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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

come on the Lords business, we believed him faithful that had promised, and we felt willing to trust in his name, we soon came to a house, where we were received and we retired to rest. We arose in the morning made ourselves known as servants of the Lord, we inquired if there was any religion or priests on the Island; we were informed that there was a Baptist priest, a small church and a meeting house at the center of the Island. The town of Vinalhaven includes both North and South Fox Islands: Pop. 1800. The inhabitants are generally wealthy, intelligent, industrious, generous and hospitable to strangers. North Island is 9 miles long, and 2 wide, pop. 800. South Island is 10 miles long, and 5 wide, pop. 1000 &c. As it was Sabbath morning there was to be preaching in the meeting house, we concluded to attend considering it a proper place to introduce the gospel. When we arived at the place, meeting had commenced, the deacon came to the door and we informed him that we were servants of the Lord, that we had a message for the people and wished to be heard, the deacon informed the priest that we were preachers of the gospel. He invited us into the stand and gave out an appointment for us at 5 o’clock P. M. After the priest had closed his discourse he invited us to his house during the intermission. We presented him the book of Mormon, he appeared friendly and said he should like to read it. We met according to appointment and preached to them the first principles of the gospel. We then gave out appointments for the four following evenings to be held at the several school houses on the Island. The people came out in great numbers and heard with attention and manifested much anxiety, and in fourteen days we held nineteen meetings. The Baptist priest became alarmed seeing that his craft was in danger; and fearing that if he held his peace all Fox Islands would believe on our words, accordingly he strove to use his influence against us, but without effect as you may judge on learning the fact that on Sunday the 27th while we met with a congregation, he had not so much as one to meet with him at his usual place of worship, for the excitement was so great that the members of his church and deacon, were attending our meetings and inviting us to visit them, and inquiring into these things. The Lord clothed us with his Spirit and we were enabled to stand up and boldly declare those things that are commanded us.—And the sound thereof soon reached the neighboring Islands and some of the inhabitants soon hoisted their sails to convey them over the waters to hear the tidings for themselves. On Sunday the 3rd of Sept. we preached to a large congregation assembled together from these Islands, at the close of our meeting we opened a door for baptism

An ordinance in which an individual is immersed in water for the remission of sins. The Book of Mormon explained that those with necessary authority were to baptize individuals who had repented of their sins. Baptized individuals also received the gift of...

