Sunday, August 10, 2008

The India Mission

The Guide to Mormon Diaries and Autobiographies by Davis Bitton includes an entry for Chauncey Walker West's mission to India. The Guide states that Chauncey's record is on file at HDC (Church History Department of the LDS Church) and is an autobiography for 1852-1855. "The India Mission," was published in the Deseret News 5 (1855-1856): 198, 206, 230, 264, 286. This record was a "series of five letters describing missionary activities in India and Ceylon, 1852-55." The following links are to the letters that were printed in the Deseret News and are now published in the Utah Digital Newspapers online collection:
"The Nobility of Failure" was a devotional address given on 29 June 1999 by R. Lanier Britsch, a BYU professor of history at the time this address was given. Among the things he said in his talk, include the following:

"...Defeat is not the end for truly good men and women.

"Today I will share with you in brief form the story of 17 men who served the Church in a cause they considered a failure. The cause was the mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to India, Burma, and Siam (Thailand) between 1851 and 1856. I first became aware of this great chapter in Church history when I wrote about it in my master's thesis. Recently, with many more sources and resources, I have rewritten the story of the mission: Nothing More Heroic: The Compelling Story of the First LDS Missionaries in India (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1999)."

"The elders who served were obedient. They trusted in the Lord and in their leaders. Among these elders several announced publicly upon their arrival in Utah that they were ready to accept any future assignments from their priesthood leaders. Elder Chauncey Walker West wrote:

"I feel grateful to my Father in Heaven that my life has been spared to mingle again with the saints in these peaceful valleys, and I now report myself on hand for duty whenever the servants of God call, for the Priesthood is my law.
["The India Mission: Letter No. 5," Deseret News 5, no. 36 (14 November 1855): 286]"

Britsch closed his talk by saying, "That we may learn to distinguish between what appears to be success and what is success in eternal terms is my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen."

No comments: