Pimera Calle de Soto No 2 Mexico [Mexico City, Mexico] Oct 11th 1886 [Monday 11 Ocdt 1886]
My Dear Son Edward [Edward Hunter Snow, b. 1865]
Your thrice welcome letter of Aug 30th [Monday 30 Aug 1886] was received at Juarez [Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico] after I left for the city [Mexico City] and was remailed after me and was read here with interest. My sight is still so I can hardly follow the lines and could not myself read your pale letter. Elder M. Thatcher [Apostle Moses Thatcher] who is with me and wrote my last letter to you was much pleased on reading your last one at your refference [reference] to the Horace Greely style of his writing. I quite agree with you however for untill [until] I became familiar with his hand it was very difficult for me to read. We left Juarez [Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico] on the 17th ult [ultimate – Friday 17 Sep 1886] and spent 6 days in the city of Chihuahua [Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico] on business relating to our colony at Juarez [Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico] and then proceeded by the Mexcian Central R.R. [Mexican Central Railroad] to this capital [Mexico City, Mexico] which is 1200 miles from Juarez [Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico]. Elisabeth [Elizabeth Rebecca Ashby Snow, b. 1831] is with us. Georgiana [Georgiana Snow Thatcher, b. 1862] and the Boys remained to keep house at Juarez [Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico]. We expect to return in a few days. Our business is with the government and its Land Agents about getting our tittles and buying more lands. It is slow business as all officers of this Government and people move slowly.
attended conference on the 5th
[Tuesday 5 Oct 1886 and Wednesday 6 Oct 1886] with the native saints
and Utah Elders at Ozumba [Ozumba, Mexico] 60 miles south east of
here [Mexico City] at the foot of the noted Volcano Papeatefetl
[Popocatepetl] covered with perpetual snow while at its base is seen
perpetual verdure and oringes [oranges] selling at half centavo.
Had an interesting trip although I was suffering from a cold or sort
of distemper seriously effecting my head, throat and lungs. The
saints in that region are all native Indians, mostly able to read and
understand the scriptures, as are also those in this city [Mexico
City] though a few of them hereabouts are mixed blood and fairly
education. The purest native blood seems best and most reliable.
Elders Helaman Pratt, Horace Cummings and Wm. W. Cluff Jun [William
Cluff Jr.] are the only Utah Elders now on this mission, though Bro Lara (a native which you will remember as a Spanish Teacher at B.Y. Academy [Brigham Young Academy] in Provo [Provo, Utah]) is now here on a mission. I am now nearly recovered from the effects of that distemper But Elisabeth [Elizabeth Rebecca Ashby Snow, b. 1831] and Elder Thatcher [Moses Thatcher] have each had a seige [siege] of it since our return from Ozumba [Ozumba, Mexico]. They too are getting over it and M. T. [Moses Thatcher] is expecting to start tonight for Galliga Station [Gallegos Station] on the M. C. R. R. [Mexican Central Railroad] where we expect Arthur [Arthur Eugene Snow, b. 1870] is or will be ready with team to convey us 150 miles to Juarez [Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico]. Our business lingers here and it is thought best for me to remain here a while longer, Possibly two or three weeks, to complete it. Besides buying more lands, we propose incorporating under Mexican Laws a Joint Stock company for colonizing those lands and for commercial and manufacturing purposes. If the Federal Rulers of the United States do not lighten the pressure upon us, many of our people will probably come to this land, while others perhaps may migrate to British American in quest of that freedom denied us in our own land. John H. MacFarlane and Bro Foremaster, the Mason, are en route from St George to Juarez [Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico]. Possibly others may follow soon. S.L. Adams has moved to Nephi. Josephine [Josephine Snow, b. 1859] writes us, that for prudential reasons, the Temple [St. George Temple] has been closed against any further Endowments and sealings for the present. By orders from the North. Your Mother [Julia Josephine Spencer Snow, b. 1837] and Brothers write all is well with them. Willie [William Spencer Snow, b. 1867] engaged in Washington [Washington City, Washington, Utah] mill. We have just received letters from Martha [Martha Ellen Snow, b. 1865] at the University of Salt Lake [University of Deseret] and from Ashby [Ashby Snow, b. 1867] at B.Y. Academy [Brigham Young Academy, Provo, Utah]. The former boards with Aunt Haddie and the latter with MaryAnn – Gardner. Both getting well engaged in study and feeling well. Minerva [Minerva White Snow, b. 1822] writes from Provo [Provo, Utah] that she and her boys and families all well there. Business crowding them. She had just