July 22, 1839 The Day of God’s Power

July 22, 1839: “The Day of God’s Power”
When the Latter-day Saints first came in 1839 to that area along the Mississippi River that would become Nauvoo, it was anything but a beautiful situation. It was by Joseph Smith’s own description a swamp—“a deathly, sickly hole” full of mosquitos, misery, and death. It was ill-drained bottom land along the River; the kind of land that was least desirable for farming and settlement.
Nonetheless, the Saints began settling and building in the region by May 1839 and suddenly, in July, they began getting sick—so sick in fact, that funerals began to be commonplace. Most became sick and many died. They called it the ague, but it was malaria, and they knew no treatment.
Elizabeth Barlow described it thus, “O, my friends, you know nothing about the ague, how it prostrates and bewilders the mind and impairs the health.”
Joseph and Emma Smith took many into their home to care for them until it became, almost as it were, a hospital. Then Joseph too became ill and Emma cared for him along with all the others. Then came July 22, 1839. Joseph was frustrated at this illness and determined to act. He knelt prayed for deliverance. He then began going from house to house and saint to saint blessing and raising them from their beds of affliction. Wilford Woodruff was there and said, “Joseph went through the midst of them, taking them by the hand, and in a loud voice commanding them in the name of Jesus Christ to arise from their beds and be made whole. And they leaped from their beds, made whole by the power of God.”
Joseph came to Elijah Fordham, “‘Brother Fordham do you not know me?’ he said. “At first he made no reply;…. He said again, ‘Elijah, do you not know me?’ With a low whisper, Brother Fordham answered, ‘yes.’ The Prophet then said, ‘have you not faith to be healed?’ The answer which was a little plainer than before, was: ‘I am afraid it is too late. If you had come sooner, I think it might have been….’ Joseph then said, ‘do you believe that Jesus is the Christ?’ ‘I do Brother Joseph,’ was the response. Then the Prophet of God spoke with a loud voice, as in the majesty of the Godhead: ‘Elijah, I command you, in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, to arise and be made whole.’ The words of the Prophet were not like the words of man, but like the voice of God. It seemed to me that the house shook from its foundation. Elijah Fordham leaped from his bed like a man raised from the dead. A healthy color came to his face, and life was manifested in every act.”
The Prophet then came into the home of Joseph Bates Noble and spoke as he approached his bedside. “Joseph,” he said, “you’ve been with me too long to be leaving me now.” Noble recorded this,
“As soon as I saw him, the tears of joy burst from my eyes. In a moment he was by my bedside, and took me by the hand. Without waiting for the other brethren to get to my bed, he commanded me, in the name of Jesus Christ, to arise and walk. I arose, and while putting on my clothes, I fainted. When I regained consciousness I was on the bed, and Joseph was standing close to me. As soon as my eyes met his, he said, “Wherefore didst thou doubt?” and again commanded me to arise. While he was speaking I felt the healing virtue flowing through every part of my system. I immediately arose and walked, rejoicing and praising the Lord with all my heart.”
And there were more. It was known as The Day of God’s Power.” A testament from the mouth of many witnesses that the power and miracles of Jesus’s day are still with us.

Note: For more on the story see, Season 7 Episode 6, July 22, 1839: The day of God’s Power” available soon at historyofthesaints.org

Artwork by Liz Lemon Swindle

“I’m A full-blooded Mormon”

