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Title: My First Mission
Author: Cannon, George Q.
Language: English
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My First Mission

The First Book of the Faith-Promoting Series

By George Q. Cannon

Designed for the Instruction and Encouragement of Young Latter-day

Second Edition

Juvenile Instructor Office, Salt Lake City, 1882

_My First Mission_ entered, according to act of Congress, in the year
1879, by Geo. Q. Cannon, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at

Volunteers who helped with this book: Meridith Crowder, Ben Crowder,
Tod Robbins, Matt Barron.

Version 1.0

Preface to the First Edition

The first chapter of this little work I wrote as a sketch for the
perusal of the youthful readers of the _Juvenile Instructor_. It was
written hastily--as were those which followed it--and without any
author's name, or any intention, at the time, of adding any more to
it. Afterwards, I concluded to write a series of missionary sketches;
but when these were written I did not have any intention of publishing
them in their present form. They were penned in a plain, familiar and
personal style, for the purpose of securing the interest of young

When a youth, it was my good fortune to live in the family of President
John Taylor. It was my chief delight in those days, to listen to
him and other Elders relate their experience as missionaries. Such
conversations were very fascinating to me. They made a deep impression
upon me. The days of which they spoke, were the days of poverty, when
Elders traveled without purse and scrip, among strange people who
were ignorant of our principles, and too many of whom were ready to
mob and persecute. They traveled by faith, and were pioneers for the
Lord in strange lands, and He was their only reliance. Their missions
were rich in instances of His power exhibited in their behalf. What
I heard strengthened my faith and increased the desire in my heart
to be a missionary. No calling was so noble in my eyes as that of a
standard-bearer of the gospel.

The thought which prompts me to publish _My First Mission_ is that
perhaps it may have the effect upon some of the youth of Zion that the
recitals of faithful Elders had upon me. I hope that this will soon be
followed by other little volumes of this, the _Faith-Promoting Series_.
I have thought that the missionary spirit did not burn as brightly in
some of our young men as it should--that they did not understand the
value of human souls in the sight of the Lord and the precious rewards
which He bestows upon those who seek, in the proper way, to save them.
And yet there never was greater need of faithful men as missionaries
than there is to-day. "The field is white already to harvest," and
there is no limit in the field to the opportunities of those who desire
to labor.

If this little work shall have the effect to awaken and strengthen the
missionary spirit, if the remembrance of its incidents, shall comfort
the hearts and promote the faith of any when they go upon missions, the
utmost desire will be gratified of

The Author

September 1879

Preface to the Second Edition

Two-and-a-half years have elapsed since the first edition of _My First
Mission_ was published. It was the first work of the kind issued,
and the success of the venture, financially, was by no means certain
at that time. It is not too much to say now, that our most sanguine
expectations in commencing the publication of the _Faith-Promoting
Series_ have been more than realized. _My First Mission_ soon became
popular; the 6,000 copies of the first edition are all disposed of,
and there is a demand for more. Four other volumes of the same series
have also been issued, and received with equal favor; indeed, it seems
that each volume issued creates a taste for another. We expect very
soon to issue the sixth volume of the series and that will be followed
by others as fast as our circumstances will permit. The good that has
already been accomplished by these books, if we may accept the numerous
testimonies we are constantly receiving, cannot be estimated; and
yet we feel that the work in this direction has only just commenced.
That it may continue until such works will abound in the midst of the
Saints, and until the youth will be influenced by them to live lives of
purity and perform deeds of righteousness, is the earnest desire of

The Publisher

March 1882

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Timidity When Attempting to Speak in Public--Determination to
Persevere, Relying Upon God--Assuring Manifestation of the Presence of
the Spirit of God

Chapter 2

From San Francisco to Honolulu--Storm and Sea-sickness

Chapter 3

Honolulu, Its Location and Harbor--Prayer to the Almighty--The Elders
Separate, and Commence Labor on the Four Principal Islands

Chapter 4

Our House on Maui--Interviews With the Consul and Governor--Our First
Public Preaching--We Determine to Learn the Language and Proclaim the
Gospel to the Natives

Chapter 5

Kindness of Na-Lima-Nui--To Honolulu--Some of the Elders Decide to
Return Home

Chapter 6

I Return to Maui--We Are Visited by the President of the Mission, Who
Determines to Go to the Marqueses Islands--Are Not Led to Go With
Him--"Poi," Its Preparation and Peculiarities

Chapter 7

Start on a Tour Around the Island--Arrive at Wailuku--In a Remarkable
Manner Become Acquainted With J. H. Napela

Chapter 8

A Missionary's Craft in Danger--He Preaches Against Us and Our
Doctrines, and Abuses Our Friends--His Remarks, However, Are Overruled
for Our Good--The Lord's Promise Fulfilled--I Go to Kula

Chapter 9

Another Attack from a Missionary--Courage in Defending the Truth Always
Admired--Poverty of the People

Chapter 10

Successful Meetings--Our Principles Receiving Great Notice--Elder
Keeler and Myself Go to Keanae and Have Remarkable Success in Adding
Members to the Church

Chapter 11

Arrival of New Elders--The Adversary Busy Among Our Newly Converted
Friends--A Fishing Scene

Chapter 12

Interview With the Dignitaries of the Kingdom--Return to Napela's House
at Wailuku--Hundreds of People Baptized--Elders Become Famous All Over
the Group--A Remarkable Peculiarity

Chapter 13

Missionaries from Home--Good Results of Their Presence and
Labors--Voyage in the Canoe of the Islanders--Tradition of the
Natives--A Visit to the Volcano

Chapter 14

A Hawaiian Feast--Amusing Joke Played Upon White Men

Chapter 15

Answers to Prayer, and the Bestowal of the Gifts upon the Elders and
People--Elders Sent to Teach Not to Be Taught--Blessings Will Rest Upon
Those Who Labor Among the Red Men for Their Salvation

Chapter 16

Consolation Drawn from the Book of Mormon--Its Translation into the
Hawaiian Language--Great Joy in the Labor--A Committee to Raise Funds
to Purchase a Press, Type, etc.--Press, etc., Ordered, and Then Sent to
California--The Book of Mormon Printed--The First Translation into the
Language of a Nation of Red Men--Kindred Languages Spoken Through the
Polynesian Islands--The "Western Standard"

Chapter 17

Time of Departure--Funds Provided--Sorrow at Separating--Contrast
Between Our Landing and Our Departure--Souls for Our Hire--An
Exceedingly Happy Mission

Chapter 1

Timidity When Attempting to Speak in Public--Determination to
Persevere, Relying Upon God--Assuring Manifestation of the Presence of
the Spirit of God

The writer will probably never forget his first attempts at speaking in
public. While yet a youth he was ordained one of the Seventy Elders.
The quorum of which he became a member was organized the day he was
ordained, and he was chosen to be its clerk. At the meetings of the
quorum it was the custom of those of the Presidents who were present to
make a few remarks, and then the members were called upon to speak.

On such occasions he would get so nervous that he would have to stop
writing some time before it came his turn to speak; and then, when he
did get up, he scarcely knew what he said, his fright was so great.

He constantly suffered from this feeling of fear whenever he attempted
to speak at quorum meetings, or testimony meetings, and in fact, for
some time after starting on a preaching mission.

There was one resolve that he made in the beginning, which he always
kept, and which he desires to impress upon every boy and girl in Zion.

He made up his mind that, whenever called upon, he would, with the help
of the Lord, always ask a blessing, or pray, or speak, and not try to
excuse himself.

No matter how many have been present, nor how awkward and frightened he
has felt, he has always done what was requested of him. But how many
times he has seen young men and women decline to speak and to pray when
called upon! He has both pitied and felt ashamed for them.

Such persons acquire a habit of _balking_, and _balky_ men and women
are as bad in their places as balky horses are in theirs.

Many persons think that because they are bashful, and are not in the
habit of asking a blessing or praying aloud that, therefore, they can
excuse themselves when called upon to do so. But right-feeling people
admire boys and girls, young men and young women, who have the courage
and good manners to comply with a request of this kind, even if they
should make awkward blunders, far more than they would if they refused
to do so.

What is called bashfulness is frequently nothing more than pride. Those
who are troubled with it are generally anxious to appear to advantage;
they desire the approbation of their fellows; and the fear that they
will say or do something that will not come up to the standard,
oppresses them and makes them nervous.

The first time the writer was called upon to speak to a mixed
congregation of Saints and inquirers he was in the company of nine
Elders. There were only two or three of them who had ever spoken in
public; but as he was the youngest of the party, and felt that he was
but a boy, he thought they would all be called upon before him. To his
surprise, however, the Elder who was presiding called first upon him.

True to his resolve, he arose and commenced. For two or three, or
probably five minutes, he did pretty well. Then he got confused, his
ideas were in a jumble, and he forgot all he ever knew. If the bottom
had dropped out of his memory, it could not have been worse. He sat
down, feeling a little ashamed; but not discouraged. He was on a
mission, and he was determined not to back down and fail. But it is
very mortifying to get up to speak and then break down.

After this, he took a three weeks' voyage to the country to which he
was appointed on a mission. After landing, he attended a public meeting
of strangers who had never heard the gospel. It was held in a Seamen's
Bethel, the minister having kindly offered it to the Elders for their
meeting. One of the Elders spoke on the first principles; the writer
followed him and bore testimony and made some other remarks. He was
much frightened and embarrassed; but he spoke at greater length than he
did before.

After this, circumstances required him to go out among the people
alone. In that country, where they had no bells to ring, they called
the people together by blowing a conch shell. When skillfully blown,
one of these can be heard at a long distance. As the hour approached
for meeting, it was customary to commence blowing the shell, and then
our young missionary would be seized with trembling. The feeling of
dread was terrible. He had been in places of peril where life was in
danger; but he never felt as he did about preaching. He was alone and
a stranger, and among a strange people. But he would not shrink. He
knew that the gospel was true, that he had the authority to preach it,
that the people had to be warned, and, therefore, with all his fear, he
could not hold his tongue. He felt like Paul did when he said to the
Corinthians: "Woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel."

About six weeks after he commenced his ministry alone two messengers
arrived from a distant town to invite him to come there and preach.
They had heard about the doctrine he taught, and the people he had
baptized, and they wanted to learn more about the principles. He
returned with the messengers. A large meeting house was obtained in
which to preach. It was crowded, for the people had never before had
the privilege of hearing a sermon delivered by a Latter-day Saint. You
can imagine how he felt. Here was a people anxious to hear, and yet how
weak he was, and how full of fear and trembling! When he arose to give
out the hymn the sound of his voice in that large building scared him.
Then he prayed, and afterwards gave out another hymn. He had called
mightily upon God for help. When he commenced to speak the Spirit of
the Lord rested upon him as it never had done before. The people had
faith, and their hearts were prepared to receive the truth. For upwards
of an hour he spoke, and he was so carried away in the Spirit, that he
was like a man in a trance. Joy filled his heart and the hearts of the
people. They wept like children, and that day was the beginning of a
good work in that place.

I shall not attempt to describe to you the gladness that our young
missionary felt. He had been a slave; but now he was free. God had
broken the bands of fear, and he felt to glorify Him for His goodness.
From that day to this he has never suffered from those dreadful
feelings which oppressed him. Still, there are but few public speakers,
especially in this Church, who do not have a nervous feeling when they
first arise to speak; and it is frequently the case that when they feel
the most nervous they are enabled to speak with the greatest power.
They feel their own weakness, and they seek unto God for help.

Many of the readers of this may yet be sent on missions, and a
recollection of this sketch may help them to persevere. Never decline
to ask a blessing, to pray or to speak when called upon, and God will
help you to overcome all feelings of fear.

Chapter 2

From San Francisco to Honolulu--Storm and Sea-sickness

In early days in California everything was valued at a high price.
There were ten of us, Elders, who wanted to get passage from San
Francisco to Honolulu, the principal town on the Sandwich Islands.
After trying for some days we succeeded in obtaining a passage between
decks on the good ship _Imaum of Muscat_, Captain Ritches, commander.
We had to find our own bedding; but the captain agreed to furnish us
food, which we were told was to be the same as they had in the cabin.

Either this part of the contract was not fulfilled, or they lived
poorly in the cabin; for our fare was not very inviting. But we thought
we were fortunate in not having to pay more than $40 in gold for the
passage and these privileges.

I have seen places that were more comfortable than our quarters between
decks. I have been on the sea many times since, and I believe, if I
had my choice, I would take a trip as a cabin passenger on a Cunard
steamship in preference to a voyage on the _Imaum of Muscat_, with its
cabin fare and the privilege of sleeping in my own blankets.

The _Imaum_ was low between decks, and then it was so dark there, that
for a few minutes after descending, we could see nothing. We had had
some rough experience, however, since leaving our homes, and we were
not disposed to find fault with our ship or her accommodations.

For one week after embarking we lay in the bay of San Francisco, head
winds preventing our sailing. This was tiresome to us, and did not
suit the captain, for he had to feed us, at least a part of the time.
Probably this week's delay helped him to conclude that cabin fare was
too good for us. As soon as the wind became at all favorable, the pilot
thought it best to get ready for sea, and when the tide turned to go
out, about one o'clock in the afternoon, we hoisted sail and started.

My recollections of passing out of the Golden Gate, as the mouth of
San Francisco harbor is called, are not very pleasant. We had to beat
out, that is, tack from side to side, and the swell came in from the
ocean in large, heavy, rolling waves. On each side we could see a long
line of breakers running seaward, the foam looking in the distance like
large banks of snow.

We had not passed through the Gate when we began to be sea-sick. Those
ocean swells will produce sea-sickness very quickly. There was no place
on deck to be sick without being in the way, so we ran below. I vomited
freely and felt relieved, and then went on deck again. The sun was
declining in the west, and the sky was angry-looking and threatening,
giving every indication of a storm. We were outside the heads, and
before us stretched the great Pacific; but there were islands around,
of which the captain knew but little. He did not like the idea of the
pilot leaving him in such a position with darkness approaching and
every prospect of a storm.

If the captain was anxious to have the pilot remain, the latter was
equally desirous of getting away from the ship before nightfall. He
had no wish to remain through the storm and to run the risk of being
carried out to sea; so when a pilot boat hove in sight, he hailed it,
and descended into the little yawl which came from it for him in such
haste that he forgot his water-proof coat.

It was very natural, I suppose, for him after piloting the ship out of
the harbor, to be eager to get back before the storm broke upon us; but
I believe we all should have felt better if he had remained with us.

