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Edwards, Eliezer - Farwell Address and 8 July 1852 Letter

FAREWELL ADDRESS OF ELDER ELIEZER

FAREWELL ADDRESS OF ELDER ELIEZER

EDWARDS.

 

THE time has come for me to leave the land of my birth, of my own free will, in obedience to the commandment of God, namely “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins (Babylon), and that ye receive not of her plagues,” to go to Zion. “Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north” (from Jerusalem). In “the land of Joseph,” in the midst of the everlasting hills,” in the depths of the distant west, is where great Zion of the last days will be, says the Bible; and Micah says that “in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills, and people shall flow unto it, and many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we shall walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” Remember that Zion has obeyed the commandment, “O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain,” so that it may be able to prepare a house to the Lord, in the top of the mountains, as a place to which the peoples may gather. Isaiah says that there would be “ships” as a means of “bringing the sons of Zion from far, and their silver also, and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God.” It is in a ship I shall go, in the midst of over 300 dear brothers and sisters; and we shall sail toward Zion; and we shall go in happiness and beauty, as the prophet foretold precisely about us, “And the redeemed of the Lord will come with songs of everlasting joy upon their head;” “they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.” May

 

[p. 65]

 

the Lord prosper us to reach the end of our journey in safety, so we may build the kingdom of God more than ever.

      By the goodness of the Lord, I had the privilege of preaching the gospel in the fullness of its blessings, as it was restored to Joseph, the great seer of the last days, for more than eight years, along the south and north of Wales. I preached the gospel at my own expense for a time; I preached the gospel also at the expense of the world, by going into their midst without purse or scrip, in the name of the Lord, to tell them that God had established his kingdom on the earth for the last time in this age, through the ministering of angels, and by his voice from heaven, and through the spirit of prophecy, namely the Holy Ghost, which those who believe, and repent, and are baptized for the remission of their sins, and receive the laying on of hands of the elders, will obtain; and then he will be able to participate in the spiritual gifts. All who have obeyed with their whole heart the teachings of the Saints, in response to their prayers, have obtained assurance for themselves, from the Lord, through receiving the gifts of the Holy Ghost, that their work in joining with the Latter-day Saints is approved by the Creator; and all will obtain the same certainty upon their obedience to the religion of the Saints with their whole heart. I know in truth and soberness, through receiving the Holy Ghost in response to my prayers, that the only church of the living God on the earth, is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; therefore, may all obey the teachings of the Saints, so they may prepare themselves to meet the second coming of the Son of Man. The nations and their kings will see the sings of his coming, but they will be deceived and blinded by their wise men and their learned ones, that the events are the signs of Christ’s coming. O ye, inhabitants of the earth, remember that it is the work of your wise men, and your priests, and your preachers, who tell you that, “Peace and safety,” are one of the signs of Christ’s second coming. This generation shall not pass away until Jesus is seen coming on the clouds of heaven (upon the disobedient nations, like labor pains on one who is pregnant), in glory, “with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Let all remember that the Latter-day Saints will not be annihilated from off the earth, but they will increase more and more, until they fill the earth with the knowledge of the Lord;

 

[p. 66]

 

for God has said that through the mouth of his ancient prophets, and He has repeated it from heaven in this age. Therefore, peoples of the earth, consider what you are doing, lest you are found fighting against God.

      I have preached the gospel at the expense of the Saints, to the Saints and to the world; and because I have followed the counsel that was given me, the Lord has prospered me in all things. I shall never forget the great kindness I have received from the dear Saints, and from lovely friends; I shall pray for you in the high places of Zion.

      I wish for everyone in the priesthood to flee from evil, and be an influence on one another, and lift one another up, not in each other’s presence, rather in each other’s absence. He who wishes to be lifted up, let him let up his brother; and let no one think that he will lose his own influence, by giving influence to his brethren. He who lowers himself, shall be lifted up; and he who lifts himself up, shall be brought down.

      Let all listen to the voice of his president in the true priesthood, especially to the President of the Welsh Conferences and his counselors; follow their counsel in the face of all things, and the Lord will prosper you spiritually and temporally, in his own good time.

