To the Saints in the Eastern States.

Beloved Brethren and Sisters,

It is now nearly eight months since I left my home, my house, lands, wife, children, mother, friends and kindred in the west, to reside among you.  I am now about to return and spend a few months with them, if the Lord will; I therefore wish to leave my blessing and a few words of advice.

I congratulate you on the happy result of your hearkening to the counsel of those who were sent among you, bearing the keys of the kingdom for the government and direction of the church in all things.  The result has been union, peace and love, and an increase of faith, knowledge, and zeal in the glorious work.

By your efforts, in connexion with others, the City of Joseph has been strengthened and preserved—the poor employed, and kept from scattering abroad—the walls of the Temple completed, with a prospect of speedily being enclosed—the Nauvoo House recommenced with redoubled vigor, and many other public and private improvements carried forward with rapidity and dispatch, while at the same time the farming and manufacturing interests of our community in the west have been increased many fold.

Thus by co-operation, and union of effort, a thousand branches of industry have sprung into existence, or received new life and vigour within the short space of eight months.

This is certainly encouraging, and should stimulate the Saints to persevere in the same course.  Our salvation depends on our gathering together from among the sectarian corruptions, and on our building cities, temples, sanctuaries, and strong holds of righteousness and truth, where we can live in peace and be taught the principles and practice of the truth, till we become sanctified by the same, and perfectly united without a jar or schism, so that the immediate power and presence of God may rest upon us, and be in our midst; otherwise we must perish with the wicked, for the Lord God has decreed the overthrow of nations and empires, thrones and dominions, states and republics, so entire that those who are left alive, will humble themselves, put away their priestcraft and idolatry, and obey the voice of his servants.  We cannot stand with Babylon, nor lean upon Egypt for help and protection, therefore we must be sufficiently united, and sufficiently taught and empowered to help ourselves and protect ourselves.  In short, we must be the Noahs and the Lots of the age.  This being the fact, it will be readily comprehended that our temporal and spiritual duties and interests are inseparably connected and blended in one.  We cannot gather together without branches of industry, sufficient to support us, therefore we rejoice in the fruits of our obedience and union up to the present time.  And when we read the prophecies of ancient and modern saints, and seeing them actually fulfilling—when we see the efforts that are being made in Europe, and the States by the Church of the Saints, it requires but a small degree of faith to look into the future and see in a very few years a hundred cities of the Saints, with their palaces and temples, and halls of education; and all teeming with life, beauty, industry, knowledge, temperance and peace, while the inhabitants of the same possess a degree of intelligence, civilization, union and affection, which will be a standard for all nations and tribes, and for all succeeding ages.

Yes, my friends, think it not strange, if before ten years roll round, Nauvoo is the largest and most wealthy city in America, diffusing wealth, comfort, peace and knowledge through all parts of the West, and more or less to the whole world.

Think it not strange if a million of industrious Saints are congregated in that and the neighboring cities, all acting in union, with one heart and mind, while every market in the world is supplied more or less with the productions of their skill and industry.

Think it not strange if kings, princes, nobles and great men come there with their rich presents in the name of the Lord, and to his sanctuary to seek knowledge, and to receive endowment and salvation, for themselves and their dead.

Think it not strange if Mordecai, instead of Haman, should at last be the man whom the great king delighteth to honour, while at the same time Haman has use for his own gallows.

Brethren, the Church of the Saints has stood firm and unmoved amidst all the lies and slander that ever was or ever can be invented by men or devils; therefore they have nothing more to fear from that source.  You have stood firm amid the rattle of chains, the groaning and creaking of prison doors, and the gloom of dungeons.

The vexations caused by the abuse of civil and military authority, have never moved you from your faith, or checked your progress.

