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feared it would injure his business and destroy his influence. But he
soon had reason to regret taking such an illiberal course, as he met
with a series of losses through having his animals suddenly sicken and
die, and could only attribute his bad luck to the displeasure of the
Almighty at his refusal to grant the Saints the use of his hall. After
that he was glad to have them use it. Among others baptized was the
leader of the Baptist choir as well as most of his principal singers,
and as a consequence the singing in the meetings of the Saints became
quite an attractive feature.

The faith in the ordinances of the gospel displayed by the Saints among
whom Brother Giles labored was quite remarkable. The feeling with most
of them on being taken sick was that if they could only have the Elders
come and lay their hands upon them they would be well, and the result
was generally according to their faith. Brother Wm. Lewis, of whom
mention has already been made, was taken seriously sick on one occasion
and was unable to leave his bed. His first thought was to send for
Elder Giles to come and administer to him. He visited him as requested,
and, on entering the door, called out cheerily, asking him what he
meant by lying in bed, and told him to get up and come down stairs. So
great was the sick man's faith that he sprang out of bed on hearing the
voice and obeyed, and when Brother Giles had administered to him he was
as well as he ever had been.

Similar faith was manifested by the Saints when the cholera prevailed
in that land, and Brother Giles testifies that every one so afflicted
whom he or the other Elders laboring with him administered to,
recovered. This was certainly remarkable, considering the very great
number of unbelievers who died there of that dread malady. One case
in particular Brother Giles mentions, that of a sister named Dudley,
who was so bad that she had turned black and whose sunken eyes
indicated that she had not many minutes to live. None of the friends
who surrounded her had any hopes of her living except her husband. He
called for Elder Giles to administer to her and when he did so she was
restored to health and is now living in Utah.

About the same time a Mrs. Davies, who was not in the Church, sent for
Elders Giles and Dudley to administer to her, as she was very sick and
confined to her bed. They did so, and her faith made her whole. After
that she and her husband joined the Church, and are in Utah now, true
Latter-day Saints.

On another occasion, when Elder Giles was on a visit to his father's
house, he was sent for to administer to a neighbor lady, who had been
sick and confined to her bed for a considerable length of time. When
he went to see her she was suffering the most excruciating pain, but
when he had anointed her and rebuked her disease all pain vanished and
she was restored to health. She afterwards came to Utah and frequently
testified of the miraculous manner in which she was healed.

Brother Giles himself met with a terrible accident, and the power of
God manifested in preserving his life and restoring him to health, was
not less remarkable than in the cases before mentioned. On the 23rd
of July, 1843, he visited the Llanelly branch of the Church, where he
held meeting out of doors in the forenoon and in the afternoon attended
a sacrament meeting. At the latter meeting permission was given for
any of the Saints to speak as they might feel led by the Spirit.
Among others Elder Giles was moved upon to speak in tongues, and the
interpretation of what he said was given to the president of the
branch, Elder John Morgan, as follows: "My servant, watch, for thy life
is in danger; but through thy faith thy life shall be spared!"

Feeling sure that there was something prophetic about this, Elder
Giles warned Brother Morgan at the close of the meeting to be careful,
and not to be out late at night, lest some plot might be laid by his
enemies to take his life. He also said that he would try to take care
of himself, and avoid danger, lest it might be himself that the warning
was intended for.

On the following Wednesday, the 26th of July, Brother Giles went to
his work as usual in the coal mine, and in a short time after he had
commenced work a large piece of coal, weighing about two thousand
pounds fell upon him. He was in a stooping posture at the time, being
about to pick up a piece of coal that lay in front of him, and when he
was knocked down his head lodged between this and the mass of coal that
fell upon him. His head was split open from the back of the crown down
to his eyes. One of his eyes was also completely cut out of the socket,
and the other crushed so that it ran out.

