Pioneer Clock in Downtown Salt Lake City
The old pioneer clock in downtown Salt Lake City came to the Valley in the 1870’s. What first powered this clock?
A. They wanted to know about the Book of Mormon
The following remarkable story was related by Edward J. Wood, President of the Alberta Stake, at Conference in Salt Lake, Oct. 3, 1915: The story is of today, an event which happened recently. A tribe of Indians came to our country, called the Kree [Cree] Indians. They were headed by a man named “Yellow Face.” He said that he was a member of a council of five who lived in the eastern part of Saskatchewan, the province to the east of Alberta. They spend their time in winter in hunting and fishing. They roam around the country for that purpose and then go back again in the spring. They are the wards of the British Government and are a superior tribe. This man and his one hundred twenty-eight families came into our country, and camped in the woods by a river, right where the road led from two of our wards. We did not know anything of their business. They went about hunting and fishing. One day this man, “Yellow Face,” sent to a ward for the “high Chief” of that ward, as he called him (we call them bishops), and wanted him to come to his tent and have a visit with him. Their people visited us; we had asked them into our meetings. They had come to our entertainments and we had become interested in them. They are a very well educated people, are the Kree nation---not like the Indians here. They dress as we do and are educated. They have a written language of their own, not made by white men, according to signs and sounds, but composed of hieroglyphics, which appear to be a scientific alphabet.
This man sent for our bishop and when he came he found a large tent with the heads of these one hundred twenty-eight families there, sitting in a circle, and “Yellow Face” was sitting right in front with one Indian woman. “Yellow Face” said to this bishop. “We want you to talk to us. We have been to your meetings. We have been to your parties. You have asked us to dine with you. Now we return the compliment. We want you to come and visit us.” He was led to the center of the circle.
Bishop Parker did not know what to say. He had never been on a mission, wasn’t prepared to preach the gospel, but he was struck with the sincerity he saw in the people’s faces as they sat in the circle. They were pleased to see him, so he told them about the restoration of the gospel and about our work of colonizing in that country. They did not seem much interested in that.
After he got through they said, “Is that all you know about your gospel?”
He thought and said, “Well, I believe I have told you all I know.”
“Well,” “Yellow Face” said, “don’t you have any books that you talk about?”
“O yes,” and Brother Parker then thought of the Book of Mormon.
“Well, tell us about that book.” Brother Parker told all he could. It did not take very long and when he got through the chief said, “That is all,” and Brother Parker went home.
About a week later the chief sent for the bishop again. Brother Parker did not know this time what would be expected of him. But he went and found the same crowd there. This time “Yellow Face” said to Brother Parker, “When you were here before, I sat there, and you stood here. This time I’ll stand here and you sit there,” and so he related the following story to Brother Parker:
“Two years ago the High Chief of our council had a vision.” (mind you, this man never knew anything about our gospel, never knew there was such a things as visions, or heavenly manifestations). “Our High Chief, the great chief of the Kree Nation had a messenger come to him that he never knew, and he told this chief, you are going to die, but you won’t die all over. When you die I do not want you to be buried until you get cold all over. So the chief said, all right: and later he went with this messenger, so that they all though he died. All the other chiefs thought he was dead, but he had told his nearest associates previously to watch is body when he went cold, form the extremities of his fingers to his bone’s, and to bury him if his body was cold all over, but if they found a warm spot over his heart not to bury him.
So he was watched for five days and only above his heart was there a small warm place. On the end of the fifth day he came to, and he called all his council together and told them he had been into a country where he saw his forefathers, walked with them, talked with them; and they told him he would not yet die, for he would come back to earth and that he was to send all over the country until he found a people who had a book in which was recorded the history of the many people he had been with in the spirit world; and he said I will give unto you four signs by which you may know the people.
“First, they will not drive you out of their country. Second, you can turn your horses loose, they won’t steal them. Third, they will go through you village and they won’t rob the virtue of your maiden women. Fourth, they will let you hunt and fish on their domain.”
So he said to Brother Parker. “With my family for two years we have hunted for such a people. You invited us into your meetings. We sat at the table with you in your picnic parties. You have come through our village; you have not molested our women. We are fishing and hunting today on your Church land. So I tried you; I watched you; we have watched your old men, your young men; we have watched every action of all your people.
“When I heard you speak it sounded like good music to me and when you said that that was all you had to tell I thought again, I am disappointed. So I asked you if you had a book. You told me you had and told me of your Book of Mormon. That is our book. That is our history, not yours; we want it.”
So Brother Parker went and got the Book of Mormon and brought it back to the Indians. The Indians took it, gave it to the interpreter and had him sit down and read it by the hour, and when he got through the Indian Chief kept the book—to take back to the High Chief who was waiting for them—he did not think he had to buy it. He had said, “it is our book, our history,” and drew out a beautifully embroidered envelope of leather and wrapped it up and took it away.
They have visited us several times since, telling us other wonderful things. They are a very fine people, and only the Lord knows what this visit may portend. Not all that was related can be related here as it pertains to a sacred prophecy. It will come true in due time.
Preston Nibley, Faith Promoting Stories (Salt Lake City, Bookcraft, 1977), 130-134.