Gt Salt Lake City
June 8. 1868
Elder L.D. Rudd
38 North Main St
St. Louis, Mo.
Your letters of May 9th and 14th. have been received and perused with much interest. When I wrote my letter to you on the subject of your labors in St. Louis, I expected it would reach you before you left; but as it did not, and you have returned, it is all right, though you have been under the necessity of spending means that might have been saved had it reached you in time. You have evidently been blessed in your labors in St. Louis, and we are pleased to see the Spirit which you seem to possess and the energy which you have manifested. You are in a good position at the present time to accomplish a good work in bringing men to a knowledge of the truth. You are familiar with the field and its wants and have a circle of acquaintances which will widen if you pursue the right course. In these respects you have advantages which an elder sent from home would not have for some time; and as you are there, we really feel that your time could not be spent better for yourself or for the cause of God than in laboring in the ministry there. We have parted with all the elders we can spare this season, and there are none that we know of whom we could send there. Still you can come home or stay; but it does seem that when we are all desirous of doing all the good we can to build up the Kingdom of God and to spread abroad a knowledge of the truth and have an opportunity to do so, we should improve it.
The joy which you express, is the feeling possessed by every faithful elder when pursuing the course assigned him. There is no labor that man can engage in, more pleasing than that of publishing the glad tidings of salvation to the inhabitants of the earth; and this joy is augmented when a man sees the honest in heart receive these tidings and bow in submission to the requirements of the gospel. The time that you will stay there will not be lost by you; but if you are faithful you will never see the day when you will not rejoice because you stayed and strove to magnify your priesthood. I shall write to your wife and inform her what I have written to you.
Everything is peaceable in the Valley; we have never had a more <peaceable> time since our existence, as a people than the present. Good health prevails generally. The season has been a rather singular one; the water is higher in our streams in this county than it has been known before since our residence here. The Spring has been a very backward one; but during this month, until yesterday, the weather has been very warm and seasonable, and vegetation has grown very fast. Yesterday it was cool and rainy and continued so till afternoon to-day. The ground has got a thorough soaking, and our mountains are powdered with snow clear down to the bench. Snow fell in the city this morning, but did not remain long. Our missionaries will probably have reached the States, and some of them may have met with you before you receive this. We have sent out quite a number this Spring to Europe, and some few to labor in the United States. They will be able to give you many items of news which, to you who have been some time absent, will be of special interest. Times are very dull in merchandising in the city, and there is but little money stirring. Flour has been very cheap; but the news from the East respecting the high prices of provisions has made prices much firmer; and those who have it are holding it for higher prices. The Indians are troublesome in Sanpete Co. They made a raid on Fountain
Green a few days ago and killed a brother Lund, and wounded Bro. Jasper Robinson; they also ran off considerable stock, most of which was retaken, information being communicated by telegraph to Mount Pleasant, from which place a force started, but were a few minutes too late, <to intercept them;> they pressed on their rear so hard that the Indians abandoned that portion of the stock they did not shoot. Four of our brethren, who with others had been sent down from this and Utah county to help to guard the country from the attacks of Indians, were riding from Manti to Gunnison last Sunday evening and were fired upon from an ambush by the Indians. Major John W. Vance was shot through the heart and died instantly. Brother Heber Houtze was shot and his horse was killed; he fought them a few minutes, but they overpowered and killed him. Captain O.P. Miles and Nathan Tanner, Jr. escaped by riding to Manti, the Indians chasing them to within a mile and a half of the town. The bodies of these brethren were brought home; their loss is a cause of sorrow to their relatives and to the whole community. It is a severe lesson, and shows the necessity of extreme vigilance and caution being exercised by our brethren while traveling in places exposed to Indian attack.
The Saints are rejoicing in their religion and a more general disposition to obey counsel has scarcely ever been witnessed among us to as great an extent as at present. At the last Conference counsel was given to the people to observe the Word of Wisdom. They were not required to make any covenants, neither were they threatened; but the principle was set forth in plainness, and it has been very generally observed. During my recent trip to St. George and back not one of those who accompanied me used tea or coffee during the entire trip so far as I had an opportunity of seeing; and the people of the Settlements through which we passed, whether out of respect to us, or because they felt the importance of obeying the counsel given, did not use tea or coffee while we were with them. The impropriety of trading with our enemies, (another matter which has been urged on the people of late) never was more sensibly felt, apparently, by the Saints than at the present time; and as a consequence the gentiles in our midst find it difficult to maintain themselves, many of them do not take enough in their stores to pay their rent. Though we have many weaknesses to contend with and the people are yet very ignorant, still the disposition which they manifest to carry out the counsel that is given them, and their improvement in this respect is a cause of thanksgiving.
With love, and praying that the Lord may bless you in your labors, and that the consoling influences of His holy Spirit may abide with you continually I remain