Biography and family record of Lorenzo Snow/Chapter X
Writes from Birmingham.—Church numbers Sixteen.—Conference in London.—Lorenzo
appointed to preside over the London Conference.—Confirmed
in Manchester.—Nine of the Twelve present.—Established a
Branch in Wolverhampton.—Ordained William Henshaw.—Sent him to
Wales.—William Henshaw did a good work, but "died as a fool dieth."
An encounter with Evil Spirits.—Lorenzo gets the Victory.—An
Apostacy succeeds.—April 6th, Conference in Manchester.—Nine of the
Twelve present.—Branches represented.—Officers set apart.—A cake for
the Twelve.—The cake distributed.—A joyful time.—Orson Hyde
speaks.—Joseph Fielding speaks.—P. P. Pratt composes verses.—Brigham
Young and William Miller sing.—President B. Young dismisses.—Poem
addressed to L. Snow.
BROTHER Snow writes from Birmingham under date of 6th December, 1840. He says the Church there now numbers sixteen, and that many more are on the eve of being baptized. He also informs us that the Church at Greet's Green now numbers about forty members, and that several in that place will soon become citizens of the Kingdom of God. One of the Methodist preachers has yielded obedience to the faith.—Millennial Star.
February 14, 1841.—At a conference in London, it was moved by Heber C. Kimball, seconded by Wilford Woodruff, that Lorenzo Snow be appointed president of this conference; also to take the superintendency of the Church in London. This appointment was confirmed on the 6th of April, at the annual conference in Manchester. At that conference, nine of the Quorum of the Twelve were present, viz: Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Willard Richards, Wilford Woodruff, John Taylor and George A. Smith.
The records show that after Brother Snow's return from conference up to the 26th of May, he had baptized eighteen persons.
Before leaving Greet's Green to take charge of the Church in London, Brother Lorenzo held several meetings in Wolverhampton, a nourishing town numbering several thousand inhabitants. There he succeeded in establishing a branch of the Church. A man, by name William Henshaw, was one of the number who embraced the Gospel at that time; a man of ability and force of character, he became very useful as a minister of and advocate for the truth.
Brother Snow ordained William Henshaw to the Priesthood, and sent him on a mission to Wales to introduce and open the Gospel door to that people. He was very successful and greatly blessed in his labors. He had baptized several hundred persons and organized quite a number of branches of the Church in that country previous to the arrival of Captain Dan Jones, who was sent as a missionary from Salt Lake to that people.
It is a matter of deep regret that, after having performed a great and good work—after having been instrumental in bringing into the Church, among the many whom he baptized, several persons who became prominent and influential preachers of the Gospel, that he should make shipwreck of his faith through that destructive demon, intemperance, and by intoxication destroy the powerful faculties with which God had endowed him. He crossed the ocean, and, in St. Louis, died a drunkard. Once beloved and highly respected, he yielded to the weakness of the flesh, and "died as a fool dieth"—an object of regret and pity, a warning to those similarly tempted.
Not long after Brother Snow was appointed to preside over the Church in London, a circumstance occurred which plainly illustrated the interference of evil spirits in human affairs, and most strikingly their use as instruments to oppose the progress of the latter-day work. A band of them undertook to frighten him from his post; but Lorenzo Snow is one whom neither favor, fright nor force can move from the post of duty.
At the time referred to, he occupied a well furnished upper room, and directly after his appointment to the presidency, after retiring to bed at night, he was aroused from sleep by the most discordant noises. It seemed as though every piece of furniture in the room was put in motion, going slash-dash, helter-skelter, back and forth against each other in such terrible fury that sleep and rest were utter impossibilities.
He endured the unceremonious visitation for several nights, each night thinking it was the last, that they would leave as unbidden as they came, until the fact forced itself upon his mind that so long as he would tamely submit to their aggressions, so long they would continue to repeat them. Something must be done. He must claim the right of master over his own premises.
