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Church History Vol. 2 Chapter 22 Page 482

(~1841)

482 CHAPTER 22.

1837-1840.

WHEN Apostles Kimball and Hyde left England in 1838, they left the church in charge of Elder Willard Richards; who, though meeting local opposition both within and without the church, remained faithfully at his post of duty, and presided with acceptability to the church during the dark days of American persecution, when assistance could not be sent him.

In January, 1839, Elder Isaac Russell, who had formerly been a missionary to England, wrote to Alston, England, and caused much trouble. He claimed that Joseph the prophet had fallen and that the Lord had chosen him. President Richards, however, succeeded in meeting this influence and destroying its effect.

In England as well as in America the most ridiculous stories were told regarding the saints. On September 2, 1838, a lady by the name of Alice Hodgin died at Preston. Elder Richards was arraigned before the mayor's court on the charge of having killed her with a "black stick." He was discharged, however, before going to trial.

Some of the peculiar trials of Elder Richards are briefly told by Joseph Smith as follows:-

"While the persecutions were progressing against us in Missouri, the enemy of all righteousness was no less busy with the saints in England, according to the length of time the gospel had been preached in that kingdom. Temptation followed temptation, and being young in the cause, the saints suffered themselves to be buffeted by their adversary. From the time that Elder Willard Richards

(page 482)

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