Letter: Edson Whipple to Brother Hess

Letter: Edson Whipple to Brother Hess

Brother Hess,

Sir, having learned from President Smith that the Church in Philadelphia is placed in your charge until the Elders can be sent from this place, I shall therefore, take the liberty of writing a few lines to you and the Church. By so doing, I shall redeem the promise made to you and the brethren.

You have taken, I understand, the new meeting house on Julian St., and I hope it will have its desired effect of union together, and peace and love be restored.

Elder Jedediah Grant is to come to Philadelphia in the spring to take charge of the Church. His brother is to go to Boston to preside there.

It is a general time of health in our city and the situation of the Church seems to be in a prosperous condition. The prospect is that the writ escheived by Gov. Carlin, against Joseph Smith will be dismissed by Field or the Legislature. A petition has been sent to them asking for it to be done and they have expressed their determination to do it.

You may expect a letter from Therom as soon as he returns from Springfield, giving the ~particulars.

We have had cold weather and several weeks of good sleighing. Business seems to be brisk in this place, the people generally speaking, are industrious and steady in their labor and in their habits--perhaps more so than in any other city in the Union. The taverns are not thronged with idlers, neither are the streets defiled with drunkards nor the silent hours of the night break forth with sounds of giddy babble of those returning home from where time, money and character has been wasted. There is not a place in all the city where liquor is sold for the accommodation of the tippler.

And this above might be counted a miracle city containing fifteen thousand people and not a grog shop to be found within its borders. The like perhaps is not known in the whole world. Surely this is a miracle and one performed by the Mormons. And had it been accomplished by any other society it would have been counted as one of the seven wonders of the world.

The city contains about four miles square and as the Patriarch David said, "Beautiful for Mount Zion."

The inhabitants are scattered [throughout] almost every part of it. The houses are generally small although there are some large homes. It is not as many suppose, all Mormons. To the contrary, there are many who do not belong to the Church. Several stores are kept by Gentiles.

Our places for worship this winter are in different parts of the city in private houses.

We arrived here the 20th of October after a journey of thirty-two days. We were detained several days by the way, owing to low water. We had however a very good journey with the exception of the length of time. Sister Wilcox and Family, Brothers Long, Jackson and S. Potter have come since our arrival and we have heard that others have started from Philadelphia and froze up in the river, but as to the truth we do not know, but we are anxious to know. We shall expect many from Philadelphia in the spring. And now, to return you that have been members in the Church from the first, let me exhort you to leave Philadelphia and come to this place and help to build up Zion. In doing so you will do what is pleasing in the eyes of them who has commanded a house to be built in honor to the name that the Priesthood may be restored--that the Elders may receive their own endowments and go forth to compel the nations of the earth to come in, and not only the work of God will prosper to the satisfaction of many who are yet strangers to the Kingdom of God. And here you may and can assist in completion of the Temple which is now progressing as fast as could be expected considering the circumstances which is connected with it.

The stonework of the basement story is finished. The walls of the second story stand to quite a height. The first Sunday after we arrived a meeting was held in it for the first time. And when I knew the font which is placed upon twelve oxen nearly carved in large as life placed in the Temple and the whole superstructure was reared under the direction of inspiration, my mind was carried beyond this world to the time when we that prove faithful shall through the order that is now established in that house, become saviors of our friends and in the morning of the first resurrection come forth clothed with immortality and strike hands with those of our friends who have died without the privilege of embracing the Gospel in this world, but through the ordinance which is now practiced at the font in the Temple be Christ's at His coming.

Those things, brethren, ought to create a spirit of gathering in everybody. Many are being baptized for their friends in the font and many have been healed through the same order.

We have just received news from Springfield stating that the petition sent in to the government has been acted upon and the old writ dismissed and Joseph exonerated from it and now is cleared from the blood hounds of Missouri.

And now I must bid you adieu for the present, exhorting you all to be faithful to your calling and gather home to Zion as fast as your circumstances admit.