Page images





them pass

[ocr errors]


testimony of the gospel as re- viewed by the Saints during the vealed through the Prophet Joseph day. Of course this awful deed Smith, has caused me some reflec- made a deep and lasting imprestion.

In answer to your kind and sion upon my mind. sisterly note, I will devote as

Child as

I was, through the much time and give it the con- teachings of my parents I had sideration due to so weighty a learned to look upon Joseph matter so far as I am able.

Smith as a great prophet, and he From my cradle I was taught was one who had impressed me the gospel. No opportunity was as he did others of more mature neglected by my father to impress years, with

years, with his heavenly and its obligations upon his children, divine intelligence. My next though in a very quiet, meek and recollections of leader for fatherly way, and his teachings to Latter-day Israel, was of Brigham characterized more by Young.

From the first time I example than by precept. At the saw him, after the Prophet's time of the martyrdom of our death, my heart went out to him great leaders, Joseph and Hyrum in deep love and veneration, for Smith, I remember well, though I recognized him

the man only a very small boy at that who stood in the place of the time, seeing

with martyred prophet, and others near our house on their learned the fact that he way to be offered up as a sacrifice loved and honored as such by all to the hate and bigotry of apos- the Saints. tate brethren and sectarian These incidents I mention as priests, assisted and aided by showing the tendency of my some of the State militia. On thoughts and the events which June 28, at about 5 o'clock in the came within my experience which morning a messenger came to our made a deep and lasting impresdoor with the awful intelligence sion upon me, though too young that during the afternoon of the at the time to desire or know how preceding day cruelty and hatred to seek for a testimony of the had triumphed, that the Prophet principles of truth, which the and Patriarch had been butchered gospel principles taught. . while being held in jail, and In the year 1849 I was introunder the pledged protection of duced to Oliver Cowdery, and the the Governor of the State, nay impression made upon me by this that prominent among their mur- introduction was that I beheld a derers were the Carthage Greys, man who had fallen from the who were known to be the body

grace of God.

At the age of guard of the Governor, and that eleven I received baptism, and their bleeding remains had was confirmed a member of the already arrived at the Nauvoo Church of Jesus Christ of Lattermansion, where they would be day Saints, in Pottawatomie



The young

on the

County, Iowa, at about the same release from the awful cramps time and

the same spot and vomiting he pleaded for where I met the man who once Brother Joseph (meaning my stood next to Joseph Smith in father) to come and lay hands on favor with God, and as the second him. Elder in the Church. I mention Father immediately dressed these items in my early life's and repaired to the couch of the history as coincidental, and as


and addressed him in having impressed me more and these words: "David, if I adminmore with the solemn truths ister to you and ask the Lord to which had been revealed through raise you up will you covenant the gospel of the Lord Jesus to a this night

that you will benighted world.

him all the days of your life?" In the following year (1850)

young man immediately my father and his family crossed made the solemn promise that the plains and came to Utah. he would be a true and loyal The Asiatic cholera was

servant to his Lord and Savior plains that season, and gathered forever. Father laid his hands in its merciless and unrelenting upon him, and in the name of grasp many hundreds of emigrants Jesus Christ rebuked the power who were in the mad race for of the destroyer, when the retchwealth to the golden sands of ing and

cramps immediately California. The camps of the ceased, and the next morning Saints did not entirely escape the Brother David Lewis, restored dreaded scourge, and a few

from this attack of cholera, was stricken down and were laid in at his post and driving his team lonely graves by the wayside.


and the In our company of thirty-six men, power of God manifested in his with their families, three were healing made a deep and lasting stricken by this terrible malady. impression upon my mind, and

Two of them coming into camp every night on retiring I prayed in the evening feeling somewhat long and fervently that God unwell, began cramping

and would save me from the cholera, vomiting, and

both dead and permit me to arrive safely in before morning. After burying the valley,

where I could once the dead we moved our camp

behold the face of His few miles, and an encampment prophet, Brigham Young; and was made on the banks of a small like Brother Lewis, I made the sluggish stream for the night. most solemn covenants during Some time about the middle of these supplications that if my the night we were awakened by life were spared to again see this the screams of the third victim

great man, and hear his voice, of the cholera scourge, and dur- and live where he lived, that I, ing the very short intervals of too, would be a faithful servant












of God all the days of my life. to serve ninety days, or longer if Late in the following September needed, in the war of the Rebelwe arrived safely in Salt Lake lion. City. When President Brigham This call came from President Young came to see us, and with Lincoln on April 27th, 1862, and words of blessing welcomed my on April 29th, in connection with father and his family to the home the rest of the Utah volunteers, of the Saints in the valleys of the we reported to Captain Lot Smith mountains, so impressed was I for duty, and were immediately with his prophetic influence and mustered into the volunteer sercalling I could have kissed the vice of the United States, renderdust at his feet. I was present ing faithful service until we at the laying of the

mustered out in

March, 1863, stones of the Salt Lake Temple, nearly one year after. Again in in 1853, and at that time was 1866 President Young called again impressed with his pro- to take a mission into Sanpete phetic calling. In January, 1857, and Sevier Counties, to assist in he called me to take a mission to protecting the Saints in those Great Britain, and informed outlying districts from Chief that it was required of the out- Black Hawk's

Hawk's Indian raiders, going missionaries at that time during the celebrated Black that they go on foot across the

