The Project Gutenberg EBook of Precious Memories, by Various This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org. If you are not located in the United States, you'll have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this ebook. Title: Precious Memories Sixteenth Book of the Faith Promoting Series Author: Various Release Date: December 4, 2014 [EBook #47526] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK PRECIOUS MEMORIES *** Produced by Villate Brown McKitrick and the Mormon Texts Project (MormonTextsProject.org).
DESIGNED FOR THE INSTRUCTION AND
ENCOURAGEMENT OF YOUNG
COMPILED AND PUBLISHED BY
GEO. C. LAMBERT
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH
The assurances received of the beneficial effects of the earlier volumes of the Faith-Promoting Series encourage the hope and belief that the present volume may be none the less helpful and appreciated. Narratives of personal experience, especially when they relate to people familiar to the reader or the community in which he lives possess a peculiar charm to most people, and especially to the young, and may convey helpful lessons more effectually than homilies or treatises, however carefully written, are apt to. The reason therefor probably is that in the narrative the moral is applied in real experience whereas in the treatise or homily the moral is expressed in the abstract only, and doubt may exist in the mind of the reader as to just how to apply it in real life.
The hope is entertained that not only may the narratives contained in this volume entertain and at the same time tend to promote faith in those who read them, but that they may also incite others in the community whose lives have been fraught with incidents that would be faith-promoting if published to have the same reduced to writing and supply us therewith for use in the Faith-Promoting Series, or else furnish us with the facts and allow us to prepare the same for publication.
G. C. L.
Withered Limb Restored to Use—Sister and Mother Instantly Healed—Saints Preserved in Cholera Epidemic—Prophetic Advice to the Briggs Family—Consequences of Failure to Follow it—Voyage to America—The Mother Healed in Answer to Prayer—Satanic Threat Fulfilled in Mother's Death—Sickness and Recovery of Thomas—His Marriage—Premonition of Death—Death of Father.
Thomas' Responsibility—Journey to Wisconsin—Disappointment—A New Home Sought—Strenuous Life—Knee Injured—Intense Suffering—Given Up to Die—Stimulating Vision—Birth of a Daughter—Novel Runaway—Remedy for his Lameness—Sundry Efforts to Earn a Living—Chinch Bugs Threaten Destruction of Crop—Crop Saved by Inspiration.
Start to Utah—Obstacles in Traveling—Strained From Over-Lifting—Halted Through Illness—Journey to Utah Abandoned—Go to Springfield, Illinois—New Occupation—Money Made and Lost—Journey Resumed—Providentially Helped—Unexpected Meeting of Relatives—Work at Outfitting Post—Journey Across the Plains—Arrival in Salt Lake City.
Locates in Bountiful—Generosity of Neighbors—Recognized Home Shown Him in Dream—Burned Out—Runs a Saw Mill—Death of Wife—Child Terribly Scalded, Recovers—Brigham Young's Promise—Marries Again—Comforting Testimonies.
Unstinted Service—Inspiration—Goes to the Northwestern States as a Missionary—Health Fails and he Returns—Shocking Death of Son David—Limb Amputated—Patriarchal Blessing—Incident in Logan Temple—Trip to England to Obtain Genealogy.
His Life's Mission Found—Extensive Genealogy Obtained—Blessed in His Wives and Children—Death of Wife and Others—Third Marriage—Leg Amputated a Second Time—His Benediction.
Visits Birmingham Conference—Dying Girl Healed When Administered to—Prediction That She Should Be Baptised Fulfilled—Goes to Utah, Gets Married, Has a Child and Dies—Other Conversions in the Challis Family.
Mr. Clark's Intolerance—Elder Farrell's Influence Over Him—Baptisms in Stanwick—Clark Family Migrate.
John Anderson's Search for the Truth—Providential Way in Which He Was First Led to Attend a Meeting of the Saints—Embraced the Gospel—Firm Adherence Thereto.
Prediction that an Apparently Barren Woman Would Give Birth to a Son—Its Literal Fulfillment—That Son's Reverence for the Elder Who Made the Prediction.
Elder Bastian Inspired to Preach in the Danish Language Before He Had Learned It.
Thug Hired to Assault a "Mormon" Preacher—His Mission Divined by the Elder—A Prediction Concerning the Instigator—Its Literal Fulfillment.
WITHERED LIMB RESTORED TO USE—SISTER AND MOTHER INSTANTLY HEALED—SAINTS PRESERVED IN CHOLERA EPIDEMIC—PROPHETIC ADVICE TO THE BRIGGS FAMILY—CONSEQUENCES OF FAILURE TO FOLLOW IT—VOYAGE TO AMERICA—THE MOTHER HEALED IN ANSWER TO PRAYER—SATANIC THREAT FULFILLED IN MOTHER'S DEATH—SICKNESS AND RECOVERY OF THOMAS—HIS MARRIAGE—PREMONITION OF DEATH—DEATH OF FATHER.
BROTHER THOMAS BRIGGS, of Bountiful, Utah, a man who is noted for his zeal and integrity, has had a rather eventful life, the principal incidents of which he has had reduced to a type-written narrative for the benefit of his posterity. From this compilation and information otherwise obtained, the following items are culled:
He was born August 20, 1832, at Newark, Notting-hamshire, England. When six years of age he removed with his parents to Hull, where his father owned and operated a small vessel that plied about the coast and on the rivers, where the water was too shallow for large ships to navigate. His parents were religious people, but dissatisfied with the sects of the day, and therefore not members of any of them.
In the year 1848, the father heard of the Latter-day Saints, and, on attending one of their meetings, was immediately attracted by their doctrines. The mother could not be persuaded to attend a meeting for a long time because of the unpopularity of the "Mormons," and for the reason that their place of worship was in a somewhat disreputable part of the town.
When she did finally hear the "Mormon" Elders, she too, as well as Thomas, became interested, the latter especially so on hearing a discourse on "the gifts of the Gospel and the signs that follow the believer." Thomas at that time was sorely afflicted with what the doctors called a withered limb. What he heard set him to thinking, reading the Bible and praying. His parents had spent a large amount of money on having his left leg, (which had ceased growing, and was very painful,) treated by various doctors, but all in vain.
In the fall of 1848 the Father embraced the Gospel, and near the same time he took Thomas to a very noted doctor, in the hope that he would be able to cure him; but the doctor, after examining the boy, said his was a very bad case, and told the father confidentially that he could not live much longer.
On leaving the doctor's office the boy asked his father what the doctor had said about him, and received the discouraging reply that, in the doctor's opinion, he could not live to be a man.
Thomas determined to rely no more upon the doctors' treatment, but to appeal to the Lord, and if he could not be healed in answer to the prayer of the Elders to be satisfied to die.
The Elders at that time frequently held meetings at the Briggs home, so the very next time they met there the father informed the President of the Branch of the boy's wish. He was accordingly anointed with oil, after which the Elders laid their hands upon his head and prayed for him. He slept well that night and when he arose the following morning his lame limb was as sound and well as the other, and of the same length, although it had previously been fully two inches shorter, causing him to walk with a decided limp. A pair of shoes had been ordered for him with a specially thick cork sole upon the left one, to enable him to walk without limping, but as they had not been finished before he was administered to, the thick sole feature was the next day countermanded. The left limb had never been as vigorous as the other from the time he was three months old, and it was a few weeks after the incident referred to before it became as fleshy, although it was equally strong. After that one could not have told from the appearance of his limbs when nude which had been affected; nor, in fact, that either ever had been.
Near the same time Thomas' sister Elizabeth had a large and painful swelling come under her ear, and when the mother was almost worn out with sitting up and waiting upon her, the Elders also administered to her. Immediately afterwards she fell asleep, slept soundly all night and when she awoke the next morning the large swelling, which had been round and hard like a ball, had disappeared, and the loose skin hung down in the place of it like a bag upon the shoulder, with no evidence whatever of any discharge from it. It always remained a mystery where the discharge had gone to. Within a few days the loose skin dried up and peeled off, and new skin succeeded, without any sign of a scar.
An account of these two cases of healing was published in the Millennial Star of April 24, 1850, over the signatures of Henry Beecroft and James McNaughton, the two Elders who officiated, both of whom, as Brother Briggs remarks in his narrative, afterwards apostatized, which serves to illustrate the fact that however much the power of God may be made manifest through an Elder, he may still be overcome by the evil one unless he leads a pure life and remains humble.
Brother Briggs also relates an instance of his mother being healed in answer to prayer soon after the family joined the Church. She had been so ill for several weeks as to be unable to leave her bed, when one evening the Elders called and administered to her. She was healed immediately, arose and prepared supper for her guests, of which she also ate heartily herself, and then joined in singing hymns and entertaining until midnight, as if she had never been ailing.
On the 27th of January, 1849, Thomas, who was then in his 18th year, was baptized, and from that time bore a fervent testimony to the truth of the Gospel.
During a meeting of the Saints held in Hull soon after Thomas was baptized, a person spoke in tongues, and when the interpretation was given (which was by another person, and which was evidently inspired) it was found that it related wholly to Thomas. It was said that he would have many trials to pass through in life, and much suffering to endure, but they should be shown to him beforehand, and if he remained faithful he would come off victorious, and in the end wear a martyr's crown.
Thomas was not specially impressed with this incident at the time, but he had occasion to think of it many times afterwards, and also to see much of it verified.
In the year 1849 the cholera was very prevalent in Hull, and though many of the Saints suffered from it, but few of them died, being mostly healed by the power of God in answer to prayer.
In the year 1850 the Briggs family were greatly prospered, and were strongly advised by one of the Elders who enjoyed the gift of prophecy, to migrate to Utah. He said: "Brother Briggs, when you get sufficient means to take you to new Orleans, you go; then go from there to St. Louis, or you may never get to the valleys of the mountains."
The father, however, delayed starting until misfortune began to overtake him, when he was reminded of the counsel he had received, and hastened to obey it. They took passage on the ship Ellen, which sailed from Liverpool, January 8, 1851. The vessel had not proceeded far when, during a heavy gale, she collided with another ship, and was so badly damaged that she had to run into Cardigan bay, North Wales, and remain there three weeks while undergoing repairs. While there one of the sailors was badly hurt, and was sent to Liverpool; and Thomas Briggs, the subject of this sketch, volunteered to take his place, and work his passage across the ocean, and was allowed to do so.
After a fairly prosperous voyage the ship anchored at New Orleans on the 14th of March, and the Briggs family proceeded by steamboat up the Mississippi to St. Louis, where they landed March 26, 1851. There they met a man who had borrowed some money from the Briggs family in England, and who was now prepared to repay the loan, which helped them to make a new start, for the means with which they started had become exhausted.
Father and son sought employment and worked at whatever job was offered them—as boat hands, farmers' hired help, bottle washers in soda water factories, teamsters, putting up ice, chopping cordwood, etc. Sometimes they were home at night, at other times absent for a considerable period. The cholera was very bad in St. Louis at that time, and one night while Thomas and his mother were the only members of the family at home, she was stricken with the cholera, and appeared to be dying. He was prompted to get some oil and administer to her. Though inexperienced, he anointed and prayed over her, and she immediately revived, and in a short time took some nourishment. Before many days had passed she was as well as ever.
Soon afterwards, while Thomas was lying awake in bed one night, there suddenly appeared before his vision a personage dressed in black, who looking straight at him, said in a sneering tone: "You have saved her life this time, but I will have it next time. And when I get her life I will have yours." Thomas boldly answered: "You shall not!" He understood the personage to represent the power of darkness, and the person referred to as having her life saved to be his mother. He had reason to feel very soon that it was no idle threat that the evil one indulged in.
Thomas obtained work at a dairy, and by his diligence soon worked his way up to the position of foreman. In consequence of the prevalence of cholera and the frequent changes in the force of employees as a result, he was under the necessity of making occasional trips around with the milk wagons to keep familiar with the routes and see that the drivers were doing their duty. One morning while thus engaged he was met on the street by his father, who was greatly agitated, and who asked him to hurry home with him, as his mother was dying. Thomas hastened to her bedside, ready and anxious to do anything in his power to save her life. As he entered the room she turned her eyes upon him and said faintly: "Tom, be a good lad to your father!" These were her last words. Her life was ebbing fast away. She soon lapsed into unconsciousness, and in a very short time her heart ceased to beat.
The mother had not been long dead when Thomas was reminded of the threat made by the evil one, that he would get her next time, and also of that against his own life. About one year had elapsed since the threat was uttered, and he had now (on the 18th of August 1851) partially executed it.
After the burial of his mother Thomas resumed his work at the dairy, and his sister Elizabeth, who had been out at service, returned home and kept house for her father.
About the first of the year 1852 Thomas was taken suddenly ill with bilious fever, and brought home for treatment. The father, very much against the wish of Thomas, sent for a doctor, who attended him for five or six weeks without any sign of improvement; in fact, he continued to grow worse. The father became greatly alarmed and discouraged, lest he also should die.
Finally Thomas determined to have his own way in the matter of remedies, and the next time the doctor called he told him he had decided to take no more of his medicine, and to dispense with his services. He asked his father to throw away all of the doctor's medicine that he had, and to get him a bottle of olive oil, and he would take that and trust in the Lord for the result.
He took about half of the bottle of oil, which caused nausea, and he really felt for awhile as if he was dying, but after vomiting very freely, and thus relieving his system of a good deal of the poison which had accumulated therein, he felt better, and from that time improved.
As the winter approached Thomas felt the necessity of seeking a warmer climate to recuperate in, after being confined to his bed for eight or nine weeks, so went south to New Orleans, where he was soon rejoined by his father. They obtained work and did well, and had every encouragement to remain there permanently, but Thomas especially felt that his destiny would not be completely filled until he had joined his fortunes with the body of the Saints in the mountains. Furthermore, he felt that he had reached a proper age for marriage, and as he had made the acquaintance of a young woman in St. Louis, of his own faith, and in every way suitable, he was anxious to marry her. He laid his plans before his father, and they were heartily approved.
They accordingly returned to St. Louis, where Thomas was shortly afterwards married to the girl of his choice, Miss Ann Kirkham, by the Presiding Elder in St. Louis, Brother Horace S. Eldredge. He and his wife set up a temporary home in St. Louis, hoping to have the father live with them while making preparations for the journey, and then go with them to Utah.
The summer of 1853 was very hot in St. Louis, and much sickness prevailed, and many deaths occurred. On Sunday, the 27th of August, Thomas and his wife entertained his sister and his wife's sister at luncheon, and afterwards walked to the cemetery and looked at his mother's grave. While standing around it he was impressed to say, "Girls, it will not be long before we shall lay another in this cemetery lot!" It produced a profound feeling, and he tried, but in vain, to reason away the idea.
They returned home, feeling very sad and filled with foreboding. Even Thomas, though he felt sure his premonition would be fulfilled, was uncertain as to who the victim would be. When they arrived home, to their surprise they learned that Father Briggs had just been brought there in a cab, stricken with yellow fever. His feet were very cold, and when they were placed in hot water he said he could not feel any warmth in them. Thomas realized then that his symptoms meant death, but kept his thoughts to himself. The father, though confident when first brought home that he would recover, evidently soon changed his opinion, for he said to his son: "Tom, I shall never get to the mountains; but you will, and you must never forget the dead!" He died the following day (August 18, 1853), and was buried beside his wife, thus fulfilling the son's unwitting prediction, and leaving his son bereft of both mother and father within one short year.
THOMAS' RESPONSIBILITY—JOURNEY TO WISCONSIN—DISAPPOINTMENT—A NEW HOME SOUGHT—STRENUOUS LIFE—KNEE INJURED—INTENSE SUFFERING—GIVEN UP TO DIE—STIMULATING VISION—BIRTH OF A DAUGHTER—NOVEL RUNAWAY—REMEDY FOR HIS LAMENESS—SUNDRY EFFORTS TO EARN A LIVING—CHINCH BUGS THREATEN DESTRUCTION OF CROP—CROP SAVED BY INSPIRATION.
