"We want men; Brethren! Come from the states, from the nations, come! And help us build and grow, until we can say, enough; the valleys of Ephraim are full."
Second General Epistle
"Let all who can procure a loaf of bread and one garment on their backs be assured there is water plenty and pure by the way, and doubt no longer, but come next year to the place of gathering, even in flocks, as doves fly to their windows before the storm."
Millennial Star, XIV, 1852
"Look at the poor in old England ... in the last letter that came from my son, William, he wrote that ... 'I feel to weep and mourn and lament when I behold the poverty of the people; they are starving to death, and there are scores and hundreds of my brethren in the poor houses of the country.' ... That is the case with our brethren there, and while you are here in the midst of luxuries; while you are enjoying these blessings of the Lord, can you see your own brethren afflicted? It is not only so in England, but in Ireland, in Scotland, in Denmark, in Sweden, and in all the nations of the earth."
Heber C. Kimball, quoted in the
Deseret News, Oct. 19, 1854
"The Lord never gave a commandment to his people, but what, if they would go with full purpose of heart and try to obey it, they could do so. The commandment to gather out to the land of America is just as binding on the Saints, so far as it is possible for them to accomplish it, as it was in the first place to be baptized for the remission of sins ...every impulse of the heart of the Saint, every hope of the future says, gather up to the land of America."
Millennial Star, XVII, 1855
"...as a result of the grasshoppers, and drought, the harvest of 1855 was reduced by from one-third to two-thirds, depending on the locality ..."
Leonard. J. Arrington
Great Basin Kingdom: An Economic History of the Latter Day Saints 1830-1900
"With a diminished food supply, the large emigration of this year (1855) was not an asset, but instead an added burden upon the strained economy. Rigid rationing of food would be necessary through a severe winter
... The sharp decrease in food production and the unemployment and distress in 1855 caused marked falling off in tithing receipts (the Church's revenue), and reduced donations to the Perpetual Emigration Fund to a dribble. Faced with these conditions, some Mormons advised curtailing foreign emigration for 1856, but the leaders, in the General Epistle of October 29, 1855, announced that the emigration should not be reduced, because 'the cry of our poor brethren in foreign lands for deliverance is great, the hand of the oppressor is heavy upon them, and they have no other prospect on earth through which they can hope for assistance.' Despite heroic efforts heretofore to assist emigration, the Mormons had been able to bring to Utah only one out of twenty of those who wanted to come.
In view of this situation, and the economic conditions prevailing, a cheaper mode of transportation was urgently needed. Under these circumstances was born a unique plan for overland emigration - by handcart."
LeRoy R. Hafen and Ann W. Hafen
Handcarts to Zion 1856-1860