View Glossary
, and a respectable sea captain and his wife offered themselves as candidates, we then assembled where there was much water and after offering up our prayers unto God, we then lead them down into the sea and baptized them and we returned rejoicing. On Monday following we visited the South Island to set before them the truths of the everlasting gospel. We held five meetings, the people came out by hundreds, to hear and filled the schoolhouses to overflowing.
Notwithstanding the anxiety of the people to hear more upon this important subject, yet we were under the necessity of returning to the North Island, to attend an appointment on Sunday, accordingly we met and preached to the people and opened a door for baptism and another sea Captain and a young lady came forward and we repaired to the sea shore and baptized them, and on Tuesday following, we administered the ordinance of baptism unto three others.
A Methodist priest on the South Island fearing whereunto these things would grow, came over to the Island where we were baptizing and made friends with the Baptist priest (like Herod and Pilate) and called a meeting, we attended. The Methodist priest arose and commenced warm hostilities against the book of Mormon, and our principles, we took minutes of his discourse that we might be correct in answering him. As he could not bring proof from the word of God against our principles, and in order to make an impression upon the minds of his hearers against the work; he took the book of Mormon in his hand, and with an out stretched arm declared that he feared none of the judgments of God that would come upon him for rejecting that book as the word of God. When [p. 2]
come on the Lords business, we believ ed him faithful that had promised, and  we felt willing to trust in his name,  we soon came to a house, where we  were received and we retired to rest.  We arose in the morning made ourselves  known as servants of the Lord, we in quired if there was any religion or  priests on the Island; we were inform ed that there was a Baptist priest, a  small church and a meeting house at  the center of the Island. The town of  Vinalhaven includes both North and  South Fox Islands: Pop. 1800. The  inhabitants are generally wealthy, in telligent, industrious, generous and  hospitable to strangers. North Island  is 9 miles long, and 2 wide, pop. 800.  South Island is 10 miles long, and 5  wide, pop. 1000 &c. As it was Sab bath morning there was to be preach ing in the meeting house, we conclu ded to attend considering it a proper  place to introduce the gospel. When  we arived at the place, meeting had  commenced, the deacon came to the  door and we informed him that we  were servants of the Lord, that we had  a message for the people and wished  to be heard, the deacon informed the  priest that we were preachers of the  gospel. He invited us into the stand  and gave out an appointment for us at  5 o’clock P. M. After the priest had  closed his discourse he invited us to his  house during the intermission. We  presented him the book of Mormon,  he appeared friendly and said he should  like to read it. We met according to  appointment and preached to them the  first principles of the gospel. We then  gave out appointments for the four fol lowing evenings to be held at the sev eral school houses on the Island. The  people came out in great numbers and  heard with attention and manifested  much anxiety, and in fourteen days  we held nineteen meetings. The Bap tist priest became alarmed seeing that  his craft was in danger; and fearing  that if he held his peace all Fox Islands  would believe on our words, accor dingly he strove to use his influence  against us, but without effect as you  may judge on learning the fact that on  Sunday the 27th while we met with a  congregation, he had not so much as  one to meet with him at his usual place  of worship, for the excitement was so  great that the members of his church  and deacon, were attending our meet ings and inviting us to visit them, and  inquiring into these things. The Lord  clothed us with his Spirit and we were  enabled to stand up and boldly declare  those things that are commanded us.— And the sound thereof soon reached  the neighboring Islands and some of the  inhabitants soon hoisted their sails to  convey them over the waters to hear  the tidings for themselves. On Sun day the 3rd of Sept. we preached to a  large congregation assembled together  from these Islands, at the close of our  meeting we opened a door for baptism

An ordinance in which an individual is immersed in water for the remission of sins. The Book of Mormon explained that those with necessary authority were to baptize individuals who had repented of their sins. Baptized individuals also received the gift of...

View Glossary
,  and a respectable sea captain and his  wife offered themselves as candidates,  we then assembled where there was  much water and after offering up our  prayers unto God, we then lead them  down into the sea and baptized them  and we returned rejoicing. On Mon day following we visited the South Is land to set before them the truths of the  everlasting gospel. We held five  meetings, the people came out by hun dreds, to hear and filled the school houses to overflowing.
Notwithstanding the anxiety of the  people to hear more upon this impor tant subject, yet we were under the  necessity of returning to the North Is land, to attend an appointment on Sun day, accordingly we met and preached  to the people and opened a door for  baptism and another sea Captain and a  young lady came forward and we re paired to the sea shore and baptized  them, and on Tuesday following, we  administered the ordinance of baptism  unto three others.
A Methodist priest on the South Is land fearing whereunto these things  would grow, came over to the Island  where we were baptizing and made  friends with the Baptist priest (like  Herod and Pilate) and called a meet ing, we attended. The Methodist priest  arose and commenced warm hostilities  against the book of Mormon, and our  principles, we took minutes of his dis course that we might be correct in an swering him. As he could not bring  proof from the word of God against  our principles, and in order to make  an impression upon the minds of his  hearers against the work; he took the  book of Mormon in his hand, and with  an out stretched arm declared that he  feared none of the judgments of God  that would come upon him for rejecting  that book as the word of God. When [p. 2]
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Wilford Woodruff

1 Mar. 1807–2 Sept. 1898. Farmer, miller. Born at Farmington, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of Aphek Woodruff and Beulah Thompson. Moved to Richland, Oswego Co., New York, 1832. Baptized into LDS church by Zera Pulsipher, 31 Dec. 1833, near Richland. Ordained...

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and Jonathan H. Hale, letter, Vinalhaven, Fox Islands, ME, to JS and the church, Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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, OH, 18 Sept. 1837; Elders’ Journal, Oct. 1837, pp. 1–3.

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