1860 September 13 Letter to Amasa Lyman and Charles C. Rich
1860 September 13 Letter to Amasa Lyman and Charles C. Rich
1860 September 13
Great Salt Lake City
G.S.L. City, Sep. 13, 1860.
Pres's Amasa Lyman and Charles C. Rich,
42 Islington, Liverpool, England,
Dear Brethren:-Your very welcome letter of Aug. 3 is at hand, and has been perused with much gratification. We rejoice with you that your journey was so prosperous, and that so many of you had reached your fields of labor and entered upon the duties devolved upon you.
The majority of our this season's emigration has already arrived, in good time and generally in excellent spirits, and the remainder, so far as hear from, are progressing well and are expected to arrive before rough weather.
It is rather singular that the tithing should ever have been and still continue to be used as you mention, though nothing new to me. I have been striving for years to alter the channel in which the tithing has flowed, and think I will yet succeed. The Elders are invariably instructed to travel and preach without purse and scrip, as did the Elders anciently, and should, therefore, in all cases sustain themselves <so far as possible,> and in no manner or way oppress the brethren nor the cause. And all Elders should understand that after baptism comes the gathering, as rapidly as wisdom and circumstances will permit, and that everything which in the least impedes the gatheringtends directly to hinder the great work in which we are engaged. If Elders are not sufficiently faithful and obedient to proclaim the gospel in accordance with its reqirements, their services as preachers had better be dispensed with and their places supplied by those who will do more good. When an Elder has two shirts, a decent pair of pantaloons, a comfortable coat, vest, &c., let him therewith be content; and when he receives others, let him donate the old to the poor, and pass on his way rejoicing, living, dressing, &c, with the utmost prudence and economy, giving all his energies to preaching the gospel and gathering the Saints, especially the poor. In this course, and in this alone, can he expect to be abundantly blest, both spiritually and temporaly, and have the fruits of his labors continue steadfast.
The tithing must be credited to those who pay it, to the utmost farthing; and then the Elders must not be lovers of money, but must at all times hold every farthing of tithing strictly subject to advices from here, and on no account use it without such advices, for here rests the burden of teaching, counseling, advising, &c., &c., for promoting the interests of the Church and kingdom of our God in all the world. and how can we do this to the best advantage, unless we can control the means expressly designed for this purpose?
Elder George Q. Cannon has been ordained to fill the vacancy in the Quorum of the Twelve, and will leave for England on or about the 25th inst. Upon his arrival in Liverpool we wish him to edit the Millenial Star, take out shipping papers, and have charge of the printing binding, and shipping departments, and of all financial affairs; for this reason, and as the immigration will not again commence until after this arrival, I wish you to omit taking out shipping papers. This arrangement will be no detriment, for those who remain in the Office will fare no better than others; and it will leave you untrameled by business affairs, and enable you to bend your energies more efficiently, because undividedly, to the spiritual interests and welfare of the mission. It will also tend to place the business affairs of the Liverpool Office upon a more systematic and satisfactory basis, as br. George Q. takes his wife with him and will probably tarry longer in the field than yourselves. You will also have greater liberty in traveling, not only in the British Isles, but in Scandinavia, France, Switzerland, and such other portions of Europe as the Spirit may dictate for the upbuilding of the Church and Kingdom of our God, and will find increased opportunities for rendering yourselves more generally useful. This arrangement, we doubt not, will be viewed in the Spirit with which it is made, and be so carried out that all your efforts will best conduce to the spread of truth and the gathering of Israel, the express purposes for which you are sent forth.
Instruct all Elders engaged in the ministry, whether traveling or local, to sustain themselves altogether independent of the tithing, which, as before stated, must be, as it of right should be, entirely managed in accordance with advices from here, as also all other legitimately Church funds. If there are any preachers whose faith, skill, and circumstances fall short of enabling them to sustain themselves in the ministry, <and influence with the people are insufficient to cause their wants to be supplied, so far as food, raiment, and incidental traveling expenses are concern> they had, probably without exception, better be released, or sufficiently so to be enabled to provide for their own sustenance.
I am informed that there has been a falling off in paying tithing and making deposits for emigrating, as we had anticipated, for which reason I wish you to again bring these subjects prominently before the Saints in an encouraging and fatherly manner, instructing them in the necessity, for their own well being and spiritual health, of paying their tithing and making deposits for their emigration as promptly as their circumstances will permit.This course will keep the stream pure, and open the channel for receiving that measure of the spirit and blessings of heaven which they desire, each one working out his own salvation to the utmost of his ability. At the same time bear in mind that the tithing must be strictly used for the legitimate purposes for which it is designed; and unless such can be the case, and the tithing be subject to my control, the American Elders had better at once return home, for they will be of no use where they are. I presume you are well convinced, through your operations in San Bernardino, that disregarding my counsel in financial matters is followed by sinking and wasting money.
We intend to use a good deal of tithing money to immigrate the Saints, so soon as we can control our own legitimate business, and so arrange our financial affairs as to permit us to turn it in that channel.
Elder Asa Calkin left his wives on Ham's Fork, having met his son there, and came in on horseback, arriving yesterday, the 12th, in good health and spirits. I have as yet had no special conversation with him, for he only stopped at the Office a few moments on his way to his house. In regard to the companies still out, he reports all well and rolling, so far as he has seen.
Elders Orson Pratt and George Q. Cannon, Hon. W.H. Hooper, and several missionaries to the States and Europe expect to start from here on or about the 25th inst.
There is nothing of importance to note in home affairs, further than you learn from the 'News.'
Your Brother in the Gospel,
P.S. Do not publish any of my letters, unless by my permission; though you are at liberty to print some extracts from this one, if you think best, or to make a synopsis of\ such items as your judgement may dictate.