Letter from Orson Hyde, 15 June 1841

due time, thou shalt go to Jerusalem, the  land of thy fathers, and be a watchman  unto the house of Israel; and by thy  hands, shall the Most High do a good  work, which shall prepare the way, and  greatly facilitate the gathering together  of that people.’ Many other particulars  were told me by him, at that time, which  I do not write in this letter: But suffi cient is written to show that divine ap pointment is claimed as the main-spring  that has sent me forth from the embraces  of an affectionate family, and kind friends  as well as from the land that gave me  birth.”
“My labors since that period, have  been bestowed upon the Gentiles In va rious countries, and on both sides of the  Atlantic, until, in the early part of March  1840, I retired to my bed one night as  usual; and while meditating, and con templating the field of my future labors,  the vision of the Lord, like clouds of light  burst into my view. (See Joel, 2. 28)  The cities of London, Amsterdam, Con stantinople, and Jerusalem, all appeared  in succession before me; and the spirit  said unto me, ‘Here are many of the  children of Abraham whom I will gather  to the land that I gave to their fathers;  and here also, is the field of your labors.  Take therefore propper credentials from  my people, your brethren, and also from  the Governor of your State with the seal  of authority thereon, and go ye forth to  the cities which have been shown you,  and declare these words unto Judah, and  say, ‘Blow ye the trumpet in the land;  cry, gather together, and say, assemble  yourselves and let us go into the defenc ed cities. Set up the standard towards  Zion—retire stay not; for I will bring  evil from the north, and a great destruc tion. The lion is come up from his thick et, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on  his way—he is gone forth from his place  to make thy land desolate, and thy cities  shall be laid waste, without an inhab itant.’
“Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem,  and cry unto her, that her warfare is ac complished—that her iniquity is pardon ed for she hath received of the Lord’s  hand double for all her sins.”
“Let your warning voice be heard  among the Gentiles as you pass, and call  ye upon them in my name for aid and  for assistance. With you, it mattereth  not whether it be little or much; but to  me it belongeth to show favor unto them  who show favor unto you.’
“The vision continued open about six  hours, that I did not close my eyes in  sleep. In this time, many things were  shown unto me which I have never writ ten, neither shall I write them until they  are fulfilled in Jerusalem.”
“It appears, from the prophets, that  Jerusalem has none to guide—none to  take her by the hand among all the sons  whom she hath brought forth and reared:  But these two sons are come unto thee!  The sons of strangers shall build up thy  walls.’
“Permit me now Rev. Sir, to trouble  you with the reflections of a mind that  feels completely untrameled from every  party interest, and from every sectarian  influence. When I look at the condition  of your fathers in the days of David and  Solomon, and contrast that with the pres ent condition of their descendants, I am led  to exclaim, ‘How are the mighty fallen!’  Then they possessed a kingdom—a land  flowing with milk and honey—then the  strong arm of Jehovah taught the sur rounding nations to pay tribute and hom age to them—then their standard was  raised high, their banner floated on every  breeze; and under its shade, the sons and  daughters of Israel reposed in perfect  safety; and the golden letters of light  and knowledge were inscribed on its folds.  But now, no kingdom—no country—no  tribute of gain or honor—no standard—no  security: Their sceptre has departed! and  instead of that light and knowledge which  once gave them a transcendant elevation  above other nations, the height of their  ambition, is now, (with some honorable  exceptions) the accumulation of sordid  gain, by buying and selling the stale refuse  with which their fathers would never  have defiled their hands,”
“Why this wonderful change? Is the  God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, a  just God? Most certainly he is. If, then,  he is a just God, of course, he will mete  out and apportion the chastisement or  peanlty [penalty], to the magnitude of the offence  or crime committed. Allowing, then, the  law of Moses to be the standard by which  actions are weighed: Were not idolatry  and the shedding of innocent blood, the  greatest sins which your fathers commit ted? and was not the penalty inflicted  upon them for that transgression, cap tivity in Babylon seventy years? Have [p. 553]
Orson Hyde, Letter, London, England, to JS, Nauvoo, IL, 15 June 1841; in Times and Seasons, 1 Oct. 1841, 2:551–555.