How many African Americans entered the Salt Lake Valley with Brigham Young in 1847?
On April 6th, 1830, one of the thirty people in attendance (it has been said that this number could be as high as 60 people) at the Whitmer cabin in Fayette, New York, to witness the organization of the Church, happened to be the eleven-year old David Lewis. He so badly wanted to join the Church, although Joseph told him that if he could obtain consent from his parents then he would perform that ordinance.
Not long after the organization of the Church, and on the boys twelfth birthday, David was able to obtain the necessary permission from his parents, and in early May of 1830 was baptized by Joseph Smith, in a small stream, into the Church.
After the baptism a violent storm unleashed her fury. Joseph was concerned about David’s safety and was somewhat reluctant to have him pursue his way home. David insisted that he go as he had promised his mother that he would be home after the baptism. Joseph relented and left him with a blessing that he would be protected throughout the storm and that he would arrive home to the safety of his parents. David headed out, but in the storms fury had lost his way. Remembering the prophet’s promise, David knelt in prayer. After he arose from his prayer he saw what appeared to be a lantern, which he followed to his home.
David Lewis, Reminiscence dictated to Andrew Jensen, 10 Sept. 1908, Church Archives