Tuesday, November 29, 2016

He was More Than a Little Surprised

After Elder William Bowsley finished teaching a Campbellite congregation, something happened that shocked him. What was it?
a.                   The minister of the congregation arose and bore testimony to the truthfulness of what Elder Bowsley taught
b.                  The congregation kicked their minister out of his church and wanted Elder Bowsley to continue his preaching
c.                   The minister invited Elder Bowsley to continue to preach to his congregation as long as he wanted
d.                  The congregation started to throw tomatoes at him
Yesterday’s answer:
(C)   Preaching
From the life of Moses Thatcher: When, therefore, Elders Henry G. Boyle, David M. Stewart and William H. Shearman came with authority to baptize as well as preach, he embraced the truth, being baptized in the Rio Puta, Yolo county, Cal., Dec. 29, 1856, by Elder Boyle, who also confirmed him the evening of the same day, and on March 23rd following ordained him an Elder. One month later he was called to fill a mission and became the companion of Elder Boyle. He was then fifteen years of age—a beardless boy. To undertake to preach to many who knew him as a rider of wild horses and the lassooer of wilder calves, was a task for which he felt himself wholly unqualified, and the very thought of attempting it made him ill. In a small meeting of Saints he had tried, by request, to express gratitude for the restoration of the gospel; and while he felt that if he did not praise God, the very stones must, yet when he attempted to speak, not a word could he utter. His two elder brothers having been assigned to missions in another part of the State, and his father, mother and other brothers and sisters having arranged to gather to Zion, his feelings were indescribable. A sense of loneliness and of dread seemed to unnerve and utterly prostate him. It was to the boy an hour of supreme trial, one in which it seemed to him his heart would fail, and yet, in that hour of weakness, he was taught reliance on the Lord, who was able to make the weak strong for His glory and for the salvation of men. Moses had plead with Elder Boyle not to call him to preach or pray in public, saying that if he could be excused from that, he would be Brother Boyle’s obedient and willing servant, blacking his boots, waiting on him, caring for his horse and in every possible manner rendering himself useful to his friend. For several weeks his appeals were regarded mercifully, when, having attended a Methodist meeting, the Saints and especially the characters of the Prophets, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, were cruelly and unmercifully vilified by the minister, one Reverend Blythe. Being the only one of the faith present, Moses was profoundly moved and in humble, earnest inward prayer besought the Lord to manifest to him his duty and give him strength to perform it. In answer he was impressed to reply. Securing permission to speak, the spirit of God came upon him powerfully, and, without the least hesitation or manifestation of timidity, he disproved many of the assertions of the “reverend” vilifier and confounded and put him to shame; so much so, that swelling with wrath and high sounding word, Blythe exclaimed, with a sneer, that he was grieved and astonished that one so young and apparently good, should admit himself to be a “Mormon.” Whereupon Moses replied: “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to all who believe.” And further said he, “Christ declared that those who believed on Him should do the works He did and greater works, because He went to the Father. Now our Reverend friend has declared that such works are done away, being no longer necessary, and that all who claim to do them or any part of them are imposters; does it not follow, therefore, that he is no believer in Christ; Judge ye between the Lord and this Reverend gentleman claiming in His name to be a teacher. The sheep knowing the voice of their shepherd will not follow strangers seeking to lead them astray.” Thus did the Almighty with the weak confound the might, vindicate truth and unmistakably demonstrate that, however inadequate the instrument, He was able to make truth triumph over error. Thereafter Moses made the Lord the “rock of his refuge,” and, as the boy-missionary, preached as earnestly fearlessly and as reflectively as at any time since. Wrapped in the spirit he sometimes spoke for an hour, often correctly quoting Scripture he had never read, the words and sentences, as he declared, appearing before this spiritual eyes, were read, as from an open book.    

             Andrew Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia (Salt Lake City: Publishers Press, 1901), 128-129.

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