Accordingly, after a day of fasting and before kneeling to pray, as was his custom before retiring for the night, he read aloud a chapter in the Bible, and then, in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, and by the authority of the Holy Priesthood, rebuked those spirits, and commanded them to leave the house—went to bed and had no more disturbance. But those spirits were not discouraged with one defeat. It was not long before several members of the Church became disaffected and came out in open rebellion, insomuch that it was painfully necessary to expel quite a number.
Manchester, April 6, 1841.—The council of the Twelve assembled in Manchester Hall, on the 6th day of April, 1841, for the first time, to transact business as a quorum, in the presence of the Church, in a foreign land, being the first day of the twelfth year of the rise of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Nine of the Quorum were present. At this Conference much was done in appointing and setting apart to offices—ordaining, etc., as well as representing the various branches and conferences. All being accomplished, appropriate instructions were delivered by different members of the High Council relative to the duties of the officers in their respective callings, etc., etc.
A very richly ornamented cake from New York, from Elder Adams' wife to the Twelve, was then exhibited to the meeting. This was blessed by them, and then distributed to all the officers and members, and then to the whole congregation, consisting, probably of seven hundred people. A large fragment was still preserved for some who were not present.
During the distribution, several appropriate hymns were
sung, and a powerful and general feeling of delight seemed
universally to pervade the meeting. While this was proceed-
ing, Elder P. P. Pratt composed and handed over to the clerk
the following lines, which the clerk then read to the meeting,
When in far distant regions,
As strangers we roam,
Far away from our country,
Our friends and our home:
When sinking in sorrow,
Fresh courage we'll take,
As we think on our friends,
And remember the cake.
Elder O. Hyde appealed powerfully to the meeting, and covenanted with the Saints present, in a bond of mutual prayer, during his mission to Jerusalem and the East, which was sustained on the part of the hearers with a hearty amen.
Elder Joseph Fielding remarked that it was with the most pleasing and grateful feeling that he had witnessed the scenes of this day. And respecting the rich cake of which they had been partaking, he considered it a type of the good things of that land from whence it came, and from whence they had received the fulness of the Gospel. He expressed a hope that they might all hold out till that day, when they should be assembled to partake of the marriage supper of the Lamb.
Elder B. Young and Elder William Miller sang the hymn, "Adieu, my dear brethren, adieu," etc. This was after the number of the official members present had been taken—one hundred and seven.
President Brigham Young blessed the congregation and dismissed them.—Millennial Star.
At this meeting, Brother Lorenzo reported the London Conference. No one who has never been located far from home can realize the happiness he enjoyed while associated with so many of the Quorum of the Twelve on this occasion.
Dearest brother, wherefore leave us?
Why forsake your friends and home?
Of your presence, why bereave us,
And in foreign countries roam?
Must the dearest ties be broken?
Must affection's garland fade?
No, O no! But God has spoken,
And His voice must be obeyed.
You have gone to warn the nations,
In the name of Israel's God;
You are called to bear salvation's
Joyful tidings far abroad.
Now the Gospel proclamation
Must be sounded far and near,
That the best of every nation
May in Zion's courts appear.
In the spirit of devotion
To Messiah's glorious Cause,
You have crossed the pathless ocean,
To proclaim Redemption's laws.
You are now a standard bearer
On a distant mountain top,
And perchance ofttimes a sharer
In privation's bitter cup.
God designs to try and prove you.
If you will His voice obey;
Therefore from your friends who love you,
You are parted far away.
You are called yourself to sever
From the land where kindred dwell;
But it will not be forever—
Time will surely break the spell.
Here warm friends await your greeting—
Noble friends of Abra'm's line:
Here are gentle pulses beating
In soft unison with thine.
Here are daily prayers ascending
For th' appointed hour to come;
When your mission nobly ending,
We shall bid you "Welcome home."
Nauvoo, Jan., 1841. E. R. SNOW.