“I’m A Full-Blooded Mormon” Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner
I don’t know that faith is possible without courage. I’ve lived long enough to know that the Lord’s course is not for the faint of heart. May I tell you a story about Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner. Most of us remember her as the courageous girl who faced a mob and saved the printed sheets of the Book of Commandments in Jackson County, Missouri in 1833, but that was not the only time this woman displayed uncommon courage for her faith.
October 1838, armed and angry hostiles numbering in the thousands approached the Latter-day Saint city of Far West, Missouri. The Mormons, grossly outnumbered, stood behind their fortifications. Mary Elizabeth was there and left this description, “Oh, what a time that was!… A part of the bloodthirsty mob camped near the city and placed a cannon in the middle of the road, intending to blow up the place.”
Then, surprisingly, the mob raised a flag of truce and demanded an interview with those among the Mormons who were not Latter-day Saints. Among those was Adam Lightner, Mary Elizabeth’s husband. She left this account of what happened next.
“As we approached, General Clark shook hands with the two men, being old acquaintances, and remarked that Governor Boggs had given him an order for our safe removal before they destroyed the place…. I asked the General if he would let all the Mormon women and children go out? He said, “No.” “Will you let my mother’s family go out?” He said, “The Governor’s orders were that no one but our two families should go but all were to be destroyed.”
Upon hearing that dire announcement, Mary Elizabeth responded thus,
“Then, if that is the case, I refuse to go, for where they die, I will die, for I am a full blooded Mormon, and I am not ashamed to own it.” “Oh,” said [General Clark], “you are infatuated, your Prophet will be killed with the rest.” Said I, “If you kill him today, God will raise up another tomorrow.” “But think of your husband and child,” The General pleaded. “I then said that he could go, and take the child with him, if he wanted to, but I would suffer with the rest. Just then a man kneeling down by some brush, jumped up and stepping between the General and myself, said, “Hold on, General,” then turned to me and said, “Sister Lightner, God Almighty bless you, I thank my God for one soul that is ready to die for her religion; not a hair of your head shall be harmed, for I will wade to my knees in blood in your behalf.” “So will I,” said Brother Hyrum Smith, and others.”
The General turned to Mary’s husband and pleaded with him to leave. Adam refused. And that man who stood between her and the mob was Brother Heber C. Kimball.
With such a legacy of courage, how can we ever be cowards to the faith? http://www.boap.org/LDS/Early-Saints/MLightner.html

Joseph Smith and The Spirit of Revelation

Joseph Smith and The Spirit of Revelation
What was it like to be there and witness Joseph Smith receiving revelations? Brigham Young was a witness and said this, “those who were acquainted with [the Prophet Joseph] knew when the Spirit of revelation was upon him, for his countenance wore an expression peculiar to himself while under that influence. He preached by the Spirit of revelation, and taught in his council by it, and those who were acquainted with him could discover it at once, for at such times there was a peculiar clearness and transparency in his face.” (Journal of Discourses 9:89)
Mary Elizabeth Rollins as just a girl was also a witness. She left this description of events in February 1831.
“Joseph got up and began to speak to us. As he began to speak very solemnly and very earnestly, all at once his countenance changed and he stood mute. Those who looked at him that day said there was a search light within him, over every part of his body. I never saw anything like it on the earth. I could not take my eyes off him; he got so white that anyone who saw him would have thought he was transparent. I remember I thought I could almost see the cheek bones through the flesh. I have been through many changes since but that is photographed on my brain. I shall remember it and see in my mind’s eye as long as I remain upon the earth.
He stood some moments. He looked over the congregation as if to pierce every heart. He said, “Do you know who has been in your midst?” One of the Smiths said an angel of the Lord. Martin Harris said, “It was our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” Joseph put his hand down on Martin and said: “God revealed that to you. Brethren and sisters, the Spirit of God has been here. The Savior has been in your midst this night and I want you to remember it. There is a veil over your eyes for you could not endure to look upon Him. You must be fed with milk, not with strong meat. I want you to remember this as if it were the last thing that escaped my lips. He has given all of you to me and has sealed you up to everlasting life that where he is, you may be also. And if you are tempted of Satan say, ‘Get behind me, Satan.'”
These words are figured upon my brain and I never took my eye off his countenance. Then he knelt down and prayed. I have never heard anything like it before or since. I felt that he was talking to the Lord and that power rested down upon the congregation. Every soul felt it. The spirit rested upon us in every fiber of our bodies, and we received a sermon from the lips of the representative of God.” (http://ldshistory.us/pc/merlbyu.htm)
And thus are the accounts of those who witnessed for themselves Joseph Smith receiving revelations such as are found in the Doctrine and Covenants.

A Strong Woman

PI18 MOTHER, CARRY ON, Jane Haynes James

A Strong Woman

Sometimes it is well to be reminded just how hard some people have had it for the Gospel’s sake.

