Mormon Literature Sampler:

To the Brethren Returning from Missions*

Brigham Young

G. S. L. City
May 8th, 1854

To the brethren supposed to be on the road to this city from their missions:

Dear Brethren: We improve the present opportunity of writing by the escort sent with Colonel Kane to communicate with you. We have to say that, so far as we are acquainted, your families are all well, and we trust that you will be able to elude the grasp of our enemies who are on your path, and come to us in peace and safety.

We advise you to take the "Sublette cut-off" to Bear River, and then travel up that river until you come to the trail leading to the head of Echo, unless you get information of the movement of the U.S. army subsequent to this date; in which case you will have to act according to the existing circumstances; but dodge them, if possible, and take every precaution not to fall into their hands.

As you approach Green River you must watch out for Indians as well as mountaineers, and especially the latter. The Indians from the north have been committing depredations and are at present on Bear River and will probably be straggling along towards Bear Lake; the Green River Indians, and all the Indians, more or less, are also excited and liable to be influenced to deeds of blood and plunder. The mountaineers, however, are more to be feared than the Indians; concerning them you will get more information from Brother Howard, but you must never for a moment relax your watchfulness over yourselves and animals.

We intend to provide you, if possible, with passports from Governor Cumming, who at present is with us and really seems disposed to take hold of the thread of justice and is endeavoring to set us right before the government and the people generally. He has officially contradicted the burning of the records, library, etc. If, unfortunately, you should fall into the hands of the army, you may find them of use to you. Our faith is that you will come safely through; that the Lord will guide you aright. Be of good cheer and be humble and prayerful, and watch as well as pray. Be vigilant, and, as you approach the vicinity of the troops, keep your scouts well in advance, that you do not go blindly into the enemey's camp, or fall into the hands of their scouting or patrolling parties.

The news you will learn by the bearers of this letter. Suffice it to say that all is well with us. The Lord is at the helm of the old ship "Zion," and she sails well.

May God bless and preserve you, and bring you all safely and speedily into our midst, is the daily prayer of your brother in the Gospel of Christ,

Brigham Young

*Col. Thomas Kane set out for the east, accompanied by Governor Cumming, who was going to the soldiers' camp for his family. Young sent this letter with the party, directed to any returning elders they might encounter.

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