Letter from Heber C. Kimball and Orson Hyde, between 22 and 28 May 1838

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

Dear Brother Joseph
In health peace & saf[e]ty we arrived in this place on monday last, from the scene of our labor during the past year after a passage of 31 days. We cannot give a full account of our labors now, but suffise it to say the standard of truth is reared on the other side of the great waters, and hundreds are now fi[gh]ting the good fight of faith, beneath the shade of its glorious banner. We have fought in the name of the Lord Jesus, and under the shadow of the cross we have conquered, Not an enimy has risen up against us, but that has fallen for our sakes, Every thing we have done has prospered, and the God of the Holy Prophets has been with us, and to him belongs the praise Our bretheren in the East are poor yet rich in faith and the peace of our God abides upon them, we have not interfeered with the priests at all except when we have been assalted by them, We have preached repentance & & baptism & repentance, We have strictly attended to our own buisness and have let others alone We have experienced the truth of solomons words which are as follows When a mans ways please the Lord he maketh his enimies that they are at peace with him our enimies have seen their entire insufficincy to stand against the power of truth manifest through us, and have gone away and left us in peacefull possession of [p. 48] the field, Concerning the Nicholatine Band of which you warned us against we would say God is not there, and we are not there, they deal in sand stone & bogus, but we in faith hope & Charity We have not means to situate our families in at present and as we have not been chargable to the hitherto, we do not like to become a burthen to them in the extreme state of poverty to which they are reduced, We can preach the gospel when the Lord is with us, and by it we can live, and the time will come when we shall have means to settle with the saints. is not our home, it looks dolefull here, We shall go westward as soon as we can, the folks here tell many dark and pittifull tales about yourself & others. but the faults of our bretheren is poor entertainment for us, We have no accusation to bring for the Lord has shown us that he has taken the matter into his own hands, and every secret shall be braught to light and every man chastened for his sins, untill he confess and forsake them and then he shall fined mercy Therefore we can say we are at peace with God and with all mankind, and if any creature has aught against us, we have naught against him, and we say forgive us for Christ sake, We should be glad to see all our bretheren of the , and we s[h]all as we can consistantly, our good wishes and best respects to them To yourself and families, and to all the faithfull bretheren and sisters in Christ Jesus our Lord, Will you or some other of the bretheren write us soon and let us know the true state of things in , We have been gone allmost a year and have heard but very little, but we now hear much, We would like to know if a spirit of union prevails &c. &c. We are as ever your bretheren in the bonds of the ,
To Prest J, Smith Jr.
We are one
[p. 49]


  1. 1

    In an autobiographical sketch, Hyde noted that he and Kimball arrived at Kirtland on 21 May 1838, which was a Monday. (“History of Orson Hyde,” 16, Historian’s Office, Histories of the Twelve, 1856–1858, 1861, CHL; see also Fielding, Journal, 1837–1838, 75–76.)  

    Historian’s Office. Histories of the Twelve, 1856–1858, 1861. CHL. CR 100 93.

    Fielding, Joseph. Journals, 1837–1859. CHL. MS 1567.

  2. 2

    Kimball and Hyde sailed from Liverpool on 20 April 1838 and arrived in New York City on 12 May 1838. (Thompson, Journal of Heber C. Kimball, 41–42.)  

    Thompson, Robert B. Journal of Heber C. Kimball an Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Nauvoo, IL: Robinson and Smith, 1840.

  3. 3

    See 1 Timothy 6:12.  

  4. 4

    See Revelation 22:6.  

  5. 5

    See James 2:5. Hyde observed that the converts in the Preston area were “mostly manufacturers and some other mechanics” who were “extremely poor, most of them not having a change of clothes decent to be babtized in.” Kimball similarly wrote that the indigent masses of Preston were “the most poor people that I ever saw” and that “it is as much as they can do to live.” (Orson Hyde, Preston, England, to Marinda Nancy Johnson Hyde, Kirtland, OH, 14 Sept. 1837, in Elders’ Journal, Nov. 1837, 19; Heber C. Kimball, Preston, England, to Vilate Murray Kimball, Kirtland, OH, 2–6 Sept. 1837, in Elders’ Journal, Oct. 1837, 5.)  

  6. 6

    See Colossians 3:15; Philippians 4:7; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 242 [Alma 7:27].  

  7. 7

    Kimball and Hyde faced opposition from ministers in Preston. (Allen et al., Men with a Mission, 36, 41–42.)  

    Allen, James B., Ronald K. Esplin, and David J. Whittaker. Men with a Mission, 1837–1841: The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the British Isles. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1992.

  8. 8

    One of JS’s early revelations directed elders to “preach repentance & remission of sins by way of baptism.” (Revelation, 14 June 1831 [D&C 55:2]; see also Articles of the Church of Christ, June 1829.)  

  9. 9

    See Proverbs 16:7.  

  10. 10

    Many of those estranged from the church were residing in Kirtland when Hyde and Kimball returned in May 1838. “Sand stone & bogus” may be an allusion to a story about dissenter Warren Parrish, who allegedly traveled to Tinker’s Creek, Ohio, to buy a box of bogus, or counterfeit coin, and discovered upon his return that the box contained only “sand and stones.” Parrish and others organized themselves into a new “Church of Christ,” and JS apparently equated this group or at least some of the estranged church members at Kirtland with the heretical Nicolaitan sect mentioned in the New Testament. (Editorial, Elders’ Journal, Aug. 1838, 58; Backman, Heavens Resound, 327–329; Revelation 2:6, 15; Revelation, 8 July 1838–E [D&C 117:11].)  

    Backman, Milton V., Jr. The Heavens Resound: A History of the Latter-day Saints in Ohio, 1830–1838. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1983.

  11. 11

    See 1 Corinthians 13:13.  

  12. 12

    Elias Smith, who lived in Kirtland, wrote that some of the discord there resulted from the “extreme poverty” of the Latter-day Saints. (Kirtland Camp, Journal, 12–13.)  

    Kirtland Camp. Journal, Mar.–Oct. 1838. CHL. MS 4952.

  13. 13

    See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 118, 173 [2 Nephi 30:17; Mosiah 8:17].  

  14. 14

    See Revelation, 1 Aug. 1831 [D&C 58:43].  

  15. 15

    See 2 Timothy 1:18; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 314 [Alma 32:13].  

  16. 16

    See Ephesians 1:1.  

  17. 17

    See Philemon 1:13; and Genesis 17:13.