The Project Gutenberg eBook of Gems for the Young Folks

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 If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.

Title: Gems for the Young Folks

Author: Various

Release date: August 17, 2014 [eBook #46601]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by the Mormon Texts Project
(, with thanks to Renah Holmes for





Salt Lake City, Utah.


Already one of the results which the Editor and Publisher of the FAITH-PROMOTING SERIES anticipated when the first volume was issued, is apparent—namely, a growing desire on the part of men of experience to write for publication such passages from their lives as will be of interest and benefit to the rising generation. The publication of these in this form has not been commenced any too soon. The lives of the early Elders of the Church were crowded with incidents of fascinating interest, and it is due to posterity, as well as to the Elders themselves, that a record of these should be preserved. But the veterans are fast passing away. It will be but a few years hence until men will seek with avidity to obtain information concerning many events which, if not preserved in writing or in print, will be lost to the new generations who are crowding into the field.

We give these "GEMS FOR THE YOUNG FOLKS" with the hope that they will prove profitable to every reader. Some of them are brief; but they embody important principles and lessons.

The "Testimonies for the Truth" were published in pamphlet form by the author, the late Bishop Benjamin Brown, while on a mission to Great Britain. This little work has been rare, and for a number of years it has been difficult to see, much less obtain, a copy. It contains so much that is encouraging and stimulating to faith that we think it should be preserved in this Series.

Within two months we hope to be able to issue the next volume. It will be a narrative of the personal experience of Elder Jacob Hamblin, as a frontiersman, missionary to the Indians and explorer, disclosing interpositions of Providence, severe privations, perilous situations and remarkable escapes.





Part from my Father in infancy—His blessing and promise—Death of my Mother—My Grandfather apostatizes and sets up a Church of his own—Bound to be an Uncle—Ill-treatment and ridicule—Prejudiced against the "Mormons"—Fear of them—Released from my Uncle's power—Inducements to go to California—Decide to start.


My Outfit—Dissipation—Start to California—Upbraidings from my Uncle—Uncle and Aunt disagree—A startling revelation, I learn that I am being taken to Utah—Leave my Uncle and join Spicer, to avoid going to Utah.


Arrival at Parley's Park—Prepare for the worst, and visit Wm. H. Kimball—Favorably impressed with my newly-found relatives—Arrival in Salt Lake City—Dread at thoughts of falling into the hands of the "Mormons"—Decide to go and see my Father and surrender, expecting to be captured if I attempted to escape—Odd appearance going up East Temple Street—Meeting with my Father—Invited to change my clothes.


Ashamed of my appearance—Introduced to my numerous relatives—Allowed to sleep with the boys—Homesick—Set to work and made contented—Baptized and set apart for a mission—Return to Iowa—Meet my relatives—My Grandfather's confession and testimony—His exhortation and request—Return home with my brother Isaac, thus fulfilling my Father's prediction—The lessons I learned by my experience.


Appointed to take charge of a company of emigrants—Leave London for America—Surrounded by a thick fog—The Captain unable to take observations—The fog lifts—Saved from being dashed upon the rocks—Thank God for our deliverance.


Impressed by the Spirit not to go on a steamer, after arranging for my passage—Rush ashore before the boat starts—Boat snagged and sunk in the Mississippi—Warned by the Spirit not to meet an appointment—Urged by my friends, I start—Aversion to going so strong, I gallop back—Friends unable to account for my fears—Robbery at the house where I was to have gone—Saved from suspicion by obeying the voice of the Spirit.


Challenged to debate by Dr. Waltholl—His discomfiture and defeat—Dr. Scott attempts to retrieve the Campbellite cause, and offers another challenge—Resorts to the whiskey bottle—Elder Hamilton scores him for it.


Elders to go out two and two—Young missionaries inclined to shirk—Elder Moses Thatcher—His diffidence—The way he was broken in—His success—Elder McAllister—His backwardness in speaking—Forced into it—His testimony—Elder Coray's experience—Promises of the Lord proved true.



Start upon a mission, penniless—Aid from the Captain and passengers on the steamboat—Arrive at New Orleans—Fail in trying to find free passage to England—Discouragement—Prayer—Rebuke and answer—Apply for passage on the Berlin—Kind reception from Captain Baker—Bargain for passage—One-half to be paid in discussing religion with an Episcopalian Minister.


The voyage—Discussion—Minister's discomfiture—Arrive in Liverpool—Kindness of Captain Baker—Learn of his death and my duty—My shabby appearance—First sermon—Money put into my hand—Visit home—More help from strangers.


Difference in persons about speaking in public—The Lord willing to help His servants to overcome timidity—Early experience in preaching—A feeling of fear and the Spirit of God not congenial—Timidity conquered.


A Mother and Children in great want—The Mother's faith—Her prayer—Is provided with money in a mysterious way.




The Author's birth and parentage—Early religious impressions—Marriage—Vision of his Brother, and of the Bible—The Author dreams of preaching—Attends a "Protracted Meeting"—His impressions while there—He meets with the Latter—Day Saints—Vision of two Nephite Apostles.


Vision of the last days—Baptism of the Author and four others—His Wife's dream and baptism—He is ordained an Elder—Visits Kirtland—On his return is attacked by fever—Is miraculously healed—Visits Kirtland—Re-visits Kirtland—Begins to preach—Miraculous healing of a cancer—Accident and miraculous healing of Jesse W. Crosby—Poison miraculously nullified—Casting out of evil spirits.


Removal to Nauvoo—Sickness—Miraculously healed—Acquire considerable property—Acquaintance with Joseph Smith—Missions to Albany, and the Eastern states; also, with Elder J. W. Crosby, to Nova Scotia—Preach in Jefferson Co., N. Y., and organize six Branches of the Church—Travel to New Brunswick—Invited to preach—Baptisms—Persecution—The Author waylaid by a mob, beaten, and left for dead—Attack on the house where he and Elder Crosby were in bed—The mob dispersed by Mrs. Shelton—They return and re—attack the house—Are dispersed by Mr. Shelton—Two Branches organized.


Return to Nauvoo—Sent to Jefferson Co. on a Tithing mission—Return with a thousand dollars—Move West with the Church—Stay at Winter Quarters—Ordained Bishop—Scurvy in Camp—Hire out in Missouri—Arrive in Salt Lake Valley—Elder Kimball's prophecy and its fulfillment.





At the earnest request of many of my friends I have compiled a few incidents of my early life, some of which have an important bearing on the past history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

My grandfather's confession and testimony are especially important, and this sketch is written for the express purpose of giving publicity to his statement.

In order, however, to arrive at a clear understanding of this, it becomes necessary for me to insert a sketch of my early life.

I have carefully penned these incidents from memory, having taken no notes at the time of their occurrence, and they are as correct as it is possible to give them, especially such as refer to my grandfather Cutler's testimony of the work of the Latter-day Saints, and this I can vouch for, word for word. At the time this occurred I had just joined the Church, and his remarks made a powerful impression upon my mind, which nothing can ever efface.

My father, Heber C. Kimball, removed to Utah when I was only about twelve months old, leaving his two wives (my mother—Clarissa Cutler, and her sister Emily) with one boy each, at Winter Quarters, now called Florence, Nebraska, at the residence of my grandfather, Alpheus Cutler.

This occurred in the spring of 1847.

My father (as I have since learned) was very much impressed, prior to leaving us, with the belief that my mother would never come to Utah, and he, therefore, blessed my brother Isaac A. and myself, and while his hands were upon my head he significantly remarked that I should see the day that I would come to the valleys of the mountains and afterwards return for my brother.

Shortly after he left us my grandfather was called on a mission to the Indians on Grasshopper River, Indian Territory, and took his daughters and their two children with him.

About two years afterwards the grim monster, death, visited us and deprived me of my mother, and a few months later my aunt Emily died, also Henrietta Cutler (widow of Moses Cutler) who left a girl now named Phelinda Rawlance.

We shortly afterwards removed to Manti, Fremont County, Iowa, where my grandfather established a church and constituted himself its leader, calling it "The True Church of Latter-day Saints," and presumed to officiate in the ordinances of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, such as baptisms, endowments, etc.

He also energetically denounced polygamy and the law of tithing, and taught his followers that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God, but that Brigham Young was not his successor, but an impostor, and that he (Alpheus Cutler) was the true leader and held the authority to carry on the latter-day work.

This pretended "True Church" was organized, with Alpheus Cutler, president; Edmund Fisher, first counselor; Chancey Whiting, second counselor, and grandfather Fisher, patriarch.

They claimed all the gifts and powers belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Repeated inducements were held out for my brother Isaac and myself to join the Church after we became old enough for membership. Isaac finally consented to become a member, but I failed to see or comprehend the necessity of it.

Some time afterwards my grandfather was afflicted with rheumatism and phthisic, in consequence of which he was unable to follow his usual avocations in procuring a livelihood.

Often have I known him to sit up for six weeks at a time, not being able to lay down on account of the difficulty of breathing while in that position.

When I was about nine years of age, it became necessary for my grandfather to make arrangements with my uncle Thaddeus for our further maintenance. My brother and I were bound over to our uncle to serve him until we were twenty-one years of age, and he agreed on his part to provide for us and our grandparents.

In consideration of faithfully performing his duties, my uncle was to inherit grandfather's property, but in case he failed to do so, he was not to reap this benefit.

At the time this verbal agreement was made, my uncle took possession of the property, but he afterwards failed to perform his duty.

After taking up our residence in uncle's family he neglected to provide us suitable clothing and food, and our grandfather and grandmother were also neglected. The church, however, assisted them and made up the deficiency.

My brother and I were repeatedly ill-treated by uncle's family, and were continually persecuted and called names for being polygamist children. In order to tantalize us, the members of the family would call us "bastards," "Brigham," "Heber," etc., and on the slightest provocation they would threaten to send us to Utah, telling us that the "Mormons" would soon settle us.

No nervous children were ever worse frightened by stories about hobgoblins than my brother and I were, with what they told us about the "Mormons."

We were also taught that if we stayed in the woods picking fruit, etc., the "Mormons" would be sure to catch us and carry us off. More than once when gathering berries in the woods, were we alarmed by the flight of a bird or the rustling noise of some small animal in the underbrush. Our first impulse on such occasions, and the one invariably acted upon, was to drop our baskets and run like frightened antelopes, never stopping or looking back until we neared home, and felt sure that we were safe from our fancied pursuers.

Often in my dreams I imagined I was captured by the "Mormons," and in my waking moments I frequently pictured to myself a life of captivity among them—caged like a wild beast in a menagerie. The name "Mormon," in fact, became to us synonymous with that of an ugly and dangerous monster, and we grew up with the most bitter prejudice and intense hatred in our hearts towards all who bore that name.

We endured the ill-treatment of our uncle's family until patience no longer seemed to be a virtue, and we rebelled.

Our grandfather perceived that it was only right to release us from their power, and he therefore regained all the property he could possibly secure in stock and land from our uncle, and severed our obligations to him.

From this time we commenced to work for ourselves, and also to support grandfather and grandmother, and continued to do so until the spring of 1862.

In the winter of 1861 I had a dangerous attack of winter fever, to which I nearly succumbed.

In the spring of 1862 I was sent a distance of thirty-five miles to Hamburg, for a doctor to attend my cousin Sylvia Webb's child, who was sick, and after crossing the river I sent the doctor and remained with my uncle, Edwin Cutler, for one week.

While there he inquired how I would like to go to California, as he claimed that he was going there.

On hearing this I was suddenly seized with the gold fever, and eagerly expressed a wish to go, as I always had a great desire to roam.

Uncle Edwin requested me to return home and inform my grandparents, and ascertain if they were willing for me to go.

I returned home the following Sunday evening. I did not request permission to leave, but at once informed them that I was going to start for California in the morning, and that I wanted them to get my clothes ready.

No reply was made to this remark, and, as they failed to comply, I repeated my request, stating that if they did not provide them I would attend to it myself, as I was determined to go.

Grandmother then remarked that if I was determined to go she would get my clothes ready.

During the night I made arrangements with my brother to take me a distance of fifteen miles, to a small town called Sydney; and early in the morning, after bidding grandfather and grandmother "good-by," we started out.



We arrived safely at Sydney, where I took leave of my brother and started alone for Hamburg, with all my earthly possessions in my hand, which consisted of a small bundle containing a suit of old-fashioned clothes and a fiddle.

On arriving at my uncle's residence he seemed quite elated to think he had a servant and companion, for this was the first step towards accomplishing a design at this time known only to himself.

Previous to starting out he extended a great many privileges to me, such as a drink of whisky, hunting cattle, attending dances and riding mules, the last-named sport occasionally causing me to turn unexpected somersaults.

During this time I effected a sale of my fiddle for a gallon of whisky and a dollar in money. From the effects of drinking the whisky I felt that I could easily reach California, and, after obtaining a pipe and a pound of tobacco, I felt fully equipped for my trip.

When feed became plentiful we started out, in company with a man by the name of Gerard who had a lot of fine horses which he was taking to California.

Our complete outfit consisted of one wagon, one yoke of oxen, one yoke of cows, a tent and a common camp-stove. My uncle adopted the plan of staking the tent every night, also tying ropes to the wagon wheels and staking the same. He also fixed the stove daily, or rather made me do it, and this work of course became very monotonous.

Uncle assisted me a week or two in performing camp duties and also in driving team. I was grateful for all his previous kindness to me and in order to prove this I willingly performed all the duties required of me. But in a very short time he left all this work to me, and driving team all day and performing these duties afterwards kept me entirely out of mischief.

All went well until after we passed Julesburg, on the Platte River, when the following important incidents occurred:

I had slept a little longer than usual, having failed to awake before sunrise. My uncle aroused me and passionately remarked that he had not brought me along to wait upon me himself, but for me to wait upon him.

I had discovered this fact some time before, and these unkind upbraidings made me feel acutely my position as an orphan.

Shortly after this occurrence my uncle and his wife disagreed, and they finally concluded to separate.

My aunt sought me out and informed me that she intended to stop at Laramie, and, in order to induce me to stay with her, she asked me if I knew where uncle was taking me? I replied that I supposed he was taking me to California.

She then informed me that he was taking me to my father in Utah.

This troubled me greatly, and aroused all my fears of, and hatred towards the "Mormons."

At this time I did not know my father's name, as I had always borne the name of Cutler, my mother's maiden name.

On receiving this information I was considerably vexed, and it caused me to swear terribly and shed tears of indignation.

I at once charged my uncle with this intention, and we got to high words about it. He told me I need not go to Utah, but that I could go to California.

I knew that it was unfortunate to be liberated after coming five hundred miles from home, but I felt that I would rather die than ever go to Utah.

I, therefore, decided to stop at Laramie with my aunt and wait for a chance to go forward to California or return home.

The gold fever had now left me, and I became perfectly reckless, having respect neither for God nor man.

Matters continued so until we reached Laramie, when we halted for a few days.

All this time nothing was mentioned of my uncle and aunt's separation, as a reconciliation had been effected.

Previous to this we had fallen in with a man by the name of James Spicer, from Hamburg, who had three wagons and one hundred and seventy-five head of loose cattle. He had his wife with him but no children of his own, though he had brought with him an orphan boy. Spicer came to me while at Laramie, and said, "You don't want to go to Utah, do you?"

I replied that I did not.

He then said that he was not going there, and that he had noticed how I had been misused on the trip, but, as he was a small man compared with my uncle, he did not deem it wisdom to interfere; but if I wished to leave my uncle and go with him he would lay over until my relatives went forward if he had to remain all winter.

He stated that he had a man he wanted to get rid of, who could accompany my uncle in my place.

I agreed to this arrangement.

Two days later my uncle came to me and said, "Abe! let us get up the cattle; we can't wait any longer for Spicer. Frank Gilbert and company, belonging to Gilbert, Gerrish and Co., of Salt Lake City, are just ahead, and we can overhaul them."

I then informed him that I would accompany him no farther, for I had agreed to go with Spicer to California.

He was quite vexed, but after considerable talk he cooled down and accepted Spicer's man as a substitute; and in a few hours from the time he left us we hitched up and rolled out.

My uncle's next plan was to inform every "Mormon" he saw that one of Heber C. Kimball's lost boys was on the road, and describe our outfit to him.

