Biography and family record of Lorenzo Snow/Chapter XXXIV
How Lorenzo spent the interval. His next mission. Difficulties to be over- come. Lays out a city. Description of the premises. Builds a house. President Young visits him. Introduces a precedent. Description of it. Succeeded by railroads. Gift of the Gospel. The Patriarch's promise. A sick man. Faith in Lorenzo's administration. A handkerchief is sent. He blesses and dedicates it. Is taken to the patient. Placed upon him. He recovers. A letter. In memoriam. To Elder Porter Squires. Expressions of gratitude. Good wishes and. blessings.
'HE interval which succeeded Lorenzo's Italian mission was occupied in school teaching, and in domestic and legislative labors occasionally accompanying President Young in his visits to the settlements and Stakes of Zion, preaching, administering to the sick, etc., and as a minute-man, officiating in the various duties of his calling.
The next mission of importance to which he was called was to locate fifty families in Box Elder County, sixty miles north of Salt Lake City. There a small settlement had been formed, which, for want of the right master spirit, had lost every vestige of enterprise and was minus every aim in the direction of advancement. To diffuse active energies and a spirit of progress into this stereotyped condition of people, was not unlike raising the dead; and a man of less strength of
purpose would have faltered. Not so with the one in question. Prompt to the call, he went to work, laid out a city, naming it Brigham in honor of the President of the Church, moved his family to the new city, and thus laid the foundation for the great financial co-operative enterprise which subsequently he there built up.
When the county was organized by the authority of the Legislature, he was appointed to preside over it, as a Stake of of Zion. He was elected member of the Legislative Council, to represent the district composed of the counties of Box Elder and Weber.
Here follows Lorenzo's own version of the situation: When I arrived in Box Elder County, I found the location where Brigham City now flourishes in a very unprosperous condition. Whether its change from a primitive state should be called improvement, i. e., whether it was better or worse for what had been done on the premises, would puzzle an anti- quarian. Even the log meeting house, with its ground floor and earth roof, was more extensively patronized as a receptacle for bed bugs than for the assemblage of Saints.
At first, in locating there, I only took a portion of my family, as a small and incommodious adobie hut was the only tenement attainable. During the summer and fall I succeeded in erecting a house, one story and half in height, thirty feet by forty. It being impossible to obtain shingles, I covered the building with slabs, and for two winters the rattling of those slabs, put in motion by the canyon breezes, supplied us with music in the absence of organs and pianos. I had thus cov- ered the roof of my house, but before my front door was in, and all my floors laid, and before any plastering was done, our house was the stopping place and the home of President Brigham Young and his company of tourists, whenever they visited these northern settlements. We sometimes entertained as many as forty at once. As soon as my house was up and partly finished, I had all of my family with me; and on the
262 BIOGRAPHY AND
occasion of these visits of the Presidency, my family all united to make our visitors as comfortable as possible.
To manifest due respect, and a proper appreciation of those visits, which were productive of a vast amount of good to the Saints scattered throughout the Territory, I introduced a precedent which was widely adopted and carried into effect, until railroads superseded those lengthy carriage drives. To perpetuate a remembrance of this unique order of reception, I will give a description of the original one, as follows :
On learning the precise time when the party would arrive, I arranged a programme for the occasion. In the first place, a set of hands was detailed to put the roads in good condition for carriages, by clearing away stones, filling crevices, repairing bridges and causeways, etc. Much care and labor were devoted to organizing the escort to meet the President's long train of carriages some miles from the city. We had not the means in those early days of our history to be very elaborate in furnishing equipments as would have gratified our vanity, but what we lacked we supplied in ingenuity and enterprise, in fixing up what our means and circumstances would admit.
We selected forty or fifty intelligent, interesting looking young gentlemen, dressed in gray uniforms, each carrying a lance, the top of which was pointed with shining material, from which gay ribbons floated gracefully in the breeze. These young gentlemen were mounted on our finest horses and properly instructed and disciplined for the occasion. Next, we selected sixteen or twenty fine intelligent young ladies, had them dressed in white, with corresponding decora- tions. These were seated 'in wagons, each drawn by two span of horses-, properly caparisoned. All the members of the escort were carefully instructed respecting a proper manner of giving the salute on meeting the visiting party; the various branches of the escort bearing flags and beautiful banners with appropriate mottoes. All were preceded by one or two carriages occupied by the authorities and leading men of the
city, the whole led by a martial band under the direction of the city marshal.
In connection with the foregoing arrangement, the chil- dren, in their Sunday attire, gathered from all parts of the city, and many from adjacent settlements, were formed into line on each side of the street, and as the company entered, it was conducted through these long lines of children to my house, amid loud cheers, the ringing of bells and waving of banners.
The effect of this display on President Young and party was truly thrilling. They were taken by a surprise of the most impressive character. Thus an example was set which has been extensively followed, until carriage riding has, to a great extent, yielded to that of railroads.
One of the precious gifts of the everlasting Gospel con- ferred on Brother Lorenzo, that of healing the sick by the power of faith and the instrumentality of the sacred ordinances which God has revealed,
is a prominent one. Early in his
experience in the Church, when he received his patriarchal blessing under the hands of the Patriarch, Joseph Smith, father of the Prophet, he received a promise of this gift, and he was told that the sick should even send handkerchiefs to him for his blessing, by which they should be made whole.
