Sunday, September 23, 2012

An Unusual Goodbye to the Temple

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Nauvoo Temple

In her journal, Eunice Billings states that the Saints did what at the temple the last night before they left Nauvoo for the west?

A)     Took down curtains and pictures for use in a future temple

B)     Received instruction from Brigham Young and other leaders

C)     Cleaned the temple

D)     Held a dance

Yesterday’s answer:

(A)   Jesse N. Smith appeared larger than normal

The following from the journal of Jesse N. Smith dated December 11 and 12, 1861:

December 11: Bro. Christensen gave me 25 cents; walked 12 miles to the village of Valling, were welcomed by Bro. Niels Jensen. No appointment having been given out for meeting, were passing the evening quietly when two decently dressed girls came in and inquired if we were preachers, replying in the affirmative, they asked us to sing a hymn, in which they joined with great apparent devotion. Two hymns were sung, and the girls stated there were several nearby who wished to hear use preach. The bait was caught by Bro. C., who proposed to our host that we send out an appointment, which the young women volunteered to circulate. Some preparations were made, the invitation sent, and the door opened, when the room was immediately filled with ruffians, the two girls coming in to see the fun. They had simply been used as decoys to get the meeting appointed. The meeting was opened, I was asked to speak. I could easily discern that the ruffians intended to mob us. I spoke calmly and firmly for a few minutes, meeting with some interruption. Bro. C. endeavored to speak, but was drowned with shouts and clamor. The men sat smoking with their hats on. We concluded to dismiss. While trying to sing our single light was extinguished by some one throwing a hat upon it. Relighting, Bro. C. offered a short prayer, during which another attempt was made to put out the light. Bro. Jensen and wife, Bro. C. and I withdrew to an adjoining room, after Bro. Jensen had requested the mob to go in peace; this they refused to do; they extinguished every light, screamed, halloed, sang low songs, broke up seats, overturned the stove breaking it, and finally left the house yelling like demons. The two girls remained throughout the whole disgraceful proceedings. A bed being provided, we at length retired to rest.

December 12: Set out in good time. The mob of last evening were many of them gathered at the blacksmith shop, at the end of the village; saluted them as we passed. After walking some time in silence, Bro. C. turned to me and said: “Did you know those men intended to attack us as we came up?” “I thought so,” I replied. “Do you know the reason they did not?” “No,” I answered. “It was because they were afraid of you,” he said, “for I never saw you look as you did then; you looked larger than common, and when I looked at you I was afraid of you myself.” Such was Bro. C.’s remark.

Oliver R. Smith, ed., The Journal of Jesse Nathaniel Smith-1834-1906 (Provo: Jesse N. Smith Family Assn., 1970), 67-68.

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