On arriving at the Fort Hall Road (which was the route to California), Spicer was informed that several trains had been robbed and some persons killed while traveling in that direction. He, therefore, decided to change his plans and go through Utah, as this was his last chance.

I replied, "D—the odds, Spicer, we will die brave!" naturally supposing that the "Mormons" would kill me or mark me in some way for recognition.

Up to this time all our company were ignorant of my parentage, and I thought I had better make a confidant of one of the boys named James Lefler. I told him I had a father in Utah.

He was very anxious to know who my father was, and I informed him it was either Brigham or Heber, I was not sure which, though I thought it was Brigham.

At Green River Ferry we met Lewis Robison and sons. They soon discovered who I was, and commenced joking me by remarking that I could not cross on their ferry, as they did not ferry "Mormons."

This maddened me, and I threw off my clothes, and, placing them in the wagon, I jumped into the river, telling them they could go to h—.

I swam across the river, which was very high and rapid, and approached the bank lower down the stream.

Lewis Robison, desirous of making my acquaintance, and having learned that I was the lost boy, brought my clothes down to me.

When I saw him coming I remained in the water, for fear he would catch me, for I felt that I would rather drown than be taken to Utah.

He tried hard to persuade me to come out, but I declined, for fear he would take me to Salt Lake.

He informed me who he was, and that he was acquainted with my father, but did not tell me his name, and I did not care to know it.

Perceiving that I would not leave the water, he returned to the boat, leaving my clothes on the bank.

I then came out and dressed myself, and was soon mounted on one of Spicer's best horses, which had been brought over.

Robison, seeing that I had come ashore, made another attempt to converse with me, stating that I need not be afraid.

I told him that I was not, but for all that I did not allow him to get closer than thirty feet.

Finding that I would not keep still long enough for him to approach me, he talked with me from a distance, asking me if I would go and see my father, Heber C. Kimball, when I got to Salt Lake.

I told him I did not know.

He added that my father was a good man, and would be pleased to see me, and said he was going to Salt Lake in a few days and would inform him that I was coming.

On learning this, I was careful not to dismount again while remaining at the ferry.



We did not encounter any more "Mormons" that knew me until after arriving at Silver Creek, near Parley's Park, Utah. On arriving there I learned that William H. Kimball lived at the Park.

I had a faint recollection of having seen him at grandfather's, when he called several years previous, as he returned from his European mission.

I concluded then that I was approaching a region where something desperate would be required of me if I protected myself; so I made up my mind to put on a bold front and prepare for the worst. Feeling that I might as well meet my troubles first as last, I decided to pay William H. Kimball a visit before he came after me. I accordingly armed myself with a revolver and a quid of tobacco, and asked one of the boys, a daring fellow, to go over to the ranch with me.

On reaching there I inquired for William H. Kimball, and was informed that he was in the meadow, a short distance off, hauling hay.

From the description my uncle had given of me, my brother William at once recognized me, and said, "Hello, Abe! where did you come from?"

He seemed very glad to see me, and asked me to wait a few minutes and he would go to the house with me, as his mother (Vilate Kimball) was there, also two other brothers (Charles and Solomon), and part of his own family.

After being introduced to all, we were invited to partake of a civilized meal.

I was asked a great many questions respecting my previous career and future intentions.

After remaining till sunset we returned to camp with cordial invitations to call again, which we did, during our stay on Silver Creek.

I had one fight while there, and came very near getting whipped, as my opponent was left-handed. I managed, however, with a skillful blow, to dispossess him of his "goatee."

The acquaintance formed at the Park with my relatives made a favorable impression upon me, and great inducements were held out for me to call and see my father.

My brother Charles went to Salt Lake and informed my father where I was. He immediately sent a team for me, but I declined to go. Spicer had been a friend to me, and I did not think it right to forsake an old friend for a new one. I, therefore, refused to leave him on any account until I saw his outfit safely landed in Salt Lake City, as he would have been short of help had I done so.

It took us two days to travel from the Park to Salt Lake City.

My brother remained one day after we left, as he expected to overtake us before we reached the City, and intended to prevail on me to go home with him.

He failed, however, to find us, as we went over the "Little Mountain" while he proceeded down Parley's Canyon and reached the City before we did.

We encamped on Emigration Square for the night, and it was a very sad night to me, as I expected to fall into the hands of the "Mormons" on the following morning, and then I could not conceive what my fate would be. I expected, however, it would be something awful, and dreaded it the more as I thought of my early teachings.

About breakfast time next morning an unexpected visitor—Sister Tuft—called to see me, for the purpose of urging me to go and see my father, though I never knew her reason.

Shortly afterwards Lewis Robison called, having learned that I had arrived. He was anxious to know if I was going to see my father. I carelessly remarked that I did not know.

He said he would call in a little while, and accompany me.

Towards noon Spicer came to me, and said:

"Abe, what are you going to do? Are you going to stop with your father, or go with me?"

I told him I did not know, but thought I had better stop, for if I went on they would take me prisoner and bring me back, and I thought I would surrender. They might treat me better and not be so severe as they would if I tried to escape.

He thought the same as I did, but said if I was not suited, and could get away, I should find him at Camp Floyd, where he would winter; and if I came there he would give me a home as long as he had one.

We bade each other good by, both shedding tears, as we parted.

If I had been called upon to mount the gallows I should not have done so with greater reluctance than I then manifested as I went forth to meet my father.

I started out with a small flour sack over my shoulder, containing all my earthly possessions, and these consisted of the following articles of clothing: one old-fashioned coat, of the claw-hammer pattern, one checkered gingham coat and a pair of pants (home-made and colored with walnut bark). The legs of the pants were about five inches too long, and proportionately large in other parts.

The suit I wore was not as good as the one described, and consisted of a hickory shirt, white ducking pants (eight inches too short), a pair of shoes but no stockings, and an old relic of a white hat, with a small rim.

I remained on the square, alone, as long as I dared, watching Spicer's outfit moving down the State Road.

I kept hoping that Robison would soon appear, according to promise, but, as he failed to do so, I shouldered my sack and started out in search of my father.

I reached East Temple Street, but dared not speak to any one, and, instead of going on the sidewalk, I walked up the middle of the street.

Such an odd-looking genius as I appeared, of course, caused everybody to gaze at me.

I kept looking warily over my shoulders, as I supposed everybody was anxious to catch me. I did not inquire for Heber C. Kimball until I arrived opposite the Tithing Office, when I encountered a man named Benjamin Hampton (a gate keeper), who eyed me with suspicion, as if he suspected that I was a desperado or a lunatic.

I ventured to ask him where Heber C. Kimball lived, but he gave me no satisfaction; in fact he would not even acknowledge that he knew such a man. This caused me to give vent to an exclamation that was more expressive than elegant, after which I continued my journey up the street till I crossed City Creek.

There I ventured to call at a house, and, concluding that Heber C. Kimball did not live in that vicinity, I asked for Charles Kimball.

The lady to whom I addressed myself proved to be his wife, and she replied that her husband was at his father's barn a short distance away.

As I crossed the yard numbers of people gazed curiously at me from windows and doors.

I called at the barn, and there found my brother, hitching up the horses to go after me again. He was quite surprised to see me, and said he would unhitch and accompany me to the house.

I then wished that the earth would open and swallow me. On nearing the house I perceived a man whom I supposed to be my father, and my fear of him was very great as I approached. My brother addressed him as father, and, by way of an introduction said, "Here's your boy!"

My father was six feet one inch in height, and had keen, piercing, black eyes, which seemed to penetrate my inmost thoughts. His countenance, however, was very pleasant, and he spoke to me in a kind, fatherly manner, and undertook to embrace me, which I declined, as I was not used to such exhibitions of affection.

He said he was glad to see me, and asked me if I knew he was my father.

I told him I neither knew nor cared, and hoped he would kick me out and let me go.

He informed me that such was really the case.

I told him that it was all right, then, I did not say he wasn't.

He invited me to take a chair and sit down, which I did, but kept my hat on.

After viewing me from head to foot, he asked me if I had any clothes.

I replied, "Yes, plenty of them!"

He then called his wife, Adelia, and told her to get a tub of water and put it in a bedroom, so that I could have a wash and change my clothes.



After taking a bath I put on my new suit, but was ashamed then to appear before the family, as my surroundings seemed so nice that my old-fashioned suit was made to appear worse than it really was. I therefore decided to remain in the bedroom until I was invited out.

My aunts, Vilate and Adelia, insisted upon my joining the family, and if ever I felt ashamed of myself in the world it was then.

My father came to me in a few minutes and could not refrain from smiling. I suppose it was my clothes that amused him. He immediately requested his wife Adelia to comb my hair, which was to me a severe infliction, as I feared the results. However, this operation was safely passed, proving that my fears were groundless, and the remainder of the day I spent pleasantly, viewing the premises.

Imagine my astonishment when, in the evening, my father called into the room about twenty of his boys and girls and five or six of his wives. After being introduced we spent the evening reviewing my past life.

I learned that my father was quite prepared to find me in such a rough condition, for Lewis Robison, on arriving in the valley ahead of me, had informed him that I was one of the most uncouth boys he ever met in all his travels.

At bedtime father extended to me the privilege of sleeping with the boys, in a new room that he had built. This kindness I appreciated very much, although after retiring, the boys commenced making sport of their "country brother," which caused me to get on the war path, an indulgence I was rather fond of, having been compelled to fight my own way from childhood, through having no father or mother to take my part.

However, father soon put a stop to this, by appearing in his night-clothes and telling the boys he would attend to them if they did not keep quiet. We soon learned to love and respect each other.

All the liberties were extended to me that I needed, but in a few days I became home-sick. Although everybody was very kind to me, I could not help thinking of my old home, for all were strangers to me here.

Father, perceiving this, set me to work, hauling wood, and I soon forgot my troubles, and in the winter I attended school, during which time my father informed me of his desire for me to return to the States for my brother Isaac.

He asked me what I thought of being baptized.

I told him I didn't know.

He replied that I could do just as I pleased, but if I believed in the principles of the gospel he would like me to be baptized before going back. Nothing more was said on the subject for several months, when I was again asked if I had concluded to be baptized.

I told him I had, and he proposed immediately to send for Enoch Reese and have him baptize me.

We then went up City Creek, above the Church blacksmith's shop, where I was baptized by Brother Reese. After returning to the house my father confirmed me, and also ordained me an Elder and set me apart for a mission to the States, for the purpose of bringing my brother Isaac, and thus confirming the blessing pronounced upon me in my infancy.

I was also to seek Orin Rockwell (Porter Rockwell's eldest son), and bring him and as many others as I could induce to come.

I left home for the States on the 16th of April, 1863, in company with my brother Heber and others, with mule and horse teams, and we made the trip to the Missouri River in twenty-one days.

After remaining a few days in Florence, Nebraska, I set out for home on horseback. On arriving at Omaha my horse became very lame, and I left it and started out afoot.

I found my brother Heber at Kanesville, Iowa, where he had gone on business. He bought me a suit of clothes and a pair of shoes, and gave me a few dollars in money.

I left Kanesville about noon, making Glenwood (twenty miles distant) the same day. I stopped at a hotel for the night, and started out at eight o'clock next morning.

I arrived at my old home after dark, having walked fifty miles that day, and my feet were very sore.

My grandfather, grandmother, brother and friends were all glad to see me, and I spent several days in visiting my old resorts.

A few days after my arrival my grandmother and a portion of the family went out visiting. I remained, at grandfather's request, as he was still an invalid through phthisic, etc., and was unable to leave the house.

When alone, he commenced questioning me concerning Utah, asking me also about Brother Schofield and some others of his acquaintance, but I was unable to give much information concerning them.

He asked me if I had seen my father, Heber C. Kimball. I told him I had. He replied that he was glad of it.

He also asked me if I had been baptized, and I told him I had. He again replied that he was glad of it.

He next asked me if I had received my endowments, and, when I informed him that I had, he seemed pleased.

He then said: "I have suffered you to be prejudiced to the extent that you were, and it is now my duty to remove the same.

"You went off without asking my consent, which was all right. I knew that Heber C. Kimball was your father, and always did know it; but did not calculate that it should be known by you.

"I intended that you and Isaac should be the means of my support while I lived.

"You have now been to your father, and that is all right.

"I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and I know that Brigham Young is his legal successor, and I always did know it. But the trouble with me was I wanted to lead, and could not be led. I have run my race and sealed my doom, and I know what I have got to meet.

"I died once, and was dead for some length of time. My spirit left my body and went to the land of spirits. I saw the crown that I should wear if I remained faithful, and the condemnation I should receive if I did not. I begged to remain, but was informed that I must return and warn the people to repent, as my work on earth was not yet done.

"After my spirit returned to my body, those around discovered the appearance of life. The first words that I spoke were to Sidney Rigdon, who was stooping over me. I called upon him to repent of his sins, or he would be damned."

My grandfather paused here, but continued by saying: "I want you to go back to your father, taking your brother Isaac with you, as I know he is a good man, and remain steadfast to 'Mormonism.'

"Let what may turn up, never yield the point; for it will save and exalt you in the kingdom of God."

He wept like a child after saying this. He then said to me: "One favor I wish to ask of you, namely, that you will not divulge this confession to those whom I lead while I live."

With this he released me, and I continued my visiting.

My brother was perfectly willing to accompany me, so in a few days we started out for Florence, accompanied by one cousin (Jedediah Anderson), and Charles Cox and two live raccoons, which we brought along as curiosities.

After arriving at Florence we remained a few weeks, preparing to return to Salt Lake and drive teams for our brother Heber.

We arrived in the valley safely, and father was much pleased at our return, and gladly welcomed brother Isaac to his home.

My brother was as well suited as I had previously been, and soon after joined the Church.

We then contentedly settled down with father and remained with him almost to the time of his death, which occurred on the 22nd of June, 1868.

In this manner did I find a loving and kind father, whose character had been most shamefully maligned, and, though I was at one time reluctant to make his acquaintance, yet I have often thanked God since for such an exemplary parent.

I learned by the experience which I have related many lessons that I trust I may profit by as long as I live. I learned how difficult it is to overcome prejudices and false impressions, especially when formed in early youth or childhood.

I learned what a mischievous and dangerous quality ambition is, when not properly controlled. In the case of my grandfather, ambition for worldly honors, for office and position among men, led him to outrage his conscience. It caused him to barter away his claim upon the eternal riches and honor and glory of heaven for a miserable mess of pottage. It caused him to lead a false life. It caused him to make a pretense of believing that which he had a positive knowledge was untrue. It caused him to bring himself under condemnation by deceiving others. It even caused him to mislead his own offspring until he could do so no longer.

I learned something of the misery and sense of loss and remorse of conscience that result from such a course as that which my grandfather pursued, and I hope that his example may ever prove a warning to all who read this sketch. May they avoid such unlawful aspirations as caused his ruin, and live so that they can ever look back with satisfaction upon the past and forward with joy to the future.




The Elders of the Church often speak of the care shown by the Lord in preserving His Saints from harm. He has delivered them miraculously from accidents and death many times.

I will tell of a case in which God exersised His power in behalf of a company of His people.

The young people who may read this perhaps all know that hundreds and thousands of Saints gather to this country, from far off nations, every year. Many ship loads of them have crossed the Atlantic Ocean—a voyage of nearly 3,000 miles. On the sea, many accidents occur whereby people lose their lives by drowning, through the sinking of ships in storms. But nothing of this kind has ever taken place with a ship load of Saints. The reason for this is, that God has promised to protect His elect who should gather from the four quarters of the earth in these latter days.

In the year 1866; Elder Brigham Young, Jr., who was then President of what is called the European Mission of the Church, appointed the writer of this article to take charge of a company of about five hundred Saints from Great Britain to the banks of the Missouri River, in this country, on their way to Salt Lake City. The Saints did not cross the sea in fast-sailing steamships in those days. They traveled over the waters in slow-going sailing ships, depending for speed on favorable winds. At that time six weeks, was considered the average length of time for a voyage from England to New York.

We left the port of London on the 23rd of May, 1866, a very fine company of people, not a few of whom, I am pleased to say, are good, honorable members of the Church, in Utah, to-day. I have in my mind especially now some of the boys who were with us. I have seen them grow up to manhood, and they are still faithful.

