Mormon History, 1849

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] The narrative of the year forms A remarkable Chapter in the History of the world. Perhaps no single year has embraced a greater number of important events or involved so great & lasting consequences in such a variety of relations. The overthrow of the Sikhs. The esstablishment of the British Power on the ruins of the Sikh dynasty. The deposition of the pope. The declaration of the Roman Republic and its early extinction by the French intervention & the struggles in sardinia. The movements of the people in Jermany; the Contest between the Danes And Jermans; the intervention of Russia in Hungarian affairs; the fall of Hungary; the overthrow of venice and the movements in the national mind of France on social questions are all Pregnant with vast Results. Also the passing of the Bill in the British Parliament on the 23d of Feb granting to Jews the right to seats in the Parliament of Great Britain is one strong omen of the redemption of that Peculiar people. These in connexion with storms, whirlwinds, Earthquakes, fires and the most desolating pestilence & Plagues which has swept over Europe & Eastern world Shows Clearly to the reflecting mind who has any portion of the Testimony of Jesus Christ that the Great God has Commenced his Controversy with all Nations. And that Great Babylon is Coming in Rememberance before God.
And when we turn our attention to the western Hemisphere the United States of America, any true Seer might Justly say that notwithstanding thy Nation O Land like the Antedeluvian world & Sodom & Gomorrow boast of their union strength goodness greatness & glory Yet is here that I behold the signs of the times big with Events. It is here that I behold the Clouds thicken the Heavens gather Blackness, And the wrath of God ready to fall upon thy head.
For thou art worthy Notwithstanding O America thou are blowing aloud thy trumpet of fame & honor to all the world in sympathizing with Cossuth and other Brave Hungarians and offering a Home to the oppressed of All nations. Still thou art the man who dare commit the blackest deeds of the Earth. It is here the God of Heaven has commenced set up his kingdom and offered thee the gospel of Jesus Christ to save the from the wrath of God. It is here whare that kingdom & gospel have been rejected first. It is here whare Presidents Govornors Judges and rulers of the Land with thousands of the people have broaken the laws & constitution of the United States and the several States by turning mob And persecuting many of their own citizens who were the Saints of Goth Have deprived them of the rights of citizenship, burned their goods & dwellings, taken some of them prisioners held mock trials over them by a mob Jury who were their Jury by Day & guard by night who would pour whiskey down each others throats And then God Dam God, And Jesus Christ the Holy Ghost, And evry religious sect they could think of & close their songs with the words God Dam the God Dam Mormons. Then would imprision the saints in Chains And feed them on Human flesh And finally murdered many of the Saints with the Prophets whom God hath sent unto them to Call them to Repentance. And when those persecuted American Citizen pled at the feet of the President, Govornors and Judges of the Nation, they have been rejected & ridiculed while at the same time they have in some instances been informed that there cause was Just. And even down to the present day evry Petition presented by the Saints of God who have been driven into the wilderness by the cruel hand of oppression is rejected in evry possible way. Because of these things the Lord hath said that He will arise out of his Hiding place and in his fury He will vex the Nation And in his Hot displeasure will Cut off those wicked and unjust Stewards and Appoint ther Portion with Hypocrites & unbelievers.
One glance at the signs of 1849 in the United States will show that the Lord has commenced to fulfill his promise And He will not scease untill it is finished. There has never been A year since the esstablishment of the United States Government when there has been so great a loss of property & life by fire & Pestilence, or such an increase of mobs or confusion and Perplexity in the Government as in 1849.
Among the most desolating fires may be named the burning of Watertown on Sunday the 13th of April. $121,000 worth of property destroyed. Five days after on the 18 of April the tremendious Conflagration at St Louis. More than half the busi-nesspart of the city was burned. $6,000,000 worth of property destroyed. The Plague also in the form of the Cholera visited the same city soon after the fire and in few weeks laid in the grave 8,000 of its inhabitants. The Cholera has also swept many thousand into the grave in various parts of the United States. It has raged through most parts of the land during the past season. Mobs have also increased to an alarming degree in the United States. In New York, Philadelphia, & Portland they have been very conspicuous.
The desolution of the American Union also seems to be fast ripening during the past year. The slavery question seems to be the great hinge upon which the Nation will split. At the meeting of Congress the House spent 18 days in Organizing the House & Electing the speaker which cost the Goverment near $100,000. And it continues to be one of the most exciting Congresses ever met in the United States. And if the war spirit now visible in the midst of congress continues to increase It is quite probable that the Union may be dissolved before the close of this session, Although many Editors of the public Journals have ridiculed for several years the Idea of the Dividing of the American Union. But this year they feel vary serious upon the subject And all the signs of the times in this government indicate that the hand writing upon the wall is begining to be visibly seen concerning the fate of this Nation.