He was taken home, and two physicians came and examined his head. They
declined doing anything for him, as they said it was not possible for
him to live over two hours. However, after a great deal of persuasion,
they consented to wash off his head, pick the pieces of coal out of it
and sew up the wounds. They also left medicine for him to take, such as
they thought suitable for the case, but he refused to take a drop of
it. He remembered the promise of the Lord, that through faith his life
should be spared, and felt to hold on to it and claim a blessing at
the hands of the Almighty. The Saints of the branch in which he lived
were very faithful and kind, and did all they possibly could under the
circumstances for his comfort.

On the third day after the accident Elder William S. Phillips, the
president of the Welsh mission, anointed him with consecrated oil, laid
his hands upon his head and blessed him in the name of Jesus Christ.
Brother Giles testifies that the healing power of the Holy Spirit did
rest upon him at that time, for he got out of bed and walked across
two rooms, back and forth. On the ninth day after the accident he sang
a song for some of his friends who had called to see him, and in four
weeks he traveled twelve miles in company with two of the brethren to
visit his father and mother and the president of the branch. On the
fourth Sunday after the accident, being called upon, he spoke in a
public meeting in the afternoon and evening.

Soon after that he was called upon to travel throughout the mission and
bear his testimony and preach to the people, in company with Elder John
Jones, and he did so.

While thus engaged he visited Newport, and learned the particulars
of a miracle that had occurred there a short time previous. A young
man named Reuben Brinkworth, who had been deaf and dumb for a number
of years, manifested a desire to be baptized, and on receiving that
ordinance at the hands of Elder Nash, in whose house he resided, both
his hearing and speech were immediately restored to him.

Brother Giles visited this young man and questioned him in regard to
the miracle, and was assured by him that when he went into the water
to be baptized he could neither hear nor speak, but as soon as he was
baptized he could do both. Brother Nash also bore his testimony to the
same facts.

Near the same time that Brother Giles met with his accident a friend
of his, named David Davis, who was living in Merthyr, was almost
crushed to a pulp by the roof of a coal mine falling upon him. When he
was dug out Elder William Phillips and some other brethren laid their
hands upon him and promised him that he should live and be healed.
While their hands were upon his head, his broken ribs and other bones
were heard coming together with a noise which was quite perceptible.
Brother Davis, who was a truthful, honest man, lived to travel about
Wales and testify of this miracle and follow his daily labor as if no
such accident had ever occurred. He afterwards emigrated to the United
States, and is perhaps yet alive.



In February, 1856, Elder William J. Smith, who was on a mission in
England, was appointed by the Presidency of the Church in that land to
preside over the Warwickshire conference. Under his ministrations many
were baptized into the Church in Coventry, which stirred up the clergy
of that city against him to such an extent that they specially enjoined
it upon their scripture readers to warn the people against going to
hear the "Mormons."

Elder Smith determined to deliver a series of eight lectures on the
first principles of the gospel, at Spurn End chapel, the regular
meeting place of the Saints; and to secure attendance he placarded
Coventry with large bills announcing his intention. This caused many to
come and hear him.

On the Sunday morning announced for the sixth lecture Elder Smith was
so sick that he was unable to arise from his bed. In this extremity he
prayed earnestly to the Lord to heal him, so that he could fill his
appointment. It was with much difficulty that he went to the morning's
meeting, but being resolved to do his utmost, he addressed the Saints,
and, the Spirit of God resting upon him, he was much strengthened and
was enabled to fill his appointment in the afternoon.

The meeting was a very crowded one; all classes apparently were
represented; scripture readers were present to take notes, while
numbers, probably hundreds, were unable to obtain admission.