When the ship American Congress, on which we sailed, was near the shores of Newfoundland a thick fog prevailed for several days, which prevented Captain Woodward from taking an observation, being unable to see the sun. He therefore could not tell exactly where we were.

About this time the captain and Brother John Rider, who now lives in Kanab, and who was one of my counselors in the presidency of the company, were conversing on the part of the ship called the quarter deck. I was standing some distance away from them. Brother Rider happened to turn his face in the direction in which the ship was sailing. At that moment the fog lifted up from the surface of the sea, as if a vail or scroll had been raised. He saw clearly between the fog and the water for some distance ahead.

Suddenly he exclaimed, pointing forward, "Captain, what is that?"

Captain Woodward, who was tall, powerful and active, made no answer. It was no time for orders. He sprang to the wheelhouse with the agility of a tiger, and knocked the man at the helm "heels over head," sending him sprawling upon the deck. At the same instant he grasped the wheel, turning it with the most surprising rapidity. Although his movements were so quick, he did not lose his presence of mind a moment. He was busy with his voice as well as his hands, for while he acted as I have described, he shouted, in clear, loud, piercing tones, the several orders directing all hands to "'bout ship." The sailors sprang to their posts. There were active limbs and busy hands among the rigging. The good ship American Congress, swayed slowly around, and the moment of peril was past.

Had this action been delayed a few moments the vessel would have been among the breakers, upon the rocks, dashed to pieces and probably not a soul of the nearly five hundred on board would have escaped a watery grave.

The rocks and breakers ahead, on the line of the vessel's course, were what Brother Rider saw when the fog lifted. The captain asked us, as a special favor, not to say a word to the people about the danger with which the ship had been threatened. He being commander of the vessel, we considered it right to respect his desire; besides, we thought his suggestion wise, as a knowledge of what had occurred would doubtless have caused an uneasy feeling among the passengers. The company were, therefore, not aware of the great danger they had escaped.

Elder Rider and myself thanked God for His goodness in so manifestly exercising His power in behalf of His Saints. The Lord fulfilled the promises made to us by His servants at the time we left England for the land of Zion.




There are no people on the earth, that we are acquainted with, that exercise so much faith in God our Heavenly Father as do the Latter-day Saints. No other people seek for His protecting care as they do. Nor are there any people to whom His protection is oftener extended or made manifest more visibly than unto this people.

Especially has this been the case with hundreds of our Elders, when traveling and preaching the gospel. A few of these instances of divine protection in my own experience I wish to relate.

While on my way to Nauvoo, Illinois, in the month of June, 1845, going down the Ohio River, the steamer I was aboard of ran aground on the "Flint Island Bar," just above Evansville, Indiana.

I remained on the boat for thirty-six hours; when, the water in the river being very low, and getting lower every day, and, seeing no prospect of our getting past this bar, I concluded to go ashore and work a few days, as I understood laborers were in demand in Evansville. The captain of the steamer aground, accordingly, refunded me a just proportion of the passage money I had paid him.

I procured work for one week, at the end of which time the river began to rise. Being very anxious to pursue my journey, I went aboard the first boat that landed at Evansville, which I learned was going as far up the Mississippi River as Galena. I made arrangements with the clerk for passage to Nauvoo, but did not pay him at the time, as he said the boat would not leave for two hours.

I was never more desirous of pursuing my journey than I was on this occasion, yet soon after going aboard a feeling of aversion to going on that steamer took possession of me. Instead of a sensation of joy, an undefinable dread, or foreboding of coming evil was exercising an influence over me, that increased in its power every moment, until I could resist no longer, and, snatching up my trunk, I fled with it to shore, just as the deck hands stopped to haul in the gangway, and the boat moved off.

I put my trunk down on the bank of the river, and sat down on it, too weak to stand on my feet longer.

This was a new experience to me, then. What did it mean? One thing was certain, I felt as if I had just escaped from some great calamity to a place of safety.

Two days after this I took passage on another steamer for St. Louis, where in due time I arrived in safety. As I walked ashore I met a newsboy crying his morning paper, and among the items of news it contained the most prominent was an account of the ill-fated steamer that I had made my escape from at Evansville, on the Ohio River. I purchased the paper, and found the boat had been snagged in the Mississippi River, below St. Louis, in the night, and sank, with a loss of nearly all that were on board.

The mysterious feeling that impelled me to leave that boat was cleared up to my satisfaction. There remained not the shadow of a doubt that Providence had interposed between me and the great danger.

The thanks, gratitude, and joy that filled my whole being on this occasion, I will not try to describe.

On another occasion, when on a mission in the State of California, in the year 1857, it became necessary for me to make a visit from the north end to the south end of San Francisco Bay.

There were two ways open to me to make this trip. One was to take the steamer and go by water from Petaluma to San Jose, the place I wished to visit. The other was by land, on horseback, around the east side of the bay, by way of Vallejo and Benicia.

I had stayed over Monday night at the house of a Mr. H—, who was preparing to move south with his family, and who prevailed on me to accompany him around by land. He offered to feed both myself and horse as far south as I desired to go, thus relieving me of any expense.

Mr. H—— had taken great pains to tell me of a Mr. O——, who was very favorably inclined to our people and doctrines. He thought that I ought, by all means, to visit him, and that I could do so on the coming Friday evening, and join him (Mr. H—) on Saturday morning at Vallejo, on the proposed trip.

This all appeared right enough to me, as Mr. O—— lived nearly in a direct line from Petaluma (the place I would start from on Friday) and Vallejo.

Mr. O—— had often invited me to make him a visit, and I therefore promised Mr. H—— that I would accept of his kind offer, and meet him at Vallejo as proposed.

On the Friday following, I took dinner at A. J. Mayfield's, near Petaluma. Soon afterwards I caught and saddled my horse, when I began to feel opposed to going to Mr. O——'s.

I remarked to Mr. Mayfield that I was tempted to give up my visit, at which he and wife (who were both great friends of ours) began to insist that I must not fail to visit Mr. O—— and family, as they were very anxious for me to do so. His acquaintance and friendship, they said, would be a great advantage to me, as he was a man of wealth and great influence.

Having nothing to offer as an excuse for not going, I mounted my horse and rode away.

The distance was about four miles; and, as I proceeded, the same mysterious influence was brought to bear upon me that had saved my life on the other occasion, just related.

This aversion grew and increased upon me until I came in sight of Mr. O——'s house, which was located in a beautiful vale, some half a mile away. From this point I could proceed no farther, or, to say the least, it seemed madness to do so.

So powerfully was I impressed that some impending evil awaited me if I went farther, that I turned my horse about and started back on a gallop, which I did not break until I arrived at Mr. Mayfield's again, feeling all the time as if I was fleeing from some great calamity.

The explanation I gave this family did not seem to satisfy them. I could see they thought me a little inclined to lunacy. However, next morning all was made plain enough.

Having given up my trip around the bay, I went, in company with Mr. Mayfield, to Petaluma, to take steamer and make my way by water.

We had been in town but a few minutes when we met with Mr. O—, who had come in to get out a warrant and an officer to arrest Mr. H—, whom I was to have met that same morning at Vallejo.

Mr. O—— had been robbed the night before of eight thousand dollars in gold, and he charged H—— with being the guilty party, which afterwards was proved to be true.

If I had not been prevented by a kind Providence, I would doubtless have been arrested at Benicia with him, as an accomplice.

The reader can easily perceive the dilemma this would have placed me in. And no doubt Mr. H—— and his family would have done all in their power to fasten the guilt upon me, in order to save themselves.

As soon as Mr. Mayfield and I were alone, he exclaimed, "O, I know now why you could not visit Mr. O—— last evening."

That family no longer regarded me as being superstitious.

As in the other case, I considered this a wonderful escape from a terrible snare, and was full of gratitude, giving thanks to Almighty God for the same.

Since then I have given more heed to the still small voice of the Spirit, and, consequently, have escaped many snares and evils that I might otherwise have fallen into.

Many other incidents I might relate of a similar nature. And there are thousands of our people that could testify to a great many marvelous deliverances, many of them more wonderful than those I have given in this sketch. Therefore, I advise the youth of Zion to seek always for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and for our Heavenly Father's kind and protecting care to be extended over them.


By H. G. B.


Charles and Robert Hamilton were brothers, born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, where, also, they both obeyed the gospel at an early period of the Church's history.

I never had the pleasure of an acquaintance with Charles, but always understood that he was one of the most able and faithful men in the Church in those early times.

Both of these brethren died previous to our exodus from Nauvoo.

Now, it is of some of the incidents that transpired while Elder Robert Hamilton and I traveled together as missionaries in the State of Virginia, in the years 1844 and 1845, that I wish to write.

While preaching at Newcastle, the present County seat of Craig Co., Virginia, we were challenged by the Rev. Dr. Waltholl, of the Campbellite church, to meet him in discussion.

We accepted the challenge. The large church in Newcastle belonging to the Campbellites, was offered for the purpose of holding the debate in. The subjects and terms were agreed upon, the moderators chosen, and the time to commence and continue the discussion to, was arranged, all of which the public was duly notified of.

During the time the debate lasted the large church was filled to overflowing, good order prevailed, and the strictest attention was given.

Elder Hamilton was the speaker on our side. He was a fluent and powerful talker, enjoying much of the Spirit of the Lord, and as the great truths of the gospel flowed from his lips the audience seemed utterly entranced and carried away with the newness, plainness and force of his arguments, "for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes."

The great Campbellite champion, the Rev. Waltholl, who was both preacher and lawyer by profession, was so utterly overwhelmed and filled with confusion and terror from the first, that he never recovered from the shock during the time the debate lasted. So much was this the case with him that he could only occupy a small portion of the time allotted to him, and, on the second day, at his own request, the discussion was brought to a close, although by his own proposition at first, it was to have lasted three days.

The reason he assigned for this was, that he was entirely unprepared to meet Elder Hamilton's arguments and evidence on the subjects under discussion, which were the authenticity of the Book of Mormon, the organization of the Church, with apostles, prophets, etc., and the gifts, blessings and power of the Holy Ghost.

Not one of the hundreds that attended that discussion ever pretended that the Campbellites did not meet with a great and decisive defeat on that occasion.

The news of their disaster spread rapidly and widely throughout the land, and came to the ears of another of their great divines, by the name of Dr. Scott (doctor of divinity, not of medicine).

This man flattered himself that he was able to retrieve his cause from the terrible defeat that it had suffered at the hands of Elder Hamilton, at Newcastle. He, therefore, challenged Brother Hamilton to debate with him upon the same subjects, and with the same terms as at first, but in another church and at another place.

This challenge was also accepted by Brother Hamilton, and the discussion was held, but it proved more disastrous to the Campbellite cause than the first had done.

Dr. Scott failed so completely on every point, and so disgraced himself as well as the cause, that he never afterward attempted to preach.

While the power, gifts and blessings of the Holy Ghost were being discussed, Elder Hamilton contending for its inspiration, its gifts and blessings as formerly enjoyed by the Saints, and the doctor arguing against these gifts, and denying such inspiration in any manner or form, I occupied a seat in the stand. While watching and listening to the proceedings, I caught the doctor imbibing freely from a bottle of whisky, which he replaced in his saddle-bags when the operation of drinking was over.

I had detected the smell of whisky the day previous, while seated near the doctor, but never suspected it was from his breath. I could never have thought a preacher guilty of so flagrant an outrage. But so it was; I had caught him in the very act, and so informed Elder Hamilton.

Such a scathing as that preacher received from Brother Hamilton I never witnessed. Said he:

"He denies the inspiration and power of the Holy Ghost; but there is an inspiration that he does believe in, and that is the spirit of the whisky bottle, which he now carries in his saddle-bags, and from which he has often sought and obtained his kind of inspiration since the beginning of this discussion."

This exposure and his muddled condition rendered Dr. Scott unfit to continue the debate longer. Prior to this time he had been considered a respectable, pious and able preacher. However, that defeat and consequent exposure destroyed his influence from that time forward.

As a rule, public discussions do not result in much good, but these were exceptions, and in and around this place we soon had the names of forty persons who were applicants for baptism.

I have traveled and labored in company with many of our most worthy Elders, but never with one more faithful, contrite in spirit and child-like, and yet more determined, valiant and undeviating in defense of the truth, and in every duty devolving upon him, than was Elder Robert Hamilton; and I have written this little sketch as a feeble tribute to his memory and his sterling worth.

During the eight or ten months we traveled together, our union and love for each other resembled very much that which existed between David and Jonathan.


By H. G. B.


We are informed in the book of Doctrine and Covenants, sec. 42, verse 6, that the Elders are to travel "two and two," and in sec. 84, verse 106 (latest edition) that the strong in spirit are to take with them the weak. That is, as I understand it, those that are experienced are to take with them the inexperienced.

Thus has it always transpired in my missionary labors.

The first mission I ever was called upon to perform was to the State of Virginia, in 1844. During that mission I traveled successively with Elders Sebert C. Shelton, Chapman Duncan and Robert Hamilton.

These Elders had more experience than I had, consequently, it was very natural for me to depend upon them to do the preaching, allowing the burden of our labors to rest upon their shoulders. But if they had humored me, and allowed me to shirk my legitimate share of the work, I am satisfied that I would have failed to succeed on that mission.

They, however, took great pains to see that I should not neglect my share in all the labors. They put me forward, and not unfrequently managed to leave me to fill appointments alone, and sometimes to travel alone for a week or two at a time. This left me to depend upon God and His Spirit entirely, and I can truly testify that this course was very valuable to me. I was often very much surprised and encouraged at the assistance afforded me through the Spirit on these occasions.

Since that first mission I have been sent on many others, and have traveled with seventeen other Elders at different times, most of whom were without experience. Among these were several more or less like I had been—backward, and inclined to shirk the responsibility of preaching.

I have had to resort to some pretty sharp management in breaking them in. A few of these instances I will relate.

When Elder Moses Thatcher was only between fifteen and sixteen years of age, he traveled with me as a missionary in California.

He was naturally inclined to modesty and diffidence, and said to me one day that he would black our boots, curry and saddle our horses, and do all that was to be done except the preaching, if I would do that part of the work and excuse him.

Naturally I entertained a great amount of sympathy for him, on account of his extreme youth, also because I remembered my own shortcomings when out on my first mission, during which time nothing ever so frightened me as the thoughts of being called upon to arise and try to preach. I therefore favored him until I thought it unwise and an injury to him to indulge him farther.

Having been invited to visit and preach in a new locality, I asked Elder T. to take some tracts and visit the place, and see the trustees of the school house. If the liberty to preach in the house was granted, then he was to proceed to notify the neighborhood of the meeting, distributing the pamphlets as he went. I also told him if anything happened to prevent my being there he was to fill the appointment.

At this he trembled, and with a face white with fear he begged me not to fail to be there, until I nearly repented of my intention.

He succeeded in obtaining the use of the house, and in notifying the people he came upon a quilting party of women and girls, who readily promised to be at the meeting, provided he (Elder T.) would preach.

He replied that his colleague would most likely do the preaching. But it turned out otherwise, and Elder T. was left to his fate; but he filled his appointment like a man.

Judging from the report that spread from that meeting, Elder T. preached as good a discourse then as at any time since, and probably with greater satisfaction to himself.

From that time forward he never failed to do his part in our labors, and I have no doubt that he looks back upon that achievement as one of the greatest of a very eventful and useful life.

Elder J. D. H. McAllister traveled with me in Arkansas, and for the first two months of our labors, when called upon to talk, would not occupy above five minutes, and often not half that time. It would then occur to him that the audience would rather hear some one else than him, after which he would not possess courage to try to talk longer, and would take his seat.

He would often say that he could not account for his being called on a mission. "What can I do? I do not even know that this latter-day work is true. My father has often borne testimony that he knew this work to be true. He is a good man and I believe his testimony; but I do not know it to be true for myself."

However, an opportunity occurred that dispelled all these doubts, and planted in the place thereof, facts and certainties.

I had taken a severe cold, and was so hoarse that I could not talk. A meeting was to be held, and at that meeting some one would have to preach.

The only alternative was for him to attend and do the preaching. To do this he had to travel five or six miles across the "slashes," face a large congregation composed almost entirely of strangers, and do all the preaching, and that, too, alone.

