A Speech by Ezra T. Benson
On His 1846 Mission to the Eastern States
At a Sunday Meeting at Winter Quarters, 29 November 1846
Recorded by John D. Lee
Journals of John D. Lee, 1846–47 and 1859, Charles Kelley, ed. (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1984), 25–29
Winter Quarters, O. N., Sund., Nov. 29th, 1846.
. . . Elder E. T. Benson, who arrived in camp on Friday eve at 9, Nov. 26, '46, said that he was glad to [live] and dwell in the midst of Iseral, which is fast becoming a terror in the midst of the nations and that delight my [?] we are now connsidered a distinct nation. Witness the title of our brethren in the army (Mormon Bat.) Bro. Kimble says that mericles are wrought in Iseral. I know it. Miericles were wrought in the deliverance of our brethren in the Battle at Nauvoo, when men stood where bullets flew arround them like hail and but few were hurt. A bullet struck Br. Hyrum Kimble on the top of his head and knocked him down. He jumped up and went at [it] again and likely knocked some sense in. The Lord struck Paul down before he could see as he ought. Many of the enemy saw the deliverance and [p.26] went down into waters of baptism. If we are only united nothing will harm us, but a corrupt man cannot be saved in the Kingdom of God. I never enjoyed myself better in my life before, than I have while on this mission East, and have learned to be at home wherever night overtakes me, content myself with whatever I am favored with. I am determined to build up the heads of this church. As Joseph said, Build me up and I will build you up. As a man said, Bro. Benson, how do you know when you council right? I answered, How do your children know what to do? Answer: By your telling them. Just so it is with me. When my president counselled me I then counsel others. I am not as the Methodist sister was, that she wanted to get a little bit of glory in some corner about as big as a little twinkling star, but I want to get all the glorey that I can. If [I] should get the glorey of the sun I should not rob anyone because there is all sufficient for all who walke upright before the Lord. Truly my heart rejoiced when I came to the bank of the river to see the lights that luminated the Saints, here [hear] the doges bark and wolves howl. Now when I look arround and see what has been done within 3 months past plainly declares that the Lord is with Iseral. No people could build up a city of this magnitude in the same time but the Nephites [Mormons], and that, too, without means, as the sectarian God created the world out of nothing. There are many good Saints in the east that will come out in the spring if it is council, and my heart is with them. Bro. Lytle laid our case before the Pres. of U. S. and has written the Pres. views on the subject to the council. I had an interview in person with our old friend Tindall, the postmaster general. He assured me that he would do [all] that was in his power for us without charge, but should he fall in our way, rember him, for he did not no what might hapen. . . .
[Lee gives also an account of a council meeting with the Twelve that afternoon. The following excerpt is from page 28.]
. . . Bro. E. T. Benson gave an interesting account of his mission. Said that Strang and G. J. Adams was at Pittsburg endeavering to stir a smoke. The apostates and whoremongers are ralleying around Strang's standard.
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