"Remarks," Deseret News, 15 October 1856, 252.
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By Elder Daniel Spencer, Bowery, Sunday morning, Oct. 5, 1856.
[REPORTED BY J. V. LONG.]
. . . . As President Young has laid out the text, I will not make any preliminaries, but very cheerfully respond to the subject matter. It is our brethren and sisters that are yet on the plains, that have been brought from the old countries, under much anxiety, by President Richards, and as you will understand it is a new project to have our good brethren to come out by hand carts.
Many thought it impossible, but the faith that the people had in the works of President Young caused them to come forward, and we now feel convinced that it is the best way of emigrating the Saints to this city.
The Saints received the word from President Richards with glad hearts, as you will perceive by the numbers that have started.
Many of the people that started with plenty of means to come through with teams divided their means to help those that had none, and enrolled themselves as pullers of carts, and such circumstances are common this season; they devoted all to assist the poor, and they have felt cheerful.
In getting up this 'hand-cart' system much exertion and labor have been required, and I may also say that great fatigue and perplexity have been experienced in searching out those that were the most suitable, and to lead their minds aright that they might acknowledge the Prophet of God, and acknowledge God in carrying out an institution that he had established, and they have all felt to contribute, to aid and assist to carry these things into effect, and all the brethren that have been associated with me in carrying out the scheme have labored faithfully in everything which they have been set to do.
Well, now, we feel for those brethren and sisters that are still upon the plains, for we have been with them in the old countries and seen their faith and diligence, and now we feel to plead with you to assist them. There are those of you that came into the valley with teams years ago, and that have had the opportunity of accumulating property. Many of you are not preachers, but you have got the power to help them, you have the opportunity of showing your zeal and love for the truth and for the kingdom which God has established for the benefit of the children of men,.
The emigration is late, quite late, but it is useless for me to undertake to explain why it is so. They are late, but the faith of those that have been associated with them is that the God of heaven will control the elements, providing that you, my brethren and sisters, render them that assistance which he has given you ability to do.
The text that we have heard is that we should raise sixty mule teams, and there is no doubt about doing it, if we only make it a matter of to-day; they are the lads that will come forward now; it is not that portion of the community that wait until to-morrow; the Lord does not honor such persons, he wants his people to turn out on the suggestion of the moment; and if you will do this, you will see your brethren come in rejoicing, and the severity of the elements will be kept back according to the promises made to them by the servants of God.
You must recollect this is a great work which they are performing, and they have done this to honor our Prophet and to carry out his designs. Here are many of you who have spent 10 or 15 years in the church and you have the means to assist them, and this is the duty now required at your hands.
They were told when they came into Iowa that they could not go through; the people there tried to persuade them that it was impossible to carry out such an experiment, but they believed our words.
Many of them are old members of 12 or 15 years standing in the church. They landed in Iowa without tents or anything to shelter them from the storm, and the most severe storm came upon them the first night and wet everything they possessed, and many thought they were going to be ruined, for all their clothing was thoroughly saturated, and quite a number of them were afflicted with the rheumatics and other diseases, but we told them it would not be so, we told them they should be blest, and that the disease should not continue upon them, but that they should be healed.
The next day many of them said they were much better, and the second day they said they were quite well, and as I passed them on the plains they said they were entirely free from disease. God had honored the words of his Prophet; and he had honored our words through their obedience.
This is the class of people that are coming up to Zion by hand-carts; they will honor God and those whom he sends amongst them, and those people you are called upon to assist. Don't you believe that it will please God for you to do this? Yes, brethren and sisters, be assured that it will please the Almighty for you to comply with this call and to aid and assist those that have rendered obedience to his servants, they will be blest and you will be blest who may assist them. I feel happy in talking about them and have from the commencement, and though many have raised objections to the scheme, still I have always felt blest in advocating and defending it, and so has every one who has taken this course, and you, my brethren and sisters, will be blest provided that you respond to this call; you shall be blest, I feel that God is waiting to bless you, for this is his work, and he will bless all who defend and help to carry it out.
I make short speeches, as I formerly did, and there are many other brethren who have just arrived in your midst and you want to hear them speak, and I do likewise; therefore I will not dwell longer upon this subject, but simply admonish you to do all you can to help in those poor brethren and sisters who are out upon the plains.