I never, while in that country, heard the last of the praises heaped upon him by the people for the "best sermon" they had ever listened to. He had no difficulty in testifying to the divinity of the great latter-day work. The Holy Spirit rested upon him, and he could not keep back this testimony, which was as new to him as it was to those that heard him.

That day's work is no doubt remembered by him with the greatest pleasure of any event of his life, and will prove as profitable as any in his future career.

Elder H. K. Coray was the most bashful of all the young Elders I ever traveled with, and it was more than a year before he overcame this fault. I had almost despaired of his ever making a success as a missionary. But I am proud to say he did finally succeed, and during the last year of our labors together, through the blessings of the Holy Spirit, he became an able speaker, and our hearers listened to him in rapt attention.

He has often said that the experience he gained during that mission was worth more to him than all the wealth of the world.

I could refer to the experiences of many other Elders who have traveled with me, which were, in many instances, similar to those that I have related. Some of them have been so far discouraged that they would weep like a child; others would beg of me to release them and let them return home, who at brighter moments would charge me not to permit such a thing, as they did not wish to disgrace themselves or their parents.

I can think of nothing that would so blight a young Elder's future usefulness and destiny as a failure to make a success of his mission, or any work that the priesthood may have set him apart to do. And I feel it my duty in this connection to bear my testimony to the truth contained in the book of Doctrine and Covenants, that has never failed to be verified in my experience, and in that of all other Elders whose labors have come within my observation. These promises are as follows:

"Any man that shall go and preach this gospel of the kingdom, and fail not to continue faithful in all things shall not be weary in mind, neither darkened, neither in body, limb, nor joint: and an hair of his head shall not fall to the ground unnoticed. And they shall not go hungry, neither athirst." (sec. 84, verse 80).

"Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say, but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man." (verse 85).

I have written the above incidents of missionary life and made these quotations in connection with them for the encouragement of young Elders now on missions, and the thousands of boys and young men that may, and will yet have to take missions to the many nations of the earth.


By C.



In the year 1846, at a council of the Twelve Apostles held in the temple at Nauvoo, I was appointed to go on a mission to England.

After seeing my wife and our one child provided for, as to travel and board in the great exodus then being inaugurated for the unknown somewhere for the Saints to seek, I left Nauvoo, poor and penniless, for St. Louis, Missouri.

After procuring some pecuniary help, I took passage for New Orleans on board the steamer Brunswick, Captain Moore commanding.

From some of the passengers I received substantial evidences of answer to prayer for means to prosecute my journey. In my labors in preaching the word I was wonderfully blessed, the captain kindly remitting one-half of the cabin passage money.

Arriving at New Orleans a stranger, and knowing no Saints if there were any in that city, I secured lodgings and board at $1.00 per day. It now became a new and peculiar duty and strain on my faith and pocket to seek a passage in some sailing vessel, bound for Liverpool.

I had some $45.00 in my pocket, the gifts of dear friends in St. Louis, on board the steamer Brunswick, and from one person particularly in answer to a masonic shake of the hand, unintentionally given.

I endeavored to find passage on the no purse or scrip principle, and was in every instance unsuccessful. I attributed these repulses to meanness or the non-appreciation of the character of a missionary, such as I proclaimed myself, and to the national character of the captains of the several vessels to whom I applied, for, being English myself, to this class I had purposely made my applications.

Meeting with several rebuffs, I was fast drifting on the road to discouragement.

On the Thursday succeeding my arrival I stood on the levee, and in fervent prayer I asked God to open the way for me to fill this mission—to soften the heart of the next captain I applied to, so that he might take me to Liverpool, free. I requested this as an evidence to me of God's favor; and if refused, I would take it as an evidence that I should return, overtake the Saints going west, and, with my family, find a new home.

While thus meditating and praying, it seemed as if some one came up to me and asked me how much money I had.

I instinctively replied, "About $40.00."

Then came the query: What did I want with that but to pay my way? Why ask for a Divine interposition on the heart or purse of any one while I had money in my pocket?

I felt the rebuke, yet I thought of my shabby clothes, my going home to see a proud-feeling mother, my desire by my personal appearance to cast no discredit on the cause I had espoused. These and many similar reflections passed hurriedly through my mind.

My invisible monitor did not leave me, but, waking me from the reverie, he again plied me with similar interrogations and rebukes, and told me to apply to the ship then in direct sight.

I looked up and saw the words: "For Liverpool."

I walked down to the pile of cotton from which the mate and some stevedores were loading the good ship Berlin.

I asked the mate what was the chance to obtain passage on board his ship for Liverpool.

In the most cherry voice he replied: "First rate! But here comes Captain Baker; talk with him."

I approached him. He offered his hand. I told him my business, my wishes and aims. He invited me on board, and, it being noon, to dinner.

After dinner he remarked: "Now to business! You say you are a 'Mormon' missionary. You wish to go to England! And how do you wish to go?"

I replied that I had but little money, and would be obliged to content myself with a steerage passage.

To this he strenuously objected, remarking that I knew not the life of a steerage passenger.

He asked me how much money I had, remarking that his cabin fare was $80.00.

I put my hand in my pocket and drew out my entire stock of cash, $40.00. "There captain," I remarked, "is all I have, which is just half the price of a cabin passage."

He remarked, "I will take this in part payment!"

"But," I asked, "how shall I, how can I pay you the difference?"

He replied, "I have heard much of the preachers of the 'Mormon' faith being experts in the scriptures. We shall take on board on Sunday evening an Episcopalian minister, and when we get out to sea and all things in trim, I shall expect you and the minister to give me and my wife some Bible contests."

"Now," said I to the captain, "having given you all my money, how can I pay my board bill till you sail?"

"Why," he replied, "how can you board but board the ship Berlin! Here," (calling to one of the men) "go with this boy and help him with any luggage he may have, and put it in the cabin."

Soon I was duly installed. You may readily imagine my feelings of gratitude to God and the monitor on the levee.

In due time we sailed, after receiving the reverend gent, who was a tall, portly person, wearing the garb and look of his church.



When fairly out at sea, and as evening set in, the captain would order lights and request the minister to bring out his large Bible, and "you, little one, bring out your little Bible."

Neither of us was loth, and the theological set-to would commence.

Captain Baker would exclaim with a hearty oath, that the little one had the best of it, and then the big one would get wrathy, and close his book with a bang and declare the contest off. But Mrs. Baker would interpose and soften his ire, and again we would return "to the law and the testimony."

But, alas! at one of these theological "bouts," the theme being water baptism, sprinkling and circumcision, the new birth, etc., I was so marvelously assisted in delineating the new birth—water baptism, that he closed his big book with a clang, and declared that he would never argue with me any more.

The captain, jumping up, swore with an oath that the "little one" had the best of it, and Mrs. Baker smiled her approval.

I pass over the general features of the voyage.

Arriving in the river Mersey early in the morning, and the tide not serving, the prospect was to remain on board till the tide changed.

The captain hailed a boat to go on shore, and bid me go with him. At first I declined, knowing I had no means, but by persuasion I consented.

He asked me where I was going to, and if I knew any one.

I told him "Stanley Buildings," and I knew no one only as my credentials named certain persons, such as Messrs. Ward, Hedlock and Wilson.

He accompanied me to Stanley Buildings, but finding no one there, it being too early for office hours, he invited me to breakfast.

After breakfast, he took me to the office of the Millennial Star, requesting me before leaving, to come down to the dock at a certain hour, which he named, as the ship would then be in her berth.

At the appointed time I was there.

My little trunk was examined and passed. I was in the act of throwing it over my shoulder when the captain seized it, hailed a cab, threw the trunk to the driver, and literally pushed me inside the cab.

I then said: "Captain, this is pushing things to an extreme. I have no money, I gave you all I had. I owe you $40.00 balance of my passage money. How can I pay this fare and you?"

"With this half sovereign pay your fare. As to the balance of the passage money, pay that by preaching the gospel as you know it, and as your little book (a small pocket Bible) teaches it. Do all the good you can, and when you pray, as I know you do, for I have heard you on board the ship, pray for Sam Baker. God bless you; and when you get through and want to go back home, and I am in port, come to me and I will take you back free."

Then giving the door of the cab a slam, he said: "Take this boy to Stanley Buildings!"

I never saw Captain Baker again. I learned that in a subsequent voyage he was lost at sea, in a terrific storm.

On the receipt of the news, as sensibly as you can hear a penny drop into an empty contribution box, so sensibly did my monitor of the levee tell me of my duty—to be baptized for Captain Baker.

Baptism for the dead was then a new principle in this age, and one but recently revealed through the Prophet Joseph; I therefore hailed with joy unspeakable this, another direct manifestation of the presence of God with me, the divine inspiration of Joseph Smith, and the truth of this work.

My arrival at Liverpool was in the midst of the dazzling sumptuousness of the Joint Stock Company. Feastings, dress and the appointments of well-paid attaches were the order of the day.

My appearance as to dress was not becoming.

I saw in fancy my presiding officers there, myself, my intended visit home, penniless. Yet had not God marvelously wrought for me? Why should I despair?

Placards announced my coming—the first from the temple at Nauvoo.

Sunday found me in the pulpit, with a vast host assembled.

How shall I, in adequate words, portray even now the grandeur of language, ideas, the sublimity of the opening vision of mind, as I dilated on "Ye must be born again?" How enwrapped, how enlightened I was by the Spirit! How scripture, unthought of, unknown or unappreciated before, marched in single file before my mind! How, after nearly two hours, I sank to my seat exhausted, and thought of my clothes and my mother's chagrin if I saw her in that plight.

After the benediction, I descended to mingle with the people.

Many strangers to the hall and the Saints came trooping to me, eager to press my hand, leaving therein weighty metallic evidences of their appreciation of a God-helped "Mormon" missionary.

I now had more money than when on the levee at New Orleans.

How vividly I recall, even now, my gratitude, as on bended knees at my lodgings I thanked God for His wonderful interpositions in my behalf, and what joy I felt as I counted the metallic evidences of trust and answer to prayer.

As soon as I could I visited home, from which I had been exiled for my faith. They scanned me well, and one member of the family, referring to our mode of traveling—without purse or scrip, wanted to know if I had come home to sponge on them.

I replied "No!" and, putting my hand into my pocket, drew forth a sovereign. Pushing that towards them, I remarked, "That will pay my board bill while I stay. Our Elders do not sponge!"

I was proud that I had good clothes and money.

At the Sunday dinner the same acrimonious feelings were again exhibited.

I arose from the table, sorrowed that years of absence had not softened their hearts towards me and the cause dearest to my heart, remarking that "This evening I will preach in the Theobald Road room, at 6-30."

My brothers came to hear me, and here again God opened the sacred volume, showed me new beauties, gave me impassioned language to expound the scriptures, afforded me power to enchain the audience, and again to see strangers rush to give me money.

My brothers laughed the laugh of unbelief, while strangers and Saints thanked God for the words heard, and gave me more money.

I hope this brief and hurried but truthful narrative may inspire some young Saint, missionary or otherwise, to be honest and trust in God when out without purse or scrip.


By G. Q. C.


It is most interesting to listen at meetings to the different testimonies which the Latter-day Saints bear concerning the work of God. The experience of no two persons is exactly the same, and yet all are true. One is impressed with an evidence of the truth in one way and another in another way.

So also it is with the experience of the Elders; the experience of each varies according to the constitution and temperament, the bent of mind and the circumstances which surround each one.

We have met with a few men in our life who never seemed to know what it was to be timid in standing up before an audience. They always seemed to be perfectly self-possessed, and did not suffer in the least from fear; while we have known others who felt that it was impossible for them to stand on their feet and address an audience.

Some Elders in starting out, quickly conquer their feelings of timidity. They soon get into the habit of thinking and talking upon their feet. They seem to care nothing about the congregation, while others require a long time to get accustomed to speaking to audiences, and are easily embarrassed.

We firmly believe that the Lord will help every man to overcome this timidity when sent upon a mission to preach the gospel. If he does not conquer the feeling of fear, it is because he allows it to master him, and does not use that faith which he should to shake it off.

The writer started out as a missionary when he felt that he was but a comparative youth. He was exceedingly timid, and had a mortal dread of standing up before a congregation. He sometimes thought that no one could have suffered from this feeling as he did.

But there was one thing that he made up his mind to do—to never shrink from the discharge of his duty. If he should be called upon to pray, to bear testimony or to speak, he was resolved that he would do his best, and put his trust in the Lord to help him out.

With the exception of a few meetings, his first experience as a missionary was in preaching in a strange language to a foreign people. This was doubtless more embarrassing than it would have been to speak to the people in his mother tongue, because there was his awkwardness in the use of the language in addition to the ordinary feelings of timidity to contend with.

He well remembers the feelings that he had prior to the first meeting. If he could have run away, and done so honorably, he would have done it, but this would have been disgraceful.

He did the best he could, and suffered considerably from embarrassment; and though he baptized some nineteen souls in the ensuing five weeks, yet he suffered at each meeting from the same feelings of dread.

Something occurred on the sixth Sunday to arouse him and make him somewhat angry. The conduct of some preachers and opponents of the gospel was very hateful, and in attending meeting that day he enjoyed greater liberty than he had at any time previously. A fearless spirit took possession of him, and the Spirit was able to speak through him as it had not done before.

The feeling of fear when it rests upon a man, drives away the Spirit of God. The two spirits cannot exist in the same bosom. One must have the mastery. If the Spirit of God has the mastery, it drives away all fear, and enables a man to speak under its influence with power. If the spirit of fear has the mastery, the Spirit of God is checked, and the man is not able to tell the people the will and counsel of the Lord.

After six weeks' preaching in this locality, the writer visited another place, where the people were very anxious to hear. He succeeded in getting a large meeting-house to preach in, and when he arose to give out the hymns and to pray, the sound of his own voice in the building frightened him.

The congregation was a larger one than he had ever addressed before; but he prayed earnestly to the Lord for help. He knew that no power but God's could assist him and enable him to declare the truth.

After reading a portion of the scriptures, he commenced speaking, and continued to address the people for upwards of an hour. He was completely carried away by the Spirit, and fear was banished. Tears coursed down the cheeks of the congregation, and many felt the power of God to so great an extent that they came forward and offered themselves for baptism.

A great work was done in that place and the vicinity, and from that time to the present—about thirty years—the writer has never suffered from fear as he did previous to that day.

It is true that many men never can arise before a congregation without feeling some degree of embarrassment and trepidation. The writer is one of these; but that fear which paralyzes the mind, that impairs the memory and produces a feeling of dread and utter forgetfulness of everything that one knows, he has never experienced from that time.

We relate this instance in our experience to show how differently Elders are affected. Some can speak without any difficulty or fear after the first time they get on their feet. It takes others, as in our own case, a longer time to overcome this feeling, probably arising from the fact that some have by nature more of that man-fearing spirit. Others, again, may require a still longer time; but what we wish to impress upon our young readers, and upon all who read these pages, is that they should not be discouraged because the first time they get on their feet, or the second or third, they do not speak with that freedom they desire.

When the Spirit of God takes possession of a man, and he will yield to its influence, it will take away all fear, and enable him to tell the truth in great plainness; and if he will persevere, nothing doubting, we dare promise every Elder that he will be able to overcome his feelings of fear and embarrassment, and be filled with holy boldness to declare the gospel unto the people in whose midst he is appointed to labor.


By C. H. B.


In the year 1864, a little boy named Charles lived with his mother and sister in the city of C——, near the central part of the State of Indiana. His father and elder brother had enlisted in the army, then fighting for the Union. Charles was but four years of age, not large enough to earn anything, and their daily food depended upon what his mother earned by her hard day's labor.

It was in the winter season. Times were hard, and growing worse every day, and the people had but little for the mother to do. It was with great difficulty that she earned enough for herself and children to live upon.

One morning she went out in the cold wintry blast and gathered bark from the fence rails to keep her children from suffering with the severe cold, and at breakfast she gave them the last crust of bread that was in the house, not eating any herself. Then she went out into the city to seek something to do to earn some more bread for her little ones. But after a long search she returned, very tired, both in body and mind, without accomplishing her object.

The poor woman sat down and wept bitterly. Her children were crying for bread, and she had none to give them. But when they again asked her for bread she said to them, "The Lord will provide."

