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´╗┐Title: Sketches of Missionary Life
Author: Parry, Edwin F.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Sketches of Missionary Life" ***

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The recital of incidents in human experience is always interesting to
the young, and such recitals, if of a proper character, may be listened
to or read with profit as well as pleasure. Especially beneficial
and interesting are stories of missionary life wherein the wonderful
providences of the Lord are shown. They serve to awaken faith and
strengthen confidence in God, and teach many valuable lessons.

The object sought in presenting this little work to the public is to
supply fresh reading matter of a wholesome character to the youth of
Zion; and it is issued with the hope that its contents may stimulate
faith in the heart of the reader, and assist him in his efforts to
become more useful in the Kingdom of God.

Most of the events and incidents herein related are of recent
occurrence, and many of them were narrated to or came under the
observation of the writer while engaged in missionary labors abroad.
Salt Lake City, Utah, November, 1899.



Character of Men Called as Missionaries


First Temptation to Missionaries


Providential Aid Received


Leaving Home--The Journey


First Experience in the Field


Lack of Ability


Miraculous Help from the Lord


Presenting the Gospel to the People


Discouraging Prospects--Pleasing Results


Effect of Hearing the Gospel


Experiences in Holding Meetings


Divine Guidance and Protection


Friends Raised up


Signs that Follow Believers


Miscellaneous Experiences--Conclusion

Sketches of Missionary Life,



The manner of conducting missionary work by the Latter-day Saints is
unique and marvelous; and the further one inquires into the details of
the method the more wonderful it appears. The remarkable features of
this work will be better understood when it is known how it is carried
on, and what some of its results are.

At present the great majority of Latter-day Saint missionaries who are
sent out into the world are young men, ranging upward from sixteen
years of age. They are selected from all avocations of life. Some are
farmers or farm-laborers, sheep herders or followers of other common
occupations; some are mechanics or mechanics' assistants; others may be
clerks, book-keepers, merchants or school teachers, while a very few
are lawyers, doctors or other professional men. But many of them are so
young that they have not begun to follow any regular pursuit. Some of
the latter may have received a fair common-school or even collegiate
education, while others are called from remote parts of the country,
newly settled, and where the educational advantages are but meagre.
None are trained especially for the ministry outside of what teaching
they get at home, in the Sunday Schools, Church schools and Improvement

Generally when called, these young men are given only a short time for
preparation before taking their leave of home--usually a few weeks,
sometimes only a few days, and in some instances only one day. They are
sent with the expectation of bearing their own expenses to their fields
of labor, wheresoever they may be called, whether to the adjoining
States or to the far off islands of the southern seas; to the sunny
south or the dark and frozen regions of the Arctic circle. Except in
countries where it is possible to carry on missionary labor "without
purse and scrip," they are also expected to support themselves with
their own means while away from home.

It is a notable fact that there are but very few young men called
to take missions who decline to go; and very frequently men whose
circumstances apparently might justify them in being excused accept the
call, trusting in the Lord to overrule circumstances in their favor and
thereby enable them to respond. Those who thus place reliance in the
Lord are not neglected by Him. Invariably the way is opened for the
accomplishment of the duty imposed upon them.

It is also remarkable how
willing many young men are to accept the call to go out into the world
to promulgate the Gospel, fully understanding that they are expected to
preach in public as well as to teach in private, when in the majority
of instances they have never made the first attempt at public speaking.
Such willingness is an evidence of great trust and confidence in the
help to be received from the Lord. In going out they may not all have a
knowledge of the truth of the Gospel they go to advocate, but faith is
implanted within their hearts in a sufficient degree at least to cause
them to start upon their mission. The testimony of thousands of such
young men who have thus gone out and returned with a perfect knowledge
of the truth of the Gospel, is strong evidence that such confiding
faith is by no means exercised in vain.

Invariably when missionaries have gone forth in response to the call
of the Priesthood and have faithfully, and in strict obedience to
instructions received, performed their duty they have been enabled
to fulfill honorable and useful missions. They have been abundantly
blessed of the Lord, helped in their efforts in a wonderful manner, and
ofted miraculously preserved from threatening dangers and led to take
a course that brings about the most satisfactory results from their

The narration of some of the interesting and remarkable phases of
missionary experience will be the subject of following chapters.



It is not an infrequent occurrence that, when a man is called to take a
mission, temptation is at once presented to him to make excuses; and he
can see many apparently good reasons why he should be excused from the
obligation; and here begins his first struggle. A striking illustration
of this is conveyed in the following narrative:

Several years ago a man of very moderate pecuniary circumstances, and
who had a family of small children dependent upon him for support, was
engaged as a common laborer on a railway. One night he had a dream that
impressed itself upon his mind. All that he could distinctly remember
of this dream was that he received two letters, the contents of which
he did not know. One letter, he understood by his dream, was from the
manager of the railway company for which he was working, and the other
was from the President of the Church, who at that time was the late
John Taylor.

The man felt that this simple yet unusual dream had some
significance, though he could not at the time satisfy himself as to its
meaning. Pretty soon, however, it was made clear to him, and he was led
to acknowledge that it was an inspired dream given to prepare his mind
for what was coming. Word was conveyed to him from one of the railroad
department managers that he had been selected to occupy another position
in the employ of the company, where his work would be more agreeable
and he would receive a larger salary. This was indeed joyful news to
him, as he was then with his small earnings, having a hard struggle to
make a livelihood for himself and his family. Almost simultaneously
with this welcome message came a letter from the President of the
Church, stating that he had been selected to take a mission to a far
distant land, and asking him if he was willing to accept of the call.
Here was a temptation placed before him. The questions that for a time
perplexed him were: should he respond at once to the call to fulfill a
mission? or would he not be justified in excusing himself for a year or
two, and by so doing, with his advance in wages, save means to support
himself and family during his absence? However justifiable the latter
proposition appeared to him he rejected it and decided to accept the
mission. He fulfilled it to the best of his ability, and in later years
testified that he was better off financially than he would likely
have been had he remained with his former employers and received the
advanced wages offered.

A similar instance to the one just narrated was that of a young man
who recently filled a mission. After receiving his call to go upon
a foreign mission he sought and secured work in a mine. By this
employment he hoped to raise sufficient means by the time set for
his departure to take him to his field of labor, and, if possible,
something towards paying his expenses while absent. The work he
received about the mine was ordinary labor; but his employers soon
learned that he was a trustworthy man, and just about the time when he
had promised to start upon his mission an offer of a better position,
with good wages, was made to the young man. Under other circumstances
he would gladly have accepted such a tempting offer; but he had already
given his word that he would accept the call into the Lord's vineyard,
and he was determined to keep his promise. He refused the situation
so kindly offered, and went upon the mission assigned him. He lost
nothing in the estimation of his employers by this course. He had been
straight-forward with them from the first, having informed them of his
intention to leave at a certain time, and of the object he had in view
when he applied for work. So well pleased were they with his services
that they assured him he could get employment from them on his return
if he desired it.

Some few years ago an Elder in the Church entertained the desire to
some day fulfill a mission abroad. He did not feel that he was in a
condition financially to go at that time, as he was in debt to the
amount of some twenty-six hundred dollars. He calculated that if he
was fortunate in his affairs he would be able to pay his debts in
the course of a few years, and would then offer his services as a
missionary. Before he had an opportunity to pay any of his debt he
was called to take a mission to Europe. He at once made up his mind
that he would try and go, trusting in the Lord to prepare the way for
him. He went upon his mission and before his return his wife had the
whole of his indebtedness paid off. His business was that of a farmer,
and, although during his absence his work had to be entrusted to more
or less disinterested parties, his farm yielded better returns, than
his neighbors' farms. He acknowledged that the Lord had certainly
blessed him for his obedience to the call made of him. Besides this, he
enjoyed better health while away from home than he had for some years
previously. He has recently returned after fulfilling a useful mission,
feeling thankful for the privilege of going abroad in the service of
the Lord.

Some who have been asked if willing to perform a mission have suggested
that their call be postponed for a certain length of time in order to
become better prepared. A number of such missionaries have been heard
to admit that it would have been better for them if they had accepted
the call at once; and some have, after asking for an extension of
time, changed their minds and reported themselves ready to go without
availing themselves of the time given for preparation, finding that the
longer they remained the farther they were from being ready.

The late Apostle Parley P. Pratt, in his "Autobiography," relates that
upon one occasion he hesitated before starting upon a mission that
had been assigned him. He was in debt, and was building a house, and
desired to finish it before leaving. Before it was finished the house
took fire and was burned. Elder Pratt then decided at once that he was
ready to fulfill his mission. He looked upon his misfortune as a rebuke
for not responding when first called. Upon deciding to go, his friends
came to his assistance, his debts were cancelled, and thus his way was
made clear to perform his duty.



After accepting a call to fulfill a mission, Elders sometimes find
they are without the necessary funds at hand to carry them to their
destination. But the assurance that prompts them to respond to the call
also gives them confidence that this difficulty can be met and overcome
in some way. The feeling that "where there's a will there's a way"
seems to actuate their whole being, and very seldom if ever are they
disappointed in their expectations.

