Every now and then I come across comical stories. This one falls into this category. Ralph Snowball’s (love the name) wife threatened to leave him if he did what?
a. Join the Mormon Church
b. Enter into polygamy
c. Let the Elders in
d. Go on a mission
(C) A snowstorm
From the life of Samuel H. Smith: He was in the Crooked river battle, and immediately after, by the counsel of Pres. Brigham Young, together with Brothers Charles C. Rich, Benjamin L. Clapp, Lorenzo D. Young and about twenty others, they fled for Illinois by the wilderness through the north part of Missouri, and the southern part of Iowa. Messengers overtook them and informed them that General Clark had sent a company of fifty well-armed men to follow them, with strict orders not to return until they had brought back the company either dead or alive. When this word came a halt was called and Samuel asked what they should do in case the enemy overtook them; after a few moments’ consultation the whole company covenanted with uplifted hands to heaven that if they were overtaken they would fight till they died, and not a man would fall into the hands of the enemy alive. They then traveled on ten miles and camped on the edge of some timber on the north side of a four mile prairie, and they afterwards learned that their enemies camped on the south edge of the same prairie, and would have overtaken them next day, had not the Lord sent a heavy snow storm during the night; and when the brethren arose in the morning, Phineas H. Young remarked, that that snow storm was their salvation. The air was so full of snow that they could hardly find their horse to saddle them, but they soon mounted them and continued their journey as fast as they could. The storm was from the north, and in their faces; it filled their tracks in a few moments, so that Clark’s men could not follow. It was reported that this company of men on their return informed the general that they could not overtake the d—d Mormons, for they were stopped by a snow storm. After they had got some distance on their journey, the company divided into three parts, the three brethren named fell in company with Samuel; their provisions gave out, and after spending several day without food, except eating lynne buds and slippery elm bark, they camped upon a small stream, and the company, numbering eight, held a council, and appointed Samuel president, that they might receive the word of the Lord in relation to the situation of Joseph the Prophet and those that were with him, also in relation to their families and what they were to do to obtain food; they all knelt down in a circle, and each one prayed; then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Samuel, and being fill with the Holy Ghost ,he arose and said: “Thus saith the Lord, my servant Joseph is not injured, nor any of his brethren that are with him, but they will all be delivered out of the hand of their enemies; your families are all well but anxious about you. Let you hears be comforted, for I the Lord will provide food for you on the morrow.” They went to bed with glad hearts, and arose in the morning and prayed again and went out two by two to hunt for food. Brother Clapp saw several squirrels and shot at them, but could not hit them; they were only to stay one hour; at the end of that time they all returned, except Charles C. Rich and Samuel. Feeling very faint one of the brethren proposed killing a horse. Brother Clapp said that when Brothers Rich and Samuel returned they would have food, as he never knew the Lord to give a false revelation to his servants; and while conversing upon the matter ,the brethren made their appearance with two silk handkerchiefs tied up full of bread and dried meat. Samuels’s mind was led in a certain direction, and following it they came to an Indian camp; they made know to the Indians by signs, that they were hungry; upon this the squaw with all possible speed baked them some cakes, and gave each of them two, sending two to each of the six brethren in camp, giving them to understand that she would be glad to send more, but she had but little four, and her papooses would be hungry. When they arrived in camp all felt to rejoice; they formed a circle around the food, and asked a blessing upon it. The bread was very good, being shortened with raccoons’ oil. After eating they started upon their journey and obtained food sufficient, so that none perished.
Andrew Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia (Salt Lake City: Publishers Press, 1901) 1:280-281.