Biography and family record of Lorenzo Snow/Chapter XXXI
230 BIOGRAPHY AND
Close of Mission. Bids adieu to the Saints and scenes of his labors. Poem, in which martial and ecclesiastical labors and honors are contrasted. Lorenzo returns home. Chosen Member of Legislature. President of Council. Reflections. Joy and sorrow. Vision. A covenant. Char- lotte's death. Singular manifestation. A little prattler. Quandary. Solution. Social party. Storm. Drenched. Lorenzo decides to build. A struggle. Proves a success.
T length the time for his departure arrived, and Lorenzo bade adieu to the Saints in the "Old World," with all the attractions of nature and of art with which their countries are justly celebrated. Had his mission been one of ordinary character one that pertained to earth and earthly things, he might have yielded to the power of fascination ; but with him the worth of souls the elevation, happiness and exaltation the emancipation from the bondage of priestcraft and tradition of his fellow-men, was the great mission with which he was invested, and until honorably released, nothing not even the endearments of home would draw him from his post, nor divide his interest. But when released by the same authority by which he went forth, although his affec- tions twined around the Saints from whom he soon would be separated by long distance ; home, his wives and children, and associations with the Saints of God in the valleys of Ephraim. constituted a powerful magnet, which none but those who are husbands and fathers can realize.
Well may the fire of glory blaze
Upon the warrior's tread, And nation's twine the wreath of praise
Around the hero's head; His path is honored, and his name Is written on the spire of fame.
His deeds are deeds of courage, for
He treads on gory ground, Amid the pride and pomp of war,
When carnage sweeps around: With sword unsheathed he stands before
The foe, amid the cannon's roar.
If such the meed the warrior gains;
If such the palm he bears; If such insignia he obtains;
If such the crown he wears; If laurels thus his head entwine,
And stars of triumph 'round him shine;
How noble must be his reward,
Who, 'midst the crafts of men, Clad in the armor of the Lord,
Goes forth to battle, when The powers of darkness warfare wage, And Satan's hosts around him rage.
Who goes opinion to unbind
That reason may be free, And liberate the human mind
From cleric tyranny: Who severs superstition's rod, And propagates the truth of God.
Who wars with prejudice to break
Asunder error's chain, And make the sandy pillars shake
Where human dogmas reign, Who dares to be a man of God, And bearrf the "Spirit's sword" abroad.
Above all earthly his shall be
An everlasting fame The Archives of Eternity
Will register his name: With gems of sacred honor rife, His crown will be ETERXAL LIFE.
232 BIOGRAPHY AND
After an absence of nearly three years, starting from Malta, and, after stopping a few days in Gibraltar, Lorenzo returned home by way of Portsmouth, London, Liverpool, New York and St. Louis, arriving in Salt Lake City, July 30, 1852.
In the following autumn he was elected to the Utah Legis- lature, and continued a member until disfranchised in 1882 by the decision of the "Commissioners" appointed by the Presi- dent of the United States, to execute the notorious Edmunds law in Utah ; and served, during ten years, as President of the Legislative Council.
The following episode is from my brother's journal: Arriving at my home in Salt Lake City, the long antici- pated oasis of this portion of my life-journey the beacon light which succeeded my arduous missionary labors, and shone with a brighter beam than all other earthly luminaries, the happiness of once again meeting my loved and loving family would have been full, but alas! there was a sad vacancy. A lovely one was not ; one who ever met me with a smiling face and a loving heart, was not there to respond to love's sacred call; Charlotte, my dear wife, had been stricken down by death, and her beautiful form lay mouldering in the silent tomb. Yet there was consolation in the
thought that her pure
spirit was mingling with holy beings above. A short time after Charlotte's decease, while I was in Italy, a sister in Lon- don, a very faithful Saint, the wife of Elder Jabez Woodard, had an open vision, in which she saw a beautiful woman, the most lovely being she ever beheld, clothed in white robes and crowned with glory. This personage told Mrs. "Woodard that she was a wife of Lorenzo Snow. So much for the journal.
All life-pictures have their backgrounds, and the death referred to threw a damper on what otherwise might have been an excess of enjoyment. But much more of instruction is to be drawn from the circumstances of this death than would strike the uninformed reader. It stands as an uncontroverted
testimony that God, sometimes at least, takes us at our word, and holds us responsible for the fulfilment of covenants which we make with' Him.
On the mountain in Italy which was subsequently named " Mount Brigham," on the same memorable day in which the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was there organ- ized, Lorenzo, in the force of his spirit, aroused by intense interest in the work devolving upon him, which seemed shrouded in darkness, and probably without realizing the weight of his covenant, told the Lord that he knew of no sacri- fice he could possibly make he was not willing to offer, that the Lord might grant a request concerning the mission before him. When I received a copy of the report of the proceed- ings of the day, in which the above was included, I was deeply struck with the coincidence. Just at this time, as nearly as I could calculate by comparing dates and distances, the Lord removed, by the hand of death, from my brother's family circle, one of the loveliest of women.
