Monday, February 10, 2014

Moses W Taylor the Mormon Giant

The following excerpt was taken from a discourse given by Moses W. Taylor. He served from June 1890 to May 1892. This was probably Bethel in Anderson County, since it was the only town named Bethel in East Tennessee where he was assigned. He also servd as Mission Clerk. At the time of the discourse he was the President of the Summit Stake.

... Another time, when I was down in Tennessee, we had been through the country and made appointments for meetings. A man by the name of Turner had given us the privilege of preaching in the church at Bethel, at 11 a. m. The night before we had stayed a mile or two from the meeting house, and desired to get to the church at 9 o'clock for Sunday-school, but when we started out, and were going through the woods in the morning, it seemed to me as 'if I heard a voice saying, "Don't go to that Sunday school," and I stopped. My partner had stopped and said to me, "Brother, Taylor, the strongest impression that has ever come over me in my life has come to me that we must not go to that Sunday-school." So we agreed that we would stay there. We stayed in the woods, and about the time for meeting, went down to the meeting house, and found all the shutters closed. There wasn't any Sunday-school. There had been none held, and we wondered what was the matter, but when we went to go, a man rushed up and said, "Do you know, when Squire Turner was entering the meeting house this morning, Squire Hawkins struck him in the face and knocked him to the ground because he had allowed you the use of the church, and Squire Turner and his friends, about thirty in number, and Hawkins and his friends, about thirty thirty in number, all had a free fight. Now," he said, "You men had better get right out of here just as quickly as you can, because Squire Hawkins' men are gathered at his house, and if they come here you will be killed." I thought, "Well, it will be a mighty good thing to get out." My companion, who was a little bit of a man, rose up in his dignity, and he said, "No siree, we are out here to preach the gospel, and we are going to preach it to you folks, right here under the trees, and if you will stay here, we will talk to you." I thought, "Well, now, we are in for it," but I got up along side of him just as bravely as I knew how. We got our hymn books and opened them up, and were just going to sing when a young lady came rushing through the trees and said, "Gentlemen, I am a daughter of Squire Turner. He is the man that gave you the privilege of the church, and he is your friend. Now, he is so enraged and so insulted with the fact that he has been struck, that he is gathering his friends, and just the minute you start to sing and commence meeting, they will start out and hunt up the other crowd and some will be killed." My companion said, "We are not here to get our friends into trouble, and we will go away." We started to walk down the road ; and the same man came up and said, "Don't go that way, that is where Squire Hawkins lives. Go out this way." But my companion said, "We know somebody down here, where we can get a dinner, so that is where we are going," and we walked on. We came to a large mansion, and on the lawn there were about forty men. Instead of going on the other side of the street, we kept on that side, and, wanting to be polite, I walked up to the fence and said, "Good morning, gentlemen; this is a beautiful day." Not one spoke back to me, but looked around on the lawn like they were hunting for four leaf clovers, and I said to my companion, "If they don't speak to us, we have done our part," and we walked along. The next day we were passing by a hedge nearly as high as this wall [Temple Block], and we heard two men talking. One of them was saying to the other, "Have you read the paper this morning? Well, there is a Mormon giant come into our community, and his name is Taylor. He challenged forty men to fight him yesterday, and they were all afraid of him." Now, I believe, you know, that the Lord sometimes "magnifies us in the eyes of the people." (Liahona 9:449-450) ....

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