Where is Your Faith?
May 1831 — Gathering of Emigrating Saints at Lake Erie, Buffalo NY
Brethren and sisters we call ourselves Latter-day Saints and profess to have come out from among the world for the purpose of serving God with a determination to serve him with our whole might, mind, and strength at the expense of all earthly things, and will you suffer yourselves to begin at the very first sacrifice of comfort to complain and murmur like the children of Israel? And even worse, for here are my sisters fretting for the want of their rocking chairs! And brethren, from you I expected assistance and looked for some firmness in you, but instead of that you are complaining that you have left a good house and now you have no home to go to and do not know as you shall have one when you get to the end of your journey, and more than all, you do not know but you will all starve before you get away from Buffalo. Who in the company has been hungry? Who has lacked anything to make them comfortable, as our circumstances would admit of? Have I not set food before you every day and made you all as welcome as my own children, that those who had not provided for yourselves might lack nothing?
And even if this were not the case, where is your faith? Where is your confidence in God? Do you know that all things are in his hands? He made all things and still rules over them, and how easy a thing it would be with God if every Saint here would just lift their desires to him in prayer that the way might be opened before us. How easy would it be for God to cause the ice to break away, and in a moment’s time we could be off on our journey; but how can you expect the Lord to prosper you when you are continually murmuring against him?”
[Just then a man cried out from the shore, “Is the Book of Mormon true?”]
That book was brought forth by the power of God and translated by the same power. And if I could make my voice to sound as loud as the trumpet of Michael the Archangel, I would declare the truth from land to land and from sea to sea, and it would echo from isle to isle until not one should remain of the whole family of man but that was left without excuse. For all should hear the truth of the gospel of the Son of God, and I would sound it in every ear that he has again revealed himself to man in these last days and set his hand to gather his people together upon a goodly land, and if they will fear him and walk uprightly before him it shall be unto them for an inheritance; but if they rebel against his law, his hand will be against them, to scatter them abroad and cut them off from the face of the earth. For God is now going to do a work upon the earth, and man cannot hinder a work which is for the salvation of all who will believe it unto the uttermost, even all who call on him; and it will prove unto everyone who stands here this day a savior of life unto life or of death unto death: a savior of life unto life if ye will receive it, but of death unto death if ye reject the counsel of God unto your own condemnation. For every man shall have the desires of his heart. If he desires this truth, the way is open to all and if he will, he may hear and live; whereas if they treat the truth with contempt and trample upon the simplicity of the word of God, they will shut the gate of heaven against themselves. And now, brethren and sisters, if you will, all of you, raise your desires to heaven that the ice may give way before us and we be set at liberty to go on our way, as sure as the Lord lives it shall be done.
Source: The Joseph Smith Papers, Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, Book 11, p. –book 12, p. , CHL.