Presently she knelt down, her bosom swelling with grief, and asked the Lord to spare her children's lives.

Then rising to her feet, she thought of some carpet rags she had put into a barrel just the day before, and decided to take them to a store and see if she could sell them for some bread.

Just as she turned the barrel up-side down, to empty out the rags, she said in a tone of motherly kindness: "Dear children, do not cry; the Lord will not let us starve." Then she turned the barrel back, and, on looking into it, what do you suppose greeted her eyes?

It was something that made her countenance beam with gladness and her eyes dance with joy, and she exclaimed, "The Lord will provide! Blessed be the name of the Lord!"

It was a dollar bill. It had never been lost there, because she had washed out the barrel the day she put the rags into it. But how it got there I will leave you to form your own opinion. Suffice it to say, that it was neither in the rags nor barrel the day before.

It purchased bread enough to last them a few days, till they received seventy dollars sent them from the army.


Which occurred at Healdsburg, Sonoma Co., Cal., in 1857, between Doctor Bonham, a Methodist Minister, and a "Mormon" Elder.

By H. G. B.

DR. BONHAM.—I understand that you are making some prosylytes to your Church in this country.

"MORMON" ELDER.—Yes, we have some fifty or sixty members that have been added to the Church lately, on this side of Sacramento River.

DR. B.—Nine-tenths of the religious portion of the community in this country look upon your people as being deceived, and your ministers as deceivers, and your doctrines as being false and pernicious.

M. E.—Yes, I am aware of this fact, and also of another fact: that is, that the same opinion prevailed among nine-tenths of the Pharisees and Sadducees, eighteen hundred years ago, about our Savior and His apostles and prophets, and the doctrines which they taught. The same kind of religious sentiment was arrayed against the gospel then, as now.

DR. B.—But you must know that the doctrines of a new revelation, and of apostles and prophets are a delusion, and that you are leading astray many of the people.

M. E.—Then the Bible must be a delusion, and it must be that it is leading many of the people astray, for the Bible teaches the same doctrine that we teach, namely, new revelation, apostles and prophets.

DR. B.—I deny that it does. "The law and the prophets continued until John, after which the kingdom of heaven was preached."

M. E.—Would you prove by this quotation that there were to be no more revelation, nor apostles and prophets after John? Then, indeed, was Jesus Himself a false prophet, and His apostles were false teachers, and all that was revealed to the world through Him and them was also false. Such a conclusion is impossible. What, then, are the facts? The kingdom of heaven was really preached afterwards, and that, too, by apostles and prophets, with a continual flow of revelation.

DR. B.—Yes, I will agree that new revelation and apostles and prophets were necessary till the kingdom was established; but after that time, they were no longer needed, and were rightly done away. They left us a perfect pattern in the New Testament, which is all that is needed to guide the church in all things.

M. E.—And, according to this perfect pattern you allude to, you have elders, bishops, priests, teachers and deacons in your church, have you?

DR. B.—Yes; to be sure we have. And these officers are in our church according to the perfect pattern given us in the New Testament.

M. E.—I suppose, then, you have apostles, prophets and seventies in your church, thus following out the perfect pattern to its completeness.

DR. B.—No; we have no apostles nor prophets; nor have we any seventies. They are all done away with.

M. E.—Now, can't you see that you are inconsistent? If the New Testament pattern requires elders and bishops to be organized in the church, it also requires apostles and prophets just the same. If this pattern is authority for an elder, it is just as good authority for an apostle. If authority for a bishop, it is just as surely authority for a prophet. Your assertion that they are done away with, and no longer needed, is a palpable contradiction of the plainest truths of the New Testament pattern.

DR. B.—Does not Paul, in the 8th verse of the 13th chapter of his first letter to the Corinthians, say, "Whether there be prophecies they shall fail?"

M. E.—Yes, and in the 10th verse of the same chapter Paul plainly tells them when prophecy shall fail, that is: "When that which is perfect is come." Paul, in his 4th chapter to the Ephesians, 11th to 13th verses, also refers to the apostles and prophets as being necessary in the church to bring about this perfection, also for the work of the ministry, and to continue "till we all come in the unity of the faith."

The work of the ministry is not or ought not to be done away. The perfecting of the Saints, and that unity spoken of, are works that belong to all time, as surely as it was necessary in Paul's time. Therefore, your quotation from Paul is certainly a very strong proof in favor of our doctrines.

DR. B—I cannot see the necessity of apostles and prophets; nor do I believe that God intended that they should be continued in the church. Is it not written in the last chapter of John's Revelations, 18th and 19th verses, that if any man shall add to or diminish from the words of this book, that a heavy penalty shall rest upon him? If God did not allow any more revelations to the world than they at that time possessed, then the necessity for apostles and prophets no longer existed, as they were the only mediums through whom He revealed His will to mankind.

M. E—What you see, or cannot see, or what you believe, or do not believe in this connection, does not amount to a pin, unless you see and believe the truth.

In the 12th chapter of the first epistle to the Corinthians, Paul compares the church of Christ to the body of a man, placing the apostles and prophets as the head of that body; other officers and members composing the other portions of the body.

There were many members, yet but one body. God had set the members in the body as it pleased him; first, apostles, then prophets, etc., down to the feet. The head could not say to the body, "I have no need of you;" nor again, could the feet say to the body, "We have no need of you." The body could not live an hour without the head. Therefore, the church of Christ could not live without apostles and prophets, these constituting the head of the Church.

DR. B.—But you have not answered my quotation from John, forbidding any addition to the word of God, thus cutting off the necessity of new revelation, and the channels or mediums through which it was given, forever after.

M. E.—That was just what I was going to come to when you interrupted me. God did, indeed, forbid any man to add to, or diminish from His word, as you correctly quoted. Also in Deuteronomy, 4th chapter and 2nd verse, we find a similar prohibition, given through Moses. Now what do these passages prove? Simply this: Man shall not add nor diminish, but the Lord can do so at His pleasure. A few days after the death of Moses the Lord began to reveal more of His word to Joshua, the successor of Moses. And it is recorded in history that the Lord did the same thing in St. John's case, for he wrote his narrative of the gospel and his three epistles after his Book of Revelations, from which you made your quotation.

DR. B.—Your doctrines are the most dangerous that I know of, and the best calculated to deceive the ignorant and the unwary. And your preaching ought not to be allowed in this country, and I shall try to prevent all that I can have any influence over from going to hear you.

M. E.—I have not done with your quotations yet. No man in our Church has ever added to or diminished the word of God. We have never violated those restrictions in the least, but the Methodists and many other sects of the present day have both added to and taken from the word of God. They have added the practice of infant baptism, and substituted sprinkling for the ordinance of baptism by immersion. They have heaped to themselves teachers, having itching ears, who have turned from the truth and have added their fables; they divine for money and preach for hire. They have added the mourner's bench to what they call the worship of God. The fear of God is taught by the precepts of men, and nearly all that is preached or believed in by them is of their own adding.

They have diminished from the word of God in that they deny new revelation, apostles, prophets, seventies, the gifts of the Holy Ghost, the ordinances and power of the gospel, and all the grandest, best and most glorious promises contained in the great plan of salvation.

And I warn you to beware that the plagues John spoke of be not added to you, and that your part in the book of life and your part in the holy city be not taken away. For you have "transgressed the law, changed the ordinances and broken the everlasting covenant."

DR. B.—I understand that the government is sending an army to Utah, to exterminate you "Mormons." And I think it will serve them just right. Such gross impostors ought not to be allowed to live. No such delusion should be tolerated among civilized communities.

M. E.—That's right; come out in your true colors! Like the Pharisees of old, when you cannot bring any arguments to prevail against the truth, you would resort to the sword—you would have recourse to arms—to violence, and destroy all those that love and sustain the truth. And you, Doctor Bonham, would have been first among the men that crucified the Redeemer, had you lived then. You would have been the man to have beheaded John the Baptist, and for the same reason; and to have slain the apostles and prophets. Your antipathy to apostles and prophets prove it. "Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers," the Pharisees.





I was born on the 30th of September, in the year 1794, in the town of Queensbury, Washington County, State of New York. My father, Asa Brown, belonged to the denomination of "Friend Quakers." His business was that of a farmer. I worked with him chiefly until I was twenty years of age.

During my boyhood I was much deprived of the benefits of education, owing to my father's removing from place to place, in new settlements, they affording him greater facilities for the purchase of cheap land than older ones. By these means he was enabled to have his children settle around him.

Being thus brought up, far from the abodes of the religious sectaries of the day, my ideas of religion were just those which are naturally instilled into the mind by the statements of Scripture, where no priestcraft exists to pervert them, diminish their force or cloud their meaning; consequently, I believed in the Bible just as it read, where the self-evident rendering of the context did not prove it figurative or parabolic.

The idea that revelation from God was unattainable in this age, or that the ancient gifts of the gospel had ceased forever, never entered my head, until I gathered the notion from the creeds of churches with which I became acquainted in after years. I can remember many times, on occasions of sickness among my relatives, while yet quite a boy, retiring to some barn, or other convenient place of the kind, and their being suddenly restored to health, in answer to prayers offered there, by me, in their behalf.

I continued thus until about fifteen years of age, when circumstances caused me to live in settlements where the sects of the day had established some of their churches, and I was unfortunate enough to hear their preaching.

I soon began to lose my pure, simple ideas of God, and imbibe those more generally received; and, shortly after, by listening to the contending opinions of these parties, I found the hitherto simple Bible a perfect mystery.

I had previously been seriously and religiously inclined, but the jarrings and uncertainty of my new ideas shook that simple faith which I had reposed in the Scriptures, and in God, until I began to mix with light or vain company. I at times thought little about such matters, but, in moments of reflection, the Spirit of the Lord would often show me the folly of my conduct, and bring to my remembrance the goodness of God manifested to me in past times.

The Universalist system appeared to me the most reasonable of the various denominations I came in contact with. The horrible hell and damnation theories of most of the other parties, in my idea, were inconsistent with the mercies and love of God.

However, I did not actually join the Universalists. But their doctrines, with respect to the eternity of punishment, etc., savored to me of a more generous and God-like nature, than the contracted notions held by the other denominations, concerning God's purposes towards the human family.

Amidst all the folly which, for short periods, I gave way to, a deep anxiety possessed me to find the truth, and I visited, and, to some extent, mingled with, the religious professors of many of the sects, at their meetings, and took part in the same.

About the age of twenty-five, I married, and settled on a small farm of my own.

About nine or ten years later than this, after a fatiguing day's labor, I returned home one evening, and, having partaken of my supper, turned my back to the fire, as my custom was, and leaned, with my head on my arms, on the chair top, to rest myself, and dry my clothes, which were moistened with the perspiration caused by the heat. My wife retired to rest, expecting me shortly to follow.

Thus left alone, I was musing on things generally, but not particularly on any religious subject, when a vision of my brother, who had died some fourteen of fifteen years previous, appeared before me, praying. I heard his voice clearly and distinctly, and listened attentively.

In the course of his prayer, he referred to the great work to be done on the earth during the last days, quoting several Scriptures. I did not, however, fully comprehend the meaning of them, until, coming into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, years after, I saw the applicability of his words to the views of that people, with regard to the restoration of the gospel gifts, the great work of gathering the Saints of all nations in the last days, and the fullness of the latter-day glory, for he particularly prayed for the hastening of these things.

Soon he disappeared from my view, when suddenly, to use a Scripture phrase, a sound, as of a rushing mighty wind, with some accompanying influence, seemed to fill the house and myself, and I heard a voice saying: "This is the spirit of understanding." An open Bible appeared before me, so peculiarly placed, that I could see portions of several books of the prophets and apostles at once.

Directly I heard the above words, I began to read, understanding and intelligence burst upon my mind, and the glory and beauty that seemed to shine forth in the subjects treated upon, no language can describe. The despatch with which I read, astonished me, for I seemed able to read a chapter in the time usually occupied in reading a verse, and the contents of a whole book were laid before my mind about as quickly as otherwise I could have perused a single chapter.

With the rapidity of lightning, various truths of the Bible were presented to my mind, and what each prophet or apostle had said on each particular subject met my eyes, in consecutive order, concentrated and connected, showing that each and all of those men were inspired by the same Spirit, and had a distinct knowledge of the same grand events and glorious truths, particularly those which I had heard my brother pray about. I never before saw such connection between the Scriptures. What one prophet had said on a subject met my sight, and directly, with the quickness of thought, I read what each of the other prophets or apostles had said about the same thing. I saw the whole at a glance, brought as it were to a focus.

Such a chain of testimonies, and an interweaving of evidences, accompanied with that perception and comprehension which the Holy Ghost alone can give, none can realize but those who have received that Spirit and revelations unto themselves. Such persons know just how it is.

I was disturbed, apparently in the midst of my vision, by my wife's calling to me, when the vision left me, and I felt just like a hungry man who is called or snatched suddenly away from a feast. But the joy and peace with which my spirit was filled remained with me, and I glorified God.

Things went on much as usual, till something like a year afterwards, when I had a singular dream, which, as it had a bearing on my future life, I will relate:

I dreamed that I had been called to preach the gospel, and the first time I thus officiated, it was in a school-house, in an adjoining town, with which I was well acquainted. I saw all the members of the congregation, which was small, and, when I awoke, I could distinctly remember the position each person occupied in the room.

This so impressed my mind that I told my wife of it, and said I believed it would be realized; but she scouted the idea. What was I, a working man, to do with preaching? Well, at other times, it would have appeared equally foolish to myself, but it had been given to me that her mother, living at the place, knew by a dream the same thing, and I told this to my wife. At last she promised that, if it turned out to be the case, she would believe the dream to be true.

In a day or so, we paid her mother a visit, and found that she had dreamed, that night, that I was coming to preach in the town where she lived, and we learned, from her friends, that she had been entreating one of her relatives to carry her to my residence, that she might tell me of it.

Although the truth of the dream was thus proved to me, I little thought what doctrines I was to preach, and in connection with what people or church. But I was to have greater evidence of the truth of my dream, as will be seen hereafter.

Five years more passed, and I was still unconnected with any religious party. At this time, what were called "protracted meetings," or religious services, continued for days, and sometimes weeks, were very popular in America.

In common with the "Universalists," I felt unfavorable to the meetings, but such magnificent reports of their results—the wholesale "conversion of souls," led me to attend one. I humbled myself, and determined to divest my mind of all prejudice, and put myself at least in a position to receive all the good that could be obtained.

Before going, I covenanted with the Lord, that if He would reveal His mind and will unto me, whatever sacrifice or duty He might require at my hands, I would do it. Little did I think of the way my truthfulness would be tried, or possibly I might have shunned such a contract.

As soon as I began to attend, I felt the Spirit of the Lord operating upon me, so that I seemed filled to overflowing with its teachings. A continual stream of glorious truths passed through my mind, my happiness was great, and my mind was so absorbed in spiritual things, that all the time the meetings lasted, which was about fifteen days, I scarcely ate or drank anything. At other times, that which I subsisted on during these fifteen days, could scarcely have sustained life, but the Spirit of the Lord so operated on my system, that I felt full all the time, and had no desire to eat or partake of anything.

The subject of "Freemasonry" was just then agitating the public mind, so that many of the churches were divided about it, more especially the one to which most of the members attending this meeting belonged, being divided into "Masons" and "Anti-Masons." This meeting was called the "Masonic party."

The other minister of the same church held Anti-Masonic principles, and refused to meet with the Masonic party, and kept most of his party away. This caused a great deal of quarrelling and contention, and much anger and bad feeling, of which I knew but little until afterwards. I had heard of the two parties, but had not interested myself in the matter, and consequently did not care much about it.

While sitting in the meeting, listening to the preaching, being much interested in what was being said, the Spirit of the Lord came upon me, and revealed that I was to visit the minister of the Anti-Masonic party, Judge Cushing, and tell him of his foolishness and wickedness in increasing the spirit of division between those who ought to be united as brethren in one common interest.

It rained hard at the time, and feeling rather taken up with the preaching, I thought I would delay until the close of the meeting.

This mission to me was a very hard task. How was I, a man from the thrashing-floor, to reprove a minister, and, moreover, a judge? But a few minutes had scarcely elapsed, before the word of the Lord came to me again, with greater power than before, that I was to go at once! I had covenanted with the Lord, and I felt determined to fulfill, if it killed me; so I sprang to my feet, took my hat, and departed from the meeting.