The roar of artillery, the sharp crack of the rifle, the pistol, bayonets, the whistle of musket balls, and the clashing of swords, have all been tried in vain; the Church of the Saints has survived all these efforts, and while her sons, daughters, prophets, apostles and leaders, together with the aged and the infant, have fallen martyrs, she has still stood firm and united, maintaining her position and moving forward her enterprise.  States have spent their fury and exhausted their resources in vain to check her progress.  Governors and legislators have withheld all protection, deprived her of every right, and even combined with murderers to exterminate, rob, drive, plunder and murder.  But you have withstood all their efforts, even in the days of the infancy of the church, and while you were weak in faith and few in numbers, your progress was still onward in power and majesty.  What now have we to fear?  What new enemy can come into the field?  What new trial has the church to meet?  We boldly answer, none.  We bid defiance to all the host of Satan—to all the spirits of hell—all the lying priests, editors, and ‘christians,’ who follow them—to all the states, governors and legislatures in the world—or to death itself, to bring a trial upon the Church of Latter-day Saints that they have not already effectually met, and proved themselves competent to surmount.  Therefore we have nothing now left to fear or dread.  We are able, in the strength of the God of Joseph, to fill the world with truth and wisdom, and to establish peace, and bring in everlasting righteousness, for ere long the Lord of Lords, and King of Kings will descend from heaven, with all his mighty hosts to help us, and to complete the victory.  And the last enemy which shall be subdued under the feet of God and his Saints, is Death.  Then hosanna to God and the Lamb, and hail to the immortal Joseph and all the martyrs.  They shall be crowned and enthroned, and enter upon their high and responsible offices as kings, priests, presidents, and governors, and judges by acclamation, and reign, and his saints take the kingdom under the whole heaven and possess it, for they are worthy.

Then shall governors, legislators and rulers of this world, who once had a little brief authority walk up to the bar of justice, and receive a righteous sentence.  Then shall their abuses of the Saints be had in remembrance, and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh, for their worm shall not die, nor shall their fire be quenched.

Brethren, I command you as sheep and lambs to the care of our good Shepherd, and also to the care of the several shepherds who have been appointed and recommended to lead and watch over you for good.  Do not for a moment be led away by the influence of some ‘great men’ who may chance to come among you with great swelling words, and fair speech, who are not sent here by the Twelve to take the charge, but have come on their own responsibility, to build themselves up, to get gain, to have men’s persons in admiration, because of advantage, to ‘support the claims’ of some person to the general presidency of the Church.

Brethren, no one’s claims need any support.  Those who hold the keys of the kingdom of God will be supported by the spirit of God, and by his angels, and also by the aid and prayers of the Saints.  And they will say nothing about their ‘claims,’ nor will they need the talents of men to advocate them.

If men hold the keys of the kingdom of God, they are not dependent upon men to support their claims; but the church and all the world is dependent on them and on the keys committed to them for the ministration of salvation.  They can shut and no more open, or open and no more shut.  And to these authorities all must bow, so far as to be ministered to, and governed in the things of salvation, or else remain without the blessings of the kingdom.  To obey them is to obey Jesus; to reject them is to reject Jesus; for they are his messengers, and the entire generation to whom they are sent, shall answer for the reception of them, precisely the same as if Jesus had come in person, and they had done the same to him, whether it be good or evil.

The Saints of the east will do well to continue in the spirit of union, and to abide by the laws of God.  Hearken to counsel—meet together oft—pray much—pay your tithing strictly—contribute liberally—support faithful men, and keep the spirit of gathering, for this is the spirit of God—

“He that gathereth not with me, scattereth.”
“How oft would I have gathered you.”

Faithful (I mean those of you who cannot immediately gather to the west), as we will send advice and counsel from time to time, and also faithful men to take the care of this part of the vineyard.  The blessing of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and of Joseph and Hyrum, and Brigham and Heber, and all other like men, be with you forever.  Amen.

Parley P. Pratt

Boston, July 20th, 1845

[Millennial Star, July 1845]
[Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, July 20, 1845, 1-2]

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, July 2006]

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