Your kind favor of 25th ult. is before me, just received, and I hasten to reassure you as to the safety and reasonably good health of all the dear ones in our assembly in and around San Francisco—a majority of whom were privileged to attend our usual service on the 29th at the usual hour. We surely can rejoice in having been all so miraculously spared and having lost nothing but a few hours of inconvenience and in one case their earthly belongings.
In the name of our Church I desire to thank you all for your kind and brotherly interest in our welfare, and will state that there is no need at present of any material or financial assistance, but if it should become necessary in the near future I will gladly avail myself, on behalf of our dear ones, of such from your dear generous hearts and hands, but at present we are all well provided for. It was my intention to advise you concerning the welfare of our Church before this, and the omission was caused by the necessity of writing so many letters in answer to inquiries from so many different places and in seeking after those of our number who resided in San Francisco, so pardon my negligence.
This calamity has caused many thousands, like myself, to be without employment—not only the actual [R3782 : page 159] residents of the stricken city, but those who resided in the cities around the Bay, and what will result from it remains only to be seen by waiting and exercising patience and faith in God. It is impossible for any but those who have witnessed the effects of this catastrophe to conceive how complete was the destruction of what every one must confess was a wicked city. Brother Owen and myself viewed the ruined city from an eminence that gave us a complete view of both the burned and unburned districts. My estimate is that two-thirds of the city was destroyed, while Brother Owen thinks four-fifths was destroyed; but in either estimate it is very bad. What the suffering and inconvenience of many have been and will be for a time can only be surmised.
We can, all of us here, thank God for this object lesson, and the strengthening effect it has upon each one of us, as does every experience in life, and, as you say, assists us in recognizing in this the near approach of the Kingdom which shall forever end such calamities and afflictions.