In the rear of the chapel ran the line of railway that connected
Coventry with Nuneaton, and in that portion of its road it was built
upon arches high above the ground. These were so near the chapel
that whenever a train passed, it not only made a great noise, but
perceptibly shook the building. Elder Smith's audience, though so
large, was a very attentive one, but shortly after he had commenced
speaking a train came thundering by, causing the minds of the people to
be distracted from his teachings. Feeling annoyed at the interruption,
the speaker suddenly stopped talking, paused for a few moments and then
exclaimed, "Babylon! confusion! I cannot speak an hour without being
interrupted by the railway," and then, stretching out his hand, he
continued, "In the name of Jesus Christ, my Master, that railway arch
shall fall to the ground." Elder Smith then continued his sermon. When
he had done, he had mingled feelings; he could scarcely understand why
he was prompted to utter such a prophecy; he felt that if he had left
that out it would have been the best discourse he ever preached. But
the words were uttered and could not be recalled; they had been heard
by scores, many of whom were not friends of the Saints; still he felt
impressed that what he had prophesied was by the Spirit of God, and
that gave him peace.

His words were reported to nine clergymen, who made it their business
to have competent judges examine the arches and discover if possible
if there was any cause for a statement and prophecy such as his. These
gentlemen declared the arches to be sound, that there were no better in
England, and consequently Brother Smith was ridiculed and derided as a
false prophet.

Shortly afterwards Elder Smith was called away from Coventry by the
presidency of the mission, and appointed to succeed Elder Henry Lunt in
the presidency of the Newcastle-on-Tyne pastorate. He left Warwickshire
without seeing his prophecy fulfilled; but within a few weeks a heavy
rain fell and undermined the arches, and nineteen out of twenty-one
fell to the ground, leaving only two standing. Through this fall much
damage was done to the contiguous residences and other property.

Brother Henry Russell, who now lives at Union, in Salt Lake County, was
at that time a lamp-lighter in Coventry. He was engaged in lighting the
street lamps when this destruction took place. He was just about to
pass under one of the arches when it fell, and he probably would have
been killed had he not been stopped by a policeman and detained until
the danger was over.

Thus is the saying of the Lord corroborated, that what His servants
declare by His Spirit He will fulfill.



Brother Martin H. Peck, of Salt Lake City, relates a series of cases of
healing that occurred in his family and under his administration. He
joined the Church in Vermont, in 1833, and about two years later, while
on a visit to a place about nine miles from where he lived, he received
word from his wife at home that their child was lying at the point of
death and she desired him to come home immediately and bring an Elder
with him. He was not more surprised at learning of his son's dangerous
condition than of the faith in the ordinances of the gospel which his
wife manifested, by wanting an Elder to lay hands on the child; for
she had not then joined the Church or manifested much interest in the
gospel. He was therefore almost as much pleased on his wife's account
as he was pained on account of his child on receiving the news. Taking
Elder James Snow with him, he hastened home, and found the little
fellow lying helpless and in a very low condition in his mother's arms.
Brother Peck only held the office of a Teacher at the time, so Elder
Snow administered to the child alone, and while doing so the little
fellow dozed off into a quiet slumber, and when he awoke he was as well
as he ever had been.

Soon afterwards Brother Peck himself was taken extremely ill, and to
all appearances seemed about to die. He even lost his sight and was in
the greatest agony, but Elder John Badger was called in and rebuked the
disease and blessed him, and he was healed immediately. On describing
his symptoms afterwards to a friend who was an experienced physician,
he was assured that his was an extreme case, and it was doubtful if
medical skill could have saved him.

Near the same time his son Joseph was troubled with a couple of
swellings on the glands of his neck which threatened to choke him.
After various remedies had been tried without avail a physician was
consulted, who declared the boy could not live long if they continued
to grow, and recommended that a surgical operation be performed to
remove them, although even that, he admitted, would be very dangerous.
Brother Peck concluded not to act upon his advice, and he sent for some
Elders instead and had them anoint and lay hands upon him. The result
was that in a few days the swellings had entirely disappeared.

