You can find the history of Thomas here. He’s my great-great-great grandfather, the first in the Jackson line to accept the Gospel, and I’ve named my second son after him. You’ll see from this letter that he has a pretty strong testimony and is a great example to me. I’m copying this directly from his history that’s been entrusted to me.
Thomas Jackson returned to Manchester, England to serve a mission for the church, leaving sometime prior to Sept 1880 and returning in Sept 1881. The following is a copy of a copy of correspondence between Thomas Jackson and his brother John Jackson while in that city. The first copy was made by Thomas’ daughter Lydia.
70 Deansgate, Manchester,
Dec. 9th, 1880
I dare say you will think it strange that I have not asked you to go and stop at our house. A few words of explanation may set the matter at rest.
For my own part I have lived too long in the world to care what a man’s religious opinions are but it is not so with all. Our young people feel strangely on the matter, they say; “That my brother as Thomas Jackson, would be always welcome, even if he was as poor as Lazerus, still being my brother they would be glad to see him, but “Thomas Jackson, the Mormon Elder, and the husband of three wives, the Preacher and the Practicer of Poligamy, they cannot welcome.”
I am master of my own house and can ask those I think proper and I would use my authority in this case, but you would not feel comfortable, if you were not made welcome and were received with black looks and cold noses.
I am very sorry to have to write so to you, but I feel it necessary to do so, in order that there be no mis-understanding.
You will know now, why I don’t ask you to stay with me. I shall be glad to see you at a time you may care to call at Deansgate or to help you in any way that I can to the extent of my ability.
We are very happy at home and I don’t care to risk the peace of my house, if I can help it.
You believe your religion to be true, or you would not incur the odium that attaches to it, and I respect your conscientiousness at the same time I must say that to me it is only a delusion.
If it be true, you are in this case called to suffer for the truth, and you will be rewarded accordingly.
I remain Your Affectionate Brother, John.
The next day, Thomas’ response:
99 Mill Street Ancouts,
Manchester, Dec 10th 1880
Dear Brother John:
I received yours of the 9th. I am not at all surprised at your letter, but I am greatly astonished that people of education should judge a matter before they have heard it, or make up their minds from newspaper stories. Why not give me a chance to show to your young folks the reason that I believe the religion to be true. “Prove all things and hold fast to that which is good”. If you have the truth, why are you afraid? Did I ever try to force my opinions upon you or your family?
I am ready to prove that God id sanction a plurality of wives or Plural Marriage, that hte scriptures do not condemn it. you seem to think Poligamy is all the principals of religion that we have, and all we think about. you believe it to be a delusion. I know it to be true and knowing it to be true I speak of it in the streets, in R.R. trains, in public talks, in cottage or wherever chance opens.
Now I am ready to meet any minister or six or eight of them or as many as you like to bring, either public or private, and should feel it a great pleasure to do so. If it be a delusion why not show it to be so?
Why they shall come from the East and from the west and sit down inthe Kingdom of God, with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the children shall be cast out, because they could not welcome those practical Poligamists.
Why Sir, you call darkness light, and light darkness; Why sir, for its sake I have made a thousand sacrifices. I know it to be the truth of Heaven, when crossing the burning plains, the sandy deserts, on the tended field, or in canyon deep.
While I have guarded my tent or cot by night listening to the howling of the wolf, momentarily expecting to hear the war whoop of the wily Redman, and in populous cities, on the deep blue sea, wherever I am, wherever I go, midst life or death, amongst friends or foes, It is Salvation for the Dead. i know it to be so by all the reasoning faculties within me, By the voice of inspiration. Had it bee of man it had long ago been destroyed. Every hand that is raised against it will perish and go down to the grave dishonored. Ask the God the Eternal Father in the name of His Son Jesus Christ and it will be made known to you, for this is the way that I know it.
Believe your brother’s testimony, repent of your sins and be baptized for remission of your sins and have hands layed on for the Gift of the Holy Ghost and you may know it is the truth. Now as to my going to your house, had you asked me I should have said “No”. I think it is not your young people. I shall try and always think well of them be the last time I was at your house your wife could not see me, that is enough for me, but never tell that she is an educated person, such treatment I have never met with. It is but a little while and the vale which covers your eyes will be taken away, then you will find out that the delusion has been on the wrong side.
My wives are sealed to me for time and all eternity, yours till death, or do you expect them again? If you should get them again what would your young folks say?
But I fore bare, I am,
Your brother, Thomas Jackson