43 late 36, Islington, Liverpool
Augt. 27th 1857

 Prest B. Young

Dear Bro,

 We learn from the “Mormon” and from Bro. Eldridge that the Postmaster Genrl has annulled the contract with Bro. St. Kimball for carrying the mail to Utah, and that it is accumulating at Independance awaiting the re-letting of the contract.  Supposing that the last 2 or 3 letters from this office, are still at Independance, and that, the as usual the duplicates, directed by way of California, are in the same bags with the originals waiting to cross the plains – we have thought it advisable to send it with this, a copy of the last letter.

 This will be sent to Bro Eldridge St Louis to be by him forwarded by express –

 Your letter of the 30th June was received on the 10th last.

 We find nothing on our books to the Credit of John Picket Jr GSLCity, and have no knowledge that anything has ever been paid by any one for him. Since last date we have received the following particulars relative to the Coinage [page break] Soldiers, viz,  Corps Marcus Speer 1st Regt John Archibald Bombardiers Artilery force and private  McKenzise 93 Regt Highlands all gone to India-

Every day’s expenses proves to us more conclusively if possible that our estimate of the financial affairs of the Mission and our ability to raise money was correct.  This matter has been clearly set before you in former letters.  Upon the introduction of weekly Tithing, it was thought advisable to make no other requisitions for money, and to do away with all other collections except so far as they were volunteered.  The result is, that all expenses of every description are paid out of tithing- no other money is collected.  The Saints feel that if they pay their Tithing faithfully, it is all they can do – They can do nothing towards clothing the Elders, or sending Missionaries to other fields of labor on their arrival here or sending them home at the close of their Missions – or hardly give them a meal of victuals.

The information has greatly reduced the number of Saints, still those that are left, are faithful, but poor and can do but little after paying their Tithing.  They are anxious to emigrate but can do but little towards it – almost universally those [page break] persons who have any means other than their daily wages, have neglected to renew their covenants or pay tithing –

Missionaries arrive here destitute of either money or clothing, and often in debt for money borrowed in the States to cross the Atlantic, and dependant upon this office for means to pay that indebtedness, procur clothing, and defray their expenses forward to their several fields of labor, all of which has to be paid out of tithing We cannot now, as heretofor send them among the Conferences to procure these means.  They are supplied from this office, and instructed to return it again as soon as possible after they commence their labors.  Is this right, and shall we continue to do so?  Or should the missionaries remain in the states until they can procur sufficient means without borrowing to enable them to reach their destination?  It took ₤70.7.6 besides what they borrowed in the states for the outfit of Bror Richardson & Brooks for Africa; Bro Littlewood not yet arrived.

The Scandinavian and Swiss & Italian Missionaries were also supplied by this office out of Tithing.  In all it has taken about ₤375 to get the 32 Missionaries already arrived to their several fields of labor this fall, to which [page break] add say £62. More for those yet to arrive including Littlewood for Africa and we have the Sum of £437. exclusion of the amount borrowed by them in the States, to get them ready to begin their labors.

The Swiss and Italian Mission is doing but little and <for years past> has <had> to draw much of its support from this office.  Shall <we> continue to supply the means? Brother Smith, in an confidence, has done the best he could and probably as well as any one else could have done, but the field is a poor one – bigotry superstition and intolerance have too strong a hold them, for the Gospels to prosper much. We have a French manuscript translation of about 200 of our hymns which cost about £20. Shall we let the Smiss and Station Mission have it without spending the money? Bro Smith would not be able to publish, but might select a few for present use.

All the means for the outfit and [unreadable] of returning missionaries & presidents of Conferences have to be taken from the Tithing- the people cannot fit them out as heretofor. They have been in the habit of receiving from £50, to 150, each. Paying it out of tithing, how much as a general thing should they have?

Is it your wish that all or a part of those [page break] <any> who came over in the Spring of 1856 should be released to return in the spring of 1858?

 We find that the most difficult part of the duties of the President has in regard to finances, is to present the money bring Sgnand and in the Conferences.  Prior to the establishment of tithing in 1856 all moneys having been collected by donation, no report of receipts or expenditures have ever been required to be sent to this office. Reports were made to the people at the Conference, and then the matter rested. The same courses was pursued the first year of tithing, but certain instances of extravagant expenditures by some of the presidents & pastors having come to our knowledge this summer, we required a financial report to be made to this office from every Conference. About the 1st of July these reports (the first of the kind ever made) came in–  and we find that in many of the Confrences, a great want of economy exists in disbursing the tithing and in some instances a considerable extravagance indulged in– while in others, a reckless squandering of tithing for personal indulgences of pastors & presidents has been manifested.