I found the judge at a public inn, engaged in making some purchase. I requested to speak with him for a few minutes in private. He said he would attend to me presently. I sat down, but I had hardly done so before the Spirit of the Lord was again upon me, like fire in my bones, commanding me to deliver my message directly.

I again requested to speak with the Judge, stating that my business was urgent. He complied this time, and retired with me outside the house. The Spirit of the Lord gave me utterance, and filled my mouth with words, and I laid before him, in language which was given me, the impropriety of his conduct.

The same Spirit bearing witness, the judge acknowledged his folly, said he would amend, and told me that he had spent many sleepless nights as a result of his course. He also said that, directly I sat down, something told him for what I had come, although I was a stranger to him. In fact, he knew nearly as well before I had spoken, as after.

This confirmed my faith that the Lord had sent me, but it was a great trial to my feelings at the time. However, I had another trial to undergo, which occurred some days afterwards during the same meeting.

While the minister was preaching, it was revealed to me to arise and declare to the congregation, that they, before coming together to pray for the conversion of others, ought first to be reconciled one to the other, so that their gifts of prayer might be accepted by the Lord. The Spirit also said, that some in the congregation were guilty of oppressing the poor, taking unlawful usury, oppressing the hireling in his wages, and many other sins of a similar character.

I waited until the preacher had finished his discourse, during which the idea of having to arise and speak before this congregation of about fifteen hundred people, most of whom, being members of Christian societies, I considered better persons than myself, filled me with fear, and the perspiration rolled off me profusely.

Could such a thing have availed, I would sooner have given five hundred dollars than have buckled up to this task, but there was no escape; I had covenanted, and the moment the minister ceased speaking I delivered my message. It was received very well by the congregation, many fancying I was converted to their faith, and, being blessed with such gifts, a bit of a prize.

On coming out, two men, one a justice of the peace, and the other a colonel, came up to me. The justice asked why, if I had anything against him, I did not, as the Scripture directs, go to him privately, and not expose him before all the congregation.

The other said, "If you have got a man by the throat, you need not think that because it is pleasant to you, it is so to him."

I told them that as the cap seemed to fit they might wear it. But I was much surprised, for I was not aware they were present.

About a day previous to the close of this meeting, I received a more important communication than either of the previous ones. A knowledge was given me that the ancient gifts of the gospel—speaking in tongues, the power to heal the sick, the spirit of prophecy, etc., were just about to be restored to the believers in Christ.

The revelation was a perfect knowledge of the fact, so sure and certain, that I felt as though the truth had been stereotyped upon me. I knew it from the crown of my head to the sole of my foot, the whole of my system being filled with the Holy Ghost! I can compare it to nothing better than the change made on a clean sheet of paper by a printing press, leaving an indellible impression behind.

As the Spirit did not tell me to whom these things were to be restored, I at first fancied, in my ignorance, that the people with whom I had been meeting were about to be blessed with these things, so I joyfully visited the minister of the meeting, and laid before him the intelligence I had received.

But, to my great astonishment, I met with an utter repulse. He told me it was all of the devil, for such things had ceased forever!

Had anyone knocked me down with a beetle, I could not have felt more sensibly the opposition between the spirits by which we were actuated. I soon found, by the bold and determined way in which he fought against the principle of present revelation, etc., that it was not to him or his people that these gifts would be given. So I sought for them elsewhere.

A few days afterwards, curiosity led me to visit the Latter-day Saints, among whom I witnessed a fulfillment of the prediction, for I beheld a manifestation of the gifts of prophecy and tongues, and received the latter myself.

Notwithstanding this confirmation which I had received of the truth of the Church of the Latter-day Saints was very great, I did not feel sufficiently convinced to be induced to join them at once.

I had experienced the Spirit of the Lord in a similar way elsewhere, so that when the Elders of the Church, at this meeting, urged upon me to yield obedience to the gospel they preached, which possessed such evidences as the manifestation of the ancient gifts, I treated the Elders very lightly, and replied, that as for the gift of tongues, I could speak in tongues as well as any of them. So I could, for directly one of them manifested this gift, the gift of tongues rested upon me, and gave me the same power.

Thus did the devil seek to blind me, and turn that testimony which the Lord had given me for the truth, almost into an evidence against it! However, I procured a Book of Mormon, and took it home to read, determined to investigate until I was fully satisfied. But I had scarcely begun to read, before I felt greatly to dislike the book. Ere I had perused ten pages, I rejected it altogether.

Acting in this bigoted manner, I had resigned myself to the evil influence that was gaining power over me, so that, directly after, I felt a similar dislike seize me towards the Bible. Its statements of miracles, etc., appeared to me to be compounds of the grossest absurdity possible. I could see no light or good in it, and actually resolved never to read it again!

But, oh! the darkness that seized me as soon as I had made this resolution! The light that was in me became darkness, and how great it was, no language can describe. All knowledge of religious truth seemed to forsake me, and if I attempted to quote Scripture, my recollection failed, after the first word or so! So remarkable was this, that it excited reflection, and caused me to marvel, and finally I determined to repent of my resolve respecting the Bible, and I commenced to read again.

The book was hardly in my hand, when, as in a moment, my light and recollection returned as usual. This made me rejoice, and immediately the idea flashed across my mind, "What have you done with the Book of Mormon? Behave as fairly to that." I soon reprocured it. But, even this time, I felt prejudiced against the book. I resolved, however, to read it through, and I persevered in its perusal, till I came to that part where Jesus, on visiting the continent of America, after his resurrection, grants the request of three of the apostles whom he had chosen, to permit them to live until his second coming on the earth (like unto John spoken of in the Bible).

Here my mind half yielded to the belief which arose within me, that perhaps it might be true, whereupon I took the book and laid it before the Lord, and pleaded with Him in prayer for a testimony whether it was true or false, and, as I found it stated that the three Nephites had power to show themselves to any persons they might wish to, Jews or Gentiles, I asked the Lord to allow me to see them for a witness and testimony of the truth of the Book of Mormon, and I covenanted with Him, if He complied with my request, that I would preach it, even at the expense of my life, should it be necessary.

The Lord heard my prayer, and, about five days afterwards, two of the three visited me in my bedroom. I did not see them come, but I found them there.

One spoke to me for some time, and reproved me sharply on account of my behavior at the time when I first attended the meeting of the Saints, and treated so lightly the gift of tongues. He told me never, as long as I lived, to do so again, for I had grieved the Spirit of the Lord, by whose power that gift had been given.

This personage spoke in the Nephite language, but I understood, by the Spirit which accompanied him, every word as plainly as if he had spoken in English. I recognized the language to be the same as that in which I had heard Father Fisher speak at the meeting.

Such a rebuke, with such power, I never had in my life, before nor since, and never wish to have again. I was dumb before my rebuker, for I knew that what he said was right, and I felt deserving of it.

How these men went, I do not know, but directly they were gone, the Spirit of the Lord said to me, "Now, you know for yourself! You have seen and heard! If you now fall away, there is no forgiveness for you."

Did I not know then, that the Book of Mormon was true, and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of the Lord? Surely I did, and I do now, as surely as I know that I live.

The world wonders at the zeal and faith of "Mormon" missionaries in diffusing their principles over the world; but the surprise of the world would soon cease did they know by what evidences the truth of the faith of the Latter-day Saints had been made known unto them, for by such proofs as the foregoing, and by the revelations of the Holy Ghost, in tongues, prophecyings, visions, etc., has the work of the last days been attested unto thousands upon thousands, in ways so peculiar, and attended with such circumstances, that no power of sophistry or reason can possibly show these proofs to be the effects of a fanatical mind or a diseased imagination. And even could these proofs be overturned, the Latter-day Saints have still stronger proofs found in the evidences of glorious principles, never before discovered, harmonizing with each other, and every known truth, and clearing up and connecting Scripture statements from beginning to end, unlocking the great science of life, shedding light on our existence, and discovering, in the arrangement and combination of these truths, an infinite intelligence that none but a mind that knew the end from the beginning could display!



I was not baptized directly, as I hoped to have the pleasure of seeing my wife comply with the same ordinance, when we could enter the Church together. In the meantime I prosecuted my inquiries.

Shortly after inquiring of the Lord concerning the truth of the judgments preached by the Latter-day Saints as being at hand, and impending over this generation, I was shown, in answer, by a vision, the various scenes described in the revelations of the ancient prophets.

The inhabitants of the earth appeared before me in their various occupations—plowing, sowing, fishing, and engaged in mechanical business. I saw them, under the infliction of the plagues, etc., lift their eyes towards heaven, curse God, and die. I also saw many other things as predicted by ancient prophets.

Thus do I know the truth of the Bible as well as of the Book of Mormon, and I am witness for both!

A whole year and a half I deferred my baptism, still waiting for my wife, who, although at first favorable to "Mormonism," had become a determined enemy to the Church.

When I went to hear the "Mormons" preach at Westfield, a village where the Twelve Apostles were holding their first conference, curiosity had drawn great numbers to hear them, so that they had crowded meetings all the time. The second day of this conference, I, with four others, was baptized by Elder McLellin, and confirmed the same night.

While undressing on the banks of the creek, preparing for the ordinance, Satan made a last effort to prevent my entering the Church. A man, walking along by the water's side, came up to me and said, "I wish to speak to you for a few minutes before you go into the water."

Thinking, of course, that he was a friend, or a member of the Church, who intended to give me some instruction as to my behavior in the water, I followed him, and, having got me to retire some rods off, he said, "Have you heard what has come out?" "No," I replied, "what about?"

"Why," he continued, "concerning the 'Mormons.' It has been discovered that it is all an imposture, a regular hoax to deceive the people. The affair has just come to light. If you wait only a little, you'll hear all about it."

At first this completely stunned me, for I was listening very attentively, considering him one of the Church, and for a moment I began to question, but quickly recollecting the manifestations I had received, I told him he was a child of the devil, and I pushed past him to the water, and was baptized at once. This was on the 15th of May, 1835.

My wife, who had managed to be present when I was going to the water, and even threatened that she would not live with me, was, for a long while after, (perhaps a year and a half,) bitterly opposed to the work, but I knew from the Lord that she would come into the Church, and I told her so. As the way she was at last brought in was very curious, I will mention it.

She dreamed one night that a large company of visitors had come to her house, for whom she had to prepare supper. On going into her buttery to procure the necessary food to cook, she could only find a small potato, about the size of a robin's egg, lying on a wooden trencher. However, with this small stock she commenced, and by some wonderful means converted this little affair into a splendid preparation of pies, puddings, etc.

When they were ready she stood still, wondering how it had all been done, for, as may be supposed, it puzzled her sorely to conceive how, from a small potato, and that on a wooden trencher, she had produced such an elegant entertainment.

Just at this moment while she was thus marveling, I was awakened from my sleep, with a command sounding in my ears that I was to say to my wife, "Don't you remember hearing that you should not despise the day of small things?" I was to speak at once, without waiting. So I awoke her, and without any preface did as I was bid.

The wonderful concurrence of these words with her dream, and the self-evident interpretation of it, referring as it did to her past conduct (for one of the principal reasons of the opposition she felt to my joining the Church was, that she considered it disgraced her to have her husband belong to a Church that was so poor, and everywhere spoken against), so impressed itself upon her mind, with other confirmations, that she was baptized, and has remained firm to the Church ever since.

When I had been in the Church about three months, I was ordained an Elder, under the hands of Jared Carter. The next day I, with my wife, went up to Kirtland, to visit the Saints living there.

After a very happy time, during which the book of Doctrine and Covenants was first presented to the Church, we started for home.

While on the lakes, I was attacked by one of the lake fevers prevalent there, and became very ill indeed. I was, however, taken home and put to bed.

The same day two Elders of the Church called in to see me, and finding I was in such a condition, they laid their hands upon me. While their hands were yet upon my head, I felt the disease remove from my body, commencing at the pit of my stomach, moving gradually upwards towards the hands of the Elders, and I was made perfectly whole.

The same day I was out at work milking my cows, and went around to invite my neighbors to hear the preaching in the evening. This was the first case of healing I had ever witnessed.

The succeeding winter I again went up to Kirtland, to attend the dedication of the temple, and to meet with the solemn assembly that was there convened. There the Spirit of the Lord, as on the day of Pentecost, was profusely poured out. Hundreds of Elders spoke in tongues, but, many of them being young in the Church, and never having witnessed the manifestation of this gift before, some felt a little alarmed.

This caused the Prophet Joseph Smith to pray to the Lord to withhold the Spirit. Joseph then instructed them on the nature of the gift of tongues, and the operation of the Spirit generally.

We had a most glorious and never-to-be-forgotten time. Angels were seen by numbers present, and the first endowments were received.

It was during this assembly that the Saints' favorite hymn was given, by inspiration, commencing:

  "The Spirit of God, like a fire, is burning!
  The latter-day glory begins to come forth;
  The visions and blessings of old are returning,
  The angels are coming to visit the earth."

The beauty and applicability of this hymn will be seen by the Saints, on reading the third and fourth verses, when it is recollected that this was a solemn assembly, and that the ordinance of washing of feet, etc., was just then being attended to.

It was also at this time that Elijah the Prophet appeared, and conferred upon Joseph the keys of turning the hearts of the fathers to the children, previous to the re-institution of the ordinance of baptism for the dead.

By this time most of the members of the Pomphret Branch, into which I had been baptized, were gathered up to Kirtland, the first gathering-place of the Saints; and I was left without any one to counsel or direct me as to the way in which I should devote my labors in spreading the principles of truth, when one day the Word of the Lord, by the power of the Spirit, came unto me, saying, "I have fourteen sheep in Portland: go and gather them; then go south, where I have twenty-two more, and gather them also."

I then began to preach for the first time, and for that purpose procured the school-room in Portland, and, through my friends, circulated a notice that I was going to preach. This gathered a small congregation of some thirty or forty people.

At the time appointed I stood up to address them. As soon as I arose on my feet and looked on the congregation, the dream which I had had five years before, but which I had entirely forgotten, flashed across my recollection. There was the identical room I had seen, with the very people and children, just in those positions in the place that I had described them to my wife years before, when I informed her that I dreamed I was called to preach the Gospel! This was summer time.

I continued preaching at Portland until the winter came on, when, having baptized a few out of the place, they met at my house at Pomphret on Sundays, and on the week days I extended my labors in the south.

As I was told, I found just fourteen in Portland willing to obey the gospel, and by no exertion of mine could I get any more! I also obtained, in the south, the twenty-two previously spoken of, but it was a year and a half before I completed the number.

Not long after receiving the office of Elder, I was called to lay hands on a sister named Crowell, in Chautauqua County, New York, who was afflicted with a cancer. Her life was despaired of by herself and her neighbors, when she sent to me, telling me to come that night if I wished to see her alive! Not being able to go then, I prayed the Lord to give her a good night's rest. I visited her in the morning, and found that she had had a better night's rest than usual. I found her head, where the cancer had broken out, a dreadful sight, full of cancer worms, which were eating into the skull, three pieces of which had come out.

I anointed her head with oil, and prayed the Lord on her behalf, and, being obliged, left immediately to attend to my hay.

The next time I saw her was the following Sunday, when I met her at the meeting. She pulled off her cap, and showed me her head. It was entirely healed, and the flesh was as sound as ever.

She said that within half an hour after my administering to her, she felt all the pain, which had previously been intense, and, to use her expression, "like a thousand gimlets boring into her brain," leave her entirely, and the wound healed up rapidly.

The Saints that I gathered at Portland, and that met at my house, were richly blessed with the various gifts of the Spirit—tongues, interpretations, prophecy, etc. I will relate an instance or two.

One Sunday morning, while opening the meeting with prayer, the gift of tongues came upon me, but thinking of Paul's words, that it is sometimes wisdom not to speak in tongues unless one is present who can interpret, and forgetting that a sister possessing the gift of interpretation was present, I quenched the Spirit, and it left me.

Immediately after, another brother spoke in tongues, the interpretation of which was, that "the Lord knew we were anxious to learn of the affairs of our brethren in Missouri, and that if we would humble ourselves before Him, and ask, He would reveal unto us the desires of our hearts."

