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Church History

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An Apostle's Wish

To build Zion, early Church members tried different strategies to make land and food accessible to the poor. Not all efforts were successful, but hope was widespread. The situation that early missionaries in England found was more sobering. “O! Br. Joseph,” wrote Parley P. Pratt from Manchester in 1841, “millions of labourers are out of employ, and are starving in this country.” Many Church members were among the unemployed, he reported, and others were overworked for wages that left them without enough to eat. “This pains my heart,” Brother Pratt wrote, “and I sometimes feel as if I could take them all on my shoulders and upon my arms and carry them to Zion; but alas, the means is wanting. Yet we are enabled to work the deliverance of many by humbling the rich and exalting the poor.”

Parley P. Pratt, “Letter from Parley P. Pratt, 4 December 1841,” josephsmithpapers.org; capitalization modernized