October 23, 1856, William James was asked to help bury the dead that morning before beginning the ascent of Rocky Ridge, Wyoming. William and his family were a part of the Willie Handcart Company and snow had caught them ill-prepared on one of the most exposed portions of the trail. William and his 13 year-old son Reuben remained behind to complete their grim duty. Once finished, the James children raced ahead to catch up with the company, while Jane picked up the cart and with Reuben began to pull.

They did not go far when William collapsed in the snow. He tried several times to get up but was unable. Mary Ann James, just 11 years-old recorded the following. “Mother was placed in an awful position, her husband unable to go any farther, and her little children far ahead, hungry and freezing; what can she do? Father said, ‘Go to the children; we will get in if we can.’”

While Reuben remained with his father, Jane pushed on and found her children huddled against the bank of the Sweetwater River, too frightened and tired to cross alone. Daughter Sarah wrote, “We had forded this river before many times, but it had never seemed so far across. It was about 40 feet to the other bank. Mother soon had us on our way.”

Some time that night, Jane James and her children reached camp at Rock Creek and anxiously turned their faces back up the trail in anticipation. With each group that came in they expected to see Father and Reuben. All night they waited. Finally, towards morning some of the captains who had gone out to bring in the stragglers, came into camp carrying the dead body of William James and the badly frozen Reuben. Reuben would live, though his injuries were so bad he would suffer with them the rest of his life.

William was among the 13 buried in the mass grave at Rock Creek.

As a fire was built over the new grave to kill the scent and keep the wolves away, the children sat and watched their mother. Sarah said, “I can see my mother’s face as she sat looking at the partly conscious Reuben. Her eyes looked so dead that I was afraid.”

Daughter Mary Ann said, “Imagine, if you can, my mother, only a young woman of forty-one, her husband lying dead in a frozen wilderness, with seven little children, starved and freezing, crying for comfort.”

Indeed, can you imagine.

Sarah records what happened next. “She didn’t sit long….my mother was never one to cry. When it was time to move out, mother had her family ready to go. She put her invalid son in the cart with her baby, and we joined the train. Our mother was a strong woman, and she would see us through anything.” And Mary Ann added, “Her physical and mental endurance was nothing short of miraculous.”


Sources: https://history.lds.org/overlandtravels/sources/7432/dangerfield-mary-ann-james-autobiographical-sketch-in-mormon-biographical-sketches-collection-ca-1900-1975-reel-4-box-4-fd-10-item-1-2-3

Andrew D. Olsen, The Price We Paid, p. 148-49

Artwork by Julie Rogers

Mount Tambora and the Year Without A Summer


logo It has been said that none of us can truly know who we are until we know where we came from and the heritage that we have inherited. For this Father’s Day, please consider the following from History of the Saints.

Mount Tambora and the Year Without A Summer

April 10, 1815 Mount Tambora on the island of Sumbawa in the Indonesian Archipelago erupted, explosively, ejecting some 38 cubic miles of material 27 miles into the stratosphere, and blacking out the sun for two days at a distance of 370 miles.

Tambora was the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history. The explosion blew more than 4700 feet off of the top of the mountain and left a crater more than 4 miles across.  It was heard 1600 miles away.

The pyroclastic flow spread out 12 miles in all directions and buried the village of Tambora; freezing in time all the inhabitants thereof beneath some 10 feet of material.

Tsunamis caused by the volcano reached a height of 13 feet and slammed into the surrounding islands, killing thousands.

In all it is estimated that Mount Tambora killed 71,000 people, some 11-12,000 were killed directly by the eruption.

Explosions and aftershocks continued for years afterward. High altitude ash was carried on the prevailing winds around the globe causing varied optical phenomenon; prolonged and brilliant sunsets, stunning twilights, sunspots, and red fog.

In the aftermath, the summer of 1816 became the year without a summer. The ash circled the earth filtering the sun’s rays. On June 4, the northeastern United States, were gripped by a killer frost. Snow fell up to a foot in some places. The terrible cold lasted throughout the summer and ruined most agricultural crops. The 1810’s became the coldest decade on record.

Tambora disrupted the lives of millions across the globe, destroying crops, intensifying diseases, causing famines, riots, and countless deaths.