Charlotte died very suddenly. I was with her and saw her draw the last breath; her beloved husband was very far away, but his name was on her dying lips. She loved truly for she loved sincerely ; and as she loved, so was she beloved by all who knew her. As she had been very beautiful in life, she was beautiful even in death. She left one dear little girl, which, although bereaved of a tenderly affectionate mother, has been kindly cared for by other members of the family, and is now wife of an honorable husband, and mother of five chil- dren.
I will here relate a very singular circumstance which occurred after Charlotte's death. Charlotte and Sarah Ann, another wife, had roomed together, as it will be recollected that prior to his going to Italy Lorenzo had erected a log house as a temporary expedient for a shelter to his family till he had time and opportunity to provide better, and was so soon called to leave that very little opportunity was afforded for
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furnishing more than necessity required, and, of course, his wives were not supplied with extra apartments.
After Charlotte's death Sarah Ann felt such a sad loneli- ness that with all the control of feeling she could exercise, a shuddering sensation came over her at the thought of sleeping in that, to her, desolate room it required all the bravery she could command to enter it in the day time, and for several nights she made her bed in an adjoining room, until the fol- lowing circumstance, which she related to me, occurred.
One night, whether asleep or awake when the vision com- menced, Sarah Ann could not tell; but she thought it was mid-day, and that the family were all seated in their dining- room, when a very bright light, above the brightness of the sun, burst into the apartment, and in the midst of that light Charlotte entered, sat down and took her little daughter, Roxcy Charlotte, on her lap, and the extra light in which she came disappeared. She said she was happy, which her calm, settled expression verified. She said, "I dwell in a beautiful place." The brilliant light returned after a short time, and Charlotte went as she came, in the midst of the light. At this time Sarah Ann was fully awake, and although no moon was shin- ing at the time, her room was sufficiently lighted that (as she describes it) "one could see to pick up a pin." This singular manifestation so completely revolutionized her feelings that on the following day, with the greatest pleasure, she replaced her bed in the deserted room, from whence all gloom and lone- liness had departed.
After a short absence, the return of a missionary to the bosom of his family awakens mutual emotions of 110 ordinary character, and, in spite of the heart-yearnings for the departed one, that house, the home of wives and children, was lighted up with a brilliant glow of happiness. While the original was absent, the father's portrait hung on the wall, which the children with affectionate deference caressed and invoked. and when they heard the announcement, "Jfe has come," exhil-
arating shouts of joy resounded through that humble dwelling as none but children can put forth.
One little prattler, named Sylvia, born a short time after her father left home, seemed to anticipate his arrival with as much enthusiasm as those that remembered him ; but after he came, she wholly ignored and would not be coaxed to approach him. On the second day after his arrival, as he was sit- ting in the family circle, she entered the room, and slyly step- ping up to one of the children, she made the inquiry, "Is that my favvy?" On being answered in the affirmative, she went to another child and asked, "Is that my favvy ?" and received the same answer. She then placed herself directly in front of her father and looking him full in the face, said, emphatically, "Is you my fawy?" He answered, " Yes, I am your father." She then said, " Well then, if you is my favvy I will A'/.s.s- i/ou" and with a mutual warm embrace she gave him a hearty kiss.
Now to his journal: My house, built of logs, with roof made of willows and earth, and floors of primitive style, just before starting on my mission, had already become quite uncomfortable, and could not be sufficiently improved to meet the requirements of ordinary convenience. Having but little means at my command, I found it difficult to decide whether or not to undertake to erect a suitable building for my family ; but the following circumstance settled the question: Presi- dent B. Young proposed a select party to convene in the "Social Hall," to which myself and my wives were invited. My sister Eliza kindly proffered to keep house, and care for the children in our absence. While enjoying ourselves in the hall, a heavy shower of rain fell, and on our arrival home I learned that my sister had been obliged to struggle against difficulties which she had failed to take into account, when kindly volunteering her services.
The whole of the carpetless floor, beds, bedding, etc., etc., were completely saturated with the pouring element. As the shower came on, some portions of the roof over the beds stood
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the test better than others, and to the beds that were under those portions she consigned the children until the rain poured down upon them, when she moved them to another and dryer bed continuing the process of carrying them from bed to bed, until every bed, and even every part of the house was thoroughly soaking "Wet, As I looked upon the scene around me, a sense of the condition decided the matter, and I con- cluded to try to build. Through the blessing of God upon my efforts with great economy and perseverance I succeeded far beyond my most sanguine expectations. I erected a large two- story adobe house, with nine rooms finished off several of them and moved into it with all my family, feeling truly thankful to the Giver of all good for the blessing of a comfort- able and respectable habitation.
When his house was in course of erection, when no eye but that of God could see him, he frequently knelt within its foundation and prayed that the small means he could com- mand, might be blest and multiplied in its use. Thus by economy, labor, effort, faith and prayer, he succeeded.