The captain, especially, felt the responsibility of his position. Here
he was outside of a strange harbor, on a dangerous coast, with a strong
wind blowing directly on shore, and darkness upon him and he ignorant
of his surroundings!

We had no time to indulge in many reflections upon the subject. Our
time was occupied in another direction, for we were all suffering
severely from the effects of sea-sickness; and notwithstanding the
dangers of our situation, the sense of the ridiculous, in my case--only
one bucket among us for every purpose--overcame fear, and I could not
help laughing.

Many of our Elders and foreign settlers have been in a similar
position, and all such can imagine our feelings better than I can
describe them. My levity, however, under circumstances so inconvenient
and perplexing, offended one of the Elders so much that he reprimanded
me for it.

While we were thus engaged, the noise on deck was very great. The
captain had as first mate a half-caste East Indian, and the most of
his hands were Malays. His orders to the mate, and the latter's cries
to the hands, and their chattering to one another, made a clamor that
sounded loud above the noise of the storm.

Right in the midst of our sickness we heard the startling cry from the
mate of "breakers ahead," and that we were close upon them. At any
other time this would have excited us; but we were so sick we did not
mind it.

Shortly after this, we felt the vessel strike something solid, and she
trembled from stem to stem; this was directly followed by a grating
sound and a thumping at the stern. The first thought was that she had
struck a reef; but as we felt her settle in the trough of the sea, we
knew that if she had struck, she had passed over it.

The shock that we felt was caused by a heavy breaker striking us; it
had broken the wheel ropes, and the grating noise that we heard was the
thumping of the helm. Had the breaker gone over us it would have swept
the decks clean, or, had the wheel ropes broken a short time before, it
is probable the vessel would have been lost.

In considering our narrow escape, afterwards, we felt to give the glory
of our deliverance to God. We were His servants, and on His business,
and He had preserved us.

That night was one of great anxiety to the captain, officers and crew.
Notwithstanding our sickness, we also realized that we were in a
critical position, and exerted all the faith we could.

The captain had his wife with him, and so little hope did he have
at one time of saving the vessel, that he told her to prepare for
eternity, for he did not think we would ever see daylight in this world

At last the morning dawned, the storm died away, and we were enabled to
take our course.

Oh, the blessed daylight! How joyfully it was hailed on board that
vessel! It did not relieve us from our sea-sickness, but it did from
our peril.

Several days elapsed before the captain recovered from his fatigue and
hoarseness, caused by shouting his orders that night.

The _Imaum of Muscat_ was bound for the East Indies, but was to touch
at the Sandwich Islands. We were glad that we had to go no farther, so
it was with positive delight that we learned after being nearly four
weeks on board, that we would soon be at the end of our voyage.

The sight of land is most welcome to those who have been weeks at
sea, especially if they have suffered from sea-sickness. To our eyes,
therefore, the rough, mountainous isles of the Hawaiian group were very
beautiful. We longed to tread upon them.

For myself, I was scarcely intended for a sailor. I am very easily made
sick by the motion of a vessel on the water, and no amount of going
to sea prevents this. Some years since, while crossing the Atlantic,
I lay sea-sick in my berth, and to divert my mind, I tried to recall
the number of different times I had been in that condition. I counted
upwards of fifty distinct occasions that I had suffered from this
sensation, and I have been sea-sick a number of times since.

During the night we passed the island of Hawaii, the largest of the
group, and the one on which Captain Cook, the first white man (so far
as known) who discovered these islands, was killed.

The next morning the island of Maui was seen in the distance. Then
Molokai and Lanai; and the morning following, when we arose, we were
sailing alongside of Oahu, the island on which the town of Honolulu,
the capital of the kingdom, is situated.

Chapter 3

Honolulu, Its Location and Harbor--Prayer to the Almighty--The Elders
Separate, and Commence Labor on the Four Principal Islands

Honolulu is built on an extensive flat, of great fertility. The town
is pretty, and wears a tropical look; but, since the time of which
I write, its buildings and surroundings have been greatly improved.
Groves of cocoa-nut trees, with their long feathery leaves, and tall
graceful trunks, were growing here and there in the vicinity of the
town, and trees of other kinds were also abundant in and around it.
Behind Honolulu stretches what is called the Nuuanu valley, a beautiful
country, which, even when we first visited it, was selected as a proper
locality for the villas and country residences and gardens of the
officers of the government, the missionaries and merchants.

On the right of the harbor of Honolulu is "Punch Bowl Hill," a large
hill where once a volcano burned, but which is now extinct. The name is
very suitable, for the volcano has left it more in the shape of a punch
bowl than anything else.

While yet some miles from the mouth of the harbor we met several
canoes, containing natives of the islands, who were out fishing. These
canoes were merely logs hollowed out; but they were easily managed,
and, with the aid of sails, their progress through the water was very
rapid. To prevent their turning over, they had outriggers fastened to
their sides.

A coral reef, over which the sea breaks with a tremendous roar, even
in calm weather, extends nearly around the harbor of Honolulu. The
entrance is very narrow, and seemed difficult of access, and as we
entered, guided by a skillful pilot, a man was kept busy throwing the
lead to learn the depth of the water. On the reef were the wrecks of
several vessels. The water was beautifully clear, and it was easy to
distinguish the bottom as we sailed along.

No sooner was the anchor dropped than the decks were crowded with
natives; some trying to sell bananas, oranges, cocoanuts, melons and
other fruits (this was in the month of December), and others anxious
to take us ashore. The monotonous character of their language, their
rapid utterance, their numerous gestures, caused us to watch them with
interest. We thought them a strange people. I little thought at that
time that I would ever learn their language, or become as familiar
with their customs as I afterwards did; for, though we had been sent
on missions to the Islands, we supposed our time would be occupied in
preaching to the whites.

Our first duty, after securing lodgings, was to repair to a convenient
mountain, on the top of which we found a steep knob that rose suddenly
and formed a table of thirty or thirty-five feet in width.

On the way up we picked up a rock apiece, with which we formed a rude
altar. We then sang a hymn, and each one, in his turn, expressed his
desires. The oldest, who was also the president, was selected to be
mouth in prayer. He embodied our desires in his prayer. They were that
the Lord would make speedy work on those islands, open an effectual
door for the preaching of the gospel, confound all opposers, help us to
gather out the honest-in-heart, and spare our lives to return home in

Having thus dedicated the land and ourselves to the Lord, one of the
Elders spoke in tongues and uttered many comforting promises, and
another interpreted. The spirit of the Lord rested powerfully upon us,
and we were filled with exceeding great joy. I had the satisfaction,
afterwards of witnessing the fulfillment of the promise made on that

The sun was sinking low in the heavens when we got through. Our descent
was quickly made, for we felt joyful, and when men are joyful and the
Spirit of God rests upon them, they feel lithe and active. We had been
in the presence of the Lord, and had felt His power, and why should we
not be happy?

The president of the mission had chosen as his companion the next
oldest man. The most suitable place for them to remain, we all felt,
was at Honolulu. But what must the rest do? Scatter among the other
islands, or remain on that island--Oahu--until they learned more of the
condition of affairs? It was decided that to go to the various islands
would be the wiser plan.

There were four islands of importance yet to be occupied, and there
were eight of us remaining. But who were to be partners, and how should
we decide which island each couple should go to? The president did not
like to pair us off, nor to say which of the islands we should go to;
but he consented, with his partner, to select four out of the eight to
preside, one on each of the islands.

We withdrew while they discussed this matter, and made their selection.
To my great surprise, when we returned, I found that I was chosen as
one of the four. Never in my life did I feel my weakness more sensibly
than on that occasion. I was the youngest of the party, and felt that I
was the least able of all to perform the duties assigned me.

The next thing was to select partners and islands; and how do you think
we did this? You read in the Bible about casting lots. We cast lots.
Four pieces of paper were marked: _one_, _two_, _three_ and _four_.
The one who drew _one_ had the first choice of partners; so with the
second, third and fourth numbers. Then the islands were marked on slips
of paper in the same manner, and we drew for them. Number one fell to
my lot. I had the first choice.

My mind had not rested on any one as my choice for partner, and I was
at a loss for a few moments whom to select. Then the spirit of the Lord
plainly told me to choose Brother James Keeler. I did so.

I was both surprised and pleased at the manner in which he received my
choice; for I, being so young, and he so much my senior, had thought
that he would prefer a partner of more mature years and experience.

He afterwards told me that when the four were chosen, and he found
that I was one of them, he had slipped out and prayed to the Lord that
I might be led to select him to go with me. His prayer was heard and
answered, and we both were gratified.

In casting lots for islands, Maui fell to us. When we were sailing past
it my feelings were drawn towards that island, and I felt that I would
like that to be my field of labor. I knew not why this should have
been so, except that the Lord gave me the feeling, for I knew nothing
concerning it that would make it a desirable place in my eyes.

My joy was very great that evening, because of these precious
manifestations of God's goodness. I felt that he was near at hand to
hear and answer prayer, and to grant the righteous desires of our
hearts; and how could we doubt His providence for and care over us in
the future?

Children, I know of no feeling that can fill the human breast with such
unspeakable happiness, joy and confidence as faith in God. If God be
with us who can be against us?

As I have already mentioned, there were eight of us Elders, besides
the two who were to remain at Honolulu. Their names were Hiram Clark,
the president, and his fellow-laborer, Thomas Whittle. The island on
which we first landed was to be their field. The four who were chosen
to preside on the other islands were: Henry W. Bigler, whose partner
was Thomas Morris, and to whom the island of Molokai fell by lot; John
Dixon, whose partner was William Farrer, and whose field was the island
of Kauai; James Hawkins, who chose Hiram Blackwell as his companion,
and to whom the island of Hawaii fell as a field of labor; and George
Q. Cannon, whose fellow-laborer was James Keeler, and their field the
island of Maui.

As the president counseled Brother Morris to go to work at Honolulu,
and Brother Bigler was, therefore, alone, and his island lay convenient
to Maui, he concluded to accompany the two last-named Elders to Maui.

The thought of parting from his companions in a foreign land produces
lonely feelings in the breast of an Elder, but particularly if he be
young and inexperienced. Our consolation on this occasion was that we
were taking the plan whereby we might reap more abundant joy.

Chapter 4

Our House on Maui--Interviews With the Consul and Governor--Our First
Public Preaching--We Determine to Learn the Language and Proclaim the
Gospel to the Natives

Lahaina is the principal town on Maui. It has no harbor, but vessels
anchor in what is called the roadstead. Looking from the sea at the
town, it is not very imposing. It lies on a level strip of land, and
is stretched along the beach, and the houses are almost hidden by the
foliage. Groves of cocoa-nut trees are to be seen, which give the place
a tropical look.

We had considerable difficulty in procuring a suitable place to stop.
There was a hotel and some boarding houses; but we could not live at
any of them very long, for our funds were low. We secured a native
house of one room, at a rent of four dollars per week.

These native houses are built by putting posts in the ground, on which
a board is laid as a plate for the rafters to rest upon. When the frame
of posts and rafters is built, poles, about the size of hoop-poles,
are lashed horizontally, about six inches apart, on to the posts and
rafters. The house is then thatched by fastening a durable grass, which
they have in that country, on to the poles. When finished, a house
looks, in shape and size, like a well built hay stack.

Such houses are only suited to a warm country where they never have
frost. Inside the house they have no board floors. The ground is
covered with grass, on which mats are laid. The making of these mats
constitutes one of the chief employments of the women, and a good
housewife in that country is known by the quantity and fineness of
the mats in her home. Such a woman is very particular to have no dirt
brought into her house; for the mats answer the purpose of beds, tables
and chairs. They sit upon them; when they eat, their food, is placed
upon them, and they form their bed, though in many houses they have the
place of sleeping raised above the ordinary floor; but even then, they
have mats spread out, upon which to sleep.

In consideration of our being white men, the man of whom we rented the
house procured a table and three chairs for us. We employed him to cook
our food, which consisted principally of sweet potatoes and fish, or
meat, with occasionally a little bread, bought at a bakery in town.
In those days no native thought of using bread as an article of diet.
Their food I shall describe more fully to you in a future chapter.

We had an interview with the American consul, Mr. Bunker, and solicited
through him an introduction to the governor of the Island. He readily
complied with our request, and in our intercourse with Mr. Bunker he
treated us very kindly.

Our mission we felt to be of such importance that we wished to
introduce it to the highest authority we could find. I made it a rule
on those islands never to go into a place without waiting upon the
leading and prominent men, stating my business, testifying to the
work which God had commenced and asking their aid to enable me to lay
the proclamation of which I was the bearer before the people. In this
way I had interviews with princes, nobles, governors, officers of the
government, missionaries and the leading men in every locality where I

This course might not be a wise one in every nation and under all
circumstances; but I was led to take it there, and the effects were
good. I had a fearlessness and a strength given me which I would not
have had if I had kept myself in a corner, and acted as though I
was ashamed of my mission. I gained influence also with the people,
and they learned to respect me; for, however much men may differ in
their views about religion and other matters, they generally respect
sincerity and courage.

The governor was named James Young. He was a half-white, his father
being a friend of Kamehameha the First, and one of the first white men
who settled among the Hawaiians. We requested the use of the palace,
which was not then occupied by the royal family, to preach in. He
promised to write to his brother, the minister of the interior, about
it. We called a number of times afterwards to see him; but could get no
definite answer. It was very evident to us that he dare not grant us
any favors.

Rev. Mr. Taylor was the chaplain of the Bethel Chapel at Lahaina, where
seamen and most of the white residents went to worship. We introduced
ourselves to him, told him where we were from and our business, and
asked the privilege of holding meeting in his chapel. He held meetings
in the morning and evening. He consented, and gave out notice to the
people in the morning that we would hold meeting in the afternoon.
Elder Henry W. Bigler delivered the discourse, and Brother Keeler and I
bore testimony. We soon became satisfied that if we confined our labors
to the whites, our mission to those islands would be a short one.

The white people were not numerous at Lahaina, and there were but very
few at any other place on the island of Maui. Preaching to them with
the hope of convincing them of the truth seemed a hopeless labor. The
question arose directly, "Shall we confine our labors to the white
people?" It is true that we had not been particularly told to preach
to the natives of the islands, but we were in their midst, had full
authority to declare unto them the message of salvation, and if we did
not declare it unto them, some other Elders would have to come and do
so, in order to fulfill the command of God to his servants.

