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An Address to the Saints

AN ADDRESS TO THE SAINTS

DEAR BRETHREN,--We have never been so desirous of addressing you ever before as we are at present. We feel that we have something of importance to tell you; and we believe that you are in a ripe condition to receive whatsoever things we say. If we do not do much good, we hope that we do no harm. We feel as if our bosom were filled with love, and our whole mind were intend on doing more good in the kingdom of God. We look with great pleasure on the work which has been accomplished already; but we look with even greater pleasure on the further work which we think can yet be accomplished. It is not good for one to be content with manual labor if it is possible to get something like steam to work. We have observed the history of the world; the slow pace which was characteristic of all things earlier has now turned into speed. The weeklong journey has been reduced to two days, and the day's journey has been reduced to an hour. It is possible to gallop across sea and land as if with the wings of wind; and the biggest wonder now is that it is not possible to go even faster. Everything has become easier to do also, and those things are done much faster than before. It seems as if all the elements of nature wish to spare man completely and at the same time perform a task seven times as much work as he could do himself. There is nothinig but machines everywhere for every kind of work; and they all come close to possessing the powers of man. The telescopes are observing the firmament of the heavens and reading its history; the steamships are running; coughing and whistling; and the paths across the depths of the sea have become a means of transmitting thought. Man can almost get corn to sow, harvest, thresh and grind itself as food for him; he can almost get the water to come by itself from the fountains to quench his thirst; and he can almost get the wool to spin and knit itself as clothes for him; and all this has come about in the fastest way. In short, everything in these days testifies that it is short work which is to be done on the earth; and for that reason everything is becoming easier and faster.
We see by this, then, that the work of man is being accomplished and that everything is uniting in the task. God also has a work, and it is a very great work; and it must be completed quickly. This is the work that is to fill the whole earth and to be brought about by men. Until now we have not used much steam to carry it forward. Time is quickening its step and day by day drawing us nearer to the "great last day" when it is expected that the work will be finished. The work is to preach this gospel of the kingdom to the whole earth for a witness to all nations, and then will the end come. And this is but yet begun; and since the whole thing is to be "short work," it seems as if we need something like steam to assist us to finish in time. The tongue is the principle machine which was in the work done by the earlier Saints; but the Latter-day Saints have invented new tongues in addition and have through these been able to testify more about the gospel than the earlier Saints. These new tongues are the pamphlets which the servants of God print in this age; and great is the help they give. But in spite of the tongues which we have, between the two kinds there is not yet a quaryer enough. There are hundreds of thousands of our dear compatriots who as yet know nothing of the gospel; and the time has come when we are confident that they may know. The desire is in us to save them, and the same desire is in all the Saints. There is no one who has the Spirit of God who does not have the same desire; for God wishes to save everyone, and we who are like unto him should have the same desire.
We can imagine the Saints asking, "What else can we do to accomplish the work of God? Our officers are preaching their best, and we are distributing a great many pamphlets. If it is shown to us that we can do more, we shall be anxious to do so." Well, we must recognize that there has been great faithfulness according to the knowledge which the Saints possess. But now the time has come that we must attach haste to all that we do, so that the work of God will be finished rapidly. Such a thing is possible by getting spiritual steam to work and to get the fire of God in our bosom to produce it. We do not wish to set the tongues of our officers to going more rapidly, for they are plenty fast already; and they are sufficient in number with no need for many more. There are hosts of them who have too little work while there is an infinite work before them. A few sinners come to inquire concerning the truth at the places of worship of the Saints, since there is not so much splendor there as there is in the chapels, and since there is no one preaching whom they have heaped up unto themselves. Besides that, there are many good men, who because of their zeal will go to no place except to the place in which they have been reared, and so they are continually outside the reach of the words of the servants of God. The method to preach to all these has been invented; and the only thing which is needed at present to accomplish this efficiently and quickly is the steam--and that is available.
The only way to preach to those who are too wise, too proud, too godly or too antagonistic to come to our places of worship is to distribute pamphlets to them, that is, the sermons of those who are considered to hold high offices in our Church. These have convinced their hundreds already and have convinced men whom the officers otherwise were unable to reach in any other way. These silent preachers, i.e., the pamphlets, are doing their work very effectively. Frequently, one pamphlet is read by a greater number than at times hear two elders who travel miles to come to preach. In this manner, then, one unlearned sister, perhaps, through extending a little tract to the hand of her neighbor, does as much work as two or three officers, even though they all do their best. Very often the sisters have more influence in selling tracts than any of the officers; the priesthood is feared while the sisters or children are welcomed.