Missouri was some thousand miles from Portland. We accordingly bowed again in supplication before the Lord, and, after rising from our knees and re-seating ourselves, the same brother broke out singing in tongues in a low, mournful strain.

But judge our feelings when the interpretation was given, and was found to be some thirteen or fourteen verses of poetry, descriptive of affairs in Missouri, and the murder of our brethren there, telling us that just at that time—

  "Our brethren lay bleeding on the ground,
  With their wives and children weeping around."

We had so often proved the truth of similar communications, that we felt as assured of the truth of this shocking news as though our eyes actually beheld the horrid sight. Our hearts were filled with sorrow.

In a fortnight afterwards we received a letter from John P. Greene, a faithful Elder of the Church in Missouri, who was, at the time he managed to write, secreted in the woods. The letter detailed and confirmed all the events previously revealed in tongues, proving that on the very day we had been informed of the transactions occurring a thousand miles off, the bleeding corpses of our brethren lay stretched on the ground after the slaughter. It was either at or about this time, that the massacre at Haun's Mill took place.

When Elders Orson Hyde and Heber C. Kimball visited England on the first mission to that country, and while we were yet ignorant of their success, it was revealed in tongues at this same branch, that just at the time we had the gift, those Elders were standing with a large multitude around some waters, attending to the ordinance of baptism. Information afterwards received from England confirmed this statement in all its parts.

Such things as these, oft repeated, confirmed our faith, and, I ask, is it wonderful, possessing such evidences that the Lord was with the Church, as those mentioned in the previous narrations, that neither reproach, drivings, burnings, robbings, nor even murderings, should be able to quench our love for the truth which had gained us such blessings?

There was not a branch in the whole of the Church that did not possess abundance of such testimonies. Here, in these and the following statements, is the testimony of one individual only. But could I crowd into this little work all that I have witnessed of the kind, and then add to it the collected testimonies of the thousands in America alone, leaving out Europe altogether, it would present a flood of testimony of a mightier and more conclusive kind than has been given to authenticate any truth ever submitted to the world.

One of the fourteen persons converted at Portland was a young man named Jesse W. Crosby, and, as it may prove interesting to many of the Saints, I will relate something that particularly affected him, occurring in his history.

He had been engaged with his brother and brother-in-law, in felling trees in a wood. The trees grew very close together, and one which they cut down had, in falling, struck another, and broken off one of its limbs, which hung suspended by the other branches.

It is a very common thing in forest country, to see dry, detached limbs hanging in this way for months, and sometimes years, without falling. This one was about ten or eleven feet long, and as thick as a man's thigh, and very high up the tree.

Not apprehending danger, Jesse was working without his hat, just under this branch. Suddenly, a movement, caused by the wind, shook the tree, and the loose branch fell from a hight of at least sixty feet, striking him on the crown of his head, crushing him to the earth. The violence of the blow broke in a portion of his skull, forming a hollow about as large as the palm of a man's hand. His neck and shoulders were also much injured. Altogether, a more deplorable object I never saw in my life.

He was carried home by his friends, most of whom were members of the Church, and his father, who was not a member, procured a doctor, who pronounced Jesse's case desperate, unless, on removing the broken part of the skull, it should be found that the skin of the brain was still entire, when, by using a silver plate over the exposed portion, a chance might still exist of his life.

The doctor proceeded to cut Jesse's head for that purpose, but was stopped by his mother, who strongly objected to this experiment, and sent for me to administer to him.

I was then eight miles off, and at the time of my arrival he had not spoken, nor scarcely indicated any signs of life. Going into the room where he lay, I found it filled with the neighbors, who were mostly enemies of the Church. Sneers and jeers of "Here comes the Mormon, we'll soon see whether he can heal now," saluted my ears on all sides.

From a sign which I had received while on my way, I knew Jesse would recover, and being reminded, on account of the reason given in the previous remarks, that such people should not be privileged to behold a manifestation of the power of God, I, like Peter of old, cleared the house of all but Jesse's relatives, and administered to him in the name of the Lord. Jesse then recovered sufficiently to speak, after which he fell into a peaceful sleep, and, before morning, was altogether better.

In less than four days from the time of receiving this terrible accident, from which there seemed no human probability that he could recover, or, if he did, only to survive the loss of reason, he was again at work in the woods hauling timber, the wound being entirely healed up.

Since then, he, as an Elder of this Church, has been on missions to various parts of the world, including England, and has also fulfilled a mission to Nova Scotia. The above case of healing occurred in the winter.

Another very remarkable case of prophecy and healing came under my observation the following spring. A revelation was given by the Spirit, in tongues, to the effect that one of our number would be poisoned by the enemies of the Church, and be brought nigh unto death, but that if she was faithful and sent for the Elders of the Church, she should be restored.

This warning was repeated twice at intervals of about a month. On the last occasion, in addition, it was stated that the person giving the interpretation would be the sufferer. This terrible idea so affected her that she was completely overcome.

After recovering she proceeded home, and the weather being warm she drank of some sweetened water, which she had prepared in the morning for use, and had left in an exposed situation. When she had drank a second time she felt her mouth burn. She immediately declared she was poisoned, and commenced reaching violently until she became blind.

Her husband, after procuring a person to stay with her, went for one of the Elders, but as he had to go some six miles before he returned with myself, she was to all appearance dead, and had not been perceived to breathe for an hour.

Upon arriving at the house, I asked the Lord to cause her to breathe if she was to recover. Upon looking at her closely I perceived that she gave two distinct gasps, such as are usually given when the breath is leaving the body. Had I not seen this, I should have concluded that she was dead, for the women who were watching with her said, directly we entered, that she was dead, and had been so for an hour.

I then administered to her in the name of Jesus, and prayed the Lord to preserve her life till my son-in-law returned with some oil he had gone to procure. As soon as I had done this she was able to speak sufficiently, in a whisper, to ask for some water, but, so great was her weakness, that she fell on her face when raised to receive the water.

The oil arriving, we administered some to her internally, in the name of the Lord, when she arose without any assistance, saying, "I am healed! I am well! but I am blind!" I then anointed her eyes, telling her that she should see the light of day. Her sight immediately returned, and the next day, she, with her husband, was on her way to Illinois.

The cause of her going there so suddenly was that it had been given in tongues, directly after her recovery, that unless her husband departed at once from that place, both of them would be poisoned. With what had just occurred before their eyes, they needed no second warning this time. This was the same woman that was healed of the cancer.

The signs spoken of include the casting out of devils. This recalls to my remembrance something of the kind which occurred at the Pomphret branch, previous to which I had had but very little experience as to what may be termed the physical power of the devil.

I was then far from the body of the Church, consequently, what I learned, I had to find out by experience, having no one to tell me.

The case was that of a sister who was possessed, and whom I, with two other Elders, was called upon to visit. Directly we entered her room, she called out, "Take your shoes from off your feet; this is holy ground, the Prophet Elijah is here."

I saw the spirit by which she was influenced, so I walked up to her and said, "I am a servant of the Lord, I obey no command of the devil."

She became uproarious directly, for all who had gone in previously had complied with her directions. As soon as we attempted to rebuke the evil spirit in the name of the Lord, she arose up from the bed on her feet, without apparently bending a joint in her body, as stiff as a rod of iron.

From this we saw the power with which we had to contend; and, failing at first to eject the spirit, we bowed ourselves in prayer before the Lord, and asked him to assist us.

The evil spirit then came out full of fury, and, as he passed by one of the brethren, seized him by both arms and gripped them violently. Passing towards me, something, which by the feel appeared like a man's hand, grasped me by both sides of the face, and attempted to pull me sideways to the ground, but the hold appearing to slip, I recovered my balance immediately.

My face was sore for some days after this. The other brother that was seized was lame for a week afterwards.

As soon as this was done, the sister partly recovered, so much so that she obeyed everything I chose to tell her to do, whereas, before, she was perfectly ungovernable.

Still she seemed to be surrounded by some evil influence. This puzzled us, for we knew the spirit was cast out, but we learned the cause afterwards. Just then it was revealed to us that if we went to sleep the devil would enter one of the brethren.

My nephew, Melvin Brown, neglected the warning, and composed himself to sleep in an arm chair, while we were still watching with the sister. Directly he did so the devil entered into him, and he became black in the face, and nearly suffocated.

He awoke immediately, and motioned for us to lay hands on him, for he could not speak. We did so, and the evil spirit then left him, and he recovered at once.

About a week afterwards the same spirit re-entered the sister, and this time fully confessed his character. In answer to our enquiries, he said his name was "Legion." This explained how it was that the woman, after we had cast out an evil spirit, was under an evil influence, for there must have been many spirits.

He also reviled our priesthood, but he had to submit to it at last, saying to us, "O! you have the priesthood have you? Well, then, cast me out, command me to come out," trying to shake our faith, and thus incapacitate us to rebuke him successfully.

Failing in this, he tried another method by entering me. I felt seized by a strange influence, and to every question put to the woman I knew the answer she was going to give, for I was possessed by a similar spirit. This broke the chain of our union and strength, consequently I requested the Elders to rebuke the evil spirit from me, after which, at our united rebuke, he left the woman.

Previous to this the sister had been a very faithful Saint, and she ever afterwards was, but she had given the devil ground by encouraging a spirit contrary to the order of the Church, taking upon herself to rebuke the Elders, and he claimed his right by virtue of her transgression.

No doubt one object of the Lord in permitting him to exercise his physical power was to give me experience of such facts, without which I never could have known; but I, like many others who may read this record, might have argued my ignorance of such things as a proof that they did not exist, except in imagination.



The doctrine of the gathering had been taught the Saints, at Pomphret, and, in common with the others, I felt a great desire to gather up and live with the body of the Church. With this idea I endeavored to dispose of my farm, but failure in my efforts to do this was the only thing that saved me from a share in the Missouri persecutions.

The winter previous to the poisoning case I sold my farm, and the time for me to vacate expired just before this took place.

For several months I was preparing to remove, getting teams, wagons, etc. When the time arrived, with my wife and children, and part of the branch, including the woman who had been poisoned and her husband, I started to find the Church, thinking it was still in Missouri, though we had heard that it had been mobbed and broken up.

We journeyed until we came to Springfield, about a hundred miles from Nauvoo, where we met with some brethren who had been driven out of Missouri, and who told us that the Church was collecting in Nauvoo, then called Commerce. We turned our course in that direction, and arrived there in June, the weather being very warm at the time.

We found brothers Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon there, with a few others. The rest were coming in daily, in a most distressed condition. Many of them were sick, and they had no house to enter when they arrived. The nature of the climate, combined with the hardships they had endured, soon made those ill who were not so previously.

Numbers of the sick and dying had to lie on the ground, with only a blanket over them. No springs or wells were handy, and the Mississippi water was unfit to drink, so that many had to go miles for water to give to the afflicted. Sometimes one would go on horseback with a jug, and fetch a little for the sick, and take it round to them. It was frequently declared that the persecutions in Missouri were small matters compared to the miseries endured at this period in Nauvoo.

My family, with myself, were also taken sick, and I laid so for two or three weeks. I was so far gone that I was quite senseless, and all thought I was dying. Doubtless I should have died, but one day Joseph Smith was passing by my door (for I had managed to procure a house) and was called in, and, as I was afterwards informed, laid his hands upon me, and commanded me to arise and walk, in the name of the Lord. The first thing I knew was that I found myself walking on the floor, perfectly well, and within ten minutes afterwards I was out of the house visiting my daughter, whom I had not seen for nearly a month. I felt so full of joy and happiness, that I was greatly surprised that every one else was not as full of praise as myself.

This was the second time that I had been healed instantly by the power of God, through His servants.

Attempts had been made to build a city on the site of Nauvoo, previous to the entrance of the Saints, but all the inhabitants, with the exception of three or four families, had died, and the Saints used the deserted houses as far as they would go.

It was a common saying among the inhabitants of the surrounding country that, if the "Mormons" could live here, they could live anywhere. It truly was a most unhealthy spot, filled with ponds and stagnant water, left by the overflowing of the Mississippi river, afflicting all the neighborhood with fever and ague.

From this condition I saw the city become, through the industry of the Saints, a healthy and prosperous place, being drained of these swamps, etc.

I lived there until I had accumulated considerable property. During this time, about seven years, I had frequent opportunities of continuing my acquaintance with Joseph Smith, seeing him nearly every day.

From my actual knowledge, I can testify to the purity and uprightness of his life, and I know that he was a man of God. I had every opportunity to acquire this information, for, when escaping from his enemies, he has lived sometimes for a week at a time at my residence.

During this period several missions were appointed me, one to the north of Albany, where I succeeded in baptizing a goodly number; another to the Eastern States.

About a year previous to the death of Joseph, with Jesse W. Crosby, who had friends in that part, I was assigned a mission to Nova Scotia.

Our route lay through Chicago, a distance of two hundred miles, which we walked. We then, by steamer, passed down the northern lakes to Buffalo, a journey of at least a thousand miles, and again took steamer on Lake Ontario, about four hundred miles further, and arrived at Sackett's Harbor.

As we were destitute of means to prosecute our journey further, and, as I had some relatives living at hand, we concluded to stop and preach awhile, until we could procure means to go on, but the weather coming on very cold, the rivers froze over, and we were compelled to spend the winter in this place.

This brought me into the region of country where I had lived for ten years when a young man. The first place we commenced at was in the town of Lime, Jefferson Co., New York.

Here we procured a school-house. Two ministers, who usually occupied the room, greatly opposed us at the close of our preaching, and endeavored to set the people against us, but they displayed such a weak, mean spirit, that their congregation left them. One minister, who had a regular salary with a small farm, for his preaching, had them taken from him, and many of his followers became members of the Church.

We confined our labors chiefly to Jefferson Co., where we found a few scattered members, and managed to raise up some six branches, consisting of about two hundred members. These were abundantly blessed with the gifts of tongues, prophecy, healings, etc., and the branches became very strong in the faith.

While we were here, I felt very anxious to know of the position of affairs at head quarters, and besought the Lord to enlighten me on the subject. He did so, revealing unto me, through the gift of tongues, the interpretation of which was given to myself, many things concerning the Church, the temple ordinances at Nauvoo, and several other things, that I found, on my return to that place, to be strictly true.

Just at this time the spring was coming on, and the St. Lawrence river began to clear from ice, so that we were able to continue our journey to Nova Scotia.

Previous to our departure we had a farewell meeting with the Saints. It was a delightful meeting, and they rejoiced much, for the Spirit of the Lord was greatly poured out. During the meeting, a little boy stood up and spoke in tongues, the tears rolling down his face all the time. The interpretation stated that, after leaving that place, I should go to another, where I should be mobbed and left for dead, and that the blood should run down from my head on my clothes and on the ground.

I took this for a timely warning, and thought that, by prudence, I might escape. Accordingly, by great caution, I kept clear of much that I might have suffered.

We passed down the St. Lawrence river, and, after preaching a few times at Montreal, passed on to Quebec, where we distributed a few books, but the priests would not allow us to preach.

At this place we wished to take the steamboat to Nova Scotia, but our means were inadequate, and the captain refused to lower the fare. Again we were frustrated in our purpose to proceed on our mission.

This was our position when, one day, as Elder Crosby and I were walking about Quebec, wondering what we should do to accomplish our purpose, we came in contact with a gentleman who told us a plan by which we might fulfill our mission—going on a sailing vessel to the mouth of the river Delieu, then by land to the head waters of St. Johns river, New Brunswick; then to buy a canoe, and paddle down that river to the mouth, where we could, for a small sum, take ship any day for Nova Scotia.

This advice we concluded to act upon, but before we left Quebec, as our journey seemed to be diverted from its original purpose, I prayed the Lord to show us, in vision, those people among whom he wished us to stop and confine our efforts, for our mission to Nova Scotia had been assigned to us at the request of Brother Crosby, whose friends lived in that part, and was more to comply with his desire than from any prior intention the Presidency had with regard to the place.

Descending St. John's river in the canoe, we overtook a man on a raft, who asked us several questions, and finally we told him that we were preachers of the gospel.

After hearing this he invited us to stop at his house, about twenty miles farther down the river, and preach there on the Sunday. This we did. We had a large congregation, and found a fine opening for the spread of the truth.