THOMAS felt keenly his responsibility, in being left at the age of twenty-one without earthly father and mother to appeal to for counsel, in being the only male member of his parents' kindred upon whom the duty rested of redeeming the dead, and in being so far separated from the body of the Saints, with a wife and sister to care for, without home of his own, and living in a city where death was stalking abroad and smiting his victims by the thousand. The prospect, though gloomy, only filled him with a determination to be faithful.
In October, 1853, Thomas and his wife and her parents left St. Louis to locate at Baraboo, in Wisconsin, where, they had been informed, land and stock were abundant, and could be had on easy terms. They expected to go up the river by steamboat to Galena, but on reaching Keokuk, Iowa, the water was found to be too shallow to float the boat, and the freight was transferred to flat boats, and hauled up to Montrose, opposite Nauvoo. But the boat, thus lightened, was three days getting over the rapids, and the passengers were without shelter and suffered from cold. On reaching Galena they hired teams to convey them to Baraboo, and when they arrived at that place they found they had been deceived in regard to it, as there was neither land nor stock to be had; the soil was very poor and the residents couldn't sell what little they did raise.
Thomas had spent his savings in getting there, and saw no chance of earning more. Having an acquaintance living at Hebron, one hundred miles south of Baraboo, he proceeded thither by stage, and, finding he could secure work there at splitting rails, he hired a man and team to go with him to Baraboo and bring his folks back. They arrived at Hebron just before Christmas, bought forty acres of land on time, and started in to earn a livelihood. He had not only his wife and sister to provide for, but his wife's parents and their family of six members relied upon him for protection and guidance at least if not for actual support. The weather was much of the time unfavorable for work, and the work—chopping and splitting large timber, and clearing land—new and strange to him, so that he not only felt it severely, but the family had little to subsist upon, and found it necessary to eke out an existence by using bran and shorts for food, catching fish, or killing an occasional squirrel.
The hardships and privations they endured during the first year or two of their life in Wisconsin were such as to try their very souls, and Brother Briggs pays a grateful tribute to his wife by recording the fact that she never once murmured. He was young and strong and full of endurance, and able to work almost night and day, and cared nothing for himself, his only concern being for those dependent upon him.
On the 13th of September, 1854, his first child was born—Ephraim, who brought cheer to the hearts of his parents, and as they became more used to their surroundings they felt more reconciled, and indulged in the hope of soon acquiring enough means to take them to the mountains. They bought another forty acres of land on time, and Thomas spent every hour that he could spare, when not working for others, at fencing and improving his own property.
While so engaged, in the fall of 1855, he hurt his knee very severely, when working in the timber, and, thinking it was only a temporary hurt, and not caring to worry his wife about it, he said nothing about it until the pain became so intense he could bear it in silence no longer. A doctor was sent for, and he prescribed for him, but no relief resulted from his treatment. He was told that an abscess was forming on the knee joint, and he could hope for no relief until it would burst. The limb continued to swell four or five weeks until it was larger in circumference than his body, and the pain almost drove him to distraction. His wife was almost worn out in caring for him, and his own prayers seemed of no avail. Most thoroughly and sincerely did he regret and repent of having wandered away from the Saints, where those bearing the Priesthood might have rendered him assistance.
Finally the abscess burst, and the discharge from it saturated the bed and ran down upon the floor. He was so weak and helpless that the only way those surrounding him could tell that he still lived, was by holding a mirror over his face, and watching upon it the effects of his breath. However, he continued to live, and in course of time to show a slight improvement.
In May, 1856, however, he had a relapse, and the doctor was hastily sent for. He attended him for several days and then declared he could do nothing more for him; he could not possibly recover, and he could not last more than a few days.
After the doctor had gone the patient dosed off for a few moments, and when he awoke he saw his wife standing by his bedside with tears streaming down her pale cheeks. Rallying his slight remaining strength, he said: "Ann, dry your tears, for I am going to live to go to the mountains, and shall there build a large house."
It was thought at first that he was delirious, and little credence was given to what he said, but later on he repeated the declaration and explained that the mountains and valley had passed before his mind in vision and he had seen the very place where his home was to be, and the spirit bore testimony to him that he would live to realize it. He was not shown what he would have to endure before the vision would be realized, but the assurance had a stimulating effect upon him.
A slight improvement was soon noticeable in the sick man, and by the 30th of June, 1856, he was able to be carried to the home of his father-in-law. His leg was still discharging, and there were nine holes just above the knee; the limb was also crooked, and the cords so rigid that it was feared he would never be able to straighten it again, even if he were permitted to recover.
Under these circumstances, and while his wife was weak and careworn after her long and anxious siege of watching over him day and night, and without proper nourishment or comfortable surroundings, she gave birth July 1, 1856, to Emma her second child, and, to the surprise of all concerned, she and the babe got along wonderfully well; which was a proof to the household that the Lord had not forgotten them.
On the 3rd of July, 1856, after Thomas had been taken back home, and when he was barely able to sit up, his father-in-law called and announced that he was going to town (Whitewater) the next day, to see his daughters, who were in service there. Thomas expressed a desire to go with him, as he was anxious to see his sister, who was also working there. Their only means of conveyance was an ordinary dump cart, drawn by a yoke of steers. A start was made the next morning, Thomas lying upon a mattress in the cart, and the father-in-law driving. Thomas fainted twice from pain before they had proceeded far, and each time, after he had been revived, the proposition was made to return home with him, but he was determined to proceed, and they continued on. His sister was overjoyed at seeing him, and arranged with the family she was working for to return with him, for a short visit. On the return journey the steers became frightened and ran away, and Father Kirkham, thinking he could outrun them, jumped off the cart and tried to get ahead of them, to stop them, but was soon left far in the rear. The end gate was lost in the race, and Thomas, lying upon the mattress, slid backward, and would have fallen out had not his sister, who was seated beside him, gripped the front of the cart with one hand and Thomas' collar by the other, and thus held him. After running frantically quite a long distance, the steers were finally stopped by a man who was along the road in front of them. The incident ended without any serious results, but it was a narrow escape for Thomas, who was as helpless, bodily, as a child, and who was partially hanging from the cart when it came to a halt. He couldn't help feeling that the devil was trying to execute his threat against him, and that a higher power had preserved him.
From that time his improvement was more rapid, although there were seven or eight running sores on his leg, and they kept him very weak. When he was able to hobble about on crutches, he used to have to carry his leg in a sling, suspended from his shoulder. When the limb hung down without a sling, it was so far from being straight that the toes were fully six inches from the ground, and the leg was much more painful than when suspended. How, under such circumstances, he was ever going to support his family, to say nothing of going to Utah, was beyond his power to foresee, and had it not been for the heavenly assurance he had received he would probably have lost hope.
About that time he met a man who claimed to be skilled in the art of healing, who prescribed certain herbs for his use, and told him to fill a bottle with angle worms and stand it in the sunlight until the worms turned to oil, and then rub the oil on his leg. He followed the directions, and his leg and health improved. After a few months he could touch the toes of his lame limb to the ground, and dispense with the bandages and sling.
The family removed to a stone quarry, and his wife boarded the men employed there at $10.00 per month each, and the family lived upon such scraps as were left from the boarders' table. Thomas was ambitious to do something, and tried sawing wood, at 75c per cord, and, though the exertion made his leg pain him much worse, he persevered, his wife quitting her housework from time to time to do the lifting for him, as he couldn't do it himself. Then he tried driving team to haul wood for a lime kiln. The men who accompanied him had to lift him on and off the wagon, as well as to load and unload the wagon for him, but this they did out of sheer sympathy for him.
In the spring of 1858 he moved back to the farm which he had lost, through sickness, the owner being willing to let the family occupy the house, and pay his wife for boarding men he employed at farming, while Thomas fed the pigs and did odd jobs.
On the 15th of September, his third child, David, was born. The larger the family grew the less likely it really seemed to be that they would ever reach the mountains, but Thomas fondly clung to the promises made him, that he should do so, and his faith in the Lord never wavered.
In the fall of the year he bought a span of horses and wagon, and spent the winter hauling wood into Whitewater, buying it for $1.00 per cord and selling it for $2.50 or $3.00. His leg was still very painful, but he could not content himself to be idle. In the spring of 1859 he obtained considerable employment on the roads, working poll tax for people who were too busy to work it out for themselves, getting $2.25 per day for himself and team. He also secured the privilege of cultivating a three-acre patch of a large farm, the owner of which was willing that he should have all he could raise on it. He planted it to corn, and raised 200 bushels to the acre, which, although corn was very cheap, insured them against want for bread and provided feed for the animals.
In the spring of 1861 he rented nine acres of land, and sowed it to wheat, with a fervent hope that if the Lord favored him with a good crop on it, he would be able, with what he had already saved up, to journey to the mountains.
On the 6th of April, that same year, his fourth child, Mary Ann, was born. She was welcomed as the others had been, notwithstanding the increased number it involved for the prospective overland journey.
The wheat planted grew well, and promised a heavy yield, but one morning it was noticed that numerous black bugs, called the chinch bug, had begun to devour the grain, or rather suck the sap from the stalks just as they were heading out, and it looked as if the next few days would witness the total destruction of the crop. One of the strange things about it was, that his seemed to be the only field in that vicinity that was affected with the bugs. While contemplating the shattering of his hopes, the Spirit of the Lord prompted him to go to the man who was working the other part of the farm and borrow a cradle (the best implement used at that time to cut grain with,) and cut a swath through the grain with it. He had an assurance that this would have the effect of stopping the ravages of the bugs.
He immediately went to the man and told him what he intended to do, and the man laughed at him, and told him it was a foolish notion. After some pleading and persuasion, however, the man took his cradle and cut a swath through the field, Thomas (whom the man evidently regarded as slightly demented) following along after him.
After the man had gone, Thomas knelt and offered up a silent prayer to the Lord, telling him that he had acted according to the promptings of His Spirit, and that he would leave the result with Him.
On his return he told his wife of the presence of the bugs in their wheat field, and what he had done. She felt very sorrowful, knowing that the habit of the bugs was, when they commenced on a field, never to leave it until it was completely destroyed, but he assured her that the crop would be saved.
The next morning Thomas hitched up his team, and, taking his son Ephraim, who was then seven years old, with him, drove up to the field. When he arrived there he was astonished to find that the road bordering his field fairly swarmed with bugs, that were making their way to a wheat field on the opposite side, and that the swath that had been cut through the field was covered with millions of the insects, that seemed to travel as if they were inspired. The field they entered was just about ready to ripen, and before the advent of the bugs, gave promise to yield forty bushels to the acre, but a few days later the forty-acre field was completely destroyed. The owner was so disgusted that he later set fire to the straw which was left standing, and thus cleared the land; and the language in which he denounced Thomas and the bugs was simply awful. Still he acknowledged, and so did many others, that there was something marvelous about the saving of one crop and destruction of the other.
Thomas wished his neighbor no harm, but he acknowledged the power of the Lord in what had occured. When his wheat was ready to cut, his leg was so much worse that he was not able to stand on it. Hired help was so scarce and hard to obtain that it seemed doubtful whether he would be able to save his crop after all. He finally induced the former who cultivated the adjoining land to cradle it, a little at a time, while the boy Ephraim raked it into bundles, and Thomas crawled on his hands and knees, and bound it. When threshed, the wheat yielded twenty-five bushels to the acre. He was gratified with the result of his summer's work, felt that the Lord had greatly blessed him and had strong hopes of being able to migrate to Utah in the following spring.
START TO UTAH—OBSTACLES IN TRAVELING—STRAINED FROM OVER-LIFTING—HALTED THROUGH ILLNESS—JOURNEY TO UTAH ABANDONED—GO TO SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS—NEW OCCUPATION—MONEY MADE AND LOST—JOURNEY RESUMED—PROVIDENTIALLY HELPED—UNEXPECTED MEETING OF RELATIVES—WORK AT OUTFITTING POST—JOURNEY ACROSS THE PLAINS—ARRIVAL IN SALT LAKE CITY.
IN THE fall and winter of 1861 Thomas had better health, and he hauled wood from Janesville, twenty-one miles distant, buying it for $1.00 per cord and selling it for $5.00 or $6.00 per cord, accumulating something thereby.
About the middle of April, 1862, Thomas, his wife and their four children started for Salt Lake City, a distance of nearly two thousand miles, with their earthly chattels loaded into one wagon, drawn by a span of horses.
The roads were bad in many places, streams frequently high, bridges in some cases washed away, houses occasionally long distances apart and feed scarce, all of which rendered travel very difficult for one who was unacquainted with the country and had no definite idea of the course he should take. Once they had to make an extra long drive because of not being able to obtain feed for their horses, and while crossing a series of swamps had the wagon mire down so that the horses could not pull it out. Leaving his wife and children in the wagon, Thomas went ahead until he found a house, roused the owner out of bed and hired him to take a fresh team back to help pull the wagon out of the mud. Both teams failing to move the wagon, the goods were carried out to where the soil was firm. Even then they had great difficulty in getting the wagon out of the mire, and Thomas, while standing in the mud and trying to raise the hind axle with a pole, so strained his side that he was unable to travel for the next three weeks, during which time they were under constant expense. By the time he was able to resume his journey the season was so far advanced it was feared they would not be able to cross the plains that year.
Thomas' sister had married some time before, and was living at Springfield, Illinois, and, on finding that it was too late to journey to Utah that year, he decided to go to Springfield and see his sister, as he feared he might never have another chance of doing so. They arrived there in June, and finding his sister and her husband living in the back part of a building that had formerly been used as a store, Thomas fitted up the front part as a restaurant, and made some money by operating it, but his health was quite poor and his leg very painful.
At the commencement of the year 1863 Archibald Buchanan, his brother-in-law, rented a stall in the market and proposed for Thomas to go in partnership with him, Thomas to do the buying and he to do the selling. Thomas closed up the restaurant and accepted the proposition. They did well during the year, and were feeling very much encouraged, but they bought very heavily of poultry and other perishable stuff for the holiday trade, and a thaw set in and caused so much stuff to spoil on their hands, that they lost nearly all they had accumulated.
A very sorrowful Christmas was spent as a result of their loss and disappointment, for they were counting upon what they had saved to migrate to Utah with. Thomas maintained hope in spite of the discouraging circumstances, and declared that he would go to Utah the following year if he had to walk all the way with a pack on his back, and his wife said she was willing to put up with any hardship she could to reach that goal.
After deep thought on the subject, Thomas took his team and son Ephraim, who was then a little over nine years old, and set off for a final trip through the surrounding region, to buy up supplies for the market, and announced to his wife and sister that it would be his last trip for that purpose.
For the first two days he met with little success, then fortune favored him; he was able to buy what he required for his load remarkably cheap, and arrived home and got his goods on the market just at a time when there was a strong demand for them at high prices. The profits from that single trip supplied him with sufficient means to warrant him in resuming his journey—not what he would require to go with a good outfit, but he feared if he waited for that he would never reach Utah.
After he had announced his intention to start, and while he was busy making preparations to do so, several different persons came to him with offers of partnership or other business propositions—some of them quite attractive—but he didn't dare to entertain them, lest the Lord would be displeased with him. In fact, he told his wife it was a trick of the devil, to get him to remain in that country. He and his wife conferred together in regard to the matter, not with any thought of accepting any of the offers, but to devise a way of hastening their departure if possible, lest they might be tempted to stay. They bowed in prayer before the Lord, committed themselves into His hands and asked Him to spare their lives and those of their children, and enable them to reach Utah in safety, and had faith that He would do so.