Among those families whose lives and livelihood was shattered by a lone mountain across the world was a rural farm family in Vermont. Having lost his own prosperous farm, the family patriarch was reduced to being a tenant farmer. Three times that summer he planted his crops, and  times they failed. He was ruined. He had had enough of the rugged mountains of Vermont, and would seek his fortune in newly opened land to the south and west. Accordingly he moved his family to a new settlement called Palmyra in the State of New York. By so doing, he brought his young son, Joseph Smith Jr. to live near a hill that would come to be called Cumorah, where Joseph would one day unearth a sacred record that we call today, the Book of Mormon. Truly the Lord works by means to accomplish His purposes.

Sources: http://www.britannica.com/place/Mount-Tambora


This story and many more that reveal the beginnings of Church History are available in the 4th season of the acclaimed television series from History of the Saints, Joseph Smith and the Foundations of the Restoration. Thirty episodes explain the complete story of the Church’s beginnings from the birth of the Prophet Joseph to the organization of Church in April 1830. Scholars take us behind the scenes of those familiar stories and share the latest research findings. For any and all who want to know the details of our history, this easily watchable series is a must. It contains 30 episodes on DVD, or more than 11 hours of revealing and inspiring Church History, presented by some of the most reliable and reputable scholars in Mormonism.Click here for more information.

Joseph Smith and the Foundations of the Restoration - DVD

The Miracle of Translation

11 Translating the Book of Mormon by Kirt Harmon (2)


The Miracle of  Translation

Joseph Smith was only 22 years-old in September of 1827, when he obtained the Gold Plates. He was charged to translate, but in the area of Palmyra, New York there was not peace sufficient to do so. In December 1827, he moved to Harmony, Pennsylvania where he “commenced copying the characters off the Plates.” By the aid of the Urim and Thummim he was able to translate some of them.

The Book of Mormon was written in reformed Egyptian. Joseph did not speak or write this language, and neither did anyone else. Joseph never claimed mastery, or even fluency, in this language. Indeed, his wife Emma, who knew him best, said he, “could neither write nor dictate a coherent and well-worded letter, let alone dictate a book like the Book of Mormon.” Young Joseph was an uneducated farmer. How then could he translate a record that he could not read? Therein lies a miracle.

Emma who possibly served first as his scribe described the translation process. She said.  “I am satisfied that no man could have dictated the writing of the manuscript unless he was inspired; for when acting as his scribe, [Joseph] would dictate to me hour after hour; and when returning after meals, or after interruptions, he would at once begin where he had left off, without either seeing the manuscript or having any portion of it read to him. This was a usual thing for him to do. It would have been improbable that a learned man could do this; and for one so ignorant and unlearned as he was, it was simply impossible.”

Martin Harris assisted with the translation in the spring of 1828. Martin said this. “By aid of the seer stone, sentences would appear and were read by the Prophet and written…and when finished he would say, ‘Written,’ and if correctly written, that sentence would disappear and another appear in its place, but if not written correctly it remained until corrected.”

In April 1829, Oliver Cowdery became Joseph’s scribe. Oliver later testified that Joseph Smith “found with the plates, from which he translated his book, two transparent stones, resembling glass, set in silver bows. That by looking through these, he was able to read in English, the reformed Egyptian characters, which were engraven on the plates.”

In June 1829, persecution forced Joseph and Oliver to move to Fayette, New York. It was there that other scribes assisted with the work. Among those was David Whitmer who left this account. “Joseph Smith would put the seer stone into a hat and put his face in the hat, drawing it close around his face to exclude the light.  And in the darkness the spiritual light would shine.  A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and on that appeared the writing.  One character at a time would appear, and under it was the interpretation in English. Brother Joseph would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery who was his principal scribe.  And when it was written down and repeated to Brother Joseph to see if it was correct, then it would disappear and another character with the interpretation would appear. Thus the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God and not by any power of man.”

Even the citizens of Palmyra, though they adamantly opposed the book, knew how it came to be. A local newspaperman, Jonathon Hadley published this. “By placing the spectacles in a hat, and looking into it, Smith could…interpret these characters…. Now it appears not a little strange that there should have been deposited in this western world, and in the secluded town of Manchester, too, a record of this description, and still more so, that a person like Smith…should have been gifted by inspiration to read and interpret it.”