A few years ago a young man was called to fulfill a mission and had
reported himself as being willing to go. He hastily prepared to start
by paying what debts he was owing and providing some things that his
family were in need of, after which he found that he had no means
left for paying his way to his destination, which was in a foreign
country, and the time set for his departure was near at hand. A few
days previous to the time of leaving, an acquaintance met him, and
during the conversation that ensued the missionary informed his friend
of his call to take a mission, but said nothing about his financial
circumstances. Before parting the young friend handed the missionary a
silver coin with this remark: "Here, I want to give you this to help
you along; and you will find that others will help you, as I found in
my experience when about to go on a mission a few years ago."

This was the first piece of money he had received to aid him on his
way, but, true to his friend's words, others helped him, and money
came from several sources where he did not expect anything, and had no
reason to expect it. The result was that on the day of his departure
he not only had enough to pay his way but sufficient to meet necessary
expenses while absent during the first year of his mission.

Another such instance occurred in the experience of an Elder called
to go to England several years ago. After receiving and accepting of
his call he made what preparations he could to comply with it. He
was however disappointed somewhat in getting some means due him. The
result was that on the day previous to that on which he expected to
start he did not have sufficient means to take him to New York. He knew
not from what source he could get money, but still hoped to be able
to go on the day appointed. That night he dreamed that he received
one hundred dollars, but awoke in the morning and found himself in
the same financial condition as on the day before. But his hopes were
not blighted. He concluded that if the dream meant anything it was an
indication that he would still succeed. During the day and before the
time set for his departure he received just one hundred dollars from
an entirely unexpected source, and was thereby enabled to start on his
journey at the time appointed.

In the "Life of John Taylor" is related an interesting episode which
shows how he was helped when in need of funds to pay his way across the
ocean. It was in the year 1839, just after the Saints had been driven
in a body from their homes in Missouri. Apostle Taylor, with others
of his quorum, had been called as a missionary to England. With much
difficulty, owing to sickness, he made his way to New York, but without
means to proceed any farther. His experience in New York is here given
as recorded in his biography:

"When Elder Taylor arrived in New York, Elder Woodruff had been there
some time, and was all impatience to embark for England, but as yet the
former had no means with which to pay for his ocean passage. Although
supplied with all the means necessary on his journey thus far, after
paying his cab-fare to the house of Brother Pratt he had but one
cent left. Still he was the last man on earth to plead poverty, and
in answer to inquiries of some of the brethren as to his financial
circumstances, he replied that he had plenty of money.

"This was reported to Brother Pratt, who the next day approached Elder
Taylor on the subject:

"Elder Pratt: 'Well, I am about to publish my 'Voice of Warning' and
'Millennial Poems,' I am very much in need of money, and if you could
furnish me with two or three hundred dollars I should be very much

"Elder Taylor: 'Well Brother Parley, you are welcome to anything I
have, if it will be of service to you.'

"Elder Pratt: 'I never saw the time when means would be more

"And putting his hand into his pocket Elder Taylor gave him his copper
cent. A laugh followed.

"'But I thought you gave it out that you had plenty of money,' said

"'Yes, so I have,' replied Elder Taylor. 'I am well clothed, you
furnish me plenty to eat and drink and good lodging; with all these
things and a penny over, as I owe nothing, is not that plenty?'

"That evening at a council meeting Elder Pratt, proposed that the
brethren assist Elder Taylor with means to pay his passage to England,
as Brother Woodruff was prepared and desired to go. To this Elder
Taylor objected, and told the brethren if they had anything to give to
let Parley have it, as he had a family to support and needed means for
publishing. At the close of the meeting Elder Woodruff expressed his
regret at the course taken by Elder Taylor, as he had been waiting for
him, and at last had engaged his passage.

"Elder Taylor: 'Well Brother Woodruff, if you think it best for me to
go, I will accompany you.'

"Elder Taylor: 'Oh, there will be no difficulty about that. Go and take
a passage for me on your vessel, and I will furnish you the means.'

"A Brother Theodore Turley, hearing the above conversation, and
thinking that Elder Taylor had resources unknown to himself or Brother
Woodruff, said: 'I wish I could go with you, I would do your cooking
and wait on you.'

"The passage to be secured was in the steerage--these missionaries were
not going on flowery beds of ease--hence the necessity of such service
as Brother Turley proposed rendering. In answer to this appeal, Elder
Taylor told Brother Woodruff to take a passage for Brother Turley also.

"At the time of making these arrangements Elder Taylor had no money,
but the Spirit had whispered to him that means would be forthcoming,
and when had that still, small voice failed him! In that he trusted,
and he did not trust in vain. Although he did not ask for a penny of
anyone, from various persons in voluntary donations he received money
enough to meet his engagements for the passage of himself and Brother
Turley, but no more."



One of the first trying experiences a missionary has to endure is
that of tearing himself away from his family. The expression "tearing
himself away" is not describing too strongly the painful feelings of
such an ordeal, for to many this is no trifling experience: it is like
tearing one's heartstrings to undergo it, and he feels almost as though
he were purposelessly inflicting most cruel torture upon his loved
ones regardless of their appeals for mercy. But feeling that it is a
call from the Lord that prompts him to do this, he is strengthened to
endure the severe but fortunately short trial. One can perhaps imagine
to some extent how painful was such a parting as the one described by
the late President Heber C. Kimball. It occurred about the same time
as the incident related in the previous chapter in the experience of
President John Taylor when called to fill a mission to England. Apostle
Kimball was called to the same mission. It was but a short time after
the Saints first settled in Nauvoo, Illinois, and they were poor and
destitute, and owing to exposure and an unhealthy place of refuge these
missionaries and their families were in poor health. Elder Kimball
depicts his leave-taking as follows:

"During the night of August 23rd, 1839, my son, David Patten, was born
in Commerce, in the log cabin I had put up at the end of the Bozier
house. We had a heavy thunderstorm that night, but the hand of the Lord
was over us. As soon as my wife was able I moved my family into the new
log house that I had built.

"September 14th, President Brigham Young left his home at Montrose to
start on the mission to England. He was so sick that he was unable to
go to the Mississippi, a distance of thirty rods, without assistance.
After he had crossed the river he rode behind Israel Barlow on his
horse to my house, where he continued sick until the 18th. He left his
wife sick with a babe only three weeks old, and all his other children
were sick and unable to wait upon each other. Not one soul of them was
able to go to the well for a pail of water, and they were without a
second suit to their backs, for the mob in Missouri had taken nearly
all he had. On the 17th Sister Mary Ann Young got a boy to carry her
up in his wagon to my house, that she might nurse and comfort Brother
Brigham to the hour of starting.

"September 18th, Charles Hubbard sent his boy with a wagon and span
of horses to my house; our trunks were put into the wagon by some
brethren; I went to my bed and shook hands with my wife who was then
shaking with a chill, having two children lying sick by her side; I
embraced her and my children, and bade them farewell. My only well
child was little Heber P., and it was with difficulty he could carry
a couple of quarts of water at a time, to assist in quenching their

"It was with difficulty we got into the wagon, and started down the
hill about ten rods; it appeared to me as though my very inmost parts
would melt within me at leaving my family in such a condition, as it
were almost in the arms of death. I felt as though I could not endure
it. I asked the teamster to stop, and said to Brother Brigham, 'This
is pretty tough, isn't it; let's rise up and give them a cheer.' We
arose, and swinging our hats three times over our heads, shouted:
'Hurrah, hurrah for Israel.' Vilate, hearing the noise, arose from her
bed and came to the door. She had a smile on her face. Vilate and Mary
Ann Young cried out to us: 'Good by, God bless you.' We returned the
compliment, and then told the driver to go ahead. After this I felt a
spirit of joy and gratitude, having had the satisfaction of seeing my
wife standing upon her feet, instead of leaving her in bed, knowing
well that I should not see them again for two or three years."

Usually missionaries go to their fields of labor in small companies,
and after the acute pangs of parting with loved ones are somewhat
assuaged they enjoy their travels. The new scenes constantly coming
within view help to divert their minds from the thoughts of home.
If they have a long distance to travel to reach their destination,
and especially when they have to cross the ocean, they find time to
seriously consider the nature of the duty before them. Then they begin,
if they have not done so before, to realize the necessity of depending
upon the Lord for guidance and aid.

If they have to cross the great deep and should they become sea-sick
they are liable to feel that their troubles are increasing in number
and severity; but if their sea-sickness is of an extreme type it
banishes all other troubles. They have no hope nor fear of the future
and the past is entirely forgotten. All they can think of is the awful
present. The more severe their sickness the sooner it is ended, and
their recovery is so rapid that it causes astonishment, and they wonder
how it was possible for them to feel so ill through such a trifling
cause. In a few days nothing is left of the dreadful sensation but a
recollection as of an unpleasant dream.



The excitement or the interest of travel generally keeps up one's
spirits while on the way; but soon the journey is at an end. Arriving
at the headquarters of the mission to which they have been appointed,
the missionaries are assigned to various conferences or fields of
labor. During the short time they have traveled together they have
become quite attached to each other. They appreciate one another
the more through being alike newly separated from near friends and
traveling through strange lands among strange people. It is another
affecting experience to part from traveling companions; and when each
one finds himself singly cast among strangers, or rather among new
friends, he is for a little while lonesome. If he allows himself to
take a cheerless view of the situation he may feel somewhat home-sick;
and if he makes no effort to cast aside his gloomy thoughts he will
soon be feeling extremely unhappy. He can encourage this feeling
until it becomes a serious malady that can only be cured by the most
heroic treatment, or else have the cause removed by a far less heroic
method--that is by returning home at once. On the other hand, if the
newly-arrived missionary fully determines to go to work immediately,
to become familiar with the labor before him, to get acquainted with
the people, and make himself at home among them, and take advantage
of every circumstance that surrounds him, he will soon feel contented
so far as personal comfort is concerned.