For my part I felt it to be clearly my duty to warn all men, white
and red; and no sooner did I learn the condition of the population
than I made up my mind to acquire the language, preach the gospel to
the natives and to the whites whenever I could obtain an opportunity,
and thus fill my mission. I felt resolved to stay there, master the
language and warn the people of those islands, if I had to do it alone;
for I felt that I could not do otherwise and be free from condemnation;
the spirit of it was upon me. Elders Bigler and Keeler felt the same.

I mention this, because it was a point upon which a difference of
opinion afterwards arose, some of the Elders being of the opinion that
our mission was to the whites, and that when we had warned them, we
were at liberty to return. How do you think such differences of views
and opinions can be settled? Had the president of the mission exercised
the authority to dictate, he could have decided between these views;
but he would not. He left each one to act for himself. We were in a
foreign land, far distant from the Apostles and First Presidency, and,
therefore, could not appeal to them. Our only resource was to obtain
revelation from the Lord for ourselves. This is the privilege of every
man arid woman in the Church. If Latter-day Saints will seek for
knowledge, God will give it to them to guide them in all the details of
life, subject, of course, to the presiding authority and its teachings
and counsels. By this means we were able, on the Sandwich Islands, to
know what course to take.

White men who go to the Sandwich Islands do not always behave
themselves as they should. We saw some who acted most disgracefully.
They seemed to think that, because they were among the natives, they
could abandon all decency. The natives are very close observers. They
soon saw that we were not like many of the whites whom they had seen,
and they began to take an interest in us. They readily helped us to
pronounce and read their language. The want of books was a great
drawback at first; but we sent to Honolulu for them.

My desire to learn to speak was very strong; it was present with me
night and day, and I never permitted an opportunity of talking with the
natives to pass without improving it. I also tried to exercise faith
before the Lord to obtain the gift of talking and understanding the
language. One evening, while sitting on the mats conversing with some
neighbors who had dropped in, I felt an uncommonly great desire to
understand what they said. All at once I felt a peculiar sensation in
my ears; I jumped to my feet, with my hands at the sides of my head,
and exclaimed to Elders Bigler and Keeler who sat at the table, that I
believed I had received the gift of interpretation! And it was so.

From that time forward I had but little, if any, difficulty in
understanding what the people said. I might not be able at once to
separate every word which they spoke from every other word in the
sentence; but I could tell the general meaning of the whole. This was
a great aid to me in learning to speak the language, and I felt very
thankful for this gift from the Lord.

I mention this that my readers may know how willing God is to bestow
gifts upon his children. If they should be called to go as missionaries
to a foreign nation, whose language they do not understand, it is their
privilege to exercise faith for the gifts of speaking and interpreting
that language, and also for every other gift which they may need.

Chapter 5

Kindness of Na-Lima-Nui--To Honolulu--Some of the Elders Decide to
Return Home

A little more than three weeks had passed when our money was paid out
except a very little. Much as we disliked the idea, it seemed necessary
for us to separate and seek places to live where we could find them
among the natives. We cast lots to learn which direction we should
take. Elder Henry W. Bigler drew south; Elder James Keeler, east; and
I, north.

I had explained our position to the man of whom we rented the house. Of
course my explanations were not perfect, for three weeks' residence had
not made us masters of the language; but he comprehended the situation
exactly. He went to a neighboring house, where the family lived who had
done our washing, and who had been very friendly and kind, and told the
lady how matters stood with us. She came in; but we were so busy making
our arrangements to start out that we did not converse with her, and
she went away again.

Brother Bigler started off in the direction which had fallen to him,
with a piece of paper in his hand, on which sentences in native,
such as he would be likely to need, were written, with their meaning
in English. Brother Keeler and myself were preparing to go in the
directions which had fallen to us, when Brother Keeler suggested that
we call upon Na-lima-nui, the old lady of whom I have spoken. Our
object was to learn from her, if we could, who there was that would be
likely to entertain strangers.

"Na-lima-nui" means in the language of the Sandwich Islands "big
hands." _Lima_ is the noun _hand_, _nui_ is the adjective _large_ or
_big_, and _na_ is the sign of the plural. You see it is a differently
constructed language to ours. The sign of the plural precedes the noun,
and the qualifying adjective follows it, as "hands large or big."

Na-lima-nui did not know where we could find a man who could entertain
us; but she said we were welcome to come and live in her house. We had
a long talk with her, and I endeavored to explain our position and what
our business was in coming to the Islands. We had no money, I said,
but anything that we did have, we should be glad to give her. We felt
humble, and would have been pleased to obtain a corner on the floor
to sleep in, so that we could live, learn the language and fill our

The kindness of this old lady touched me, and I could not refrain from
weeping. Never before in my life did I feel so thankful as I did for
the shelter she offered. I praised the Lord therefor; it was He who
touched the heart of herself and family.

The thought that we would not have to separate added to our joy, and
you can probably imagine with what delight we went to find Brother
Bigler. He had succeeded in finding a native who was willing to give
him food and a lodging place, if he would milk his cow and do other
chores. He was as much rejoiced as we to learn that we could live

We did not expect to get any more accommodations than a place to
stretch ourselves at night in our blankets; but Na-lima-nui's daughter,
who was married to a Spaniard, lived adjoining; and she had arranged
for her mother to live in her rooms, and the old lady's room had been
prepared for us. They had fixed up the room as well as they could.

Such a profound feeling of thankfulness as I had on our obtaining a
shelter in this poor, native woman's hut I never experienced before.

It has been my fortune, since those early days of my life, to travel
considerably, and to mingle with our missionaries in many lands. I have
seen Elders who were willing to endure everything for the gospel's
sake; their hearts were filled with joy and a burning desire to magnify
their Priesthood and to fill their missions. What they ate or drank,
where they lodged or how they were clothed, were matters of little or
no thought to them, so long as they had the Spirit of the Lord and
were in the line of duty. Others, I have seen, who felt every little
privation to be a dreadful hardship; who thought, if everything did
not go smoothly with them, they had to suffer more than was necessary,
and who were ready to desert their fields of labor and run home at the
first opportunity.

I scarcely need say that men of this latter class are rarely, if ever,
successful missionaries. They think too much of their own ease and
comfort, and their thoughts are too much upon themselves, to labor
under any circumstances of difficulty for the salvation of others. When
an Elder has the spirit of his mission, self-comfort is forgotten.
He is perfectly happy in declaring the gospel and laboring for the
salvation of others, and he gives but little thought to the kind of
food he eats, or how he fares in other respects. His bodily wants are
swallowed up in his joy in Christ.

These were our feelings at the time of which I write. We were willing
to live on any food that would sustain our bodies, however common or
even disagreeable it might be; we were glad to get a shelter, however
humble, to lie under; our desire was to fill our mission: and because
we felt thus, the Lord made up for any lack of comfort by giving us His
Holy Spirit.

I had never been so happy in my life before as I was then. When I
prayed I could go unto God in faith; He listened to my prayers; He
gave me great comfort and joy; He revealed Himself to me as He never
had done before, and told me that if I would persevere, I should be
blessed, be the means of bringing many to the knowledge of the truth,
and be spared to return home after having done a good work.

Many things were revealed to me, during those days, when He was the
only Friend we had to lean upon, which were afterwards fulfilled. A
friendship was there established between our Father and myself, which,
I trust, will never be broken nor diminished, and which I hope has
continued to grow stronger from those days to these.

It is not my custom to write thus freely about myself; but I am writing
for children to read, upon whom I would like my experience to make an
impression. I desire that they should make God their friend, and seek
unto Him with faith for that joy, peace and perfect love which He alone
can give.

Shortly after we moved into the house of Na-lima-nui, I was called
by letter to go up to Honolulu. The partner of the president of the
mission had concluded to return home, and I was requested to remove to
Honolulu to act in his place.

This was unexpected news to me, and my parting from my companions was
nearly as painful as leaving home had been. Besides the Elder of whose
proposed departure I had heard, I found there two others--to whom the
island of Kauai had fallen as a field of labor--ready to return home.

There were but few whites on that island, and to them they had
preached, but had received no encouragement. They had written to the
president of the mission, describing the situation of affairs, and he
had counseled them to come to Honolulu.

The idea of leaving the islands, because there were not enough white
men to preach the gospel to, was so foreign to the minds of my
companions on Maui, and to myself, that when I heard these Elders were
there with the intention of returning home, I was surprised.

I did not conceal my feelings from them; I told them that I could not
go home under existing circumstances, without feeling condemned. The
Lord, in my opinion, I said, would hold me accountable for not doing my
duty to that people, if I were to leave them; and the people might rise
up in judgment against me at some future day, for not having given them
the privilege of hearing the truth. My prayer was that the time might
speedily come when all should know the Lord, and when His knowledge
would cover the earth as the waters covered the deep; and I believed
in uniting works and faith. It would sound badly for ten Elders to be
sent out to the islands by Elder Charles C. Rich, one of the Twelve
Apostles, to preach and to act as the Spirit and circumstances might
dictate, and when we found there were not whites that would receive
us, turn around and go home, and leave a whole nation to welter in
ignorance, because he did not happen to tell us that we were to preach
to them in their own tongue. Much more in this strain I was led to say,
which it is not necessary to repeat here.

Brother Whittle had been told by Elder Rich that he could return home
after filling a short mission. The president of the mission had done
all the preaching at the meetings they had held, and had not even
given him an opportunity to bear his testimony. His position had been,
and still was unpleasant; and he saw no way to remedy it. If he could
do any good, he was willing to stay; but he thought that, under his
circumstances, it was useless.

Brother Willam Farrer, one of the Elders who had been laboring on
Kauai, made up his mind that he would not return home, but stop and
devote himself to acquiring the language. His partner, however, would
not stop. He was bent upon returning. Being an intimate acquaintance,
I talked freely with him upon the subject. He would go home, he said,
and gladly take a mission to Europe, if he should be appointed; but
to labor there he could not with any pleasure. Besides, he was an old
bachelor, he added, and he ought to be married, and so he would return
home and take him a wife. He did return home; but, poor fellow, he
never obtained a wife. Some time after his return, he, with some other
brethren, left the city to go to Parley's Park for lumber. On their
return they were ambushed by Indians, and he was killed.

I often asked myself, after hearing of his death, would it not have
been better for him if he had remained? For if he had, I believe he
would have still been living.

Chapter 6

I Return to Maui--We Are Visited by the President of the Mission, Who
Determines to Go to the Marqueses Islands--Are Not Led to Go With
Him--"Poi," Its Preparation and Peculiarities

The progress I had made in learning the language surprised the Elders
at Honolulu. I was able to converse tolerably well with the natives,
and understand what they said. When they learned how the Lord had
opened our way and aided us in acquiring the language, they felt that
it might be wisdom for me to continue my labors there, instead of
removing to Honolulu. This, after counseling together, was the decision
of the president.

I was much gratified at the privilege of returning to Maui; for, to my
view, prospects for accomplishing any great amount of good were not
very bright then at Honolulu.

Elder William Farrer sailed with me to Maui, to be a partner to Henry
W. Bigler.

We had scarcely reached Lahaina, when Elder Hiram Blackwell called
upon us from the Island of Hawaii, where he had been with Elder James
Hawkins. He was on his way to Honolulu, and expected, if it was not
contrary to counsel, to return home. He was discouraged in trying to
learn the language and preach to the natives. He reached Honolulu in
time to return with the other Elders.

At this point I may anticipate the order of my narrative by stating
that Elder James Hawkins, Brother Blackwell's partner, remained on
Hawaii for some time, striving to acquire the language, and to proclaim
the gospel to the people. He afterwards came up to Maui and labored
there, and filled a good mission before he returned home.

About three weeks after my return from Honolulu, we were surprised at
receiving a visit from the president of the mission. He had concluded
to leave the Sandwich Islands and go to the Marquesas Islands; for he
thought there was a better field there.

These latter islands, 30° south of where we were then, are inhabited
by a race of people whose language is very similar to that spoken by
the natives of the Sandwich Islands. They are probably descendants of
one common stock. But they are naturally more fierce and savage than
the Sandwich Islanders. It is said of some of them, that when they are
engaged in war, they have no objections to eating a piece of a roasted
man; indeed, they rather relish such a meal at such times, as they
think it makes them brave.

Our president's principal motive in coming to see us was to have us go
with him. If prospects were no better on Maui than on the island he had
been on, he thought we should accompany him. It was not from any fear
that the people of the Marquesas group would eat us, that we did not
fall in with his proposal; but because we could not see the propriety
of it.

Our position, just then, was a peculiar one. Here was our president,
the man who had been appointed to counsel and guide us, proposing to
us to leave the field to which we had been appointed, and to take a
journey of several hundred miles to another land to labor. What were
we to do? How far did the obedience which we owed to him require us to
go? This was an important question. To disobey a man in the rightful
exercise of authority, was an act from which we naturally recoiled; and
an act, too, of which we were not in the least disposed to be guilty.
But we felt that it would not be right for us to leave that island then.

We had done but little at warning the people, or accomplishing our
mission, and why leave them then, any more than on the first day that
we landed? We had not been appointed by the authority, which called him
and us, to go to the Marquesas Islands; we knew of no opening there, or
of any reason why we should go there in preference to any other place
on the earth. If we followed our president there, because he told us to
come with him, and we should find no opening to preach the gospel, why
not follow him to some other country if he should so require us?

Fortunately we were relieved from the necessity of refusing to comply
with his counsel. He felt plainly enough that his proposal did not
strike us favorably. He had not been many hours with us until he found
this out; and he told us that probably it would be better for us to
remain where we were until we gave the people a fair trial; and then,
if we could not do anything, we could follow him, as he intended to
write to us respecting his success. The first we heard from him, he
had drifted down to Tahiti, on the Society Islands, where some of our
Elders were then laboring. His mission, however, was of no profit to

When an Elder has the spirit of his mission, he cannot rest contented
unless he is proclaiming to the people the message with which he is
entrusted. Surround him with every comfort his heart can desire, and
if he has that spirit, he will still be anxious to go forth among the
people, even if he knows he will meet with privations and persecution.
This was my feeling before the visit of the president of the mission,
and after he left, my anxiety increased, and I told the brethren that I
must push out among the natives; and commence preaching to them as well
as I could. I had made very good progress in the language, and felt
able to explain in part the first principles of the gospel.