It is approaching two centuries now since the Book of Mormon was translated and the only viable explanation for how the book came to be is the one provided by Joseph and multiple witnesses who were there. Emma Smith said it best. “Though I was an active participant in the scenes that transpired, and was present during the translation of the plates, and had cognizance of things as they transpired, it is marvelous to me, ‘a marvel and a wonder’ as much so as to anyone else.”

The Book of Mormon is a miracle, both in what it is and how it came to be.

Source: https://www.lds.org/topics/book-of-mormon-translation?lang=eng#30

For more information on the miracle of the Book of Mormon go to http://historyofthesaints.org/product/the-miracle-of-the-book-of-mormon-2-disc-dvd-set/

Is Anything Too Hard For The Lord: Parley P. Pratt’s Mission to Canada

28 Heber Preaching

Is Anything too hard for the Lord–Parley P Pratt in Canada

Is anything too hard for the Lord?

Elder Pratt was called to serve as a missionary in Toronto, Canada. He and a companion traveled into Canada via Niagara Falls where they stopped and marveled at the wonders of God’s hand in creation. Elder Pratt arrived in Hamilton, Ontario. Here he found a flourishing community, but he was bound for Toronto, on the other side of the Lake. If he walked around the Lake it would take days and be an arduous journey. If he took passage across the Lake, he would be there by day’s end. The problem—he was out of money. “Under these circumstances,” he wrote, “I pondered what I should do. I had many times received answers to prayer in such matters, but now it seemed hard to exercise faith…because I was among strangers and entirely unknown.”

How could the Lord possibly help him? No one in the town knew him. Nonetheless, at the Spirit’s urging, the missionary retired to a secret place in the woods to pray for the money to make the boat journey across the Lake.

Upon concluding the prayer, he returned to Hamilton and began to talk to people. “I had not tarried many minutes,” he said, “before I was accosted by a stranger who inquired my name and where I was going. He also asked me if I did not want some money.”

Elder Pratt said, yes, whereupon the man gave him ten dollars and a letter of introduction to a man named Taylor in Toronto. Elder Pratt arrived in Toronto that night, called on the Taylors, and put up for the night. The next morning he traveled throughout the city seeking to establish contacts to begin his work, but no one would allow him to preach, nor would anyone open their houses to him. He had been promised great success in this city and yet, he could not so much as open a conversation with anyone in town.

Once again he retired to the woods and poured out his heart to God. “I had exhausted my influence and power without effect,” he said. Upon the close of the prayer, he returned to the City and, having no other recourse, went to the home of the Taylors to collect his bag and be on his way. Just then a woman entered the home. Her name was Isabella Walton. The Taylor’s explained Elder Pratt’s presence, and upon hearing the tale, she said, “Passing your door the spirit bade me go in, but I said to myself, I will go in when I return; but the Spirit said unto me, ‘go in now.’ I accordingly came in and I am glad that I did so. Tell the stranger he is welcome to my house. I am a widow, but I have a spare room and bed, and food in plenty. He shall have a home at my house and a room to preach in just when he pleases. …I feel by the Spirit that he is a man sent by the Lord with a message which will do us good.”

That very night, Isabella Walton took Elder Pratt to her home, invited all her friends and relatives, and with them listened attentively to the message. Like a sunrise over the mountain it was the opening of a miracle in Canada and subsequently in England. From that night forward the work grew until Elder Pratt had to request help. Hundreds and finally thousands joined the Church because of that mission. That praying missionary was Elder Parley P. Pratt. The year was 1836, and among the significant converts made—Isabella Walton, Joseph, Mary, and Mercy Fielding and John and Leonora Taylor. Indeed, nothing is too hard for the Lord, if we ask.