completed a tour through Juab [Juab, Utah] and Sanpete [Sanpete, Utah] Stakes, in company with other Sisters visiting the Relief Societies. My own health has been through the summer full better than for several years past, and I have explored through the mountains “Sierra Madre” on horseback and with pack animals in company with others, for a week at a time on several occasions, and do considerable walking and light work when about home, though I can tire out easy and enjoy a noon rest and sleep occassionally [occasionally] and generally sleep well nights although my urinary weaknesses continue to trouble me more or less, but do not of late seem to increase upon me. I have not yet deeded your house and lot or made any other will or disposition of my St George [St. George, Utah] property as it is difficult and expensive executing Real Estate tittles in this country, of lands there. I still hope to be able stealthily to return and attend to those matters and settle up my affairs in Utah. But exactly when I cannot say, but you will learn in due time. I was very glad to learn of your improved health and the satisfaction you feel in your labors of the friends God raises up to feed and entertain you and who are willing also to extend such protections as they can, and as you seem occasionally to need. Persecution is the lot of all Saints. For as Paul says, “All who will live Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” and Jesus said to his diciples “I send you out as Lambs in the midst of Wolves, Be ye therefore wise as Serpents and harmless as Doves.” This is equally applicable to the Elders of the Latter Day Saints [Latter-day Saints]. May God all his blessing to all your efforts and preserve you from every evil and snare and multiply blessings upon all who reseive [receive] you and especially those who from the heart obey the ---- Christs doctrine which you are sent to declare unto them. In reply to your several questions. I will say, yet I knew Elder Orson Spencer well and he labored with me in St Louis [St. Louis, Missouri] and with Bro H. Eyring [Henry Eyring] in the Cherokee mission where he contracted the disease which carried him off. His letters to Rev. McCrowell are excellent. But did not convert him, though they have done much to convert others. Oliver Cowdery was rebaptised by Orson Hyde at Kanesville and died as he had lived bearing his testimony to the Book of Mormon. The Kirtland Temple is still intact and I hear has been of late occupied by the Josephites. I do not know what became of the Stone Box, It was left embeded in the Earth so far as I know when Moroni delivered its contents to Joseph Smith and after the translation of the Book, the Plates and Interpreters were taken from him again and are no doubt sacredly preserved in an underground general depository of Nephite records and sacred relics. The School of the Prophets whenever in use has been a means of Education and Preparation of the Elders for their ministry. United Order is designed to promote Love and Unity in temporal things and is only discontinued through selfishness and human weaknesses. Job is supposed to have lived contemporary with Abraham or soon after and some think (Dr Leifs, author of “A Miracle in Stone”) in particular think he superintended the building of the Great Pyramid of Gheza in Egypt. Others again attribute that work to Abraham. The gospel taught Abraham was the same Plan of Salvation taught us in our time and all the ancient prophets and saints viz to look for and believe in the Son of God who should come in the Meridian of time to offer himself a sacrifice for the sins of the world and God promised Abraham that He this Messiah or Redemmer [Redeemer] should be born of his seed through Isaac and in him all Nations should be blessed. And after this promise as if to try his faith and reprove his integraty [integrity], commanded him to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice, though he stayed it at the last moment, and all this was a type of God offering up his only begotten Son for a sacrifice and atonement for man. God also commanded Adam and his seed to offer sacrifices of Lambs etc as a type of figure of the Lamb of God who should come and who, in the purpose and plan of God, and in the faith which he planted in Adam and his seed, was as “a Lamb slain from the foundation of the World.” Abels offering and that of all believers from Abel to Christ were but types or reminders of Him who was to come to be the crowning sacrifice for all. From Adam to Christ the Law of animal sacrifices was in force being given first to Adam after the fall and renewed through Moses to the children of Israel in the wilderness and under it Lambs, He goats, Bullock, and turtle doves etc were offered and without the shedding of blood there was no remission of sins, notwithstanding the Baptism in water was taught Adam and practiced by the enlightened believers of his posterity as a means of washing away sins as well as the blood of sacrifices. And the the more light and