His brother-in-law did not want them to go, and not only did all he could to discourage them, but frequently declared that he himself would never go to Utah. The wives especially dreaded to part, lest they might never see one another again.
When the time for starting arrived, Thomas said to his brother-in-law: "Archie, you will yet come to Salt Lake City, and bring my sister with you!" He only scoffed at it, however, and insisted that he never would.
On the 29th of April, 1864, the family left Springfield, Illinois, with Utah as their destination—a distance to be traversed by team of about sixteen hundred miles. They had a good horse team and wagon, a good supply of provisions and $80.00 in cash. The eldest child was not yet ten years old, and the youngest three years of age. The parents were both in poor health, but they did not dare to give up or fail to hurry on because of that. Thomas' leg grew worse after starting, and soon got so bad that he could not even harness the team, the wife and eldest boy having to do that. They aimed to travel about twenty-five miles a day, but could not always do so, the roads being often bad, and storms frequently interfering with their travel.
They crossed the Mississippi at Keokuk, twelve miles below Nauvoo, which years before had been the home of the Saints. In passing through Iowa they traveled much of the time along the route the Saints pursued in their journey westward from Nauvoo. It was generally alluded to by the settlers as the "Mormon Bee Trail," and Thomas felt a certain pride in following in their footsteps, and also found comfort in comparing his circumstances with those of many of the Saints. Much of the country was very sparsely settled, and there was scarcely an able-bodied man to be met in the region, all seemingly being absent in the army. Many of the bridges along their route had been washed away, and he had to stop and make or repair bridges before he could proceed.
Many times on the journey they had reason to feel that there was a special Providence over them. Brother Briggs mentions one case in particular to illustrate the fact.
They came to a stream one day that was about fourteen feet wide, and too deep and miry to be forded. His wife wept from discouragement when she saw it. He tried to cheer her up, and went back to the last house they had passed to procure help if possible, but found only women and children there. Then he went down stream a long distance, in the hope of finding at least part of the bridge that had been washed away, but all in vain. There were no large trees growing near, but on each side of the creek some small cottonwood saplings were growing, none of them more than four inches in diameter. These he cut down and laid across the stream and put small brush on the top of them. He found it would bear his weight when he walked across it, but it was very springy, and not at all of a character to support a team and wagon; but it was the best he could do. He had his wife and children get out of the wagon and stand on the bank, and, after an earnest prayer to the Lord to help him in the emergency, he got in the wagon and whipped up the horses. To his astonishment, they crossed over the frail structure with ease, and the wife and children walked over.
Soon afterwards they met a man with a few sacks of corn in his wagon, which he was taking to a mill, to get it ground. They inquired of him how far distant the mill was, and he said fifty miles—a fair indication of how sparsely that region was settled.
After passing Garden Grove, where the Saints journeying westward from Nauvoo established a settlement, the roads were found to be better, and faster time was made in traveling.
They arrived at the Missouri River, opposite Nebraska City, in the night, and camped there before crossing. Very early in the morning they heard the whistle of a steamboat coming up the river, and knew from that the boat was going to stop. Thomas said to his wife: "Ann, what would you think if Archie and Elizabeth should be on that boat?" She replied that she couldn't think of any such improbability, and lapsed into slumber again.
When it was fairly daylight they crossed the river on a ferry boat, and when they landed, there, sure enough, was the sister and brother-in-law, thus confirming the promptings of the Spirit, and they had a joyful reunion.
His sister explained that after the Briggs family left them in Springfield they could get no rest until they packed up and followed them by the fastest conveyance they could find.
About eight miles farther up the river was a place called Wyoming, the starting point for the trains crossing the plains at that time, and they made their way to that point. They found that only a few of the Saints intending to journey to Utah had yet arrived, and so they had a chance to rest and let their teams recuperate before continuing their journey.
Trains of teams and wagons from Utah, sent east to convey the poor Saints from Europe and other countries across the plains, soon began arriving, as did also teams sent by Utah merchants for merchandise, which at that time had to be freighted by teams a thousand miles. Steamboats loaded with freight for the west also began arriving, and Wyoming soon presented a busy scene. Among the first of the cargoes were wagons, which had to be put together, and Thomas was hired for that task. Then the merchandise began pouring in, and it had to be guarded at night to keep it from being stolen, and he was next employed in that line. During their stay there, his wife and sister also did washing for the Utah boys who were there preparing to return home with emigrants or freight, all of which helped to replenish their funds, which were running low.
Before starting from Wyoming Thomas was advised to sell his horses and buy a yoke of oxen instead, and did so.
Henry W. Lawrence, a merchant of Salt Lake City, was there for a train load of merchandise, and persuaded Thomas to accompany his train of twenty-five wagons, and also hired his brother-in-law to drive team for him, thus insuring his passage to the valley and the fulfilment of the prediction Thomas made concerning him before he left Springfield.
Acting upon advice, Thomas bought a cook stove before starting, as it would only cost $30.00 in Nebraska City, and would be worth $250.00 when he got to Salt Lake. When he was ready to start he had only $3.00 in cash left, but he had two yoke of cows and one yoke of oxen, and plenty of provisions. As two of the cows were giving milk, he counted upon deriving some profit from the sale of milk on the road.
For the first few days everything went well with Thomas and his family, but then his leg grew worse again, and for a time he was not able even to yoke up his cattle. However, the wagon master had some of the Utah teamsters hitch up his team for him.
On reaching Julesberg the Platte river was found to be so high that the wagon boxes had to be blocked up to the top of the standards to keep the merchandise from getting wet, and they hitched fifteen yoke of oxen on to each wagon to go through. It took the train four days to cross the river.
Some of the oxen soon grew tender-footed, and had to be driven in a herd behind the train. George Merrick, the wagon master, furnished Ephraim a horse and hired him to ride behind and drive the loose cattle. Then it was found necessary to herd the cattle at night, and Thomas' brother-in-law was given that job, and kept it all the way.
Many dangers were encountered on the journey, some of them due to Thomas' helpless condition, but all were safely passed, and Salt Lake City was reached on the 4th of September, 1864, after a journey of 1800 miles in a wagon.
The journey had been fruitful in experience, and not wholly unprofitable, as he landed with $40.00 in his pocket, part of it having been earned by Ephraim driving the loose cattle, but most of it the proceeds of milk sold during the journey. The best of all, the family was in excellent health, and overjoyed at reaching the valley and finding people who manifested a friendly interest in them.
One of the first friendly acts of which they were the recipients, was the privilege granted them by Father John Vance, of keeping their animals in his pasture without charge.
For Thomas, Salt Lake valley and the surrounding mountains had a familiar appearance. He had seen them before in vision in Minnesota, when he lay wavering between life and death, and now as he recognized them his heart swelled with gratitude to the Almighty for sparing the lives of himself and family to reach the valley, the goal for which he had hoped and prayed and struggled for so many years. He felt that he could not do less to show his appreciation for what the Lord had done for him than to devote his remaining days in mortality to the service of the Lord. He felt that he would gladly do that and endure without complaint any further hardships that might fall to his lot if his children might only be preserved in the faith and manifest throughout their lives a love for the truth.
When he saw the walls of the Temple, then in course of construction, and realized its purpose, and at what infinite sacrifice it had been so far built, he was forcibly reminded of the dying exhortion of his father, to "never forget the dead," and determined, if the Lord spared his life, to fulfill his father's hopes in that respect.
LOCATES IN BOUNTIFUL—GENEROSITY OF NEIGHBORS—RECOGNIZED HOME SHOWN HIM IN DREAM—BURNED OUT—RUNS A SAW MILL—DEATH OF WIFE—CHILD TERRIBLY SCALDED, RECOVERS—BRIGHAM YOUNG'S PROMISE—MARRIES AGAIN—COMFORTING TESTIMONIES.
THOMAS and his family spent a few days in Salt Lake, studying over the question, of where to locate. While wondering what to do, the thought occurred to him to inquire where an old-country friend of his, named Joseph Reed lived, of whom he had heard nothing for fourteen years. While walking up towards the Temple Block he felt prompted to inquire at the Deseret News Office. He was there informed that a man of that name lived at Bountiful.
The next morning he took the stage for that place. He found the man he was looking for, and they had a long and friendly chat. Brother Reed advised Thomas to come and make his home in Bountiful, where he could find plenty of feed for his cattle, and where he might also obtain work. Or, if he preferred to go to a new region, where he could locate on as much land as he desired, Bear Lake Valley was suggested as a good place, though rather distant.
Thomas felt that he had done all the traveling he cared to for one year, and preferred to establish a temporary home to determine where he could locate permanently to the best advantage. He accordingly returned to Salt Lake City and took his family to Bountiful. They arrived there Saturday evening, and attended meeting the next day—the first time he had been so privileged for over ten years.
The family lived in their wagon for the first two weeks, and during that time Thomas was given the privilege of helping his friend husk corn, getting every sixth bushel husked for his share. Then he rented a one-roomed house at $3.00 per month and set up housekeeping in it. They had no furniture, but converted a large box, (which they had their clothing packed in while making their journey across the plains) into a table, and made seats by buying a few slabs and boring holes in them, in which to insert sticks to serve as legs. For want of bedsteads, they made their beds upon the floor. The room was not plastered, and they felt the cold severely at times, but they were thankful for the comforts they had. Under these conditions his son James was born, on the 6th of December, 1864, and, notwithstanding the winter was long and cold, the mother and babe continued to do well.
His nearest neighbor, John Spencer, proffered to lend Thomas two hundred pounds of flour until he could afford to repay it, and when he learned that it was the proceeds of wheat which Sister Spencer and her daughter had gleaned in the fields of their wealthier neighbors, after their harvest was over, his heart overflowed with gratitude therefor.
When their flour was exhausted, and they didn't know where to obtain any more, Joseph Reed offered to lend him flour or anything else in the edible line he had, and told him not to allow his family to suffer for want of food as long as he had any.
The generosity and unselfishness of these offers will be apparent when it is mentioned that flour at that time would sell at from $20.00 to $24.00 per hundred pounds.
He had not been living in Bountiful long when he recognized one particular locality as the very spot shown him in vision while sick in Wisconsin where he would build a house and make a home, and pointed it out to his wife. Upon inquiry of the man who owned the ground (two acres in extent, and unimproved) he found he could buy it for the sum of $100.00, and upon learning that he had no funds with which to buy it, the man was willing to give him time in which to pay for it. He bargained for it without hesitation, and after his first harvest paid for it in molasses at $4.00 per gallon.
In the early spring of 1865 he rented a few acres of land and planted the same to onions, beets, carrots, sugar cane and corn; he cultivated the land well, and obtained a good crop. In the meantime he built some sheds to shelter his animals, and a stackyard, and mowed quite a lot of hay on vacant land, and stacked this and his other produce in his yard.
In the early part of the following December, while he and his son Ephraim were away in the canyon after a load of wood, his stable and stackyard and their contents were accidentally burned to the ground. His first impulse on learning of it was to inquire if the family was safe. Being assured on that point, he said all that he had he had dedicated to the Lord, and if the Lord chose to make a burnt offering of it he had nothing to say. He would go on and work for more.
The fire not only had the effect of testing Thomas, but of developing the sympathy and generosity of his neighbors. Some of them gave him hay, others flour, etc., so that his loss by the fire was largely offset.
Soon afterwards Newton Tuttle proposed that Thomas go in partnership with him and buy an abandoned saw mill, in Holbrook canyon, and he did so. His activities during the next two or three years were largely in the line of lumbering, at which he worked very hard and effectively, first as a partner of Brother Tuttle, and later as sole owner of the saw mill.
On the 3rd of April, 1867, their daughter Hannah was born.
On the 23rd of March, 1868, he was elected school trustee, which position he filled for many years.
During that year also, the crops in this region suffered severely from the ravages of grasshoppers, and he, being called to act with two others in devising means and directing the work of destroying the pest, spent a good deal of time for the public good in that line.
In the latter part of that year he was called upon to help supervise the amusements of the young people, and prevent them from drifting into evil.
On the 13th of September, 1869, his wife gave birth to twins—Thomas E. and Elizabeth.
In that and succeeding years Thomas was used very extensively under the direction of the Bishop, as a kind of special teacher and peace-maker in the ward, in settling differences between neighbors, and laboring with backsliders to get them to do their duty.
On the 1st of June, 1872, his daughter, Martha, his ninth and last child, was born.
In the latter part of November, 1874, he fitted up a room in his house for a night school, for the benefit of any who could not attend school during the day time, and he himself, as well as many others, attended it.
About this time strong efforts were made to effect a species of co-operation among the residents of Bountiful, in the raising and marketing of garden products, and Thomas was appointed to take charge of the company that was organized; but, although he devoted much time and attention to it, the business did not prove successful, because of lack of union and experience on the part of the members.
His wife's health being very poor, he found it necessary to remain at home, and devoted himself to market gardening. He made a specialty of starting tomato, egg plant, and a few other vegetables (that up to that time had only been raised in very limited quantities in Utah) in a room of his house, in which he kept a fire constantly burning, and then setting them out much earlier than usual, on an extensive scale, and made it profitable.
He purchased some land on the bench above Bountiful, and also located quite an extensive tract, and extended the scope of his operations, his sons Ephraim, David and James working in company with him.
During the early part of 1876 his wife's health, which had been bad and growing worse for a long time, became such that he hardly dared to leave her. She was affected with dropsy, and much of the time almost helpless.
About this time he had a dream, which indicated to him that he would have to part with her, and when, on the 15th of July following, she suddenly died, the circumstances were in fulfillment of the dream, thus confirming what was predicted in tongues in 1849: that his trials should be shown him beforehand.
She had been a good and true wife, and mother, and he felt her death all the more keenly because of being in very poor health himself at the time. His leg, which was never free from pain, and always discharging, had been so much worse for some time that he could scarcely stand, and yet he felt compelled to assist in the work of the household, as well as to attend to his duties in the ward. Soon after the death of his wife, his youngest child, Martha, who was then four years old, in accidentally falling, plunged her arm into a pot of boiling brine which had just been lifted from the stove, and as she had a woolen dress on, which held the heat, her arm was practically cooked to the bone. From the top of her shoulder to her finger tips was like a piece of raw beef, and her father was the only one she would allow to wait upon her. As she could not lie in bed, she was kept seated in a rocking chair, and Thomas watched and waited upon her devotedly both night and day for three months. When he would dress her arm her agony would be so intense that she would tear the hair out of her head by the handful. It was only by the power of God that her life was saved and the use of her arm spared. When she did finally recover, her injured arm was just as good as the other.
The Temple in St. George had been completed by that time, and Thomas was strongly reminded of his father's dying injunction to "never forget the dead." He was so strongly impressed with the fact that it was his duty to go to St. George and have the work done for all of his ancestors whose names he had, that he talked the matter over with his neighbor, Newton Tuttle, who became so enthusiastic on the subject that he proffered to go to St. George with him, and to furnish the team to convey them on the trip.
Though impelled by the Spirit to go to the Temple, he still had doubts as to whether he would be allowed to engage in ordinance work therein, because of having the running sores on his leg. He accordingly conferred with Bishop Anson Call on the subject, but the Bishop was unable to answer his query.
Thomas then appealed to the Lord in prayer to know whether it was His will that he should go, and whether the dead knew what was being done on earth in their behalf. He had perfect confidence that the Lord would hear and grant his wish, as He had heard and answered his prayers many times in the past.
Directly afterward he had a dream in which he thought he was traveling from the north to the south, and that his wife's sister, Sarah, was with him. They were walking along the road, and he was talking to her of the things of the Gospel. They came to a very large field of wheat—the finest he had ever seen. He saw a number of men at work harvesting, as the wheat was ripe. Other men were seen lounging in the shade, and neglecting the crop, which seemed to be in danger of being wasted.
