1854 March 14 Letter to John Eldridge

Title

1854 March 14 Letter to John Eldridge

Description

Counsel to Eldridge about moving his family to California for gold. Brigham reminds him that earthly riches will not bring the same blessings as building up the Kingdom of God.

Type

Correspondence

Sender

Brigham Young

Recipient

John Eldridge

Date

1854 March 14

Location

Great Salt Lake City
Fillmore City

Number of Pages

3

Subject

Personal
Settlements

extracted text

Great Salt Lake City, March 14th, 1854.

Dear brother,
Your letter of the 6th ult is to hand, and I proceed to reply in all frankness, that also being the spirit of your communication to me. I will merely premise that I do certainly desire that any and all persons who wish to go to California should do so: to go by the way of San Bernardino is little better than to go any other way.
If it is your desire to live among the saints and bear a part in the work of God,-- in the cause of truth; in rolling forth and building up the kingdom of God upon the earth, I advise and counsel you to remain in some one of the valleys of these mountains. I would rather suffer with the saints and endure every privation, if need be, and be in the line of my duty, and feel happier therein than I would with every earthly blessing,-- all the gold of California, and still feel that I was not in the line of my duty; earthly riches diminish to less than nothing in comparison, they can give no joy, no satisfaction, no sense of duty to God, to ourselves;-- but rather leave a weight (when influenced thereby or exercised or controled in our actions therewith) upon us which bears us down to earth and has a tendency to sink us into hell--and we find peradventure when too late, to retrace our footsteps, to recover blessings and privileges lost forever; that we have, Esau like, sold our birthright for a mess of pottage.

These are my views and feelings about the saint's going to San Bernardino, California. I can tell you that those at San Bernardino are far more exposed to fall away and be led astray by the various spirits which are abroad in the world, than in any of our mountain settlements. For certain reasons and in wisdom was the settlement at San Bernardino formed, but it was not for the saints to leave these valleys to go there. In relation to your complaints, I might throw up some very apparent inconsistencies were I so disposed, but I do not desire to tantalyze your feelings that you right. I will merely suggest to you that quite as easy to procure a plow and a few utensils or tools to work with as it would be to procure Team, wagon and outfit necessary to go to California. Consider dear brother for a moment the results of taking a family and perhaps leaving them in California. If your location [?] does not please you at Fillmore change it to some other of the valley settlements that will suit you better, do not be discouraged. I will venture that your health will be quite as good here as in any part of California as I am sanguine this is far the healthiest country as you say, it is an important subject to you. And when [I?] consider the earnest desires to our Father and our God which have for years flowed from the hearts of this people to be delivered from the wickedness, oppression & corruption of Babylon, and then see when my prayers are answered and in the very moment of their consideration fly off right back again into the whirlpool of sin and iniquity into the very sinks of corruption. I say, when I consider these things I feel as though it is contempt of the mercies and blessings of God, and even base ingratitude to his holy name. It is contemplated in the course of a year or so to form a settlement over the rim of the basin on some of the waters of the Colorado where there is no winter and where cotton, indigo, and other tropical fruits and plants will flourish. If it should meet your mind to join such a settlement thinking it would be for your health you have my free consent to do so.

Now bro. Eldredge, I do not wish you to feel oppressed, and if so be that nothing else can satisfy your feelings but to go to San Bernardino, why go, and do the best you can and do not complain if you see the day that you should wish to return to this country, more, and be less able to than now your desire and ability is to go humble yourself before God and get his Spirit to direct you and to preserve your health, and may the blessings of God attend you . Amen

Brigham Young
Bro John Eldridge
Fillmore City

Item sets

Great Salt Lake City, March 14th, 1854.

Dear brother,

Your letter of the 6th ult is to hand, and I proceed to reply in all frankness, that also being the spirit of your communication to me. I will merely premise that I do certainly desire that any and all persons who wish to go to California should do so: to go by the way of San Bernardino is little better than to go any other way.

If it is your desire to live among the saints and bear a part in the work of God,-- in the cause of truth; in rolling forth and building up the kingdom of God upon the earth, I advise and counsel you to remain in some one of the valleys of these mountains. I would rather suffer with the saints and endure every privation, if need be, and be in the line of my duty, and feel happier therein than I would with every earthly blessing,-- all the gold of California, and still feel that I was not in the line of my duty; earthly riches diminish to less than nothing in comparison, they can give no joy, no satisfaction, no sense of duty to God, to ourselves;-- but rather leave a weight (when influenced thereby or exercised or controled in our actions therewith) upon us which bears us down to earth and has a tendency to sink us into hell--and we find peradventure when too late, to retrace our footsteps, to recover blessings and privileges lost forever; that we have, Esau like, sold our birthright for a mess of pottage.

These are my views and feelings about the saint's going to San Bernardino, California. I can tell you that those at San Bernardino are far more exposed to fall away and be led astray by the various spirits which are abroad in the world, than in any of our mountain settlements. For certain reasons and in wisdom was the settlement at San Bernardino formed, but it was not for the saints to leave these valleys to go there. In relation to your complaints, I might throw up some very apparent inconsistencies were I so disposed, but I do not desire to tantalyze your feelings [?] that you [?] right. I will merely suggest to you that [?] quite as easy to procure a plow and a few utensils or tools to work with as it would be to procure Team, wagon and outfit necessary to go to California. Consider dear brother for a moment the results of taking a family and perhaps leaving them in California. If your location [?] does not please you at Fillmore change it to some other of the valley settlements that will suit you better, do not be discouraged. I will venture that your health will be quite as good here as in any part of California as I am sanguine this is far the healthiest country as you say, it is an important subject to you. And when [I?] consider the earnest desires [?] to our Father and our God which have for years flowed from the hearts of this people to be delivered from the wickedness, oppression & corruption of Babylon, and then see when my prayers are answered and in the very moment of their consideration fly off right back again into the whirlpool of sin and iniquity into the very sinks of corruption. I say, when I consider these things I feel as though it is contempt of the mercies and blessings of God, and even base ingratitude to his holy name. It is contemplated in the course of a year or so to form a settlement over the rim of the basin on some of the waters of the Colorado where there is no winter and where cotton, indigo, and other tropical fruits and plants will flourish. If it should meet your mind to join such a settlement thinking it would be for your health you have my free consent to do so.

Now bro. Eldredge, I do not wish you to feel oppressed, and if so be that nothing else can satisfy your feelings but to go to San Bernardino, why go, and do the best you can and do not complain if you see the day that you should wish to return to this country, more, and be less able to than now your desire and ability is to go humble yourself before God and get his Spirit to direct you and to preserve your health, and may the blessings of God attend you . Amen

Brigham Young
Bro John Eldridge
Fillmore City