To date I have served one mission. I proudly own a mission call that was signed by President Spencer W. Kimball. I hope to serve another mission or more with other Presidents of the Church signatures at the bottom of the call. Andrew Jenson, Church Historian at the turn of the 19th into the 20th century, served many missions. How many Presidents of the Church called him on missions?
a. Thompsonian medicine
The following from the life of Margaret Cooper West: It was in 1833 that a man came to their door bringing a book which he had for sale. It was only a small book, but as she took it in her hand and read Thompson’s Guide to Health she felt impressed that this surely was, at least, part of the thing she had been expecting. She knew she must prepare to take better care of the sick all about her. She felt keenly her responsibility.
Margaret turned the pages casually: “Fevers—Their Dangers and Their Medication, Steaming, Colic, Rheumatism, Poison Medicine and Their Danger, Herbs to Be Used Plentifully.” She must have this book; it would help her to save the sick. She did not ask the price—that was of little consequence at that moment.
“It is a very small book, but I am sure it is valuable. I guess it measures 5 x 7 1/2 inches. Now I must ask the price.” “Twenty dollars,” the salesman answered. “Twenty dollars! Are you sure? Are there any lectures or something more to come?” When the man answered in the negative, she replied, “I suppose if I could help to save someone’s life, it would pay for itself.”
Margaret paid the twenty dollars out of her own money and could hardly wait until her work was finished to start reading. How interested she became. If she had only known this or that when Mrs. Peters was so ill, or Jonathan Shrug, how much more she could have done. Later she told Samuel she felt that she had received full value for the money spent. “You see,” she said “we always have fevers of one kind or another. I’ve witnessed much suffering and sometimes death. The doctors I have known seem almost helpless to restrain its course or to give more relief than I have done. I have been reading right here that if a patient is given the proper care at the commencement of the fever, it can easily and speedily be overcome. If this book can help me to learn more about sickness and how to alleviate pain, how well paid we both will be.” Margaret and Samuel always understood the value of each other’s labor.
Not long after this, something else unusual happened to the West family. This time, two men visited their home. They, too, had a book, much larger than the Guide. They said it was the Book of Mormon. Again Margaret fondled a book, which she knew from the moment she touched it to be sacred. Margaret and Samuel were soon baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and their faith was never to be shaken.
Additional interesting information:
In general, the public lost confidence in this type of medicine and many actions sprang up, introducing different types of healing. One of these methods was called the Thompsonian method. It was advocated in the New Guide to Health, by Samuel Thompson, published in Columbia, Ohio, in 1832. It promoted the use of herbs, hot baths, and dietary moderation. Several prominent early Mormons were numbered among the disciples of Thompsonian medicine. Frederick G. Williams purchase the right to practice it before he joined the Church. Willard Richards and his brother Levi were licensees who were closely associated with the Prophet Joseph Smith. They could have influenced his advocacy of botanic medicine. Brigham Young supported faith healings backed by Thompsonian remedies.
Chronicles of Courage, Daughters of Utah Pioneers (Salt Lake City: Lesson Committee, 1993), V4:329, 349.