He asked his companion to observe the scene before them, as it was typical of worldly conditions—some doing their utmost to save the master's crop, while others are careless and indifferent.
All at once it seemed to grow dark—so dark that he could not see where to go, and he lost his companion. While standing still, wondering where to go, he saw a small light a long distance away, and as he approached it, it grew larger and brighter. Then a large white building appeared in view, such as he had never seen before. A number of steps led up from the east side, and the door stood open; but he could see no one around, and everything looked white as snow. He entered the door and looked around, and saw another flight of steps. At the top of the steps stood a woman whom he recognized as one of his neighbors, and who came towards him and embraced him.
He awoke and pondered over his dream, and came to the conclusion that the Lord had another wife for him, as the woman he saw seemed to be waiting for some one.
Some time after that he asked Bishop Call some questions concerning the dead, which the Bishop did not venture to answer, but suggested that he go and talk with President Brigham Young, and offered to go with him.
They accordingly visited President Young, who answered the questions that Thomas wanted to be enlightened upon in a way that was satisfying and very comforting to him, and explained Temple work to him in a way that he had never fully understood before.
After conversing about an hour, he said: "Brother Briggs, how many of the names of your dead kindred have you?" On learning that he had only seven names, he asked:
"And have you faith to travel to St. George, over three hundred miles distant, to do the work for seven dead persons?"
Thomas told him he had, and seemed surprised at his asking, for it had not occurred to him that it required a great amount of faith to do so.
"Well, the Lord bless you for your faith!" said President Young. "Go to St. George, and have the work done for those whose names you have. Travel comfortably and independently, making your own camp and sleeping in or under your wagon. Put the people along the way and in St. George to as little trouble as possible. If you require hay, bread or other supplies, pay for them. Then all the honor will be yours. You shall be blessed on the trip, and you shall never want for names of the dead to work for as long as you live."
He and Brother Tuttle secured their recommends to admit them to the Temple and commenced preparations for the journey. He also called upon Mrs. Ann Ashdown, the sister whom he had seen in his dream, and told her he was going to St. George, and asked if she would like to go along and become his wife and a mother to his children. He advised her to think about it, and give him a reply the next day.
The following day she gave her consent, and he told her to prepare for the journey. He then went to his son Ephraim and announced that he intended to marry, but didn't suppose that anyone could guess who his prospective bride was.
The son replied that he knew who his mother had said he would sometime marry, and named Sister Ashdown.
He then called upon his eldest daughter, Emma, and broke the news to her, as he had to his son. She too was prepared for it, and informed him that her mother, some time before her death, had predicted to her that Mrs. Ashdown would yet become her father's wife, either in time or eternity, as it had been made known to her in a vision. This was an additional evidence to Thomas that it was the Lord's will, for his wife had never even hinted to him that she ever had such an impression. She had, however, a short time before her death told him of two old maids with whom she had lived during her childhood, and who had sent her to school. She asked him to have the work done for them in the Temple, and to have them sealed to him.
Brother Tuttle and his daughter Emily, and Thomas and his daughter Emma, and prospective wife soon set out for St. George, where they arrived on the 24th of May, 1877.
They called upon Apostle Wilford Woodruff, who was then in charge of the Temple, the same day, and after he had endorsed their recommends, Thomas explained to him his condition, and asked whether he should keep the bandage on his leg or remove it. Brother Woodruff remained silent a few moments, as if communing with the Lord, and then told him to come to the Temple early the following morning and to remove the bandage.
Thomas recognized the Temple as soon as he saw it, as the building he had seen in his dream, and when he entered the Temple the scene was enacted that he had witnessed in the interior, although he had said nothing to anyone about the dream.
When his daughter Emma was baptized for his grandmother he received a powerful testimony that his ancestor had accepted of the work done in her behalf.
They all greatly rejoiced in the work they were privileged to do in the Temple, and felt amply repaid for the trouble and sacrifice which the trip involved.
They worked in the Temple during the whole of the week, and Thomas each day removed the bandage from his leg when he entered the Temple, as he had been advised to do, and noticed with interest and gratitude to the Lord, that there was no discharge whatever from the ulcers, but when he left the Temple in the afternoon each day, the suppuration recurred and continued until he entered the Temple the following day. Nor did he suffer any pain while in the Temple.
After finishing the work for all the dead whose names and genealogies they had, they drove out on their return journey a few miles and camped. That night, soon after Thomas had retired to rest in his bed under the wagon, his mother appeared to him. "You have made a mistake in giving in my genealogy," she said. "You have given the date upon which I was married instead of the date of my birth; but you need not go back now, as some of the family will soon come here, and then you can have the error corrected." She disappeared when Thomas was about to embrace her. This visit and the purpose of it, were testimonies to Thomas that the dead have a knowledge of the work being done in their behalf. It was also an answer to the prayer offered by Thomas when he sought for information upon that point. It was an evidence too, that the dead have some foreknowledge of things that are going to transpire; for, although Thomas was not aware that any of his family would visit the St. George Temple soon, he was informed by his son, David, almost as soon as he reached home, that he had decided to marry, and he accepted the father's advice to go to St. George and be married in the Temple.
UNSTINTED SERVICE—INSPIRATION—GOES TO THE NORTHWESTERN STATES AS A MISSIONARY—HEALTH FAILS AND HE RETURNS—SHOCKING DEATH OF SON DAVID—LIMB AMPUTATED—PATRIARCHAL BLESSING—INCIDENT IN LOGAN TEMPLE—TRIP TO ENGLAND TO OBTAIN GENEALOGY.
DURING the succeeding few years Thomas spent more time even than usual in the performance of his public duties in the ward, and the marvel is that he was able to make a living and do so much gratuitous work. He pays a high tribute in his memoir to the devoted service and efficient help he received from his wife, who was as kind to his children as if they had been her own, and of great assistance and comfort to him.
He and his sons generally worked in partnership in the raising and marketing of garden produce. In this they were prosperous, and their relations harmonious. The following is casually mentioned in his narrative, and will serve to illustrate the inspiration Thomas frequently enjoyed.
One day his son David had started to town with an extra big load of garden truck, and some time later, while Thomas and his wife were eating breakfast, he said to her: "Ann, David has broken his wagon, and is in a bad fix, as he is some distance from where he expected to sell his load."
It was learned when David returned in the evening that he had broken his wagon, and had great difficulty in securing another wagon and transferring his load to it, all of which delayed him about three hours, and when he arrived in town all the stores were supplied. Feeling very much discouraged, he was about to start for another part of the city, when a man from Park City happened along and looked at David's load, and, as he found it included just the things he wanted, he bought the entire load. The father told him it was through the power of the Lord that the man was sent to him, so that he might sell his produce.
One day when he and his wife were eating breakfast an impression came over Thomas that they were going to have trouble of some kind before night, and he mentioned it to his wife. Just then his son Ephraim came in and remarked that he was going to the canyon. His father asked him not to go, but to remain at home and work, as he thought that some trouble was going to occur. However, after the father had started to the city, Ephraim went to the canyon, and, in felling a tree, accidently killed one of his horses, by the tree hitting it.
About this time the Bishop of Bountiful was absent from home a great deal, and Thomas, acting as head teacher, was required to assume the Bishop's duties to a large extent; indeed from his memoir it appears that his public service consumed nearly all of his time. It is little to be wondered at that his sons and son-in-law, who had been associated with him in the raising and marketing of garden produce, decided to dissolve partnership and operate separately. Thomas, in his memoir, expresses gratitude to them for their forbearance in having been willing for him to devote such a large share of his time to caring for the poor, and other public duties.
One member of a company or association may feel willing (as Thomas did) to devote the whole of his time, if necessary, to gratuitous service, but if his interest in the partnership or association is based upon the assumption that his time belongs to the company, his associates in business necessarily become servitors when he serves, whether willingly so or not. Thomas' sons and son-in-law were good men, and not ungenerous, but were not prepared in their feelings to make unlimited sacrifice for the public good, and their revolt was quite natural. Later, however, his son Ephraim decided to still work with his father, and they built a greenhouse to be the better able to carry on their business.
The year 1882 marked the half century of Thomas' life, and he was deeply grateful to the Lord for having spared his life so long—much longer than he had hoped to live, and the joy he experienced in contemplating the future of his posterity. His love for the poor found expression on the first day of the year in his entertaining the poor residents of Bountiful, about fifty in number, at his home, and on the following day all of his children and all of his wife's children by a former husband came to his home loaded down with good things, and gave him a genuine surprise party, and had a time of rejoicing.
Having received a call from the First Presidency to fill a mission to the Northwestern States, a number of his relatives and friends gave him another surprise party on the 22nd of April, 1883, and presented him with a purse of $30.00 to help defray his expenses, for which he felt very grateful. He mentions in particular one poor widow who had to work for her living, who sent him $1.00 and a silk hankerchief.
On the 1st of May he left his home to labor as a missionary under the direction of Elder W. M. Palmer, and in his diary expresses a doubt whether a missionary ever set out under such circumstances as he did. The two running sores on his leg were very painful, and he walked with difficulty. While on the way Elder Palmer evidently realized for the first time how serious Thomas' ailment was, and expressed a doubt about his being able to endure the hardships incident to missionary life, and especially the damp climate prevailing in the northwest.
On reaching Minnesota, he was assigned to labor with Wm. H. Wright, of Ogden, but was taken so desperately sick soon after reaching his field of labor in Wisconsin that Elder Palmer hastened to release him, lest he might die there.
He arrived home a little less than four months after he left, having slightly improved in health during the journey home.
As soon as he was able to walk about, he resumed his former labors of caring for the poor and comforting and encouraging those who were weak in the faith. He records in his diary the fact that he was prompted by the Spirit to visit a poor woman who had been abandoned by her husband. As she had not previously been dependent upon the ward for help, he disregarded the prompting until the Lord warned him a second time to call upon her. He found then that she had been subsisting upon a few potatoes, and was really in need of food. He soon provided her with what was required to make her comfortable, and asked the Lord to forgive him for failing to act promptly upon the warnings of His Spirit.
About the middle of June, 1884, Thomas had a visit from his son David, who informed him that he had been so greatly blessed, and done so well materially, since he was married, that he had decided to go to school during the following winter, and prepare himself for a mission. Nothing that he could have proposed would have pleased his father more than this for he desired above all things that his posterity should devote themselves to the service of the Lord.
Only a few days later, June 19th, 1884, David stepped in front of the sickle bar of his mowing machine to unhitch his horses, after having been engaged in cutting grass about two miles from home, when the horses suddenly started, catching his feet in the sickle bar and nearly severing them. He had to go ten miles for medical aid, and the doctor amputated his feet. The weather was very warm, and blood poisoning set in, and on the 27th of June, eight days after the accident, he died.
Thomas was quite sick at the time, and was grief-stricken over his son's death. He had counted so confidently on his son's death. He had counted so confidently on his son's future development as a good and useful man, and the head of a large family, that he felt the disappointment very keenly, and could hardly be reconciled to his death.
During the summer of 1885, his sons were necessarily absent from home much of the time, and Thomas was under the necessity of working alone. While doing so he accidentally fell from his wagon one day, and hurt his lame leg very severely. The neighbors carried him into the house, and persuaded him to send for a doctor. The doctor came, and said the leg was very badly hurt, and that his patient would have to lie in bed for fully a month.
One night soon afterwards Thomas had a vision. He saw a bright light come through the east window of the room in which he lay, which seemed to move along the wall until it was opposite to where he was lying, when it stopped. A voice came from the light, which said: "Go to the hospital, and have that limb taken off; for you have a work to perform which you cannot do with the limb on."
Thomas was amazed, and kept looking at the light, when the voice was again heard, saying: "You doubt it, as you think if you go you will leave your family in debt, as you have not much money; but you need not fear, for means will be provided for you. And when you get the limb off, send for another limb, and you will astonish both saint and sinner, as you will be able to put it on as soon as you get it; and the train which shall bring your limb shall be delayed for a short time."
This was the vision, as far as he could relate it, and the light vanished the same as it had come. He told his family of it, and requested his son Ephraim to see Dr. Anderson, and tell him he was ready to have his limb amputated.
He went to the hospital on the 15th of December, 1885, and two days later the leg was amputated six inches from his body. Many of his friends, knowing his condition, expressed the belief that he would never come out of the hospital alive, but all went well, and on the 31st of January, 1886, he rode home from the hospital in a surrey.
While lying in the hospital, Brother Briggs asked a patriarch who called to see him, if he had a blessing for him. After looking at him for some time, the patriarch said he had, and placing his hands upon the patient's head, told him not to fear, for he should get well. He also said that angels were watching over him, and that he would live to accomplish a great work in the Temple—such as he had never conceived of.
For many months after Thomas returned from the hospital he experienced the sensation of pain in the missing foot. He could get no relief from it day or night, and found that it was wearing his wife out, waiting upon him. After much persuasion he induced his sons to exhume his leg, which was buried in the cemetery, straighten out the toes, which he felt must be in a cramped position, and put it in a larger box. About the time when the leg was dug up and the box opened, Thomas, though fully two miles distant, felt two sympathetic throbs in the stump of the limb, and then it turned ice cold. He remarked to his wife that they had taken the lid off the box. After the limb had been carefully wrapped in absorbent cotton and placed in a larger box, he felt very comfortable.
Early in March, 1886, he received a bill from the hospital for $85.00 and one from the doctor for $100.00, but had no money with which to pay either. Besides, the Spirit told him to get an artificial leg as soon as he could, and that would cost $100.00, if paid in advance. Money was very scarce at the time, and loans hard to obtain; but after praying to the Lord to direct him where to go to get some money, he had his son take him out with a horse and buggy for the purpose of borrowing some, without having any definite idea where to go to.
They had only driven a short distance when they saw some one coming towards them with a horse and buggy, and Thomas asked his son to stop his horse when they met. It proved to be Ether Coltrin, and Thomas told him he would like to borrow a little money. Brother Coltrin immediately asked if he could get along with $100.00, and was told that he could. The loan was immediately arranged for, and part of it paid to the hospital and the balance to the doctor.
Thomas then appealed to the Lord to know where he could go to obtain the price of the artificial leg, and a few days later Daniel Davis came to him and said: "Thomas, if you want to get a little money, I can let you have some." When told that he needed $100.00, he said he could have it.
He had the stump of the limb measured and the limb ordered in April, and in due time received, and the delay predicted occurred while the train bearing it was on the way. He was able to wear it immediately, and during the latter part of the year he and his family were laboring in the Logan Temple (which had just been dedicated) for the living and the dead.
Brother Briggs has recorded in his diary this circumstance, which occurred in the Temple while he was present: As a great many persons were on the stairs of the assembly room, President Taylor discerned in the multitude a woman unworthy of admission. He did not know her, but he said to President Card, "Turn that woman back." He afterwards explained that the Spirit had told him that she had no business there. It was subsequently discovered that she had a forged recommend.
Being unable to cultivate his land that year, Thomas let it out on shares to his sons, who planted it to tomatoes and cucumbers. Just as they had made sufficient growth to be looking fine, a terrific hail and wind storm occurred, one of the worst ever known in that region, but, although nearly all the surrounding crops were destroyed, those in Thomas' field were not injured—which he naturally considered very providential, and thanked the Lord for favoring him.
With the advent of 1888, Thomas was strongly impressed with the fact that it was his duty to go to England and seek genealogical information; in fact, this feeling had been with him ever since he was in the hospital, at the time his leg was amputated, and when many regarded his recovery as very doubtful. The Spirit of the Lord had said to him then, "Prepare to go to England in 1888, and hunt up your genealogy."
He was in poor health and without funds, but didn't feel that those facts would excuse him from complying with the requirement of the Lord, if he could borrow the funds, for whenever he had borrowed anything in the past because duty required it, the Lord had afterwards provided a way for repaying the loan. With a desire in his heart that the Lord would enable him to obtain the necessary funds, he attended the April Conference, and as he entered the Temple Block gate he saw a man standing there whom he was prompted to apply to for a loan. He explained the purpose for which he wanted it, and obtained the desired amount without hesitation.
He went to England, traveled 1800 miles after he arrived there, met many relatives, was kindly received, collected two hundred names of his kindred dead, and arrived home seventeen weeks after he started.
In the spring of 1889 prospects indicated a great scarcity of water to irrigate with, and Thomas was worried as a consequence. Besides, he found himself burdened with a heavy indebtedness as a result of his trip to England, but, by cultivating four acres of land in addition to his own, he paid off all his indebtedness and had enough left to keep his family well provided, so that he felt that the Lord had blessed him for following the promptings of His Spirit.
HIS LIFE'S MISSION FOUND—EXTENSIVE GENEALOGY OBTAINED—BLESSED IN HIS WIVES AND CHILDREN—DEATH OF WIFE AND OTHERS—THIRD MARRIAGE—LEG AMPUTATED A SECOND TIME—HIS BENEDICTION.
FROM the time the Salt Lake Temple was completed in 1893 Thomas felt it to be his chief mission in life to obtain genealogical information and labor in the Temple for his dead kindred, and he devoted every dollar that he could spare as well as his time scrupulously to this cause.
He heard of a man in England who was engaged in the business of tracing up genealogies, and employed him to trace up his—which he was able to do all the better for the start Thomas made while on his trip. He succeeded so well that after awhile it taxed Thomas' limited resources to obtain means to pay for the names he was getting for him, and a request had to be sent to suspend the genealogical research until more funds could be accumulated. The English genealogist, however, had got the spirit of the work, found unusual opportunities for getting the information and became so enthusiastic that he didn't want to quit, and furnished quite a lot of names without charge.
Thomas was so grateful to the Lord for inspiring him to undergo the operation and to recover therefrom, and experienced such a feeling of relief in being rid of the diseased limb, with its running ulcers, after having been encumbered therewith for thirty years, that he felt that he couldn't do enough to show his appreciation for what the Lord had done for him. He could put up with the inconvenience of wearing an artificial limb so long as he could feel assured that personally he was clean and wholesome and not offensive.
It must not be supposed that he was entirely free from pain, even after his severed leg had been exhumed. It might be comparatively painless when at rest, but the exertion of walking after he got his artificial leg always caused more or less pain. The pain, however, had been so much more intense before his leg was amputated, that, instead of feeling disposed to complain, he rejoiced over the improvement.
Nor did he feel that his labors in the Temple ought to excuse him from serving in the ward. He could only serve in the Temple three, or at most four, days in the week, and even on those days got home early enough to do some work in his garden or some visiting among the poor who were his special charges, it being his duty to receive and distribute the fast offerings among them and see that none were allowed to suffer. Then during the three or four days a week when he was not required to be at the Temple he devoted himself almost exclusively to home and ward duties.
Sunday was usually one of his busiest days. Attendance at meetings and visiting and exhorting the High Priests (over whom he helped to preside) or others who, because of sickness or sorrow or grievance required his fatherly attention and care, kept him constantly employed.
It was natural for him to be doing something. He was always an early riser, and if his own needs didn't furnish him with a sufficient incentive for constant exertion, his concern for others never failed to. He neither had the time nor disposition to be idle. Work to him was a tonic. He gloried in doing things, and in seeing the results of his labor. He many times felt the better for his exertion. At other times when fatigue might have furnished him ample excuse for refraining from further exertion, the work served as a counter irritant, in making him partially forgetful of his constant pain, and so he praised the Lord for his ability to work.
He had other things also for which he praised the Lord. He was grateful to the Lord for the faithful humble, congenial wives he had been blessed with, who found pleasure in simple lives, who could make the most of the bare necessities, who were good, economical and thrifty housekeepers, who preferred to make home attractive by its simplicity, to incurring a burden of indebtedness by incumbering it with incongruous luxuries. If their tastes had differed from his, if they had been extravagant and wasteful, and scattered while he gathered, if they had been lacking in sympathy or interest in the public duties to which he devoted so much time and attention, Thomas would have had a different story to tell of his life. His service would have been minimized and his suffering must have been greatly aggravated.
His children also had brought him much comfort and comparatively little sorrow. They developed no criminal tendencies; they were virtuous, honest, industrious and frugal, and if not as full of zeal as their parents, they at least retained the faith and enjoyed and deserved the respect of their fellows. They manifested great love and respect for their parents also, and the numerous occasions upon which his posterity assembled voluntarily around the parental hearthstone, to show special honor, afforded grateful relief to his pain-racked and strenuous existence. On one of these happy occasions his posterity presented him with a gold headed cane; upon another a costly gold watch, which, of course, he appreciated—not so much for their intrinsic worth as for the love that prompted their bestowal.
If any man ever loved his children, and gave them good counsel, and set before them a good example, and frequently and earnestly testified to them of the truth of the Gospel, Thomas Briggs certainly did. And if any of his children ever depart from the faith, adopt bad habits or fall into sin, they will not have their father to blame for it.
As his posterity increased, and many of them scattered out into distant parts, he was no longer able to exercise the patriarchal supervision over them that he formerly had. His sons, James and Thomas, removed to Star Valley, and made new homes, and soon afterwards the latter met with a shocking accident through his team running away. One of his eyes was almost put out, and his skull was laid open for three of four inches, but through the blessing of the Lord he recovered. Wm. Ray Briggs, a grandson, met with a shocking death in Idaho, while digging a well, through having a horse fall down the well on top of him. His daughters, Mary Ann and Ann E., also died in Idaho. On the 3rd of July, 1898, his wife, who had been his faithful companion and shared his joys and sorrows for almost twenty years, passed away.
All of these and other minor incidents of a fatal or sorrowful nature added to the burden of his suffering, but he bore up manfully under them, regarding death philosophically, as only a temporary separation, and never doubting that in the economy of an Allwise Creator he would yet enjoy with his loved ones an eternal reunion.
The death of his wife left him bereft and lonely, and subjected him to additional hardships, but he sought and found solace in work and in devoted attention to the poor and unfortunate, a comparison of whose circumstances with his own made him frequently feel that he had very much to be thankful for.
On the 11th of May, 1904, Thomas married his third wife, after living alone for nearly seven years. She was a widow named Ann Williams, whose husband died in England, where also she had left three children when she migrated to Utah for the Gospel's sake.
Two months after his marriage his wife started on a trip to England, which she had contemplated long before her marriage, and for which she had money of her own to pay. She also made a subsequent trip to England two years later, to visit relatives.
On the last day of 1905, Brother Briggs entered in his diary the following summary of his spiritual work for the year—blessed twenty-six children, gave thirty-four patriarchal blessings, attended eleven funerals, administered one hundred and ninety-four times to the sick (and adds his testimony that the Lord had heard his prayers;) also had done or caused to be done in the Temple in Salt Lake City one hundred and thirty-three baptisms, seventy-seven endowments and one hundred and twenty-four sealings.
This year's work was not thus summarized because the showing was in excess of any previous year, but rather because he had never previously thought of totaling up his year's doings.
In addition to the foregoing, he mentioned in his diary that during the year he had dedicated a number of newly erected homes and settled differences between several of the brethren.
In January, 1906, Thomas records in his diary that his eyes were very bad, and he made it a subject of fervent prayer to the Lord that his eyes might be strengthened and his sight preserved for a few more years. He arose the next morning with his eyesight greatly improved, and was grateful beyond his power to express therefor.
On the 24th of May, 1906, Thomas recorded in his diary that he was called to administer to Sister Mark Waddoups, whom he found to be suffering from intense pain. He earnestly besought the Lord to ease her pain, and He did so; but while his hands were still upon her head the Spirit made it known to him that she would die that day. He confidentially informed the nurse of the fact, and when he called later in the day he found she had passed away. This was in contradistinction to the positive impression he frequently received, when administering to a sick person, that he would recover.
In the latter part of September, 1906, according to a casual entry in his diary, he and a number of other brethren were called to the home of Sister McNiel, in Bountiful, to administer to a very sick child who seemed to be dying. The doctor who had been treating the case was present, and afterwards admitted that he really supposed every breath the child drew, before it was administered to, would be its last, but, to his great surprise, the child immediately afterwards fell asleep, and the next morning was well. The doctor declared it the greatest manifestation of the power of God he had ever witnessed.
Several entries in his diary in the early part of 1909 indicate that about that time Brother Briggs suffered an unusual amount of pain in the stump of his severed limb, due, as the doctors said, to the first operation not having been performed properly. It was accordingly deemed necessary to make a second amputation, but grave fears were expressed lest he might not be able to stand it, as he was in his 77th year. However, he felt himself that he would rather submit to it, notwithstanding the risk, than to continue to suffer indefinitely, and on the 6th of April, 1909, he underwent the operation. He rallied in a manner that surprised his friends, and six weeks later walked to meeting and back without a crutch.
In November, 1909, while Sister Briggs was absent on her second trip to England, her husband had a stroke of paralysis, which has somewhat affected his speech ever since, and greatly interfered with his activity. His tongue throughout his life had been to him a specially useful member. It has been well guarded, and never had brought him into trouble. He had, by his wise counsel and fatherly advice, been able to comfort and bring peace to many of his fellows. He had for many years filled the office of a patriarch and blessed and brought solace and hope to many others besides his own posterity, but his service to others during the past five years has been very much curtailed. His mind is unusually clear and strong for one who is eighty-two years of age, his eyesight good enough for him to read without glasses, and his body fairly strong; he suffers less pain than he formerly did, and is able to walk about to a limited extent.
He still works in his garden, which, however is greatly reduced. He has sold off his property, including the house he lives in (with a proviso for the support of himself and wife while they live, and their burial when they die,) and invested all the surplus in the work which he has had done for the dead.
The enormous number of five thousand dead persons have been officiated for by Thomas, or by persons whom he has employed, in all the ordinances necessary for their salvation, and he still has the names of hundreds of his dead kindred to officiate for. Thus has the prediction uttered by President Brigham Young, when Thomas had but seven names, and didn't know where to obtain any more, been fulfilled. His father's charge uttered on his dying bed, to "never forget the dead," has been so faithfully obeyed that it is safe to say that Thomas will have no shame in meeting that father when he passes from mortality.
The memoir and diary which Thomas compiled, and which was brought down only to the date when he was stricken with paralysis, ends with the following address to his posterity:
To My Dear Children:—
"I wish to say a few words to you. I can see that in a few years from now I shall not be with you; therefore I pray for the Spirit of the Lord to be with me, to lead my mind to write such things as will be for your good. I hope that you and your children will carry them out in your lives, and that the same spirit with which I write these few lines will give you to fully understand them; for when my tongue is stilled in death, these words will live in my posterity.
"I bear my testimony to you, that this is the work of the Lord, and I ask you to teach it to your children, and teach them to pray, and keep the commandments of the Lord, so that they may be free from sin.
"Teach them to understand their calling in the priesthood, and impress it upon their minds, that it is of God, and not of man.
"Teach them to read good literature, for trifling reading begets trifling thoughts, and trifling thoughts beget a trifling life; for bear in mind, that impressions firmly fixed on the mind, and long cherished, are not easily erased. Then, oh, how important it is that these impressions are good ones. Teach them that foolish spending is the father of poverty. Teach them never to be ashamed of work, however much learning they may be able to acquire. See that they are proud, but let their pride be of the right kind. Teach them self-reliance, and to never give up, without conquering every difficulty that they may be called upon to pass through in life.
"Teach them to be too proud to wear clothes that they cannot afford; too proud to be in company that they are unable to keep up with in expenses; too proud to lie, to cheat or steal; and also too proud to be stingy to the poor, sick or afflicted, or widows, and to fatherless and motherless children.
"Always have kind words to give, for they are as refreshing to the troubled heart, as rain to the parched ground. Bear in mind that little drops of rain brighten the meadows, and little drops of kindness brighten the world.
"My Children, my heart is full of love for you all, but I cannot write the blessings that the Lord has in store for you if you are faithful. I hope you will preserve these few lines, and read them over as often as you can, also the 5th chapter of Alma, and live up to it, for it is the word of the Lord in these latter days, as well as in those days. And when I am in my grave, you will look upon these lines, and say that I am not forgotten, for I tell you my children, that some great things are about to transpire, that the world knows nothing of; but be of good cheer, and be humble and prayerful, and watch as well as pray, that you may stand the day of trial, for it is coming, and it is near to our doors, and so is the coming of the Son of Man.
"Never give up, but stay on board the ship; she will take you safely through.
"My children, for this cause I left my native land; that you may make good and valiant soldiers.
"The Savior said to Peter, 'Lovest thou me?' Peter answered, and said, 'Yea Lord, thou knowest I love thee.' Then the Lord said, 'Feed my sheep.' And again he said the same words to Peter, and then, 'Feed my lambs.' And now, my children, try to realize that you have both sheep and lambs in your charge; and remember you will be called upon to give account for them. And if you can say, on the last day, 'I have done the best that I could, Father; I have fed them, and clothed them, and when the wolves were howling at them, I have watched over them night and day; and now Father, none of them have I lost,' it will be well. But if, on the other hand, you have been careless, and He should say to you, 'Where are the sheep and the lambs that I gave you,' and you are unable to give a strict account of them, you must draw your own conclusions as to the result.
"Teach your children to honor the Sabbath Day, and honor the holy priesthood in all things, and do it by example. Teach them never to find fault with the prophets of the Lord. Teach them to honor their father and their mother, that their days may be long upon the land, which the Lord their God giveth them. For these promises will carry us beyond this life, to a time when the Saints will receive their inheritance on earth.
"And now, my children, whatever of my follies you have seen, forgive me for the same, and I freely forgive you. You have been very good to me all the days of my life, and may the Lord bless you all for it.
"I have many things to say to you. I have just been thinking of the time when I used to call all my posterity together once a year, but now they are scattered far and wide. At that time I could give them instruction, but it now rests with my children to finish the work.
"My children, do not make light of the composition of these few lines, for they were written with a desire for your salvation, and if you will carry them out in your lives, they will aid you in reaching the Kingdom of God.
"In conclusion, I will say that my Father in Heaven has been good to me, and may the angel of peace be with you all, through all the days of your lives. God bless you, Amen."
VISITS BIRMINGHAM CONFERENCE—DYING GIRL HEALED WHEN ADMINISTERED TO—PREDICTION THAT SHE SHOULD BE BAPTISED FULFILLED—GOES TO UTAH, GETS MARRIED, HAS A CHILD AND DIES—OTHER CONVERSIONS IN THE CHALLIS FAMILY.
IN the year 1875 Elder Geo. L. Farrell, now a Patriarch of Cache County, was a missionary in England, and presiding over the Nottingham conference. He had not been thus engaged very long when he received a letter from Elder Richard V. Morris, president of the Birmingham conference, proposing to exchange visits with him, and enjoy the novelty of traveling through one another's conference. He concluded by inviting Elder Farrell to meet him at Northampton, thence to proceed through other parts of the Birmingham conference.
They accordingly met at the place named, and the host took the visitor to have lunch at the home of a member of the church by the name of Challis.
As they entered the house, they noticed a young couple, man and wife, seated at a table, who, on hearing Elder Farrell introduced to Brother and Sister Challis, hastily arose and left the house.
