Orson Hyde travels to Jerusalem, 1841

The Painesville Telegraph published the following in the issue of March 13, 1832:

"They [the Mormons] have made one of their young fanatics [Orson Hyde] believe that he is a descendant of, or belongs to the tribe of Judah, & that it is his duty to repair to Jerusalem, to preach Mormonism, or assist in restoring to Jews their ancient city. He some time since [February 1] took up his march for Boston."(Painesville Telegraph 3 [March 13, 1832]:3).

In the 1840 Publisher's Preface in their An Appeal to the American People Orson Hyde and John E. Page wrote about the mission to Jerusalem:

"The circumstances which gave rise to this mission, are quite peculiar. Something near eight years ago [1832], Joseph Smith junr., a prophet and servant of the most High God, did predict upon the head of one of the publishers of this work, viz: Mr. Hyde, that he should yet go to the city of Jerusalem and be a watchman unto the house of Israel, and perform a work there which would greatly facilitate the gathering together of that people; the particulars of which, it is not necessary to mention here."(An Appeal to the American People: Being an account of the persecutions of the Church of Latter Day Saints [Cincinnati: Printed by Shepard & Stearns, 1840], second edition, p. iii, dated July 11, 1840).

Orson Hyde wrote in June 1841:

"About nine years ago [1832], a young man with whom I had a short acquaintance [Joseph Smith Jr.], and one, too, in whom dwelt much wisdom and knowledge-in whose bosom the Almighty had deposited many secrets, laid his hands upon my head, and pronounced these remarkable words: 'In due time, thou shalt go to Jerusalem, the land of thy fathers, and be a watchman unto the house of Israel; and by thy hands, shall the Most High do a good work, which shall prepare the way, and greatly facilitate the gathering together of that people.' Many other particulars were told me by him, at that time, which I do not write in this letter: But sufficient is written to show that divine appointment is claimed as the main-spring that has sent me forth from the embraces of an affectionate family, and kind friends as well as from the Lord that gave me birth." (Copy of a letter of Orson Hyde to Solomon Hirschell, [June 1841], contained in letter to "President [Joseph] Smith," June 15, 1841, London, England, Times and Seasons 2 [October 1, 1841]:552-53, Nauvoo, Illinois; see also History of the Church 4:375.

In February 1835 Orson Hyde was ordained a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Five years later fellow apostle John E. Page was appointed in April 1840 to travel with Hyde on the mission to represent the church in foreign lands. As things turned out Page did not accompany Hyde. In 1841 Orson Hyde was on his mission to Jerusalem. The following is an account of Justin Perkins who met Hyde after leaving Constantinople on September 21, 1841:

Sept. 21. We took passage on board the steamer Crescent, for Smyrna. We had a delightful view of Constantinople, as we left the harbor, and passed down the Marmora. Nothing can surpass its external loveliness and magnificence. The Lord hasten the time when St. Sophia, and all the hallowed temples of ancient christian worship, now in the hands of the enemy, may be rescued and filled with spiritual worshippers.
On board the streamer was a countryman-the Reverend Mr. Hyde, of Illinois! A Mormon missionary, on his way to Jerusalem! He had reached Constantinople two days before [September 20], and sent his message in writing to the Jewish Patriarch there, and hastened on, without seeing that dignitary, or waiting for an answer, in his zeal to reach the holy city. His particular object, he said, was the conversion of the Jews, who, he expects, are soon to return to Jerusalem. He had been twice in England, as he stated, since 1837, and as the fruits of his labors there, eight or ten thousand had embraced the Mormon system. He had also travelled in Germany, and was now preparing a book for publication in the German language, which was to contain the Mormon system. With very moderate cultivation, he evidently possessed no small share of tact and shrewdness. He was introduced to Mr. Goodell, as an American clergyman, and dined with him. From some source unknown to the Mormon, Mr. Goodell had received an intimation of his religious connexion [connection]; and with his Yankee birthright of asking questions, to the no small surprise of his guest, he at length bolted the inquiry whether he were not a Mormon; which, with a momentary embarrassment, the stranger [Hyde] answered in the affirmative. Conversation then naturally ran upon the peculiarities of the sect. Mr. G[oodell]. inquired whether they hold, that they enjoy the boon of inspiration. "Yes," said the Mormon, "and by the way," (patting his host upon the shoulder,) "I am thinking that you have just had a touch of it;" alluding to Mr. G[oodell].'s knowledge of his being a Mormon. The names by which the sect is called, were next mentioned. Latter Day Saints, said the Mormon, is the most common title among them. And how, inquire Mr. G[oodell]. with a slightly curling tone, do latter day saints differ from former day saints? We think they do not differ much [i. e. primitive Christians and his sect], was the Mormon's ready reply. Christians in America have probably more to apprehend than to despise, in that growing fanaticism; and it may be, in relation to its progress abroad, as well as in our own country. (Justin Perkins, A Residence of Eight Years in Persia among the Nestorian Christians [Andover: Allen, Morrill & Wardwell, 1843], 488-89, emphasis retained. Brought to my attention by Erin B. Jennings).

Orson Hyde finally arrived in Jerusalem on October 21, 1841 and wrote,

"On Sunday morning, October 24th, a good while before day, I arose from sleep, and went out of the city as soon as the gates were opened, crossed the brook Cedron, and went upon the Mount of Olives, and there, in solemn silence, with pen, ink, and paper, just as I saw in the vision, offered up the following prayer . . . "

Orson Hyde then gave a prayer of dedication and consecration of the land of Palestine for the return of "Judah's scattered remnants." (Orson Hyde to "Dear Brother [Parley P.] Pratt, November 22, 1841, quoted in A Voice from Jerusalem, or a Sketch of the Travels and Ministry of Elder Orson Hyde [Liverpool: Published by P. P. Pratt], [1842], 28-29. Also printed in Latter Day Saints' Millennial Star2 [January 1842]:133, Manchester, England and Times and Seasons 3 [April 1, 1842]:739).

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