Although people are inclined
to regard it as a trifling ailment, and extend no sympathy for those
who suffer with it, homesickness is a very serious affliction. It is
even fatal in some instances. A soldier of a Massachusetts regiment
is reported to have died in Cuba recently through homesickness.
Fortunately there are remedies for the complaint in cases where
missionaries are attacked with it. The most effective remedy is for
the one afflicted to go to work at once upon his missionary labors.
He may meet with rebuffs, but such experience will be just what is
needed to dispel the feeling of home-sickness and to inspire him with a
determination to battle against discouragement.

A young man who lately returned from the mission field related that
when he first arrived in his place of labor he felt symptoms of
home-sickness. He determined to shake off the feeling at once, and went
out to deliver tracts and seek to get Gospel conversations with the
people. The first man he met opposed him and used considerable abuse.
This treatment aroused him to put forth efforts to defend the cause
he represented as well as his own character, for both were attacked.
It also furnished a favorable opportunity for doing so, as the man
made charges which he felt fully able to refute. The young man did not
retaliate with abuse, but patiently and in a kindly spirit undertook
to set the truth before his misinformed opponent. His pleasant manner
and humble spirit conquered his antagonist and made him a lasting
friend. The missionary received a standing invitation to his house,
and besides this the gentleman who first opposed afterwards, with his
family, attended meetings and they all became interested in the Gospel.
The missionary continued his active efforts and had no more feelings
of home-sickness. He subsequently became one of the most energetic and
successful workers in the field.

Quite a number of missionaries who at first have become somewhat
discouraged, and partially made up their minds to return home, have had
dreams just at the critical time, and have been influenced thereby to
continue in the field. They have dreamed that they had returned home
without fulfilling their mission. The humiliation and chagrin they
experienced in their dreams appeared so real that they have thereby had
their minds changed by it, and once more determined to continue their

There have been instances where missionaries have returned home
on account of home-sickness, but almost invariably they have felt
dissatisfied with themselves until they have returned to their fields
of labor and made a more successful effort to fill a mission.

It sometimes occurs that a missionary goes to his field of labor with a
misapprehension of the nature of the work. Returned Elders in reporting
their labors abroad often speak of the success they met with, and of
the opportunities and needs there are for missionary work in the world.
In listening to such reports a person sometimes gets the idea that
those who go out as missionaries will find people anxiously waiting
for them, and ready to receive their message. A missionary soon learns
that such is not the case, and sometimes feels that it is only a waste
of time for him to remain and try to do anything. How frequently has
the remark been made by a newly arrived missionary, "Why, I could do
more good at home than I am doing here!" But he soon discovers that to
gain success he must work for it. If the people will not come to him,
he finds that he must go to them. He must awaken an interest in the
message he bears, and to do this he must be patient and diligent as
well as prayerful. It is a common remark among missionaries that they
are just beginning to do real missionary work that is satisfactory to
themselves when they are about to be released.



If he has not done so before, a young missionary, just beginning
his labors, will soon discover his lack of ability to express his
thoughts as he would like to. He may fully believe in the Gospel or
may even have a strong testimony of its truth, yet he will find that
it is not so easy to intelligently and fluently explain his reasons
for the belief within him. He may be somewhat familiar with passages
of scripture that go to prove the truth of the ideas he entertains
concerning the Gospel but cannot readily turn to nor repeat these
passages. By contrasting his ability in this line with that of
missionary companions who have been longer in the field, he keenly
senses this fact. As is sometimes the case, he may have gone to his
field with the expectation that the Lord, through His Holy Spirit would
inspire him with words to say, immediately when he made the attempt to
speak, without any study or thought upon his own part. In his little
experience at home he might have observed the remarkable improvement
in some young man's speaking abilities after performing a mission. Not
knowing what discipline this particular young missionary had to go
through while absent, a person may thoughtlessly get the idea that his
ability was acquired without much effort.

It is not long, however, before the new missionary realizes that it
is necessary for him to do his part if he expects to make progress.
He learns the truth of the saying, "The Lord helps those who help
themselves." He discovers that he must store his mind with knowledge
in order that the Holy Spirit may bring things to his remembrance.
He finds that the Lord does not, unless for special purposes, reveal
direct through His Spirit truths that are already known to mankind: for
has He not commanded His children to "search the scriptures," to seek
"out of the best books words of wisdom," and to "seek learning even by
study, and also by faith"? These facts dawn upon his mind in an early
stage of his experience. His very first attempt to present the Gospel
in private conversation or by public speaking may cause him to realize
the necessity of study and preparation. He may perchance, as is most
likely, be confronted with a question that he cannot answer. He is
baffled for the time being, but it only serves as an incentive to study
and prepare to meet the question in the near future.

The writer recollects hearing of an instance where a young missionary
who had newly arrived in the field, went to visit his relatives with
the view of talking to them about the Gospel. His relatives, thinking
perhaps that they were not well enough posted to discuss the subject
with him and show wherein he was in error, as they supposed, sent for
their minister to have him hear and answer their missionary kinsman's
doctrines. The result of the conversation was very humiliating to the
young missionary. While he knew he had the truth, the minister was
easily able to vanquish him in argument, being versed in theological
sophistry and posted on the scriptural passages that suited his
purpose. The effect of the interview proved to be of much benefit to
the Elder, although embarrassing at the first. The experience made him
resolve to study earnestly and meet his opponent at a later date when
he would set forth the claims of his people in a more satisfactory
manner. This resolution he carried out. After preparing himself he
sought another interview with the same minister at the home of his
relatives. This time he was enabled to confound the clergyman in every
argument brought forth to oppose him.

A somewhat similar instance was that of another missionary who had been
asked some questions regarding the doctrines of the Latter-day Saints
which he was not able to answer satisfactorily to himself. He felt
deeply mortified on account of his inability, and undertook to study
the questions thoroughly that he might not again be found unable to
answer them. He afterwards remarked that he had never studied so hard
before in his life; but he accomplished his object and felt well repaid
for his efforts, as they brought so much enlightenment to his mind.

Being compelled to beat a retreat may be somewhat disheartening for the
moment, but such an experience is what is needed to develop within the
mind of the missionary a thorough knowledge of the first principles
of the Gospel. With this added knowledge comes enlightenment through
the Holy Spirit, and his testimony of the truth of the Gospel is
strengthened. The more he learns about the Gospel the more beauty and
truth he discovers in it, and the greater is his faith. His interest
in the work grows, his enthusiasm is awakened and he becomes developed
in many ways. He is more anxious to declare his message to the people
and bear testimony to what he knows. His dread of obstacles decreases,
and he actually takes pleasure in surmounting difficulties that arise.
Opposition is a stimulant which he rather likes to meet.



Elders have often found in their experience that the Lord has helped
them to a remarkable degree in their efforts to qualify themselves for
the labors before them. So much assistance have they received through
His Spirit that they have been astonished with their own utterances
when explaining the principles of the Gospel. While speaking, ideas
have been presented to them which they had never thought of before. And
often additional light has been flashed into their minds upon subjects
they were attempting to elucidate or explain. Many instances have
occurred where missionaries have been blessed with the gift of tongues,
when called to preach to foreign nations. One such instance was related
by Apostle Heber J. Grant in the course of remarks he made in the
Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, November 22, 1896. The narrative as he
gave it is as follows:

"When Brother Maeser was baptized in his native land, he called upon
the Lord in secret prayer, after he came out of the water, and said to
the Lord, 'O Lord, I have obeyed Thy Gospel; I believe in the divinity
of the mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith with all my heart; I believe
that the angel that was seen to fly in the heavens with the everlasting
Gospel, has come to the earth and restored the Gospel; now, O Father,
manifest unto me one of the signs that shall follow the believer, and I
pledge you that if you give me a witness of the divinity of the work in
which we are engaged, I will, if need be, give my life for that cause.'
After this he walked along asking questions of Brother Franklin D.
Richards, Brother Budge acting as interpreter. Finally when he asked a
question of Brother Richards, Brother Richards told Brother Budge that
he need not interpret that, as he understood it perfectly. Then Brother
Richards answered, and Brother Maeser told Brother Budge that he need
not interpret that, as he understood it perfectly; and they walked
along the street, one talking in English and the other in German, and
each understood the other by the inspiration of the Spirit of God."

Apostle Anthon H. Lund, while presiding over the European Mission,
wrote to the Millennial Star, in the course of correspondence, the

"Elder Hyrum Jensen related an interesting experience he had had. When
he came to Norway last spring he knew very little of the language
spoken here. One day he attempted tracting, but the people laughed at
him when he tried to speak to them. He felt their ridicule keenly, and
was especially grieved at not being able to explain to them the saving
principles of the Gospel. His way passed by a grove. He entered it and
there in the humility of his soul he prayed God to aid him and loose
his tongue. He felt his prayer was heard, and with renewed courage he
commenced his labors. In a few hours he had sold all his tracts, and
the people listened attentively to what he had to say. He said: 'I spoke
Norwegian with more ease than I have ever spoken English.' Considering
the short time he has been in Norway, we were all astonished to hear
him use the language so well."

A young missionary sent to Germany, who had received but three lessons
in German before leaving home, preached to the Saints in the German
language seventeen days after arriving in their country. His rapid
progress continued till he could speak the language as perfectly as
could the natives themselves. He attributed his success to the help of
the Lord which he received to assist him in his studies.

