COUNSEL TO DISTRICT AND BRANCH PRESIDENTS
Castle Street, Merthyr-Tydfil, Feb. 26, 1851
DEAR BRETHREN,-- Be desirous of teaching to the churches all the counsel which comes out (for it will be to your blessing), and insist on seeing that all counsel is carried to each branch, to every part and to each member; and whosoever obeys the counsels which come out will be enlightened by the Holy Spirit; and whosoever disregards or neglects such counsels will be disregarded in return by God, and they will lose the Spirit and go out of the church as false witnesses. May you be unshakeable men in carrying out your calling, and they will your election be made sure, and you will learn to respect the priesthood in these latter days; and the respect that is requested is voluntary obedience. Do not allow one elder or priest to go out to preach without possessing the Holy Spirit; for no one can preach the gospel without having the Holy Spirit; and if someone has not the Spirit the religious world has as good a gospel as does he. Take care that no one holds an office in this Church except that he have the gift of the Holy Ghost in his possession. If you discover a branch president or his counselors or a group leader who are destitute of the above gift, change them and put men who are full of the Spirit in their place; for a teacher or deacon is more appropriate to lead than a withered elder; a bad president is a curse to the position. It may seem stange to some why some of the old officers and Saints are worse than some newcomers. The reason
they are worse is that they have lost the Spirit. The are like two kinds of mice, small and big, which do great damage in houses and neighborhoods when there are no cats near. You know that the oldest and biggest are those which do the most damage; but when a at comes near, there are the two groups in their holes in fright; and the big ones are more afraid than the small ones because their knowledge is greater. Sometimes, a big one quiveringly says to a small one, "Go to the mouth of the hole and look around to see where the cats are." And so it is that many of the small ones are caught, and occasionally one of the big ones when it happens that he comes out to plunder. Dear brethren, pray for the direction of the Spirit to clarify to you this parable.
I counsel you to put the Perpetual Emigrating Fund in force in every branch and to send here the amount which is collected in each branch together with the name of the treasurer of each branch and also the treasurer of the district, every quarter, that is, on the 24th of March, the 24th of June, the 24th of September and the 24th of December; and I expect that this counsel will be observed so that I can send the total amount to Liverpool by the appointed time; and when you send the money and the numbers here, do not send anything else mixed in. Also from now on send the reports of your districts to me along with everything else except that which pertains to the Welsh books; and I would like to hear from you frequently. May the God of heaven bless you to fulfill these counsels, because for that purpose has God given to you the priesthood; and receive this small epistle from
Your humble servant,
[Translated from the Welsh original in Udgorn Seion, 1851, p. 72-3 by Ronald D. Dennis, 1529 W. 1170 North, Provo, Utah]