05/30/1847 - Crockett
Date: May 30, 1847
On the North Platte River, Nebraska:
This was a special day of fasting and prayer in the pioneer camp. Luke Johnson described the early morning: "Pleasant and warm, great alteration in the camp, all was quiet, no cooking going on, no breakfast getting ready, no hard words." Wilford Woodruff spent the early morning reading in the Book of Mormon and pouring out his soul to the Lord in prayer. "His Spirit descended upon me & I was blessed."
A prayer meeting was held in the morning at 8 a.m. south of camp, under the direction of Tarlton Lewis. The meeting was opened by singing, "The Spirit of God like a fire is burning." Many of the brethren expressed their feelings and confessed their sins to each other. Appleton Harmon said the meeting was "truly interesting. The brethren all spoke confessing their faults and feeling a determination to profit by the reproof that was received yesterday." Lorenzo Young recorded that his mind "was weighed down and it was a day I shall long remember."
At 11 a.m., a sacrament meeting was held. It was cut short because rain started to fall. Thomas Bullock noted: "The rain commencing as soon as the cup had been passed round." William Clayton observed: "I never noticed the brethren so still and sober on a Sunday since we started as today. There is no jesting nor laughing, nor nonsense. All appear to be sober and feel to remember their covenant which makes things look far more pleasant than they have done heretofore."
In the afternoon, the Twelve and others went upon the bluffs to offer up prayers to the Lord, dressed in temple robes. [Those who participated were: Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, Orson Pratt, George A. Smith, Wilford Woodruff, Amasa Lyman, Ezra T. Benson, Phinehas H. Young, John Pack, Charles Shumway, Shadrach Roundy, Albert P. Rockwood, Erastus Snow, and William Clayton.] Albert Carrington and Porter Rockwell also went along to stand guard. Erastus Snow wrote: "We presented ourselves before the Lord in a prayer circle, and felt our spirits greatly refreshed by the manifestation of his blessings upon us." William Clayton recorded that they "offered up prayer to God for ourselves, this camp and all pertaining to it, the brethren in the army, our families and all the Saints." Afterwards, they returned to their wagons and closed their fast by partaking of some refreshments.
Thomas Bullock was very disappointed that he was not notified of this prayer circle meeting which he should have attended. "I have bee deprived of one of my greatest & sacred privileges. O my God look down upon my tears & suffering & have mercy on me."
At 6 p.m., the Twelve and others climbed the highest bluff and viewed the surroundings as the sun set. "Chimney-rock was still visible down the river, and the towering heights of the long range of the Black Hills above us. To the north and northeast of us, the country was little else than sand hills, as far as the eye could see. After gratifying our eyes, the president proposed prayers upon this, the highest ground we have stood upon. After bowing before the Lord upon these heights, we descended, and returned to camp at dark, weary in body, and retired to rest, satisfied with the proceedings of the day."
Winter Quarters, Nebraska:
In the morning, Orson Hyde visited with the Richards family. He told Mary Richards about her husband Samuel's sickness of smallpox in England. He assured her that he had received word that he was doing much better. Phinehas Richards asked Elder Hyde if his sons, Franklin and Samuel were competent in their service as missionaries. Elder Hyde replied that they were doing far better than ever expected. They were respected and loved by the Saints. He considered them the most competent of any of the missionaries in Europe.
A meeting was held. Parley P. Pratt and Orson Hyde spoke to the congregation on morals. Elder Pratt condemned the guard for admitting the Omaha chiefs into Winter Quarters against counsel. Elder Hyde talk included: "Brethren, the question is often asked when shall we rest from our labors. I will tell you it will be with you as with a laboring man, who comes home at night weary and tired and lays down upon his bed to sleep. He rests from the labors of the day, awakes in the morn refreshed but can scarcely realize that the night is gone. So will you lay down in the grave and rest from all your labors and awake in the morn of the resurrection refreshed and full of vigor, and the time that you will sleep will appear to you as the sleep of night to the weary man."
In the evening, the High Council met at Isaac Morley's shop to hear a case against John Richards who refused to give up some public pistols. John D. Lee crossed over the Missouri River into Iowa and traveled to Mosquito Creek.
Company B, Mormon Battalion, at San Diego, California:
Mail arrived with news from San Francisco that Samuel Brannan had headed east to meet the pioneer company. They also learned that the Saints who arrived on the Brooklyn had planted 145 acres of wheat, corn, and potatoes.
Source: 150 Years Ago Today ©These materials have been created by David R. Crockett. Copies of these materials may be reproduced for teacher and classroom use. When distributing these materials, credit must be given to David R. Crockett. These materials may not be published, in whole or part, or in any other format, without the written permission of Mr. Crockett, Tucson Az, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Diary of Howard Egan, Pioneering the West, 61
- Appleton Milo Harmon Goes West, 26
- Luke S. Johnson Journal, typescript, BYU, 10
- Erastus Snow Journal Excerpts, Improvement Era 15:54
- Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:190-91
- William Clayton's Journal, 202-04
- Bagley, ed., The Pioneer Camp of the Saints, 171-72
- Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:258
- Ward, ed., Winter Quarters, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 145
- Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 1846-1847 and 1859, 172-73
- Journal Extracts of Henry W. Bigler, Utah Historical Quarterly, 5:61