A very striking instance in fulfilment of this prediction occurred in the winter of 180G. Brother William Smith, of Kaysville, Davis County, Utah, was taken very sick; his faith centred in God and in the ordinances of His house, instead of human medical skill; and he and his wife had, from experience, great faith in Brother Snow as an administrator, but he was forty miles away. It was winter, the weather very cold and stormy, and the roads almost impassable, and they thought it preposterous to send for him, and tried to content themselves with the services of those present.
But with all the faith that was exercised, with all that patient, skilful and careful nursing all that love and affection
264 BIOGRAPHY AND
could do for him he continued to grow worse, and gradually sank until his life was despaired of and his case considered hopeless by all but his heart-stricken, loving wife. She was hoping and praying with all the fervor affection inspires, when, by the promptings of the Spirit which brings " all things to remembrance," she recollected that when Brother Snow \vas at her home in Wiberson, England, in reading a copy of his patriarchal blessing, she was struck with the prediction that the sick should send handkerchiefs to him, etc. Like a lamp suddenly lighted, and like the sunbeams streaking forth from under a heavy cloud, her heart took courage and the light of eternity seemed to spread a halo around; and the thought was immediately suggested to her that, as her husband, now almost unconscious, was too far gone to act for himself, she might act for him, and forthwith she started to carry the sug- gestion into effect.
No time was lost in commissioning a messenger to go with all posssible dispatch and take to Brother Snow a new silk handkerchief, with a note from Sister Smith containing her request, also instructions relative to, and descriptive of her husband's condition. The messenger accomplished the trip, to and from, as expeditiously as the state of the roads would possibly admit.
When Brother Snow was made acquainted with the situ- ation, his sympathies were much aroused. From long acquaintance, he had full confidence in their faithfulness and integrity. They had befriended him when on a mission in a foreign land, and from first acquaintance, with him and them, confidence was mutual.
AVe now copy from Brother Snow's journal: I took the handkerchief and a bottle of perfumery, and on retiring to my closet, I prayed, and then I consecrated the perfumery and sprinkled it on the handkerchief. I then again bowed before the Lord, and in earnest supplication besought Him to remember the promises He made through His servant, the
Patriarch, whom He had now taken to Himself, and let the healing and life-inspiring virtues of His Holy Spirit be imparted to this handkerchief, and from thence to Brother Smith when it shall be placed upon him, speedily restoring him to life, health and vigor.
As soon as the messenger returned, with the handkerchief neatly folded in an envelope, it was unfolded and spread over the head and face of Brother Smith, the apparently dying man, with almost instantaneous effect.
His immediate recovery was observed with surprise and astonishment by all around, and well might they exclaim : " It is the Lord's doings, and it is marvelous in our eyes."
Out of respect to the family of the departed, who has gone to reap the reward of the righteous as a tribute justly due the memory of the faithful; trustworthy Elder Porter Squires, and as a testimonial of my brother's recognition and appreciation of true merit, we think the following extract worthy of insertion :
LEGISLATIVE HALL, FILLMORE CITY,
MILLARD COUNTY, UTAH,
December 21, 1856.
Elder Porter Squires:
DEAR BROTHER. When traveling abroad among the nations of 'the earth, I have often thought of your kindness and faithfulness, and the assistance you have rendered me and my family. And while thinking of you, my prayers have often been offered up in your behalf, in every place, and in every nation wherever I have set my feet.
Language fails to express the feelings and the sincere gratitude of my heart for the interest you have manifested in
266 BIOGRAPHY AND
the many kind and important services you have discharged in my interest since you came into my family.
I feel that you are fully entitled to be blest when I am blest, to be honored when I am honored, to be exalted when I am exalted, and to be glorified when I am glorified.
I have decreed in my heart that, some day, I shall pay you four-fold, and with interest, for all you have done for me, but when this will be, the Lord only knows. Till then, I can only pray for you, that the Spirit of the Highest may be richly poured out upon you, and that peace may always dwell with you.
I shall be glad when you find a companion and have a home of your own. But I say, as I always have said, be not in so much haste as to take one that your wisdom and judg- ment will not approve. I declare to you in the name of the Lord, there are wives in store for you of the Lord's choosing, that will be given you, and you shall lose nothing, but shall be crowned and glorified with your brethren in the Kingdom of the Lord our God, and in the midst of your wives and chil- dren, and no power on earth or in hell shall prevent you receiving this blessing. I say this in the name of the Lord, and by the spirit of prophecy which is in me, and it is true and sacred.
I have no time to get away from public business except in the evening, when I go out into the fields alone by myself, to call upon the Lord to bless me and my family. I never enjoy myself so well as I do on these occasions. Men change and circumstances alter, but the Lord is always the same kind, indulgent and affectionate Father, and will bless those that will, in childish simplicity, humble themselves before Him, and ask for what they want. I think of you at such times, and always have the spirit to bless you in the name of the Lord.
Your brother in the Gospel,