Ship John Bright, June 1, 1866President Brigham Young, Junior.
Dear Brother,--We are now within about two hundred miles of New York, and should the winds be favorable, we hope soon to arrive there. I feel like writing to you a few lines, though I do not wish to trespass too much upon your time, realizing that you have many duties to engage your attention.
Before leaving my native land, I intended writing a few lines for the [Millennial] Star; but my departure was so sudden, that it left me no time to do anything besides getting ready for the journey, and so I will do it now instead.
I labored in the ministry upwards of five years in England, and during that time made many friends, and was the recipient of many kindnesses from the Saints in the Norwich, London, and Liverpool Conferences, and I wish to tender them my sincere thanks for the same, and my prayer is, that the Lord [p.413] may reward and bless them abundantly. I enjoyed myself much while preaching the gospel and attending to the duties of the ministry, but my heart greatly rejoiced when released by yourself to go home to Zion, for it is a blessing I have long coveted, feeling sure from past experience, and what I have seen from those who have come from that land, that it is the place for all those who wish to do right and be useful; and if I rightly understand my feelings at present, this is my desire. I have preached emigration to the Saints for a long time, and to show that my mind was fully bent upon it, I am going up to Zion; and this may be a stronger testimony than all the rest that I have borne, that I believe in the principle of gathering. My testimony to the people in England is, that "Mormonism" is the work of God, and that President Young is a Prophet of God, and the right man to lead this people, and I do know it. It might be asked, how I can know this before seeing the man? I can say that one evidence is, that I received the remission of my sins. I received the Holy Ghost under the administration of those whom he sent forth to preach and administer the ordinances of the gospel, and had they not possessed the authority, they could not have conferred these blessings upon me. If the head had not been right, the whole system must have been devoid of power.
I wish to say to the Saints in England and throughout the world, Gather up to the land sought out by God for his people, while the way is open and you will be blessed; but those who have the means and are slow to obey the command of the Lord, will certainly repent some day. If people want to see the spirit of the gospel, and the union and harmony it produces, let them come on board an emigrant ship with Saints as passengers, one month, and they will exclaim that the power of God is with this people. This is the place for testimonies, if the people want them. Many people write back to their friends, telling them how many things to bring with them when they emigrate; but if people cannot get them, they should not let that stop them, for if they will bring themselves and the Spirit of the Lord, it will be of more service to them than all the fine things that England, France, or any other country can produce, without it. I have seen this already, although only thirty-one days out from Liverpool; and I expect it will be so all the way along.
I do not wish to give an account of what has transpired on board the John Bright since we left, as there are others to attend to that business; but I will just say that there are many good people on board, and we have had real good times. Had I been predisposed to complain, I really don't know where I should commence, or what it would be about, for every convenience has been far beyond my expectation, and the inconveniences of such small magnitude, that I must think it all very good. The provisions are really good, and plenty of them. There are good order, love and union in our midst, and things have more the appearance of a pleasure party, than a lot of people performing a long , tedious journey, as I had always supposed it to be. I can say truthfully I have never spent a more happy month in my life, than the one on the John Bright, and I feel to thank the Lord for the deliverance wrought out for his people.The emigrants from Liverpool are all well and feeling well. My prayer is that God will bless you, that you may continue to bless the people under your charge. With kind love to yourself and the Saints in England, I remain yours truly,
Septimus W. Sears [p.414]
BIB: Sears, Septimus W., [Letter], Latter-day Saints Millennial Star 28:26 (June 30, 1866) pp 413-14. (CHL)