[Millennial Star, 11 Apr. 1857, 19:15:236]
“Udgorn Seion” Office, Swansea, March 19, 1857.
President O Pratt.
Dear Brother—Since I left you at Liverpool, I have been labouring with all my might in the following places—Nottingham, Leicester, London, Reading, Cheltenham, Bath, Worcester, Bristol, Cardiff, Swansea, Caermarthen, Haverfordwest, and Sutton. As a general thing, the Elders, with few exceptions, feel to renew their covenants, and to live by every word which proceedeth from the mouth of God, and to do as they are told; but still, there seems to be a great lack of faith among them; truly as brother Brigham has said—“they are dead, and do not drink at the living fountain.” When I call upon them to go and preach the Gospel, they do not seem to have faith. Get them into a Council and warm them up, and they feel willing to go; but the very next day they will come whining round, wanting to know how their families are to be supported. . . . By the spirit that I perceive in some of the Elders, I do not think that they do themselves, the Saints, or the cause any good. Instead of magnifying their callings—preaching the Gospel, &c., they are idle themselves, and watch the movements of their more diligent brethren, secretly opposing them and infusing a bad influence among the Saints. Unless they arise immediately, and repent of their sins, they must be removed out of the way; or, the cause cannot prosper.
There will be a great shaking in this (the Welsh) Mission, and, from present appearances, I do not think that in some places more than one half will be able to stand. But there is one thing certain to be understood—those that are in the line of their duty, paying their tithing, &c., will cheerfully renew their covenants; and thus, by the help of God, we shall find out who do serve Him, and who do not.
Now, dear brother, I must say, that the reformation is a work of greater magnitude than I thought it was when we commenced it, and it grows greater and greater every day.
A report of our doings in this Mission will be sent to your Office forthwith.
If there ever was a time when we needed faithful Elders on the alert, it is now.
I am preaching somewhere every night, and counselling with the Elders by day, labouring with my might, and I frequently feel, by the Spirit of God, to chastise my brethren, and to rebuke them for their faults and their negligence, that the cloud of darkness may be removed from their minds, their ears unstopped, and the veil of unbelief rent from their hearts, that they may comprehend and understand the importance of building up the kingdom of our God.
I expect to spend next Sabbath at Newport, and on Monday to leave for Liverpool.
God bless you for ever.
E. T. Benson.