196 Norgesgade Copenhagen Denmark [Copenhagen, Denmark]
April 6th/51 10 o'clock P.M. [1851-04-06 10:00 PM]
My effectionate [affectinate] and dearly beloved wife [Artimesia Beman Snow 1819-1882]
and family in Zion This is Sunday and the 21st aniversary [anniversary] of the Kingdom of God on Earth.
After the close of our meeting before retiring to rest I take my pen to write a few lines to you who are ever dear to my heart.
Although mountains, Deserts and Seas seperate [separate] our bodies yet in spirit are we one and the strength of that union is the faith of the New and Everlasting Covenant. and may God grant that it may be with us all, as unbroken and enduring as Eternity.
I hope that you are all alive happy and contented. If alive and well you are no doubt assembled at this moment with the thousands of the chosen seed of Israel, or about gathering to the temple square for the afternoon conference (for that place your time is over eight hours behind the Copenhagen time) How many times you will say in your heart "Oh that Erastus [Elder Erastus Snow 1818-1888] was here today" and how many times have I thought within myself today "Oh what joy and happiness would it afford me to make one in your midst" upon the wings of thought I fly to that lovely, peacefull [peaceful], & blessed abode of the Saints. I strike hands with my brethren, I hear the soul stiring [stirring] inspiration of Prophets & Apostles, the sound of music, and mellodious [melodious] strains of merry voices, making melody unto the Lord. Tis [It is] those who have come up with me through much tribulation. I fly to my family and embrace those whose hearts respond to every pulsation of my own, and kiss thrice & again the lovely babes I left who ere this are grown to pratling [prattling] and mischievious [mischievous] children and then with hearts burning with holy fire relate the scenes of the past - But then I say again, "hush my soul", these are scenes that remain for other days - return thou to Denmark and feed those lambs.
Well I have had a good meeting today and without doubt you have - I have been relating to my brethren some of the scenes attendent [attendant] upon the rise of this church and through which we have passed as well as I could in my broken Danish. Brother Forsgren is today with a small branch fourteen miles from here. Brother Dykes is still in the province of Jutland - Brother Hansen is here assisting me upon the Book of Mormon. All are well - and the work of the Lord moveing [moving] slowly but steadily forward, against a most overwhelming tide of Priestly influence founded upon profound ignorance and superstition among the people. My last letter written in February I enclosed in one to Brother Mason at Woonsocket requesting him to remail it via Independence and I hope you will have received it safely - I shall probably send this also via Independence and I pray my Heavenly Father that it may go in safty [safety] & speedily to your hands that before your next glorious festival July 24th you may peruse this. then remember me, for I shall you most assuredly - About that time shall I also expect letters from you, which doubtless you are now about to send.
April 14th [14 Apr 1851] I have been trying for eight days to find a leisure hour to sit down to finish this letter but have not til [until] now. If you ask why I have not taken time after others were in bed, I reply I use every night til 12 - 1 - 2 and 3 oclock [o'clock] in the morning when others sleep and have done so all winter and now besides the care of my brethren in this land I have at this time three compositors at work upon the Book of Mormon who drive me hard to revise and prepare the Manuscript read proof sheets etc. We have worked upon it all winter and shall probably not get through with it before the 20th May [20 May 1851] - It is double the work I expected.
I have lately issued a small work of sixty odd pages containing a small selection of choice songs of Zion adapted to our faith and the articles and covenants of the church and extracts of revelations for the instruction and government of the Saints etc. We have another pamphlet nearly ready for the Press and when I get that issued and the Book of Mormon finished and Bro Hansen Married, I think if the Lord will I shall take a little respite from my labours [labors] and about the first of June step over to London to the Great "Worlds fair" which is now attracting the attention of Europe and America, but more especally [especially] to Join in a Mormon “fair” with all the American Elders now in Europe who are expected to be there about the first of June - Perhaps I may remain in England until this springs mail arrives from the valley. Probably I shall write next from England.
Last night in my dreams I had a pleasant interview with Brother Joseph Smith and was much edified & comforted, as I always have been when I have seen him, which has been quite frequent since I left home. Were it not for dreams, and the comforter to cheer me by night and by day; and the pleasure derived from the Joy of the Saints, I could not endure the presure [pressure] of the power of darkness and unbelief and wickness [wickedness] there is in this land. I need not ask your prayers - I feel sure I have them and the Prayers of my brethren in Zion, and I feel their influence upon me, for I am bound unto them with everlasting ties.
My health is about as it has been through the winter, tolerably good, not to say first rate. but better than might be expected considering the change of climate and confinement of my labours [labors]. Our winter has been very mild & would have been pleasant were it not for the much thick falling weather. Two Islandic brethren have sailed from here to Iceland this spring one of whom I ordained, and another is to start soon whom I think I shall also ordain. one is in the employ of a Danish merchant and the others are mechanics whose relatives are there. They have an excellent spirit and I hope they will be able to sow good seeds that may bare [bear] fruit in that early nursery of modern Literature.
