Levi Ward Hancock

Mission to Jackson County, Missouri


From the journal of Levi Ward Hancock...

Spring has come (1831).  I go to the West.  I went through Cleveland, Ohio, holding meetings along the way.  Went through Elina into Brownhelm, where we held meetings and baptized and confirmed seventy-one (71) at one meeting, from under my own hand.  I felt so happy and blessed.  We then returned to Rome.

I saw the Prophet Joseph Smith last February, 1831.  He gave the “Law” (D&C 42).  I have not gotten a copy of it.  I heard it read, but cannot remember too much of it.  It told us to go west.  I have been and done the best I could.  I lost my journal and have to make this according to memory. 

It is now May, 1831.  I told what I had done with the help of the Lord, for I know He was with me and guided me all the way.  I found that we had nearly broken up the Freewill Baptist church west.  A Mr. Rollins came to see me.  I told him many names.  He knew them well, he said.  From that time on, he did not appear to want to see me, as he had  been their preacher before and now his flock had left him.

There was an old sister there that told him a dream she had before I got back there.  The dream did not please him.  She told him the following dream.  Well, she said, she saw two curtains let down from Heaven.  While she could not see the top, she saw Levi W. Hancock walk between them until he came to a large field.  In it was a fruit tree that spread its branches over a large body of land.  Many people shook hands with him (Levi).  He reached and took some fruit almost from the top twig and commenced singing. She saw Mr. Rollins start and run with his hat off, the fire pursued him as far as she could see.  Some had left the church of Christ and they also ran.

... About this time, my brother Solomon came to see me and brought Zebedee Coltrin along.  He held some meetings and wanted me to go to Kirtland with him.

We started the latter part of May and arrived there by the last of the month.  I learned that on the fourth of June, there was to be an endowment of some Elders.

The fourth of June came and we all met in a little string of buildings under the hill near Isaac Morley’s in Kirtland, Geauga County, Ohio.  Then, we all went to a school house on the hill, about one fourth of a mile, ascending nearly all the way.  The building was built of logs.  It was filled with slab benches.  Here the Elders were seated and the meeting was opened as usual.  Joseph Smith began to speak.  He said that the Kingdom of Christ, that he spoke of that was like a grain of mustard seed, was now before him and some should see it put forth its banches, just as the Savior had said...

But to return to the meeting.  Joseph said, “Now if you Elders have sinned, it will do you no good to preach if you have not repented.  Heamon Bassett you sit still the Devil wants to sift you...”  Then he ordained Jacob Scott and some others to the High Priesthood.  He came to Zebedee Coltrin and myself and told us that we had another calling as high as any man in the house.  I was glad for that... 

On June the fifth, we all assembled on the hill, in a field where there was a large concourse of people collected.  Lyman White spoke and gave a fine discourse. 

The Prophet Joseph said that from (this) time on, the Elders would have large congregations to speak to and they must soon take their departure into the regions West.  When the meeting was our, we went to Gilbert’s and Solomon (Levi’s brother) sang some songs and we talked with brother Whitmer and told him what happened at the conference.  He asked me if what Joseph had said was fulfilled about someone seeing the Lord.  I told him I considered it so.  “Do you?” said he.

“Yes sir,” said I.  “Were you not there?”  I understood him not...

We held (a) meeting.  That night a revelation came from the Prophet Joseph to many Elders to go to Missouri and preach by the way.  Among the rest, was my name with Zebedee Coltrin.

This was a trial indeed.  For I had not thought of being called upon to go so far.  I had a little money to be sure, but I spent nearly all for the other Elders that I had traveled with.  I began to think that I had just hired a room and moved my tools there (Levi was a cabinet maker by trade).  I had left it nearly filled with furniture and I knew that some people must be disappointed. All of these things together with a promise to a young lady, wrought upon mind all manner of impressions.  But, when I would think of the old Jack (Satan) and the man of sin who had been revealed before us all, I found myself harnessed and I said, “let all other things to.  I will do as I am told in the revelation.”

As soon as I had formed this conclusion, I felt better and was determined to do the very best I could. 

We immediately started on our labors.  We traveled west through Brownhelm.  We preached by the way, here in the neighborhood of Brownhelm.

I was told that Jacob Scott, while preaching, threw down the Book of Mormon and jumped on it and said he would go to Hell before he would preach it where he was so much persecuted.  At that instant, a young woman jumped up and ran about the house and clapped her hands and cried, “Glory.”  Jacob asked her whose side she was on.  “Your side,” she said.

“Well, I am sorry for that,” said he.  He did not turn many from the church in this place.

We went from here to Busyrus, having preached only two or three times on the way.  We held some meetings here, but was rejoiced (rejected?).  We felt very blue and discouraged, as my money began to fail and I  have not learned to trust in the Lord yet.  Nearly one thousand miles from home.  I had not more than two or three dollars left to depend upon. 

