Biography and family record of Lorenzo Snow/Chapter XXX
222 BIOGRAPHY AND
Closing the Mission. Elder Jabez Woodard writes. Leaves Malta. Elder Obray succeeds him. A vision related. Commendatory of Elder Malan. Extract from Elder. Obray 's letter. From Western Hindoslan. Oppo- sition. What a soldier dared. The result. Military oppose Mission- aries. A Branch organized in Poonah. The "Voice of Joseph," by Elder Lorenzo Snow. "The Only Way to be Saved" republished. A remarkable vision.
[KITING, as we are, more particularly for the benefit of those yet unborn, in order to make a record as com- plete as possible, we compile the following extracts,
and with this chapter close the synopsis of Lorenzo's eastern
PRAISSUIT, ANGROGNA, PIGNEREL,
Piedmont, July, 1852. Dear President Richards:
Elder Obray has probably informed you of my departure from Malta, after we had organized a branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I could not help feeling deep regret in leaving that devoted brother in a country with whose customs and climate he is yet unacquainted; but he keeps the Word of Wisdom, which will preserve the life of many an Elder when exposed to blighting winds and burning suns.
You see by the heading of my letter, that I am in the field of my former labors, and letters bearing that address will be pretty sure of reaching me, in whatever part of this land \ may be working; in fact, I ought now to be in two or three places at the same time, and it is, therefore, with the greatest
pleasure I hear from Elder Snow that assistance is coming, and I shall be happy to hear from the brethren who are nominated for Italy.
With regard to the present condition of this mission, I cannot do better than transcribe the words of a friend who received the following, in the .visions of the night: "I beheld, and lo ! the form of one that was exceeding tall and great. The face was smiling and lovely, and while yet I gazed, became so resplendent with glory, that I was forced to look down towards the earth. Then I saw dark clouds wrapped around that gigantic body, leaving only a few places here and there, pene- trated by the rays of light. And the Spirit said unto me, This is TRUTH* IN ITALY; and behold, at present the light just shineth in the midst of the darkness, but the days will come when all in this land shall be penetrated by the power of Truth, either unto their salvation or destruction."
I have commenced preaching, baptizing, etc., and have also pruned the vineyard cutting off dead branches. But I feel to commend the faithfulness of Elder John D. Malan, who held the Presidency during my absence in Malta. "The Saints in Italy salute you."
Yours in the New and Everlasting Covenant, Millennial Star. JABEZ WOODARD.
Extract of a letter from Elder Obray:
124 STRADA SAX, DOMINICO MALTA,
August 18, 1852. Hear President Richards:
It is beyond my power to make known the difficulties attending this mission. I have not only to encounter Catholic, but Protestant, who are circulating lies as 1 fast as a horse can run, in order to stop the work of God on this island; but God be praised ! I am enabled to say that I have added two since I last wrote to you, which make twenty-two members of the
224 BIOGRAPHY AND
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints here, rejoicing in God.
Last Sunday, the 17th, I ordained a good man an Elder, by the name of George Burrage; he leaves Malta for England this day week, to get his discharge, when he will return to Malta. * * *
Extracts from letters of Elder W. Willis, dated Calcutta, Aug. 3, 1852:
"Elder Joseph Richards, late of the London Conference, arrived here on the 20th of last month. He left London in January, on board the Elizabeth. He is, I am happy to say, in the best of health and spirits. He is under counsel from President Snow to assist me here, which I have realized to a most pleasing extent already, and have every hope that we shall, by the help of the Lord, pull well together. His presence and counsel have inspired me and the brethren here, with fresh hopes and courage.
" Elder McCune, on the 25th of last month, delivered his farewell address, before leaving for Burmah, where he has gone to fight the battles of the Lord while he officiates in his military capacity of staff sergeant, in the ' Company's Bengal Artillery;' and we feel to ask an interest in his behalf in the prayers of the Saints at home.
