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Letter from Wilford Woodruff and Jonathan H. Hale, 18 September 1837

Letter from Wilford Woodruff and Jonathan H. Hale, 18 September 1837

North Lat, 44. Long. 69, 10. Vin alhaven, Fox Islands, Monday, Sept.  18th, 1837.
To Joseph Smith Jr. and the  church of Latter Day Saints in  Kirtland greeting:
Dear Saints of God,  whom we love of a truth for the truth’  sake that dwelleth in you, and we pray  God that it may abide with you forev er: As we are called to stand upon  the Islands of the sea, in defence of the  truth and for the word of God and the  testimony of Jesus Christ. We are  under the necessity of making use of  our pen, to give you an account of our  labors in the ministry since we left  Kirtland, as we cannot at present speak  to you face to face. We left Kirtland  May 31st, and took Steamboat at Fair port [Ohio] in company with Elder Milton  Holmes, to go forth to labor in the  vineyard as the Lord should direct.— After calling on the Saints in Jefferson  Co. N. Y. we arrived at Sackett’s  Harbour and took Steamboat on the  6th of June for Upper Canada and on  the 8th arived at Brother Artemus  Judd’s. And on the 10th, had the hap py privilege of setting in conference  with John E. Page, James Blakes lee, and a number other elders, and a  large congregation of Saints. And  we were blessed with a very interesting  time. After spending several days  with them we took the parting hand  with these beloved friends and pro ceeded on our journey for the East in  company with elder John Goodson, and  others bound for England. We took  the parting hand with them at Schenec tady, and arrived at the Caanan church  in Connecticut, visited the church a  few days. Here elder M. Holmes  took his departure for Mass. and we  went to Colebrook, visited different parts  of the town and held eight meetings,  from thence to Canton and held a meet ing in the village hall in Collinsville.— As we commenced speaking several  began to beat their drums at the doors  which made much confusion. This is  the only disturbance we have had since  we left Kirtland. We next visited  Avon, where we held four meetings  and many came out to hear and mani fested a spirit of inquiry. And elder  [Wilford] Woodruff had the privilege of leading  three of his kinfolk into the waters of  baptism. And had not the Spirit call ed us away to perform a greater work,  we should have had no difficulty in es tablishing a branch of the church in  that place. A family where we tarried  but one night, and taught them the  things of the kingdom, believed our tes timony, and after our departure, two  of the household followed us 15 miles  to receive baptism at our hands, but we  were gone, and they truly believed it  to be a day of warning and not of ma ny words. We also visited Farming ton and held one meeting in the Meth odist meeting house, and preached to  an attentive congregation who wished  to hear more concerning the great work  of God. We left Farmington on the 20  of July, for Mass. and after visiting  the Bradford church, and after preach ing several times with them, we pro ceeded on our journey to Saco, Maine,  where we spent several days with the  church and friends. But duty urging  us forward to lift the warning voice to  those that had not heard the sound of  the gospel, we then went to the city of  Portland. We there took the Steam er Bangor on the 19 of August, to speed  us on our way to the Islands of the sea,  they landed us at Owls head at the set ting of the sun: But how to get con veyance to the Islands we knew not,  we retired to a grove and offered up  our thanks unto God for his mercies  and asked him to open our way before  us; we returned to the Inn and soon  found some men that were going near  the Islands that night, they said they  would land us if we chose to take pas sage with them. We accordingly went  on board, they hoisted sail and landed  us on North Fox Island, Vinalhaven,  at 2 o’clock Sunday morning, August  20th. It was with peculiar feelings  and sensations that we began to walk  forth upon one of the Islands of the sea  which was wrapped in the sable shades  of night, whose waters had never cov ered a soul for the remission of their  sins after the order of the gospel, and  which soil had never before been press ed by the foot steps of an elder of Is rael. We were Strangers, Pilgrims,  and almost pennyless. But we had [p. [1]]
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Wilford Woodruff and Jonathan H. Hale, letter, Vinalhaven, Fox Islands, ME, to JS and the church, Kirtland, OH, 18 Sept. 1837; Elders’ Journal, Oct. 1837, pp. 1–3.

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