While the meal was being prepared, Elder Morris informed the guest that the young couple who had so suddenly departed were the daughter and son-in-law of their entertainers, and were members of the Church of England.
While the meal was being partaken of, Elder Farrell noticed that Sister Challis had an anxious look on her face, and that she left the table several times and made brief visits to a bed room. The last time she did so she appeared dejected, which aroused the curiosity of the guest, who with solitude inquired if she had some one sick in the other room. She replied, "Yes, sir. I have a daughter in that room who has been ill and bedfast for more than two years. We have had five doctors attending her, who have all given her up. The last one just left, declaring that she is bound to die soon, and that he could do no more for her.
"Don't you believe what the doctors say," responded Elder Farrell assuringly. "They don't know it all. The Lord still lives, and is ready and willing to heal your daughter, if she has faith in His promises. I would like to see your daughter."
The mother shook her head doubtfully and replied: "I don't think she would be willing for you to see her, as she is a member of the Church of England, and the minister and his family and the ladies and gentlemen of the church have paid all the doctors, been extremely kind to her and have done all in their power to make her happy and comfortable. They have so embittered her against the 'Mormons' that I think it would be useless for me to tell her that you wish to see her."
"Notwithstanding all that," said the Elder, "I still feel that I would like to see her. Please do me the favor to go and tell her who I am, and that I must see her."
The mother went into the room and was absent several minutes. Elder Morris in the meantime said: "I think you will not get to see her, for I have tried and have failed. Therefore I will go down the street a block and a half to No. 120, and if you don't get to see her come there, and you will find me."
After awhile Mother Challis reappeared looking more cheerful, and exclaimed, "Brother Farrell, she is willing for you to come in and see her!"
Entering the bedroom, he saw the most emaciated girl he thought he had ever beheld, bolstered up in bed, with a chair in front of her, upon which, and also behind her, pillows were piled to keep her from falling over. A coverlet was drawn up over the pillows in front of her, and upon it her bony and colorless hands were outstretched.
The Elder approached, and, taking her gently by the right hand expressed his sympathy for her suffering. She simply bowed her head in response, for she was too weak to speak above a whisper.
There was a small table with a large Bible on it near the bed. Seating himself and taking the bible upon his lap, Elder Farrell opened it mechanically, and before his eyes were the words of the Savior, commanding His apostles to go into all the world and preach the Gospel, which he read aloud. When he came to that part in which the Lord promised that certain signs should follow those who believed—that the sick should be healed, that devils should be cast out; that if they drank any deadly thing it would not hurt them, etc., he read that aloud also, and then quoted from James the declaration that the prayer of faith should save the sick, and that the Lord would raise him up.
He then called the girl's attention to the fact that he had not specially selected these passages, but that the Bible had fallen open as he placed it in his lap, and he had read the first passage his eye caught sight of. He then declared to her that he and the other Latter-day Saint missionaries held the same priest-hood that the early-day apostles held; that they were sent out to preach the same Gospel that they were, and that they were preaching it in the same manner—without money and without price; that they had authority to anoint the sick with oil and pray for them just as the first apostles had, and that the Lord was just as ready and willing to raise them up as He ever was. He testified to her that he had known hundreds of sick people to be healed, and assured her that if she had faith she could be healed.
On concluding he noticed the sick girl crook her finger as a means of beckoning to her mother, who immediately approached and put her ear close to her daughter's mouth, and listened for awhile. When she arose she said, "Brother Farrell, she wants to know if you will anoint her with oil and bless her."
"Certainly, I will be glad to do so, replied the Elder. Have you any oil?"
The mother replied that she had no oil, but said she would go out and buy some.
"All right, said the Elder, you please buy a bottle of olive oil, and while you are out call at No. 120 and ask Elder Morris to come up, and we will anoint and bless her."
While the mother was absent Elder Farrell talked encouragingly to the girl, and when the oil arrived the missionaries proceeded to bless and consecrate it, Elder Morris offering the prayer.
The mother was then asked to inquire of her daughter who she would like to anoint her and the girl pointed to Elder Farrell to signify that he was her choice.
He anointed her head and the bare part of her neck and arms and the palms of her hands, which seemed very feverish, after which the mother asked the girl who she would like to lead in the prayer of confirmation. Again she indicated that she preferred Elder Farrell to do so.
In offering the prayer Elder Farrell afterwards declared that he had never before experienced such a feeling. The Spirit seemed to take complete possession of his mind, and while he felt a positive assurance that she was going to recover, he could scarcely recall all that he said.
The Elders soon afterwards bade the family good by and left. While walking down the street towards their lodgings Elder Morris exclaimed "Brother Farrell, you frightened me! You promised that girl that if she had faith she would walk to the water and be baptized within three months. She hasn't been out of that bed for two years, to my certain knowledge."
"I can't help it, Brother Morris. It wasn't I who did it. It was the Lord. I never was so led by the Spirit in administering to a person in my life. The Lord is able to fulfill it. You watch and see if He doesn't do it." He promised to do so, but in about one month he was released to return home. Before starting home, however, he told sister Challis that Elder Farrell would be in Northampton on a certain day, and would probably call and see the family. When he arrived at the house he found the sick girl sitting up, knitting a woolen shawl with large wooden needles. On seeing him entering the house she exclaimed enthusiastically, "Oh here is Mr. Farrell! I have never taken a particle of medicine since you left. I told the minister that you had anointed me with oil and promised me that I would get well, and I know that the Lord is going to heal me. You see that I can already talk above a whisper. Now I want you to administer to me again."
He accordingly anointed her head with oil and prayed earnestly for her complete recovery. She declared immediately afterward that she felt better already, and expressed confidence that all the promises made as to her recovery would be fulfilled, as some of them already had been. She also informed her visitor that the Church of England minister and all the members of his congregation who had been so attentive to her had ceased to take any interest in her case, and never more called to see her. She seemed gratified rather than otherwise, however, that they had evidently given her up as hopelessly lost to them.
Some time later Elder Farrell received a letter from the sick girl, announcing that her father was going to take her in a carriage on the following Sunday for a twelve mile trip in the country, to old Sister Underwood's, near Stanwick, and wanted him to call there and baptize her.
Brother Platte D. Lyman was at that time associated with Brother Farrell as a traveling Elder, and he was allowed to read the letter. He expressed a desire to accompany him, and Brother Farrell consented.
The day following the two Elders went to a town called Offord, where an old farmer had opened his barn and seated it for them to hold a meeting in. A stand had also been built for the speakers and singers to occupy, and the singers had come from Stanwick, fifteen miles away. A good sized congregation assembled in the barn, and an interesting, spirited meeting was held. While Elder Farrell was speaking he noticed a lady sitting about twenty feet in front of him, wearing a red shawl. He was impressed with the conviction that she was going to be baptized, and afterwards while the choir was singing he pointed her out to Elder Lyman, and told him she would soon be baptized. Elder Lyman inquired who she was. "I don't know her name," replied his companion, "and never saw her before, but something tells me that she is going to be baptized." Elder Lyman remarked that he would bear that prediction in mind, and see if it was ever fulfilled.
After reading the letter from the sick girl, Elder Lyman had expressed a desire to meet her, and he was accordingly invited to be present on the occasion of her baptism. When the missionaries reached Mrs. Underwood's house they found she lived next door to a hotel, around which a number of guests were seen loitering. Sister Underwood cautioned the Elders not to attempt to baptize while it was light or let the guests at the hotel know what they were going to do, lest they might raise a row. So they decided to remain in the house and wait until after ten o'clock. Just before that hour a loud rap on the door was heard, and Sister Underwood jumped up and blew the lamp out, at the same time exclaiming to those near her that their plans had been discovered, and a riot was about to be started. Elder Farrell said he would answer the door, and the rest of the folks went into another room.
On opening the door a voice outside was heard to inquire. "Is Mr. Farrell here?" The voice was recognized as that of a man named Baker whose wife Elder Farrell had baptized some time before. On being invited in, he said, "Here is a lady and a young man who learned that you were going to baptize here tonight. She told her husband that she had to be baptized—that she could not rest any more until she was baptized. He gave his consent, and went to bed to sleep while she came here."
A light having been procured so that those present could see one another, Elder Lyman whispered to Elder Farrell, "I believe that is the woman who had the red shawl on, and who was in the barn last Sunday while you were preaching." He replied that he would soon find out, and, accosting the lady, he asked when she had heard the Gospel preached. The reply was: "I have heard you preach at Offord several times." He then inquired: "When did you make up your mind to be baptized?" The reply was, "Right while you were preaching in that barn at Offord. I made up my mind that the first time I heard that you were going to baptize I would come, and here I am!"
It was soon arranged that Elder Farrell would proceed to the water about fifty yards distant with the new arrivals, and while he was baptizing them Elder Lyman and Mr. Baker could be carrying the sick girl to the water in a chair, while Sister Underwood could walk behind and hold the chair, to keep it from tipping.
The latter party not having arrived at the water by the time the man and woman were baptized, Elder Farrell started towards the house and met them coming very slowly, and, to his surprise, found the sick girl not being carried in a chair, but walking. He exclaimed on seeing her, "Why Nellie, you are walking!" "Yes," she said, "I told Brother Lyman and Mr. Baker if they would let me take their arms I felt that I could walk. If you remember, when you first blessed me you promised me that I should be able, if I had faith, to walk to the water within three months, and the three months will be up to-morrow."
"The Lord bless you for your faith!" said the Elder, and, leading her into the water until it came up to her waist, he added, "Now you may take your two hands and throw water over your body as much as you like, to get used to the temperature, for I am going to bury you in the water eight times—once for the remission of your sins, and seven times for the restoration of your health. Do you think you can stand it?" [A]
[Footnote A: This is not a doctrinal treatise nor a portrayal of the approved methods of performing ordinances, but a simple narrative of what actually occurred. Baptism by immersion is an ordinance by which repentant believers are initiated into the Church, and is also for the remission of sins. There is no warrant in revelation ancient or modern for the immersion of a person for the restoration of his health, anointing with oil and the prayer of faith being the ordinance for that purpose. However, baptism (a single immersion) as a means of restoring health has been practised in the Church from a very early period, originating probably with cures that were apparently traceable to baptism. Instances of persons affected with serious ailments being miraculously healed on accepting the Gospel have been somewhat numerous, and have occurred all through the history of the Church, due doubtless to the faith exhibited, and it is not surprising that persons should associate in their minds the cure with the rite of baptism. Possibly Elder Farrell had the case of Naaman the leper in his mind, who was healed on obeying the requirement of the Prophet Elisha, to wash seven times in the river Jordan. It was a sublime test of faith that he subjected the invalid girl to. He might have added in her case, in the words of the Savior: "Thy faith hath made thee whole," for it was her faith, and not any magic in the number seven, that brought her the blessing.]
She replied "Oh, yes; if you take hold of me, I have full faith."
Calling out to Elder Lyman who stood upon the bank, Elder Farrell said:
"Now count upon your fingers as I baptize her, and when she has been buried under the water eight times please tell me." He did so, and at the conclusion of the ceremony the girl, who had stood the ordeal remarkably well, was seated upon a chair and thus carried into the house.
After dry daiment had been resumed, the newly baptized persons were confirmed, and when Elder Farrell was confirming the girl, being prompted by the Spirit, he promised her that if she would continue to have faith she would live to go to Zion and become a mother in Israel. When supper had been partaken of and the dishes cleared away, a brief time was spent in chatting, and a general time of rejoicing indulged in. The girl was full of vivacity and enthusiasm, and declared that she was completely healed, and praised the Lord therefor.
Soon afterwards Elder Farrell was released to return from his mission, arriving at his home July 10, 1876. He came down to Salt Lake City to attend conference as usual in the following October, and having had a request from Sister Clark, of Stanwick, while he was still in England to call upon her sister in Salt Lake as soon as he could after his arrival, and, as she lived near the depot, he made his way there when he alighted from the train. To his great surprise and pleasure, he found Brother Challis and his daughter Nellie there. After greeting them he inquired: "Nellie, where is your Mother?" She replied: "Brother Farrell, mother took sick, and I sat up with her and waited on her nine days and nights without removing my clothing to obtain sleep, and my poor mother died, and I have not been sick one minute. And here I am in Zion, thank the Lord. Every word that you promised has been fulfilled thus far. And now we want to go to your part of the country to live, so that we may see you often. Do you think you could find father a place to work near your home at shoe-making?"
The next day Elder Farrell attended conference and sat by Brother Samuel Parkinson, of Franklin, who was a merchant, and conducted a large store. Having the request in mind, he inquired of Brother Parkinson if there was a shoe maker in Franklin. He said "No sir, but I wish we had one." Elder Farrell then told him of Brother Challis having arrived from England and wanting to locate in Cache Valley. He inquired if he was a poor man, and being told that he was, said: "Tell him to come to Franklin. I will furnish him a shop to work in free of charge. He can bring what shoes he makes into the store, and I will dispose of the same and pay him."
The father and daughter went to Franklin to live, and Brother Parkinson did as he promised to. Elder Farrell presided over the U. O. Store, tannery and shoe shop in Smithfield, and Brother Challis used to come from Franklin every week to buy his leather from the tannery; and used to frequently tell him how nicely they were getting along.
As soon as winter started Elder Farrell was appointed to preside over the Y. M. M. I. A. of the whole stake, and went around and organized the associations or set in order those that had been organized. On one occasion he went to Franklin, and held a very interesting meeting. After the meeting closed a lady accosted him and shook hands very heartily. Brother Farrell said, "You seem to know me, but I do not recognize you. What is your name, please?" She replied, "My name is Nellie Challis, and I want you to go home and stay all night with us." He expressed great surprise at the improvement in her appearance, rallied her about her double chin and accepted her invitation with thanks.
When they reached the Challis home and were quietly seated around the fire, Nellie said confidentially, "Brother Farrell, I am going to be married." In surprise her visitor inquired to whom. "To the presiding teacher of this ward, Brother Lowe."
"The Lord bless you, Sister Nellie; you are going to get as good a man as there is in this town," said Elder Farrell, shaking her hand in congratulation.
Brother Challis continued to call at the tannery to purchase supplies of leather, and he and Elder Farrell frequently met, and never without his daughter being inquired about. First it was learned that she was married and very happy. Then about a year later news came that a child had been born.
Soon afterwards Elder Farrell received a letter from Franklin with a black border around it. On opening it he saw at once it was from Father Challis. It contained sad news: Nellie had never fully rallied after her babe was born. Anxious neighbors and friends surrounded her, and all that they and medical skill could do to save her life was done, but all in vain. As the end approached she sat up in bed, and bore a fervent testimony to the houseful of friends who surrounded her. She told them not to mourn for her, but to thank the Lord for his merciful kindness to her in prolonging her life, enabling her to understand and accept the Gospel, to come to Zion, obtain a good husband and become a mother in Israel—all as predicted by Elder Farrell in England when there seemed so little hope of her living. She requested that word be sent to Elder Farrell that she had lived to see his words fulfilled, and that now she was ready to die, as she felt that it was the Lord's will.
After talking thus for two hours, she bade all present an affectionate good by, lay back in bed and was dead in two minutes.
Since that time several of the women who had heard Nellie tell of the marvelous blessings that had come to her in response to the prayers and promises of Elder Farrell, have themselves when ill journeyed to Smithfield to get him to administer to them, and their faith has generally been rewarded.
Another sequel to that first visit of Elder Farrell to Northampton may be mentioned. The daughter and son-in-law of Brother Challis who left the house in such haste when he first entered it; because they did not want to speak to a "Mormon," have both since investigated "Mormonism" and embraced the Gospel. They also have come to Zion and located at Franklin, and the young man has filled a faithful mission to England and returned home, and is now numbered among the enterprising and prosperous business men of Franklin.