" Last Saturday, Elder Richards led Mr. William Sheppard into the beautiful limpid tank at Acra Farm, and baptized him for the remission of his sins, in the presence of many of the Saints. His son, also, and a young native of the medical ca.ste, named Unnoda Persad Sen Gooptoy, who is very fluent in Bengalee and Hindostanee. He is a young man of great promise.'"
The following is from Elder Findlay, in Western Hindos- tan, as published in the Millennial Star, dated Poonah, Sep- tember 13, 1852 :
Beloved President Richards:
Trusting that the letter I addressed to your office for President L. Snow, bearing date of June last, has been received, although detained one month 011 account of the steamer bear- ing mail having put back to Bombay, short of coal. I am doubtful that Elder Snow's communications have miscarried, as I have received none from him, save one from Malta, dated the llth of March. In the absence of other instructions, I beg, with your permission, to communicate through the medium of the Star what might be interesting to him and others who love the cause of* Zion.
In the letter referred to, I gave a brief outline of the com- bined opposition, military and ecclesiastical, which met our first operations in Bombay; these two powers combined leave- little play for the privileges of the civil constitution.
The majority of India's European population are of the military class, the chaplains not excepted, who, by dint of their sacred offices, in their varied grades, or, as the natives of the country would say, castes, bear great sway. All are hand in hand, jolly good fellows to keep out every invading foe; and, as " Mormonism," although it makes no interference with con- stitutional governments, either in military or civil affairs, save to honor and obey them ; still, claiming spiritual authority to teach heavenly principles, and to call upon all men to repent of their transgressions of the laws of the Lord, and to obey the Gospel of the Son of God; which duty cannot be faithfully accomplished without revealing the vile corruptions of man- made schemes this constitutes it a most formidable foe to the usurped preteiitions of the holy orders of the various contend- ing systems, the pride, imbecility and inconsistencies of which have left a stench in. the noses and a prejudice in the hearts of India's children, against the Christian religion, which will not be easily eradicated.
When an English commanding officer told me in Bom- bay that I should remember that I was not exactly under
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English law in India, I expressed the idea as a piece of petty tyranny; but we are always learning. Now I know it is so.
As I mentioned in my last, I left Bombay for this place on the 24th of June, in company of Elder Tail and family, and after one night's sailing and three days and two nights' travel by bullock wagons, in alternate rain and sunshine, we arrived at Poonah in the evening of the 27th. My first work was to hire a room to live and preach in ; this was soon obtained ; but the next and greatest difficulty was yet to be surmounted, viz: the possessing it; the grant of which rested with the military authorities, > this being a military cantonment, hence under military law. Our position proved the more precarious on account of the Bombay interdict from entering the military boundaries, the news of which, with many of the newspapers, having reached here in so ludicrous a form that they were almost amusing, only that they were aimed against a cause so sacred.
However, in this extremity the Lord wrought for us; we therefore, after some difficulty, got permission upon the con- sideration that "the less these people are opposed, the less harm they will do."
I was only about two days in this new habitation, when about a dozen soldiers called, as a deputation from 'their regi- ment, to ascertain whether I had come to purchase the dis- charge of all who would join our Church, and send them to California, as such reports had gone through their lines, and there were about two hundred of their comrades who were ready to fall in with these conditions. I mention this farce because I believe it was a deep laid plot of the enemy to have me turned out of camp; this conviction has of late been more confirmed from the circumstance of a certain colonel on meeting one of his
men saluting him thus: "Where are you
going, sir? Are you going to the 'Mormon' meeting?" On receiving a negative reply, he added : " You must not go there they will send you to California."
A soldier of another regiment, daved to place one of our tracts (The Only Way to be Saved) on the table of the public library. Upon information of this act being borne to the chaplain, the commanding officer was written to, Sunday as it was (the better the day the better the deed), the unfortunate librarian was first arrested, but, upon the black sheep being found out, orders were issued to arrest and imprison him the moment he set foot within the lines. Next morning, arraigned before the seat of judgment, he was well taunted as a " Mor- mon," in the low slang of the common hue and cry, until he told the commanding officer that he was not a "Mormon," neither did he care for any religion. Jamieson's code being well ransacked, no military law could be found to condemn him; he was in consequence dismissed from the bar with an admonition.
