The Vision of S.M. Farnsworth (1844) From Ogden Kraut
The Vision of S. M. Farnsworth - A Second Source
Nauvoo – 1844
I was engaged in working on the temple (at Nauvoo), and had gone home to dinner, and after dinner I started back to work, it then being about one o’clock. The day was a beautiful, clear and pleasant one, when suddenly the heavens became overcast and assumed the appearance of a drizzly day, like unto the approach of an equinoctial storm.
The Saints looked very much downcast and overcome with sorrow. The Twelve Apostles were counseling the Saints to prepare for a great journey to the west. The people were running to and fro in the streets of Nauvoo, preparing wagons, outfits, etc., for this journey. Many hundreds started, and their wagons extended to the west as far as the eye could reach. This journey appeared to be a great undertaking, but was accomplished much easier than was expected. I saw the Saints after they had arrived at the end of their journey, and they began to prosper and were cheerful again.
Suddenly, a dark cloud appeared in the east and was driven to the west like a great tornado that seemed as if it would destroy everything before it. It halted when it came to the mountains and one of the brethren remarked, “It is going to break away.” And as we looked at it, it broke up and began to scatter and go around the mountains. Then the sky began to grow dark and misty and haze over from the four points of the compass, gathering up like the approach of a big storm, which continued until everything was enveloped in extreme darkness; and it continued to grow blacker and blacker, until it appeared to me that all our enemies were against us; the elements were against us; God and His Prophet had forsaken us, and there was no ray of hope, or light, to give us comfort, but it seemed as though we would all be utterly destroyed.
All at once, President Brigham Young unexpectedly came into the midst of the Saints, and said, “Brethren, stand still, and see the salvation of God”, and tried to comfort and cheer the Saints, but his words had no effect on the people. He then turned around in haste, and had the Church in a body encircled by three strong bands,
(I saw no women or children in this circle) which he commenced driving with a Masonic mallet, followed by the Twelve Apostles. Each tap of the mallet drew the hoops tighter and tighter. This was the first time that I noticed the absence of Brothers Joseph and Hyrum, and I felt much troubled and weighed down in consequence of their absence.
Brother Brigham and the Twelve continued driving the hoops, their countenances being very resolute and determined, showing no signs of mercy. I thought to myself, the brethren could not stand it, when suddenly, the hoops burst asunder, and about two-thirds of the men scattered and ran away. I looked up and saw an opening in the clouds above, and also the heads of four or five heavenly personages above the clouds, looking down through their aperture upon us. I cast my eyes around and saw Brother Brigham smiling, and then knew that our troubles were over.
Those heavenly personages came down in the midst of those who remained, and blessed them with all that their hearts could desire and life was a pleasure. When the clouds burst asunder, they turned with a ten-fold vengeance upon the heads of our enemies, and I noticed that those of our brethren that ran away, were of that class that were complaining, rebellious and had not lived up to their privileges.
I felt in my heart, that the Lord ought not to put us to such a severe trial, when one of the angels came to me and said that “it was actually necessary to bring the Church through as close a place as that, in order to sift out those that were among you that were unworthy of the blessings you now enjoy.” I also saw that Brother Brigham had a large table spread with all the luxuries of life, and as starvation seemed to stare us in the face, I thought this trial was a good scarecrow, as no person was hurt, being only frightened enough to make them run away. Language cannot describe how happy and contented we all were; being of one heart and one mind, we enjoyed every blessing we desired.
Soon Brother Brigham jumped up and clapped his hands and cried out, “Now boys, for
,” and we were all on the move in a short time. The next scene I remember, I was within a short distance of Jackson County, arm in arm with one of the brethren walking directly south, being on the west side of the street or road. We saw an old mobocrat walking toward us, looking the very picture of despair. When he got opposite us, he raised his head and as our eyes caught his, he screeched aloud, withered and passed away, as a thing of naught. The vision closed, and I found myself standing in the street, where I was when it commenced. Jackson County
Ogden Kraut “Visions of the Latter Days” #85-87)