I feel it a duty I owe to my family, to give them a sketch of my life, so that they can trace our family history after I am gone.
In the year 1812 my father, Isaac Jones, enlisted under General Jackson to go to New Orleans, to fight for our country. There he lost his life. Three years later my mother, Polly Ogelsbye Jones, married Isaac Pierce. She died the next year leaving me and my three little brothers alone. We were cantled about from place to place for several years, our Uncle William Jones seeing to us all he could. February 3, 1826, I was married to your father, Daniel S. Thomas. In 1827 we moved to Kentucky. In 1835 we heard the gospel preached in its true light by Elder Wilford Woodruff. We believed and obeyed the same, for it was the true plan of salvation then as it is now.
In 1837 we moved to Missouri, but the evil one determined the Saints should not stay there.
February 14, 1839, we started across the prairie with five children. The snow was about six inches deep. We had but one pair of shoes for the little ones.
In the spring of 1840 we moved to Nauvoo; there we stayed six years. The Saints in the depths of poverty built a city and a beautiful temple to the God of Heaven. He accepted it and thousands were blessed therein. But the devil could not sit still and see the Saints prosper.
In 1846 we started for the mountains without purse or script, wagon or team. We had our two selves and eight children. In 1847 we buried Morgan Melican our oldest son, in Florence. In 1849 we landed in the valley's. Who could not acknowledge the hand of God in our deliverance? In 1853 we moved to Lehi.
June 27, 1878, D. S. Thomas, your father, was buried. This leaves me standing in the midst of the Saints surrounded with a numerous posterity, which is a great comfort to me. At times the clouds of sorrow will hover over me. Then I call on my father for help and he is sure to comfort me.
Dream in 1835
I will give you a sketch of some of my dreams and a vision, though it is about fifty years since they were given me. In Kentucky, 1835, after we were baptized, I had my first dream.
You must remember we belonged to the Campbellite Church. Once a year there was a great camp meeting held close to our house. Everyone had to build two tents out of round poles covered with clapboard and flor with straw in abundance, especially around the stand and altar.
One night while I was in a deep sleep I thought we were all in our tents equipped for a big meeting. Someone shouted out to look at the clouds. I tried and looked the northeast. The clouds were rising fast and everyone was the exact shape of some animal. I do not think there was a single animal that went in Noah's Ark that was not represented. Each cloud was separated to itself and one tall, slim man to guide them. He had a long slim sword in hand, he seemed to swing it with such force you could hear it whiz through the air a great way off. The man, sword and beasts were so black that they glistened as though everyone was polished.
Just then it came to me what brothers Woodruff and Patten were speaking about the destroying angels that would come in the last days. I thought I fell down on my face until it passed over, and when I arose, I felt weak and tired, so much so that I awoke.
Another Similar Dream.
While yet in Kentucky I was troubled in spirit for fear we could not sell our property so that we could move to Zion. We had a large circle of relations living close by, Father and Mother living with us. It made our house a place of fathering. It was the custom of the people to stay all night and have a big supper. I was busy (in my dream) setting the table. We did not use tea or coffee; the glasses were placed around the table filled with water. I thought my sister-in-law, Polly McCartney, went in the dining room and called to me saying, "What ails this water?" I looked and it was red with blood. Looking out I saw the same animals as before, they all were red and the same man and sword seemed to be dripping with blood. Lights appeared overhead illuminating the heavens and moved slowly to the west, filter the dream a happy and contented feeling came over me. I did not care to open my eyes for I was so happy and contented, I did not wish to move, though it was daylight. My husband got up and made a fire. I got up and performed my labors as usual. That quiet, calm feeling did not leave me for several days.