About a week after the president's visit I started off, intending,
if I did not get an opening, to go around the island. But the Lord
had revealed to me that I would find a people prepared to receive the
truth; and I started as a man would who was going to meet his friends.
Though I had never seen them in the flesh, I knew that when I met them
they would not be strangers unto me.

Borrowing Brother Bigler's valise, one which he had carried many a day
himself while on a mission in the States, I started, feeling as proud
of the privilege of swinging it across my shoulder as any knight ever
was at wearing, for the first time, his gold spurs.

The great desire of my heart from my early boyhood had been to have the
Priesthood and the privilege of preaching the gospel. This desire was
now about to be gratified, and though I was timid and very bashful, I
felt that God would carry me safely through.

The brethren accompanied me about four miles on my way. We were far
from all our friends, and were strangers in a strange land; our
parting, therefore, as might be expected, was painful. They remained to
continue their study of the language.

It was plain to me that the angel of the Lord was with me; for at
whatever place I stopped, I was received most kindly, and the best the
people had was at my service.

The principal food of the natives of the Sandwich Islands is called
_poi_. This is made out of a root which they call _kalo_. "Kalo"
patches are so made that they can be flooded with water; and the ground
is never allowed to be uncovered. In planting this root they do not
use seed. When a native gathers the "kalo," he carries it to his home,
where he cuts off the tops. These are carefully saved, tied up in a
bundle, and carried back to the patch. These tops he sticks in the mud
at the proper distances apart, and at the end of about eleven months
he has another crop of "kalo." This is the process of gathering and

The "kalo" bears some resemblance in its leaves and taste to the wild
Indian turnips, but its root is much larger; not quite the shape of a
tame turnip, but as large as a moderate sized one. There is a variety
called the "dry land kalo." It is not so extensively cultivated as the
other kind, and is not considered so good eating.

Near every house there is a circular hole. When "kalo" is to be cooked,
a fire is built in this, and a quantity of small volcanic rocks are
piled on top of it. As the fire burns out these sink to the bottom, and
they are spread over the bottom and around the sides of the pit. The
"kalo" roots are then laid in, mats are spread over them, then soil,
until they are completely covered, excepting a small hole at the top,
into which water is poured. That hole is then stopped, and the cooking

"But how do they cook?" you may ask.

When the water is poured in, the rocks, being hot, speedily convert it
into steam, and, as it cannot escape, it cooks the roots.

I have seen large hogs cooked in this way, and meat is sweeter cooked
in this fashion than by any other method I know anything about. The
native men on the Islands do all the cooking.

When the "kalo" has been in long enough to cook, it is uncovered;
the skin is washed off, and it is pounded with a stone pestle, on a
large flat slab of wood, until it is like a mass of dough. Then it is
put into a calabash, or gourd, and by the next day fermentation has
commenced; or, as we would say if it were bread, it has "raised." Water
is then added to it, and it is mixed until it is a little thinner than
we usually make mush. There is a little sour taste about it the first
day. But it is never eaten at that time by the natives, unless they
have no other food. They like it best when it is quite sour. This is
what they call "poi," and there is no other food that they think can
equal it.

Their usual method of eating is worthy of notice. A large calabash of
"poi" is placed on the mats; around this the family seat themselves.

In families where they make any pretensions to cleanliness, a small
calabash of water is passed around, and each one rinses his or her
fingers before commencing to eat.

To keep off the flies, a boy or a girl stands waving a _kahili_, which
is made by fastening feathers to a long, slender stick.

In eating, they dip their first two fingers into the calabash, load
them with the "poi," and pass them into their mouths. The sucking
of the fingers, the gusto with which they eat, and the incessant
conversation mingled with laughter which they keep up, would lead a
bystander to conclude that they enjoy their food. And they do. If
the "poi" be good, and they have plenty of fish or meat to eat with
it, they have great pleasure in eating. They think white men who eat
together without conversing very unsocial beings. They have an idea
that it contributes to health, and to the enjoyment of the food to have
pleasant and lively conversation while eating.

Before leaving Lahaina, I had tasted a teaspoonful of "poi;" but the
smell of it and the calabash in which it was contained was so much like
that of a book-binder's old, sour, paste-pot that when I put it to my
mouth I gagged at it, and would have vomited had I swallowed it. But in
traveling among the people I soon learned that if I did not eat "poi"
I would put them to great inconvenience; for they would have to cook
separate food for me every meal. This would make me burdensome to them,
and might interfere with my success. I, therefore, determined to learn
to live on their food, and, that I might do so, I asked the Lord to
make it sweet to me. My prayer was heard and answered; the next time I
tasted it, I ate a bowlful, and I positively liked it. It was my food,
whenever I could get it from that time as long as I remained on the

It may sound strange, yet it is true, that I have sat down to a table
on which bread was placed, and though I had not tasted the latter for
months, I took the "poi" in preference to the bread; it was sweeter to
me than any food I had ever eaten.

Chapter 7

Start on a Tour Around the Island--Arrive at Wailuku--In a Remarkable
Manner Become Acquainted With J. H. Napela

It was during a very wet season that I told the people I was going
around the island. They thought it a great undertaking, and tried
to persuade me not to go. I evidently had their sympathies; I was
boyish-looking, and they called me a _keiki_, which in their language
literally means "a child."

Many times as I traveled along they would take my valise from me and
carry it; and when I came to a stream of water, they would pack me
across it.

I passed through a number of villages, over a very rough, hilly
country, and late one night reached the town of Wailuku.

Up to this time, though I had been treated very kindly, I had not met
with the persons whom I had been led to expect, by the manifestations
of the Spirit, would receive my testimony.

The main part of the town of Wailuku was on the other side of a stream,
in attempting to cross which I got wet.

There were some missionaries living here, and as I passed through the
town, I hoped that I should get an opportunity of being introduced to
them; for I had made it a rule, thus far, not to pass a missionary
without bearing testimony to him respecting my mission. But I was dusty
and toil-worn, and felt some diffidence about introducing myself.

By this time I had partly come to the conclusion that, as the weather
was so unfavorable I would return to Lahaina; and in passing through
Wailuku I took a road which I thought led in that direction. I had
scarcely got out of the town when I felt impressed to return, the
Spirit telling me that if I would do so I should get an opportunity of
being introduced to the missionary who resided there.

As I passed the churchyard two half-white women emerged from a house
near by, and when they saw me they called to some men who were in the
house _"E ka haole!"_ which means, "Oh, the white man!" This they
repeated two or three times, calling at the same time one of the men by

As I walked along towards the picket fence, three men came out of the
house, and stepped up towards the gate. When I got opposite to them I
saluted them, being greeted by them in return.

I had passed but a few feet when the leader of the men inquired of me
where I was going. I told them I thought of returning to Lahaina, on
account of the weather. He said that as this was Saturday, I had better
stop until Monday with him.

He inquired of me who and what I was, and upon my informing him, his
desire to have me stay was increased. I went into the house with
him, and, after some little conversation, and an invitation to eat
food, which he offered. He proposed that we should go up and see the

This was what I wanted, and I embraced his proposal gladly.

The missionary's name was Conde; he was a native of Connecticut, and
had been sent out by the American Board of Foreign Missions.

We had a very pleasant conversation, during which he made many
inquiries respecting Utah, my object in coming to the islands, and our
belief. He said he could not believe anything in modern revelation; but
expressed a wish to read some of our works.

I lent him the _Voice of Warning_, though I had little hope of it
having any effect on him, as he had condemned the doctrines before he
had heard or read them.

The moment I entered into the house of this native and saw him and his
two friends, I felt convinced that I had met the men for whom I had
been looking.

The man who owned the house was a judge, and a leading man in that
section. His name was Jonatana H. Napela. It was he who visited
Salt Lake City in 1866, in company with Elder George Nebeker. His
companions' names were Uaua and Kaleohano. They were all three
afterwards baptized and ordained to be Elders, Napela has since died in
the faith, and the others are still members of the Church.

They were graduates of the high school in the country, fine speakers
and reasoners, and were men of standing and influence in the community.

Napela was every anxious to know my belief, and wherein our doctrines
differed from those taught by the missionaries in their midst. I
explained to him, as well as I could, our principles, with which he
seemed very well satisfied. But next day after the service in their
church, Mr. Conde called Napela and a number of the leading men
together, and endeavored to poison their minds against our doctrines,
by telling all kinds of lies about the Prophet Joseph and the people of

I learned this at supper by the inquiries which Napela and a number of
his friends who were present, made of me. Their questions were of such
a nature as to prove to me that somebody had been telling them lies. I
afterwards learned that it was the missionary's work.

The Spirit rested powerfully upon me and I told them I had the truth,
and besought them, as they valued their souls, not to reject it until
they could understand it for themselves; that I should soon be able to
explain it fully unto them; that the principles were contained in the
Bible, and were eternal truth. They were melted to tears, and promised
me that they would not decide that our principles were false until they
had a full opportunity of judging for themselves; which promise, I am
happy to say, most of them kept, and I had the pleasure of baptizing
them into the Church.

I am particular in mentioning this circumstance to show the boys who
may read this work that, when they go on missions, and they are in the
line of their duty, it is their privilege to have revelations from the
Lord to guide them in all their steps. I was led to expect, before I
left Lahaina, that I would find those who would receive me. Up to the
time I reached Wailuku, I had not found them, and then when I thought
it best to go back by another road, and through other villages, to
Lahaina, I was told if I would return into Wailuku that I should obtain
my desire in getting an interview with the missionary.

The half-white women who saw me were Napela's wife and her sister.
There was something very remarkable in their crying out as they did to
him and his companions in the house when they saw me. They met whites
very frequently, and it was nothing strange for them to pass as I did.
This was often alluded to in conversations which we had afterwards,
and they wondered why they should have done so. I know that it was the
Lord's doings; for if they had not called out, I should have passed
unnoticed and missed them. To my sight, the Lord's hand was plainly
visible in it all, and I thanked Him for His mercy and goodness.

Chapter 8

A Missionary's Craft in Danger--He Preaches Against Us and Our
Doctrines, and Abuses Our Friends--His Remarks, However, Are Overruled
for Our Good--The Lord's Promise Fulfilled--I Go to Kula

On the Monday morning I returned to Lahaina, and received a warm
welcome from the brethren. They were much interested in the recital
of the incidents of my trip. From that time, however, I stayed but
little there. Much as I liked the society of the Elders, I could not be
content there, for I felt that I ought to be among the natives, trying
to teach them the principles of the gospel, and there seemed to be a
better opening for this work in other places than at Lahaina.

There being none of the Elders on the Island of Oahu, it was decided
that Elders Bigler and Farrer should go there instead of to the island
of Molokai. When they sailed for that island, which they did in a few
weeks, Brother James Keeler was left alone with no one to converse
with in English, unless he occasionally met a white man. This gave him
a better opportunity of acquiring the language than he had when we
were all there. After some weeks he also was led to leave there and to
travel around the island until he found a people who were willing to
receive him and the principles which he taught.

When the Presbyterian missionary at Wailuku saw that I had come back
there he was displeased. He used all his influence against me among
his congregation, and one Sunday he came out in public and delivered a
most abusive discourse against the Prophet Joseph and our principles,
in which he gave an entirely false statement of the cause of his death,
and also warned the people against me.

I happened to be present when this sermon was delivered. While
listening to it a variety of emotions agitated me. My first impulse was
to jump upon one of the seats as soon as he had got through, and tell
the people he had told them a pack of falsehoods. But this I thought
would produce confusion, and result in no good. When the services were
over, I walked around to the pulpit where he stood. He knew how short
a time we had been on the islands, and, I believed, had no idea that I
could understand what he had said; when he saw me, therefore, his face
turned pale, and to me he looked like a man who had been caught in a
mean, low act.

I told him I wanted to give him correct information respecting the
things he had told the people that morning, that he might remove the
effect of the lies which he had repeated to them; for, I said, they
were base lies, and I was a living witness that they were.

He said he did not believe they were lies, and he should not tell the
people anything different to what he had said; he thought he had but
done his duty, and if the people had been warned against Mahomet in his
day, he would not have got so many disciples.

I bore him a solemn testimony respecting the prophet Joseph, and the
truth of the work, and said that I would stand as a witness against him
at the judgment seat of God, for having told that people lies and for
refusing to tell them the truth when it had been shown to him.

Much more was said, for our conversation lasted about half an hour, and
while we conversed many of the congregation, some of whom understood
English, crowded around.

This was the first occurrence of the kind in my experience in which I
was personally prominent, and it had an importance in my eyes which it
would scarcely have were it to happen to-day. One of those who listened
to and understood this conversation was a brother-in-law of Napela's,
a half-white and a circuit judge, and a leading man on that island. He
gave a report of the conversation which was very favorable to me, and
altogether I think the missionary's sermon did good. He intended it for
evil; but the Lord overruled it, as He does all the plots and acts of
the wicked, for the advancement of His purposes.

The Lord gave me favor in the sight of the natives, and I had their
sympathy, though they dare not avow it, for fear of the consequences.

Another reason of the sermon not having so good an effect was the
preacher's allusions to Napela. He had called him by name, as the
man at whose house I stopped, and denounced him. This, of course,
was distasteful to Napela's relatives and friends, many of whom were
present. Thus this man, who fought in this manner against the work of
God, did not prosper as he expected, neither then nor afterwards.

The Lord has said in one of the revelations to His servants:

    "Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you, there is no weapon that is
    formed against you shall prosper; and if any man shall lift his
    voice against you, he shall be confounded in mine own due time."

I have found every word of this to be true.

Napela was not frightened by what the missionary had said. He was
threatened with removal from his judgeship and with being cut off from
their church; but he manifested no disposition to have me leave his

The pressure, however, finally became so strong through the continued
efforts of the preacher, that I thought it would be wiser for me to
withdraw from Wailuku for awhile. I felt for Napela, for he had a heavy
opposition to contend with, and I thought that if I went elsewhere, the
persecution would not be so severe.

There was a place called _Kula_, (which means a country near the
base of a mountain) where there were a few scattered villages, about
eighteen miles from Wailuku, to which I was led to go. It was rather an
out-of-the-way place, though just before I went there, a brisk trade
in Irish potatoes, which grew spontaneously in that region, had been
carried on; the people hauling them in carts, from there to a small
port not far distant. These potatoes were carried in schooners to
California to supply the gold diggers. But they were of a poor quality,
and when the farmers of California began to raise them the trade
ceased. The business had begun to fall off when I went there.

