1854 March 31 Letter to Henry McAfy

Title

1854 March 31 Letter to Henry McAfy

Description

Explanation of the doctrinal similarities and differences between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and other Christian denominations and stating that all law abiding settlers are welcome in Utah.

Type

Correspondence

Sender

Brigham Young

Recipient

Henry McAfy

Date

1854 March 31

Location

Great Salt Lake City
Freeport, Stephenson County, Illinois

Number of Pages

2

Subject

Church Doctrine
Settlements

extracted text

Great Salt Lake City, Mar. 31st 1854.
Dear Sir,

I cheerfully comply with the request contained in your letter of Dec. 3rd, though necessarily in rather a brief manner. In carefully examining the history of the Church of Jesus Christ in the days of the Twelve Apostles, I find faith, repentance, and baptism enjoined upon all desirous of salvation; with this we most heartily coincide, in common with all christendom, except in the mode, which we believe should be invariably by immersion, and in this we do not differ from the baptists, and many members of most of the sects. After the administration of baptism, we believe in laying hands upon the candidate for his confirmation as a member of the Church, and for his reception of the Holy Ghost; and we believe that these, and all other ordinances pertaining to salvation should be administered by persons actually clothed with the priesthood as again restored to the earth through the ministration of angels to the Prophet Joseph Smith. We believe in the same church organization that was instituted by the Savior while he was upon the earth, viz, a church with Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, gifts, helps, governments, &c., and in the enjoyment of the same spirit that was anciently conferred, giving to one the gift of prophecy, to another the gift of healing, &c. The possession of the Priesthood, the Church organization, and the gifts of the Spirit, are some of the main doctrinal points which distinguish us from the majority of persons called christians. We are actually in possession of these great blessings, and hence do know that the promise was indeed unto them (the believers) and their children, and that the Almighty is no respecter of persons, and is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We furthermore believe that each person, in every age, from Adam until now, will "be rewarded according to the deeds done in the body," and be judged according to the law which he was privileged to obey or disobey, and that a celestial glory in the presence of our God can be obtained only through obedience to the celestial law, as taught by Christ and his Apostles.
Our Settlements are in a flourishing condition, and those channels for profitable occupation usual to newly settled countries, are equally free to all law abiding settlers, and the civil and religious rights of all are guarded by the efficient administration of good and wholesome constitutional laws.
The climate is milder in our valleys than on the same latitude in the States! the soil is very productive but in nearly all places requires irrigation to bring crops to maturity, and by this easy process abundant crops are produced. All kinds of stock are easily raised and when not used, require but little feed to winter them.
Our civil organization is strictly in accordance with the constitution and similar to that of all the other States and Territories.
Trusting that this reply though brief will be satisfactory on the points of your enquiry.
I Remain Respectfully
Your Obedt. Servt.
Brigham Young
Mr. Henry McAfy
Freeport.
Stephenson County
Illinois

Item sets

 

Great Salt Lake City, Mar. 31st 1854.

Dear Sir,

I cheerfully comply with the request contained in your letter of Dec. 3rd, though necessarily in rather a brief manner. In carefully examining the history of the Church of Jesus Christ in the days of the Twelve Apostles, I find faith, repentance, and baptism enjoined upon all desirous of salvation; with this we most heartily coincide, in common with all christendom, except in the mode, which we believe should be invariably by immersion, and in this we do not differ from the baptists, and many members of most of the sects. After the administration of baptism, we believe in laying hands upon the candidate for his confirmation as a member of the Church, and for his reception of the Holy Ghost; and we believe that these, and all other ordinances pertaining to salvation should be administered by persons actually clothed with the priesthood as again restored to the earth through the ministration of angels to the Prophet Joseph Smith. We believe in the same church organization that was instituted by the Savior while he was upon the earth, viz, a church with Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, gifts, helps, governments, &c., and in the enjoyment of the same spirit that was anciently conferred, giving to one the gift of prophecy, to another the gift of healing, &c. The possession of the Priesthood, the Church organization, and the gifts of the Spirit, are some of the main doctrinal points which distinguish us from the majority of persons called christians. We are actually in possession of these great blessings, and hence do know that the promise was indeed unto them (the believers) and their children, and that the Almighty is no respecter of persons, and is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We furthermore believe that each person, in every age, from Adam until now, will "be rewarded according to the deeds done in the body," and be judged according to the law which he was privileged to obey or disobey, and that a celestial glory in the presence of our God can be obtained only through obedience to the celestial law, as taught by Christ and his Apostles.

Our Settlements are in a flourishing condition, and those channels for profitable occupation usual to newly settled countries, are equally free to all law abiding settlers, and the civil and religious rights of all are guarded by the efficient administration of good and wholesome constitutional laws.

The climate is milder in our valleys than on the same latitude in the States! the soil is very productive but in nearly all places requires irrigation to bring crops to maturity, and by this easy process abundant crops are produced. All kinds of stock are easily raised and when not used, require but little feed to winter them.

Our civil organization is strictly in accordance with the constitution and similar to that of all the other States and Territories.

Trusting that this reply though brief will be satisfactory on the points of your enquiry.

I Remain Respectfully
Your Obedt. Servt.

Brigham Young

Mr. Henry McAfy
Freeport, Stephenson County
Illinois