The writer recollects hearing the late Elder George G. Bywater relate
an incident in his experience while upon his first mission. He was
laboring in Wales in company with another Elder of more experience than
himself. The senior Elder generally did most of the preaching. Upon
one occasion the latter took a severe cold on his lungs and became so
hoarse that he could scarcely whisper. An appointment had been made
for him to preach at a certain place where the congregation would be
mostly composed of Welsh-speaking people. The experienced missionary
was unable to speak on account of his hoarseness, so he informed his
young companion that he would have to do the speaking. Elder Bywater
felt his weakness and inability to satisfy the people's expectations,
as he did not understand the Welsh language; but, on being requested
to do so, he arose to address the audience as best he could, depending
upon the Spirit of the Lord to assist him in his utterances. He began
by speaking in the English tongue--the only one he understood--but soon
he found that he was speaking words which he did not understand, and
the fluency with which they came from his lips astonished him. After he
had finished preaching his companion, who understood the Welsh tongue,
told him that he had delivered an excellent sermon in that language,
and that if he lived to the age of Methuselah he would not be able to
preach a better one. He had been blessed with the gift of tongues that
his hearers might understand the message he had to declare to them.

President George Q. Cannon relates how he was in a marvelous manner
enabled to understand the Hawaiian language. He had been sent while
quite a young man, as a missionary to the Sandwich Islands. He soon
found that the white inhabitants of the islands cared very little
about hearing the Gospel, so he resolved to master the native tongue
and deliver his message to the Hawaiians. How he was divinely aided in
carrying out his determination is given in his own words:

"My desire to learn to speak was very strong; it was present with me
night and day, and I never permitted an opportunity of talking with the
natives to pass without improving it. I also tried to exercise faith
before the Lord to obtain the gift of talking and understanding the
language. One evening, while sitting on the mats conversing with some
neighbors who had dropped in, I felt an uncommonly great desire to
understand what they said. All at once I felt a peculiar sensation in
my ears; I jumped to my feet, with my hands at the sides of my head,
and exclaimed to Elders Bigler and Keeler who sat at the table, that I
believed I had received the gift of interpretation! And it was so.

"From that time forward I had but little, if any, difficulty in
understanding what the people said. I might not be able at once to
separate every word which they spoke from every other word in the
sentence; but I could tell the general meaning of the whole. This was
a great aid to me in learning to speak the language, and I felt very
thankful for this gift from the Lord."



The experiences of missionaries in getting the Gospel before the
people are varied and interesting. The general method of presenting
the message is by distributing tracts from door to door, and seeking
in this way to get conversations with the people. In addition to
this, meetings are held and the people invited to attend them. In
Great Britain and some parts of the United States street preaching is
done to a considerable extent when favorable weather permits. In some
countries out-door meetings are not allowed in the towns and cities. In
such places the meetings are generally held in public halls or private
dwelling houses.

In distributing tracts from door to door a missionary meets with all
kinds of people, and, it might be added, with all kinds of receptions.
His first day's tracting is generally made memorable by some occurrence
which is of a novel character to him. Approaching the first house on
the street selected for his field of operation, he timidly knocks at
the door. It may be opened by a child, who, on seeing it is a stranger,
or at his request, calls its mother to see what is wanted. She has all
sorts of surmises as to who it may be. If she is expecting the rent
collector she hesitates about meeting him as she may be unprepared.
If she suspects him to be a peddler or book agent she approaches with
a scowl of impatience on her face. Finding he has only a Gospel tract
to offer her, and that without cost, she is willing to accept it, but
hastens to cut the conversation as short as possible on account of
being so busy.

The missionary may meet with a similar reception at a number of
places, but sooner or later he is almost sure to have the door
closed in his face before he can deliver his message. This kind of
treatment may cause his hopes to fall somewhat and his courage to
fail him for a moment, but soon his determination is renewed, and his
timidity vanishes. He may consider his first visit in tracting fairly
successful. By introducing himself as a Latter-day Saint, or merely
leaving the tract without further introduction, on his first visit he
is looked upon as nothing less than a respectable gentleman.

By the time he calls with the second tract some of those who received
the first will have read it, and without doubt were deeply impressed
with the truth of its teachings; but learning later that the Latter-day
Saints are the same people as are commonly called "Mormons," they
refuse to investigate further or to have anything to do with such
a people. Not because of their doctrines do they shun them, but on
account of the prejudice which exists against the Saints. It is indeed
astonishing to the young missionary to discover on his second visit how
some of those to whom he handed tracts show their extreme contempt for
him and the literature he is circulating. On seeing him at their doors
they will at once go and get the tract left the week before, carrying
it by one extreme corner, as if afraid of contamination, and push it
out to him at arm's length, telling him to never come again to their
door. Some have been known to carry the tracts back with a pair of fire
tongs, in order to express more effectively their utter abhorrence of
everything connected with "Mormonism."

Such are some of the unpleasant features of tracting. There is a bright
aspect to this same avocation. The satisfaction of having performed a
most important duty in the service of God gives joy to the heart, no
matter how little encouragement one may receive from the people in his
labor of tracting from door to door. But often through diligent and
prayerful searching a missionary finds those who are willing to listen
to his message and testimony, and his visits result in the conversion
of precious souls to the great truths that lead to eternal salvation.

A young man who recently filled a mission in Great Britain, one day
while distributing tracts felt impressed to call at a certain house,
and present his message to the inmates. He obeyed the prompting, and
was met at the door by the lady of the house. She listened to what he
had to say and accepted the tract he offered, but showed no unusual
interest in his message. The next time he was in the neighborhood
delivering tracts he called again at this particular house. His
reception this time was similar to the first one. He called again the
third time, and still three more times without meeting with any further
encouragement. He received no invitation to go in and converse upon the
Gospel, still he retained the impression that there was someone there
who would listen to his message. He called the seventh time, and his
perseverance was rewarded with a
request to enter the house. The husband was at home and was in a humor
to talk upon religion. He had one request, however, and that was that
the missionary confine his teachings to the scriptures, and prove his
assertions from the Bible. He was acquainted with the scriptures, and
was also aware that many professed teachers of the Gospel did not
adhere to the word of God as taught in the Bible, hence his desire to
hold the Elder to the scriptures. Of course this was just what the
missionary desired, and it did not take him long to convince his friend
that the doctrine he advocated was strictly scriptural. The result was
the man and his family soon embraced the Gospel. It was what the man
had been looking for. He had become dissatisfied with the creeds that
he had before heard, and at the time the missionary called at his house
he was praying for guidance that he might know what church to unite



It frequently happens that a missionary works until nearly discouraged
before he discovers any fruits of his labors. A young man who labored
as a missionary in Great Britain some few years ago had an experience
of this kind. He and his companion had spent considerable time in one
field. They had labored faithfully and earnestly, but saw no favorable
result. At last the Elder prayed to know whether he should remain in
the district longer or report to his president the apparent conditions
and get an appointment to some other field. His prayer was answered
by a dream wherein he was shown that there were a few persons in the
district who would soon request baptism at his hands. He was much
comforted and encouraged by this dream and related it to his companion.
They both remained in their field of labor, and it was not long before
several of those who had listened to their testimonies applied for

The missionary who faithfully, patiently and persistently continues
his labors in the field assigned him is invariably rewarded for his
efforts, as many a one can testify. He may not baptize many, but
frequently he may be the means of bringing the truth to some honest
soul who is ready to receive it with his whole heart. Where such is the
case the Elder feels fully repaid for his work if no other result of
his efforts is visible.

Some few years since another young missionary in Great Britain was sent
to a certain district to labor, where the prospects were not so bright
as desirable. He, however, continued earnestly and humbly to perform
his duty in bearing testimony to the people. He was there for months
without seeing any results. But eventually he was led to a family who
believed his testimony and embraced the Gospel. This family proved
to be most excellent people, and their influence and energy were the
means of bringing others into the fold, and the branch which was almost
lifeless before soon became a most lively and prosperous one. The
missionary felt more than repaid for his labors when he saw how they
had been blessed of the Lord.

A similar occurrence took place in another conference of the same
mission about the same time as that just related. A missionary had
spent some eighteen months in one town. During that time he had several
companions one after the other who labored with him, and between
them they tracted the town quite thoroughly. Their labors in other
directions to get the Gospel before the people were also diligently
pursued, but apparently without any good results. The Elder who had
spent so much time there was then released to return home, his last
companion missionary was sent to another field, and others took their
places in this particular town. It was not long, however, before these
new missionaries began to reap a harvest of souls as the result of
their predecessors' planting of the Gospel seed. A number of people
were baptized within a few weeks, and, with the few old members of the
Church residing in the town, a lively branch was established there.
This happy result was of course greatly due to the efforts of the
Elders who first labored there so long and faithfully, and who, no
doubt at times felt discouraged at the prospects before them.