I stopped at the house of a man by the name of Pake, who had charge
of Napela's affairs in Kula, and to whom he had given me a letter
of introduction when he found that I had determined to go there. He
received me very kindly, also a man by the name of Maiola, whom I had
met in Wailuku. He was a deacon in the Presbyterian church.

Chapter 9

Another Attack from a Missionary--Courage in Defending the Truth Always
Admired--Poverty of the People

Kula, the district where I had gone to live, was visited about once in
three months by the Presbyterian missionary who had it in charge. The
Sunday after my arrival there was his day to make his quarterly visit,
and I went down to the village where he was to hold his meeting. His
name was Green, and he and I had met a few weeks previously, and had a
conversation in which he grew very angry and said he would curse me.

There was a large attendance of natives at this meeting, and he took
for his text the 8th verse of the first chapter of Paul's epistle to
the Galatians:

    "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel
    unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be

His whole sermon, as well as his prayer previously, was directed
against us, warning the natives about us; but the sermon was the
poorest and most childish attempt to show what the gospel of Christ
was, that I ever listened to.

After he had finished, I arose and told the people it was best to
examine the gospel well, and see what its nature and requirements were,
and also for each to learn whether it was in his possession or not. I
then commenced to show them what the gospel was.

Up to this time Mr. Green had sat amazed, as it appeared, at my
audacity. Such a thing as a person arising in a meeting and questioning
what he had said, or attempting to teach anything different, was new in
his experience, and he seemed so astonished that he could not speak.
But when he saw that I had the attention of the people and they were
listening to what I said, he aroused himself, opened a catechism which
he called _Aio ka la_, or "Food of the day," and commenced asking the
people questions. He was determined to interrupt me, and to divert the
minds of the people from what I said. Some of his deacons helped him;
they answered his questions in a loud voice, and confusion began to

I saw that no further good could be done then, so I told the
congregation that I intended to hold meetings, and would have
opportunities of more fully explaining to them the principles of the
gospel, and I stopped.

He warned the people not to entertain me, nor to salute me; if they
did, they would be partakers in my evil deeds.

To this I made a suitable reply and withdrew.

From this time I commenced to labor in a more public manner among the
people, speaking in their meeting houses as I could get opportunity,
and doing all in my power to give them a knowledge of our principles.

My speaking before Mr. Green had a good effect; the people saw that I
preached the doctrines of the Bible, and that I was not afraid to meet
the preachers; the moral effect of this boldness upon a simple people
like them, I found to be excellent.

And here let me say that courage in advocating and defending the truth,
when tempered with wisdom, is a quality men always admire. The fear of
man, and the fear of telling that portion of the truth which he is sent
to declare, are feelings that no Elder should ever indulge in. The man
who suffers this fear to prevail with him is never successful. The fear
of God and the fear of doing wrong, is the only fear that a Latter-day
Saint should ever feel.

My training during the first two years of our settlement of Salt Lake
Valley, when we were pinched for food, was of excellent service to me
during the days of which I write. I should have thought the meagre diet
we had in the valley, rich living if I had had it then.

The people were very poor, and I did not wish to be a burden to them
in the least. I avoided eating anything, therefore, that I thought
they relished or that they had only occasionally. I have told you that
potatoes grew spontaneously there; but the country was too warm for
them; this, together with the lack of cultivation, made them very poor.
The potato when good was not a vegetable I liked very much. But there
I could get nothing else, excepting whortleberries, which grew wild,
and which I frequently picked and ate, until one day they made me sick,
after which I could not eat them any more.

I might have eaten the potatoes better if I could have had salt to eat
with them; but this article they were out of just then. The only thing
eatable besides the potatoes was molasses. I have never liked to eat
potatoes and molasses together since then.

I well recollect how I enjoyed a meal of "poi" on one occasion during
this time. The "kalo" out of which it was made, had been cooked and
pounded at some distance from there ("kalo" did not grow at that time
at the part of the Kula where I was), and packed in the leaves of a
shrub called _ki_; when thus packed it was called _pai kalo_. It had
been warm when packed, which, with the heat of the weather had made it
sour and maggoty. But the people had cooked it over again, and made it
into "poi."

My potato and molasses diet had removed all my fastidiousness about
what I ate, and I thought this "poi" the sweetest food I had ever
tasted. Some people eat maggoty cheese because they like it; I ate this
"poi" because it was the best and most palatable food I had tasted for

But what I lacked in food the Lord made up to me in the goodly degree
of His Spirit which He bestowed upon me. What I had to eat was a
matter of indifference to me. I was happy, and I rejoiced as I never
had before. Dreams, visions and revelations were given to me, and the
communion of the Spirit was most sweet and delicious.

I learned a lesson then, which I trust will never be forgotten: that
there is a happiness which the servants and Saints of God can have
that is not of earth, and that is not in the least dependent for its
existence upon the possession of food, raiment or any earthly thing.

Chapter 10

Successful Meetings--Our Principles Receiving Great Notice--Elder
Keeler and Myself Go to Keanae and Have Remarkable Success in Adding
Members to the Church

A new native house having been completed by Mr. Napela's men, it was
offered to me as a meeting house. On Sunday the neighbors collected
together, and we had two meetings, one in the forenoon and one in the
afternoon, at which I spoke upon the principles of the gospel and their
restoration to man upon the earth, with the authority to teach them.
My testimony and words were favorably received by the people, and they
were desirous that I should continue to hold meetings.

It was a busy time, and I was only able to hold one meeting during the
week. But on the next Sunday I had a most excellent time. Five were
baptized and confirmed, and the spirit was powerfully poured out upon
all present; many were stirred up to repentance, their hearts were
touched and the tears coursed down their cheeks. Brother James Keeler,
who had been stopping in Lahaina, was with me that day, he having
reached there the previous day. Our joy was very great, and I thought
it one of the best days in my life.

We held meetings during the week, and on Sunday I baptized and
confirmed six persons.

It was in much weakness that I labored in the ministry; but I began to
taste a joy that I had never before known, and my heart was filled with
praise and gratitude to the Lord for deeming me worthy to receive the
Priesthood, and to go forth on a mission.

Nineteen persons had joined the Church at Kula, and I felt impressed by
the Spirit to go elsewhere and open other places in which to minister
the word to the people.

The news of what was being done at Kula--the new religion as it was
called--the new method of baptism--for up to that time the people had
been sprinkled--and the doctrine, so strange to them, that God has
spoken again to man, and sent His holy angels to minister unto him, was
noised about, and there began to be a great curiosity felt by many of
the people to hear.

Although the natives of the Sandwich Islands had been taught to read,
and the Bible had been placed in their hands, and they had been trained
to look upon the sectarian missionaries as their spiritual teachers,
yet the religion of these missionaries did not generally satisfy them.
There was not the power about the God which the missionaries worshiped
that they believed there was about the gods of their fathers. The
missionaries taught them that God no longer revealed Himself to men,
that prophecy, miracles and the gifts mentioned in the Bible, had

But we taught the very opposite of all this. We told them God had not
changed. He was the same to-day that He was when the Bible was written.
His gifts and blessings were for men now, as much as they were eighteen
hundred years ago. Man had lost faith, and he did not obey God's laws,
therefore, he had lost favor with the heavens, and the gifts and
blessings were withheld.

The Bible upheld us in our teachings, and there was a consistency in
our doctrines which pleased the honest.

The most of the natives of the islands supposed the Bible meant what
it said; they had not learned to think that it meant one thing when it
said another. But after our arrival the sectarian missionaries tried
hard to teach them that the word of God had a hidden meaning, and that
it was not like other language--a task, however, which, with a plain,
simple people like the natives, they found very difficult.

The missionaries had great influence with the chiefs and the
government. Their religion was, in fact, the State religion, though
not so declared by law; it was popular to be a member of their church,
while it was unpopular not to be connected with it.

It looked like a formidable and hopeless task to attempt to preach the
gospel to a people and in a government over whom sectarian priests had
such complete control. But we knew God could break down every barrier,
and remove every obstacle. We put our trust in Him, and we were not

I was led, as I have said, to prepare to go to some other place to
labor, so as to extend the knowledge of the gospel. I had arranged
to start on a certain day, but was detained. My detention was
providential, for that day Brother James Keeler arrived, accompanied
by a native, by the name of Namakaiona. Brother Keeler, after leaving
Kula, had traveled around the island until he reached a place called
Keanae, where he stopped. He had read the scriptures to the people of
that place, and quite an interest had been awakened among them, many
were anxious to hear preaching, and to be baptized. He wished me to
come over there; they had furnished him with a horse to come over after
me and bring me.

The road over which we traveled part of the distance to reach Keanae,
passed through a most romantic country. The vegetation was of the most
luxuriant description, the trees being of a kind new to me, and very
grand. Such a wealth of vegetation I had read of, but never before
beheld; and is not seen it any land outside of the tropics. The shrubs
and ferns were in great variety, and grew in almost endless profusion.
Many of the trees were masses of living green from the root upward,
being covered with a multitude of vines and creepers of various kinds.

The road was impassable for carriages or wagons; in fact, horsemen had
to dismount and lead their horses in many places up and down the hills,
they were so steep. Whatever the people who lived in the villages on
that side of the island needed, they either carried in, on their backs,
or brought around in boats. To me the journey was most romantic, and I
enjoyed it, the more so as I now understood the language, and was able
to obtain many interesting items from the natives with whom we traveled
and met, concerning the country, and their history and traditions.

Our arrival at Keanae created great excitement. The people had been
watching for us, and seeing us approach from a long distance, had
gathered to meet us. Had we been princes they could not have treated
us with greater consideration and honor. We obtained the Calvinistic
meeting-house the afternoon of our arrival, and there was a large
attendance to hear the preaching.

This was on Wednesday, and from that time until Monday we were
constantly speaking, baptizing, confirming and counseling the people.
During that time there were upwards of one hundred and thirty baptized.
The Spirit of the Lord was powerfully poured out, and all rejoiced; I
never enjoyed myself so well before in my life.

When I started back to Kula, which I did on Tuesday morning, I felt
very tired, with the amount of labor that I had performed. My object in
returning then, was to organize the Saints who had been baptized into a
branch, so that I could return again to Keanae.

In organizing the branch at Kula, I ordained two teachers whose names
were, Kaleohano and Maiola, and three deacons, Pake, Kahiki, and Mahoe.

After two weeks' absence, I returned to Keanae, and we organized four
branches of the Church in that region. We only ordained teachers and
deacons as officers, thinking it better to let them gain experience in
the duties of these callings, before ordaining them to the Melchisedek

Chapter 11

Arrival of New Elders--The Adversary Busy Among Our Newly Converted
Friends--A Fishing Scene

While at Keanae, we were gladdened with the news of the arrival of
missionaries from Utah; and, after the conference, Brother Keeler and
I repaired to Lahaina to meet them. They were Elders Philip B. Lewis,
Francis A. Hammond and John S. Woodbury; the two former had their
wives with them; the latter, for want of means, had left his wife in
California, and she came down shortly afterwards. Brother Lewis had
been appointed by Elder Parley P. Pratt to preside over the islands.

I had become so accustomed to talking in the Sandwich Island language
that it was hard for me to speak in my mother tongue. I well remember
how difficult it was for me to pray in English, when called upon to do
so, in the family circle, the evening after I got to Lahaina.

I had been so anxious to learn the language that I would not read any
book in English excepting the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and
Covenants, and had even trained myself to think in that language. I did
this so that I might be thoroughly familiar with it, for I was anxious
to preach the gospel in exceeding plainness unto the people.

Of course, it required an effort on my part to thus train myself; but I
was paid for it all, in the fluency with which I used the language. I
was able to speak and write it with greater ease and correctness than
my mother tongue.

The adversary was not idle at Keanae. We had been very successful in
baptizing the people. The Spirit had been poured out, and much good has
been accomplished; but, no sooner had we gone to Lahaina, to meet the
newly arrived Elders, than the enemy began his operations.

After spending a few days in Lahaina, I returned to Kula and remained
a short time there. I felt impressed to go from there to Keanae. Some
of the native brethren wished me to stop till the end of the week, and
they would accompany me; but I could not stop, I felt that I was needed
for some cause at Keanae.

My impressions were correct. The people of Keanae were in great
trouble. They had been assailed by enemies from every side, and those
who were weak in the faith were in perplexity. Some had turned away,
not being able to withstand the pressure. The Presbyterian missionary
of that district had been there, and had done all in his power to
blacken our characters, to deride our doctrines and to persuade the
people to forsake the Church. Two Frenchmen, Catholic priests, had also
been there, and they had done all in their power to frighten the people
from the truth. Another Presbyterian missionary had sent one of his
native preachers there for the same purpose.

It seemed as if the devil had set all his agencies into operation to
destroy the work of God, and they told all the lies that could be
brought to bear against us. The French priest had said that we ought to
be driven out of the place and off the island, and had circulated many
false reports about us. The Presbyterian missionary had visited the
houses of the people, and had brought all his influence to bear upon

Brother Keeler had been there part of the time; but his want of the
language troubled him greatly, as he had not acquired it sufficiently
at the time to enable him to counteract these lies or to make full
explanations concerning them.

I learned that many of the Saints were doubting, and they had been
praying to the Lord for me to return. This was the cause of my anxiety
to get back. The Lord hears the prayers of those who pray to Him in
faith, and hundreds of instances like this have occurred within my

It is frequently the case that when Elders have been successful in
baptizing the people, the devil exerts himself with increased power and
cunning among them to destroy them. There are but few who have joined
the Church who have escaped temptations of this character; and no man
knows the power of the devil as those do who have embraced the truth.
It seems that those who are ignorant of the gospel and the power of
God, never experience the opposite power like those do who have been
blessed of the Lord. Still they should not yield to the temptations of
Satan, nor be entrapped by his snares.

The people who had been baptized at Keanae had known but little about
the two influences of which we speak; but no sooner had they joined the
Church, than they were assailed and tempted in a way that they never
had been previously. As a consequence of this, some fell away from the
truth; but others became stronger in the faith, so long as I remained
on the island.

We had many excellent times at Keanae. While I was there, at the
time of which I write, I went with the natives, men and women, to a
creek about two miles distant, where fish were very plentiful. The
fishers gathered a quantity of plants, a shrub which is called by them
_auhuhu_, and made two piles of them in the bed of the creek. The men
and women surrounded these piles, each of them having a stick about
five or six feet long. At a given signal from one of the party, they
commenced thrashing the brush. They were very dextrous in the use of
this flail, turning the piles over and over and pounding them well, and
never hitting each other. The pounding of the bush had the effect to
stain the water all around, and to kill the fish, which soon floated on
the surface in great numbers.