In Birmingham Conference for instance, one of the best in the Mission 18 months since then was <found to exist> a debt of about £350 incurred mostly through the extravagant living of Elders. Since that time [page break] under the management of Jones and Muir , that debt has been paid off, the regular and full amount of Temple fund money paid, and all the Legitimate & necessary expenses met and some paid into the PE Fund.  Conference houses have been a great source of extravagance– they have been abolished.  In one Conference in Wales the President has managed to use up about £300. in the last 18 months in this way, wheras in reality £75. would have been a great allowance.  The President of the Glasgow Conference has expended £186. upon himself, the Conference house & Elders ec in the last 6 months.  £50. would have been all sufficient.  I have limited him to £1. per week –   for weeks—much to his dissatisfaction.

In Wales, in order to induce the Saints to adopt the law of Tithing, the “Star” “Journal of discourses” and “[unreadable] [unreadable]” have documents to discuss and “Upon Season” has been distributed gratis to all Tithing payers, and paid for out of the Tithing.  This is claimed to have been established by the consent & counsels of Bro Richards on the grounds that it was “well to be a little tender of the Saints in establishing a new principle.”  These foolish and wicked extravagances came to light only on the receipt of the first report in July. These are some of the worst cases of extravagences that have come to our knowledge, and we mention them [page end] to give you an idea of what has become of the money heretofor.  To prevent a continuance of these extravagancies, we have established strict rules both by verbal counsel, by letter, and in the Star as to the expenditure of the Church funds; and required them to send up quarterly reports as per editorial in Star No 36. present orders.

Owing to the great reduction in numbers and the poverty of the saints the tithing [unreadable] has not as yet much more these and the £2500.  Temple fund, leaving nothing or at most very little for the PE Fund.  This is rather discouraging to the saints.  They are anxious to gather, but cannot do it themselves, and there is nothing going for the liquidation of the PE Fund debts– are confident that more money is paid under the Tithing arrangement, than could be realized any other way, and when we can put a thorough & rigid system of economy established a considerable amount of money will find its way to the office that has heretofor been needlessly used to say the least.

In consequence of the false reports that are in circulation relative to the church and the great exertions of our enemies in opposition, the prejudices of the people are so great, and their hearts are so hardened and steeled against us, that the traveling [or teaching] [page break] Elders are not received, nor are their wants supplied by the gentile world.  It is not an uncommon thing for them to have to lie out in the fields or under the hedges 3 or 4 nights in a week, and fast from 1 to 3 days at a time, unless they fall back upon the saints for a meals & then go out again.  Their message is not only not received but they are treated with abuse & violence, often [unreadable] and mobbed – there are individuals however both men and women who would be glad to hear and entertain them, and relieve their wants – but they dare not do it.  They are commanded by their employers (under the penalty of forfeiting their places – and being turned into the street / to shout their doors and their hearts against the Elders, to neither hear feed or clothe them.  Shall they be continued and relieved from the tithing, or shall they be [unreadable] withdrawn when they can stand it no longer. They must be fed and clothed some how.

We send a copy of the “Antidote to Mormonism” (an opposition weekly publication) to the Historian which will give you some idea of what we have to meet and contend with here.

 Brother Pratt still continues to visit the different parts of the mission whenever his other duties will allow, and preaches nearly every [page break] Sabbath he is in Liverpool – and receiving in the streets to large and sometimes very attentive  audiences.

 Brother Benson is indifatigable in his labors throughout the mission.  He is at the office now and enjoying good health and excellent Spirits.  Bros Pratt & Benson were at Leeds of Bradford 2 weeks since, tomorrow they go to the Isle of Man, next week to London where they will hold a pastoral conference.

 Brother Ray’s time is mostly taken up by his labors in the office.  He is very faithful in spreading the gospel by distributing tracts and preaching both in and out of doors.

 Brother Calkin is in good health and desires a kind remembrance, he has been faithful & diligent, and has relieved us in a great measure from the burden of business, leaving us at liberty to devote the greater part of our time to editing, Counseling, preaching &c. – under his direction and management the business has become simplified and the clerks familiarized with every department of it.  We expect he will be released to return home next spring – Is that your mind?

 We had forgotten to mention that in [page break] one or two instances some of the primary emigration fund has been used by the president of the confrence as tithing. but upon investigation we find it is not to the extent we feared. In hard endeavored to put a check upon it do you [unreadable] see by Star No. 36—

 May the blessings of Heaven rest upon you

 Your Brother in the Covenant

 Orson Pratt
Ezra T. Benson
J. A. Ray 

P.S. On the 24th of July Bro Pratt availed himself of the privilege which you so kindly granted him.

[Transcribed by Pat Bishop, Nora Fowers, Heather Hoyt, Brandan Hull, Sylvia Kuhn, Erin McAllister, Wally Parker, Pete Pratt, Delma Saunders, Becca Staker and Julia Winfield, Feb, 2010]

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