At the close of the meeting, at which I preached and Elder Crosby bore testimony, we were invited to dine with a family residing there.

The wife of our host told us that, about two or three months before, the minister that had preached in that part of the country had left, and they were without any religious instructor, when she prayed the Lord to send some faithful person to supply his place.

Thus engaged, she was shown in a vision two men, the elder of whom was preaching, but the other delivered an exhortation of a different kind. The doctrine, she said, was new to her, but it seemed true.

She also recollected distinctly the clothes and appearance of these men, and, to her great surprise and pleasure, recognized them in the persons of Elder Crosby and myself, directly we entered the room. Of course our hearts were cheered at hearing this, and we felt assured that the Lord was working in the vineyard with His servants.

We commenced to baptize soon afterwards, and the Spirit of the Lord was mightily poured out, in proportion to which the powers of darkness began to manifest themselves through the unbelievers.

But that which enraged our opponents most was the baptism of some of the greatest men in the place. All manner of lies began to circulate about our conduct and intentions. Among other things, it was stated that we were in the habit of interrupting public meetings, and many such statements were privately forwarded to the governor of New Brunswick by the religious ministers and others of our enemies.

This led him to send down an order to three justices of the peace to convene a meeting, and produce whatever kind of evidence could be procured, either for or against, and report accordingly.

Before this meeting was held we ascertained that these justices, who were our most bitter enemies, had been searching law books for something to lay hold of us with, and had found an old statute, applying to the whole of the province, forbidding all dissenters to hold public religious services without a written license from the governor. But the spirit of their purpose was shown by the fact that they had never put this law in force against the numerous dissenters that had flourished there—in fact, two of these justices were dissenters themselves.

The day of the meeting arrived, and all manner of witnesses that could be raked together were produced—among others a negro's evidence was taken, who had previously been convicted of taking a false oath. But for the purpose of this holy tribunal this testimony was good enough! What mattered? He was not for the defense—upon which side of the question it did not occur to the justices, as a necessary thing, to call for any witnesses whatever.

I quickly discovered that it was high time to stir in the matter, or possibly the next discovery would be that we were inmates of a jail; so, taking the advice of Squire Shelton, a gentleman whom we had baptized, I waited with him on Judge Bardsley, the judge of the county, who had frequently attended our meetings, and I procured a certificate from him that he had done so, and had heard nothing injurious to the people or the government.

With this and a similar certificate from Mr. Shelton, who was also a justice of the peace, Brother Crosby and I went to the governor's residence, and obtained an interview; but we found him most terribly prejudiced against us, and very ignorant of law and gospel.

He broke down, however, before the arguments of his aid-de-camp and counsel, who pleaded on our behalf, after battling with him for about two hours. The result was, that all law proceedings against us were stopped.

This enraged our enemies so much that our lives became endangered, and, to escape their violence, we had to sleep in the woods, and do our baptizing in the night, as their determination was to mob us the first opportunity.

Unfortunately, one of them overheard me promise to visit one of the brethren after I had been preaching one day. This mobber, with a party of about ten others, waylaid me. Some of them held me while the rest beat me about the head with their fists; but not being able to bruise me sufficiently in this manner, one of them took off one of my boots, and belabored me about the head with the heel of it until I was covered with blood, which ran down on to my clothes and the ground.

Some of them then threw me down, and jumped upon me with their knees until they broke several of my ribs. All this while I had been calling out loudly, whenever they did not stop my mouth.

But it suddenly occurred to me that, if I were to pretend to be dead they would leave me, thinking their murderous work accomplished; so I groaned loudly as if dying, and resigned myself into their hands, holding my breath as much as possible. This succeeded, the darkness of the night favoring my purpose, and they left me, and ran off as fast as they could.

Directly they were gone I arose, though with great difficulty, and went into a house not far distant, where I washed the blood off my person, and Elder Crosby, who also came there, laid hands upon me.

The mob, however, by some means discovering that I was not yet dead, and that Elder Crosby was with me, met, and resolved to attack the house that night, and, if possible, get possession of both of us, after which they purposed to cut off Elder Crosby's ears, tar and feather us, carry us out into the middle of St. Johns river, and, after tying stones to our feet, sink us both.

The first intimation that we received of this determination was by a wooden rail being hurled against the window. The rail broke through the window, came in upon the bed where we were sleeping, and awoke us both.

We immediately sprang up, and Elder Crosby rushed to the door where they were hammering to get in. He held it as well as he could, but in another moment they would have succeeded, had not Mrs. Shelton, who had been alarmed by the noise, come upon them unexpectedly with a lighted candle, and surprised them in the act.

This frightened them, and, alarmed lest they should be known, they fled with the rest that had been posted at the other parts of the house.

We were quiet after this for about an hour, and Justice Shelton, at whose house we were stopping, went to alarm the neighbors and his son, who lived some distance off, so that we might have assistance in case of the mob returning.

The mob returned while he was gone, having recruited their spirits with whisky. They made a second attack upon the house, trying another door this time.

But Elder Crosby held the door with an iron grasp and the resolution of a lion, so they were again unsuccessful. After drinking round they tried a third time, and one of them managed to get his arm through the door opening, but while doing so he was caught round the waist in the arms of Mr. Shelton's son, who, with several others entered the place at the moment. And thus the Lord delivered us out of their hands, for they were not long dispersing themselves after this.

Several of them were recognized by our friends. These Mr. Shelton put under bonds, but they threatened to burn his house and barn if he attempted to prosecute; and fearing that the government, from its dislike to the Saints, would refuse to back him up, he was compelled to let these mobbers go, and we remained without redress.

In the foregoing recital, the reader will perceive how fully the word of the Lord, spoken in tongues by the youth before we left Jefferson County, was fulfilled.

The next day, by the blessing of God, I recovered sufficiently to walk seventeen miles and preach, but my face was discolored, and I could only see with one eye. I took for my text, Paul's words, "thrice have I been beaten with stripes, etc." and, as may be supposed, my personal appearance furnished a very favorable evidence, on behalf of my argument, that the same effects—violence and death, followed the preaching of the gospel in these days, as did anciently.

Notwithstanding our persecutions we did not leave the country, but continued to preach, fearless of opposition, until we had baptized about fifty, and organized two branches. These were also visited abundantly with the signs following, and the Saints rejoiced greatly in the work. The persecution was a failure in Satan's calculation; it only excited curiosity and awakened attention to our principles.



The work in New Brunswick rolled on prosperously, but the time came when we had calculated to be at home. We had heard, too, that our beloved Prophet had been murdered in Carthage jail, and we naturally felt anxious to know how things were with our families and friends at Nauvoo.

Our parting with the Saints in New Brunswick was not very pleasant, as may be supposed. As we were leaving the place, while stopping by some water, waiting to cross by means of the ferry, we were overtaken by two persons, who requested us to baptize them. This we did, and confirmed them on the spot—such was the spirit of the work in that region.

We returned by way of Boston, where I left Brother Crosby.

I arrived at Nauvoo safely, but I had scarcely been there three weeks before I was again sent to Jefferson Co., this time on a tithing mission.

I got back in about four months, carrying with me about a thousand dollars which the Saints had donated towards building the temple of the Lord.

While I was on my mission to New Brunswick, the Church promised the mob to leave Nauvoo by the next grass time—spring, so that when I returned the second time the city was all excitement. All that could were selling out, some were disposing of their things by auction, for whatever could be got, while others would take cart-loads of furniture out into the country, and "swap" it for money or cattle; for, ready or not ready, the mob meant to have the Saints out by the time stated.

My property was rather more pleasantly situated than many others', and I succeeded in getting the munificent sum of $250 for my house and orchard, the nursery to which contained six thousand young grafted fruit trees, and was worth $3,000 at least.

Many of the Saints would have been glad to have got off with no greater sacrifice than myself, but as the time drew near, the prices offered for our property fell in proportion. Some of the Saints did not get half as much as I did, for property equally valuable. Others got nothing at all, but had to leave their houses just as they were, and those living in the outskirts of the city were saved the sacrifice of selling their houses for less than their worth, for the mob burned about three hundred of them down, and destroyed the property of the owners.

The Saints were hard at work all the winter making wagons. The people that came into the city were astonished to see the hundreds and thousands of wagons that were turned out in a few months.

In February, 1846, the authorities took the lead, crossed the river Mississippi with a large camp, and stopped some seven or eight miles from the water on the other side, waiting for the snow to go off, which just then had fallen heavily. In consequence of this they had no food for their cattle, and being at the end of regular settlements, had great difficulty in procuring any food, but as soon as possible they were on the move.

When the general emigration of the main body of the Church came on, it was pretty much all at once. On the Nauvoo side of the river two or three hundred wagons were waiting at one time for the ferry. In these wagons the Saints had to sleep, cooking their food on the beach.

Although all the boats and ferries that could be had were employed, this state of things continued for upwards of a month.

All the opposite shore was covered with wagons in which the Saints were living, but multitudes were without any protection from the weather, except tents made with blankets, under one of which a whole family had to live.

A scene of human suffering and endurance for the gospel's sake, on so large a scale, has seldom if ever before been seen on the earth. The sufferings of the Saints during their expulsion from Missouri, and their entrance to Nauvoo, were perhaps more intense, but not so many Saints endured them.

Picture, dear reader, to yourself, the case of thousands—they had been mobbed and plundered in Missouri, had escaped only as fugitives, and had arrived at a new location, Nauvoo, only to see their families die off around them by the fever and ague of that place.

After surviving these troubles, cheering up, beginning life afresh, and seeing this abode of death converted, by incessant toil, into a garden of health and prosperity, fancy to yourself the feelings of the Saints when called upon to resign these blessings, made doubly valuable by being so dearly paid for, and to exchange them for a barren wilderness, a prospect of a thousand miles' journey across untracked plains and mountains, and the probability of death on the journey, or of starvation afterwards.

Will the annals of history present a similar case? The exodus of Moses and his bands was not equal to it, for he had a goodly land to promise his hosts—a land flowing with milk and honey, to cheer their spirits up. They only had to enter upon the already cultivated land of their enemies. But here were twenty thousand people starting to locate a thousand miles beyond the borders of civilized life, over what had always been considered impassable mountains.

Reports had arrived of Colonel Fremont's exploration, and the hardships he had suffered, but here were not only men, but thousands of women and children, starting on the same hazardous journey, not only temporarily to endure these difficulties, but proposing to make a settled home in those dreary wilds, and live where they were told not a spear of wheat could be raised.

Notwithstanding all these things, the recollection of past hardships, and the prospect of those in the future, the Saints were not dispirited, but from their abodes ascended the sound of joy and of rejoicing, to think that they had at last a prospect of getting beyond the power of their enemies.

Shortly the first camp moved on, and the rest of the Saints came up to it in succession, but not until the first camp had crossed the Missouri river.

Here the command was, "Stop and raise grain to go on with next year," for we had a thousand miles' journey ahead, and not a settlement on the road; besides, unless we wished to starve, we must have grain to sow our lands when we got there. So, at the word, a spot was selected and, before many weeks had passed, lands in all directions were fenced in, and a city composed of roughly-built houses and wagons, and called Winter Quarters, sprang into existence.

As the winter was, however, just coming on, of course we could not put in any grain until the spring. We began, then, more than ever, to feel the destitution of our position, for want of vegetables had brought on the scurvy, the provisions of many became exhausted, and our prospects of a fresh supply seemed rather distant.

The city was laid out in wards, over each of which a Bishop was appointed. One of these wards was committed to me, and this, of course, entailed upon me the care of the poor—no trifling matter under such circumstances.

It would take no small space to describe all the expedients to which I was often driven in fulfillment of this duty, for the little stock I had of my own was soon gone, and still the poor had not done eating.

What was to be done? I went to President Young, and very pathetically told him that all my grain was gone, and I had not the first shilling in my possession with which to get any more. All the consolation I got from him was some instruction to "feed them well, and take care they have enough to eat," and it would not do for a Saint to say he could not. So I had to scheme. I borrowed ten dollars from a sister who possessed a small store. I then crossed the Missouri river, and laid the money out in meal and meat. But when this was gone I had to borrow of some one else to pay her, and then of some one else to pay him.

I borrowed until I made my debt up to fifty dollars, and no more chance of payment appeared than at first. Who would not have been a Bishop then? Fortunately, just at this juncture, the lost cattle of one who had died in my ward came into my hands, and I sold them for fifty dollars. I paid my debt, and was ready to commence borrowing again with a clear conscience.

The Pioneers started for the mountains to seek out a resting place for the Saints, and the body of those that remained began to raise corn. I and many others left our families, went down into Missouri, and hired ourselves out to obtain means to buy teams, clothes, flour, etc., so that we might follow the Pioneers' camp.

When the time arrived the Saints moved out promiscuously, and, after crossing the Elk Horn river, they were organized into two large divisions called Brigham's and Heber's companies. These were subdivided into smaller companies of hundreds, fifties and tens, and in this way the Saints proceeded across the plains.

In September, 1847, we found that the Pioneers and others of the Saints that had gone into the Valley shortly after them, had been hard at work sowing all the winter, for every wagon had taken about two bushels of grain, consequently, most of the wheat that the crickets had not harvested on their own account, the inhabitants had, and they had raised a considerable quantity of vegetables also. And, as it is well known, after we had been in the Valley about a fortnight, they prepared a splendid feast, composed mostly of the fruits of their labor, to which feast all the Saints and strangers in the valley were invited.

Such numbers, however, had arrived in the Valley, that the vegetables raised by our brethren went but a little way, and after the feast at their expense, it was a rarity to get any vegetables until the following June, fourteen months from the time we left Winter Quarters, when we partook of vegetables raised by ourselves.

Our bread also became very scarce before the wheat put in by the Saints generally was ready to harvest. Some persons lived for three months on their cattle, which they had to kill for food, and on roots which they dug up. Of course, after a time, our clothes and farming implements began to wear out, and we had the delightful prospect of wearing sheep skins, etc.

Our wagons were becoming scarce, many having been broken in the canyons, and we had no timber suitable for making more, and if there had been, from where were we to get the iron work necessary for making them, or for making plows, shovels, etc., for cultivating the ground, without which, of course, food would cease and starvation ensue? In fact, naturally speaking, things looked alarming, and just calculated to dry up our hopes and fill us with fears.

Matters were at this crisis, when one day Elder Heber C. Kimball stood up in the congregation of the Saints, and prophesied that "in a short time" we should be able to buy articles of clothing and utensils cheaper in the Valley than we could purchase them in the States.

I was present on the occasion, and with others there, only hoped the case might be so, for many of the Saints felt like the man spoken of in the scriptures, who heard Elisha prophesy at the time of a hard famine in Samaria, "that before to-morrow, a measure of fine flour should be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel." We thought that "if the Lord would make windows in heaven, might this thing be," but without an absolute miracle there seemed no human probability of its fulfillment.

However, Elder Kimball's prophecy was fulfilled in a few months. Information of the great discovery of gold in California had reached the States, and large companies were formed for the purpose of supplying the gold diggers with food and clothing, and implements of every kind for digging, etc. Numbers of substantial wagons were prepared, stored with wholesale quantities of clothing of every kind, spades, picks, shovels, chests of carpenters' tools, tea, coffee, sugar, flour, fruits, etc.

When these companies arrived within a short distance of Salt Lake City, news reached them that ships had been dispatched from many parts of the world, fitted out with goods for California. This threatened to flood the market. So these companies brought their goods into the Valley, and disposed of them for just what could be got—provisions, wagons, clothes, tools, almost for the taking away, at least at half the price for which the goods could have been purchased in the States.

Many disposed of their wagons because the teams gave out, and could not get on any farther. Some sold almost all they had to purchase a mule or a horse to pack through with.

Thus were the Saints amply provided, even to overflowing, with every one of the necessaries and many of the luxuries of which they had been so destitute, and thus was the prediction of the servant of the Lord fulfilled.

This was a miraculous Providence, but not more so than those which it has been my lot to see the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints experience ever since my connection with it.

In this short history of some of the testimonies I have witnessed and received, the reader may see that I have had much to establish me in the belief of the truths of "Mormonism."

Transcriber's Note:

Various changes were made to resolve apparent printer's errors in the original book, such as "aftewards" for "afterwards," "Spirt" for "Spirit," etc.