MR. CLARK'S INTOLERANCE—ELDER FARRELL'S INFLUENCE OVER HIM—BAPTISMS IN STANWICK—CLARK FAMILY MIGRATE.
ON LEAVING the town of Northampton, Elders Morris and Farrell proceeded to the town of Stanwick, and held an out-door meeting the same evening they arrived there. At the close of the meeting a Mrs. Baker accosted Elder Farrell and said she would like to be baptized. He asked her if she ever heard the Gospel preached before. She said she had heard it a great many times, but that his talk that evening had convinced her that she should no longer hesitate about embracing it. He inquired if her husband was willing, and she replied that if she wanted to, he would not object. They went out about half a mile from the town and baptized her in a beautiful pond, and then walked back to town. She invited the Elders to go home with her, where they engaged her husband in conversation while she changed her wet for dry clothing. Elder Morris soon excused himself, leaving his companion to talk with Mr. Baker while he called upon the Clark family, close neighbors. Mrs. Clark and one of her daughters were members of the Church, but her husband was not. After awhile Mr. and Mrs. Baker and Elder Farrell also went over to the Clark residence. When they arrived there Elder Morris and Mr. Clark were engaged in a heated dispute, which threatened to develop into a quarrel. Elder Farrell exclaimed as he entered the house, "What in the world is the matter!" Mr. Clark declared he had only asked Mr. Morris a few questions about his religion, which, being answered, he said he didn't believe a word of it. Elder Morris had responded that if he didn't believe he would be damned, and quoted the words of the Savior to prove it. Mr. Clark thought he deserved more consideration, inasmuch as he had entertained the Elders, and offered them the use of a room to occupy whenever they wished.
While Elder Farrell was trying to pacify him and reason with him on religion in general, Sister Baker persuaded Elder Morris to return with her to her home.
Mr. Clark asked a great many questions, all of which were promptly answered, and generally to his satisfaction. He still insisted, however, that he did not believe in "Mormonism."
"Do you believe there is a God?" the Elder asked. "I believe," he replied, "there is some one ahead of us, who knows more than we do. You men call him God. He knew when I was born whether I would be damned or saved. If I was born to be damned, what is the use of me praying? It would not help me."
He went on to tell how he had abused his wife for being a "Mormon." He said if she went to meeting at night he would lock the door, and keep her out all night; but it made no difference; she kept on going to the meetings, and he kept on locking her out. His wife had a sister who was a "Mormon," and who had already emigrated to Utah. He said he went home one evening and found his wife writing a letter. He inquired who she was writing to, she replied that she was writing to Lizzie, her sister, in Salt Lake. He declared that he did not believe it, and accused her of writing to "Mormon" Elders. He demanded that she show him the letter, and she indignantly refused to do so, saying if he wouldn't take her word for it, she would not gratify him by showing him the letter. At that he seized her hands and tried to wrench the letter therefrom. She struggled to retain it, and he threw her to the floor. The letter stuck out between her fingers as he held her on the floor near the fireplace, and he pushed her bands up to the fire to burn the letter. She screamed, and her little boy nine years old, who was playing outside the house, came running in, and, seizing a stick of wood, struck his father across the face with it. When he arose the next morning his eyes were black and swollen, and his hands were burned. His wife bandaged his hands and put them in a sling; for a day or two he was about the worst used up man he had ever seen, with both eyes discolored and both hands burned, swollen and in a sling. He made up his mind then, he said, never to say another word to his wife about "Mormonism," but allow her to believe what she liked.
"And do you really believe," Elder Farrell asked, "that every man and woman is born to be damned or saved?"
"I certainly do with all my heart," Mr. Clark replied.
"Well," was the response, "I want you to excuse me, but I must say that you are about the most unreasonable man I have ever met in this country."
Springing to his feet, as though his anger was getting beyond control, he demanded that Elder Farrell prove it.
The reply was: "Your wife, according to your own words, was born a 'Mormon,' and cannot help herself. Don't you see how unreasonable you have been in locking her out of the house night after night, trying to burn her and indulging in other cruelty?"
Mr. Clark retorted: "I will never say a word to her again about religion. She can go to Utah with you if she wants to, and I'll not say a word to her."
"I don't want her," said Elder Farrell, "I have plenty of wives of my own."
"Do you have more than one?" inquired Mr. Clark.
"Yes," was the response. "I have two wives and sixteen children."
"Well," said Mr. Clark, "I think more of you than any other 'Mormon' I have met for your honesty. Others won't tell it, but you have honestly confessed it."
"Now," added the Elder, "I want to tell you that God lives and I am sent here to preach the Gospel of His Son Jesus Christ. If you repent of your sins and are baptized for their remission, and live your religion like a good, faithful Latter-day Saint you shall enjoy life to a good old age, and your last days shall be the best and happiest days of your life. You will enjoy the society of your family and your wife and children will enjoy your company. You will grow fond of attending the meetings of the Latter-day Saints, and in time be glad to repent of your sins and be baptized for the remission of them."
Just then the clock struck one, and Mr. Clark remarked, "Well, it is an hour past midnight. I am sorry I have kept you up so long. I will take you up to bed, and you remain there until I call you in the morning. I will call you in time for you to arise and get your breakfast, and from this time forth, whenever you come to Stanwick, come direct to my house, and make it your home; and if you advise when you are coming I will have one of my daughters go out and notify the people when you will be here. We will be most happy to receive you, and we will come and sing for you at your meetings."
From that time Elder Farrell always went to the Clark home on visiting Stanwick, and the family furnished music for the meetings, Mr. Clark playing the violin and singing tenor, and in other ways proving a good and true friend.
When Bishop Morris was released to return home he was succeeded as president of the Birmingham conference by Bishop William H. Maughan. Elder Farrell accompanied him on his first round and introduced him to the Clark family, as being among his best friends. After Elder Maughan had been there about nine months, and had become well acquainted with the Clark family, two of the daughters who had not yet joined the Church induced Bishop Maughan to ask their father's consent for him to baptize them. Mr. Clark impatiently blurted out: "If they talk baptism to me they cannot live in my home."
This was on Sunday evening. On Monday Bishop Maughan, finding it useless to try to reconcile Mr. Clark, left for Birmingham, and on Tuesday Elder Farrell called at Stanwick, in making the round of his conference. On leaving Nottingham, his headquarters, he had left word for any letters that might come for him during his absence to be forwarded to Stanwick, care of Jonah Clark. Sister Clark had told him on his arrival about Bishop Maughan asking her husband's consent to baptize her two daughters, and of his refusal. She begged of him to try, saying that Mr. Clark thought more of him than any other Elder he had met. He told her he would do so.
The next morning when the mail came it brought some letters for Elder Farrell, one of which was from Liverpool. On opening it he learned that President Brigham Young had sent word to the President of the mission to release him to return home, as the person who had succeeded him as tithing clerk for Cache valley was unable to attend to the work, and they wanted Elder Farrell home to resume his position in that respect.
Mr Clark was about to leave home for his work, and when he approached Elder Farrell to bid him good bye, the latter said, "Wait a moment; I want to read this letter to you," meaning the letter he had received concerning his release.
When he had heard it he said, "Well, Elder Farrell, I think more of you than any 'Mormon' Elder I ever met in my life, and if there is anything in my house that you want, all you have to do is to name it, and it shall be yours."
The Elder replied, "Thank you, that is all I want you to say; I don't want your property but here are your two daughters, Annie and Lilla; they want me to baptize them before I leave, and I would not do so without your permission. All I want you to say is 'Yes.'"
He dropped his head into his hands for about one half minute, then said: "Mr. Farrell, if they believe 'Mormonism' with all their hearts, and they want you to baptize them, I say Yes."
The girls and their mother who had been in the next room, listening, rushed in crying for joy, and thanked him for his kindness, and then he cried too, and Elder Farrell couldn't help shedding tears of joy also.
Controlling his feelings, he said, "Mr. Clark, you remember the last five persons I baptized down in the pond of water. Some of the people announced in the newspaper that if I ever baptized any more there they would duck me as long as I had breath. These people know that you don't like the 'Mormons,' and I want you to go out in another direction and find a good place to baptize the girls, and when evening comes you and I can go down and the girls may follow us, and be baptized without the people knowing anything about it."
He replied, "All right, Mr. Farrell. I'll not work to-day, but will go and find a suitable place."
He returned some time later saying he had found a place about a mile and a half east. He spent the rest of the day mostly in conversation with Elder Farrell. In the meantime a thunder storm occurred and a heavy shower followed.
A bed of water cress about six feet wide grew at the bottom of the Clark garden, and Elder Farrell walked down there to gather some water cress for supper. While doing so he heard the sound of running water the opposite side of the garden wall, where there was an orchard. He stepped across the water cress bed and looked over the wall and there saw a stream of water about four feet wide (doubtless swollen by the recent shower,) and just about twenty feet down stream two posts stood—one in either bank. He called Mr. Clark to come down and notice the stream, and asked him if he could find three boards, a foot wide, to drop in the stream above the posts, to form a dam, thus making the stream deep enough to baptize in, and so secluded that no one would notice them or suspect what was going on.
It was also suggested that Mr. Clark arrange a safe bridge across the water cress bed, which he immediately complied with, by taking the kitchen door off its hinges and laying it down there to be walked over, and also made steps to descend into the water.
Along towards evening Elder Farrell set out to walk to Mr. Baker's, who was always on hand to lend him a pair of pants and high topped rubber boots to wear when he was baptizing. He had not proceeded far when someone approached him behind, and clutched him by the arm. Turning around he faced Mr. Baker, who inquired if he was going to his house. Elder Farrell replied that he was, for the purpose of getting his uniform to wear in baptizing. Surprised, he next inquired who was to be baptized, and was told that it was Annie and Lilla Clark.
"Well, bless me," Mr. Baker exclaimed, "it was only on Sunday last that Bishop Maughan asked if he could baptize the girls, and was told by the father that if they talked baptism to him they could not live in his house."
Elder Farrell explained that Mr. Clark had not only given his consent, but had prepared a place in which to baptize them.
"Well," said Mr. Baker, "that is wonderful! I can't stand it any longer. Mr. Farrell, will you baptize me too?"
Elder Farrell replied that he would be pleased to do so.
On reaching the Baker home Mrs. Baker was asked to get the "uniform," as Elder Farrell was going to do some baptizing.
She inquired who was going to be baptized and her husband replied: "The Clark girls and Charlie Baker."
The good woman raised her hands in ecstacy, and exclaimed: "Well, the Lord be praised!"
Just then Mr. Baker's apprentice, a young man about seventeen years of age, came running in from the next room, and eagerly asked: "Elder Farrell, will you please baptize me?"
Elder Farrell inquired if his parents were willing, and he replied that he dare not tell them anything about it. He was advised to go straightway to them and tell them frankly that he wanted to be baptized: that Elder Farrell was going to do some baptizing that evening, and that he thought it would make a better boy of him if they would only consent.
He walked towards his home very slowly, and with apparent reluctance, but he was soon seen coming back on the run, and bubbling over with happiness, for his parents were willing that he should be baptized.
When Elder Farrell was about to descend into the water he gave Mr. Clark a pocket handkerchief, and told him to stand on the bank and help each one down into the water, and, after he was baptized, to help him out again, and when he was safely on the bank to wipe the water out of his eyes.
He did so, and his wife told Elder Farrell the next morning that he had never felt happier in his life than when assisting the people in and out of the water. She begged him to go and wake Elder Farrell up and be baptized by him, but he said "No."
The next morning after breakfast Mr. Clark said: "Now Mr. Farrell, I am going to walk with you to the station, and carry your valise. I may never see you again."
When they got out of town he stopped Elder Farrell, and, standing in front of him, said: "I want to tell you that you have made a 'Mormon' of me from the ground up, and I cannot help myself; but I will never be baptized until I pay for every bill or account that I owe; then if anyone says anything to me about being baptized I will tell him it is none of his business; that I am not beholden to him, but if you are in this country and one hundred miles away I shall want you to come and baptize me."
When they reached the train Mr. Clark bade the Elder good bye, while tears ran down his cheeks. He also thanked him for his good advice and teachings, and the good example he had set before him and the world, and said he hoped to see him again.
Three months after Elder Farrell arrived home he received a letter from Mr. Clark stating that he had been baptized, and had stood in the meeting of the Saints and borne his testimony to the truth of the Gospel, in the house which he and a few other residents of Stanwick had generously leased and paid the rent on for one year in advance, so that Elder Farrell would not be under the necessity of preaching out in the open air. He knew the Gospel was true, and that it would save and exalt mankind inas-much as they were true and faithful to its principles.
In two years from that time Mr. Clark and his family arrived in Salt Lake City, and in course of time removed to Smithfield, where he worked at his trade as shoemaker.
He did well and entered all work that he did in a book, and at the close of every year took that book to the Bishop and had a careful computation made of his earnings and paid one-tenth for tithing.
The whole Clark family joined the choir, and the father continued to take his part in the choir until he was past 87 years of age and had grown so weak that other members used to be under the necessity of helping him up the stairway.
He died just before he was 88 years of age, a firm and consistent Latter-day Saint, and up to the last manifested the utmost respect for Elder Farrell, and also taught his family to respect him and seek his counsel.
His family are all faithful members of the Church, and are now residing in Cache County, Utah, and doing well.
JOHN ANDERSON'S SEARCH FOR THE TRUTH—PROVIDENTIAL WAY IN WHICH HE WAS FIRST LED TO ATTEND A MEETING OF THE SAINTS—EMBRACED THE GOSPEL—FIRM ADHERENCE THERETO.
IT IS probably a fact, though it may not be possible at this late date to prove it, that a very large proportion of the early converts to the Gospel were, at the time its message reached them, and for years before, dissatisfied with the creeds of the day, and were searching for the Truth as portrayed in the Bible.
One of the early converts to the Gospel in Scotland was John Anderson, a native of Leith, who is a typical example of the class mentioned.
His daughter, Mrs. David Smellie, who died in the year 1909, has left a sketch of his life written by her own hand, substantially as follows:
My parents had a family of twelve children, six sons and six daughters. I was their seventh child, and the first one born after my father joined the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
This step he took in the year 1840, and I will here relate how he became acquainted with the peculiar people called "Mormons." He was an intelligent, studious man, of a very fixed purpose when once resolved. My dear mother was like him in that respect. In the early years of their married life they were members of the United Presbyterian church, but became dissatisfied with that sect, my parents not being able to see the need of a man having to go to college so many years to learn to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They then became associated with a body of religious worshippers called Separatists, who did not believe in clergymen or infant sprinkling. This suited them better, as being more scriptural.
In the year 1839 my father's mind was directed to the necessity of baptism for the remission of sins, and the laying on of hands for the conferring of the Holy Ghost, by one having authority. These the Bible told him were among the first principles of the Gospel. But where was he to find one who claimed such authority? He knew none, and yet the Bible indicated that these ordinances were to be performed by one who was called of God as was Aaron—by revelation. My father put those views before the Separatist brethren, who, after due consideration, requested him either to give up his ideas or leave the sect. He therefore left, but my mother remained with them.
The year 1840 found my father in this frame of mind. In the meantime he studied the New Testament scriptures, and his previous convictions were increased. But what was he to do? The Lord had ceased to speak from the heavens—had not done so since the days of the early Christians. The world said: "It was not necessary, as the Bible contained all that was needful."
I will here insert a short story which will help to illustrate the point in view:
John Wesley, wishing other lands to hear the message he held forth, assumed to ordain Coke and others to be bishops, to carry Methodism, and on this point he and his brother Charles became divided, after being so firmly united in the cause. This was the wedge that split them. Charles did not believe that either had the power to ordain others, and he opposed the scheme. John went ahead, assumed the authority, and laid his hands on the head of Mr. Coke and ordained him a bishop, a position Wesley himself never held.
