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APPENDIX A. (See page 182.)


That night my mother-in-law had returned from Toronto, having been there visiting Bro. Luff and family. On her coming into the house she was made acquainted with the fact that her husband, Bro. Parker, had joined what we then called the Mormons, in her absence. She was exceedingly surprised and felt very badly to think that her husband should do such a thing, especially at such an age, for in her mind there was nothing attached to Mormonism except polygamy and its kindred evils.

The evening was spent in a somewhat excited manner, discussing the past and the present, and the possibilities of the future, as it then appeared to us. She declaimed so strongly against her husband's joining the church, because, as she said, he was then too old and their family was grown up, and in her mind she could see no reason whatever for his leaving the Methodist for the Mormon church. The evening passed away until quite late, when we were notified by a rap on the window and a call from Bro. Depper to go and attend a baptism that was then going to be performed. I felt a relief from the disagreeable conversation of the evening, and immediately decided to go and see the baptism. On reaching the street I found that the Saints and their friends had gone on while Bro. Depper was waiting for me to come. We together followed on, it being too dark to see we were only guided by the voices and the sounds before us. Bro. Depper commenced to talk to me about the principles of the gospel, including the signs following, the gift of the Holy Ghost, the laying on of hands and all the other doctrines and teachings peculiar to the Latter Day Saints.

Having reached the river side at a place where they had done baptizing before, near to a railroad bridge, Bro. Depper advised Bro. Cornish and the rest of the Saints of its being dangerous to baptize there, under the conditions that the river was then in, there having been a rise of water and large pieces of floating ice made it very dangerous. Upon his advice they decided to go about two blocks further east to a ford. While going there, Bro. Depper still urging the differences between his present faith and ours when we both belonged to the Methodist Church, I felt inclined to pay but little attention to what he said, except to make light and joke with him regarding the matter; for this I have been called the persecutor of the occasion, but on arriving at the ford the Saints and the candidates with myself, stood close to the water's edge on the shingled bed of the river and close to the bank on which the outsiders stood.

It being very dark we could distinguish no faces and knew only by the sound of the voices who were present. Being acquainted with but two or

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three of them, I stood off to one side with Bro. Depper, still holding my arm.

When all was reasonably ready Bro. Cornish announced the hymn "Lo! on the water's brink we stand." I listened to the singing of that hymn and was quite agreeably interested in the sentiment it expressed. It seemed so well suited to the situation and the purpose it was supposed these candidates had in mind. After the singing, Bro. Cornish led in prayer, and so earnest and evidently dictated by the Spirit was his petition, that I was led in my own mind to confess that these people were truly in earnest, and my first favorable impression was received as the result of the singing and prayer.

Immediately upon its close, Bro. Cornish obtaining a covenant of the candidates went off into the river to find a suitable place for baptizing, and returned to the water's edge asking who was ready, or who would go first. He was answered by a movement of one of the candidates, who proved to be Sr. Lively, and so earnest and so readily did she seem to go that I was very agreeably surprised at her manner. Almost as soon as they entered the water I distinctly heard as it were in the distance the noise of a zephyr or light breeze in what appeared to be some distant trees, and before I could realize it, this breeze or noise seemed to be approaching very close, and expecting it to be felt upon my face I was surprised that what appeared to be an approaching wind was really a light shining suddenly all around us. My first thought was it was some fraudulent production on the part of some of the bystanders, and as a number of them were at my back upon the bank, I instinctively turned to see how and who were producing this light. Imagine my surprise when on looking I found that these people instead of standing as I had expected to see them, were rapidly falling to the ground. I watched them until every one was in a prostrate posture, and the cries that arose from them were various, but all indicating a spirit of awe and penitence. I noticed distinctly that they were not only on their knees, but most of them were bowed, notwithstanding the wetness and disagreeable condition of the place where they were, with their faces to the ground and were crying for forgiveness and clemency on the Lord. Being very soon satisfied that the light was not produced by these parties, I returned to my normal position, with my face towards the river in full view of Bro. Cornish and the candidate out in the stream. In coming to this position my eyes had passed over the Saints and those who were standing by the water's edge and to my right, and nearly all were upon their knees. Many were returning thanks for what appeared to them to be the favorable recognition of his people on the part of the Lord. I distinctly remember that Bro. Depper, who had been standing at my left, had fallen upon his knees at my side with his face turned upward, and his hands raised appealingly. I remember his words, "I thank thee, O Lord, for acknowledging thy people," while his face shone with an apparently heavenly luster.

