Friday, August 23, 2013

Deseret News. Joseph Standing wrote a friend in Salt Lake, February 1876.

Elder Joseph Standing also wrote about his missionary service with Elder John Morgan. This newspaper article is of particular interest. Elder Standing stayed with Garrard and Eliza Ann Hamilton Morgan and described attending a Methodist revival meeting with John Morgan's brother, James. John Morgan frequently wrote of receiving letters from his brother James.

John Morgan and Joseph Standing--Missionaries
He Being Dead Yet Speaketh
Waiting for Joseph Standing's Arrival
1876 Missionary Companions
1876 March
1876 April
1876 April 4-8
1876 April 9-13
1876 April 14-18
1876 April 19-23

Deseret News, Salt Lake City,  Utah, 
March 22, 1876
Missionaries in Illinois – Here is how Elder Joseph Standing, a young man of this city, writes from Illinois, Feb. 25th, to a friend in this city --  “I left St. Louis on the 11th inst, for Normal, Illinois, where I arrived after seven hours travel. I stopped over night with the parents of Brother John Morgan, who told me he was at a place twelve miles distant, called Money Creek. I joined him next day, finding him in good health and spirits. The same evening we held meetings in a private home.”

“When I have heard the Elders at home tell of their missionary experiences, and the many different stories and misrepresentations that are told of us as a people, I could not realize that they were facts. But since I came to the State of Illinois I can understand things as they are. The past week Brother Morgan and myself held five meetings, four of which were in private houses, the public ones being closed against us, for fear that some unfortunate being might possibly believe in “that horrible doctrine.” We, nevertheless, had very good meetings and bore our testimonies in a manner that the honest in heart could fully understand.  

I had heard tell of the “Mourners  Bench” when at home but never fully understood it til one night at Normal, when in company with     brother Morgan’s brother James, I attended a Methodist revival.  I cannot say I enjoyed the meeting because to me it was something new and strange to see men and women, to the number of thirty or forty, stamping, shouting, and crying at the top of their voices. I have been taught to believe that ‘God’s house is a house of order,’ and any house different than that I do not want. There are great revival meetings being held throughout all this (McClean) county and it needs them, for out of a population of some 50,000 there are 2,700 cases on the dockets for trial.

Some of our whole-souled sectarian friends have expressed a desire for us to leave this vicinity and they think a mob armed with eggs would materially help us on our journey. If the eggs are dished up in the right style I will not object to them.  There is a great deal of prejudice against us and against those whom God has raised up to befriend us,  who have never turned out to listen to our teachings. All kinds of absurd stories are circulated about us by beings who probably had a hand in the expulsion of the Saints from Nauvoo.

“Brother Morgan has done much good here, and the testimony he has born will not soon be forgotten, and jointly, we will be of great help to each other, and by the aid of the Holy Spirit be the means of doing good to our fellow-men. We are traveling toward the Indiana border, and preaching at every opportunity.” 


  1. Wonderful! That's a great letter!

  2. I am wondering how you did find this article. I appreciate knowing that G Grandpa Morgan did get to spend some time with his family after he came West.

  3. Utah Digital Newspaper Project.

    My learning curve has been slow but the more I try the easier it becomes. I wanted to see if a letter Joseph Standing wrote to the Deseret News in 1876 had been published. I didn't find it. I found this letter instead, which raises all kinds of new questions. Were James Morgan or his family members Methodists? Standings description of the meeting he attended took me closer to a revival meeting than I'd ever been before.

    I am going to post Joseph Standing's May 5, 1876 unpublished letter to the Deseret News after I trace John Morgan's journal entries to that point.

  4. That was a good letter! Glad you found it!