A vision given me in Kentucky in the spring of 1837. I had been much troubled the past winter for fear we would never get to Zion, knowing that we could not go unless we could sell our property. Therefore my prayers were continually ascending to my Father that the way might be opened up for us to go. One day Mr. Thomas saddled his horse and went down to the mill. He stayed much longer than usual. About one o'clock he rode up to the gate and called to me, saying, "Pack up your goods, we are ready for Zion." I stepped to the door and said, "Have you sold?" "Yes," he answered. "Can we go?" "Yes." If anyone ever felt like flying it was me. I gathered the water pail and pitcher, started to the springhouse for fresh water, milk and butter for his dinner. I lifted the pail of water on my head, for that was the way we packed our water, the milk and butter in my hands. I started up the path with much joy. I thought I was like one of the ancients who was so near the promised land; he went on the mountains and looked over and saw it. Just at that moment if there was one snake's head, there were thousands on each side of the road sticking up about six inches above the ground. They did not seem to move or lap a tongue at me. It passed so quickly it did not affect me at all. When Mr. Thomas sat down to eat his dinner I thought of my snakes and wondered. I remembered Brother Patten saying, "The one who gave the dream would give the interpretation in due time."
We now bade farewell to all kindred, which was a sad affair, especially to father and mother Thomas. They belonged to the Church but were too old to stand the journey. Brother Woodruff had blessed them and said they would yet stand in Zion. So they did for we sent for them and in the fall they came by water. They soon died and were buried side by side on Long Creek, Missouri. Father was a revolutionary soldier under Washington. He was 84 years old and Mother, 78. This ends 1837.
From Kentucky To Missouri. We now started for Zion. After three days' journey I was sick with a disease called sun pain. Crossed the Tennessee river, laid over one day. The pain in my head was so severe I thought I would die. Mr. Thomas came into the tent and said, "Mother what can I do for you" "Oh I don't know, can you ask Brother Sherwood to administer to me?" "Yes". Now, this was something new to us for we had not seen anyone healed. He went and spoke to him: "Certainly" said he, "I was thinking about it but thought I would let her call on me."
He came in the tent with Brother Smoot, and others, they laid their hands on my head, I felt a calm, quiet, spirit go from my head to my feet. He said I should be healed from that moment; so I was. The pain and soreness of my eyes were all gone. I got out of my bed, washed, ironed, baked, and was ready for my journey next day.
We started--it was something very new to us to be led by anyone and obey him in all things. In this we did not fill the bill very well. It did not take him long to tell us sharply that if we did not hearken to his counsel better, the wind storms would over take us.
That night I thought we would be destroyed by the falling timber, but no one was hurt. I acknowledge the hand of God, for the fallen timber lay all around us. We commenced studying our duty to our God and our leader. We traveled on very quietly for several days. A few families fell in with us, going to Zion the same as we, though strangers to us. Brother Sherwood asked them to join our company and he would lead them. They said, "No they could lead themselves." Our leader called them Judas's company, they never got fairly out of sight, sometimes ahead, sometimes.
One day it was very hot; both man and beast were suffering for water. Our leader went ahead and found running water, "but you must not noon here," he said: "Loose your cattle, let them drink all they want and you can pack enough for your dinner." We did not like the idea, but we had not forgotten the wind storm. We all moved on except one family. Sister Margaret Atkinson was with them. She did not like to stay back but she did. It was about a quarter of a mile to the edge of the grass. There was not a tree nor a bush to shade us. Brother Sherwood had crawled under our wagon, I thought he was asleep. Old Father Hendricks came walking up to our wagon, harmless as a child, saying, "I don't see why we can't travel without a leader as the Judas's company do? They get along as well as we do." I wish you could have seen our leader roll out from under that wagon and call the attention of the company.
He soon got it for he spoke with such power we were fairly paralyzed. I cannot think of the hundredth part, but he said if we did not do better and acknowledge him as our leader, the judgments of God would come down upon us. "Now hitch up your teams and start."
Our beloved sister Margaret, who was back with the family at the water, saw we were starting and thought she would overtake us, as it was lonesome to be so far behind. The sun was very hot. She had a large umbrella she usually carried when walking. When she was about half way between her wagon and the company she noticed a black cloud rising very fast. We were all watching it. It was but a few minutes when we were in the most severe storm that I ever saw. It thundered, the lightning was so vivid that it almost blinded us. The rain and hail came down with such force and the wind was so strong the teamsters had to stand with their oxen, to keep the wagons quartered with the wind, for fear we might all go rolling together. But where is Sister Margaret (later became Margaret F. Smoot of Provo). Brother Allen, I think it was, looked back and saw her sitting in the middle of the road. He went to her as quickly as he could, helped her up out of the mud and water. Her umbrella was wrong side out, the wind and hail were so strong she could not stand up. Where she sat down in the road, the mud and rubbish drifted around her. Her skirt where it was gathered was full of mud and rubbish. She was frightened nearly to death. Where the storm came from I do not know, whether it was called down from above or up from below we could not say, but we all acknowledged the hand of God in our deliverance.
