Biography and family record of Lorenzo Snow/Chapter XLVIII
M. D. Rosonbaum leaves his native country-. In San Francisco. Goes to Carson. A voice speaks to him. Goes to Salt Lake. At Elder Neibaur's' Baptized. Called on mission to Germany. In Berlin. Attends meet- ing. Is arrested. Tried and sentenced. Banished. Returns home. F. H. Snow appointed to a mission. Reflections. Strangers marvel. What an affrighted Catholic said. The captain of the steamer replies. An incident. Tired and hungry. Why he goes to bed supperless. A retort. What a priest did. The Channel Islands. Released and returns home. Expression of gratitude.
HE following synopsis is from the pen of Elder Morris D. Rosenbaum, son-in-law of my brother Lorenzo: I left my native country when about nineteen years of age, for America arrived in New York in 1850, traveled through the Eastern and Southern States to New Orleans, and from there by steamer via Havana and Panama to San Francisco.
In California, hearing of a "Mormon" settlement in Carson Valley, I was impressed to visit it, and accordingly went over the mountains to see and learn of the doctrine of that people. I remember, when first coming in sight of the settlement, hearing a voice saying, " There is a people which you never leave." Arriving in Carson Valley, I stopped with Simon Baker he argued with me about "Mormonism" from noon until midnight, seemingly making very little impression on my mind. My desire to be with this people increased, and as they moved en masse for Salt Lake Valley, I made up my mind to travel with them, remain there during the winter, and return to my native country the following spring.
During the winter of 1856-7, I stopped in Salt Lake City, and attended Brother Isaac Bowman's school in the Seventeenth
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Ward. Visiting Brother Alexander Neibaur (of the same nativity as myself), he preached the Gospel to me I became interested in its principles a peaceful spirit wrought mightily in me commending the ancient Gospel to my conscience.
I read the Book of Mormon from beginning to end, in connection with the Bible, prayerfully, and arose from its perusal with a strong conviction on my mind, this book was tcritten by inspiration.
Dreams and visions, in my slumbering hours, began to .have great effect on my mind; but when I listened to my selfish thoughts, I hated " Mormonism " in my heart, and regretted ever hearing it.
I well remember Brother Neibaur bearing his testimony of the truth of the Gospel to me. I said to him, " Mr. Neibaur, why cannot I have such a testimony?" He replied, "Mr. Rosenbaum, I promise you in the name of Israel's God, 3 T ou will, if you obey the principles of the Gospel, and honestly ask your heavenly Father for it." Such a promise I longed for, and made up my mind to embrace the truth; was baptized on the 27th of March, 1858, by Brother John Tingey, of the Seventeenth Ward, Salt Lake City; and a short time after, I received a testimony which I desire never to forget.
Early in April, 1858, I was called and went to Echo Canyon, in company with others, to assist in defending the people traveled south in time of "the move," and stopped in Provo a short time.
July 2d, 1858, I was ordained a Seventy, and united with the fifth quorum of Seventies; lived in Salt Lake City until 1861, then, on April 10th, removed to Brigham City, and have lived here from that time.
In the Spring of 1880 I was called and went on a mission to Germany arrived at Berlin July 10th. At a conference held there, Elder Budge presiding, I was called and set apart to preside over the North German Mission, August 15th, 1880. On the 19th, held an evening meeting in Berlin was arrested
there for preaching the Gospel, and put in prison that night had an examination the next day, which lasted from 7 a. m. until 4 p. m., when the court decreed my banishment from Berlin and the kingdom of Prussia, with orders to leave the next day at noon, and never to return, under pain of fine and imprisonment.
August 21st, I left by railroad for the kingdom of Bavaria, traveled through there and adjoining kingdoms, as Baden, Wur- temburg and Hanover, for about one year, when I was released and
MORRIS D. ROSENBAUM.
From the journal of Franklin H. Snow:
I received a letter from President John Taylor informing me that my name had been presented, and that I had been accepted as a missionary to Europe.
