During the two years named above, four of the Twelve Apostles and many of the leading men apostatized; and then, not satisfied with so doing, they began to join the mobs who persecuted Joseph and the Saints. This led the Church leaders to remove to Missouri, and soon after nearly all the Saints followed them to the land of Zion.
Topics.—1. The calling of the Twelve Apostles. 2. Calling of the Seventy. 3. The Kirtland Temple. 4. The apostasy at Kirtland.
Questions and Review.—1. From what body were the first Twelve Apostles called? 2. Who chose the names? 3. Name the first Twelve Apostles? 4. Name the present Twelve. 5. What is the duty of the Twelve? 6. What is the duty of the Seventies? 7. How many Seventies’ quorums are there in the Church? 8. Tell about the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. 9. Who appeared to Joseph and Oliver in the temple? 10. What causes many to fall from the Church? 11. What is the only safe way to remain faithful.
The mission to England.
In the year 1837, when the evil one was trying with all his might to overthrow the Church both at Kirtland and in Missouri, the Lord told Joseph that the time had come for “something new” to be done. This was to send missionaries to England and open the gospel door to that people.
Elder Heber C. Kimball was chosen to take the lead of this mission, and with him went Orson Hyde, Willard Richards, Joseph Fielding, John Goodson, Isaac Russell, and John Snider.
This was the first mission to any foreign country, and in those days of slow travel, a trip to Europe was no small matter. The brethren set out on their journey without purse or scrip, but the Lord opened up their way, and at last they landed in Liverpool, England, July 20, 1837.
They were in a strange country, had no money, no friends.
[Illustration: President Heber C. Kimball]
“Go to Preston,” said the Spirit of the Lord to them. Preston is a city thirty miles from Liverpool, and there they went. Joseph Fielding had a brother living in the city, who was a preacher, and on his invitation the missionaries held their first meeting in his chapel. This was the first Sunday after their arrival. The people listened eagerly to what the elders said, for it seems that a great many honest souls had been waiting for just such a message.
After the third meeting, the Rev. Mr. Fielding would not let the elders use his church, as he was afraid they would take away his congregation. From that time he opposed the missionaries, and was soon joined in this by other preachers.
However, the people had received a taste of the gospel and they wanted more, so meetings were held in private houses. On the eighth day after the arrival of the elders in England, nine persons were baptized into the Church by Elder Kimball.