Dear reader, I do not mean you to think I am finding fault with our leader. We had all confidence in him as a leader and a good man. His fireside teachings were good and noble. We all fasted with the best of feelings and he pronounced great blessings on the faithful. The fault was in ourselves. We did not know how to be led, and thought we might lead part of the time.
Far West, Missouri, 1838
Mr. Thomas had entered all the land he wanted, timber and prairie, driven his stakes for a large farm, as though he could turn the world upside down with a plow. He put in a large crop but before it was ripe he was called to other duties.
Brother James Allred called on him and his brother, Henry, to join the big field company. They wanted to fence a large field for the benefit of the poor. They wanted all the tools for farming that could be spared, oxen, horses, cows, and work when called on. He told them "Yes" he would do anything the rest did. Henry, his brother, said "No," he had all he could do to take care of himself. I tell this to show my first lesson in obeying counsel.
Our house was the last house on the Richmond road, leading from Far West to Richmond. About two miles from our house there was a little place called Buncom, where the mob gathered to counsel which way to go. At first they did not seem to notice those living close by, but would go to Davis and other far away places. Therefore my husband and others were called to go and guard those settlements, which left me alone with my little ones. I cannot tell how long I stayed alone; I was so busy gathering our crops I scarcely noticed them. When they passed by if they wanted anything they would help themselves. I never spoke to them unless they spoke to me. I answered them with as fine a words as possible. Later, I made up my mind if Mr. Thomas got home alive, I would never stay another night alone.
He came home Monday about nine o'clock. I did not tell him anything about it. Tuesday about six in the afternoon word was sent him to gather his men and go to the outside settlers between his house and Crooked River. The mob was gathering there for battle.
They drove women and children from their homes and set their houses on fire. The prairie was on fire and the smoke and flames were whirling up in the air so high it looked like the world was in a blaze. He commenced buckling on his sword. I spoke to Morgan to yoke up the oxen. He looked up with surprise. "What are you going to do with the oxen." "I am going to town." "What tonight?" "Yes, I will not stay another night alone." He saw I was in earnest, laid down his sword and began to throw things in in the wagon, pell, mell. I had a big iron kettle of beef bones boiling, he drained the water off and hoisted it in the front of the wagon; then picking up the children, tossed them in. I called to him saying: "Don't set them in the kettle of bones." We had to stop and laugh, even though our enemies were upon us. He then gathered up his gun and sword and started on the run as his men have gone on ahead. The children and I started for Far West just as the sun was setting.
As we were passing Henry Thomas's place my sister-in-law ran out to know where I was going. "Well" she said, "if you go, I will." I passed on to Benjamin Clapp's; his wife came out; I told her where I was going. "Well" she said, "Go on, I will overtake you." I drove on to Brother William Allred's. Brother Crider called, "What is up now?" I told him, "Well hold on, I will go too." It was then dark. Sister Crider commenced pitching their things in the wagon, young ones and all.
We now had five wagons, two men, the rest were women and children. We started on again, Brother Crider in the lead. It was very dark, I walked all the way beside my team for fear of accident. My son was only twelve years old. We got there about ten o'clock. I drove to Brother David Patten's, found them all asleep. I rapped on the door he said come in. I spoke to Brother Patten. "Well Sister Thomas, you are the last one I would have taken for a coward." "I am no coward, but I did not feel safe so close to the mob." Sister Patten got up and lit a candle, saying "Bring your beds in." She cleared a place for me on the floor which was covered with beds. Brother Johnson, P. Lane and his family, also William Patten and family, were there.
We all quieted down for sleep, but there was no sleep for me. At midnight a drum was sounded, a gun fired. I called to Brother Patten. "You are scared" he said. Another gun was heard. "That's two," says I. "If that is so there is trouble." He called to Brother Bently, who was looking for him to get his horse ready quickly. In a few minutes they were all out of sight.
