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Dear Daniel: A Ride on a Camel’s Back

By: Ardis E. Parshall - December 20, 2011

Branching out a little from the letters addressed to Brigham Young, I find this gem written by Jacob Spori, missionary in the Turkish Mission, to European Mission President Daniel H. Wells:

Jaffa, Palestine, Dec. 13, 1886.

President D.H. Wells.

Dear Brother, –

The Gospel is gaining favor and some believers in different parts of this land. Many opportunities for preaching were offered during my last travels. In Asdod the Arabs listened with great attention, as they claim to see in the advent of Mormonism among them some of the prophecies of the Koran fulfilled. They treated me kindly, and I was unmolested, although I traveled alone and on foot, and some times in the night, from Jaffa to Gaza, then back to Asdod; thence to Jaffa and Jerusalem, and back to Jaffa. In some instances, Arabs offered me food on the road, and a ride on a camel’s back. In Sarona the opportunity was given by the German leaders to preach to a large number of men and women. In Jerusalem the leaders of the Temple Society treated me very gentlemanly; they spoke also with esteem of Geo. A. Smith, who was there in 1872.

Not far from Jaffa wonderful signs were seen one afternoon by many people. Soldiers and horsemen were seen in the air, and afterwards a dragon flying slowly in a southwesterly direction. I saw nothing of it, but many people maintain that they saw the wonders.

To-day I start for Beirout, in Syria. I have some letters of introduction to parties living there. From Beirout I shall return to Haifa, where I hope to find news from the brethren.

Two preachers, in Haifa, fought bitterly against the Gospel; one called me a child of the devil, and ordered me, in the name of Jesus Christ, to leave the room. Both of them soon ran themselves into such contradictions, both with reason and the Bible, that those present could easily see where the truth was. But it turned out that the truth was not exactly the thing they wanted, hence they chose error rather than truth. Still the Gospel is gaining some ground, slowly but steadily; and for this, and all the blessings of God, who is as true in Asia as in America, I rejoice.

Truly your brother,

J. SPORI



2 Comments »

  1. Hmmm…I wonder what prophecies of the Koran were fulfilled? Intersting bit Ardis, thanks! Have a Merry Christmas.

    Comment by Cliff — December 20, 2011 @ 3:46 pm

  2. Very cool! It’s been years since I’ve thought about Jacob Spori, but for some reason his name evoked a sense of adventure, similar to Gertrude Bell and T. E. Lawrence.

    Comment by Amy T — December 21, 2011 @ 1:10 pm

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