Monday, April 29, 2013

...the voice said "Leave," and our lives were spared - Elder Cullimore Part 6

A continuation of Elder Cullimore's mission Recollections...

Another incident that I remember well was the time that we went back to a town where we had been very well accepted at one time. We had a little trouble in finding a place to stay; however, a family said we could stay at their place if we could find a place to hold our meetings.

We went to the school trustee and arranged to hold our meetings in the building that was used for a church and school house.  We went back to the place we were going to stay to clean up a little and changed, and I sensed the feeling was different.  We went to the meeting place.  It was the custom for each person to bring an oil lamp with them, as there was no other way of lighting the place.  No one came but the preacher, and a blind woman led by a little boy.  We knew something was wrong, but we decided to go ahead with the services.  We put our books on a stand, and our cases and umbrellas on the platform.  There was a weed stove in the middle of the room, so we decided to put the lamp on it and hold the meeting there.

It was a long narrow building with three windows on each side and double doors in the front of the building.  There was a mob gathered around, and at a signal they began to throw rocks through the windows and doors.  I have never seen so many rocks being thrown.  They broke the benches, there was not a pane of glass left in the windows.  The sashes of the windows were even broken.  The preacher and the blind woman were pleading with the mob to let them out, but they replied that they were just as bad as we were or they wouldn't be there.

I was wondering what to do when a voice spoke to me, as plain as I am speaking to you now, and said but one word, "Leave."  I told my companion to follow me.  We ran out through the front of the building without the mob even seeing us.  We ran down the road through the trees until we came to the crossroads.  There was a big oak tree there; we hid behind the tree.  It was not long until the mob discovered we had left.  The strange thing was, however, we got out without them seeing us; but the voice said "Leave," and our lives were spared.

The mob took after us; and, as they came to the crossroads, they had a conference to decide which way to go.  It was decided that part would go one way, and the balance the other way.  Each took ropes and said they would hang one up and fill him with lead and let him down, and then string the other one up and do the same thing to him.  Here we were just a few feet away while all the plans were being made.

We went back to the building to get our belongings, but there were several of the mob still around the building; so we went back to the tree and stayed until after midnight.  We then went to Smithville, County Seat of Hickman County. [Smithville is the seat of DeKalb County]  We went to the proprietor of the hotel, got him up, and told him our story.  He furnished us with a bed.  I told my companion to stay in the room while I went back to the meeting house to get our belongings.  I went back and was successful in getting them.  When I went back to the meeting place, I found it would take three or four wheelbarrows to haul all the rocks out of the building which they had thrown at us.  When I got back to the hotel, Elder Larsen was on the corner telling the people of the incidents of the night before.  The Lord had again protected his elders.


Ardis said...

Did you ever notice how the simplest,most straightforward narratives with the least effort to make them impressive, are the most powerful? Elder Cullimore's narrative is a great example of that.

When I read accounts of missionaries whose meetings are disrupted this way, I wonder what in the world the people were thinking. This as *their* school/meeting house. *They're* the ones who had to repair the broken window sashes and the smashed glass, not the missionaries. What were they thinking?

BruceAllen said...

I think you are right. When we imagine divine intervention, it is usually a grand display of power. But examples from history are generally more subtle.

So true. What were they thinking?