Fish so caught are excellent eating. This shrub, though it kills the
fish, is not injurious to man. It was one of the liveliest sights that
I had ever seen, and was very picturesque. The women were adorned with
garlands of green leaves, and had flowers entwined in their hair and
around their bodies. Many of the men were stripped to the waist and
also had garlands entwined around them. The swimming and diving of some
of the women, surprised me; they appeared to be almost amphibious.

Chapter 12

Interview With the Dignitaries of the Kingdom--Return to Napela's House
at Wailuku--Hundreds of People Baptized--Elders Become Famous All Over
the Group--A Remarkable Peculiarity

Not satisfied with bringing religious influences to bear against
us, the missionaries (of whom mention was made in the last chapter)
stirred up the owners of the land and the officer having it in charge
to stop the meetings and to threaten the people with punishment if
they persisted in holding them. This officer assembled the people, and
called them out individually, and tried to make them promise that they
would not attend any of our meetings again. To accomplish his design,
he used both persuasion and threats; he said that if they met again,
he would have them bound and either carried to the capital of that
island--Lahaina--or to the seat of government--Honolulu.

In consequence of these interruptions and persecutions, of which Elder
Keeler brought me word, at Kula, where I then was, it was deemed best
for me to go to Honolulu, and, if possible, see the king, or some
officers of the government.

Elder Philip B. Lewis, who was then living at Honolulu, and was
president of the mission, and I saw several of the king's ministers.
The American Commissioner espoused our cause very warmly, and demanded
of the government all the rights for us which were extended to any
preachers. We did not see the king, his health being very poor; but
afterwards, at Lahaina, I had an interview with the two princes, who
have since been kings, and from them received assurances of protection.
The visit, altogether, was satisfactory and resulted in good.

I have found that nothing is ever lost by Elders standing up for
their rights. People respect others who are spirited in claiming the
privileges which belong to them; and no Elder should ever forget that
he is the ambassador of the King of heaven, and that he should maintain
his calling. If he be firm and respectful, he will be respected.

We succeeded in building a fine meeting-house at Keanae, and in all
that region faithfully preached to the people.

I told you in a previous chapter about the manner in which I had been
treated by the missionary at Wailuku, the place where Napela lived. His
persecution had been so strong that I thought it wise to withdraw from
that place for awhile; but the time had now come for me to return; I
felt impressed to do so; and, in company with Elder Francis A. Hammond,
I reached there one evening. We did not know where to go to obtain
quarters for the night; for the missionary who lived there had used
every means in his power to frighten the people against entertaining
us. Even Napela, who had previously afforded me a home, was under
heavy condemnation for his kindness towards me. I felt delicate about
going to his house again, thinking, probably, he might be reluctant to
entertain us in view of the opposition which would be sure to follow.

When we got to the edge of the town in the hills, one of us went and
prayed for the Lord to open our way and raise us up friends, while the
other watched to prevent interruption. We felt led to go to Napela's
house, thinking that if he received us kindly we would stop with
him, but if he appeared cold and distant, we would go elsewhere. We
found him in conversation with four or five intelligent natives; most
of whom had been classmates of his in the high-school. One of them,
Kamakau, which translated means the _fish-hook_, was a preacher, a
very well-educated man, and said to be the best native orator in their
church. They were questioning Napela about our principles, arguing with
him upon them, he defending them to the best of his ability.

Our arrival seemed most opportune; he was glad to see us, gave us a
warm welcome, and soon transferred the conversation to us. At this
time, Brother Hammond's knowledge of the language was very limited, so
I found myself the principal spokesman. We sat up until the roosters
crowed in the morning, conversing upon our principles and reasoning
from the Bible. For some time they were disposed to combat our views,
but finally were silenced and sat and listened to what I said,
occasionally asking questions.

This was the commencement of a great work in that region. The preaching
of the gospel created a great excitement; the people flew by hundreds
to hear the testimony, and I had the satisfaction of seeing the
missionary who had treated me so badly and who had so bitterly opposed
and lied about the work, almost deserted by his congregation; they
having left his church to hear us preach, and see us baptize.

I confess that to see him thus treated pleased me; I did not wish him
to receive any bodily injury, but I had hoped and prayed the day would
come when he would see his followers desert his church, embrace the
truth and leave him to himself.

We baptized a large number of people at Wailuku and the adjacent towns,
erected a large meeting-house at that place and smaller ones at the
other villages, and organized large and flourishing branches of the

When Elder Hammond and his wife came to the island they had one child.
Several children were born to them on the mission before they returned.
After we had been successful in organizing branches at Wailuku, Waiehu
and other places around there, Elder Hammond brought his family from
Lahaina, where they had been living, to Waiehu. There they lived for
some time. Afterwards, through his labors, a branch was raised up in
Lahaina, and they moved there. All the Elders who labored in that field
have reason to remember their kindness to them. Under their roof we
always found a warm welcome, and it was home--a home which men who
were constantly speaking the native language, living in the native
houses and having to conform, to some extent at least, to their modes
of eating, could appreciate. Sister Hammond's unvarying kindness, her
patience and cheerfulness in the midst of privation, and her unsparing
labors in our behalf, to sew and do other work for us, which, among
such a people we had need to have done, as well as his constant efforts
for our comfort, will never be forgotten by those who enjoyed their

The contrast between my position then and what it had been when
formerly at Wailuku, was to me a constant cause of gratitude to the
Lord. He had revealed unto me that it was my duty to remain on the
islands, acquire the language and bear testimony of His great work
to the people. He had given me many promises connected therewith.
And now I began to feel how true His words had been. Many and many a
time, when I sat in the meetings and heard the people speak in the
demonstration of the Spirit of the Lord, filled with its power and
its holy influence, bearing testimony to the truth of the gospel, to
its restoration and to the gifts which had been bestowed, my joy was
so great that I could scarcely contain myself. I felt that, however
devotedly I might labor, I could not show the gratitude to the Lord
which I felt, at being permitted to receive the Priesthood and to
exercise it for the salvation of the children of men. Surely, never
were men happier than we who labored in the ministry among that people
in those days; we had a fullness of joy, and it seemed as if there were
no room for more.

The people, too, with all their faults and weaknesses, were greatly
blessed. The power of God rested mightily upon them, and many a time
their faces would glisten and appear almost white under the influence
of the Spirit. They knew that Jesus was the Son of God and the Savior
of the world, and that Joseph Smith and Brigham Young were Prophets and
servants of God. This knowledge had come to them through obedience to
the commandments.

The report of what was being done went through all the islands.
The natives frequently went from one island to another. They are a
talkative, gossipy people, and exceedingly fond of telling news, which
never loses anything after its first recital. I afterwards traveled
all over the group, and I found myself well known by name to all the
people. This was frequently embarrassing to me, because I felt that I
could not meet the expectations which had been created respecting my
skill in the language, etc., etc.

The king and his nobles all heard of us, and of what we were doing, and
though we were often misrepresented, we could not blame the Hawaiians
for much of this. If left to themselves, they had but little of the
spirit of slander and persecution so common to the white race. They
were naturally kind and hospitable. Had there been no priestcraft
among them, misleading them and poisoning their minds against the
truth, and tempting them with worldly advantages and popularity, the
entire nation, I am convinced, could have been readily brought to
receive and believe in the principles of the gospel. But everything
was done to have them shun us, to inspire them with suspicion, to make
us unpopular. These influences with those vicious and destructive
practices which are fast hurrying the nation to extinction, were
against us. But for all this, we had wonderful success among them.

Like our Indian race, the Sandwich Islander is being destroyed and
blotted from the face of the earth, by too much of what is called in
Babylon, civilization.

There is one remarkable feature of the Hawaiian character which I will
here note. Among all the races of white men of which I have yet heard
where the gospel is preached, the practice of sin, and especially with
the other sex, is attended with the loss of the Spirit; and unless
there is deep and heartfelt repentance, such sinners are apt to become
enemies of the truth, and are frequently bitter in their opposition to
the work of God and His servants. Not so with the Hawaiians, so far
as my observation extended. It is true that by indulging in sin they
would lose the Spirit; that could be plainly seen; but I never saw that
bitter apostate feeling among them which is so common among white men
who apostatize. They were not given over to the spirit of unbelief as
other races are.

This difference struck me, and I account for it in two ways; first,
because of their ignorance the Lord does not hold them to so strict
an accountability as He does us; and second, they are of the seed of
Israel, and to them peculiar promises have been made. I believe the
same characteristics will be found among the Lamanites; but that can be
better told by those who have experience in laboring among them.

Chapter 13

Missionaries from Home--Good Results of Their Presence and
Labors--Voyage in the Canoe of the Islanders--Tradition of the
Natives--A Visit to the Volcano

At the Fall Conference, 1852, held at Salt Lake City, nine Elders
were appointed on missions to the islands. They reached Honolulu in
the month of February, 1853. Their names were, Benjamin F. Johnson,
William McBride, Nathan Tanner, Reddin A. Allred, Redick N. Allred,
Thomas Karren, Ephraim Green, James Lawson and Egerton Snider. These
Elders were a great help to the mission. Nearly all of them were men
of experience. Their presence brought additional life and energy, the
effect of which soon became visible everywhere. The most of them took
hold of the work with zeal.

They brought with them the copy of the revelation on celestial
marriage, which was first published at the conference at which they
were called to go to the islands. They also brought the spirit of the
conference with them, and we all felt the benefit of it.

After their arrival, the work received a great impulse on the Island
of Oahu, and especially in Honolulu. That town was made alive with
excitement, and large numbers were baptized. A branch of the white
members was organized, over which Elder B. F. Johnson was appointed to
preside. Elders Tanner and Karren were chosen as counselors to Elder
Philip B. Lewis, the president of the mission. Upon the Islands of
Hawaii and Kauai, also, the work made great strides, and hundreds were
added to the Church.

I omitted to mention that Elder William Perkins, who had been appointed
on a mission to the islands, reached there, accompanied by his wife
and Sister John S. Woodbury, about the last of November, 1851. They
remained for some time, laboring to the best of their ability. Brother
Perkins was released to return home because of his wife's failing

For the purpose of visiting the Saints and people on the Island of
Hawaii (the Owyhee of Captain Cook), I had occasion to sail to that
island in April, 1854.

In those days, money was very scarce with the Elders, and we had not
the means to transport us from island to island on the regular vessels
which sailed in those seas. I, therefore, in company with several of
the brethren, traveled, preaching by the way, through the hilly and
rough country that lay between Lahaina and Kawaipapa on eastern Maui, a
point considered the best to embark at to cross the channel to Hawaii.

Our company consisted of Elder R. N. Allred, who was at that time
president on the Island of Maui; Elder J. H. Napela, and four native
Elders belonging to Maui, who had been appointed to labor in the
ministry on the Island of Hawaii. Their names were Kaelepulu, Kapono,
Hoopiiaina and Peleleu.

The channel which we had to cross was at times very rough and
dangerous, and many lives had been lost in it; but we had faith to
believe that the Lord would preserve us in crossing, although our
vessel was one that very few white men would care to venture out to
sea in. It was a canoe hollowed out of a tree. Both ends of the canoe
had boards fitted in as a sort of a deck, which was covered with mats.
These mats were lashed to the canoe and made the top of the deck as
round as a log and perfectly water-tight. You would think this deck a
curious place to go to sea on, yet the native islanders were perched
on both ends of the canoe on this deck with their paddles to row the
canoe when the wind did not blow. In the center of the canoe a certain
space was left for us to sit in, and sides were formed by lashing mats
to some poles that were raised above the edge of the canoe. In this
place the natives had fixed plenty of mats, so that we could sit or
recline, as suited us, very comfortably. Lashed across the canoe, were
two poles, each a little distance from the end of the canoe. These
poles extended six or eight feet into the water, and fastened to their
ends was a board, which ran parallel with the canoe. This we call
an outrigger; it was for the purpose of keeping the canoe balanced
when the sail was hoisted. On these poles, when the wind commenced
to blow the islanders sat, easing up and bearing down, according to
the strength of the wind, so as to keep the canoe from capsizing. The
greater part of the time some portion of their bodies was in the water.
But the sea has no terrors for the Sandwich Islanders. They can swim in
the water for hours without being at all fatigued.

When I looked at these men perched on the deck of the canoe, it looked
like going to sea on a log; and had I not been familiar with the skill
of the natives in managing their canoe, and had some confidence in my
own powers as a swimmer, with them to aid me in the water, I should
scarcely have ventured in such a craft as this was.

We prayed to the Lord, before we started, to give us a pleasant and
favorable voyage, and the natives said they had never had a more
favorable time.

We reached Upolu on the island of Hawaii between three and four
o'clock, having started from Maui about eight o'clock in the morning.

While upon this subject I may say that we returned to Upolu after our
visit had ended, and again crossed the channel, back to Maui, but this
time we did not have a single canoe. One of the native Saints and his
son had procured two new canoes and had lashed them together as was the
fashion in former days, for their chiefs, by fastening pieces of timber
across both canoes, the latter being from four to six feet apart. This
was called in their language _kaulua_.

Our place to sit or recline was arranged between the canoes, by laying
down boards and covering them with mats, making quite a comfortable
floor for us to sit upon, and in the centre of this the mast was raised
and fastened.

As in the case of the single canoe, boards were fastened at the ends,
with mats lying over them to keep out the water, making a deck to the
canoe, while a small place was left in the centre of both canoes for
some of the natives to sit, and, if necessary, bail out water.

We left the four native Elders on the island, and brought away one with
us, who was released from his mission to return to Maui. His name was

Our return passage was rough a good part of the distance, as we had a
good stiff breeze about two-thirds of the way across. Then the wind
died out; but we prayed to the Lord for more wind, and our prayers were
answered. We were between six and seven hours in making the passage.

We traveled around the island, and visited the famous volcano, the
largest in the world. Its name is Kilauea.

Our party had swelled, including whites and natives, to about twenty in
number. In addition to Brother Allred, there were of our party Elder
Thomas Karren, who lived at Lehi, Utah Co., but who is now deceased;
Elder James Keeler, who has lately returned from another mission to the
islands, and who now resides on the Sevier; and Elder Egerton Snider,
who has since died.

Brother James Lawson, of this city, was also with our party, but having
seen the volcano, he did not ascend with us. We had to go on foot, as
we had no money to hire animals.