Now the power which one sister has to do good, if but put into general practice, is sufficient to turn the world upside down. It is seen here like some "Morgan" showing his steam; and we think that we can, with a little unity and faithfulness, make it turn the wheels of salvation faster than they have ever turned before and bring about the recovery of the honest men in our nation. Perhaps it is time to give birth to a nation in one day; and that is the time when the steam will have reached its perfection.
Furthermore, we can show our plan to put this steam into general practice. The foremost thing: let all the branches provide for a sufficiency of water to be near them and a sufficiency of the Spirit of God burning in their midst; and then it will be considered that the steam is ready to work. Then let the engineer, that is, the president, be desirous to hasten the work; for the entire operation will depend on him; and nothing will work if he does not work to begin with. Let him say to his Saints, "Dear brethren, there are thousands around us whom we should strive to save; and the time has come for us to be able to accomplish this more rapidly than ever before. Let each one of us strive, first, to buy a copy of each pamphlet to enlighten ourselves, and with a handful let every brother and sister, both old and young, go as distributors to enlighten the world. Let no one say that he cannot sell them, for I do not believe him. The steam is now by the machine and it must succeed. You all have relatives, friends and shopkeepers. If neither the relatives nor the friends buy them, go to the shopkeepers and say, "I buy in your shop, and I expect you to buy in my shop also; and if not, I shall turn to some other shopkeeper. Let no one of you be ashamed of it, for the Son of God will come to know. He will see all the Saints striving together to sell what books they can, without profit, preaching as loudly as the books themselves; and the world will come to discover the wish of salvation in the heart of every Saint. Let every member say not that he is making merchandise, but that there is an agreement among all his brethren to work a great benefit among them. By the way, let every member remember the one poor, dear sister in Merthyr lately who sold one hundred pamphlets to the world in one day without a halfpenny profit. Behold an example of the power of steam; instead of receiving one copy of the pamphlet she received for so many, and who knows but what the pamphlets of the sister preached to hundreds that day, not to mention other days. More money is not being asked from the Saints, but more of that which the poorest can give, that is, good will to the work of God. If they have plenty of treasure in vessels of clay, they will be sufficiently wealthy.
Let every president encourage his Saints in the above manner, and surely great success will come for the work of God. Our brothers and sisters have not yet what they can accomplish. A general effort of the Saints to spread the printed word of God will bring about a lowering of the price of the pamphlets, and so facilitate the work even more. We have said much before about books, but we have not shown very well until now what the duties are of all the Saints or their potential. We have written this in faith, and we believe that great happenings are at the door. To those who say we wish to get rich instead of doing the will of God, let them get out of your way; we shall speak with them when we are released from our responsibility. This is time to work; the settling up is to be after finishing. Let everyone surpass us at that time if they can; but we will need to take something there besides riches. Those who take riches there are those who spend the riches they receive now for books. But enough about that, for there will be obstacles; go through them and accomplish the will of God, and then we shall have our reward with riches in heaven.
Let the president of every branch select some good reader to read this address in public, in the hearing of all the Saints, so that life will be given to everyone; and every other good thing which he can add to it, may he do so with our blessing. And if the Saints wish to spread the truth, to increase in number and in power, and to go to Zion soon, they will surely carry out our request and the will of God. May all Welshmen feel compassion for the Welsh, inasmuch as we are a small nation; the circulation of our books is necessarily small, while that of our neighbors is large. We must not, while helping the English press, forget our duty toward the Welsh press which must work under so many disadvantages. The Welsh language is not going to come to a speedy end, as some suppose; otherwise why translate the Doctrine and Covenants and the Book of Mormon, and why establish Welsh branches in St. Louis, Kanesville, and the Valley? No, the Lord wishes to gather every people and LANGUAGE to his bosom; for he understands them all. For that reason, let every brother and sister strive to proclaim the good news to everyone in his own language until the hills and vales of Wales resound.
Now, we end by blessing the Saints. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Your humble servants in Christ,

WILLIAM PHILLIPS,
JOHN DAVIS,
THOMAS PUGH.

[Translated from the Welsh original in Udgorn Seion, 1850, p. 267-72, by Ronald D. Dennis, 1529 W. 1170 North, Provo, Utah]

Immigrants:

Phillips, William Samuel

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