Letter from Wilford Woodruff and Others, 9 March 1838

Vinalhaven, Fox Islands, Me.
March 9th, 1838.
I, Willford [Wilford] Woodruff, sit  down to inform you, that I have just  heard, correctly, of the deplorable state  of things in Kirtland, and I have this  day held a council with Elders J[oseph] Ball  and J[ames] Townsend, who are now with  me upon these Islands, and we resolved  to address a few lines to you concern ing our feelings, and set before you a  brief account of things with us, and the  course we intend to pursue. I have  labored principally alone upon these  Islands, since Elder [Jonathan H.] Hale left last fall,  and the work of the Lord has prosper ed in my hands, or in other words, the  Lord has worked with me during the  winter. Elder Joseph Ball has been  with me for a number of weeks past  upon the Islands. There is rising of  40 members in the church on these Isl ands, and they are strong in the faith.  I returned last evening from a mission  in company with Elder James Town send. we have been visiting the most  notable cities and vilages in the eastern  country, and delivering unto them the  word of God.
We preached in their City Halls,  Chapels, School houses, dwellings &c.,  in such places as Camden, Belfast,  Northport, Frankfort, Hampden and  the City of Bangor. Doors were open  in all of these places, and many others  I might mention, and the people heard  with profound attention; and many are  believing. I never saw more doors  open for doing good, than at the pres ent time in the State of Maine: But  the Devil is stired up against me here  on the Island.
One Methodist priest has applied  several times for a warrant to take me,  but the Officers, as yet, will not grant  him any, for he cannot bring any ac cusation against me in t[r]uth or justice.
The most trouble I now have, is the  stopping the papers. I have forwarded  about 30 subscribers with the money,  and now the press is burnt down, and  our enemies roar in the midst of the  congregations, and they set up these  ensigns for signs.
I expect the report of these things  will come like a clap of thunder in the  ears of the Saints upon these Islands  and else where. They do not know it  yet, but are wondering why these pa pers do not come. We have appointed  a time to meet the church, and we  shall lay all these things before them  and trust in God for wisdom to direct  us. The Elders that are with me are  expecting to go to their homes, and I  shall be left to fight the battles alone.  Brethren, pray for me out of Zion,  for I have a load to bear; but in the  name of Elijah’s God, I am determined  to stand at my post. I feel as though  the time of Jacob’s trouble had began,  but I know God will deliver him out of  it, and fulfil his word.
We are advising the Saints of God  to go from this country to Zion, as soon  as they can. I suppose this is right:  many are preparing to go the following  season.
Now we say to the Presidency of the  church in Zion; we do not expect to  counsel you, nor any one there, let  God be your counsellors. But we ask,  can it not be consistent with the will of  God and your feelings and circum stances, to soon publish the Elders’  Journal from Zion, that we may have  one weapon, to cut away some of the  deep gloom, that will be cast upon the  minds of thousands of the Saints, by  wicked men and devils, and false breth ren. The traveling Elders feel the  wait of these things, equally, if not  more than those who are in Zion; for  we are naked targets to the press and  tongue, as we pass through the midst  of the Gentiles. O my God! have  mercy and support us, I pray, through  the toils that are to come, that our gar ments may be washed white in the  blood of the Lamb! for it is through  tribulation that we inherit the blessing  and overcome.
Could the Elders’ Journal be contin ued, it would be great relief to the feel ings of all the faithful; for while our  enemies are publishing against us,  even in Kirtland, we should also know  what God is doing for his Saints.
Brethren, we pray you to consider  this last clause, not for our sake alone,  but for the sake of all the faithful that  are scattered abroad. We do not make  these remarks because we have any  lack of confidence in you.—No, God  forbid, we believe you have done, and  will do all that lies in your power for [p. 35]
Wilford Woodruff, James Townsend, and Joseph Ball, letter, Vinalhaven, Fox Islands, ME, to JS, Edward Partridge, Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith, and church members in Missouri, 9 Mar. 1838; Elders’ Journal , July 1838, pp. 35–36.