The Sandwich Islanders entertained a singular idea about the manner
in which their islands came into being. Their belief was that the
islands were brought forth, and that Papa, a woman whom they worshiped
as a goddess, was the mother of them. The first-born, they think, was
Hawaii, the nearest island to this continent, and the last born Kauai
and Niihau. This Papa had a sister, they say, whose name was Pele. They
worshiped her as a goddess, and even when we were there many still
believed in her. They say she first lived at Kauai and from there
removed from one island to another until she took up her residence at
Hawaii. They believed that her place of residence was the pit of the
active volcano, and that there, all the spirits of good chiefs and men
went to dwell. The bad ones went, they believed, to a place of darkness
in the centre of the earth, over which a god called Milu reigned.

In former days the people threw the bones of some of their dead
relatives into the volcano. They had the idea that if Pele was pleased
with the sacrifice, she would consume the bones, and the spirit of the
dead person would be permitted to return and be a familiar spirit to
them, and be as one of the family. If the sacrifice was not acceptable,
the bones were thrown out of the volcano.

The pit of the volcano is probably three miles across. There have been
times when the whole bottom of the pit was one mass of lurid, seething
fire. This must have been an awfully grand sight, but when we visited
it, we found an immense field of lava which extended all around the
pit, and which resembled, in many respects, the sea in its wave-like
appearance. It might also have been compared to a field of shore-ice,
from which the water had receded, leaving it shattered and cracked; in
fact, it looked like a frozen sea, except that it was black as coal. In
cooling it had cracked, leaving large seams, from which steam and heat

We found the pit in which the fire was raging to be about fifty or
sixty feet deep; it was nearly round, and about one hundred yards
across. The sides were perpendicular; the strongest heat seemed to be
around the sides. On one side there were two large holes very close
together, which looked more like the mouths of two very large furnaces
than anything else I ever saw. Here the melted lava was in constant
motion, surging and heaving like the waves of the sea. The sound which
it made was somewhat similar to the paddles of a steam vessel in the
ocean, only it was far greater. We heard this sound before we reached
the mouth of the volcano, and it resembled, to our ears, the booming of
heavy artillery at a distance.

The lava kept flowing in the direction of these two holes of which
I spoke, and rocks thrown down upon the surface of the lava would
melt when near these holes like sealing wax held in a candle. It was
surprising to see with what ease the fire would melt this stony mass
of lava, which in some parts of the pit would cool on the surface, and
convert it again into a fluid.

Sometimes showers of hot lava would be thrown up in the air, and
descend on the edges of the pit where we stood. When this occurred
the bystanders would have to scamper off as fast as they could, or be
severely burned.

The sight of this pit surpassed in sublimity and grandeur anything I
had ever witnessed or imagined. It far exceeded what I had read in
written descriptions, or even what I expected to see. Language fails to
convey to the mind a correct idea of its appearance.

We were told that a party of natives had just been there, throwing the
bones of one of their relatives into the volcano with hogs, fowls,
etc., sacrifices with which to gain the favor of Madame Pele, the

For some years there had not been any eruptions from this crater which
we visited; but others had broken out in the same neighborhood, the
fire and smoke of which had been seen for a long distance, and ashes
from which, it is said, had fallen on the decks of vessels hundreds of
miles at sea. From these eruptions the lava had run down to the sea,
sweeping everything before it, and heating the sea for several miles in
such a manner as to kill large quantities of fish.

The island of Hawaii is very frequently shaken by earthquakes, the
effects of the hidden fires.

Chapter 14

A Hawaiian Feast--Amusing Joke Played Upon White Men

Returning from the volcano towards Upolu, we had a meeting house to
dedicate at a place called Pololu, and the Saints there had prepared a
feast on the occasion.

An account of a Hawaiian feast may be interesting to my readers and I
will describe this one. The vegetable portion of the feast consisted of
_poi_. This I have before described to you. It is not kept in dishes of
earthenware but in calabashes, some of which are very large and will
hold several gallons of the food. On this occasion the people sat on
the ground on mats. For tablecloths there were large green leaves of
the plant called _ki_. On these were placed packages of beef, pork,
fowl, dog, and goat, done up in the leaves in which they had been
cooked. Fish also was served up in this manner.

As soon as the blessing was asked, every one dipped his or her
forefingers into the "_poi_," and lifting as much as the fingers would
hold, they passed them into their mouths, throwing their heads back as
they did so, to get a good mouthful. The hogs, chickens and little dogs
were speedily dissected, the fingers being the only knives, forks and
spoons used among them. The scene was one of true enjoyment.

The Sandwich Islander is never so happy, so musical, so full of
pleasant talk, as when seated at a good meal; and the quantity one eats
on such occasions would astonish an American who had never seen them.
Usually they are particular about having their hands clean, and eating
with due respect to each other's rights. One waits for the other to put
his fingers in the _poi_ and their ideas of decorum and manners, such
as they are, are as strict as ours.

We Elders who ate with them were also seated on mats and ate the same
kind of food that they did, only in place of using our fingers we
either used spoons or small paddles which we whittled out of wood, to
convey the food to our mouths, thinking it would be better to set them
an example in this respect.

I scarcely think, though, that any of our party would prefer dog meat
to beef, goat or chicken, though I must say that if it were not for
prejudice, I think the dog meat as wholesome and as clean as the pork;
for the dogs which they eat in that country are a peculiar breed, the
flesh of which is very sweet and tender. They are very particular
in feeding them; they keep them cleaner and do not give them such
disagreeable food as they do to their hogs. But there is something
repugnant to people raised as we have been, in the idea of eating dog

A story was told me by Brother Napela of a trick which he and some
other natives played off on some white men at a feast which they
partook of at a place called Waikapu on the island of Maui. The white
men were merchants from Lahaina, and had been invited over to this
feast. They had meats and fish of every kind nearly, and among the
rest had a number of roasted pigs and roasted dogs. One of the natives
suggested, as a good trick to play on the white men, that they sever
the heads of the pigs, and put them with the dogs, and take the dogs'
heads and put them with the pigs. They did so. Of course the merchants
did not want to eat dog meat, and would not touch any of the meat where
the dogs' heads were, but ate heartily of what they supposed were pigs.
The natives tried to persuade them to eat the other meat. "Oh no," they
said, "these delicious pigs are good enough for us," and they would not
touch the other.

I may say here that the native method of cooking meat is superior to
ours. They contrive to preserve all the juices of the meat in it while
it is being cooked.

Nothing was said to the merchants about the trick that had been played
upon them until the feast was ended, and they could not be persuaded
that they had eaten dogs, until the bones were shown to them, which
they knew to be not those of pigs. They tried hard to be sick at the
thought of having eaten dog meat, but had to confess that it was as
good meat as they ever ate.

An unsuspecting person, if served with dog meat, would never dream that
it was anything but sucking pig.

Chapter 15

Answers to Prayer, and the Bestowal of the Gifts upon the Elders and
People--Elders Sent to Teach Not to Be Taught--Blessings Will Rest Upon
Those Who Labor Among the Red Men for Their Salvation

One incident, I will relate, which occurred a few months after we went
to Wailuku, to show how the Lord hears and answers prayer.

We were very much in need of some means to buy stuff for garments, etc.
The natives were very poor, and we felt delicate about asking them for
anything; but we knew that the Lord would hear and answer our prayers;
so we prayed to Him. Brother Hammond had brought his wife and child
over from Lahaina, and they were living, as I have told you, in the
village close to Wailuku. He and I had to make a visit to a town about
twelve or fifteen miles distant, and before starting, we had prayed to
the Lord to open the way so that we might obtain what we wanted.

We had traveled from the house about three miles, when in passing some
houses which were on the beach, we met a man by the name of Freeman, an
American, who accosted us and inquired if we had authority to marry.
Upon our informing him that we had, he asked us if we could spare the
time to stop at his house and marry him. We told him as it was on
our way we would stop. I performed the ceremony, and at his request
addressed the people who had assembled at the house. He gave us a five
dollar gold piece.

We had married many before that, but this was the first money which had
ever been given to us. His five-dollars supplied our necessities, for
in those days we were content with very little.

I have always looked upon this as a direct answer to our prayers, for
when we met the man he was evidently on his way to Wailuku, with his
intended wife, to be married by the missionary there. The missionary
missed the fee, but as he knew nothing respecting it, he was no poorer.
I do not suppose he needed it as badly as we did.

It is always more pleasant for an Elder, when he is in need of
anything, on a mission, to apply to the Lord for it than to ask the
people; at least, I have always found it so.

The Lord blessed the natives who joined the Church in many ways,
and they rejoiced exceedingly in the gifts of the Spirit. One day a
young man made application to be baptized who had been so sick that
he was not expected to live. His elder brother was in the Church, and
the evening previous to his baptism the Elders had been called to
administer to him. He was so much restored by morning that he was able
to arise and afterwards attend the meeting, and was baptized.

The same day Brother Napela and some of the other native Saints had
visited a woman who believed in the gospel, who wished to be baptized;
she had been unable to walk upright for five years, but she was anxious
for them to administer to her, that she might be restored. They laid
their hands upon her and commanded her in the name of the Lord Jesus
Christ, to arise and walk. She immediately stood up and walked, and
went and was baptized.

This created quite an excitement in the neighborhood, for she was well
known, and the people were much astonished at her restoration. The
attention of numbers were turned to the gospel by this occurrence.

Another instance which happened about the same time was that of a woman
who was a member of the Presbyterian church. She was afflicted with
dropsy, or something very like that disease. She had tried various
remedies, but obtained no relief. She had heard about the gifts in the
Church, and she called upon Brothers Napela and Uaua to administer to
her, saying she was willing to covenant and forsake her sins. They
administered to her and she was healed; all the swelling left her and
she was baptized. On Sunday she attended meeting, and afterwards made
some remarks derogatory to the work, indulging in a spirit of apostasy;
her disease returned immediately, and she was as bad as ever.

Another instance was that of a woman, one of whose limbs was withered,
and who was afflicted with palsy. She was baptized, and was speedily
restored to health.

A niece of hers was afterwards afflicted similarly; she requested us to
administer to her, and when we did so, she was restored to health.

The same day that this latter person had hands laid upon her, we had
a meeting at a place called Waiehu. After the meeting was over, three
persons requested to be administered to, one of whom was a blind man.
He had been blind for upwards of thirty years, but his sight was
restored to him. He began to amend from the time hands were laid upon
him, and the next morning, he was able to see. He was afterwards able
to go about without any guide; and I have frequently seen him come into
meeting, winding his way among the people, without any aid, to a seat
which he was accustomed to occupy near the speaker. His restoration
caused a great stir in the neighborhood, for his blindness was well
known. He had a son, a mature man, who could barely recollect when his
father was able to see and go about without aid.

I will relate another instance of which I was not an eye witness;
but which I have every reason to believe occurred as I will relate
it. I have mentioned an Elder whose name was Uaua. He was a man of
considerable faith. His wife had been stricken down in his absence and
had been, to all appearance, dead for some three hours before he had
arrived at his house.

In that country when a person dies, the friends and relatives of the
family assemble together and manifest their grief by wailing. They were
indulging in these lamentations and outcries when he returned, every
one supposing that she was dead. He was, of course, very much shocked;
but the first thing he did was to anoint her and lay hands upon her;
and, to the astonishment of all who had assembled, she instantly

I might multiply instances of this kind without number; but I write
these, to show you that the same works and power of God, which were
manifested anciently through the faith of the servants and Saints of
God have been shown forth in our day and under the administration of
the people of God, who now live.

The natives of the Sandwich Islands had great faith to lay hands on
the sick, and also to have hands laid upon them when they were sick.
It was not contrary to their traditions for them to believe in this
ordinance, for their old native priests, before the missionaries came,
had considerable power which they exercised, and in which the people
had confidence.

Many Elders desire, when they are called as missionaries, to go to
enlightened and cultivated nations. They think their experience among
such people would be profitable to them, and that they would became
polished and learn many things which they could not obtain among a
people, for instance, like the Sandwich Islanders or the Lamanites.
Such Elders forget that the Lord sends His Elders out to teach and not
to be taught. Missionaries should not have the idea of self-comfort and
self-indulgence in their minds; but the salvation of souls.

The man who goes out expecting the people to whom he is sent, to
teach, enlighten and benefit him commits a great blunder. He does not
understand the nature of his Priesthood and calling.

I shall probably never forget the feelings expressed to me by John
Hyde, Jr., on this point. He had been called, at a Conference (April,
1856) at Salt Lake City, to go on a mission to the Sandwich Islands. He
came to San Francisco on his way. I was then publishing the _Western
Standard_ and presiding over the California mission. It was with a
feeling akin to disgust that he spoke to me about his mission. If he
had only been called to go to France, to England, or to any of the
so-called enlightened nations, he said he would have gone willingly;
but to go to a degraded, heathenish people was entirely beneath him. A
man with his talent and acquirements would be thrown away upon them.

He apostatized while on the voyage to Honolulu; or, to state it
more properly, he made up his mind while on the sea to dissolve his
connection with the Church. He was an apostate in his heart and
feelings before he left San Francisco. But can any one, who understands
this work, wonder that a man who felt thus should lose the Spirit and
apostatize? It would be a wonder if he did not.

The experience of the Elders who have been on missions to the Sandwich
Islands is encouraging to all who are called to go on missions to
the Lamanites. They may have privations to endure, but they will be
swallowed up in the joy of the Lord. I am sure the Lord makes up for
any lack of temporal comforts by an additional outpouring of His Spirit.

The soul of a Sandwich Islander or a Lamanite is as precious in the
sight of the Lord as the soul of a white man, whether born in America
or Europe. Jesus died for one as much as the other, and to the men of
red skins the Lord's promises are very great and precious. Those who
administer ordinances of salvation to them will have fully as great
joy over them in the day of the Lord Jesus as if they had been more

Blessed shall be the faithful men who have labored, who now labor, and
who many hereafter labor among the Lamanites for their salvation. In
such labor the Elders will enjoy the power of the Priesthood, the gifts
of the Spirit, and pure, heavenly happiness to their hearts' content,
and that is all they could enjoy among the races which they may think
more favored.

I say this because my own experience has proved it to be true, and
because of the great blessings and promises which are made to those who
shall labor for the salvation of the seed of Israel and the covenant
people of the Lord.

In what position could the sons of King Mosiah have learned as much
concerning the power of God as they did during their missions among the
Lamanites? Among what people could they have saved more souls? And will
they not have joy with them in the kingdom of the Father.

