Monday, March 2, 2015

Tracts and Pamphlets 1943

[This unattributed, undocumented story comes from East Tennessee. Sadly there were no names, no places, no dates. (other than 1943) and so we are left with a feel good tale that may or may not have really happened. -bcrow]

Circumstances leading to the baptism of our people are always interesting in that they reveal the hand of the Lord toward His people. This is graphically portrayed in the following story.

A few years ago, a family of Saints moved from their farms by the T. V. A.'s extensive system in East Tennessee, settled in an area where the Church was not too widely known. Visits from the missionaries were infrequent due to the remoteness of the area. Realizing this, the family kept on hand tracts and pamphlets and the various publications of the Church. While they were building their home and clearing the land, they rented a house that was to play a very important part in the life of the community.

Upon completion of their home, the members left the rented house and in it quite intentionally, a number of tracts and pamphlets.

Later the farm and home was sold to a school teacher. The new family, finding the literature, read it with more than casual interest; for they were affiliated with none of the religious sects. Being impartial, they realized the truth of the things read.

They recognized the need of baptism; but who had the authority was the question in their minds. They at one time, decided to let a certain elderly gentleman, a morally righteous man, perform the ceremony, and were about to approach him on the subject when his life was taken during an electrical storm.

The family continued to receive information from the family of Saints and in due time read the Book of Mormon and accepted it as the truth.

Word reached the family of Saints that the Elders were coming to hold a weeks meeting with them. The word, was spread through the community and the investigating family was present at all of the meetings. It was the first time they had lieard the Gospel nrpiched as restored in the latter day and they asked for baptism. Using the words of the father of the family, we realize a little more fully the meaning the Gospel should hold for us all, "We have waited twenty-five years for this "

Now a flourishing Home Sunday School of thirty members meets each Sunday where many other non-members are also investigating. Plans for a chapel are also being discussed.

Monday, February 23, 2015

An Old Mission Home in Chattanooga

In 1894, when J. Golden Kimball was president of the Southern States Mission, this home was used as the mission headquarters. Kimball described the home this way....

"The headquarters are at Chattanooga, at a private residence on East Terrace, one of the fashionable streets of this beautiful city."

Kimball doesn't give any hint as to the identities of the people in the photo.

East Terrace does not exist in Chattanooga today. The neighborhood around it had fallen into hard times and suffered from what we would today call urban blight. Plus the roads were not automobile friendly. It was bulldozed out of existence in the early 1960's as part of the West Side Urban Renewal project. (See the Chattanoogan 2006  article on East Terrace here.) Today the site is host to exclusively modern buildings.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Returned Missionary Announcement - 1882

Here's a little tidbit about the persecution at Cane Creek before the Massacre. Although the names of the persecutors are not the same as the ones involved two years later, the one friend was a person who name would come up many times in the future. You can almost see the pattern of events to come.

Returned Missionary.- This morning we received a call from Elder Joshua Taylor of [Salt Lake City] who returned, on Wednesday, from a mission in Tennessee. “He Left Utah in May 1881, and labored the first two months in Shady Grove [Hickman county], and was afterwards appointed to take charge of the Cane Creek district [Lewis County], where there is a thriving branch of the Church. There was in that part a very active opposition. Some time since a mob of seventeen men, led by Witts Skelton and two sons, broke up the meeting, and threatened the lives of the Elders. For this conduct seven of the mobbers, including the three Skeltons, are under bonds to appear to answer a charge of disturbing a public worshipping assemblage. The same party set fire to and destroyed the stand and benches which were in a grove used by the saints. Brother Taylor spoke highly of the hospitality of the Southern people, and mentions Mr. I. T. Garrett of Cane Creek in particular, who was very kind to the Elders." (Deseret News, May 10,1882.)