The same colonel, we are told, has issued an order that none of his men are to be allowed to come to our meetings ; and if any are seen with one of our tracts, they are to be severely punished. The chaplains and missionaries are dili- gently distributing a scurrilous publication purporting to be written by a J. G. Deck, in England, which, they have honored with a reprint, and a large and gratuitous circulation here and at Bombay. As this tract has gained so great celebrity amongst tlje people, I have written a repty to the assertions of its author, in a tract of twelve pages, now in process of publi- cation. But, to cap the climax of this array of opposition, the reverend father, in the bosom of the old "Mother," has pub- licly threatened to curse every mother's son or daughter of his Mock who will dare to set their feet in our meeting house.
You may realize from the above outline that they are all in a stew here, and we mean to keep them so, so long as the truth will do it; and we only desire to have wisdom from the Lord to keep outside of every snare that may be laid to entrap us.
Notwithstanding the attempt of the wicked one to thwart
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our purposes, the Lord has been with us, and has so far pros- pered our labors that we had the happiness of organizing a branch of the Church of Christ at Poonah last Sunday, com- posed of twelve members, including three Elders and one Teacher. This little company are of a mixed birth, Europeans. Eurasian and native, but one in spirit, and the first fruits of that spirit, love and union begin to show themselves, as the evidence to all that we are of God; a contrast to the fact that the joint chaplains at this station so heartily hate one another as to be unable to speak to each other. "Herein shall all men know that ye are my disciples."
Your brother and fellow servant,
The following we copy from the Millennial Star of Novem- ber, 1852: "We have just published an edition of the 'Voice of Joseph/ a brief account of the rise, progress and persecu- tions of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with their present position and future prospects in Utah Territory. By Elder Lorenzo Snow. It is printed in new, cleaf type, on superfine paper, and is adapted for extensive circulation among honest inquirers after truth, being peculiarly calculated to impart a general idea of the foundation, history and persecu- tions of the work of the last days."
We insert the following item, which owes its importance to some extent to the circumstances of the situation in which the writer was placed :
LAUSANNE, SEPTEMBER 16TH, 1852. Dear President Richards:
Nearly two years have passed away since I left parents, wife and children to join the Italian mission. During that long period I have experienced many changes in these foreign lands.
One day I sat down in a solitary place, and melancholy
thoughts began to occupy my mind. Then a strange sensation swept over my spirit. Did I fall asleep and dream, or did the visions of futurity beam around? The world seemed spread out before me, and revolution after revolution passed over the nations.
I saw Jerusalem inhabited by happy multitudes. The children were playing in the streets, and old men leaning upon their staves. The curse brooded no longer over Judah's ancient land, for the midnight shades of sin and sorrow were replaced by the brightness of the Millennial morn.
Jesus had visited the earth again, and all nature smiled as if conscious of her Creator's presence. Myriads of noble beings came from tower and temple, and stood near the holy city. Then the Savior came forth, and every eye rested upon His glorious countenance, while every knee bowed in reve- rence. He raised His right hand, and, pointing to Calvary, thus addressed the mighty host which worshiped at His feet: " Two thousand years ago I died upon that Mount for the sins of the world, but now my Father hath given me the crown of universal empire. Thus shall it be known through all His vast creations that sacrifice and obedience bring forth honor and immortality."
Then I started as from a trance, and lo ! instead of the palm trees and flowers of the "pleasant land," I was sur- rounded by the rocks and snows of the Alpine wilds. But all was not fled, for those words, "sacrifice and obedience bring forth honor and immortality," left a soothing balm upon my spirit w r hich will never be forgotten.
Yours in the New and Everlasting Covenant,