As soon as I read the letter, I thanked the Lord that my prayers had been answered, for I had much desired to visit my mother's native country, and declare the glad tidings of salvation. I knew that the principles which I had been taught by my father and mother were principles that would benefit all who put them in practice.
I wrote to President Taylor that I accepted the mission and should endeavor to magnify my calling. On the 12th of October, 1880, I left my home in company of fifty Elders, thirty of whom were missionaries to Europe, the others to dif- ferent portions of the United States.
None but those that have left their comfortable homes and large circles of relatives and friends, can imagine my feel- ings when the train started out from Ogden City to carry me thousands of miles from my home. I was not acquainted with any of the Elders on the train when we started, but all having been baptized into one spirit, we had associated tog-ether but a short time before we were all acquainted.
Strangers on the train, who were not of us, made frequent
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remarks and marveled and queried how it was that we put so much confidence in each other.
We arrived safely in New York, and on the 10th left on the steamship Wyoming; were thirteen days on the ocean, with very rough weather for nine days. There was a Catholic on board who was so dreadfully frightened that he was frantic and blamed the d d "Mormons" for the rough weather. He said if he had known that so many "Mormons" were on the steamer he would have stayed in New York. The captain told him that if it had not been for the "Mormons," in all probability, they might all have been in the bottom of the ocean.
When we arrived in Liverpool, I believe I was as much delighted to see land as was , Columbus when he discovered America, for I had been seasick for several days, and even the sight of land seemed medicinal. I was appointed to labor in the London Conference, under the direction of President Ros- kelley, in connection with Brother W. W. Willey, and with him commenced in my field of labor on the 6th of November, and walked about fourteen miles to the first family in our dis- trict.
No one, without similar experience, can imagine how I felt when I found myself seated by the side of a fireplace with a large number of small children thinly clad. When I sat down to supper, I saw there w r ere from eight to ten hungry children to be fed from the scanty meal which was scarcely enough for five hungry persons. I ate very sparingly, and went to bed feeling rather discouraged, and thinking I could do no good among such poor people. Young and inex- perienced as I was, I did not realize that God had not chosen the rich of this world to be heirs of His kingdom, but that He had chosen the poor and the meek of the earth. I traveled three weeks feeling that I was doing 110 good, and that I could be more happy at home in the society of my friends, and in the enjoyment of the comforts of life. Elder Willey did all
he could to encourage and help me out of my dangerous con- dition. I did not and could not, at that time, realize what a strong hold the adversary had on me to prevent the fulfilment of my mission. I was really impressed with the idea that it was impossible for me to endure the hardships and privations that most missionaries had to put up with ; but I wished to honor my father and mother, although without a testimony from my heavenly Father, I felt that I could not travel among the people.
With these impressions, I wandered into the lone woods and offered up a short prayer to God, and in the sincerity of my heart asked Him to give me a contented mind that I might fill my mission acceptably before my Father in heaven. From that very moment the powers of darkness gave way and a different influence surrounded me, and I saw clearly that I was engaged in a great and glorious work; that the Gospel must be preached to all that had ears to hear, the poor as well as the rich. From the time I offered up that prayer until the close of my mission I always felt well, and never wished to return home till I was honorably released.
I traveled with Elder Willey about three weeks, and then traveled alone. I had to walk about one hundred and fifty miles to visit ten families of Saints, and they all were so poor that they could keep me but one night out of three weeks. I walked from ten to twenty-five and thirty miles per day. I recollect walking over twenty miles one day, arriving at a Saint's house just at dark, tired and hungry; I had but a scanty breakfast in the morning, and no dinner,' for the sen- sible reason that I had no money to pay for it. By supper time I felt as though I could make a hearty meal on dry crusts. The good sister got supper for me, and as I sat down to eat, a little girl about ten years of age brought from the cupboard, two hard biscuits, and said they had been there a week that they had kept them for Mr. Snow to eat. As hungry as I was, that took away my appetite, and I retired to bed supperless.