What took place in the next few days many have told; suffice it to say he was brought home a corpse from the battle of "Crooked River." When I started for town, Mr. Thomas, my husband, said he would be there early the next morning. He did not arrive until late in the evening. I was very uneasy, not knowing whether he was dead or alive.
In a few days the militia marched in sight, camped on the east bank of Goose Creek. Four thousand in number; it was a terrible sight to see their campfires after dark. How horrifying it was to us, to heal the yells, shouts and screams; the damned in hell could not be any worse than that was.
That evening Brother Joseph and his brethren walked into camp "like lambs to the slaughter." Never will I forget those or eternity. I wish I could speak so it would be stamped on the minds of my posterity as with indelible ink, never to be ruled out.
The death sentence was pronounced on them. They were to be shot next morning, but they were not. The Lord says, "How far can you go and no farther." So it was and so it will be, if we are faithful, keep the commandments of the Lord and the counsel of those whose right it is to counsel. [Surrender at Far West]
The next morning the brethren were called out, by our own music, with double quick time; they gathered their guns and everything they had to fight with and ran to the public square. The militia was there, surrounded them and marched them around in sight of the militia camp. We hurried and got breakfast but no one came to eat. We got dinner, it was the same. We could see some apostates on the house tops, all looking in the same direction. By this time I was so uneasy I could not bear it. I said to Sister Patten, fill two baskets with provisions and Morgan and I will go until we find them. There were eight men who ate at our table. "Oh dear, can you do that?" "Yes, I dare do anything in behalf of our brethren and the kingdom."
"Well go, I will watch the children and pray for you." He started and soon came in sight of a long string of men, I spoke to Morgan saying, "It is the guard." I was afraid he would get frightened, I went ahead until we came up to them, I asked them if they would please let me through. "Yes," said one, "open the way for this lady." I was quite encouraged to hear them call me a lady. When I walked in, there were four men abreast, with their bayonets glistening. About ten steps farther there was another guard. He went on nothing daunted. They let us through.
The brethren were tired and hungry, they were lying and sitting on the ground. Just then rude voices began swearing and yelling, "Shoot him, blow his brains out," etc. I looked and saw Brother McCray standing by the officers--he did not deliver his sword politely enough to please them.
I turned to the brethren and saw Mr. Thomas coming toward me, and the brethren that ate at our table. They soon made away with the food, giving a piece around as far as it would go. An officer gave orders to the guard, to march to quarters. He turned to the brethren saying, "You can to your places of abode, you need not put out a guard, we will guard you now" I said, "What does that mean?" Mr. Thomas pointed to the pile of guns saying, "We have nothing to guard with."
Early in the morning there was another call. "What next?" You must sign away all real estate to pay expenses. A list of names had been given by George M. Hinkle for the prison. Thomas was one of that number. He came to dinner with two men to guard him. He asked them to eat, they said "Yes, you sit there", themselves sitting on either side of him, I was astonished at their impudence, telling him where to sit at his own table. Then they laid their yawger across their laps with bayonets sticking out about three feet, for me to run around and wait on them.
Now a trying test to bid farewell to my husband, who with about 50 other brethren went to prison. Sister Patten wanted me to stay with her until they could come home. I could not say whether I would or not, but when he walked behind the stove to bid her goodbye, the tears were rolling down her pale face. He turned to me saying, "You stay with her until I come back." She cried out, "I thank the Lord for that." He spoke to me about some bedding. I said I'll bring you some to the storehouse for that is where the prisoners were kept, in the Lord's storehouse. We went to Brother Mikesell, to get a buffalo robe for him to sleep on--when we got back through the snow and grass my clothes had frozen about my knees but we could not stop to get warm. I got some quilt and supper and started, met the guard, asked the privilege to go to the prison. A man went with us to the door, called for Mr. Thomas, and gave him his bed and supper. It was heartrending to see so many brave men crammed in that house as thick as they could stand, many blossoming for the grave, having lived honest and honorable lives.
Father Morley spoke to Mr. Thomas for a strip of his buffalo robe; "All right," he said, "We'll sleep together," and so they did all the time they were in prison and had a big stone for their pillow.
