Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Who is Frank Warner?

Frank Warner

Who is Frank Warner?
a.                  The first pioneer to settle in Willard, Utah
b.                  Brigham Young’s adopted son
c.                   Chief Walker’s son that was raised by pioneers
d.                  Chief Sagwich son that was raised by pioneers
Yesterday’s answer:
C   The fact that the mission presidents could never speak the language
As with previous mission presidents, when President Nelson assumed leadership of the Samoan mission, he continued with the tri-monthly visits to Tonga. New in his calling as president, he did not know the Tongan Language. Consequently, he went on his first visit with some apprehension as to how he might be received. His concerns were confirmed when one of the nobles who had joined the Church complained to him about the continued succession of mission presidents who could not speak or understand the language. He then went on to suggest that it was time for the people to hear religious instruction in their own tongue.
When President Nelson returned to Samoa, one of the first things he did was send a letter to the president of the Church, strongly recommending that the mission in Tonga be separated from Samoa and that someone who could speak the language be called as the presiding officer of the Tongan Mission. He received a polite but firm reply stating that the First Presidency did not feel it was time yet for the mission to be separated. They didn’t, however, promise him that if he would be faithful in his calling, he would be blessed.
In September of 1913 he returned for a second tour of the Tongan district of the mission. Upon his arrival there, he learned that the elders and members of the Church had arranged a large public meeting. There was considerable excitement in regard to the upcoming event and the large crowd they anticipated would gather. All was as they had expected-a large number of people did arrive, including ministers of other denominations. It was Nelson’s feeling that some of them had gathered to make fun of him and cause the Mormon mission president to look foolish.
At the meeting, President Nelson felt extremely humble and implored the Lord to bless him. In his journal, he related how as he stood to speak through an interpreter, he observed a Tongan woman standing at the door of the large house where the meeting was held. As he began to speak, apparent to him and to no one else, the woman told him what to say in Tongan. Thus, he was able to communicate in the Tongan tongue for the first time and without prior rehearsal through promptings from the unknown woman. He delivered a sermon that lasted nearly an hour on the basic principles of the gospel, and not once did he speak in either Samoan or English. He later testified that he knew it was a direct blessing, an answer to his prayer from the Lord. He did not know who the woman was, and he never saw her again; but from that time forth, he was able to speak the Tongan language.
For a number of days thereafter, wherever he went in Tonga, large crowds of followed to hear him, He felt it was probably out of curiosity, since the word had spread that this mission president, who had never spoken Tongan before, was suddenly speaking the language.
Lesson Committee, Museum Memories-Daughters of Utah Pioneers, (Salt Lake City, Talon Printing, 2010), 2: 220-221.

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