      Dear Saints, be eager to follow all the counsel given you by the true priesthood; do your best to roll forth the work of God, in the midst of all distress and poverty, and you will be delivered from Babylon in the good time of our God, and may you be rewarded an hundredfold in this world, and with eternal life in the world to come, if you continue faithful to the end.

 

                                    Dear Saints and friends, farewell to you now,

                                    I am going to sail across the great ocean,

                                    To go to Zion, where my God says,

                                    The righteous will be kept safely alive.

                                    O farewell, I go, expecting some day,

                                    To see you in Zion as a family together.

 

                                    Dear Saints and friends, I bid you a hearty farewell,

                                    O follow the counsels you have been given;

                                    And diligently perform your duty always,

                                    And come to Zion in great hosts;

                                    O farewell, I go, expecting some day,

                                    To see you in Zion as a family together.

 

                                                                                    Yours in Christ,

Liverpool, Feb. 9, 1852.                                                          ELIEZER EDWARDS.

 

[Translated from the Welsh original in Zion’s Trumpet, vol. 4, 1852, p. 64-66, by Ron Dennis]

 

 

LETTER TO PRESIDENT W. S. PHILLIPS.

 

Winter Quarters, July 8, 1852.

 

DEAR BROTHER PHILLIPS,—I am now watching over animals, along the location of the town of Winter Quarters. There is no one who lives here, neither is there a house left standing; just the old remains of a forest fire; here and there the pasture nearly covers everything. In some future time the name of this town will be mentioned to the eternal scorn and shame of the United States of America, because about 700 of my dear brothers and sisters died here in a short time, and children constituted the majority of them, because they were driven to the frigid desert, from Nauvoo, without cause, except for their religion, by the bloodthirsty sectarians of the States.

      The camp I belong to is far ahead by this time, namely the thirteenth. A few of the old enemies of the Saints in Missouri, and other places, furious with indignation at the Saints, because the President of the United States elevates some of the Saints to be high civil officers now and again, despite the lies that are told and published about the Saints. Because the enemies of the Saints failed to raise up a party to persecute them without cause, they are threatening to go across the Missouri river to the land of the Indians, to do harm to brother E. T. Benson and others, supposing that they could do that easily, because brother Benson is staying until the last, before going toward Salt Lake; thus he would be without anyone to assist him, for all the Saints have gone on before him. Lest they take the initiative to harm someone, from 3 to 5 men from several companies were counseled to wait until the last ones have come across the Missouri river; that is the reason that I am here. We have horses, which we will drive and then rejoin our various companies, before they have gone 500 miles. The last of the Saints for this season will cross the river tomorrow; the Apostles O. Hyde, J. Taylor, E. T. Benson, E. Snow, and F. D. Richards, are on both sides of the river at

 

[p. 291]

 

present. All are healthy and happy, and we will get underway before the end of this week. Ten thousand Saints are going toward Salt Lake this year, taking with them one thousand oxen and cattle, one-and-a-half thousand wagons, ten thousand sheep, a thousand horses and mules; there are thousands of those who started toward California and Oregon, who intend to go to live among the Saints. Everything is going forward extremely well in this country with regard to the Saints; it is a noble country: the glory be to God. Everything is going forward especially well in Salt Lake, &c.

      It is much easier to say in Wales, “Why do they not write back from America,” than it is to write to the old country after coming here, for lack of time, because one is busy doing one thing or the other nearly all the time on his journey. I shall send for you, boys of North Wales, from Salt Lake; be patient, all is well. Work the gospel forward with all your might. I am healthy and my heart is happy, thanks be to God. My regards to all of you, and the same to the sisters. I do not have anything of importance to tell you further; the Saints are in very good unity here, and may the Saints in Wales remember to be at one with the Priesthood, and God will prosper you in all good things.

      My best regards to you, dear Brother, and to your Counselors, and your families, and all the Saints. O hasten, hasten all to come to Zion quickly as counseled.

                                                                        I am yours in great haste,

                                                                                                ELIEZER EDWARDS.

 

[Translated from the Welsh original in Zion’s Trumpet, vol. 4, 1852, p. 290-91, by Ron Dennis]

 

 

Immigrants:

Edwards, Eliezer

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