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elders whose names we can suggest to the proper authorities to be called into this work, we ask you to consult with the presidency of your stake, and suggest to us about eight names of young men who will be suited to this kind of labor. We shall need them for about three months' service, beginning about the 20th of November. It is expected that the brethren called from your stake will be required to labor in some other stake, and therefore they should be men who can leave their homes for the time specified. Of course it is desired that the most efficient young men be called, and perhaps you can find such among elders who have recently returned from foreign missions.
We want men full of faith and zeal, who will be willing to fast and pray, and work with the energy of apostles for the conversion of the youth of Zion wbo are not now converted to the truth. It is expected that they will travel without purse and scrip from the time they reach their fields of labor,
We desire to emphasize the fact that this is just a request that you will suggest to us the names of young brethren suitable for this work, and in no sense is to be considered a call upon them. When you furnish us the names of men you consider suitable, they will be presented to the proper authorities and called as when going abroad. We ask you to take up this matter immediately and forward us the names without delay, as our affairs in this matter cry baste and speed must answer them.
Praying that you may be guided by the inspiration of the Lord in making the suggestions we ask for,
We are, most truly your brethren. This call for names was very generally responded to, and from the list supplied 183 names were selected and submitted to the General Superintendency and called to the work by President Wilford Woodruff. Of the number thus called 156 responded favorably, and twenty-seven, for a variety of reasons, could not accept the call, and were honorably released.
The inauguration of the mission was begun at American Fork on the 2nd of December. A number of brethren, most of whom were personally known to us, joined us at that place. Public meetings were held in the evenings, and council meetings during the day, until our plans of operation were matured, and then the work was extended to the surrounding settlements.
After these brethren had acquired a little experience, a number of them were selected to take charge of groups of from six to ten or twelve elders, and given one or more stakes of Zion as their field of labor, with instructions to push the work zealously and with such wisdom and modification of the general plan agreed upon as the spirit of the Lord and local conditions might suggest. In order that the spirit in which the work was prosecuted may be manifest, though long, we think the following letter of instructions sent by us to all the missionaries called to this labor, should be presented:
COPY OF LETTER OF INSTRUCTIONS TO MISSIONARIES.
Dear Brother:-It has been thought proper by us, to address a few
words of instruction to the brethren about to engage in missionary labor among the young men of the Improvement Associations of the Church of Christ. Of course, we are aware of the fact that no instruction can be given in a letter that will enable you to deal with all the emergencies that will arise in your labors during your mission, but it occurred to us that something might be said in a general way that would be of some service to you in the commencement of your labors.
First of all then, we call your attention to the words of Jesus, where he says, “The whole need no physician, but they that are sick." We suggest. that these words of the Master's be taken as the key note of your labors this winter among the young men of the Improvement societies. The statistics of last year show that there are between eight and ten thousand young men in the church of the improvement age, who are not connected with our associations, and who have little or no interest in the gospel. Among these, more especially, we think you will find those who need your ministrations --your faith, your prayers, your strong reasonings; and to them we commend you in the hope that you will be able to reach their hearts and make them, from benceforth, earnest workers in the cause of Mutual Improvement, and the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. In performing this part of your work you will, of course, find it necessary to come in contact with these indifferent ones, and we suggest, in this connection, that you will find it to your advantage to secure the assistance of the local brethren, as far as you can, who are already interested in the work. It is not to be expected that the local brethren can devote themselves to this work as you will, but they can be of great service to you in bringing you in contact with the indifferent ones who need your labors. They can introduce them to you at the close of public meetings, induce them to meet you at the conversational meetings, hereafter to be described, and, when necessary, can accompany you to their homes in the evenings, and assist you in introducing your work at the fireside.
In making your arrangements for holding public meetings, it will be necessary for you to consult the local authorities of the wards, we mean the bishops of the respective wards where you labor, as well as the presidents of the associations; for we desire to honor all the officers of the church in their respective spheres, that we may have the influence of all in the accomplishment of our great work. In regard to holding public meetings, we would suggest that while you should hold such meetings as you may think necessary to create an interest in your work, yet we would not have you think that holding public meetings is all that is expected of you, nor even the principal part of your work. Quite the contrary It is expected that you will work, for the most part, in a quiet way with the young men who are without interest in the work of the Lord, and only hold such public meetings as the local authorities of the ward may find it convenient to allow, without interfering with other interests of the church.
We suggest that you hold conversational meetings as often as you find it convenient; that is, that you secure, where you can, the vestry of a meeting house, or the sitting room of some good brother or sister, and invite the
young men to meet there with you, where you can engage in conversation on the subject of your mission. You can here encourage them to make know the difficulties that stand in the way of their acceptance of the gospel, what it is that puzzles them, what obstacles stand in their way, and the reasons generally why they are not interested in the great work of the Lord. In this part of your work, great wisdom will be necessary, in order to avoid vain questions that engender strife wherein there is no profit; and we suggest, in this connection, that you call the attention of your young skeptical brethren to the efficacy of faith and prayer in obtaining a knowledge of the things of God. Pray with them as well as reason with them; and what would be better still, get them to pray. If you can bring them to that pass, very much is gained, for you have put them far on the way to salvation. There is always hope for a man who will pray.