Thousands of Elders will yet have to labor among the red men for their
salvation. They should not look upon this as a hardship, but as a great
and inestimable privilege--a work in which angels delight to engage.

Chapter 16

Consolation Drawn from the Book of Mormon--Its Translation into the
Hawaiian Language--Great Joy in the Labor--A Committee to Raise Funds
to Purchase a Press, Type, etc.--Press, etc., Ordered, and Then Sent to
California--The Book of Mormon Printed--The First Translation into the
Language of a Nation of Red Men--Kindred Languages Spoken Through the
Polynesian Islands--The "Western Standard"

Some of my readers may be placed in circumstances similar to those
which surrounded me a part of the time on the Sandwich Islands; and
it may be profitable to tell them how I kept from losing courage and
becoming home-sick. My love for home is naturally very strong. For the
first year after I left home I could scarcely think about it without my
feelings getting the better of me. But here I was in a distant land,
among a people whose language and habits were strange to me. Their
very food was foreign to me, and unlike anything I had ever before
seen or tasted. I was much of the time separated from my companions,
the Elders. Until I mastered the language and commenced preaching and
baptizing the people, I was indeed a stranger among them.

Before I commenced holding regular meetings, I had plenty of time for
meditation, and to review all the events of my short life, and to think
of the beloved home from which I was so far separated. It was then that
I found the value of the Book of Mormon. It was a book which I always
loved. But I learned there to appreciate it as I had never done before.
If I felt inclined to be lonely, to be low spirited, or home-sick.
I had only to turn to its sacred pages to receive consolation, new
strength and a rich outpouring of the Spirit. Scarcely a page that did
not contain encouragement for such as I was. The salvation of man was
the great theme upon which its writers dwelt, and for this they were
willing to undergo every privation and make every sacrifice.

What were my petty difficulties compared with those afflictions which
they had to endure? If I expected to share the glory for which they
contended, I could see that I must labor in the same Spirit. If the
sons of King Mosiah could relinquish their high estate, and go forth
among the degraded Lamanites to labor as they did, should not I labor
with patience and devoted zeal for the salvation of these poor red men,
heirs of the same promise?

Let me, recommend this book, therefore, to young and old, if they need
comfort and encouragement. Especially can I recommend it to those who
are away from home on missions. No man can read it, partake of its
spirit and obey its teachings, without being filled with a deep love
for the souls of men and a burning zeal to do all in his power to save
them. Every Latter-day Saint should read it, as well as the other
records which the Lord has given to us.

The conversations which I had with the natives concerning the Book of
Mormon and the origin of the red men, made them anxious to see it.
After branches had been built up at Wailuku, at Waiehu and other places
around, by Elder F. A. Hammond and myself, I was led to commence the
translation of the Book of Mormon into the language of the Islands--the
Hawaiian language, as it is called.

My place of residence was at Brother J. H. Napela's, Wailuku. He was
an educated, intelligent Hawaiian, who thoroughly understood his own
language, and could give me the exact meaning of words. The meaning
attached to many words depended upon the context. It was important,
therefore, in translating, to know that the words used conveyed the
correct idea. Unless the language used carried to the Hawaiian mind the
same meaning precisely which the words in our translation gave to us,
it would not be correct.

Probably but few in the nation were as well qualified as Brother
Napela, to help me in this respect. He was a descendant of the old
chiefs of the Island of Maui, in whose families the language was
preserved and spoken in the greatest purity, and he had advantages
which no other equally well educated man, at that time, possessed. He
had studied the principles of the gospel very thoroughly, he had a
comprehensive mind to grasp the truth, and he had been greatly favored
by the Spirit. As I progressed with the translation, his comprehension
of the work increased. He got the spirit of the book, and was able to
seize the points presented to him very quickly.

In the last days of the month of January, 1851, I commenced the work
of translation. My fellow-laborers, the Elders, encouraged me, and
from the First Presidency at home--Presidents Young, Kimball and
Richards--came words of cheer, approving of what I was doing, and
counseling me to persevere.

The labor of preaching, baptizing, confirming, organizing branches,
administering to the sick and traveling around visiting branches, and
over other islands, pressed upon me and claimed the greater portion
of my time. Those were busy seasons for all who would labor, and they
were exceedingly delightful. The Lord seemed very near to us upon those
islands in those days.

The time occupied by me in translation, were the days and hours which
were not claimed by other duties. In the beginning my method was to
translate a few pages, and then, when opportunity offered, explain to
Brother Napela the ideas, whether historical or doctrinal, in great
fullness. By this means he would, get a pretty thorough comprehension
of the part I was translating. I would then read the translation to
him, going carefully over every word and sentence, and learning from
him the impression the language used conveyed to his mind. In this way
I was able to correct any obscure expression which might be used, and
secure the Hawaiian idiom.

The Spirit of translation rested upon me, it even became a very easy
labor for me. I obtained great facility of expression in the language,
and before I got through with the book, I had a range of words at my
command, superior to the great bulk of the people.

This was a very natural result. Doctrines, principles and ideas were
in the Book of Mormon which were outside the ordinary thoughts of the
people. The translation of these, called forth the full powers of the
language, and really required--that which I felt I had while engaged in
this work--the assistance of the Spirit of inspiration.

At some times in revising the translation, I had other intelligent men
present with Brother Napela.

In this way I went through the whole book, carefully reading and
explaining every word and sentence to him and to them; and if there was
an obscure expression, not leaving it till it was made plain. When it
had been thus revised I copied it into a book. The copying, however,
into the book, for the want of time, was never quite finished. But,
excepting that it was written in very fine writing, because of the
scarcity of paper, it really did not need copying.

The translation was finished on July the 22nd, 1853--about two years
and a half from the time I commenced it. But it was not until the 27th
of the succeeding September that we completed the revision.

My labors in the ministry have always been to me exceedingly joyful;
but no part of them ever furnished me such pleasure as did my work
at translating that precious record. After I commenced it, I had, in
preaching, an increased flow of the Spirit, in testimony I had greater
power, and in the administration of all the ordinances of the gospel
I felt that I had greater faith. I felt very happy. In truth, my
happiness was beyond description. Thankfulness constantly filled my
heart, because of my being permitted to do this work.

In December, 1853, I visited Kauai, the extreme westerly island,
which is inhabited, of the group. I had a double purpose in visiting
this island--to visit the Saints and bear testimony to all the people
concerning the work, and to again revise the translation of the Book of
Mormon. There was a native Elder laboring in the ministry with Elder
William Farrer at that time on the island, by the name of Kauwahi,
a man of acute intellect and talent and good education, and who was
called the most eloquent and best reasoner in the Hawaiian nation. I
was desirous to have him and Brother Farrer go through the translation
with me, to see that no word had been omitted, and to correct any
inaccuracies which might have escaped my previous reading.

We commenced this revision at the town of Waimea, the farthest
inhabited point west on the Sandwich Islands, on the 24th of December,
1853, and finished it on the last day of January, 1854.

While attending to this we did not neglect our other duties among
the Saints and people. During this revision, I read the book through
twice, with the exception of a few pages: once to Brother Farrer, who
looked at the English version, to see there were no words or sentences
omitted; afterwards to Brother Kauwahi, who also looked at the English
book, he being a little acquainted with English, to correct any
inaccuracies in the translation or the idiom.

Where there was an expression that was not very plain, or that was
out of the ordinary line of the Hawaiian thought--and there were many
such--I took pains to explain it fully to Brother Kauwahi, as I had
done before to Brother Napela, so as to be sure that I had used the
most simple and clear language to convey the idea.

In my journal I find that I say it was more free from mistakes than I
could expect it to be under the circumstances in which I was placed
at the time of translating--there were calls to preach, frequent
interruptions to go and administer to the sick, and often conversations
which distracted my attention; but in the midst of which I had to
translate and copy.

At a conference of the Elders, held at Wailuku, October 6th, 1853,
the question was discussed, whether it would be better to employ some
printing firm to print the Book of Mormon, or to purchase a press and
printing materials for the mission, with which to print that and other
works necessary for the instruction of the Saints. It was decided
that the better course would be to buy a press, etc. A committee of
three--Elders Philip B. Lewis, Benjamin F. Johnson and myself--was
selected to take such measures as might be necessary to raise the funds.

At that conference I was released from the charge of the Island of
Maui, and appointed to travel all through the islands, to collect means
for the publication of the Book of Mormon. And here it may be proper to
say that those who subscribed for one copy or more of the work, were
afterwards furnished therewith when it was published.

Brother Edward Dennis, a white man who had been baptized at Honolulu,
loaned the committee, on their note, one thousand dollars towards
the purchase of the press, type, paper, etc. These funds we sent to
Brother John M. Horner, California, for him to use for the purchase of
what we wanted. The Press, type and paper were purchased in New York,
were shipped around Cape Horn to Honolulu, and, as I had returned
home to Salt Lake Valley, they were sent to Elder Parley P. Pratt, by
his request, at San Francisco, California. He thought at that time of
publishing a paper there, and wrote to the First Presidency for me to
be appointed a mission to assist him.

I had barely reached home after an absence of five years. I remained
there about five months and a half. At the April Conference, 1855,
I was called to go on a mission to California, to publish the Book
of Mormon in the Hawaiian language, and to assist Elder Pratt in the
publication of a paper. Elders Joseph Bull and Matthew F. Wilkie
were selected to go with me. When we reached San Francisco, Elder
Pratt had started for home. I succeeded in reaching him at Brother
John C. Naile's ranch, where he was completing his preparations for
the journey. He set me apart to preside, in his place, over northern
California and Oregon, and we separated, he to go home, and I to return
to San Francisco.

Our first business was to secure a suitable office, set up the press,
and go to work. Brothers Bull and Wilkie knew nothing about the
Hawaiian language; but the copy, to begin with, was good, and they soon
became so familiar with the words that they could set it in type nearly
as well as they could English, and made but very few mistakes.

President Young counseled me to take my wife with me upon this mission.
My method of reading the proof was to get her to read the English book
while I looked at the proofs of the translation. By this means I was
able to detect any omission of words or sentences. After going through
the proofs in this way, I read them again, to see if any errors in
spelling, etc., had escaped me. This was my only way of reading by
copy; for I had no one with me who could read the Hawaiian. When we had
the edition struck off and bound, they were sent to the Elders upon the

Thus was the Book of Mormon first translated and published in the
language of a race of red men--a part of the race for whom its promises
are most abundant. The Elders who have since labored upon those
islands, know the good the book has accomplished. Its circulation can
never fail to benefit all who will read it.

The language of the Sandwich Islanders is a dialect of the Polynesian
language, spoken by the Islanders with red skins all through the
Pacific. Should the day ever come, as I trust it will, when the
natives of other groups shall be visited and brought to the knowledge
of the gospel, it will take but little trouble to adapt the Hawaiian
translation to their language. But whether or not, the book has been
published to the Hawaiian nation. The Lord plainly manifested that it
was His will that this work should be done, and for its accomplishment,
He opened the way most marvelously.

The publication of the book was not a part of my first mission; but
as the sketch of the translation would not be complete without the
addition of these few particulars respecting its publication, I insert
them. In addition, I may also say that, after the publication of the
Book of Mormon, the press and type were used for the publication of the
_Western Standard_, a paper which many of my adult readers may remember.

Chapter 17

Time of Departure--Funds Provided--Sorrow at Separating--Contrast
Between Our Landing and Our Departure--Souls for Our Hire--An
Exceedingly Happy Mission

The time had arrived for the five Elders, who had remained out of the
first ten who were sent to the islands--to return home. It had been a
matter of some thought how we would be able to obtain means to return.
The islanders had but little money. A dollar with them was a very large
sum; a ten cent piece was a much larger sum with them generally, and
more difficult to procure, than a dollar was to Americans. But when
they learned we were soon to be released, they manifested a very kind
and liberal spirit. Still, with all they had done, when our passages
were engaged, we did not have near enough money to pay for them. But we
had faith that the necessary means would come from some quarter. And it
did. Through the kindness of Elders Lewis, Johnson and Hammond and some
white brethren whom we had baptized, we had enough, and some money to
take with us, to help us when we reached San Francisco.

The Lord knew our wants and he supplied them. And thus He always does
with His servants and those who put their trust in him.

Elder James Keeler, one of the five, failed to reach Honolulu in time
to sail on the vessel on which we had engaged our passages. This was a
great disappointment to us.

Elders Henry W. Bigler, James Hawkins, William Farrer and myself bade
farewell to the Elders and Saints at Honolulu on Saturday, July 29th,
1854, and sailed for San Francisco, homeward bound. The wharf at
Honolulu was crowded with native Saints and others, to see us embark.
We had quite an ovation. There also were the Elders from home and
Sister Hammond--Sister Lewis was not able to be out--to bid us farewell.

When the signal was made for all to go on board, we had considerable
difficulty in making our way to the vessel, through the throng
of people who crowded around to shake hands. My feelings were
indescribable. My dear white friends I had been associated with on
terms of the closest intimacy for several years. Ties of blood could
not, it seemed to me, have caused us to be more attached to each other
than we were. We had endured privation and toil together; we had
counseled and prayed together; we had had seasons of joy and happiness
together, such as those only know who have been engaged in similar

My feelings were so acute at the thought of parting with these beloved
companions and Saints, that, long as the years had been during which I
had been absent from home, and much as I had yearned for that home and
its loved associations, I could not control my emotions.

How great the contrast between our landing and our departure! We had
landed there friendless and unknown--so far as man was concerned. Now
there were thousands who loved us, who rejoiced in the truth of the
gospel and in the testimony of Jesus. On that wharf that day was an
illustration of the wonderful power of the gospel in creating love
in the hearts of the children of men. We had gone forth weeping and
bearing precious seed. The Lord had given us souls for our hire. Many
who were baptized there have gone hence, who I firmly believe will be
numbered among the redeemed and sanctified. Others, doubtless, will
prove faithful, and receive an inheritance in the kingdom of our Father.

More than twenty-five years have elapsed since my departure from the
Sandwich Islands. During that period my life has been a happy one.
I have filled many missions, have seen great varieties of life, and
have had exceedingly agreeable and delightful associations; but, after
making allowance for growth and increased capacity to enjoy, I can
truthfully say that, destitute as we were of many things which people
brought up as we are think necessary to comfort, at no time or under no
circumstances have I enjoyed more sweet, pure and soul-filling joy than

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