Missionaries are frequently led in a strange way to those who are
searching after the truth; and often people of this character are
brought in contact with the Elders in a remarkable manner. Not long
since some missionaries were laboring in a certain district in England.
In performing their duties they frequently passed a certain shop or
store in the neighborhood of their lodging place. The gentleman who
kept the shop, as well as his wife, noticed them pass the door, and
recognized that they were Americans. Soon their interest in these
strange men was awakened. They did not know that they were ministers
of the Gospel, but felt impressed to make their acquaintance. At last
the shop-keeper requested his wife to invite them in the next time
they passed, stating that he desired to talk with them. His good wife
soon saw one of the Elders passing and she stepped out and asked him
if he and his companions would call and have a talk with her husband
when they had the time to spare. Of course the missionaries were quite
willing to comply with the request. They were looking for opportunities
to present their message to the people. When they called to visit the
family they explained their business, taught them the Gospel, which the
man and his wife gladly accepted; and soon the Elders were made to feel
as much at home in their midst as though they had been acquainted for

The following is an incident of missionary experience that recently
occurred in Ireland: Two young Elders were one day distributing tracts
in a small village. One visited on one side of the only street in the
place and his companion took the opposite side. While going along in
the performance of this duty one of the missionaries called at a place
where he found a man and his wife digging potatoes. A tract was offered
to the man, but he was not in a humor to receive "Mormon" literature,
so he gruffly ordered the Elder off his premises, adding the threat
that if he did not go he would brain him with his spade. His wife
was not so unkind, and she remarked that she would accept the tract,
saying that it would not do her any harm. "And where are ye from?" she
inquired, recognizing the Elder was a stranger to the country. The
young man replied that he was from Utah, in America. "From Utah!" she
exclaimed, "and do you know our Micky?" The Elder replied that he could
not say as to that, for he did not know what the full name of her son
might be. "He works in the----mine, in Utah, do you know him!" said
the woman in her anxiety to hear what he knew about her far-off son.
The young man said he also had worked in that same mine, and if she
would state his name he could answer the question. She at once gave her
son's name, and sure enough he was known to the missionary. "O, yes,"
said he, "I am acquainted with him. We used to sleep in the same bunk!"
With this the old lady clasped the young man in her arms exclaiming,
"The Lord bless ye; and ye're acquainted with our Micky! and his father
was goin' to brain ye wid the shpade!" She held to the young man and
wept for joy. The missionary's companion, seeing from a distance the
woman's actions, thought his friend was in trouble and hastened to
the premises. The situation was soon made clear to him, and both were
invited into the house and treated with the greatest of kindness.



There is no way of telling just how much good one does in distributing
tracts and in bearing his humble testimony to the people, or how
far-reaching are the results of his efforts. In a letter written by
Apostle Anthon H. Lund from Stockholm, Sweden, to the Millennial Star
is related the following incident.

"How a tract may preach the Gospel and bring conviction to the soul
was illustrated in the case of a lady in Angermanland, related by
Elder Holmgren. She had gotten hold of a tract called 'The Voice of
Truth,' written by Erastus Snow. She learned it nearly by heart, and
not knowing the address of the Saints, she wrote to the president of
the 'Mormons' in Salt Lake City, and from there the Elders here were
informed of her address. They found her anxiously awaiting them, and
at once she obeyed the Gospel. She keeps a little store, and is always
ready to explain our doctrines to her customers."

Another similar circumstance is related by Apostle Lund. In substance
it is here given: A gentleman whose residence was in Belgium, while
on a visit to London, met one of our missionaries, who gave him a
pamphlet setting forth our doctrines. The gentleman took it home,
and, out of curiosity, read it through. He was deeply impressed with
its contents, and became anxious to see a "Mormon" Elder, but could
not get the address of any. He therefore wrote to the President of
the Church, asking for more information concerning the Gospel and
inquiring where he could find some missionary of the Church. The letter
of inquiry was forwarded to the president of the Netherlands Mission,
who sent an Elder to visit the writer of it. The Elder called upon
the inquirer after truth, and the latter listened with deep interest
to the explanations of the Gospel. Before the Elder left the city the
gentleman requested baptism.

Many years ago a gentleman heard a Latter-day Saint missionary
proclaiming the Gospel in an open-air meeting in India. He heard
nothing further of the message at that time. He afterwards returned to
his native country, Great Britain, and not long ago heard some of our
Elders preaching in a meeting in South Wales. The first testimony he
heard had made a lasting impression upon his mind, and when he again
heard the same glorious message he investigated the claims set forth by
the Elders and accepted the Gospel.

A gentleman who joined the Church some few years ago in the Leeds
Conference of the British Mission stated that the first Latter-day
Saint missionary he met impressed him by his humble and unassuming
manner. He was more impressed by the Elder's demeanor than with the
subject of his conversation, and while in his presence for the first
time he believed the Elder was indeed a servant of God. The man did not
at once embrace the Gospel, but undertook to investigate it. In the
meantime the young missionary was released from his labors and returned
home, not knowing what would be the result of the humble testimony he
bore to this particular person.

In 1884 Elders C. F. Christensen and W.
F. Garner, two missionaries laboring in Carter County, Tennessee, were
arrested on a false charge, and taken to jail. It was at a time when
excitement concerning the missionaries in the South ran high. While on
their way to the place of confinement, one of the brethren remarked,
"We might preach to these men as they did to the jailor of old."
These words and other remarks made upon that occasion made a lasting
impression upon one of the gang of men who were with the officer who
made the arrest, and from that time he began to search for the true
Gospel. But he never saw any more "Mormon" Elders until 1893, although
he had read some of our Church works. At that time he was prepared for
baptism, and he and his wife received the Gospel. He afterwards wrote
to Elder Garner, informing him of his conversion, and what led to it.

Such experiences as the ones related below are sometimes met with while
tracting. The narrator is Elder Frederick Scholes, who at the time,
June, 1894, was a traveling Elder in the British Mission.

"I had just left a Primitive Methodist minister after a prolonged
conversation, and called at the next house, at which a lady answered
the door and asked me to step inside. I commenced to talk of the
Gospel message I had been sent to proclaim, and found her an attentive
listener. She informed me that she had been praying to know which of
the different religions was true, believing that the Bible is true,
and that there is but 'one Lord, one faith, one baptism.' In answer
to her prayers she had a manifestation, or a vision, and was carried
away to a large hall; here she saw a man preaching the Gospel to her;
after preaching to her for some time, he left her, saying: 'I will
see you again and preach the Gospel to you.' During her recital of
this manifestation she shed tears of joy, for her heart was full. She
had desired to hear further of this person whom she had seen. Now she
had that privilege, for she informed me that I was that person; she
recognized me when she opened the door, and the words I had addressed
to her were similar to the words spoken to her in the vision. I felt
thankful to learn that I was chosen to bring 'glad tidings of great
joy' to one who was searching after truth. I gave her some of our
literature, with the admonition to read and learn further of the
doctrine of which I had spoken. She has told me since then that she
believes and will be baptized. On June 28, I had called at a number of
houses leaving at each some tracts, and as usual informed the people
I would call again in a few days and leave a more advanced tract, and
also endeavor to answer all questions they might ask. One family, upon
learning what faith the tracts represented, sent one of the children
running after me with the tracts, saying they did not want them. A
number would not accept a tract under any consideration.

"My next experience was with a minister. A lady answered my knock and
accepted the tracts. I informed her that I would call again, and leave
another tract, and endeavor to answer any question they might ask. I
had gone but a short distance from the house when the gentleman of the
house hurriedly stepped out, coatless and hatless, and hailed me. I
returned, whereupon he gave me back the tracts which I had just left,
saying he did not want them, he had heard somewhat of the 'Mormons,'
but did not agree with their teachings. I inquired in what way he
differed with them. He said the question would lead to a discussion
and he had not time to talk with me, repeating that he had no need
of the tracts. Having a 'Morgan tract' in my pocket, I offered it to
him, asking him to read it. After a few excuses he accepted it. He
then asked me a number of questions which I answered, and, becoming
interested, he took out his watch and said he had fifteen minutes to
spare, and asked if I would step into the house. He led the way into
the drawing room, remarking that we would have a pipe and a chat; as
I did not use tobacco, he asked me to have some tea. Not using tea,
he asked if I would take coffee or chocolate. As I used neither he
became solicitous as to what I did drink, and I answered, water or
milk; whereupon he ordered milk and butter and bread brought up into
the drawing room. I partook of the refreshments provided, and he smoked
his pipe, and thus I had the privilege of conversing with him, fully
three-quarters of an hour. Upon leaving he gave me his card and an
invitation to call again. I not only left him the tracts he at first
refused, but a full supply of the tracts I had with me. The repulsive
demeanor he at first manifested, mellowed down into a more friendly

Such pleasing incidents as the first one narrated in the above letter
are of not infrequent occurrence in the mission field. People have
often been informed by dream or vision of the coming of missionaries
with the Gospel message to deliver to them.

Two young Elders laboring in Southern Illinois after holding a meeting
were approached by a young man who told them that his sister, living
some distance from where they were, desired to meet them. When in the
neighborhood, they called upon her, and she told them that she had seen
them before and that their faces were familiar. They remarked that they
had never before been in that neighborhood. The lady then explained
that she had seen them in a dream. They gave her some tracts to read,
and she soon applied for baptism, having been assured in vision that
they were messengers of truth.

Sometimes a missionary's labors produce an unexpected result. It
is difficult to get some people who show an interest in the Gospel
convinced of the necessity of baptism. Often, though, when they are
fully convinced they readily obey. An Elder who was recently engaged
in missionary labors abroad made the acquaintance of a lady whom he
met while distributing tracts. She seemed to be favorably impressed
with his teachings; and the scriptural proofs he advanced in support
of his claim that baptism was essential to salvation were convincing
to her. Her admission of this fact led the missionary to believe that
she might accept the Gospel; but upon a subsequent visit to her home he
was given to understand that there was no more need of him calling upon
her to talk upon the Gospel, as he had already shown her the necessity
of baptism, and she had complied with that ordinance by having her
minister baptize her.

