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1856, Oct 31 - Jones, Dan - Letter to President Daniels

(Great) Salt Lake City, Oct. 31, 1856

President D. Daniels,

My dear Brother -- I write these lines in your house, with your dear wife at my elbow: imagine my feelings! I arrived here alive, of course, or, at least, half alive, a week today, and I found myself immediately surrounded by my dear family, with a host of close friends to welcome me home in many a language more kindly than I deserved or expected.

Again imagine our chats: all I will say is, that the name and memory of Br. Daniels are held in high, frequent, and respectful regard by all, yet no one is more filled with yearning than myself, believe me!

With the friendly chat chats over, Sunday morning arrived, and imagine again how little me felt when the walls of the magnificent Tabernacle echoed to these words -- "Elder Dan Jones is requested to come to the stand and to preach." At this you could have seen five or six thousand eyes following a little man who was humbly making his way from their midst to answer the unexpected call until he pushed forward and found himself treading where the feet of more hold prophets, apostles, an the best of the world had trodden -- he felt he should take off not only his shoes, but also his socks in the midst of such men treading on such a place, with heaven open above his head, whose tongue would not speak? What heart would not melt under such heavenly heat? But it is pointless to try to say more than this, All right, all went and good. Everyone is pleased to see me here, but I am more pleased than anybody to see myself in this heavenly place, in the midst of these virtuous, incomparable people.

But enough of my own story; perhaps less would serve the same purpose; perhaps you would prefer to hear the story of the companies of Saints, etc. I understand now that Sister Daniels has written to you with this mail, and it is almost the last hour for us before it closes, and I shall not go into detail about them.

I wrote many letters back to you, yes, at every opportunity, from the Plains, informing you of the remarkable features of our stories. Briefly, in case they did not arrive, I will say that I labored for three months in the camp, Iowa, with my brethren, until all the companies were sent before us, and lastly of all it fell to me to supervise two companies of wagons, that is one hundred, and when after teaching, yes teaching, as good as to leave them and come with F.D. Richards and twelve other missionaries at 50 or 60 miles a day, until we passed all the companies, apart from the three first hand carts, which arrived here before us, the Welsh third, and in less time than anybody.

The hand car plan answers the purpose better than expected, and many say that they would prefer to come that way again than with wagons. They had better health than usual on the way; but it is a pity that several through eating too many vegetables, delicacies, fruits, and rich and unfamiliar foods which were brought to them free by the wagon load, by the Saints in the City, have mortally affected their constitutions Among others, I heard of br. And sister Brookes, from the North; Owen Jones Towyn; John Roberts, Ffestiniog; Wm Jenkins, Cardiff; Edward Phillips, Twynyrodyn; Henry Jenkins, Merthyr; and a few others that I do not know now. The Bishops cared for everybody, so that no one is without a comfortable home. About two thousand more are expected soon who are on the way in companies -- some are near at hand. Say from Dan to Beersheba that over fifty teams of draught horses have left here to meet the Saints within three days of the news of their need arriving, with over 12 tons of flour apart from other things in proportionate amounts.

Last Sunday there was another call for oxen to go, and within a few minutes about fifty yoked teams were promised to go the next morning for that purpose. That is life in Mormonism here for you!

The weather is quite cold here, and there is snow from there to Green River, whatever it is like further on; yet these thousands of Saints have enough faith and actions to save every last one form being overcome by the snow.

My brethren and I who have returned form our missions have been appointed to preach and hold assemblies throughout all the settlements, beginning with this city, and not to stop until every settlement, city, town, family and person is full of the heavenly fire flaming powerfully or withdrawing from those who will be so.

Some incomparable spirit of revival has grasped the Saints -- the presidents first; and the decision is that he whose profession is not alive in everything will be excommunicated. Woe betide those who live a comfortable life and the evil in Zion, says everyone now; for there is no longer any room for them. The Spirit of God is like a fire purifying and consuming all refuges of oppression, and I believe that soon purer wheat will be seen on the threshing floor of pure hearted Zion than was ever seen before. May the God of Israel help us to bring it about quickly and thoroughly is my prayer.

This city has increased in the number and six of its buildings, so that I barely recognized it when I returned. The larges dwellings that you knew are hidden in the shadow of larger ones until you go up close to them.

I hope from the answer I received from President Young when talking about you and Welsh Mission, that you will have reinforcement form these mountaineers full of the mountain fire to help you to fire and light up Wales. He asks to be remembered to you and a host of others too numerous to name now, but you will see as many of them there as I can help to set on their way. Remember me and my family kindly to all my fellow workers who are with you, as well as all the Saints who love you and your work. My wish is that God shall bless those who bless you, and that he shall wither the arm which is raised against you; and may he give to you all your dear Counselors, with my remembrance, ever greater grace, and save us all, with the fruit of our labor, in his heavenly kingdom...

My regards to everyone who asks about me...

The prayers of the faithful Saints which I merit and which you and I receive, my gracious Brother, will ever be my prayer. Amen.

And I shall always remain your sincere friend, D JONES

[We presented the above long awaited letter to the compositor as soon as we received it. The Saints will surely rejoice, as we do, to hear from our old Captain, and understand that wherever he may be, he is still involved in the same important task, namely doing his energetic part in pushing forward the work of our God. May he have long life and health to continue thus. We wish his welcome letter had arrived sooner. -- ED.]


Jones, Dan


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