Sister Patten wanted me to take charge of the house and everything--she was frightened at the approach of anyone; she had an idea they would take her alive and torture her because of the hatred they had for Brother Patten. When we saw anyone coming I would gather up a bucket or pan and step out in time to stop them. One of the mob said they had heard we were suffering for something to eat. They didn't want anyone to go hungry, etc.; said for me to send to their camp and get all we wanted. I was getting tired of those calls though we had been eating bran for sometime and it was all gone. I told him I had plenty out at my farm but dare not send for it. "Haven't you anyone you could send?" I answered "Yes, my boy could go but he would stand a good chance to be shot." "Send him to my office, I will give him a pass." My democratic spirit flew to my face in a moment, I said, "I am a southern woman and was raised in a slave state. My father bought and sold them by the hundreds; many a pass have I written for the black people of my stepfather's slaves. "Now," said I, looking him in the face, "before I would go to you for a pass to go to my farm for something to eat, I would eat dead dog, I think?" His second best, raising in his stirrups, showing his brass buttons to good said, "Captain, there is grit for you." Turning away with a half grin the Captain answered, "Yes."
They never bothered us anymore. They were soon sent away and we were told to go home and get ready to leave the state, in so many days, or we would be shot, unless we denounced our Prophet and Leader. This we could not do. Some stayed back and said they did not, but I could not believe a word of it.
Henry Thomas Leaves Missouri
Henry Thomas had moved to his home, our farms joined. He heard Mr. Thomas was coming home soon. Brother Joseph had sent word for the Saints to travel the upper road and cross at Quincy. Henry said it would not do as there were no farms and we would starve." "The lower road," he said "was in good order and plenty of provisions to sell." "Well" said I, "We will go to the upper road." "You will see when Dan comes," he said, meaning his brother. We travelled the upper road and he the lower. The Missourians would not sell them anything; they suffered much for want of food so he wrote and told us afterward.
He traveled the lower road till the day of his death. He never gathered with the church again. I speak of these things that the young and rising generation may take warning and obey counsel.
Another trial was to bid farewell to our dear Sister Patten. Mr. Thomas reached Far West early in the morning. He was soon ready for the road home. Sister Patten asked me to walk out with her saying, "I want a bit of counsel from you." "What do you think of Brother Bently and I getting married?" I looked with astonishment at her. "Don't look so strange at me," she said. "Do you think he can fill Brother Patten's place? She answered "No, no man can do that, but don't you think he will be good to me?" "Yes, I do." Mr. Thomas called for me to hurry up. "It is for everyone to use their own judgment for themselves", I said, so we parted. I afterward sent Morgan back to town as I had promised her. She sent me a bundle of clothes for the unborn. Told Morgan to tell me that she and Brother Bently were married. When he came home he was so excited over the marriage. Well! He will be good to her--Yes! but. . .
Leave Missouri For Quincy
We now bid farewell to the Zion we anticipated building in Missouri I said to Mr. Thomas, "All I want now is a house or wheels, so we can turn and travel in any direction the Lord may direct." On the 14th of February, 1839, we started across the prairie to Tenny's Grove, about twenty miles. The snow was about six inches deep. The children all barefoot, except the oldest boy. To hear them crying at night with their feet cracked and bleeding was a grievous sight for a mother to bear. I would often grease them and put on clean stockings, instead of making them wash them when going to bed.
We are now on the upper road, as counseled. Found stations all along the road with provisions for those that had money and those that had not. We were much surprised as this was the first station we ever saw. We acknowledged the hand of God. Drew provisions and went onto the next, until we reached Quincy in safety. We could not cross for the ice, several hundred families were camped on the river bank. Brother [Seymour] Brunson came over the river, called the Brethren together.
After they had talked a few minutes Mr. Thomas came back in a hurry saying "Mother what do you think of our team going back to Far West." "The Brethren and Sisters (for there were many widows and children) are all to be shot if they are not out by such a day." Well, dump the things out by that log." What will you do if you are taken sick," he said. "I will do as well as Sister Wight did in Daviess County, when confined by a log in a snow storm." "According to your faith so shall it be." Out went everything by the log, the looking glass by a stump.