Charles grew angry at this, and remarked:
"How easily are bishops made
By man's or woman's whim;
Wesley his hands has laid on Coke
But who laid hands on him?"
On Sunday afternoon in October, 1840, my parents were visited by my mother's sister's husband—Uncle John Grieve, who resided in Edinburgh. In the course of conversation he informed them that a celebrated clergyman was to preach in Edinburgh that same evening, and invited my father to accompany him to hear this man speak.
He consented, and together they set out to walk from Leith to Edinburgh, a distance of two miles. They had reached a place called "Dickson's Nursery," which was about half way, when suddenly my father felt that he could not proceed any farther. Uncle John walked on a few steps, thinking my father would follow, then turned and inquired if he was not coming. Father replied, "John, I can go no farther with you to-night."
Uncle John insisted upon his going, but all in vain. Father declared that he could not lift his feet-they seemed sealed to the ground, and he felt that he must go back.
Just as soon as he had said "Good evening" my father's feet were loosed from the ground. He walked towards Leith until he reached the street which led to his home, called Kirkgate. Then something prompted him to take the street to the right, called Constitution. Down the street he walked until he came to an entrance leading to the "Mason's Lodge," which entrance was called a "pind." This was an arched alley-way, leading to buildings in the rear, where the Mason's hall was situated. At this "pind" stood an old, fresh-complexioned man, dressed in home-spun clothes. He bade my father "Good evening," and inquired if he was aware that the new sect called Latter-day Saints were to hold meeting in the Mason's hall that evening.
Father replied that he was not, whereupon the old man invited him to attend, and led the way into the hall, where he put father into a good seat.
My father turned around to thank him for his courtesy, but he was gone, and he never saw him again; but to the last he maintained that the old man was one of "the Three Nephites."
The speakers were Orson Pratt and George D. Watt. They preached the first principles of the Gospel, and claimed that the Lord had again spoken from the heavens and restored the everlasting Gospel in its fullness, with the gifts and blessings belonging to the same. They declared too that the Lord had promised that the Gospel would never again be taken from the earth until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.
My father sat listening and amazed at the good news—just what he had been waiting for, and it seemed to fit into his heart. The precious seed did indeed fall into fertile soil, and it bore "a hundred fold."
To hear was to investigate; to investigate was to embrace the new and everlasting Gospel which the Lord had again restored to the earth, and which He in His loving kindness had gradually prepared my father to receive.
My father rejoiced greatly, for he realized he had indeed found the "pearl of great price." This jewel he wore and prized for forty-five years. He died December 19, 1885, in the 81st year of his age; and so valiant a soldier was he in the cause of truth that it was said of him "he did not owe his country one testimony."
One day while sitting by his bedside shortly before he passed away (I don't like to say "died", for father did not die, he only fell asleep and O, so gently; just like a tired child,) I inquired if there was any message he would like to leave for those of his family who were out of the reach of his voice. He replied, "Yes, tell them from their father if they have gone outside of the fold, to get in again just as soon as ever they can."
I feel prompted to record a few facts in the life of my father which may be of interest to those who may read this, although my father never desired me to do so. They will show that the Lord was with him to uphold, defend and bless him. As I stated previously, he was ever ready to expound and maintain the principles of the Gospel, and many of his former friends and acquaintances turned very bitter against him because of his fidelity to his convictions.
One of these was a sea captain named Robert Storm. Father had made boots for him and his crew for a long time, but, because of the change in his religious opinions, he became very bitter and withdrew his custom.
My father was in the habit of taking a daily constitutional walk down Leith pier. One day as he was coming up the pier he saw the vessel Robert Storm was master of being towed down the river on her way to France. Father took off his hat and waved a parting adieu. To this act of courtesy Robert Storm responded with a look of scorn. Father was impressed to say, "Robert Storm, you will never have the opportunity to do that again to me."
Some eight or ten days afterwards a severe storm swept the English Channel. One afternoon just at this time father heard the postman call out his name in the stairway. This was the custom in tenement houses, and the person so called was expected to go out and get his letters. Father received from the postman a letter addressed to him in a clear, bold hand, sealed with wax, as was the custom, envelopes not then having come into fashion. (Letters were written on a large double sheet of paper folded neatly and sealed with wax.) It bore the London postmark, and contained a statement that Robert Storm was drowned at sea on a certain day and where it occurred, indicating that it was in the English Channel, but bore no signature. Father had gone direct to his workroom when he received the letter, and as soon as he had read it he laid it down on his work seat, and crossed through the lobby into the kitchen to get my mother to come and read it also. She immediately followed him into his workroom, when to his surprise he discovered the letter was gone, and yet no living person had been there during his absence.
The Lord had sent that letter, it had performed its mission, and was taken away.
By and by an account of the wreck was read in the newspaper, which stated that it had taken place in the English Channel. Thus was my father's prediction fulfilled.
In illustration of the character of my father I have heard it related that a certain Elder W...... (his name is suppressed for the sake of his relatives) presided over the Edinburgh branch at a period in the early history of the Church there. One evening after the regular Sunday evening service was over he called upon the members holding the priesthood to remain and hold a kind of council meeting. At this meeting Elder W...... proposed that certain funds belonging to the conference, collected for a certain purpose, be used for an entirely different purpose, in which he was personally interested. My father being a very conscientious man, protested against this proceeding, and said, seeing the Edinburgh conference had given this money for a special purpose, they as custodians had no authority to use it in any other direction without the consent of the donors.
Elder W......, indignant at my father's presuming to oppose him or his wishes, arose and proposed that, seeing that John Anderson had been guilty of dictating to him, a superior officer, he be cut off the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A show of hands was called for, and in less time than it takes to tell it the vote carried.
My father remained quiet until the matter was settled, then he arose and requested permission to speak. The request being granted, he said: "Brethren, all I desire to say is that ...... ...... W......, (mentioning his name in full) will be out of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when I am in it."
My father renewed his covenants the following week, and continued an honorable member during his life. He died holding the office of a High Priest, while Elder W.... died a poor outcast and apostate.
My father remained in Scotland, laboring in the Gospel cause, both at home and elsewhere, paying his tithing, and trusting in the Lord for his promised blessing until the year 1863. Previous to this period he had at various times requested my mother to accompany him to Utah. This she refused to do, not being able to see the Gospel light. Then father decided to gather with the Saints, taking his youngest son with him, and leaving four daughters, two married and two single, with their mother.
Shortly before leaving Scotland my father, in conversation with one of the brethren, expressed his regret at leaving his wife and daughters behind him. The brother told him to be of good courage, for his wife and family would follow him, and that he would live to see the promise fulfilled.
Father could scarcely believe this prediction, it appeared so very unlikely to ever come to pass. However, he trusted in the Lord, knowing that He "moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform," and surely in the case of my father's family this was exemplified to a wonderful degree. The prophecy concerning the gathering of my father's family was fulfilled to the letter, for he had the satisfaction of receiving us all in Salt Lake City. He located at 54 East First South Street, where he built a good comfortable house, in which he lived until called to his final rest.
PREDICTION THAT AN APPARENTLY BARREN WOMAN WOULD GIVE BIRTH TO A SON—ITS LITERAL FULFILLMENT—THAT SON'S REVERENCE FOR THE ELDER WHO MADE THE PREDICTION.
ACCORDING to the Scriptures, prophecy was one of the gift which should characterize the Church in the last days, and thousands can attest that the gift has been enjoyed by the Latter-day Saints to a marked degree.
Under the influence of the Spirit of the Lord many of the Elders have made predictions that have really frightened themselves when they have contemplated them afterwards, for it was only by the eye of the Spirit they could see any probability of their fulfillment.
A case in point is related by Elder C., who filled a mission in England in the early sixties. He, in company with the president of the mission and several other Elders, visited a branch of the Church in which a large number of Saints had made preparations to migrate to Utah, and who desired a blessing under the hands of the Elders before undertaking the journey. It came Elder C.'s turn to bless a. sister who had been married a good many years, but who had no children. She was not perhaps as old as her appearance indicated, but her hair was almost white. In the course of the blessing pronounced upon her Elder C., under the prompting of the Spirit, promised that she should journey safely to Zion and there establish and enjoy a comfortable home, and give birth to a son who would live to call her blessed.
In a spirit of fun the other Elders afterwards jollied Elder C. a good deal about the promise he had made that sister, telling him he had better look at the color of a woman's hair before making her any such extravagant promises as he had in that instance. He was somewhat plagued by their raillery and could offer no defense except to say that the Spirit had prompted him to say what he did. He remembered the promise, but had no means of learning the subsequent history of the sister until a year or so afterward, when, after his return home from his mission, he chanced to meet her husband, who joyfully hailed him with the exclamation, "That boy you promised is born!" But then he added, with tears in his eyes that his wife, who had fondly clung to the promise, was fifty-three years old at the time of the child's birth, and had only lived a short time afterwards, but died happy in the consciousness that the boy survived her, and in the hope that he would indeed live to call her blessed. The parents regarded him as a child of promise, as much so as Isaac of old was, who was born to Sarah in her old age, and named him in honor of Elder C. giving him his christian and surname as well as the surname of his father.
Years afterwards that son, having reached a marriageable age and grown to be a stalwart man, journeyed a long distance with his intended bride to get Elder C., (whom he had never seen, but whom he had been taught from infancy to revere) to perform the marriage ceremony for him, and his ever-increasing posterity will doubtless be taught, as they come to years of understanding, the story of the inspired prediction and its literal fulfillment, as here related.
ELDER BASTIAN INSPIRED TO PREACH IN THE DANISH LANGUAGE BEFORE HE HAD LEARNED IT.
ON THE DAY of Pentecost when the ministry of the Apostles was ushered in with such a wonderful display of supernatural power the assembled multitude heard the Gospel preached in many different languages with which they were severally familiar, but which were strange to the Apostles. This was in fulfillment of the promise of the Savior, as recorded in Mark XVI. 17, that these signs shall follow them that believe: "In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues." The utility of their so speaking must have been at once apparent to those who heard but would not have understood them had they not been inspired to so speak.
Of similar utility has been the gift of tongues enjoyed by a number of Elders in our day when sent upon missions to foreign countries. A case in illustration of this is the experience of Elder Gearsen S. Bastian, formerly Counselor to the President of the Wayne Stake of Zion, but now a resident of Sigurd, Sevier Co., Utah. He was sent on a mission to Denmark in 1888, and was appointed to labor in the Aarhus conference. He found much difficulty in acquiring the Danish language, so much so that he felt discouraged and began to fear that he would never be able to learn it. About that time his missionary companion was released to return home, and Elder Bastian was left in charge of the Randers branch.
Only once had he attempted to speak before the public, and he was only able to say a very few words. Sunday came, and at the appointed time for worship the meeting hall was well filled. After the opening exercises he called upon one of the native Elders to speak, but he had only occupied a few minutes, when a burning desire to speak filled the soul of Elder Bastian. He arose, and under the influence and power of God he preached the gospel with much plainness in the Danish language for an hour and twenty minutes. At the close of the meeting the native brethren and sisters all flocked around him to congratulate him; and they claimed that he had spoken the language with as much plainness as they could have spoken; and they rejoiced greatly. But as yet he could not converse with them; nevertheless the Lord had given to him a testimony that he should thenceforth have freedom and power in preaching the gospel.
THUG HIRED TO ASSAULT "MORMON" PREACHER—HIS MISSION DIVINED BY THE ELDER—A PREDICTION CONCERNING THE INSTIGATOR—ITS LITERAL FULFILLMENT.
BREACHWOOD GREEN, Hertfordshire, England, was the scene of an episode connected with the early preaching of the Gospel in Europe that is worthy of record. About sixty-four years have passed since it occurred but it is still remembered and frequently talked of by the present inhabitants of the place, strangers as well as Saints.
The "Red Lion," one of the principal public houses of the village, which stands facing Oxford Road, was, at the time of which I write, kept by one Samuel Peters, a man of influence and property, who combined the business of baker and provision dealer with that of publican. His family consisted of a wife and six children.
Beneath the wide-spreading branches of a great ash tree which grows opposite the "Red Lion," stood a humble Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, declaring the principles of life and salvation, revealed anew in this dispensation. He was a stranger in the place, and had chosen this spot on the public highway in which to hold forth, as he could not obtain the use of a more comfortable or appropriate place. A goodly number of people had gathered about him, and were listening attentively to what he said.
Annoyed at the attention and respect paid by the assembly to a religion and a sect which he so heartily despised, the publican offered a man named Henry Thrussell, a low, drunken character, who was hanging about the tap-room, a quart of beer if he would go out and strike that "Mormon" preacher in the face. The lout, who was half drunk already, willingly accepted the offer and made his way across the street, being watched from the door by his patron and a few loungers about the tavern, who were eager to see the fun.
As Thrussell began elbowing his way through the crowd who had gathered about the speaker, some little resistance was offered to the intrusion, but by his bullying manner be soon forced an entrance. The speaker paused in his remarks on seeing him approach in such an aggressive style, and reaching out his hand to him, he said, "Well, my good man, what do you want?" Disarmed by the friendly greeting, the bully hesitated about replying, when the Elder continued: "Did some one send you here to disturb this meeting?" "Yes, sir!" the follow answered, still hesitating about executing his errand. "Was it the publican yonder?" asked the Elder, as he noticed the men at the tavern door watching the proceedings. Receiving an affirmative reply, he then continued: "I am sorry, very sorry, for his sake! You go and tell that man that judgment will soon overtake him. Though he is now prosperous, he shall soon come to want. Though his family is now healthy, sickness and death will soon come among them, and he will die in poverty, forsaken by his friends!"
The intended assailant turned upon his heel without accomplishing what he was sent for, and retraced his steps to the tavern, where the publican, who had heard the prediction of the servant of God, berated him for his cowardice.
Time passed on. That Elder no longer came to Breachwood Green to preach, for he had journeyed to the land of Zion, in search of a new home and probably thought little of the prediction uttered under the inspiration of the Spirit, and perhaps never knew whether it was fulfilled or not. But if he forgot it, the people who heard it upon that occasion did not. Although many of them, perhaps, did not believe that it would ever come to pass, they have had time since to test by the rule laid down in Deuteronomy xviii, 22, whether the Elder spoke presumptuously or by authority from the Lord. The Lord told Moses, "When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken."
Soon after the prediction was uttered sickness came into the Peters family, and the wife and four of the children died. The husband became dissipated and neglected his business and squandered his property. Financial ruin soon followed and his friends deserted him. After dragging out a miserable existence for a few years, he finally died, forsaken and alone, in a little out-house.
The man Thrussell was still living when the writer visited that locality some years since, and was pointed out to him on the street. He occasionally, in his sober moments, referred to that event, and to the feeling he experienced when facing the Elder, and declared that for the life of him he could not lift his hand to strike the Elder. He also tells of the interest with which he watched for the fulfillment of the prediction, and testified that it was fulfilled.
That Elder's name was John P. Hayes, the same, who lived for many years at Pleasant Grove, Utah, but who is now dead. He is survived by a numerous progeny, who may be interested in learning that the memory of his words still lives in his former field of labor. A few of those who listened to his testimony have since embraced the Gospel, but the most of them are as prone to follow after fables as they ever were; and they still languidly hold to their hollow creeds, which differ as widely from the true Gospel as the light shed by a farthing "dip" does from the glorious effulgence of the noonday sun.
In the text, Chapter IV was originally "Chapter IIII" and part of the heading was cut off; both errors have been corrected to match the Table of Contents. Various errors involving quotation marks have been resolved as seemed reasonable.