When we turn our eyes towards Zion during the year 1849 we can behold the hand of the Lord also visible in her behalf. The Lord hath promised great Blessings Concerning Zion And the faithful Saints are watching all signs appertaining to her with feelings of the deepest interest. For years past Zion has been oppressed and as a captive removeing to and fro. But she has finally found a resting place in the rich valleys of Ephraim in the great Bason between the High Mountains & Everlasting Hills of North America. And during the year 1849 she has organized herself unto an Indipendant sovreign State And appointed her Governor & Nobles of themselves. So that Her Nobles are of themselves & her Govornor has proceded out of the midst of Ephraim in Zion she has prospered more than during any year since her organization. She is rapidly building up a city in peace, has good crops universal Health, has made Arangements to lay of three New cities. Has reorganized her marshal Legion of mighty men. 100 families have gone 200 miles South to form A settlement under the Presidency of Bishop Morley in the sand Pitch valley.
The Church during this years has laid the foundation for a fund called the perpetual fund the object of which is to gather unto Zion all the poor saints who Cannot gather themselves from Council Bluffs, the United States And from all the world, expecting it to increase yearly untill all Israel is gatherd. This fund is esstablished by voluntary contributions of the saints. $5,500 was collected in the valley in this way in one month And Bishop Edward Hunter was sent to Council Bluffs with the money to buy oxen to take up the poor from there to the valley the Coming spring.
The Elders of Israel are also determined to send the gospel to all the world as soon as possible. All of the Apostles who were in the valley have had missions assigned them.
Brigham Young, Heber C Kimball & Willard Richards Compose the first Presidency, Orson Hyde, the President of the Twelve. The following are the full quorum of the present Twelve: Orson Hyde Parley P Pratt Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, John Taylor, George A Smith, Amasa Lyman, Ezra T Benson, Charles C Rich Lorenzo Snow, Erastus Snow, & Franklin D Richards.
Orson Hyde is pu
blishing the Guardian & presiding at Council Bluffs. Parley P. Pratt is Appointed to preside over the Pacific Islands. Orson Pratt is doing a great work in England; some ten or twelve thousand have been baptized under his Presidency During 1849, Wilford Woodruff has been presiding over the Eastern States & Canidas & has travelled over 5,000 miles among the churches And is now Called upon to gather the remnants to Zion. George A. Smith And Ezra T. Benson has led a Camp of the Saints from the Bluffs to the valley through many dangers. Amasa Lyman & Charles C Rich Are at Italy, Denmark San Francisco presiding over western Cala-fornia. John Taylor Lorenzo Snow, Erastus Snow, & Franklin D. Richards, with about 20 Elders have arived in the States from the valley On mission to England, France Italy Denmark & Sweden. So evry thing is prospering in the Church & kingdom of God And All the signs of the Times bespeak the Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
What 1850 will bring to pass time must determine but it is certain it will be full of the Events of the times. The History of Each year is important now. Plagues, war, fire & Pestilence & famine will lay many low in death. Who will live?
I am expecting to start in April to lead A Company to the Bluffs & on to the valley. The dangers are many I shall have to go through But I Pray my Heavenly Father to protect & sustain me & those who should go with me that we may reach [it] in safety.
I Also pray to the Lord to preserve & bless the Twelve And all the Elders of Israel who go on foreign missions. And Bless the Presidency with the power of God, & cause Zion to arise And put on her beautiful garments. I pray that the oppression of Zion may scease. That her inhabitants may have power to build Houses & inhabit them plant vineyards and eat the fruit thereof. I Pray that her [1a?]nding be like the Garden of the Lord that she may have the early & latter rain that the Land may bring forth in her strength.
O Lord order our cause aright which is before the congress of this Nation. Hay all things work to gether for the good of thy Saints. Preserve us all from Evil of evry kind and help us to do thy will in all things on the Earth. O Lord Hasten the gathering of Israel who are cast out And the dispersed of Judea. May the Lamanites soon blossom like the rose. May the Zion of God who has risen And gone up into the mountains be Clothed upon with wrighteous-ness and the power of God. May the Church become prepared like a bride prepared for the Coming of the Bridegroom. And may the People not ownly have cause to rejoice in the Holy One of Israel during the AD 1850 But through all time And All Eternity.


[source: Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993,]

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