Hawk war,

which service plains to the Missouri River, cheerfully performed by me as without any animals or wagons long as required. to ride upon, but pulling hand In 1870 President Young called carts on which would be carried

me to go on a mission to Great their provisions and bedding. I Britain with my father. These felt perfectly satisfied with the missionary calls were accepted call, and recognized that the Lord always with a testimony to me spoke through His prophet; no that the inspiration of the Holy thought or dread of the hardship Spirit prompted them in every the journey would entail upon instance, and during these labors, me, but only from that time till which at times were arduous and the day of starting an intense exhausting in the extreme, I desire to be up and away on this always felt a firm reliance on the mighty mission of preaching the Lord, knowing that He had gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ called me, and that the promises Again in 1862 President Young of His servants made to me of a called me to be one of a battalion safe return to my home would be of hundred

to be realized. enlisted in the service of our In all these labors my heart country, to fill a requirement and judgment have been made by President Abraham vinced that they were prompted Lincoln for volunteers from Utah, by the inspiration of the Spirit








of God, and with joy and thank- by the inspiration of the Holy fulness I placed myself in a posi- Spirit of God through him tion to obey these calls. At the called to many important misdeath of President Young the sions and labors. Under the First Presidency was again disor- administration of

of the Prophet ganized, and the Twelve Apostles John Taylor I was called by became the presiding quorum in revelation to

very honorable the Church, with John Taylor as position among my brethren, and chief Apostle and president of since that time to labor as that quorum.

When the First missionary in all the Stakes of Presidency was again organized Zion, and during all these years John Taylor became the Presi- this has been a labor of love to dent of the Church, and Wilford Woodruff as chief Apostle in the The complete organization of quorum of the Twelve, became all the quorums of the priesthood the president of the quorum.

is divine evidence to me of this When President John Taylor perfect system which God compassed away the quorum of the manded Joseph Smith to inauguFirst Presidency became for the rate, and which has continued to third time disorganized, leaving be perfected by the Prophet again the presiding authority Presidents of the Church who with the Twelve Apostles, with have succeeded him in the Wilford Woodruff at their head. apostolic administration. The order of succession in the I said I would try to tell you

how priesthood is one eternal round, I received a testimony of the truth. and a perfect system in all its Jesus said: "The wind bloweth ramifications, and all Latter-day where it listeth, and thou hearest Saints that were in touch with the sound thereof, but canst not the spirit of the gospel could tell whence it cometh and whither know that when the quorum it goeth: so is every one that is the First Presidency was again born of the Spirit." I organized the office of President have received a call to perform a of the High Priesthood would mission, or for any labor in the most fittingly fall on the shoulders Church, but what

me the of President Wilford Woodruff, divine influence of the Spirit of and so the organization was God was manifest in the voice of summated according to that him who made the call. Though, immutable law of heaven, the like one of old, I can truly say, order of the Holy Priesthood. "No thunder

of heaven, For said Jesus, "My house is a vivid lightnings no upheavals of house of order, and not a house the earth or rending of its rockof confusion." Under the admin- ribbed fastenings have marked any istration of the Prophet Brigham testimony of mine;' but rather I was called to be a Seventy, and have I found the soul satisfying






[ocr errors]



evidence in the still small voice in the winter season, to encamp of the Spirit of God, and every

in the snows,

until the warm act of obedience to the will of breath of summer brought warmth him who said, "Go ye into all to the frozen marrow of their the world, and preach the gospel bones; nay, I have seen them to every living creature, " has accept joyfully the despoiling of brought to my mind and heart, their goods. I I have

the and to my judgment, renewed Saints driven into a mountain faith, knowledge, power

and and desert country, stripped, and testimonies of the truth of the pealed and bleeding, by the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the cruelty of their so-called Chrisdivine mission of Joseph Smith. tian brethen; I have seen a ChrisWithout this testimony, in which tian nation, in their mistaken is perfect knowledge, individuals zeal for self-justification, by their could not be sustained, the paid officers, commit such cruelties Church a body could

not in raiding our towns and villages maintain its existence.

in the dead hours of night, Emerson says: "As, a ship dragging husbands and fathers aground is battered by the waves, from their homes, and bringing so man imprisoned in mortal life, such terror and suffering upon lies open to the mercy of coming women and innocent little chilevents; but a truth separated by dren that would only have been the intellect is no longer a subject admissable in the palmiest days of destiny. The mind that grows of the Spanish Inquisition, and could not predict the times, the by the acts of their law officers mode the means of that


scattered the people and taniety God enters by a private

terrorized them that the nation in door into every individual who their hearts supposed that they prepares to receive Him.


had covered their unpopular prior to the age of reflection is Christian brethren so deeply in the thinking of the mind, out of the ashes of their burning wrath, darkness it came, insensibility that the organizations of the holy into the marvelous light of day, priesthood could never be pera truth now for the first time fected again. “I will empty those bursting upon our minds awakes stands occupied by the authorities it to immeasurable greatness." of the Church," was the boast of

I have beheld the sick healed a United States deputy marshal, and evil spirits cast out by the and he did. ministration of God's servants; I

But I have lived to

see the have seen Prophets and Elders Saints of God rise phenix-like slain for the testimony of Jesus; from the ashes of destruction I have beheld several thousands heaped upon them by their of the Saints driven out from enemies, and to me these things their beautiful city of Nauvoo, are living testimonies, strong as

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »