Monday, February 10, 2014

Those Were the Requirements

Image result for lds bishop interviewing
Just like today, there was an interview process to enter the temple once the Saints settled into the valley. At what point in time did this interview process become popularized?

a.      At the time of the Salt Lake Temple

b.      At the time of the Endowment House in Salt Lake City

c.       At the time of the St. George Temple

d.      At the time of the Hawaiian Temple

Yesterday’s answers:

1.                  (C) The moment he felt the Book of Mormon in his hands

The following from the life of Jacob Hamblin:

   In February, 1842, a neighbor called at my house and told me that he had heard a “Mormon” Elder preach. He asserted that he preached more Bible doctrine than any other man he had ever listened to, and that he knew what he preached was true. He claimed that the gospel had been restored to the earth, and that it was the privilege of all who heard it to know and understand it for themselves.

   What this neighbor told me so influenced my mind, that I could scarcely attend to my ordinary business.

   The Elder had left an appointment to preach again at the same place, and I went to hear him. When I entered the house he had already commenced his discourse. I shall never forget the feeling that came over me when I saw his face and heard his voice. He preached that which I had long been seeking for; I felt that it was indeed the gospel.

   The principles he taught appeared so plain and natural, that I thought it would be easy to convince any one of their truth. In closing his remarks, the Elder bore testimony to the truth of the gospel.

   The query came to my mind: How shall I know whether or not these things are so, and be satisfied? As if the Spirit prompted him to answer my inquiry, he again arose to his feet and said: “If there is anyone in the congregation who wishes to know how he can satisfy himself of the truth of these things, I can assure him that if he will be baptized, and have hands laid upon him for the gift of the Holy Ghost, he shall have an assurance of their truth.”

   This so fired up my mind, that I at once determined to be baptized, and that too, if necessary, at the sacrifice of the friendship of my kindred and of every earthly tie.

   I immediately went home and informed my wife of my intentions.

   She told me that if I was baptized into the “Mormon” Church, I need not expect her to live with me anymore.

   The evening after the Elder had preached I went in search of him, and found him quite late at night. I told him my purpose, and requested him to give me a “Mormon Bible.” He handed me the Old and New Testaments.

   I said, “I thought you had a new Bible. He then explained about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and handed me a copy of it.

   The impressions I received at the time cannot be forgotten. The spirit rested upon me and bore testimony of its truth, and I felt like opening my mouth and declaring it to be a revelation from God.

   On the 3rd of March, 1842, as soon as it was light in the morning, I started for a pool of water where  had arranged to meet with the Elder, to attend to the ordinance of Baptism. On the way, the thought of the sacrifice I was making of wife, of father, mother, brothers, sister and numerous other connections, caused my resolution to waver.

   As my pace slackened, some person appeared to come from above, who, I thought, was my grandfather. He seemed to say to me, “Go on, my son; your heart cannot conceive, neither has it entered into your mind to imagine the blessings that are in store for you, if you go on and continue in this work.”

   I lagged no more, but hurried to the pool, where I was baptized by Elder Lyman Stoddard.

   It was said in my confirmation, that the spirits in prison greatly rejoiced over what I had done. I told Elder Stoddard my experience on my way to the water.

   He then explained to me the work there was for me to do for my fathers, if I was faithful, all of which I believed and greatly rejoiced in.

   On my way home, I called at the house of one of my neighbors. The family asked me if I had not been baptized by the “Mormon”  Elder. I replied that I had. They stated that they believed what he preached to be the truth, and hoped they might have the opportunity of being baptized.

   The following day Elder Stoddard came to my house, and told me that he had intended to leave the country, but could not go without coming to see me. For what purpose he had come, he knew not.

   I related to him what my neighbors had said. He held more meetings in the place, and organized a branch before leaving.

   When my father learned that I had joined the “Mormons,” he said he thought he had brought up his children so that none of them would ever be deceived by priestcraft; at the same time he turned from my gate, and refused to enter my house.

   Other relatives said that my father knew better than to be deceived as I had been. I answered them by predicting that, much as he knew, I would baptize him into the Church before I was two years older.

   All my relatives, except one brother, turned against me, and seemed to take pleasure in speaking all manner of evil against me. I felt that I was hated by all my former acquaintances. This was a great mystery to me.

   I prayed to the Lord and was comforted. I knew that I had found the valuable treasure spoken of by our Savior, and I was willing to sacrifice all things for it.

   My wife’s father took great pains to abuse and insult me with his tongue. Without having any conception how my prediction would be fulfilled, I said to him one day, “You will not have the privilege of abusing me much more.” A few days after he was taken sick, and died.

   Soon after the death of her father, my wife asked me, good-naturedly, why I did not pray in the house or with her. I replied that I felt better to pray by myself than I did before unbelievers. She said that she was a believer; that her father had appeared to her in a dream, and told her not to oppose me anymore as she had done; and that he was in trouble on account of the way he had used me. Soon after this she was baptized, which was a great comfort to me.

   In the autumn of 1842, Elder Stoddard returned to the country where I lived, to labor in the ministry, and ordained me an Elder.

   About the same time my wife was taken very sick. By her request, I administered to her, and she was immediately healed. I visited my father and told him that signs followed the believer, as in the days of the apostles; that I was a believer, and had been ordained an Elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and that the signs followed my ministrations.