Another missionary who had made the acquaintance of a lady called
upon her and her husband a few times to talk with them upon religion.
Having explained to them upon previous visits the first principles of
the Gospel, the Elder finally ventured to advance a little further. He
took occasion to state the views of the Latter-day Saints concerning
the eternity of the marriage covenant--that a man and woman might be
married not only for this life but also for the hereafter. On learning
this the woman replied: "Why, bless your soul, if that's what you
believe in I want nothing to do with you. I've had enough of my husband
in this life already!"


Many unexpected things happen at meetings held by the Elders in the
mission field. A few years ago an Elder in Sweden was holding a
meeting. A local preacher attended it, and the people present expected
the preacher would be able to refute the doctrines advanced by the
"Mormon" missionary; but they were disappointed and no doubt greatly
surprised. When the Elder finished speaking the minister knelt down
in the meeting and thanked the Lord that he had found the truth.
Three weeks afterwards he joined the Church. A similar incident is
related by Bishop Lars Neilson, of Leamington, Millard County, Utah.
In the year 1851 a young man invited him to attend a meeting to be
held by Latter-day Saint missionaries in the village where he was then
residing. He promised to attend, adding a threat that he would tell
those men that in the last days false prophets are to come and deceive
the people. He went to the meeting and found the house filled, but he
made his way to the front, where he would be in readiness to denounce
the preachers at the proper time. The missionaries presented the Gospel
in such a humble and clear manner that Mr. Neilson became convinced
that it was true. It was the Bible doctrine, and he dared not deny it
nor scoff at it. From that time his friendship was won. He entertained
the Elders at his home, defended them before the people, and eventually
he joined the Church.

Two missionaries in the Southern States, who had been sent to open a
new field of labor, commenced by holding a public meeting in a hall
which they had secured. A prominent citizen of the town, who was well
posted on the scriptures, attended this meeting, and to learn if the
speakers taught Bible doctrine he secured a front seat where he might
hear distinctly. He was well pleased with what he heard, and at the
close of the meeting he approached the Elders and told them that as
long as they preached the kind of doctrine set forth that evening they
were welcome to his hospitality. He thereupon invited them to his
hotel, to make their home there as long as they desired.

Inexperienced missionaries are usually assigned to labor for a
time with those who have had more experience. Sometimes, however,
an Elder who has newly arrived in the field is, through force of
circumstances, left to himself for a time. It is then he feels more
than ever the necessity of relying upon the Lord. Some four years
ago an experienced missionary in Great Britain was holding open-air
meetings. His companion had newly arrived from Zion, and had had little
or no practice at public speaking. At the close of one meeting he gave
an appointment for a subsequent meeting, and invited the people to
attend at the designated place on the street. Circumstances prevented
the senior Elder from filling the appointment, so he sent the new
missionary to apologize for his absence. The young man went, and
finding a gathering of people at the place selected for the meeting, he
was impressed to preach himself, trusting in the Lord to assist him.
The Lord did assist him, and he preached to the people with a freedom
beyond his expectation. It was a valuable experience for him, and from
that time he continued to labor most energetically and earnestly during
the remainder of his mission.

Two other young missionaries upon another occasion were left to hold
a meeting without experienced help. Before the time of meeting they
learned that certain parties intended to be present to oppose and if
possible confound them. But undaunted, the Elders fasted and prayed,
and when the time came, went and held their meeting, and bore their
testimonies in humility to the assembled people. Their opposers were
there. The young men knew them, having heard them interrupt some of
their more experienced fellow-missionaries upon former occasions. But
this time they had no opposition to offer. Instead, they listened
attentively to the Elders' remarks, and then bore testimony that
they, the Elders, had the Spirit of the Lord with them, and that its
influence was felt in the meeting.

Apostle Anthon H. Lund in a letter to the Millennial Star, dated at
Nuremberg, Germany, May 19, 1894, tells about meeting with the Saints
in Zurich, when he was introduced to a Brother and Sister Hoffman who
had recently joined the Church. Brother Lund says about this family:
"I was very much interested in hearing them tell what led to their
conversion. They had rented rooms in the same house where the Saints
of Zurich hold their meetings; but as they were Catholics they were
forbidden by their priests to attend the meetings of the Saints. Their
room adjoining the room where the Saints met, the lady could often
hear Brother Duback's sermons. She became much interested and told her
husband that 'Mormonism' was not what it had been represented, but
that it was founded on the scriptures. They sent for Brother Duback,
and he explained the principles of the Gospel to them, furnished them
with books to read, and told them to pray earnestly to God to show them
whether these principles were true or not. They did this one Sunday
evening after having attended their first meeting with the Saints. In
the night Brother Hoffman heard a noise as of a rushing wind, and a
voice called his name distinctly three times and said: 'This shall be
a testimony to you that what you have heard this day is truth.' The
manifestation made a powerful impression on his mind. He awoke his
wife and told her what he had heard. The same night she had a glorious
vision. The room was filled with light and a heavenly personage
appeared to her, pointing to her husband. She understood this to mean
that she should follow him and that what he had told her was truth.
They rejoiced greatly in the goodness of God, and requested Elder
Duback to baptize them. They told me that they had never felt such joy
and happiness as the obedience to the principles of the Gospel had
given them."

Quite frequently attempts are made by unprincipled individuals to
interfere with the labors of our missionaries in spreading the
Gospel. Often men will deliver lectures against the Elders, circulate
falsehoods about the Saints, or interrupt their meetings. Generally
such attempts to hinder the missionary work result in good. What their
enemies do to injure them is in most cases a help to the cause.

Some Elders laboring in the Scandinavian mission several years ago
were opposed by two local ministers in the neighborhood where they
were located. One minister delivered a lecture against the Saints and
he was joined by the other in his attacks upon the Elders. The latter
requested the privilege of defending their cause at the lecture,
but were refused. They, however, managed to secure the same hall as
was used by these ministers, and announced that they would hold a
meeting there the next night. The lecture of their opponent aroused
considerable interest in the subject of Mormonism, and on the following
evening the hall was filled to overflowing, notwithstanding the
assertion made by one of the ministers that the people would not turn
out to listen to them. Had the ministers remained quiet it would have
been difficult for the Elders to awaken such interest in the religion
of the Latter-day Saints. Missionaries in nearly all parts of the
world have had similar experiences to this one just mentioned.

occurrence which took place in the Scandinavian Mission will further
illustrate how the Lord overrules for good the attempts made to annoy
or vex His servants. Some men who were employed on a canal informed
two Elders who were laboring in the neighborhood that there was a
man working on the same canal who desired to see them, and who would
open his house for holding meetings. One of the missionaries went in
search of the man spoken of, but he soon learned that there was no one
laboring on the canal answering to the name which had been given; and
he discovered that the men who gave the information had been playing
a practical joke. The Elder, however, made the best of the situation.
Instead of turning away disappointed, after having waded through
considerable mud and slush in search of the mythical person he had been
told about, he spoke to each of the workmen, and presented them with a
Gospel tract. In doing so he found a man who offered to open his house
for a meeting that same evening. The offer was accepted and all the
workmen were invited to attend. They had a good attendance, and soon
afterwards the man in whose house the meeting was held and his wife
were baptized, and others became interested in the Gospel.



Elder J. H. Peterson, a missionary laboring in Kansas, in 1897, relates
some of his experience in traveling without purse and scrip, and shows
how the Lord opened up the way for him and his companion and provided
for their wants. His narrative is as here given:

"We arrived at Heber about 4:20 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, and called
at the post office for mail, but there was none for us. A gentleman
asked us if we were not strangers in the town, and we said we were.

"'We shall be pleased to, if we can find a place to stay,' was our

"We did so and were hardly seated when a gentleman who had overheard us
stepped in and asked us if we were not 'Mormons.' We told him we were.
He said he was the mayor of the town, and asked if we would not preach
for the people, as he thought they would like to hear a 'Mormon,'
having never heard one. It was getting rather late, but we told him
that if we could get a house and have the people notified, we would.
He told us to remain at the hotel and get our supper and he would
get the court house for us. In less than two hours he had the news
spread all over town, so that when meeting time arrived we had over
sixty people to talk to, and they paid us very respectful attention.
The sheriff told us we had nothing to fear as he would insure us
protection. We gave out another meeting for next evening and then went
back to the hotel, where Mr. Moore, (the mayor) introduced us to some
of the leading ladies and gentlemen of the town. Some young people were
singing and playing in an adjoining room and we were taken in to hear

"It was soon bed-time, and we were taken to our room--the best in the
hotel. Before retiring, my companion and I knelt in humble prayer to
thank the Giver of all good for this manifestation of His goodness, and
to ask Him to bless the man who had befriended us and assisted us in
getting to preach to so many people.

"The following evening we had over one hundred listeners upon whom we
made a good impression with our remarks. We lodged at the hotel that
night also."

