Frontier Guardian, Kanesville, Iowa, 21 Mar. 1849,
Carbonca, March 3d, 1849.
To the Saints in Iowa.
DEAR BRETHREN: As the time is nigh at hand when every man who is making calculations to remove to the place of gathering this season must be up and doing; and as a great many enquiries or questions are daily asked us; we take this method of making some suggestions and offering advice to you on this highly important subject. To the oft repeated question, “shall I go to the Valley?” We answer, we advise every person to go, who is able to take with him the amount of provisions requisite, and means to purchase a supply for the remaining part of the year—which had better be taken in dry goods and other necessaries instead of money. Good wagons and good teams are indespensible on such a journey. We believe that the blessing of Heaven will attend every man in leaving this place as soon as he is able; and that whoever delays after that time will be the loser by it. We should advise those who are not able to go themselves, to help their neighbors; for it is our duty in remembrance and fulfilment of the covenant, made at the General Conference in the Temple, and in obedience to the word and will of the Lord that we use all our influence and property with unceasing diligence until every honest Saint, who desires it, is removed to a place of safety. While we are acting in good faith upon these promises and requirements, the smiles and the blessings of our Heavenly Father, will be upon our path, and our way will be prospered. His bountiful hand will be spread over us, and the way open for our deliverance. We are all acting our part in the great work of the last days, and it becomes us all to be diligent, for the time cometh and now is, when the words of the prophet shall be fulfilled, which saith: “But 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 shall be exalted above the hills, and people shall flow to 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 will walk in his paths. For the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Malichi, iv. 2, 3.) [Should be Isaiah 2:2–3.] Therefore, let every man be on the move, and while we are all doing the best we can, to accomplish this grand object, like a band of brothers, clinging to the promise of the Lord, (who softened Pharaoh’s heart that he might let Israel go for deliverance.) It is wisdom to assist such brethren on first as are most needed there. This measure would serve to preserve those who remain from many difficulties.
To those who have made any improvement in Pottawatamie county, we would say, sell your farms if you can get their value for them; and if you cannot, give them into the hands of the Church to be disposed of, for the benefit of the poor after you are gone; for if you have to sacrifice your property you had better do it for the benefit of your friends. If you cannot get what your property is really worth; choose the honor and the blessing of giving it to the poor. Let the Saints take this course, and they will either receive a compensation for their labor here, or lay up a treasure in heaven to be enjoyed hereafter.
We would also advise every Brother, who has not got the means on hand of going West this spring, to put in spring crops; or sufficient at least to feed his family in case of disappointment. The want of attention to this item of instruction, for the past two years, has caused many families to be left destitute in time of harvest. They would wait about Winter Quarters until the last company was gone; and then being unable to proceed on their journey, and as it was too late to put in their crops, they then had to depend on their Brethren, or dispose of what little property they had, to supply the want of a fall crop.
Experience, is said to be the best school-master; and if it has not taught us a lesson on this subject in times past, we may yet learn the lesson in the future, if we are not careful, to our sorrow. We advise every man who is dependent on the sale of his farm, to make an outfit, to put in a crop of Spring Wheat, which will probably enhance the value of his property if he should find a customer; and if not, feed his children another winter.
We should also advise every man who is going West, to use all his surplus time in putting in Spring Crops, as many emigrants will arrive here who will be glad to purchase small crops on the ground; by this means the emigrant will get his pay for his labor. The severity of the past winter assures us we are in a cold northern climate, and as a warning for every man to make the best possible use of the season for sowing the seed and raising the grain necessary for subsistence; every farmer should put his fences in repair to secure his crop; nothing is more ornamental, or so well calculated to produce a ready sale of his property as a good substantial fence, which secures the crop the year round. We shall give our time and attention to counselling and assisting the emigrants; those who arrive, as well as those who emigrate West. As soon as necessary, we shall give notice for a suitable place for the companies to gather to organize; where they will be organized in companies of fifty before crossing the river. The difficulties with the Indians at the Horn last season, as well as the instructions of the First Presidency; admonish us of the impropriety of going into the Indian Country, without a complete organization.
In consequence of Elder Orson Hyde, being crowded with business as Editor of the Guardian, &c., he has requested us to attend to these affairs. We shall hold ourselves ready to give the Saints arriving here, or departing for the Valley of the Great Salt Lake, any counsel or information that they need that may be within our reach. For further particulars we refer you to the General Epistle of the Twelve dated at Winter Quarters of 1847; also the Epistle of the First Presidency which appears in the first No. of the Guardian.
May the blessings of our Heavenly Father rest upon the Saints; that they may fulfil all the commands of God; do justly; walk humbly; that they may gather up their means; and go, in peace to our new location, to assist in building up Zion; and spread the Gospel to the nations of the earth; that Zion may become very beautiful, and the glory of the whole earth. These blessings, we ask, to rest upon you in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
GEO. A. SMITH,
EZRA T. BENSON