March 20, 1878

Elder C. Nibley.

My dear Brother,

A line from “the borders” may not prove uninteresting to you; we are flourishing here in the “camp of the Philistines,” who are creating considerable excitement just now, wither their “revivals, noon-day prayer meetings,” etc; amidst the clamor and confusion, we managed to (as they say) lead away a few; the “come to Jesus” business is in full blast in the north, this coupled with the “Church” prayer meetings (where people flock at noon-day, by thousands) has caused “no small stir” among the “Sinners,” yet to those disinterested, it seems, “confusion worse confounded;” few indeed will listen to sound doctrine,–“the Bible, the Bible,” is the great cry, but it most be closed, or if opened, only long enough to “snatch” a line or two, then close it up again, for fear (I suppose) that some of these “precious truths” should escape; all that is required is, “Oh! Sinner, look and live.” From observations as I travel around, I think Christianity (?) will soon have to grapple with two deadly foes, viz. Secularism and Spiritualism, which have a powerful hold on the minds of many people, undoubtedly though, the latter will make the most rapid advances, especially with the “middle classes;” having attended their meetings, and enquired somewhat in their theology, I am forced to this conclusion; there are no works required, and all initiatory ordinances are dispensed with, this will just suit the masses; and as for the “Signs following,” they can be bad in profusion; from this platform they can, from the Scriptures alone, explode the entire so-called Christian fabric in a manner only to be excelled by a “Mormon” Elder; as for the “Signs” they have (here in Newcastle) the gift of “Tongues;” “Prophecy,” and “lay hands on the sick” and they recover; and there is one other feature I must not forget to mention, they do nothing in the name of Jesus; their supplications are always made to an “Infinite and eternal, Father and Mother God;” the name of Jesus never being mentioned. However, amid the strife and confusion, we manage by the “foolishness of preaching,” and sound scriptural argument, to save a few; our ranks have been strengthened by an even dozen recruits, since I saw you in February; we have quite a strong force now of “preaching timber” in the field, the local Elders rendering us valuable aid; brothers Benj. Newton, McMillan, Irvine, and Sam’l Newton being now organized as “regulars,” travel from ten to fifty miles, to hold meetings on Sundays, in different parts of the Conference.

These brethren are both able and willing. Brother Taylor and I have always traveled alone, in fact I have traveled alone since the 1st of August, as many of the Saints can accommodate on Elder, when two would greatly discommode them; another object in view was, that “Whereas,” we did not expect to remain here many years we wished to reach as far and as loud as possible, and as we are most assuredly gleaners, I cannot see that it requires many (together) to capture one kernel of wheat. Brother T. organized a Y.M.M.I.A. in Middlesboro, which is doing much good; our other meetings are generally well-attended, often having over fifty strangers present, we have five meetings a week, our last year’s converts were nearly all young people, this year’s harvest promises to be the same; am sorry “the powers” have decreed that brother T. should go to another Conference, can recommend him to Prest. Cook as an energetic young “Mormon” advocate, notwithstanding for several months he has suffered with a severe cold on the lungs. Brother Cowley arrived, and is now laboring in the Southwest district. Individually, spiritually and temporally, I am well, and have demonstrated to my entire satisfaction that the Lord will bless those who diligently seek Him.

Your Brother,
Royal B. Young.

[Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mar. 20, 1878, 4]
[Millennial Star, 40:188]

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, May 2006]


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