43991649

Letter from Orson Hyde, 15 June 1841

LETTER FROM ELDER O[rson] HYDE.
London June 15th, 1841.
President Smith:
Sir, With pleasure I take  my pen to write you at this time, and  through you to the Times and Seasons;  and through it, to the saints at large; and  to all whom it may concern.
May grace, mercy, and peace, from  God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus  Christ, rest upon you abundantly, and  enable you to serve him acceptably— secure to yourself that honor which com eth from above—guide the counsels of  the saints in wisdom, that peace and good  will may reign predominant in Zion, and  joy and gladness swell every grateful  heart.
Most gladly would I embrace an op portunity of a personal interview with  you, did one offer, but such a favor is be yond my reach at this time. I have just  seen the 12th No. of the Times and Sea sons, containing the minutes of your con ference—the report of the presidency— the celebration of the anniversary of the  church; and the laying of the foundation  of the Temple. This, to me, was a pre cious gem. It brought tidings from my  own country; and from the place ren dered doubly endearing from the fact that  there is the home of my wife and chil dren.
I was sorry that Elder [John E.] Page had been  so tardy in his movements, that objections  were made to him. Most gladly would I  have hailed him as a companion to the  Oriental Continent; but my hopes of that  are fled. I shall go alone, or find some  other person in all probability to go with  me.
I have writ[t]en a book to publish in the  German language, setting forth our doc trine and principles in as clear and con cise a manner as I possibly could. Af ter giving the history of the rise of the  church, in something the manner that  Br. O[rson] Pratt did, I have written a snug  little article upon every point of doctrine  believed by the saints. I began with the  Priesthood, and showed that the saints were not under the necessity of tracing  back the dark and bloody stream of pa pal superstition to find their authority,  neither were they compelled to seek for  it among the floating and trancient no tions of Protestant reformers; but God  has sent his holy angel directly from  heaven with this seal and authority, and  conferred it upon men with his own  hands: quoting the letter and testimony  of O[liver] Cowdery. Next was on the use  and validity of the holy scriptures in the  church. Next on faith, set forth from  the scriptures and the book of covenants —then on repentance—then baptism— then laying on of hands—then the differ ent offices of the church. Next the  power and authority of each one; and in  fine the whole order, doctrine and govern ment of the saints. I have not written  it as a law binding on the German saints;  but have taken this course to illustrate  and set forth the true principles of our  doctrine to them, fully believing that it  would meet with the cordial approbation  of those whom I have the distinguished  honor to represent, could they but see it.  I have written a lengthy preface and in troduction to it. I here copy an extract  from the introduction.
“When in the course of Divine Provi dence, it becomes our duty to record one  of those remarkable events which gives  birth to a new era. and lays the founda tion for the renovation of the moral world;  it fills the mind with wonder, astonish ment, and admiration: How welcome  are the rays of the morning light, after  the shades of darkness have clothed the  earth in gloom! So after a long and te dious night of moral darkness under  which the earth has rolled, and her in habitants groaned for the last fourteen  hundred years; an angel! an angel!!  commissioned from the Almighty, dis cended, and rolled back the curtains of  night from the minds of some, and caus ed the sun-beams of truth to enlighten,  cheer, and warm the hearts of many.  Welcome! welcome to our earth, thou  messenger of the Most High! and thrice  welcome, the tidings which thou hast  borne!!” [p. [551]]
Next
Orson Hyde, Letter, London, England, to JS, Nauvoo, IL, 15 June 1841; in Times and Seasons, 1 Oct. 1841, 2:551–555.

Facts