inspiration was received by any people in any age and the more confidence and faith was begotten in them concerning Christ who should come, the more they relied upon him and upon the Baptism of Water and of the Holy Ghost in his name and the less importance they attached to animal sacrifices notwithstanding they continued them as a constant reminded of him untill [until] He came when these ceased and the Bread and Wine was instituted as a reminder of him who had come and shed his blood for us. The Nephites were bright examples of a people who learned the true import of the old covenant or law of sacrifice and viewed it only a schoolmaster to teach of Christ and lead their minds up to Him. While the old covenant as Paul called it was that established in the Blood of Animals. The new was establish by the Father in the Blood of his Son. So that as “the Father, Son and Holy Spirit Bear record in Heaven, so the water, Spirit and Blood bear witness on Earth, for by the Baptism of water and renewal of the Holy Ghost are we made clean through the Blood of the Lamb. This New Covenant is therefore the Everlasting one because it is from the beginning and continueth forevermore. A covenant of Priesthood was confirmed upon Abraham (the Priesthood of his fathers) and certain promises to posterity and in order to distinguish them from the Gentiles and keep them from mixing, God gave him the covenant of circumcision (an ordinance for males only) and this was also permitted to such Gentiles as choose to be adopted into the family of Abraham, but was of not binding force to other people. In answer to your Question as to how Joseph Smith received revelations, I will say that he often received them by personal visitation of angels and resurrected prophets as well as occasional interviews with the Father and Son and many things were shown him in open visions of heavenly things and of things past present and to come. But most of those written and published in the Book of Covenants were for the instruction of individuals and of the Elders and church pertaining to the organization of the church and preisthood [priesthood], and building up of Zion, and they were given by the Holy Ghost spesily [especially] moveing [moving] him to call his scribe to write from his Mouth what the Spirit spoke through him, the same as Moses did to Israel, and as Jerimiah [Jeremiah] and other Prophets; see Jeremiah chapter thirty six  where Barak his Scribe wrote from his mouth all the words which the Lord gave him to write to Israel and to the King. The Prophet Joseph also translated a new [anew] most of the Bible in the same manner. He became so familiar with the voice of inspiration that it was unmistakeable and like household words. Steady and long continued labor in the Spirit, was very weakening to his nervous and Physical system and it was no doubt to save this waste of his vital force and render his work of translation more easy, that the Interpreters were provided for him (Urim & Thummin) and also for various similar uses God had provided a seer Stone which he kept till his death and has been since in the possession of Prest [President] Brigham Young & John Taylor. Looking through these Joseph could read and translate any language or manuscript which the Lord appointed him to read. The characters wold [would] appear before him and underneath English words or translation and remain untill [until] he repeated them and his Scribe had written them. I trust you will devote your spare time or as much as your health will permit to the study of the scriptures. If you shall continue to desire a trip I shall be willing to endorse it if Bro Morgan can spare you from the Southern mission and the apostles approve which I presume they will.
I am glad to know that Hannah [Sarah Hannah Nelson Snow, b. 1865] is also becoming more cheerfull [cheerful] and hopefull [hopeful] and enjoying better health your seperation [separation] and mission and her consequent trials and prayers will prove a blessing to her as well as to you.
Herewith I send a keepsake with my autograph for you and Hannah [Sarah Hannah Nelson Snow, b. 1865]. It is a card with a small native bird worked on it in the Old Astic [Aztec] Feather work so famous in the History of the conquest. You did not give me the name of your fellow laborer. Please give my regards to him and accept assurances of a Fathers love and blessing and also the regards and greetings of Elders Thatcher [Apostle Moses Thatcher] and Pratt [Helaman Pratt] who are with me and of Elisabeth [Elizabeth Rebecca Ashby Snow, b. 1831] who also enjoys much your letters and takes an interest in your labors. I remain as ever effectionately [affectionately] your devoted Father Erastus Snow [Erastus Snow, b. 1818]
Please address me by my proper name as I am known by that in this country and by the other only among my special friends in Utah and in Juarez [Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico] who choose to correspond with me by the cogname [?]. E.S. [Erastus Snow, b. 1818]