About this time I was made to feel that the power of God was present

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and it was truly a manifestation of his love toward this people. My mind by this time had become quieted, and immediately I heard a voice more distinct, I think, than any voice I have ever heard, and so impressive that should I live for ever the memory of the words spoken will never pass away, and these are the words that were spoken to me: "These are my people and you must not laugh at them." So completely did this announcement suit my then feelings and condition that it seemed the voice was meant for me, if not for any others. Yet at this time I thought, in fact had no reason to think otherwise, that all present had heard what was said.

My impressions of the light were such that I have not the power to describe them. The nearest I can say is that it more than filled all the expectations and fancies that my childish and maturer mind had expected would be found in heaven; for I had frequently thought upon reading in God's word that there would be "no need of the sun, but the glory of the Lord would be the light thereof," that some mysterious yet beautiful substitute would be found for the light of the sun; but this light, as manifested at that time, seemed to exceed all such anticipations. One feature I noticed in particular was that unlike any other ordinary or natural light, it was not light in the center and dimmer in the distance, but it seemed like some glorious and beautiful substance almost tangible to the touch as well as to the sight, having this distinct peculiarity, that at its outer edge it was just as strong as at the focus or center, and it seemed to be separated from the darkness which formed an apparent wall around this shaft of light. It was circular in form, one hundred feet or more in diameter, included all present within its area, lasted until Bro. Cornish and the sister had nearly reached the shore, and disappeared as it had come, with a noise like a roaring wind, becoming fainter until it seemed lost by distance.

After the baptism had been performed all parties seemed to be engaged with their own thoughts, and a very notable quiet prevailed with us all, and not until we had gone some distance from the river did I recognize by a casual remark from one of those near me that the voice I had heard had not been heard by the others. Then the strangeness and importance of what had been said seemed to weigh upon me with an exceeding great force, and while I had commenced with the others to talk about what was then of mutual interest, I found it necessary to stop and to commune with myself, and on reaching my father-in-law's house I broke in upon them with different feelings and evidently with a different manner than what I had when leaving.

The first moment upon entering the house I commenced to describe what had transpired since I had been away. I found a reception that would be very difficult for me to describe. My wife seemed to look upon me with mute astonishment, not realizing, I suppose, for a few moments what could have wrought the change in my demeanor. My mother-in-law looked at me aghast, but said nothing. My father-in-law, Bro. Parker,

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immediately arose to his feet and evidently almost too full to speak, being overcome almost with the spirit of testimony called upon me in his peculiar Scotch accents saying, "'Old on Willum." After relating what had occurred it was an easy matter to induce my wife and mother-in-law to accompany me into Bro. Depper's house, which was next door. We found the Saints there and a number of the outsiders who had been at the baptism, all gathered in Bro. Depper's rooms. It was but a few moments before the assembled company turned into a voluntary testimony meeting, and such a time that was had there would be hard to describe. I may say in a word that it lasted for a considerable length of time. I should say until fully one or half past one in the morning, the Saints being so joyous that it was evidently a hard matter for them to part, notwithstanding the lateness of the hour. Upon their deciding to do so, we left Bro. Depper's house with the intention of going each to our own homes, but some one suggested that we should go with the then newly baptized sister, Lively, to a brother's house but a few blocks away and apprise some two families of the occurrences of the night. First one and then another, until all or nearly so, determined to go along. I with my wife went with the rest. On arriving there the family was aroused and was soon made acquainted with the experiences of the night. They seemed to be overjoyed but not at all surprised. It apparently seemed to them as one of the events that marked the marvelous work and a wonder. All soon were gathered into their house and the family next adjoining them, being members of the church, were also apprised of what had occurred, and together we assembled and a meeting again commenced as a prayer and a testimony meeting, which lasted until nearly daylight in the morning. During the time when Bro. Depper had talked with me regarding the gifts of the gospel, the necessary adjuncts to the eternal truth of heaven, I had been disposed to be critical, but at this meeting was made manifest the gift of tongues and prophecy, and truly while I was amazed, I enjoyed the meeting and went home fully convinced that the finger of God was in all that I had seen and heard, and while my purpose in relating this is not to have it appear that our experience upon that evening was in any sense a parallel to that of Saint Paul's in order that we may claim any such parallel of character, for I deem it that the church has had but its one Paul, the great expositor of the principles of the gospel of Christ, yet it is still true, that God, in his wonderful goodness, saw best to give to his people at this time what we have related above, and feeling that in this testimony given to us at that time we stand in the relation of stewards, and wishing to use the trust as best in his sight and as accountable to him, we have related this with joy to ourselves, and we trust with profit to others, and feel to say, as we expect to render an account of our stewardship, that we could not go to him and feel that we had done our duty unless we had borne this testimony that in his graciousness he gave to us this manifestation of his power, and we hope to testify as frequently and as earnestly as time and occasion may seem to justify.


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