From Vermont Brother Peck removed to Ohio, and while there a great deal
of sickness prevailed and many deaths occurred in his neighborhood. The
doctors seemed to be entirely baffled in their efforts to cope with the
disease. Among others stricken down was Brother Peck's son, William.
He lay unconscious all day with his eyes turned back in his head, and
apparently in a dying condition. A number of neighbors called in to see
him and urged Brother Peck to send for a doctor. He told them, however,
that he could not have much confidence in doctors' skill after seeing
the children which they attended die off, as they had done, like rotten
sheep. He preferred to have nothing to do with them. Nor did he feel
like administering to the boy while unbelievers were in the house. His
wife happened to be away from home, and he felt confident that when she
returned their united faith would result in obtaining a blessing from
the Almighty. Some of the neighbors in their solicitude stayed with the
boy all day, and doubtless thought Brother Peck an unfeeling wretch, as
he would not send for a doctor. On the return of Sister Peck she, too,
refused to have a physician, and so the neighbors left in disgust. As
soon as they had done so the parents called mightily upon the Lord to
spare their child's life and Brother Peck rebuked the disease, and he
was healed instantly.

But a few days had elapsed when their son Joseph was taken suddenly
very sick, and a neighbor hastened to Brother Peck's shop to inform him
if something were not done immediately for his relief he would be dead.
He also offered his services to wait upon him. Brother Peck thanked him
for his kindness but declined accepting the offer. On reaching his home
and seeing the condition of the child, which was truly alarming, he and
his wife referred the case to the Lord, with the same result as in the
previous case.

A rather curious case was that of a young lady who lived in Brother
Peck's family who was afflicted with a most distressing cough, from
which she could get no relief. It seemed as if she would almost choke
with it. On being administered to by the Elders she was relieved
immediately, and never coughed again for two weeks, when, on getting in
a passion, the cough returned.

There was a doctor by the name of Harvey Tate living neighbor to
Brother Peck in Ohio, who became somewhat interested in the doctrines
of the Latter-day Saints, and for the purpose of learning more
concerning them made a visit to his house. While he was there Brother
Peck's son James was brought home with a broken arm, caused by his
falling from a tree. The fracture was about three inches above the
wrist joint, and so complete that his arm formed a right angle at the
place where it was broken. The doctor set and bandaged it, and the boy
was put in bed. The pain was so great, however, that he could scarcely
endure it, and after the doctor had gone he begged his father to
"bless" him, saying he knew that would cure him.

Brother Peck accordingly administered to him and the pain immediately
ceased. He slept well during the night and on getting up the next
morning played about with his fellows as if nothing had ever been the
matter with his arm, not even having it in a sling. The next day he was
sent to the doctor to show him his arm, and when he entered his house,
the doctor noticed, to his surprise, that the boy took hold of a chair
with his lame hand and lifted it forward to sit down upon. Taking the
little fellow by the hand, he then asked him if he felt any pain in his
arm or hand, and the boy answered frankly that he did not. The doctor
bent his fingers and saw that he had free use of them, then examined
his hand and wrist and saw that there was no sign of swelling, and
declared that it was the power of God which had healed the broken limb,
for nothing else could have done it in so short a time. This incident
probably influenced Dr. Tate in favor of the Latter-day Saints, as he
soon afterwards joined the Church. He was baptized by Elder John E.
Page, and ordained an Elder, and for some time was quite a faithful and
efficient member, but he subsequently lost the faith. He had abundant
evidence, however, while he remained in the Church that the power of
God was with the Saints, as he saw it manifested on several occasions
so plainly that he could not deny it. But he may have been like some
others of whom it has been said that they joined the Church through
seeing a miracle performed and apostatized because they could not see
one every day.

On one occasion he and Elder Peck were called upon to go a distance of
ten miles to see a sister in the Church who was thought to be dying.
They traveled with all possible speed, and on arriving at the place
found the woman in a very critical condition. The doctor, although
used to scenes of sickness, allowed Brother Peck to take the lead in
directing what should be done for the relief of the patient, and he
proposed to anoint and lay hands upon her. They accordingly did so, and
she was healed immediately, and arose and prepared supper for them.
While returning home the doctor remarked jocularly, that the experience
of that evening presented a new phase in his medical practice. He had
never taken that course before to cure patients, nor was he in the
habit of going that distance to visit them without charging for it.