If it is found that there are those whom you cannot reach, neither through your public meetings nor through the conversational meetings, then we suggest that you make it a point to call upon them at their homes and there in all earnestness, present to them the message of life and salvation, in the same way you would to strangers in the world; not forgetting to warn them of the responsibility they take in rejecting the message you carry to them. You will find it to your advantage to interest the parents of these young men in your labors, and very often they will become co-laborers with you in seeking to bring to pass the salvation of their sons; and, indeed, we should think that you could nearly always depend upon their co-operation, and it will be a good thing to solicit it.
Brethren, what more can we say to you, except to add that faith, hope and charity will qualify you for this work of love? Approach this work, we pray you, as men interested in the salvation of your fellow-men, and especially interested in the salvation of those who are of the household of faith, the sons and daughters of the Latter-day Saints. We know of no work that could be more pleasant than this promises to be, and certainly of none that will be more fruitful of good.
We refer you to the brief article in the December No. of the IMPROVEMENT ERA for further information on the subject of missionary work, and from time to time we shall address you both by means of personal letters and through the pages of the Era, as circumstances may seem to require. We hope also to meet with you occasionally and partake of the joy of your ministry.
Praying that the Lord will abundantly bless you in your labors, and give you great joy therein,
We are, most truly your brethren.
These instructions were faithfully carried out by our brethren, and with the very best results as will be seen later on.
It was originally the intention to send missionaries into every stake from some other stake, believing that the results would be better, as brethrep coming from a distance would not be affected by local conditions, such as jealousies and neighborhood contentions, which unfortunately in many
places exist; but the task of getting the work started was so great, and commenced so late, that we found it impossible to cover the whole field in the manner originally intended; and hence in eight stakes, viz: St. Joseph, St. Johns and Snowflake, in Arizona; San Luis, in Colorado; and Alberta, in Canada; San Juan, Wayne and Uintah, in Utah, we notified the elders who had been selected from those stakes to labor within their stakes, under the direction of the stake superintendents.
Into twenty-three of the stakes elders from other stakes were sent; but in six stakes no missionary work whatever was done, viz: In Bannock, Bingham and Cassia stakes, in Idaho; Juarez, in Mexico; Maricopa, in Arizona; and Star Valley, in Wyoming
Of the 183 elders called into the work, 88 labored in other stakes than their own; and 68 labored within their own stakes.
Believing that something of a general report of the work in each stake would be of interest, and also being of opinion that the names of the brethren who were engaged in this mission should be recorded, we give the following reports of the work in the several stakes. The reason why the report in some cases is not complete in the three items selected for presentation, is because at the start we did not have in mind the making out of reports, and therefore the elders did not gather the necessary data.
REPORT OF WORK IN THE STAKES.
No. enrolled at No. of M. I. No. enrolled as STAKE. time of Mission
age not en
result of Misrolled.
sionary labor. Weber,
NAMES OF MISSIONARIES: Chas. A. Welch, president, Morgan City; Charles C. Rockwood, Centerville; George H. Buttler, Marriotsville, Weber Co.; Chas. R. Thompson, Logan; H. L. McMillen, Heber; Ova Peterson, Fillmore; John D. Flamm, Rexburg. Cache,
313 NAMES OF Missionaries: A. H. Snow, president, Brigham City; Peter Christensen, Moroni, Sanpete Co.; David C. Stephenson, Nephi; William E. Robinson, Spring City; Henry A. Grover, Parker, Bannock Co., Idaho; James Jacobsen, Shelby, Bingham Co., Ida.; J. B. Rhead, Coalville, Utah; C. W. Knudsen, Brigham City, Utah; Peter C. Jensen, Bear River City. BEAVER,
277 Names of MISSIONARIES: 0. H. Snow, president, Pine Valley; Samuel H. Wells, St. George; S. T. Leigh, Cedar; Ernest B. Theobald, Hinckley, Millard Co., Utah. MALAD, 117 300
2727 Box ELDER, I
NAMES OF MISSIONARIES: E. M. Pugmire, St. Charles, Idaho; G. H. Hall, Huntsville, Weber Co., Utah; John S. Groesbeck, Springville, Utah; Thos. P. John, West Portage; James C. Peterson, Newton, Cache Co., Utah; William Poll, Idaho Falls, Idaho; D. L. Vap Wagener, Midway, Wasatch Co., Utah; J. M. Folkman, Plain City, Weber, Co., Utah Davis 621
826 TOOELE, 308 401
503 NAMES OF MISSIONARIES: Chas. R. Lyman, president, Parowan; Christopher S. Booth, Salt Lake City; T. F. H. Morton, Farmers Ward; James Winters, Salt Lake City; Albert Young, Salt Lake City; Fred. J. Fjelsted, Gunnison; R. B. T. Taylor, Salt Lake City; J. C. Knudsen, Provo. JUAB,
331 NAMES OF MISSIONARies: Ed. D. Clyde, president, Heber City; Hans P. Hansen, Fairview; John H. Dicksen, Richville; A. W. Bohman, Monroe; H. M. Bohney, Jr., Castle Dale; John Burrell, Wilford; W. H. Cassidy, Tooele City; Martin A. Anderson, Fountain Green; Hail Hales, Spanish Fork. SEVIER, 517
620 EMERY, 413
*The brethren were successful in getting 93 per cent. of all those visited in Oneida to identify themselves with M. I. A. work.
+Thirty-four enrolled were not members of the church.
Eighty-five per cent. of those whose names were given to the missionaries in Box Elder stake they succeeded in enrolling as members of the associations, but the missionaries failed to record the number added to the associations, or the number of names furnished them.