The total number we have baptised [baptized] in Denmark are somewhere between 225 and 250. The two principle branches are here and in Aalborg with several smaller ones - It is next to sacrificing life for one to embrace the faith of the Saints in this land. Tis [It is] true they cannot imprison or banish dissenters from the Lutheran church as formerly but they are still exposed to almost every other form of oppression. The alarm is sounded throughout the land by editors Priests & school teachers so that we are looked upon as Tigers in the land, but our enemies a chained [?] and we move quietly among them as lambs in the midst of wolves. I think I wrote in my last of some narrow escapes from mobs which Brother Dykes & Forssgren had made. I thank my God that he gradually opens our way & pleads our cause. I marvel when I revew [review] the mysterous [mysterious] providence that guided me, while I was ignorant of the language and the real state of things in this country. As yet, we are but laying the foundation of a work in this country, but by the blessing of the Lord upon our labours [labors] we hope to enter a wedge that when the old Monday [?] bears upon it, will make their old rotten systems crack. The struggles in the legislature for the enlargement of religious freedom during the past winter have not amounted to much. Similar exertions in the Legislature of Sweeden [Sweden] have met with less success, although there is a strong party in Sweeden [Sweden] strugling [struggling] for liberty. There have been several insurections [insurrections] in Stockholm and other parts of Sweeden [Sweden], but they have been quelled and all things continue as yet in Sweeden [Sweden] about as they have been, though one of the leaders of the Liberal party in Stockholm writes to brother Forssgren under a recent date; that they still labour [labor] in hope & are doubling their zeal.
These old corrupt Monarchiel [monarchical] governments of Europe are well aware that a national religion and priestly influence to enslave the people, are essential to their existence, but their days are numbered & the time short. My soul thanks the Lord continually that he has laid the foundations of Zion as a reffuge [refuge] for his people, and daily do I thank him that you whom I love, are permitted in my abscence [absence], to dwell in their midst in that quiet home in the Mountains - For my sake, sometimes I wish I had some of my family with me but for your sakes I am glad you are where you are; and my continual prayer is that you may be able to appreciate your privaleges [privileges] and that the principles of faith and love of righteousness may be rooted & grounded, and daily increase in your hearts; and that you may have wisdom to sow in the hearts of our little ones that good seed that shall bear fruit to the Glory of God and the Joy of our hearts forever and ever -
None have written to me about the childrens schooling I am afraid they are not learning as they ought. I want my little Mahonri to be able to point out on his atlass [atlas] when I return; where I have been and the course I have traveled etc - I want to receive a letter from Sarah in her own hand writing telling me how she learns and how she gets along, whether she has read the Book of Mormon through, if she has been baptised [baptized] and if she prayes [prays] for me. I wish when I come home to see little Erastus & Artimesia runing [running] to School together and able to begin to read in a little Primer which I intend to bring them. I would like to have the Doctor & Brother Wm [William], Willard, Mary, Mother, Bro. Nobles etc write to me if they can find time.
Brother Lorenzo [Lorenzo Snow] is in London geting [getting] the Book of Mormon translated into Itallian [Italian]. He is assisted by a native of Ittally [Italy] - a convert to Mormonism who was educated for a Catholic Priest and finished up in Dublin [Dublin, Ireland]. I have not heard from you since Sept [Sep 1850]. Though I have heard from the valley [Salt Lake Valley] through Bro. Wallace, Richards [Franklin Dewey Richards], and others as late as the first December [Dec 1850] Brother Monroe and two or three late mails from the valley [Salt Lake Valley] brought letters which reached England for others. I can hardly think that anything directed to the Millenniel [Millennial] Star office would fail to reach me. I conclude therefore that nothing was sent. I want every mail that leaves the valley to bring me a package, and a postscript thrown into the carriers hat at the mouth of the canyon with the latest news, for you know on this side [of] the mountains News goes by Steam and lightening and the latest inteligence [intelligence] is expected -
My Peace Blessing and love be with you all and my remembrences [remembrances] to all my friends - love and good will to Zion and all her children throughout the world. give yourselves no uneasiness concerning me only to Pray for my prosperity.
Time flies and soon we shall meet again when the Lord will, and if we can use it, as it passes to his glory our joy will be overflowing when we meet. Artimesia [Artimesia Beman Snow 1819-1882] God Bless you forever. Never forget "That the old cow did not eat up the grindestone [grindstone]". Minerva - "Keep the light side of the picture up"[,] never get low-spirited, if you do, rejoice and thank God til it leaves you. Elizabeth you may dance as much as you please if you will pray in your heart before you begin and give thanks when you are done.
May you all have a good time on the 24th July and from that time henceforth & forever - except barely trouble enough to make you thankfull [thankful] for the Blessings you enjoy -
The church is now of age (21 years old) and Brother Young Governor [President Brigham Young] - Thank God! My warmest rememberences [remembrances] to him - I [A] word from him personally or through your letters would be precious - But I am aware that his mind is full of cares & the burden of the Kingdom, and needs his brethren to lighten his burden instead of taxing his mind with trifles
Farewell my beloved family until I write again. Through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the New Covenant of Eternal life, I am yours, and hope to remain through time and Eternity your effectionate [affectionate] husband and father - Erastus Snow [Elder Erastus Snow 1818-1888]