“Arrival from England, by the 'Perpetual Emigrating Fund,'” Deseret News, 18 September 1852, 2.
View this source online
Capt. A. O. Smoot’s company, of 31 wagons, was escorted into this city, by the First Presidency of the church, some of the twelve Apostles, and many of the citizens on horseback, and in carriages.
Capt. Pitt’s Band, in the President’s spacious carriage, met the company at the mouth of Emigration kanyon, where the saints of both sexes of near 70 years of age, danced and sung for joy—and their hearts were made glad by a distribution of melons and cakes; after which the Band came in the escort, and cheered the hearts of the weary travelers with their enlivening strains.
Next in the procession came a band of pilgrims—sisters and children, walking, sunburnt, and weather-beaten, but not forlorn; their hearts were light and buoyant, which was plainly manifest by their happy and joyful countenances.
Next followed the wagons. The good condition of the cattle, and the general appearance of the whole train, did credit to bishop Smoot, as a wise and skilful manager,—who was seen on horse, in all the various departments of his company, during their egress from the kanyon to encampment.
As the escort and train passed the Temple Block, they were saluted with nine rounds of artillery, which made the everlasting hills to shake their sides with joy; while thousands of men, women, and children, gathered, from various parts of the city, to unite in the glorious and joyful welcome.
After corralling on Union Square, the emigrants were called together, and Prest. Young addressed them as follows:
I have but a few words to say to the brethren and sisters at the present time. First I will say, may the Lord God of Israel bless you, and comfort your hearts (The company and bystanders responded, AMEN.) We have prayed for you continually; thousands of prayers have been offered up for you, day by day, to Him who has commanded us to gather Israel, save the children of men by the preaching of the gospel, and prepare them for the coming of the Messiah. You have had a long, hard, and fatiguing journey, across the great waters, and the scorched plains, but by the distinguished favors of heaven, you are here in safety.
We understand that the whole company, that started under bro. Smoot’s guidance, are alive and well, with but a few exceptions. For this we are thankful to our Father in heaven; and our hearts are filled with joy, that you have had faith to surmount the difficulties that have lain in your path; that you have overcome sickness and death, and are now with us to enjoy the blessings of the people of God in these peaceful vallies. You are now in a land of plenty, where, by a reasonable amount of labor, you may realize a comfortable subsistence.
You have had trials and sufferings in your journey, but your sufferings have been few compared with thousands of your brethren and sisters in these vallies. We have, a great many us, been under the harrow for the space of 21 years. I trust you have enjoyed a good measure of the Spirit of the Lord in the midst of your toils; and now, as you have arrived here, let your feelings be mild, peaceable and easy; not framing to yourselves any particular course that you will pursue; but be patient until the way opens before you.
Be very cautious that you do not watch the failings of others, and by this means expose yourselves to be caught in the snares of the devil; for the people here have the failings natural to man, the same as you have; look well to yourselves, that the enemy does not get the advantage over you; see that your own hearts are pure and filled with the Spirit of the Lord, and you will be willing to overlook the faults of others; and endeavor to correct your own.
With regard to your circumstances and connections here, I am little acquainted; but this I can say, you are in the midst of plenty. No person here, is under the necessity of begging his bread, except the natives, and they beg more than they care for, or can use. By your labor, you can obtain an abundance; the soil is rich and productive. We have the best of wheat, and the finest of flour, as good as was ever produced, in any other country in the world. We have beets, carrots, turnips, cabbage, peas, beans, melons, and I may say, all kinds of garden vegetables, of the best quality.
The prospects are cheering for fruits of different kinds. The grapes that we have raised this season, are doubtless, as fine as were ever exhibited for sale in the London market. The peach we expect will do well also. We had but few last year; this season we have more. We are under the necessity of waiting a few years before we have much fruit; but of the staple articles of food, we have a great abundance.
With regard to your obtaining habitations to shelter you in this coming winter—all of you will be able to obtain work, and by your industry, you can make yourselves tolerably comfortable in this respect, before the winter sets in. All the improvements that you see around you, have been made in the short space of four years; four years ago this day, there was not a rod of fence to be seen, nor a house, except the Old Fort, as we call it, though it was then new. All this, that you now see, has been accomplished by the industry of the people; and a great deal more that you do not see; for our settlements extend 250 miles south, and almost 100 miles north.
We shall want some of the brethren to repair, to some of the other settlements; such as mechanics and farmers; no doubt they can provide themselves with teams, &c., to bear them to their destinations. Those who have acquaintances here, will all be able to obtain dwellings, until they can make accommodations of their own.
Again with regard to labor—don’t imagine unto yourselves that you are going to get rich, at once, by it. As for the poor, there are none here; and neither are there any who may be called rich; but all obtain the essential comforts of life. Let not your eyes be greedy. When I met you this afternoon, I felt to say, this is the company that I belong to—the ‘poor company,’ as it is called; and I always expect to belong to it, until I am crowned with eternal riches in the celestial kingdom. In this world I possess nothing, only what the Lord has given to me, and it is devoted to the building up of his kingdom.
Do not any of you suffer the thought to enter your minds, that you must go to the gold mines, in search for riches. That is no place for the saints. Some have gone there and returned; they keep coming and going, but their garments are spotted, almost universally. It is scarcely possible for a man to go there, and come back to this place, with his garments pure. Don’t any of you imagine to yourselves that you can go to the gold mines to get anything to help yourselves with; you must live here; this is the gathering place for the saints. The man who is trying to gain to himself the perishable treasures of this world, and suffers his affections to be staid upon them, may despair of ever obtaining a crown of glory. This world is only to be used as an apartment, in which the children of men may be prepared for their eternal redemption and exaltation in the presence of their Savior; and we have but a short time allotted to us here, to accomplish so great a work.
I will say to this company, they have had the honor of being escorted into the city, by some of the most distinguished individuals of our society, and a band of music, accompanied with the salutation from the cannon. Other companies have not had this mark of respect shown to them; they belong to the rich, and are able to help themselves. I rejoice that you are here and that you will find yourselves in the midst of abundance of the common necessaries of life, liberal supply of which you can easily obtain by your labor. Here is the best quality of food; you are in the best atmosphere that you ever breathed; and we have the best water that you ever drank. Make yourselves happy, and do not let your eyes be like the fool’s eye, wandering after the things of this world, but inquire what you can do that shall be for the best interest of the kingdom of God.
No man or woman will be hurried away from the wagons, but you may have the privilege of living in them, until you get homes. I hope the brethren who live near by, or those who live at a distance, will send our brethren and sisters some potatoes, and melons, or anything else they have, that they may not go hungry; and let them have them free of charge, that they may be blessed with us, as I exhorted the people last Sabbath.
I have not anything more to say to you at this time, as my presence is wanted in another place. I pray the Lord God of Israel to bless you; and I bless you in the name of Jesus, amen.