1868 October 9 Letter to Karl G. Maeser


1868 October 9 Letter to Karl G. Maeser


Missionary work progresses in Switzerland and permission is granted to translate and print portions of the scriptures. During conference George A Smith is appointed to the first presidency and the Saints are urged not to trade with outsiders. The railroad is progressing.




Brigham Young


Karl G. Maeser


1868 October 9


Salt Lake City
Zurich, Switzerland

Number of Pages



Missionary Work
Business Matters
Church Leadership
Building and Construction
University of Deseret

Salt Lake City,
9 October 1868.

Elder Karl G. Maeser
Zurich, Switzerland.

Dear Brother,

The letters of bro, Franklin D. Richards during his stay in Europe, and his conversations with me since his return home have advised me of the progress of the work of the Lord in Switzerland and of your zeal and labors in spreading the gospel in that country. I am thankful to hear that the light of heaven is dawning on the minds of many of the honest in heart in central Europe, and pray continually for the welfare of scattered Israel and Zion's laborers in those benighted lands.

Bro. Franklin has spoken to me of the want of the mission of some printed directions, to guide the elders in their administrations amongst the people, and suggested that such portion of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants as related to baptism, the administration of the Sacrament, the duties of the Priesthood &c., be printed and circulated amongst the elders for their guidance. I deem the step a wise and necessary one for the good of the mission, and suggest that you proceed cautiously as your circumstances permit, printing little by little, say a sheet at the time of such portions as you deem the most valuable, to which also you might add extracts from discourses and other matter that you consider will help to accomplish the good you desire. Be very careful to examine them and see that whatever you print is translated correctly. Since your departure, as you are aware, we have been called to mourn the loss of our beloved brother Elder Heber C. Kimball, to fill the quorum of which he was a member Elder Geo A. Smith has been appointed to step into his place. while Elder Brigham Young Jr. has been called into the quorum of the twelve, to fill the vacancy caused by Elder Smith's removal.

Our Semi-annual conference closed on the 8th inst. The instructions imparted at the various meetings were pregnant with salvation for Israel. The brethren who spoke drew the attention of the congregation to the necessity of their sustaining in their deal and trading those who are of ourselves, and not continuing to trade as many had done with the bitterest enemies in our midst; who had used and would continue to use the means we gave them for the destruction of the kingdom of God, and the persecution of the saints. The Spirit of the Lord was poured out in much power upon the speakers to the convincing of the saints of the folly of giving our strength to strangers and it was voted unanimously by the assembled thousands of the people, that we would no longer fellowship those who would sustain outsiders, but that we would keep our means inside the kingdom of God, for its advancement and glory.
I regard this move as the wisest step we have taken for a long time, and if the people will keep their covenant and I believe they will, I am full of anticipation of the good it will do us. Were we to continue to do as many have been doing the gentile and stranger would continue to increase in our midst, until they would outvote us at the polls, take charge of our municipal affairs and fill all the territorial offices, and Mormons would soon have no rights that other men would be bound to respect. As it is we shall be self sustaining, the outsiders finding they cannot make fortunes out of us will leave for other climes, and we shall be left to ourselves to build up the Kingdom of God. Already a number of our merchants and leading men have entered into a co-operative association to supply the citizens with goods at reasonable terms; which association I hope to see extend its branches into every ward and settlement in Utah. The reduction in the price of goods will benefit the people and all the profits made by the association will go into the hands of the people also.

My grading contract with the Union Pacific Railroad company is being put forward with all the enerjy we are able to command. The beautiful dry weather we are now enjoying is helping us greatly to push the work ahead before winter sets in, when it will be next to impossible to work in the canons except on the tunnels and heavy rock work. The railway company are pushing the track laying with all speed, already the cars are running to a place called Brian about eighteen miles this side of Green River and by the endnof next month they expect to have passed west of Bridger.

I have caused one of the brethren in the office to call on your family this morning. I learn from him they are all well.

My own health is good, I am happy to say, and so is that of my family. Sister Randall still occupies my School House but the older scholars now attend the commercial department of the University of Deseret, under the care of Elder David O. Calder, while the younger ones still remain under Sister Randall's charge.

Remember me to my son Heber when you see him. I am pleased to hear so good an account of his spirit and labors. Also remember me to the other brethren associated with you and to all the saints. Ever praying that God our Heavenly Father may pour his blessings on you and make you the instruments in his hands of doing much good

I remain, Your Brother in the Gospel.
Brigham Young