Comments « Meridian Magazine
April 13, 2021

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SuggestionApril 26, 2016

@Ron Barnes You should just add that on at the end then. It's pretty cheap to fly to Ireland from London. It could be the perfect way for you to round out the trip.

Ron BarnesApril 26, 2016

Interesting itinerary. However, I would not go to the British Isles and not visit Ireland.

Marty MacDonaldMarch 30, 2016

Sounds like Heber had a whale of a great success; just like Jonah

Clifford M DuberyMarch 23, 2016

No thanks, I am English from Surrey and Kent, but I am now in Victoria/Australia. Enjoy your trip, but don't forget England is my country and Wales and scotland are excellent for travel.

John DeightonFebruary 1, 2016

For those privileged few who manage to travel on this tour, you are in for an inspiring treat. Peter Fagg is undoubtedly and without exception the most experienced LDS Tour Guide available today. His wealth of knowledge, not just LDS is immense, but it's the way he delivers these inspiring historical lessons and insights which will enrich your soul and strengthen your testimonies, relish every moment with him.

MargaretJanuary 7, 2016

The comments from Ronnie Bray are wonderful. I knew Charles Dickens was an extraordinary fellow from reading and seeing his books made into film, play, etc. He did not seem to be a biased person and to portray his thoughts into words about the Mormon Migrant ships, shows his integrity. Thank you.

AndreaJanuary 7, 2016

If I wasn't totally broke and also going on a pioneer trek over these dates, I would love to do this!Hopefully by the time I finish grad school and have some money in the bank, these types of tours are still going on! :)

Ronnie BrayJanuary 7, 2016

British Poet Laureate, William Wordsworth, wrote a bitter letter to his American editor in 1846. It was coloured by the fact that his wife's niece had been received into the Church and was on her way to join the main body at Nauvoo. Although he had his own powerfully coloured opinion of the Mormon faith, he somewhat angrily seeks further information.Do you know anything of a wretched set of religionists in your country, superstitionists I ought rather to say, called Mormonites, or latter-day Saints?[My wife's niece] has just embarked, we believe at Liverpool, with a set of deluded followers of that wretch, in an attempt to join their society...She is a young woman of good abilities and well educated, but early in life she took from her mother and her connections a methodistical turn, and has gone on in a course of what she supposes to be piety, till she has come to this miserable close.Wordsworth was writing in the light of his understanding of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints according to the best information available to him. The best information was heavily biased against them. The poet's prejudice is evident in the terms he uses to describe his niece's new religion. He is also critical of her earlier interest in Methodism which reflects the hostility towards Nonconformism, independence, and enthusiasm then prevalent, which is surprising in the light of his sympathy with the French Revolution.Charles Dickens, a contemporary of Wordsworth, visited a Mormon emigration ship in London Docks. Dickens is remarkable for his power of observation, which he used, to full effect in recording his observation of Mormon emigrants. In his impressions of the Latter-day Saints as recorded in The Uncommercial Traveller, he called them "the pick and flower of England." Dickens wrote,BOUND FOR THE GREAT SALT LAKE Behold me on my way to an Emigrant Ship, on a hot morning early in June....My Emigrant Ship lies broadside-on to the wharf. Two great gangways made of spars and planks connect her with the wharf; and up and down these gangways, perpetually crowding to and fro and in and out, like ants, are the Emigrants who are going to sail in my Emigrant Ship....I go aboard my Emigrant Ship....But nobody is in an ill-temper, nobody is the worse for drink, nobody swears an oath or uses a coarse word, nobody appears depressed, nobody is weeping, and down upon the deck in every corner where it is possible to find a few square feet to kneel, crouch, or lie in, people, in every unsuitable attitude for writing, are writing letters.Now I have seen emigrant ships before this day in June. And these people are so strikingly different from all other people in like circumstances whom I have ever seen, that I wonder aloud, "What would a stranger suppose these emigrants to be!"The vigilant bright face of the weather-browned captain of the Amazon is at my shoulder, and he says, "What, indeed! The most of these came aboard yesterday evening. They came from various parts of England in small parties that had never seen one another before. Yet they had not been a couple of hours on board, when they established their own police, made their own regulations, and set their own watches at the hatchways. Before nine o'clock, the ship was as orderly and as quiet as a man-of-war."I looked about me again, and saw the letter-writing going on with the most curious composure....On the larboard side, a woman had covered a belaying-pin with a white cloth to make a neat desk out of it, and was sitting on a little box, writing with the deliberation of a bookkeeper. Down upon her breast on the planks of the deck at this woman's feet, with her head diving in under a beam of the bulwarks on that side, as an eligible place for refuge for her sheet of paper, a neat and pretty girl wrote for a good hour (she fainted at last), only rising to the surface occasionally for a dip of ink. Alongside the boat, close to me on the poop-deck, another girl, a fresh well-grown country girl, was writing another letter on the bare deck. Later in the day, when this self-same boat was filled with a choir who sang glees and catches for a long time, one of the singers, a girl, sang her part mechanically all the while, and wrote a letter in the bottom of the boat while doing so."A stranger would be puzzled to guess the right name for these people, Mr. Uncommercial," says the captain."Indeed he would.""If you hadn't known, could you ever have supposed---?""How could I! I should have said that they were in their degree, the pick and flower of England.""So should I," says the captain."How many are they?" "Eight hundred in round numbers."I think the most noticeable characteristic in the eight hundred as a mass, was their exemption from hurry.Eight hundred what? "Geese, villain?" EIGHT HUNDRED MORMONS. I, Uncommercial Traveller for the firm of Human Interest Brothers, had come aboard this Emigrant Ship to see what Eight hundred Latter-day Saints were like, and I found them (to the rout and overthrow of all my expectations) like what I now describe with scrupulous exactness.UNCOMMERCIAL. These are a very fine set of people you have brought together here.MORMON AGENT. Yes, sir, they are a very fine set of people.UNCOMMERCIAL. (looking about). Indeed, I think it would be difficult to find Eight hundred people together anywhere else, and find so much beauty and so much strength and capacity for work among them.MORMON AGENT. (not looking about, but looking steadily at Uncommercial). I think so. --We sent out about a thousand more yes'day, from Liverpool.Dickens continues in similar vein for the remainder of the chapter. To his credit he deals with the Latter-day Saints fairly in spite of his presuppositions which had prepared him to encounter another kind of people than those he met on board the Amazon. It is probable that before his direct experience of Latter Day Saints all he knew about them was gained from reading material containing negative imagery. It is to his credit that he describes his experiences among the Mormon emigrants "with scrupulous exactness," which is the analogue of honesty.



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