Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Jesse N Smith History

                                                       OUR  PIONEER  HERITAGE 

           In the fall of 1847 a group of Mormon pioneers entered the Wasatch Mountains near the Great Salt Lake. I, Jesse Nathaniel Smith, was a member of this company, twelve years old at the time of our arrival. Upon approaching the panorama of the Great Salt Lake, we gave gratitude to the Lord for having reached the Promised Valley.   

        I journeyed across the plains with my widowed Mother and older brother, Silas. My father and younger brother had died the year before from persecution and exposure, as suffered by the Saints. We traveled with my Uncle John Smith’s company. I was given the responsibility of teamster, a large undertaking for one so young. Our arrival in the Valley marked the end of a thousand mile trek by ox team and covered wagon. During the long journey I witnessed great examples of faith, courage and endurance, displayed by this sturdy band of pioneers who braved the desert wastes and Indian persecutions in that historic trek from Nauvoo, Illinois, to the Rocky Mountains. Certainly, this unceasing faith in God enabled these noble souls to complete this march under most unusual circumstances.   

I was born on December 2, 1834, at Stockholm, New York, to humble, upright parents, Silas and Mary Aikens Smith. My father was an uncle to the Prophet Joseph Smith. Because of my parents’ conversion to the Gospel, we did not remain long in the place of my birth.   

I spent years of my young life in Nauvoo. It was my privilege and blessing to know the Prophet and hear his glorious testimony. At the age of eight, I sat on his knee and received a Book of Mormon from him with an inscription in it. This I ever cherished.    

I was scarcely ten years of age when the Prophet and his brother, Hyrum, were martyred in Carthage. A vivid remembrance of this tragedy remained with me throughout my life. I could never forget the feeling of sorrow as I viewed the bodies of these great men of God, united in death as they had always been in life.            
Shortly after reaching the Valley, I witnessed the miracle of the gulls and the Providence of the Lord in sending the gulls from the lake to devour crop-destroying crickets, thus saving all from starvation.

In June, 1851, my brother and I and our families were sent by President Brigham Young to establish a home in Parowan, Iron County, and to help in settlement development. While living there I enjoyed taking part in civic affairs and politics, serving as County Clerk and Mayor, and in the Territorial Legislature. 

In 1859 I was called to the Scandinavian Mission. Reluctantly, I left my two young families, yet knowing that it was the Lord’s will, I was obedient to his call. After returning for a few years, I was called again, this time to serve as President of the Danish Mission. Hundreds of converts were desirous of immigrating to Zion. A company in which I was in charge, over one thousand souls came.     

In 1879, having been called by President John Taylor to serve as President of the Eastern Arizona Stake of Zion, I began a new journey to Snowflake, Arizona. My third wife, Janet, and five daughters accompanied me on this first trip to Snowflake. Though many hardships were endured, we prevailed to establish our home there. Later, other family members joined us. After the Eastern Arizona Stake was divided, I was called to serve as President of the Snowflake Stake, which calling lasted over thirty years.           

With a strong belief in the principle and divinity of plural marriage, revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith, I obediently chose five wives. These devoted wives, Emma, Margaret, Janet, Augusta and Emma Larson, and forty-four children, gave me great joy and strength. I have devoted my life to the up building of the Lord’s Kingdom, with a desire to be a blessing to my family and my fellowmen, thereby, bringing honor and glory to my Heavenly Father

No comments:

Post a Comment