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I never shall forget the first time I distributed tracts to strangers. I called at a house of a well-to-do lady, and told her I would like to converse with her on the Gospel. She seemed very much interested as well as astonished, when I spoke of the necessity of Apostles and Prophets, and of signs following the believer, whenever the Church of Christ was on the earth. I conversed with her nearly or quite one hour, and she said that all I had told her was true. I then bore my tes- timony that the true Church of Christ was on the earth that it was organized by the Prophet Joseph Smith. At that she threw the tract I had presented her in my face and shut the door, saying, "All you have told me is false if Joe Smith had anything to do with it." I then went on my way feeling more determined than ever to preach the Gospel.
The first out-door meeting I held was in a small village in Bedfordshire. I called on a family and wished to know if they would accept of a tract. I told them who I was, and that I had come six thousand miles to tell them that God had again spoken from the heavens, and that all mankind were commanded to repent and obey the Gospel. The lady of the house (if I may call her a lady) said she had heard of "old Joe Smith" that he had dug a book out of a rock, and she did not wish to know any more about him. "Have you?" said I; "I have not heard of any such man, and I would like to learn, from you to what man you refer who dug a book out of a rock." She said, "Old Joe Smith." She appeared quite angry at me for not knowing what she meant. Then I said, "I presume you mean the Prophet Joseph Smith, who had records delivered to him by an angel ?" She retorted, "There is no such thing as angels in our day, and the Bible don't speak of any other book." I then asked her if she .would let me see her Bible. She tapped one of her little girls on the head and told her to get me a Bible. I then read to her the twenty-ninth chapter of Isaiah. By this time there were thirty people gathered around, and I availed myself of
the opportunity to preach to them. After the meeting I deliv- ered tracts to nearly every family in the village. After I left, I heard that the minister sent women around to gather up the tracts I had circulated, arid bring them to him, and he called a meeting and told a mass of falsehoods about the Saints. I comforted myself with " Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and speak all manner of evil against you falsely for my name's sake."
For three months during the very coldest weather I had not one cent in my pocket; for what little I had when I arrived in England, I spent for food for the destitute Saints, and I can testify that during those three months I received greater mani- festations of the .power of God than ever before or since. During the seven months in which I labored in the district of Hertford and Bedfordshire, I traveled on foot two thousand one hundred miles. My next field of labor was Kent, the garden spot of England. I labored there eleven months with much satisfaction. The Saints in Kent were not so scattered, and I was enabled to hold meetings more frequently, and the people were less opposed to the Gospel than in Bedfordshire.
President West gave me a mission to the Channel Islands, and I remained on the Isle of Jersey about three months. The Saints were few, and so very poor they could only give me one meal per day, and I managed to make the other two cost me but sixpence. When I learned the degraded condition of the people on the island, I was not surprised that out of sixty thousand so few had embraced the pure Gospel of Jesus. Many, very many of the inhabitants reveled in debauchery. There was scarcely a street but what was polluted with one or more houses of ill-fame; hundreds of young women walked the streets from sundown till past midnight. It was there I learned to appreciate the noble and sacred virtue of the youth of Zion.
While on the islands, I was released from my mission to return home. I went directly to London, where I took train
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for Liverpool, and Inhere, on the 21st of October, 1882, took steamer to New York, and arrived at my home on the 10th of November.
During the two years I was abroad, I traveled on foot over six thousand miles; by rail, six thousand, and on the water, eight thousand. The time spent
in preaching the Gospel, with
all its hardships and privations, was the [happiest of my life. I bore my testimony to thousands, and I know that the Lord blessed my labors.
I thank God, my heavenly Father, that I was permitted to fill my mission, and to return home to meet those who are dear to me by the ties of nature. I can still bear a faithful testimony that the fulness of the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to earth, with all its powers, gifts and ordinances, through the Prophet Joseph Smith.
FRANKLIN HORTON SNOW.