History of Joseph Smith by his Mother, Chapter 36

Chapter 36 Samuel’s account of his third mission to Livonia, New York.  John  and Rhoda Greene, Phineas Young, Brigham Young, and others join the Church through Samuel’s efforts. The Smiths move from the farm at Manchester to Waterloo, New York, and are treated with great kindness and enjoy a season of peace.

Fall 1830

Brigham Young MormonSamuel  returned from Canandaigua the same day that my husband was liberated from the cell. After relating to us the success he had met with at Canandaigua, he gave us an account of his third mission to Livonia:

“When I arrived at Mr. Greene’s,” said he, “Mrs. Greene informed me that her husband was absent from home, that there was no prospect of selling my books, and even the one which I had left with them, she expected I would have to take away, as Mr. Greene had no disposition to purchase it, although she had read it herself, and was much pleased with it. I then talked with her a short time and, binding my knapsack upon my shoulders, rose to depart; but, as I bade her farewell, it was impressed upon my mind to leave the book with her. I made her a present of it, and told her that the Spirit forbade me taking it away. She burst into tears, and requested me to pray with her. I did so, and afterwards explained to her the most profitable manner of reading the book which I had left with her; which was, to ask God, when she read it, for a testimony of the truth of what she had read, and she would receive the Spirit of God, which would enable her to discern the things of God. I then left her, and returned home.”

I shall now turn aside from my narrative, and give a history of the above book. When Mr. Greene returned home, his wife requested him to read it, informing him very particularly with regard to what  Samuel  had said to her, relative to obtaining a testimony of the truth of it. This, he, for a while, refused to do, but finally yielded to her persuasions and took the book and commenced perusing the same, calling upon God for the testimony of his Spirit. The result of which was that he and Mrs. Greene were in a short time baptized. They gave the book to Phineas Young, Mrs. Greene’s brother, who read it, and commenced preaching it forthwith. It was next handed to Brigham Young, and from him to Mrs. Murray, his sister, who is also the mother of Heber C. Kimball’s wife. They all received the work without hesitancy, and rejoiced in the truth thereof. Joseph Young was at this time in Canada, preaching the Methodist doctrine; but, as soon as Brigham became convinced of the truth of the gospel, as contained in the Book of Mormon, he went straightway to his brother Joseph and persuaded him to cease preaching Methodism and embrace the truth, as set forth in the Book of Mormon, which he carried with him.

Thus was this book the means of convincing this whole family and bringing them into the Church, where they have continued faithful members from the commencement of their career until now. And, through their faithfulness and zeal, some of them have become as great and honorable men as ever stood upon the earth.

I shall now resume my subject. The first business which  Samuel  set himself about after he returned home was preparing to move the family to Waterloo, according to the  revelation  given to Joseph. And after much fatigue and perplexities of various kinds, he succeeded in getting us there. We moved into a house belonging to an individual by the name of Kellog. Shortly after arriving there, we were made to realize that the hearts of the people were in the hands of the Lord; for we had scarcely unpacked our goods, when one of our new neighbors, a Mr. Osgood, came in and invited us to drive our stock and teams to his barnyard, and feed them from his barn, free of cost, until we could make further arrangements. Many of our neighbors came in and welcomed us to Waterloo, among whom was Mr. Hooper, a tavern keeper, whose wife came with him, and brought us a present of some delicate eatables. Such manifestations of kindness as these were shown us from day to day, during our continuance in the place. And they were duly appreciated, for we had experienced the opposite so severely, that the least show of good feeling gave rise to the liveliest sensations of gratitude.

Having settled ourselves in this place, we established the practice of spending the evenings in singing and praying. The neighbors soon became aware of this, and it caused our house to become a place of evening resort for some dozen or twenty persons. One evening, soon after we commenced singing, a couple of little boys came in, and one of them, stepping softly up to Samuel, whispered, “Mr. Smith, won’t you pray pretty soon? Our mother said we must be home by eight o’clock, and we would like to hear you pray before we go.”

Samuel  told them that prayer should be attended to immediately. Accordingly, when we had finished the hymn, which we were then singing, we closed the evening services with prayer, in order that the little boys might be gratified. After this, they were never absent during our evening devotions while we remained in the neighborhood.

Go to chapter 37.

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