<April 30> Thursday 30. Elders , and met at Elder [Thomas] Kington’s at Dymock.
“Columbus May 1. 1840— President Smith. Sir. The mission upon which we are sent swells greater and greater— As there is a great work to be done in Germany, as manifested to us by the Spirit; the following plan had been suggested to us; viz, to write a set of lectures upon the faith and doctrine of our Church, giving a brief history of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and an account of its contents, in as clear and plain style as possible; together with the out lines and organization and government of the Church of Latter Day Saints, drawn from the “doctrine and Covenants” with all the wisdom and care possible; and get the same translated into German, and publish it when we arrive in Germany, and scatter it through the German Empire, Is this correct? should we consider it necessary to translate the entire Book of Mormon into German, and Doctrine and Covenants too; are we, or are we not at liberty to do so? Should we deem it necessary to publish an edition of Hymn Books in any Country; are we at liberty to do it? The fact is, we need such works, and we cannot get them from the Church here; and if we could we could not well carry them with us, at least any quantity. We feel that we are acting under the direction of the Presidency of the Church; and the reason that we make these enquiries, is, that we do not wish to step beyond our limits, or bring ourselves into a snare and dishonor by taking liberties that are not ours.
We feel that all our exertions and interests shall become subservient to build up the Kingdom of God. We wish to be co-workers with you and with the Spirit of the Lord. We did not converse so much upon these literary works as we should have done before we left. The fact was, we did not begin to see the greatness of our mission before we left home; our minds were in a nut shell. It seems to us that we should spread this work among all people, languages and tongues so far as possible; and gather up all Jewels among the Jews besides— who is sufficient for these things? as agents for the Church abroad; and as co-workers with yourself in spreading this Kingdom to the remotest corners of the Earth; are we at liberty to translate and publish any works, that we may think necessary, or that the circumstances in which we are placed seem to require, whether original, or works published by the Church? If we are not at liberty to take this wide range, please tell us how far we may go. We are setting this great work before the people as an inducement to them to help us. If we are setting our standard too high, a word from you will bring it down.
We have held a two days meeting in this place. But in consequence of continual rains which swelled the creeks so high — — — the people could not get to us. The meeting was four miles from Columbus, one only baptized. We have now an opportunity to ride as far East as Indiana beyond the Metropolis, and have the privilege to stop and preach by the way. Will you write to us at , and much oblige— your Brethren in the Kingdom of God— — — P.S. will you please send word to , that I want her to write to me at , Ohio,— please bear it in mind and oblige thy friend —” [p. 1055]