November 1841, and Page may have been in attendance. Foster, who served as the clerk of the conference, was apparently assigned to write a letter commending Page to the and Page’s fellow apostles in Nauvoo.
presumably wrote this letter either the day of the conference or within the next few days. The letter, which may have arrived in sometime in middle or late December, applauded for his proselytizing endeavors and his church leadership in .
’s original letter has not been located. The text of the letter, however, was published by JS in the 15 March 1842 issue of the church’s newspaper Times and Seasons.
In April 1841, Foster requested the members of the Twelve come to New York because “the work of God was in a prosperous condition in that city, and the vicinity.” It is possible that Foster and other New York Saints were pleased with the assistance Page rendered in New York from July 1841 to the time of this letter. It is also possible that Page asked Foster to write a letter on his behalf to help Page regain favor with church leaders in Nauvoo. (Philadelphia Branch Record Book, 6 Apr. 1841.)
Philadelphia Branch. Minutes, 1840–1854. Typescript. BYU. Original at CCLA.
LETTER FROM THE OF .
To the of the —to the , and to all persons to whom this letter may come—
Dearly Beloved,—Having had opportunity of becoming acquainted with our beloved brother, of the of the Travelling High Council, commonly called the quorum of the Twelve, and having witnessed the manner of his behavior while with us, and taken notice of the doctrine he has taught, together with many other particulars not easy to mention, we feel desirous of commending him to your fellowship, your esteem, your friendship and your love.
Because we have found him to be at all times a faithful laborer in the word and doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ.
By his instructions our minds have been enlightened, and onr [our] understanding of Heavenly things greatly increased.
When he has presided in our meetings, peace and order have characterized our deliberations. When he has unfolded to our minds the Scriptures of truth, our thirst for pure intelligence has been gratified. When he has held up to view the glories of the rising kingdom of our Saviour, our hearts have kindled with animation, our hope has been cherished, and our souls have overflowed with the Spirit of Peace. We know he has been efficient in establishing truth— We know he has been successful in putting down error— we highly esteem and love him for his faithfulness, diligence, prudence, meekness, zeal and fortitude; and we desire that others should love him too.
Good will and favor shewn to him will secure our love and friendship; and we freely, and fully, and warmly commend him to all whom this letter may come.
On behalf of the members of the held in the city of the 29th day of Nov. 1841.
Foster had also served as the clerk of the churchconference held in New York on 4 December 1840, a meeting at which apostleOrson Hyde presided. Foster was also an agent for the Times and Seasons in New York. (Minutes, New York City, NY, 4 Dec. 1840, in Times and Seasons, 1 Feb. 1841, 2:306–307; “List of Agents,” Times and Seasons, 15 Mar. 1841, 2:358.)
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.