Sure enough that night I was taken sick, sent for Sister Margaret Smoot, she asked where my bedroom was. "Oh there is plenty of room, you and Mr. Thomas must make a bedstead." He drove four forked stakes in the ground, the forks up, laid some poles in each side and then roped them well with bed cord, making a nice bed. He then drove four upright posts about six feet high, laid poles on them, hung quills all around except the foot, which was left open so the heat of the log fire would shine in and keep me warm. I have often thought a queen never enjoyed such a bedroom. It was a comfortable place but I got better, had one good night's rest in it.
Crossing At Quincy
The ice is leaving the river now. The boats will make one trip today. It falls to our lot to cross, having no wagon we could not put our goods all in the same boat. The little children and I sat under the wagons on some bedding. Mr. Thomas and Morgan stayed back, to get the cow across the next trip. The boat men said they would make another trip that evening. Both boats started out, the ice commenced floating down very thick. We made our landing good at Quincy, the other boat was surrounded with ice and taken out of sight, below town. I was much troubled for fear they would all be drowned.
Just imagine I was left on the shore, with no living one with me, but four small children. The sun was down. I could not see across the river. I wrapped the children in the bed clothes. It was very cold and sat down on the bed to watch for the boat. I began to look at my situation, not knowing what moment I might be taken sick. For the first time the tears stole down my face, on my own account. One of the little ones said, "Mother are you sick?" "No," said I, "the wind is so cold." Just then brother Wiswager rode up and asked where Brother Thomas was; he saw I was feeling bad and stayed with me until he heard the boat coming. He had twelve miles to ride after dark. Told me to tell Mr. Thomas he would send wagon and team tomorrow. Said if we would come to his home, we would be welcome to half the house. "It is twelve foot square, we have five children, you have five, four grown persons, plenty of standing room. We will fix a bed for you."
Left alone, I could hear them coming, they soon landed and we were all together again, for which many thanks went up. He soon got a man with a cart and a mule to haul the children and bedding to camp Milwaukee. We stopped by a stump five feet high, put one end of a pole on the stump, drew some quilts over it, making a bed for the children. Having two bits (25 cents) we hurried to town for fear the doors would be closed, spent it all in bread, which was a beautiful sight, we divided it in three meals, built a fire by the stump to watch for our lost wagon. About ten o'clock at night they came into camp, called Mr. Thomas, we were at hand watching for them. Such a time of rejoicing we had. It was Brother Winegar's family; we had traveled together all the way. We sang songs, talked of our good and bad times, they joked me freely about leaving my bedroom so quickly. I said the governor never had such a bedroom in his life. Now came the wagon for us: in a short time we were on the way to Brother Wiswanger's house.
In a few days I was put to bed quite comfortable, a fine son in my arms. We named him for our Prophet Joseph, then in chains in prison. I did not eat anything that night, we saved it for breakfast. You may think we had a good one then, so we did. We had a little meal. I told my little daughter how to serve it; brown the bran, we would call it coffee. She wet the cornmeal, baked it and breakfast was ready. We asked a blessing and I am sure the Lord blessed it, for I never got along better in my life.
Brother Joseph escaped from prison, went up the river, bought a town site called Commerce, afterward, Nauvoo, here he called the Saints together. In the spring of 1840, we moved to Nauvoo, found our dear friend and leader, Henry G. Sherwood was the surveyor. He had a good lot in reserve for us. There was very near enough timber on it to build a house and fence it. I think it was in  Brother Joseph told us the Lord had called on us to build a house [Nauvoo Temple] to His name, that we might be blessed therein. I was at the laying of the cornerstone. The Saints rejoiced to think we were privileged to build a house to the "Most High God," who is our Father in Heaven.
To my posterity I will say, we esteemed it a privilege to work on the House of God [Nauvoo Temple] and the Nauvoo House, which your father and Morgan did, until it was finished. We were then called to the house to receive the blessings the Lord has in store for the faithful, which amply paid them for all their labors. Those days were grand and glorious, but have they stopped? No! You have the same privilege today, as we had then, and a great deal more means, for the Saints then were in the depths of poverty, but we rejoiced in building the House of the Lord.
True Spirit of Vision
There were a great many questions asked Brother Joseph about how he kept the pattern of the temple in his mind so perfect, etc. He said I will answer these questions today.