Source: The Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt: https://archive.org/stream/autobiographyofp00prat#page/146/mode/2up

This story is available as an audio download at historyofthesaints.org

Watch the full story of Parley Pratt’s Mission to Canada in the History of the Saints’ episode Show 6:9 Parley P. Pratt’s Mission to Canada available as a video download at historyofthesaints.org


Samuel and Amanda Chambers

Sam and Amanda Chambers

Samuel and Amanda Chambers
April 27, 1870, Samuel and Amanda Chambers arrived in Salt Lake City. They quickly found a home and Samuel began working at a sawmill in Big Cottonwood Canyon. They were taken in by the saints and welcomed. Considering that this is a missionary-minded Church and gathered from all over the world their arrival would not have been terribly unusual, except that Samuel and Amanda Chambers were black, and therein lies a wonderful story.
Sam Chambers was born a slave May 21, 1831, in Pickens County, Alabama. He grew up an orphan after his mother was sold by slave traders. Then in 1844, Mormon missionaries came into the area proselyting. Samuel, then 13 years-old attended their street meetings and was converted. Discussions and a nighttime baptism soon followed. And that was it–he would not have any further contact with the Church for 26 years. Yet, somehow he never lost his faith. Following the Civil War, Samuel and Amanda, his wife, were now free. They wanted to emigrate to Utah. Finally, with a simple ox-drawn wagon they journeyed to join the saints. Samuel would later say, “I did not come to Utah to know the truth of the Gospel, but I received it away back where the Gospel found me.”
Then in May 1873, Church leaders sought to strengthen the deacons quorums throughout the Valley. Men and boys were ordained and trained to fill those responsibilities, much of which involved care and cleaning of the ward meetinghouses. Though he did not hold the priesthood Samuel was invited to participate. He did so willingly and gratefully, giving dedicated service for many years. “I have joy,” he said, “in cleaning up and whatever I am called to do.” In 1874 he was given a patriarchal blessing. In it promised he would live a long life and his name would be held in remembrance among the saints.
By 1878, Sam and Amanda had begun to farm and grow fruit in the southeast end of the Salt Lake Valley. Before he was through, Samuel Chambers owned 30 acres and was recognized as an authority on fruit growing. They built a comfortable home and prospered.
He paid his tithing faithfully and when donations were sought to be build the Wilford Ward building in 1902, few members matched the $200 donated by Sam and Amanda. In his later years Samuel was invited to meet with the High Priests. Regularly and powerfully, Samuel bore his testimony of the Gospel–one who heard him said, “like an apostle.” Samuel developed a reputation as a defender of the faith. He was unwilling to tolerate criticism of the Church and its leaders. Those who were visitors to Sam and Amanda’s lovely home received a copy of the Book of Mormon.
Samuel passed away November 9, 1929, four years after his Amanda. He was 98 years-old, and true and faithful to the very end.
It is written, “Jesus] doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation…. He inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God.”
Source: William G. Hartley, Samuel D. Chambers, The New Era, June 1974

Caleb Baldwin Noble Friend

Liberty Jail by Robinson

Caleb Baldwin: Bold Friend

Caleb was born September 2, 1791, in Nobletown, New York. As he matured he was quiet and soft-spoken except when speaking in defense of his friends and then he was known to have a “fiery tongue.” Caleb fought under Captain Charles Parker in the War of 1812. He married Nancy, December 9, 1814. When Mormon missionaries passed through northern Ohio in late 1830, Caleb and his wife were baptized. Most know the story that when Julia Murdock passed away in 1831 that her newborn twins were given to Emma and Joseph Smith to raise, but what no one remembers is that it was Caleb and Nancy who cared for the three older children while their father John served as a missionary.

Later when the saints experienced intense persecution in northern Missouri, Caleb was among able defenders in what was called the Battle of the Blue. He was captured and “was beaten almost to death by Missourians with hickory sticks,” the scars of which he carried for the rest of his life.

Caleb became a missionary, preaching the gospel fearlessly. Finally in late 1838 he was living somewhere near Far West, Missouri. When the Mormon\Missouri War broke out Caleb fought in defense of his people. When Far West fell, Caleb was among those arrested and charged with treason. He was brought before Judge Austin A. King to be arraigned. Caleb asked for a fair trial and then asked the Judge what he was to do with his family who were being driven out of the state by the mob. Judge King’s answer was that if Caleb would renounce his religion and forsake Joseph Smith, he should be set free and protected. Caleb refused.

