Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Anne Booth’s Vision

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In March 1840, early British convert, Anne Booth saw a vision of an American apostles baptizing in heaven. Who did Wilford Woodruff think the apostle could be?
a.                  Parley P. Pratt
b.                  Hyrum Smith
c.                   Brigham Young
d.                  David Patten
Yesterday’s answer:
A   Joseph Smith
The 1837 British Mission:   Even while the elders felt blessed by the power of God, they were also keenly aware of the powers of darkness arrayed against them. One encounter came the night before their first baptisms. The two apostles occupied a tiny room on the top floor of a Saint Wilfred Street lodging house, and Elders Goodson, Russell, Snyder, and Richards occupied the floor below. The missionaries knew that Isaac Russell had long been troubled by what he thought were devils, though Heber Kimball, at least, did not fully believe all Russell had said about his difficulties. Tormented again during the early morning of Sunday, July 30, Russell went upstairs and awakened Elders Kimball and Hyde, asking for a blessing. Heber stood up and Orson sat on the bed while the two apostles laid their hands on Russell, prayed, and rebuked the spirits. As Heber later wrote: “While thus engaged, I was struck with great force by some invisible power and fell senseless on the floor as if I had been shot, and the first thing that I recollected was, that I was supported by Brothers Hyde and Russell, who were beseeching a throne of grace in my behalf. They then laid me on the bed, but my agony was so great that I could not endure, and I was obliged to get out, and fell on my knees and began to pray. I then sat on the bed and could distinctly see the evil spirits, who foamed and gnashed their teeth upon us. We gazed upon them about an hour and a half, and I shall never forget the horror and malignity depicted on the countenances of theses foul spirits, and any attempt to paint the scene which then presented itself, or portray the malice and enmity depicted in their countenances would be vain.
“I perspired exceedingly, and my clothes were as wet as if I had been taken out of the river. I felt exquisite pain, and was in the greatest distress for some time. However, I learned by it the power of the adversary, his enmity against the servants of God and got some understanding of the invisible world.”
Any doubts Heber had about the reality of Isaac Russell’s confrontations with the powers of darkness were erased. Joseph Fielding, who also had doubted some of Russell’s claims, was not present, but after he heard of the experience, he summarized in his diary the lessons of the night: “Upon the whole we got considerable Instruction form the Maneuvers of the Devil. The spirit of the Devil produces Confusion, Disorder and Misery; the Spirit of God produces Clamness, Order and Happiness. If we never before knew that there were evil Spirits, we did now. We also knew how [to] feel for dear Bro. Russel.”
It was only natural for Heber to conclude in his diary that “it seames that the devels ar determined to destroy us and prevent the truth form being declared in England.” When Joseph Smith later heard of it he rejoiced for, he said, “I then knew that the work of God had taken root in that land.”

Men With a Mission 1837-1841, James B. Allen et. al, (Deseret Book, Salt Lake City, Utah: 1992), 33-35.

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