Monday, November 16, 2009

David W. Patten's first mission to Tennessee

David Wyman Patten and Warren Parrish, were probably the first two missionaries to preach the restored gospel in Tennessee. Elder Patten described the historic events.

I started in company with brother Warren Parish to go into the world to preach the Gospel, travelled through Upper Missouri, preaching by the way. At La Grange I took steamboat for St. Louis, and from thence by steamboat to the mouth of the Ohio, where we landed October 2nd [1834], and proceeded to Paris, in Tennessee; where we tarried about three months, preaching the Gospel in that vicinity and the region round about, we baptized twenty, during which time several instances of the healing power of God were made manifest, one of which I will mention, which was wrought upon the wife of Mr. Johnston F. Lane, who had been sick for eight years, and for the last year had been unable to walk, she hearing of us, and the faith we preached, prevailed on her husband to send for us: I went with him immediately and taught them the Gospel, showing what power was exercised by the Lord upon those who had faith; she believed with all her heart all the words which I spake unto her; and I laid my hands upon her and said, "In the name of Jesus Christ I rebuke this disorder, and command it to depart." I took her by the hand, and commanded her to arise in the name of Jesus Christ, and be made whole; and she arose, and was made whole every whit. I then commanded her to go to the water and be baptized; she walked down straightway the same hour, and was baptized. After I had baptized and confirmed her I told her she should amend and gain strength, and in less than one year she should have a son (she had been married some twelve years, and had no children,) which came to pass according to my words, and the parents called the child David Patten; she afterwards bore several children.
This and many other events contributed to Elder Patten's reputation as a healer in the South. His first mission lasted only 3 months. It would not be his last mission to Tennessee.

[Try as I might, I could not find any other records of Johnston Lane, his wife, or the son they named after Elder Patten].


J. Stapley said...

I think it is important to note that this excerpt was taken from Patten's history, which was written by Church historians around 1857. While much of that history was based on his diary, his diary only included material up to 1833. Writing in the voice of one's subject isn't peculiar for the period, but I think it is an important qualifier.

BruceCrow said...

Thanks for the insight. I wasn't aware of the provenence. That would explain why the material was similar to his letters sent to the "Messanger and Advocate". The writers probably used those too. I debated between the two sources, and decided on this one because it was so much clearer. I should be suspect of that.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. I love that after she was healed, Elder Patten immediately "commanded her to go to the water and be baptized." There's something so wonderful about that image.