While journeying to Missouri with the "Kirtland Camp," Brother Peck's
son, Edwin, had his leg accidentally run over by a heavily loaded
wagon, on a very hard road. When he was picked up the limb appeared to
be flattened as if almost crushed to a pulp, and the flesh was laid
open. Brother Peck had seen the power of God manifested in so many
instances then, and he had such confidence in the Almighty hearing and
answering his prayers, that he never thought of summoning a surgeon,
but immediately administered to the boy and then placed him in the
wagon. In an hour afterwards he examined his leg and found that it
was entirely well, the only sign of the injury left being a slight
scar which had the dry and scaly appearance of an old sore, long since
healed up. The place was not even discolored. There were numbers of
witnesses to this miracle, many of whom are living to-day.




I am the second son of Orotor and Bulah Dibble, and was born June 6th,
1806, at Peru, Pittsfield County, Massachusetts. When I was quite young
my father removed to the town of Granby, where he died when I was ten
years old, leaving my mother with nine children. My elder brother,
Philander, and I were taken by one Captain Apollos Phelps, living at
Suffield, Connecticut, to raise until we were twenty-one years old, he
having no children of his own. Morally speaking, he was a good man, and
taught us good principles, and treated us as though we were his own

I remained with him four or five months after I became of age, when
I resolved to travel. I then visited Boston, Massachusetts, and its
harbor, and saw the ship _Java_, that was fitted out with six hundred
soldiers to protect the merchants against the pirates. I also visited
several islands and many of the surrounding towns and then returned
to Suffield, where I became acquainted with Miss Celia Kent, daughter
of Benajah Kent, of Suffield, and married her; the Rev. Calvin Phileo
performing the ceremony. I was then twenty-three years of age.

My wife having some property in Ohio, we sold our possessions in
Connecticut and removed to that part. While crossing Lake Erie
from Buffalo to Fairport we encountered a terrible storm, and our
destruction seemed imminent, but through an overruling Providence we
were saved and landed safely. We passed through Chardon, Ohio, and
located three miles west of that city, at a place called King Street,
which was within five miles of Kirtland. I there purchased a farm and
entered into the business of buying and selling wild lands.

One morning I was standing at my gate when two men drove up in a
two-horse wagon, and asked me to get in and go home with them, about
quarter of a mile distant. On the way, one asked me if I had heard the
news, and informed me that four men had come to Kirtland with a golden
Bible and one of them had seen an angel. They laughed and ridiculed
the idea, but I did not feel inclined to make light of such a subject.
I made no reply, but thought that if angels had administered to the
children of men again I was glad of it; I was afraid, however, it was
not true. On my return home I told my wife what I had heard.

The next day I was intending to go fifty miles south to the town of
Suffield, Ohio, to pay some taxes, but my wife thinking that one or two
days would not make much difference about that, proposed that we should
hunt up those strange men in Kirtland.

The next morning I took my wife, another man and his wife, and started
for Kirtland. When we arrived there, the men we were seeking had gone
to the town of Mayfield, but were to return to Kirtland the next day.
The following morning I hitched up my carriage and again drove to
Kirtland, one of my neighbors accompanying us with his team and family.
On arriving there, we were introduced to Oliver Cowdery, Ziba Peterson,
Peter Whitmer, Jr., and Parley P. Pratt. I remained with them all day,
and became convinced that they were sincere in their professions. I
asked Oliver what repentance consisted of, and he replied, "Forsaking
sin and yielding obedience to the gospel!"

That evening he preached at Brother Isaac Morley's, and bore his
testimony to the administration of an angel at noonday. He then dwelt
upon the subjects of repentance and baptism and the bestowal of the
Holy Ghost, and promised that all who embraced these principles
with honesty of heart should receive a testimony. He also requested
all who wished to be baptized to make it manifest by arising. Five
persons, among whom were William Cahoon and myself, arose. I then
made preparations for baptism by borrowing a suit of clothes. My wife

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Online LibraryVariousEarly Scenes in Church History → online text (page 6 of 8)