Juarez Casa Grandes P.O. Chihuahua Mexico Jan 2 1887 [Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico] [Sunday 2 Jan 1887]
Edward H. Snow [Edward Hunter Snow, b. 1865]
St Paul Carroll Co Va [missionary in St. Paul, Carroll, Virginia]
My Dear Son
Your letter of Nov 30th ult [ultimate – Tuesday 30 Nov 1886] came duly to hand, but since my return here the great amount of correspondence and other business pressing upon me here, has caused a delay in answering you. While in the city of Mexico [Mexico City] I had more leasure [leisure] and more help to do my writing, but here it is quite otherwise. I am however as much pleased to hear from you and of your efforts and success in your labours [labors] and do ever remember you in my prayers. I suppose your news from home are as recent and full as mine, especially if you get Salt Lake papers, which you should have in your field of labor. The killing of Bro Dalton [Brother Dalton] of Parowan [Parowan, Iron, Utah] by Deputy Marshall Thompson is the latest sensation. Our Dixy [Dixie – Southern Utah] Brethren seem just now, more than usually nervous over the proposition of Gov West [Governor West] to appoint St George [St. George, Washington, Utah] as a place for holding the 2 District Court instead of Beaver [Beaver, Beaver, Utah] and they anticipate it next March Term and possibly a commssioners court prior to that. Afew exposed individuals are expecting to come over this way on a visit, others talk of going to the Muddy [Muddy River, Nevada]. Our folks were all well as usual in St George [St. George, Washington, Utah] at my latest dates. E.W. [Erastus White Snow, b. 1849] was still quite poorly at Provo [Provo, Utah, Utah]. Josephine [Josephine Snow, b. 1859] teaching school in Pine Valley [Pine Valley, Washington, Utah]. Arthur [Arthur Eugene Snow, b. 1870] left alone in the Big House [House on Main Street, St. George, Washington, Utah] and Martha [Martha Ellen Snow, b. 1865] talked of starting home from the city [Salt Lake City, Utah] to take charge of the house. Elisabeth [Elizabeth Rebecca Ashby Snow, b. 1831] and Georgiana [Georgiana Snow Thatcher, b. 1862] are now thinking of starting home by rail in about a week unless they hear of Martha [Martha Ellen Snow, b. 1865] going. I am not certain of going but if I do shall likely return here soon as the interest of our colonists both natives and foreign require attention. Elder H. Pratt [Helaman Pratt] is with us here and expecting part of his family from Salt Lake [Salt Lake City, Utah] soon. Possibly Minerva [Minerva White Snow, b. 1822] may come with them in which case I shall not go home with Libie [Elizabeth Ashby Snow Ivins, b. 1854]. We have finally been successful in purchasing from the Mexican government some 85,000 acres of land in addition to that previously purchased making some150,000 in all which will sustain a large population much fine timber as well as grazing and agriculturing [agricultural] lands and we next want some Machinery, such as a saw and gristmill lath and shingle mill etc and more people to inhabit and develop the resources of this country. As to the several enquiries [inquiries] in your letter on Points contained in the Bible and Book of Mormon, I shall not try to be as full in my answers as I was in my former letter. The term Jews as used by Nephi and and [sic] others refers not merely to the tribe of Judah, but to all all [sic] branches and remnants of the other tribes including the tribe of Benjamin who, remained in the kingdom of Judah under the rule of the Land of David in Jerusalem; on and after the seperation [separation] of the main body of the Ten tribes, who revolted and established what was afterwards [afterward] known as the Kingdoms of Israel (capital in Samaria) in contradistinction to the Kingdom of Judah whose capital was Jerusalem. See the Books of Kings Jerusalem having been so long the seat of government of the United Kingdom, there were many of all the tribes drawn thither and who remained after the revolt. Lehi was of Manassa, but it was said in his book, the first 116 pages translated and lost by martin Harris [Martin Harris] that Ishmael was of Ephraim. So by their children intermarrying the two sons of Joseph – Ephraim and Manassa grew together a multitude in the midst of the Earth as prophesied by Jacob upon their heads Gen 49 chapter. I believe Elder Johnson died in Salt Lake [Salt Lake City, Utah] in the faith. Where King Mosiah obtained the interpreter sometimes called Urim and Thummim he held is not stated in the Book of Mormon. Whether Lehi and Nephi took it with them is not stated, but it was not had in Jerusalem or among the Jewish prophets after the Babylonish [Bablyonian] captivity. There was one prepared of God and given to the Brother of Jared on the Mount which was handed down among the Prophets of his seed, and it is understood to be the same as that found by Joseph Smith in the Stone Box by which he translated the Book from the Gold Plates whether Moroni had received it through his fathers down from Mosiah or whether Mosiah obtained it through his fathers from Nephi or from the Jaredites through Ether or Coriantumr last prophet and King of that race and the Muleckites [Mulekites] who buried the latter and wrote his story of the slain of his people, upon a stone, which Mosiah deciphered with “Interpreters”
That Water Baptism was included in the gospel preached into Abraham and the Fathers before and after the flood, is evident from the Prophecy of Enoch and the Book of Abraham as well as from the Book of Mormon, but the old Testament scriptures which have reached us are almost silent upon the subject because the plainness of the scriptures have [has] been “kept back by that great and abominable church the Whore of all the Earth.” Ancient Jewish writings mention baptisms as being common in the days of David and Solomon. The “Brazen Sea” of Solomons temple was evidently a Baptismal font and was doubtless intended for the dead as well as the living, but the Bible is not clear as to how extensive or how long its practice was continued. The lack of faith and hardness of the hearts of the people of ancient Israel seemed to shroud the clear light of the gospel in their midst. May the inspiration of the Holy Ghost quicken your understanding so that your researches of Sacred Books ancient and modern, may fill you with light and truth. If your field of labor becomes interesting and fruitful, perhaps it will satisfy you as well as an English mission, But I should be glad at least to have you see Washington and the chief Arittone [?] cities before you return home with kind regards to Bro Morgan [Brother Morgan] and your fellow laborer, Chipman I am your loving Father E.S. [Erastus Snow, b. 1818] Continue to address me here [Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico].