Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Dog Obeys Its True Master

In 1974, Rex D. Pinegar shared this story in the July issue of the New Era. Elder Pinegar's grandfather lived near Smithville, DeKalb County, Tennessee. On May 14, 1895, Elder Pinegar's grandparents, Harvey and Josie Pinegar, were baptized.

Four years after Grandfather joined the Church, my father, then a young lad eight years old, accompanied his family and the members of two other families to a baptismal service. Grandfather was to baptize his young daughter and the daughters of a neighboring family on that cold December 3, 1899. As they traveled toward the stream at Reynold’s Mill, they were approached by three men on horseback. When the men asked where they were going, Grandfather explained their intentions. The leader threatened to bring a mob upon them if they carried out the baptismal service. Grandfather informed him that he and the 20 people with him would complete their errand regardless of what the man and his associates did. Grandfather and his party continued their journey to Reynold’s Mill.

Arriving at the mill they located a secluded spot for the baptism. The hill above the river was covered with trees, scrub oak, and ivy. My father, young John, was perched on a fallen tree that stretched out across a sandbar into the slow-moving stream. Here he could observe every detailof this sacred ordinance. Grandfather waded out into the stream to find the right depth and then returned to the riverbank for prayer. In the quiet of the prayer John heard the sound of a cracking limb. Opening his eyes and glancing quickly up the hill through the trees he saw the men who had stopped them earlier. They had arrived with a mob to carry out their threat. One of them was by a pile of rocks and was ready to pelt the baptismal participants. Suddenly all eyes were opened as a big redbone hound owned by the leader of the mob bounded down to within a few feet of my father. Young John looked fearfully at the hound as it growled menacingly. These men and their associates were determined to stop the baptisms from being performed. My Grandfather Pinegar courageously proceeded with the services.

Convinced now that these Mormon families were unafraid of his threat, the mob leader commanded his dog to attack Grandfather Pinegar. At this moment an amazing thing happened. The dog let out a low growl and his hair bristled like that on an angry hog’s back. Suddenly it bared its teeth and turned on its master, leaping at his throat and knocking him to the ground. The rest of the mob fled in fear when they saw the dog turn on its owner. As soon as the astonished leader could free himself from his dog, he left in hurried pursuit of his associates, with the dog yelping close at his heels.

A miracle had occurred! The Pinegar family and their neighbors thanked the Lord for their deliverance, and the baptismal service continued without further interruption.

That evening the families returned to Grandfather’s home. After darkness had fallen upon the mountain cabin, the troublemakers returned and again threatened to mob my grandfather and his Mormon friends. As they taunted him from the gate, Grandfather commanded them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to leave. The mob departed and did not return.
In around 1901 Harvey and Josie Pinegar left Tennessee and took their family to Carbon County Utah.

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