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1851, Jun 7 - A Special General Conference

A SPECIAL GENERAL CONFERENCE

On Moday, the 7th of July, the above conference was held in the Cymreigyddion Hall, Merthyr, with President W. Phillips presiding. Present were President Phillips, R. Campbell, J. Davis, T. Pugh, T. Giles, E. Edwards, P. Seix, J. Roberts, together with a hall full of various other officers.
After the President had opened the meeting and had been approved to continue to preside over his conference, he went ahead to teach the officers present, saying to them that inasmuch as they had come to the fountain that they should drink deeply from it so they would carry the new knowledge back home to the Saints. He portrayed how the officers are when they come in the midst of the priesthood, saying that they feel themselves very small and that they would almost prefer to remain silent rather than speak. He showed clearly that this principle is from God, and that the Spirit of God causes that. He told them to always be small men, for in that way they would become big men in the kingdom of God. Another principle which he clarified was fear of the Lord; he showed the necessity for this principle to increase in us, that is fear to be disobedient to the least of the counsels and commandments. And he said that there are some persons, branches and districts with the hand of God on them, because they spend the money of the books for food and clothes instead of trusting in God. He showed that the books are very special things; and if the money for the books is spent, how will the office pay its debt? He also said that whoever spends or borrows the money from the Emigration Fund for the poor, commits a grave transgression and that the hand of God will surely be on him. Let every president remember that if he borrows money from the keeper of the treasury, he is a transgressor. He has no right to ask for these funds, for they are the funds of the Church; and let only the presidents be responsible for the treasurer for each branch to send the money in time to the district treasurer who will then send it to the head treasurer for Wales.
Then Bro. Robert Campbell (from Salt Lake Valley) was called on; he addressed the group in English on subjects similar to those treated by Bro. Phillips. He said that there were many very good men to preach as did Aaron of old, but that it was necessary to have a Moses to lead Israel. If the mysteries of the kingdom of God were revealed to us now, we would be likely to misuse them, just as a watch would be misused if placed in the hand of a child, for we do not know how to use them; God gives to us gradually as we increase in knowledge in his kingdom. The presidents and the traveling elders learned to be kind and full of the Holy Ghost as they taught the people and not to be the first to complain about poverty. The branch which has a president who is poor in spirit will have members who are all poor in spirit also. Remember that our Father is very welathy and that it is the poorest of the Saints who are making the biggest contribution by carrying forth the work of the Lord.
Then President Phillips arose again and proposed that books in Wales no longer be sold on credit, that the assistant distributors sell them for cash, and then send the money to the head distributor so that he can send it to the office. The motion carried unanimously.
After calling on Bro. P. Seix to give a description of the upper part of Pembrokeshire, it was decided that the branches of Abergwaun, Trelettert and Simpson be made into a district under the name of the North Pembroke District containing the town of Cardigan, and that Phillip Seix would preside with David Williams and David Rees as his counselor.
Then about eighteen missionaries were sent to labor in new places in the East Glamorgan District and other districts in the south to try to establish new branches.
The president arose to give counsels to the missionaries concerning their responsibilities and to take care not to be charmed by women and to pray when in need, etc.
He was followed by President J. Davis who counseled the officers to keep the counsels of God as well as his definite commandments through making use of the Word of Wisdom which forbids wine and strong drink, tobacco and hot drinks, such as tea, coffee, etc. And he exhorted them to strive to refrain from being in debt to anyone for anything, rather to look toward working justice.
Then it was decided that John Roberts would preside over the Breconshire District and that the branches of Brynmawr and Waunhelygen would be contained in that district.
It was decided that the branches of Llandudno, Eglwysfach and Llanddoged be made into a District under the name of the Conway Valley District, containing part of Caernarvonshire; and that John Davis would be the president with Isaac Morris and Barnett Parry as his counselors.
It was decided that Eliezer Edwards be a traveling elder in the North for the First Presidency, and to give counsels and teachings to the members in the North from the Presidency in Wales.
President Pugh arose and showed clearly the calling of God, and that those who hold lesser offices can preside over those who have higher offices, etc.

William Phillips, President,

Richard Morris, Secretary

[Translated from the Welsh original in Udgorn Seion, 1851, p. 223-5, by Ronald D. Dennis, 1529 W. 1170 North, Provo, Utah]

Immigrants:

Phillips, William Samuel

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