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place of meeting, thus giving him no time to prepare. To gratify them he consented. The place selected was Jeffersonville, th: county seat of Tazewell county, at that time the home of the late John B. Floyd, subsequently the secretary of war, and many other prominent men. The room chosen was in a court house. At the hour appointed the house was packed to its utmost capacity. Mr. Floyd and a number of lawyers and ministers were present and occupied front seats. Elder Grant came in, walked to the stand and opened the meeting as usual. At the close of the second hymn, a clerk, appointed for the occasion, stepped forward and handed a paper (the text) to Elder Grant, who unfolded it and found it to be a blank. Without any mark of surprise, he held the paper up before the audience and said: My friends, I am here today according to agreement, to preach from such a text as these gentlemen might select. I have it here in my hand. I don't wish you: to become offended at me, for I am under promise to preach fron: the text selected; and if any one is to blame, you must blame those who selected it. I knew nothing of what text they would choose, but of all texts, this is the favorite one. You see the paper is blank (at the same time holding it up to view). You sectarians down here believe that out of nothing God created all things, and now you wish me to create a sermon from nothing.
You sectarians believe in a God that has neither body, parts nor passions. Such a God I conceive to be a perfect blank, just as you find my text is. You believe in a church without prophets, apostles, evangelists, etc.; such a church would be a perfect blank as compared with the Church of Christ, and this agrees with my text. You have located your heaven beyond the bounds of time and space, it exists nowhere and consequently your heaven is a blank, like unto my text.” Thus he went on, until he had torn to pieces all the tenets of faith professed by his hearers, and proclaimed the principles of the Gospel in great power. He wound up by asking, “Have I stuck to the text, and does it satisfy you ?" As soon as he sat down, Mr. Floyd jumped up and said: "Mr. Grant, if you are not a lawyer, you ought to be one." Then turning to the people he added, "Gentlemen, you have listened to a wonderful discourse, and with amazement. Now take a look at Mr. Grant's clothes: look at his coat, his elbows are almost out and his knees are almost through his pants; let us take up a collection."
An eminent lawyer, Joseph Stras, Esq., still living in Jeffersonville, arese and said, “I am good for one sleeve in a coat and one leg in a pair of pants for Mr. Grant." They then called upon the presiding elder of the Methodist church to pass the hat. This worthy divine refused, but being pressed on all sides to do so, he finally consented with a degree of reluctancy, and the result of the collection was sufficient to furnish a fine suit of clothes, a horse, saddle and bridle for Brother Grant, and no one of the donors a
member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, though some joined afterwards.
There are many other interesting experiences in the life of Brother Grant, and some day you must read his history. His manner and teachings, inspired by the Holy Ghost, were so simple and plain that the most unlearned person understood, and the learned could find no fault with what he said. He was so full of inspiration and spoke with such power that people were charmed as by a spell. They had to listen.
Brother Grant filled many positions of honor and trust and lived to become one of the First Presidency of the Church.
Young Folk's History of the Church.
GEORGE A. SMITH.
George Albert Smith was Brigham Young's first counselor. He was one of the pioneers: In 1847 he accompanied President Young and the company of pioneers in searching out and making the road to and finding the location for the Church in the Great Basin. During this journey he walked seventeen hundred miles, and rode, mostly on horseback, eight hundred; much of the distance with raw-hide soles on his shoes. He was six weeks without bread, though he was
better off than most of the pioneer company, for he had about twenty-five pounds of flour locked up in his trunk, unknown to anyone. He lived as the rest, on buffalo and other wild meat, which was not always plentiful. He issued his reserved flour by cupfuls to the sick, some of whom attribute to this circumstance the preservation of their lives.
He planted the first potatoe that was put in the ground in Salt Lake valley, and built a house for his father in the fort, before starting on his return to Winter Quarters.
In December, 1850, he raised a company of one hundred and eighteen volunteers, accompanied by about thirteen families, and started for the purpose of planting a colony near the Little Salt Lake. The day after they started the thermometer was at zero. His company was organized at Peteetneet creek (Payson), Utah
county. They crossed five ranges of mountains, and arrived at Centre Creek, 265 miles from Salt Lake City, Jan. 13, 1851. As soon as the site of the town was determined upon, the settlers commenced working a road into a canyon about six miles, which cost them five hundred days' work, where they cut down a pole ninetynine feet long, which they erected and on which they raised the “Stars and Stripes.” They dedicated the ground by prayer, and saluted the emblem of civil and religious liberty by the firing of cannon.
President Smith traveled a great deal in the southern settlements, helping and encouraging the pioneers who settled there. He was recognized as the father of these settlements in the south, the largest one, St. George, being named in his honor.
President George A. Smith was a wise counselor, a great preacher, a sound statesman, a pioneer and colonizer of the highest ability, an able lawyer and an efficient educator. He was aiways ready in public and private. He was humble and meek, yet full of courage and unbounded energy in the cause of right. He always had time to notice young people and children and leave his impress of love and kindness upon the tablets of their hearts.
Chapter 19. Young Folk's History of the Church.
MARY M. WHITMER. Mary Musselman Whitmer, the only woman who saw the plates of the Book of Mormon, was the wife of Peter Whitmer. Together with her husband she was baptized by Oliver Cowdery in Seneca Lake, April 18, 1830. Among the early members of the Church she was familiarly known as Mother Whitmer, mother of five of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon. Her son David Whitmer, before his death, testified on several occasions that his mother had seen the plates, and when Elders Edward Stevenson and Andrew Jenson visited Richmond, Missouri, in 1888, John C. Whitmer, à grandson of Mother Whitmer, testified in the following language: "I have heard iny grandmother say on several occasions that she was shown the plates of the Book of Mormon by a holy angel. It was at the time, she said, when the translation was going on at the house of the elder Peter Whitmer, her husband. Joseph Smith, with his wife and Oliver Cowdery, were all boarding with the Whitmers, and my grandmother in having so many extra persons to care for, besides her own large household, was often overloaded with work to such an extent that she felt it to be quite a burden. One evening, when (after having done her usual day's work in the house) she went to the barn to milk the cows, she met a stranger carrying something on his back that
looked like a knapsack. At first she was a little afraid of him, but when he spoke to her in a kind, friendly tone and began to explain to her the nature of the work that was going on in her house, she was filled with inexpressible joy and satisfaction. He then untied his knapsack and showed her a bundle of plates, which in size and appearance corresponded with the description subsequently given by the witnesses to the Book of Mormon.
This strange person turned the leaves of the book of plates over, leaf after leaf, and also showed her the engravings upon them; after which he told her to be patient and faithful in bearing her burden a little longer, promising that if she would do so, she should be blessed; and her reward would be sure, if she proved faithful to the end. The personage then suddenly vanished with the plates, and where he went, she could not tell. From that moment my grandmother was enabled to perform her household duties with comparative ease, and she felt no more inclination to murmur because her lot was hard. I knew my grandmother to be a good, noble and truthful woman, and I have not the least doubt of her statement in regard to seeing the plates, being strictly true. She was a strong believer in the Book of Mormon until the day of her death."
Chapter 20. Young Folk's History of the Church.
M. ISABELLA HORNE.
Agreeable to your request, I will endeavor to give a few items of my experience in the pioneer days which I trust will be of interest and profit to your readers.
When we left Winter Quarters, in June, 1847, and commenced our journey to the Rocky Mountains, our family consisted of Mr. Horne, myself and four children, one of whom had been born since we left our home in Nauvoo. We also brought a man and his wife with us, he driving one of the teams. We had three wagons,
with two yoke of oxen to each, which contained farming imple
ments, seed-grain, cooking utensils, a few necessary dishes, etc., clothing, and provisions that must last eight people for at least eighteen months; we also brought a small cooking stove, a very rare article in the pioneer camps, and a small rocking chair. This was all the household furniture it was possible to bring.
I will not take space in your valuable paper to enter into details of that never-to-be-forgotten journey, but will merely mention a few incidents that may be of interest. While traveling along the Platte River, a large band of Indians were camped on the opposite side. Many of them, men, women and children, swam across the river, and President John Taylor invited Mr. Horne and me to go with himself and wife to meet them. They wanted to trade buffalo robes for corn and provisions. While trading, one of the Indians took a fancy to my baby girl and wanted me to trade her for a pony. When I refused he brought another pony, and still another, until finally he went to get the fourth one, and seemed so determined to have her that I was afraid he would steal her from my arms. Just at this time the rest of our company came up.
While the brethren were trading with the Indian men, the squaws and children were going among our wagons, stealing cooking utensils or anything else they could get hold of, so that when we camped that night many useful articles were missing.
On another occasion, while still on the Platte river, we were called up in the middle of the night as thousands of buffalo were crossing the river, heading straight for the camp. The 'splashing and bellowing were terrible to hear. We were in great danger, as buffalo were never known to stop for anything when traveling in such large numbers; it appeared as though they would destroy the camp, but suddenly they altered their course and went further down the river.
On another occasion when we were in the Black Hills, a large band of Indians placed themselves directly across our path, and would not allow us to pass; they demanded corn, sugar, and coffee. Some of the brethren went through the camn and collected as much as possible from our meagre supply, which the Indians accepted, and made no further trouble.
When our company arrived at what was then called the Sweetwater, which was east of Green River, we met President Young and a majority of the pioneers, returning to Winter Quarters for their families. Hunter and Brother John Taylor, who were in charge of our company, suggested a feast be made in honor of the pioneers. A nice fat steer was bought from Bishop Hunter, the dishes were unpacked, and the sisters did the best possible to prepare a dinner worthy of the occasion. This was performed under difficulties
, as it was snowing heavily, although only September, which made camp-cooking quite a task.
The storm passed before dinner, anıl