He was bound over as a prisoner along with Joseph and Hyrum Smith, Alexander McRae, Lyman Wight, and Sidney Rigdon for next four months in Liberty Jail, Clay County Missouri. Caleb was Caleb Baldwin. It was he, along with Alexander McRae that scribed that letter dictated by the Prophet Joseph Smith to the Church that would later become Doctrine and Covenants 121-123.

When Joseph and the other prisoners escaped Missouri, they fled to Quincy, Illinois. There Joseph and the others found their families, but not Caleb. His family yet remained in Missouri. Caleb knew he was a wanted man in Missouri. If he went back and was captured he would be imprisoned or killed. He went back for Nancy and the children and got them out safely.

In Nauvoo, Caleb helped build the Nauvoo Temple. On one occasion the Prophet Joseph stood atop a barrel to preach to a gathered crowd. When the barrel began to teeter, Caleb rushed forward and Joseph put his hand on Caleb’s shoulder to steady himself. That act symbolized the life and service of Caleb Baldwin. When the saints went west to the Rocky Mountains Caleb was among the first. He was 57 years-old when he made the journey and was called Father Baldwin. Though he held no high position, he often included in counsel with the leaders of the Church. He arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in September of 1848, where he died just a few months later.

It is said that the name “Baldwin” is of Germanic origins and that Bald means bold and that Wine means friend or protector. Caleb Baldwin was indeed a bold friend, mostly and undeservedly, forgotten by history.

Source: http://mormonhistoricsites.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Caleb-Baldwin-Prison-Companion-to-Joseph-Smith.pdf

Artwork by Robinson


Trust-in-God by Julie Rogers

Marie Wilhemina Krause Madsen

When we talk about pioneers I frequently hear people speak of the toughness of a people who could endure such physical demands, and that is true, but there is another dimension to that toughness that is equally, if not more important—Faith—spiritual toughness!

Mina was born to a mother with great faith in the restored Gospel who taught her well. And though her father was never converted, he supported the desire of his wife and family to immigrate to Zion. However, it was expensive to move a large family and it was decided that one child would stay behind to make the journey later. Mina, at 8 years of age, was designated to remain behind.

On that journey, Mina’s mother and two little sisters passed away from cholera near Mormon Grove, Kansas, and Mina’s father never went on to Utah. He settled the family in St Louis, Missouri.

Meanwhile, unaware of the tragedy, Mina made ready to come on to Utah with the Frandsen family, but when vicious rumors spread that Mina was being kidnapped by the Frandsens, she was taken away and placed in an orphanage. The Frandsens went on without her.

Determined to go on, Mina joined with the Madsen family and started the journey. In Iowa City they became part of the Hodgett Wagon Company. This company along with the Hunt Wagon company are often forgotten in the heroic struggle for survival in the Wyoming snows of 1856, but they ought not to be. They would not get to the Valley until December 1856, two weeks after the Martin Company.

At Devil’s Gate, Lars Madsen, Mina’s protecting father, collapsed in the snow. She clung to his side, but he pushed her away and told her to leave him. By the time she got back with help, Lars was gone.

Mina remained with the Madsen family and eventually married one of their sons. They settled in the San Pete Valley and had 11 children.

But what of her family? Unbeknownst to Mina, her father had started a plumbing business in St Louis and had become very wealthy. Mina wanted to know what became of her family, and eventually she ran an ad in a newspaper in St. Louis, Missouri. That ad reached Johan Krause, Mina’s father, and he and Mina’s sister Augusta traveled to Utah.

Finally, after 32 years the family was reunited. After a time, Mina’s father returned to St Louis contending that the Mormons had stolen his daughter. She would never see him again. It is said the family offered Mina every material comfort if she would renounce her faith and come back with them to Missouri. Mina refused. She would give up her immediate family for an eternal one and would forgo a mansion on earth for her place in a heavenly one. It is said that Mina loved the Book of Mormon and would read it every day to her children.

Sister Mina served as a relief society president and died in the faith in October of 1900, beloved by all and an example to generations.


Family records from Mandi Brady

Jolene Allphin, Tell My Story Too, p. 348-9



Artwork by Julie Rogers