   He ordered me out of his house for believing such nonsense. I went out, reflecting as to whether or not I had done wrong in predicting that I would baptize him in less than two years.

   Sometime after this he was taken sick, and I went to see him. My mother told me he had the spotted fever, and that there was no hope of his recovery. She believed he was dying, and so it appeared to me; but I thought that Good could and would save him if I prayed for him.

   I retired to a private place, and prayed to the God of Abraham to have mercy on my father and heal him, that he might have an opportunity of obeying the gospel, and said:

   It was a moonlight night, and when I returned to the house my mother stood at the door. She spoke to me very kindly, and said:

   “Jacob, the fever has left your father; he has spoken and wants to see you.”

   As I approached him he said, “The fever has left me, and your mother says that you came to me and went away again. What has made such a sudden change? Do you know?”

   I answered that I had prayed for him, that I was a believer in the gospel of the Son of God, and in the signs following those that believe.

   “Well,” said he, “if it is the gospel, I would like to know it; but if it is priestcraft, I want nothing to do with it.”

   Soon after the sickness of my father, I sold my home, gathered up my effects and started for Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois.

   In passing my father’s house I found him quite well, and he desired me to remain over night. He showed much interest in the principles of the gospel, and, when I left his house in the morning, the Spirit manifested to me that my father and his household would yet accept the truth. . . .

   . . . .The following winter I assisted in guarding the Saints in and around the city of Nauvoo. My brother Obed lived about thirty miles out in the country. He was taken sick, and sent for me to come and see him.

   On arriving at his house, I found that he had been sick nearly three months, and that doubts were entertained of his recovery. I anointed him with holy oil in the name of the Lord Jesus, laid on hands, and prayed for him, and told him that he should recover, which he did immediately.

   This occurrence had much influence on my parents. They both attended the following April conference. At its close, my father asked me if I did not wish to baptize him and my mother. As they were both desirous that I should do so, I baptized them in the Mississippi river, on April 11th, 1845.

   My father told me that it was not any man’s preaching that had convinced him of the truth of the gospel, but the Lord had shown it to him in night visions. Said he, “It is your privilege to baptize your parents, for you have prayed for them in secret and in public; you never gave them up; you will be a Joseph to your father’s house.”

Three Mormon Classics, Jacob Hamblin, James A. Little comp., (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988), 203-211, 214.

2.                  (B) The Spirit whispered that a man standing across the street was an elder and to speak to him

The following story is from Jacob Hamblin’s mission to Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland:

   The way appeared to be opening up for a good work to be done in that country, when, about the 4th of July, news reached me that the Prophet, about whom I had preached so much, had been shot by a mob when confined in jail. I did not believe the report until I offered to preach to those who were gathered around me in the small town of Mechanicsburg. They manifested a spirit of exultation, and a feeling of deep gloom passed over me. I felt more like weeping than preaching.

   I concluded to hunt up my companion, from whom I was then separated. For this purpose I started for Hagerstown, where I hoped to find him, or learn of his whereabouts.

   I had traveled about a mile when I came to a cross road, and the Spirit whispered to me, “Stop here, and Brother Myers will soon be along.” I remained on the spot about ten minutes, when I saw him coming, with his hat in one hand and his valise in the other. He did not believe that the Prophet was killed.

   We journeyed together to Lightersburg. After meeting and passing many people, the Spirit indicated to us that a man on the opposite side of the street was an Elder in Israel. It proved to be a Latter-day Saint Elder, who had reliable information of the murder of the Prophet Joseph and the Patriarch Hyrum Smith. He also informed us that the Elders who were abroad were all called home.

James A. Little, Jacob Hamblin in Three Mormon Classics, Preston Nibley, comp. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988), 210.

3.                  (B) “By the same way that I know the gospel is true”

I settled, with my father and brothers, in Tooele Valley, thirty-five miles west of Salt Lake City. The people built their houses in the form of a fort, to protect themselves from the Indians, who frequently stole their horses and cattle. Men were sent against them from Salt Lake City, but all to no purpose. The Indians would watch them during the day, and steal from them at night.

   This kind of warfare was carried on for about three years, during which time there was no safety for our horses or cattle. We had a military company, of which I was first lieutenant. I went with the captain on several expeditions against the thieves, but without accomplishing much good. They would watch our movements in the canyons, and continually annoy us.

   At one time, I took my wife three miles up a canyon, to gather wild fruit while I got down timber from the mountain. We had intended to remain over night, but while preparing a place to sleep, a feeling came over me that the Indians were watching with the intention of killing us during the night.

   I at once yoked my oxen, put my wife and her babe on the wagon, and went home in the evening. My wife expressed surprise at my movements, and I told her that the Indians were watching us. She wished to know how I knew this, and asked if I had seen or heard them. I replied that I knew it on the same principle that I knew that the gospel was true.

   The following day I returned to the canyon. Three Indians had come down on the road during the night, and robbed a wagon of a gun, ammunition and other valuables. One of them, from the size of the track, must have been an Indian known as “Old Big Foot.” I thanked the Lord that He had warned me in time to save my wife and child, as well as myself.

Ill now fast forward to a year later. . .

   Afterwards, when trying to make peace with these Indians, “Big Foot” told me, that himself and party had laid their plans to kill me and my wife and child, the summer before when in Pine Canyon, had we remained there over night.

James A. Little, Jacob Hamblin in Three Mormon Classics, Preston Nibley, comp. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988), 220-221, 224.

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