Thursday, March 16, 2017

They Grew the Best Here

No matter where the Saints have lived they have been noted for their beautiful gardens, however, according to early members, George and Betsy Bradley, where did the vegetables and flowers grow the best?
a.                  Nauvoo
b.                  Far West
c.                   Kirtland
d.                  Adam-ondi-Ahman
Yesterday’s answer:
(C)   Meeting to hear a letter read from Joseph Smith
From the life of William Gilbert Smith:   His parents were among the first to hear and accept the gospel as revealed to Joseph Smith and were baptized early in the year 1831. The next year the family moved to Kirtland, Ohio, where the father worked at his trade, blacksmithing. Willard was baptized on his eighth birthday at Kirtland by Simeon Carter. While the Kirtland Temple was being constructed, he acted as water carrier for the workmen. Although young at the time of the dedication of that building, he still remembers many incidents connected with the memorable event. Together with his parents he left Kirtland in 1838 in the “Kirtland Camp,” composed of families of Saints who were driven from their homes by the threats of an organized mob. His father lost one of his horses and was delayed for some time; the main camp moving on. Then, together with ten or twelve other belated families, the Smiths journeyed on behind the camp. The day before reaching Haun’s mill, in Caldwell county, Mo., the little band were relieved of all their firearms by a mob. They traveled all night, reaching Haun’s mill the following day. Here they spent the night. The next day, while the entire company, men, women and children, were assembled in front of an old blacksmith shop to listen to the reading of a letter just received from the Prophet Joseph, an infuriated mob of men, numbering about two hundred and fifty, suddenly appeared and put the little band to flight. Willard’s father and two brothers, and about sixteen others ran into the shop, but when he [Willard] attempted to go through the door, his arms flew outward and it was impossible for him to pass the threshold. Several times he made the attempt, but some unseen power held him back, and he sought safety in another direction, hiding first in a pile of lumber near the shop. He was finally driven from this place of refuge by the bullets of the mob and fled to a small frame house a short distance from the shop. When the mob finally retired, and all was quiet, the frightened women and children crept from their hiding places, but Willard Smith was the first one to enter the fatal shop, where so much innocent blood was spilled and from whence those noble spirits took their kind and merciful flight back to the Father. What a sight for a child only eleven years old, to behold! His beloved father and one dear little brother were lying dead, murdered; another brother, Alma, with his hip shot away, was lying near the bellows in a dying condition. Tenderly, Willard lifted his wounded brother and carried him from the shop, meeting his mother just outside. Little Alma was taken to their tent and in answer to their earnest prayer, God gave simple directions to Sister Smith for the dressing and treatment of the terrible wound. Although the entire hip joint was blown away, the boy recovered, and he never suffered any pain or inconvenience as the result of the injury in after life. The next day Willard assisted his mother and Bro. Joseph Young to place bodies of the martyred Saints into a dry well, the only available grave under the circumstances. As soon as possible the survivors left the vicinity of the tragedy, and Sister Smith journeyed to Quincy, Ill. While here, she married again. By a strange coincidence, her second husband’s name was Warren Smith, and he, also, was a blacksmith. After staying at Quincy for a year, the family moved to Nauvoo, where Willard learned the trade of a stonecutter and assisted in the construction of the Nauvoo Temple.

Andrew Jenson, L.D.S Biographical Encyclopedia (Salt Lake City: Publishers Press, 1901) Vol. 1, 473.

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