The experience of Elder Peterson, above related, is not unlike that of
other missionaries engaged in the same work, and is here given as an
illustration of the manner in which the Lord's servants are provided
for when they rely upon him. Even their simplest needs are often
supplied in an unusual and remarkable manner, as the following incident
will show:

Two missionaries recently laboring in Norway were one Sabbath without
money, and had received no invitation to dine that day, so they
passed the whole time without eating. They had held meetings during
the day, and after returning to their lodging place at night one of
them remarked that he was real hungry. The other replied that he was
hungry also, and added the words, "but I believe the Lord will remember
us." It was then ten o'clock--a rather late hour to expect to receive
anything to eat that night--but just as they were speaking a knock was
heard at the door, and a young lady came in with a basket of nice food
for them. They inquired what led her to bring them food so late at
night. Her answer was that she and her mother were preparing to retire
when they were impressed to send the Elders something to eat, and they
could not rest until they had done so.

Other needs and desires of missionaries are supplied in a similarly
remarkable way. They often receive assistance and guidance in their
studies and labors, and that too just in the hour of need. A young
Elder while preaching upon one occasion, not long since, desired to
read a passage of scripture which he was not sufficiently familiar with
to quote from memory. He knew it was in the Bible somewhere but had no
idea where to turn to find it. He proceeded to introduce the passage
of scripture in his remarks and opened the Bible, when the very first
words that he saw were the ones he desired to quote. Such an incident
might be looked upon as a matter of chance; but the Elder with whom
it occurred felt that it was a divine guidance that led him to the
passage, and it increased his reliance upon the Lord.

Some time ago an Elder laboring in England, in a part where he had
relatives, had a desire to be sent to Ireland, where he also had
relatives. His wish was that he might have the privilege of bearing
his testimony to his kinsfolk in the latter country as he had already
done in the former. He prayed for the desired change, but said nothing
to anyone, feeling that it was his place to remain where he was unless
called away by those in authority over him. At this time there was a
need of experienced missionaries in Ireland, as most of those then
laboring there were about to be released. To supply this need the
presidency of the mission appointed a few men from other fields to go
to Ireland, and among them was the young man who had been praying for
the opportunity of going there. He was, of course, pleased and thankful
to receive the appointment.

In their journeyings from place to place, missionaries have often had
occasion to acknowledge the protecting hand of the Lord over them.

Elder David Archibald, who recently fulfilled a mission to Great
Britain, tells of an occurrence which happened while he was passing
through Wyoming on the way to his field of labor. One night while
resting in a half-reclining position on the seat of the railway car
a voice said to him, "You are lying in such a position that all your
money can be taken out of your pocket!" With a sudden start he clapped
his hand over the pocket in which he carried his pocket-book, and
awoke from his sleep just in time to see a man go out rather hastily
through the doorway. Thinking he might have been dreaming, Brother
Archibald said nothing about the matter at the time. A fellow passenger
who happened to be awake when this occurred, saw a man, whom he first
supposed was a railway employee, reach up to one of the lamps with
one hand and pretend to adjust the light. At the same time he reached
towards the sleeping man's pocket with the other hand. The sudden
movement of the Elder prevented the would-be pickpocket from getting
the wallet and he rushed out of the car as quickly as possible. The
man who saw this proceeding wondered how his fellow-passenger, whom
he supposed was sound asleep, managed to cover his pocket just at
the moment it was about to be picked, and he afterwards made inquiry
about it. When Elder Archibald learned from the other passenger of the
attempt made to rob him, he was satisfied that it was the whispering of
the Spirit that gave him the timely warning.



It is remarkable how the Lord raises up friends to His servants while
they are engaged in the ministry. In whatever part of the world they
may labor, the Latter-day Saint missionaries meet with those who
befriend them in a most unexpected manner. People that become thus
friendly are sometimes those who are earnestly seeking the truth and
are interested in the Gospel message, at other times they do not accept
the Gospel, but continue to remain friendly with the Elders, and go
to considerable trouble and expense, and at times even risk their
lives, to assist and defend them. To do this it often requires not
only considerable physical courage but moral courage as well, owing
to the unpopularity of the "Mormon" missionaries and their doctrines.
The only way to account for the friendship shown by such persons is to
acknowledge that the Lord has wrought upon their hearts to assist His
servants who are dependent upon Him for support.

Upon one occasion when the Prophet Joseph Smith was arrested upon a
trumped-up charge, a lawyer was influenced to defend him in court
through hearing a mysterious, audible voice command him to do so.

The writer remembers meeting a gentleman in England who had made it a
practice of defending the doctrines taught by the Latter-day Saints and
of assisting the Elders whenever he met them. He carried a well-worn
"Ready Reference" with him, and was well posted on our doctrines. His
business took him to various parts of the country and in his travels
he would occasionally meet our missionaries, attend their services and
sometimes hire meeting halls for them.

Many times have missionaries received contributions of money from
persons who have attended their meetings, and that too without the
slightest hint that they were in need of means. Frequently the
Elders have also been encouraged and defended by unknown persons
upon occasions where men have sought to oppose them or disturb their
meetings. The writer recalls two instances that came under his
observation where such was the case. At one time after holding a
conference an individual arose at the close of the meeting and tried
to get the attention of the people while he denounced the utterances
of the speakers as false doctrine. He only said a few words when a
stranger to the missionaries spoke up and defended their teachings,
and at once silenced their opposer, who thereupon left the building.
At another time an out-door meeting was being held. A fairly large
crowd of people were listening very attentively and appeared to be
much interested; but when the speaker was about to close, and made
mention of the name of the Prophet Joseph Smith, there were some slight
interruptions; but the meeting was dismissed without any serious
disturbances, although it appeared that some of the men present were
anxious to refute some of the statements made regarding the restoration
of the Gospel through the latter-day Prophet. However, immediately upon
the dismissal of the meeting and before the gathered throng had time
to disperse, a gentleman stepped forward to the center of the group
where the other speakers had taken their stand, and bore testimony to
the truths proclaimed at that meeting and to the truths of "Mormonism"
generally. The stranger whose identity was never learned, was a
forcible speaker and held the audience for a considerable length of
time although most of those present had been standing there nearly an
hour before he began to speak.

Missionaries have often been entertained and fed by strangers who
have befriended them. In nearly every community where missionaries
have taken up their labors they find those who will entertain them,
and who seem to take great pleasure in doing so. In cases where the
missionaries have been in need of means these friends have often been
led to supply them without any request for such assistance being made.
The following narrative written by Elder W. W. Cluff, and published in
the Improvement Era, describes an instance of this character:

"In the year 1866, Elders Joseph F. Smith, Franklin W. Young and myself
had been traveling as missionaries on the island of Hawaii laboring
about ten months in the Helo and Koohala Conferences, on the north and
east side of the island. A conference of all the Elders laboring in
that mission was called to meet on the island of Lanai. It required
five dollars each to pay our fare from our field of labor to the place
of conference. In starting from Helo and traveling by land to Upolu,
a distance of about one hundred and fifty miles, we would visit about
ten branches of the Church. At each of these we held meetings and
reminded the Saints that we were on our way to conference, and that we
required so much money to pay our passage across the channel to Lanai.
Money among the natives was scarce and difficult to get. When we left
Waipio, the last and largest branch on the way, we had only received
seventy-five cents in money and five or six goat-skins, worth twelve
and a half cents each. While it looked very discouraging, we had faith
that by doing all we could the Lord would open the way for us to attend
the conference with our brethren.

"On leaving Wimea, fifty miles from Upolu, where we would embark on
the vessel, the road forked, one going north and one going west. About
three miles west on the road, a family of Saints lived; with this
family we had left some of our books and clothes, and to go that way
would take us three miles out of our way. I being considered the best
walker, it was decided that I should go that way and the brethren
continue on the direct route.

"I had not proceeded more than a mile when I found a man's coat lying
in the middle of the road; picking it up I found a money purse in one
of the pockets, containing some papers and three five dollar gold
pieces. Being just the amount we needed and finding them as I did,
the first impression was that it was a Godsend. There being no one in
sight, I started across the country to intersect the brethren, thinking
I would bury the coat with all it contained except the money, in a
deep ravine, and cover it over with lava rock. I had not gone fifty
yards when another thought suggested itself, and I asked myself the
questions: Do you really think the finding of the coat was a Godsend?
Could it not be a temptation? It certainly belonged to some person to
whom the papers might be valuable. With these thoughts and reflections,
and that the Lord would not bestow a blessing at the expense of another
of His children, my conscience smote me, and, still seeing no one in
sight, I turned back to the road and proceeded to the house where our
things were left. Only the woman was at home; to her I related the
finding of the coat, and, taking out the pocket book, showed her the
money and papers which proved to be of great value to the owner, a
white man who lived about fifty miles east, and of whose hospitality we
had a number of times partaken. As a guard against the woman keeping
the money, I let her see me take a memorandum of the money and papers,
and also told her I would write to the owner. On overtaking the
brethren, I told them about finding the coat and the fifteen dollars we
needed to pay our passage, and asked them if they did not think it a
Godsend; they replied that it really looked like it.

"'I thought so, too, at first, but on second thought I feared it might
be a temptation, in our straitened circumstances,' I replied.

"On explaining what I did with the coat and contents, they expressed
great pleasure and satisfaction, approving heartily my actions. That
night we stopped with a white man by the name of Lincoln who had
married a native woman who was a member of our Church. We had stopped
there a number of times before. Mr. Lincoln had always made us welcome.