When a true spirit makes known anything to you, in the daytime, we call it a vision. If it is a true spirit it will never leave you, every particular will be as plain fifty years hence as now. I said to myself then, my snakes I saw in Kentucky, when I thought I could almost see Zion, was a true vision, though I did not know what to call it and seldom ever spoke of it, for I thought it was given to me for my own benefit.
Also the dream of the swords was still as plain in my mind as it was fifty years ago. When I was standing between the two rows of double guards of our enemies, all alone, except my little boy, with our baskets of provisions, seeking the honest in heart, which is Zion, we never thought off ear for they stood like the snakes, that were shown me in Kentucky.
I now speak of a sermon the Prophet preached in 1843. I think it was on Celestial marriage, though he did not give it a name. He commenced with the old Bible, and clear through showing what they had done and how they were blest. He said we were good people and loved him and he loved us and the Lord had made known many great and marvelous things to him. We were anxious to know what they were. He said, "If I were to tell you, the best friends I have, apparently, would shed my blood," and so they did, that is they joined hands with the ungodly and were murderers.
A few words to my posterity stating facts concerning the Prophet Joseph, and his sayings. He showed so plainly to my mind that the law of Celestial Marriage was one of the great laws in God's Kingdom. Whenever He had a people that He acknowledged, organized by Him with the gifts and blessings of the Holy Priesthood, celestial marriage was a leading ordinance in that Kingdom. I watched him carefully; he was very careful how he spoke to us. I said to myself, if that was the law of God in the beginning it will be in the ending. After we were dismissed I walked along with Sister [blank]. She said "What do you think of that sermon." I said, "I think it is the truth from Heaven--if it was the law anciently and this is the same God and the same Kingdom, it will be established again, whether you or I live to see it or not." "Well," she said, "I hope it will never come in my day. I do not believe a word of it." Sure enough, she did not live long enough to see or understand the principles or the laws of God in this dispensation. Be careful what you say concerning the sayings of the Servants of God in these last days, for I have seen many fall by speaking lightly of these things.
Prophesy of the Civil War, Between The North And The South I lived to see this prophecy fulfilled; also concerning the Millerites. They were preparing a place for the Savior to come and meet with them, on a certain day, in that month in Illinois. They were making great preparations by cleaning a certain piece of ground and spreading carpets, etc. Brother Joseph was speaking on the "Resurrection" and the "Second Coming of the Son of God." "You can go and tell Brother Miller he won't come on that day nor the next, nor the next year. In the name of Jesus Christ I prophesy he won't come in forty years." In a moment I desired to live forty years more, and he has not come; I am just as anxious to live to see the next saying of the Prophet fulfilled concerning his coming, as I was the first. He was enquiring of the Lord concerning his second coming; the answer was, "If you live to be (I think it was eighty) years old you will see the face of the Son of God." I am in my seventy-eighth year. I want to live to see that saying fulfilled. But it matters not. If I am faithful I will see him when he does come. Another saying of the Prophet, which I heard for myself, for I write nothing only what I can testify to.
Constitution of U. S.
Speaking of the Constitution of the United States, he said: "Those men who now sit in the judgment seats would pick the laws of the Constitution until it would be in shreds, then raise the cry, our Constitution is crumbling to pieces and will fall. "No!" said the Prophet, "we will sustain it. Where?" Turning on his heels majestically pointing he said, "In the Far West, beyond the Rocky Mountains, in the valleys, hid up like a nest of kittens in the grass, we will use the flag and support the Constitution, and," said he, "there are many in this congregation who will go there and help to settle them and establish a Zion, a place of rest." Then I began to enquire, where are the valleys of the mountains? How can we ever get there? Sure enough, when the time came we were willing because we were obliged to, as Brother George A. Smith once said, in my hearing. Brother Joseph also said there were some whose blood would be shed, many would die on the way. So it was, for we mourned with those that mourned.
Death of Morgan.
