A Young Folks' History of the Church HTML version
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
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.
"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
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.
Thus was the door opened, and the gospel soon spread in a wonderful manner. The elders
now separated and went to different towns, preaching, baptizing, and organizing branches
of the Church. Great crowds came out to hear them, especially in and around the city of
Preston. It was a most glorious time and full of interesting events which this little book
cannot tell you about; but here is a sample:
One day Elder Kimball told some of the brethren that he thought of going to a place
called Chatburn, to hold meetings. He was told that it would do no good, as it was a very
wicked place, and the people there would have nothing to do with preachers. Elder
Kimball went, however, and large crowds came out to hear him. While teaching the
people the need of repenting of their evil doings and being baptized for the remission of
their sins, Brother Kimball felt someone pulling at his coat:
"Please sir, will you baptize me?" asked one.