"The next morning we bade the family good-by, and started on our
journey, our host following us out of the house, saying: 'If you are
going to your conference, on Lanai, you will want money to pay your
fares, here is five dollars for each of you, if you will accept it.'
We did accept it with heartfelt thanks both to Mr. Lincoln and to our
Father in Heaven, believing He had put it into his heart to give us
just the amount of money we required. In proceeding on our way, we all
felt and acknowledged that this really was a Godsend, as Mr. Lincoln
and his family had never before given us money, and during our stay
this time not a word had been said about our needing money to pay our
passage to Lanai. We recognized that the Lord had really heard and
answered our prayers."



Besides the miraculous aid and protection frequently afforded them
in their labors, the missionaries abroad often have occasion to note
remarkable manifestations of the Lord's power and goodness towards

The signs that Christ promised should follow believers are as much in
evidence in these days as in former dispensations. The Latter-day Saint
Elders witness these signs from time to time among those who accept
their testimony and believe the Gospel. Often they are called upon to
administer the ordinance of anointing and laying on of hands upon the
sick and afflicted. As the result of such administrations they see some
wonderful manifestations of the power of God. A few such instances of
recent occurrence I shall here relate:

Some three years ago two Elders who were laboring in Warwick, England,
made the acquaintance of a lady who was so ill that she had been
confined to her bed for two years, and suffered great pain. They taught
her the Gospel, and told her that the miraculous signs which the Savior
said should follow the believers might be realized in her case if she
would exercise faith. She read the books they loaned her and believed
their words, and a day was appointed for them to come and administer to
her. They came upon the day appointed and the ordinance was attended
to. While their hands were upon her head, she afterwards testified, all
pain left her; and immediately after the conclusion of the ceremony she
was enabled to get up and walk. She retired to an adjoining room and
partook of refreshments. She was entirely healed from that time, and
was able to work and earn her own livelihood.

Elder Ephraim H. Nye, who at the time, June, 1899, was president of the
California Mission, gave the following account of a remarkable case of
healing which came under his observation:

"T. M. Shaw, of San Francisco was baptized a year ago last May. He was
a painter and was employed as such at the Mare Island Navy Yards, but
roomed at Vallejo.

"About ten days ago while at his work he suddenly fell to the ground
and was unable to rise. The post doctor was called and upon examination
found that he was stricken with paralysis; the whole right side being
affected. He was carried out and taken to his room in an ambulance. The
doctor proposed to give him some medicine but he positively refused to
take it, declaring that he would be all right as soon as he could send
for the Elders and have them come and lay hands on him. The doctor,
however, told him that he would never walk or have the use of his arm
or leg again, and in that condition he lay till the fourth day. In the
meantime his wife, Mrs. Shaw, wrote for me to come, but as I was away
the letter lay unopened, till she, becoming impatient, came to see why
we did not respond. On arriving here and making known the situation,
two of the Elders, F. B. Platt, president of the conference, and J. M.
Hess, went to Vallejo, arriving there about noon, and found Brother
Shaw in a pitiable condition. His right foot and leg, up to his knee,
were apparently as dead as though they were a part of a corpse; they
were cold and clammy, and so with the right hand and arm. He could not
move a finger or toe on that side. The Elders proceeded to administer
to him in the Lord's appointed way, anointing him with oil and laying
their hands upon him. After the prayer he at once began to open and
shut his hand, then raised it to his head. Mrs. Shaw as she saw him
do that, gave vent to an exclamation of surprise and delight. Elder
Hess asked him if he could now move his leg, at which he began to move
about; and calling for his clothes, dressed and walked about the house
and within an hour walked out and up quite a hill upon which the house

"During the morning before the Elders came, a kind-hearted neighbor
came in and while ministering to his comfort, pityingly remarked that
he would never walk again. He at once told her that if the Elders came
on that noon train, he would call at her house and see her during the
evening. She said, 'Never; it is impossible, you will never have the
use of that foot or hand again. 'Nevertheless, after climbing the hill
and returning, he declared his intention of visiting the lady. So,
accompanied by his wife, he walked to her house and knocked at the
door. The lady opened it, and on seeing him threw up her hands and
screamed with fright, while he, holding out the hand which had been
so cold and lifeless, but was now perfectly natural, offered to shake
hands with her and said, 'I told you I would come, and her I am;'
and seeing that he was there and his wife with him, the lady had to
acknowledge that a wonderful miracle had been performed."

Elder D. T. Edwards, a missionary who was laboring in Pennsylvania in
the early part of the year 1897, relates this instance of miraculous

"One little boy six years old had been sick with pains in his side
almost continually since his birth. His parents were told by the
doctors that he could live but a little longer, and he was also given
up by his parents. On being asked to administer to him, we performed
the holy ordinance. The pain left him, and he got up from bed soon
after. This was done nearly four months ago, and the longest he was out
of bed before, since his birth, has been five weeks. He is now well and
hearty, and looks better than he has done in his life before."

Many such occurrences as those mentioned above, and some even more
remarkable, might be related. Of course such cases of healing are not
witnessed only by missionaries abroad, they are of frequent occurrence,
among the Saints here at home. But to the missionaries who at times
meet with discouragements, they are a source of comfort and joy, as are
all the exhibitions of the Lord's goodness which they experience.



Missionaries often go to their fields of labor with a faith and
determination that their efforts shall not be in vain. They believe
implicitly in the promises made to them by the inspired servants of the
Lord who set them apart and bless them before going abroad.

A little incident occurred a few years ago which illustrates the
trusting faith possessed by some missionaries. A man called at one of
the conference houses in Great Britain to inquire if any of the inmates
had any old clothing they wished to dispose of. One of the Elders
brought out an old pair of trousers for which he considered he had no
further use. He was offered a shilling for the pair and was about to
accept the offer when a newly arrived Elder exclaimed, "Let me have the
trousers; I will give you a shilling for them." It made no difference
to the owner who got them, so he sold them to the last bidder.

"They will do to wear while baptizing people," the purchaser remarked,
and his companions smiled at the assurance he had that the investment
was a profitable one.

As time rolled by, the Elder found occasion to make use of the trousers
quite frequently, for during his missionary career he baptized between
forty and fifty persons.

The following letter, written by Elder Albert Matheson a few years ago,
while laboring as a missionary in the Southern States, is interesting
as it shows the fulfillment of a prediction made to one of his

"The mission of Elder Dotson has been of special interest and
satisfaction to him. Some years ago, while nearly all of his relatives
were not in sympathy with our faith, he received a patriarchal
blessing, in which was a promise that he, if faithful, would have the
privilege of bringing many of his kindred into the Church. When this
promise was made the Elder could see no possibility of its realization,
as his relatives were far removed from him both by distance and
doctrine. Time passed on and he reached the age generally considered
too far advanced for missionary labors in the South; but at last he
received a letter from the Presidency of the Church extending to him
an invitation to take a mission to the Southern States. But this did
not clear away all difficulties. After his arrival at Chattanooga
there were about ten chances to one that he would get in a conference
in which his relatives did not reside. True Brother Dotson might have
suggested that he work in a locality near his kinsfolk, but he had no
idea that such a right belonged to him. It was his belief that the
servants of God appointed for that purpose were perfectly competent
to discharge their duty. This belief was strengthened in him when
he received an appointment to labor in the neighborhood where his
relatives resided. Not all the barriers were yet removed from his path,
however. His relatives were not at all eager to join themselves to his
faith. It was not until after he had worked diligently among them that
he saw prospects of the fulfillment of the patriarch's promise; and
just at this time threats of violence against the 'Mormons' in that
neighborhood gave occasion for the Elder to seek quarters less hostile
to truth-tellers. After a little the threatened violence subsided. He
then went back and soon baptized eleven of his relatives, among whom
was his aged father."

An Elder who was lately in the mission field
relates that he had often thought while at home that he would like
to perform a mission abroad; but having no education--not being able
to read or write--he feared he would never have the privilege. An
opportunity at last came for him to go, yet he still lacked education.
While in a meeting about this time the inward promptings of the Spirit
made known to him that if he would go the Lord would be with him; that
he would be enabled to learn to read and write, and that he should fill
a useful mission. He relied upon the promise received and went forth
in obedience to the call made of him. Although past the prime of life,
he readily acquired the arts of reading and writing. As a missionary
he soon became very successful. By his humble efforts he was the means
of bringing a number of souls to a knowledge of the truth, and within
a short space of time he and his missionary companion baptized some
nineteen people.

It is frequently remarked by those who speak from experience that a man
loses nothing financially by spending a few years in the mission field;
and that a mission gives one experience that is of inestimable value to
him--an experience that he cannot get in any other way. The truth of
these statements is repeatedly verified. A young man who returned from
a mission some time ago made the remark recently that since his return
he had been so prospered in his business that he had earned as much
during the two or three years since his return as he would have done
had he remained at home with steady employment such as he was engaged
in previous to going upon his mission.

Some years ago when work was plentiful and wages were high, a young man
of Salt Lake City was called to take a mission. Some of his friends,
and even members of the family to which he belonged, protested against
his going. They thought the opportunity to make money was too good to
pass by. One brother of the young man encouraged him to go upon the
mission assigned him, and remarked to those who did not favor it, that
if he went he would be prospered upon his return and within a few years
would be better fixed financially than his friends who remained at home
taking advantage of the good times for making money. The young man
fulfilled the mission assigned him, and was away for some three or four
years. Upon his return he went to a new part of the country to make his
home, without any resources except his ability to labor with his hands.
Only a few years passed before the prediction made by his brother was
fulfilled. He had been greatly prospered in his temporal affairs,
and was better off than his friends who objected to his going upon a

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