“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