In Winter Quarters we buried our oldest son, Morgan, but, my readers, the clouds of sorrow never gather so black but what there is a bright star, to be seen by those that trust in the Lord. Brother Joseph Young came to see Morgan the evening before he died. At first he could not speak to him. He went to one side and gave vent to his feelings. He then came to his bed side, spoke to him, saw he was perfectly conscious. He laid his hands on his head and, said, "Morgan be calm as a summer's morn, be quiet, all is well with you. It matters not whether you live or die, for there is no power in heaven, earth or hell that will cheat you out of a martyr's crown." Many other things did he say, but they have left me. He lay calm and quiet all night, perfectly rational. At nine the next morning he breathed his last without a struggle, or moan, as though he was going to sleep. Note--Morgan Melican Thomas acquired stone cutter's consumption while working on the temple at Nauvoo.
While we were yet living in Nauvoo father had a dream. He saw the resurrection commence and Morgan was the first of our family that was resurrected. He said, as soon as he was raised he went to work, raising our family connections, as though he understood all about the plan of racing the dead. It was very seldom he ever told a dream, but this looked so plain to him, he thought there was something in it, more than any dream he ever had, though he had another dream concerning Lyman Wight, when he wanted to lead a company off to Texas. I do not think there was a family more united than our family was. It looked as if Brother Wight was determined that we should go with them to Texas. I was entirely opposed to it, so much so, that I said I would not go, though we hated to part with the Wight family.
He felt troubled in spirit. We were then living on the Church Farm, on the west side of the river. We went to meeting; they spoke very encouragingly to those that would stick to the Church and do all they could to finish the [Nauvoo] temple. We went home; there was nothing said about our going or staying. But he had another dream and he could not keep it, for it was his whole aim to do right. He thought there was a large company going somewhere, he hardly knew where, but he went aboard the vessel, which was very large and was taking a great many on it. But he soon noticed their company was getting smaller, until there was not men enough to manage the boat. He began to look around himself and saw he was barefoot. He thought he was hunting his shoes but could not find them. He then noticed his clothes were worn out, that if he got the boat to shore he would not dare to go out of it; in this dilemma he awoke.
It troubled him in much so he told the dream to me saying, "Can you interpret it?" "Yes, I said, "if it was mine I think I could. I think it means Lyman Wight. You will lose confidence in him as you lost your shoes, your tattered clothes are Lyman's influence he holds over those who hearken to him, and before you bet to shore your faith in him will be as thin as your clothes appeared to be."
"Well," he said, "Hurry breakfast, I will go and see Brother Brigham."
He went, and met him as he was going in with the twelve to council. Brigham said, "What is wanted?" Mr. Thomas said, "You know I am on the church farm and my family don't like to stay there, since our Prophet and Patriarch are murdered," and told him all about Lyman's teachings. Says Brother Young, "Do you want to live your religion and help build up the Kingdom of God on the earth." "Yes I thought so; now let Lyman alone; we have done all we can to save him. We are now going to council to drop him and we cannot help it. You have your house and lot in town, haven't you?" "Yes and Morgan is working on the [Nauvoo] temple." "Well, go and move your family in the city, work on the temple and you will be blessed." So we did, though we were much grieved at the loss of Brother Wight, but we could not help it, he was one of many that left the ship Zion in those days of trouble.
The [Nauvoo] temple was finished and we received all that was promised the faithful. Morgan was ordained a seventy in the 27th Quorum of the Seventies, so the clerk told Mr. Thomas after we came to Salt Lake. Morgan also started with the presidency when they left Nauvoo for the valleys of the mountains, as guard: many others did the same thing, but the weather was so stormy they could not travel and many came back.
Brother Young called to Morgan one day saying, "Can't you think of someone you could write to that would come and help along with the guard?" "I do not know of anyone unless it is father." "Write him, he will come," he said. So he did, and he went.
We had but very little in the house to eat; he felt bad to leave us so destitute. I said, "You go and we will not suffer." It was then noon. I went to a sister for whom I had just made a bolt of jeans, borrowed enough cloth to make him a pair of pants, cut them out and made them before I went to bed. He started early next morning, overtook the company and stayed until they made two settlements, Garden Grove and Pisgah. Then went down in Missouri, worked on a jail, came back with their pay in provisions. President Young then told Mr. Thomas and Morgan to go home and move out of Nauvoo as quickly as they could. They got an honorable discharge for I have it yet. Be ready when you are called, to fill any position in this kingdom by the servants of God, arise and answer, Yes I am ready to do the bidding of my Father through his servants, and you will be blessed spiritually and temporally.