165 years ago today - Dec 2, 1857

[Wilford Woodruff]
We Can now clearly see the Hand of God made visably bear in our behalf Concerning the Campaign of our Enemies against us this season past. The American Government with James Bucannan at their head as president, have sent forth An Armey of 2,500 men fully armed and Equipt for war for the sole purpose of destroying the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints & the Kingdom of God from off the Earth. This Church and kingdom of God has been driven from the midst of the people in the United States into the vallies of the Rocky Mountains a thousand miles from the Confines of what is Called Gentile Civilization whare they were in hopes we would perish. But as soon as they found that we would live & prosper they became alarmed & were resolved upon our destruction and Hence they send their armies out to accomplish their Hellish purpose.

As soon as it was known unto us Presidet Brigham Young the prophet Seer and Revelator & leader of the Church and kingdom of God Rose up in the strength of Israel God and proclaimed Israel Free and said they should be Free from that hour if they would obey his Council & follow his precept. His Councillors Heber C Kimball & Daniel H Wells and also the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles backed up his Testimony & sustained him in his decissions And all the people said Amen. So let it be.

Presidet Young testified unto the people in the name of God if they would be United with him in their faith prayers & works that the Enemy Should not have power to come into our valley that the Lord would hedge up their way & we should not be Called to shed their Blood neither should they have power to shed ours. ...

From two to three thousand of the servants of God armed themselves & went into the mountains according to the Council of Presidet Young & they were lead by the valient & Noble General Daniel H Wells to Hedge up the way of the Enemy should they attempt to Come in. They formed large Entrenchments & ditches & pilled up large masses of Rocks in narrow passes so as to roll them down upon the Enemy & destroy them should they attempt to Come in.

But as the Prophets Brigham & Heber had said so it came to pass. The Lord fought our Battles & hedged up the way of our Enemies. When they Got on Hams Fork 150 miles from our City the storms & cold killed their Horses, Mules, & Cattle by Hundreds so that when the whole armey got together with the Govornor & Judges who had been sent by the Government to rule & tyranize over us they had not got team enough left alive to draw one third of their trains.

[Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

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