We took west and passed many places; Upper Sinders Bay and Belfountain, where we were rejected.  When we had got to Solon, Shelly County, Ohio, Zebedee Coltrin said, “Look at that old man yonder splitting rails.”  I looked at him.  “That man will take us in,” said he.  We started toward him and saw him working.  I asked him if he didn’t want to hire us to help for a while.  We are preachers, but never the less, are willing to work when we can’t get a living by our profession.” 

“Well,” said he, “I want to make some inquiries.  Did you ever hear of the Gold Bible?”

“You mean the Book of Mormon,  I suppose?  We have the book with us.”

He dropped his batte and wedge and said, “Come with me.”  We went to his house where his wife soon prepared us one of the choicest meals.  While eating, we talked of many things.  He told us his name wast Kirkland and that he had a niece who belonged to the church and had written to him.  He read us the letter.  She had told all about the church and had given a true statement of the whole affair so humble and sincerely, as to impress him so that he would not get it out of his mind.

Mr. Kirkland was so happy and thankful for us to be able to tell him more about this wonderful church, that he immediately went to all his neighbors and invited them to come and hear us.  We had a large congregation to address.  The following Sunday, while I was speaking, there came a flash of lightening, followed by a tremendous clap of thunder.  Many jumped up, but soon all was quiet and still again. And both of us bore testimony and told what we knew and proved as well as we could the work from the Bible. 


Mr. Kirkland’s wife came forward and was baptized.  Her name was Hannah.  We stayed there in that neighborhood for many days, holding meetings and preaching every chance we could.  When Parley P. Pratt and his brother, Orson, came, we got them to stay and preach a time or two.

We then all stared on our way together, but as soon as we came to the first fork in the road, Parley said, “It is contrary to counsel to travel on the road together, so it was necessary to part.”

Oh, how I loved that man who baptized me.  The first time I saw him, he looked like an angel to me.  I would not have any other man baptize me.  Although his enemies called him the worst of men.  I heard some say, if he could let them shoot at him, they would believe him if they could not hit him.  I rebuked them on the spot and told them the Son of God was killed, as so was his disciples and it would not make an impostor of him if they should shoot him.  Some of those men came into the church, but were not faithful and left again in a short time.

Before we parted however, we went to the big Miamia River and bathed together.  Then Zebedee and I went to Sidney and inquired the way to Indianapolis, Indiana.  We traveled on and went through Greenville to Dark County, which stands on a small branch of the Miamia River, running southeast.  Here, we stayed and viewed an ancient fortification.  The people said they through they were made by some of the Americans a long time ago, in some of their wars with the Indians.  This was a good chance to bear our testimonies. 

The people told us about a man in the country, west of the branch, who was almost crazy on account of his soul.  He said there was so many religions that he didn’t know what to do.  No people could comfort him. 

We went to see him, we found he knew the Bible by heart, almost and was one of the most sensible men I ever saw at times and he appeared quite rational.  He said, “You are men stent to administer the words of Eternal Life to me and I want to be baptized.”

We explained the Gospel to him a while longer, then went to where there was water to baptize him.  He appeared to be very sensible.  We told him how unpopular the Gospel of Jesus Christ was and that he would be persecuted.  But, that he must not give ear to what the worldly men would say, for they would surely try to destroy his faith. 

He said he was aware of that and then gave us an invitation to eat with him. While we were eating, we gave him as good council as we knew how and warned him to always be prayerful and trust the Lord.  After we were through eating, we bid him and his family good-bye and gave them our blessing and went on our way.  His friends said they were glad we had come and wished us well.  This man’s name was Earheart. 

We then went to Winchester in Randolph County, Indiana and stopped at the county seat, on the head waters of the White River.  We saw there a school master and introduced the Gospel to him.  He was so well pleased with the message that he spread the news as fast as possible and called a meeting.  After the meeting, he wanted to be baptized. Sos, we went to the water with him and baptized him.  Soon after this, we were happy to hear that nearly all the people wanted to hear us.  So, we went to the court house and got permission to hold a meeting there. After this meeting, we were able to baptize several others. 

By this time, we were getting to look pretty shabby, as our clothes had become so old, our stockings were nearly worn out and our money gone.  But, we were among friends and we were serving the Lord with the faith that He would take care of us.

One of our old settlers invited me to go see his wife and talk to her.  So, I went and talked for some time with her.  As I was ready to leave, she gave me a pair of warm socks. The first thing I ever had given to me in my life, to my remembrance and if I had had the means to pay her, I should have offered to pay her.

Parley P. Pratt once lent me a Book of Mormon and before I could pay him for it, he was gone.  I read it once and then someone else got it.  I was not used to having anyone give me anything.

Zebedee and I held another meeting and after we were through, I was informed that one man brought some cloth for me and some pants and shirt.  This was in the fore part of July.  We continued to preach here in the region and around about, until we had raised a large branch of the Church.

We were sent forth from the Ward township.  We went there and in a short time we had in both places about one hundred members.  Among them, was a man by the name of Jones and his wife.  He told me that he went through the Revolutionary War, that he was a life guard once for General Washington.  He told me many things about the war, which was very interesting.  I told him my message and we discussed the Gospel for some time.  Then he asked for baptism and I baptized him.  Afterwards, he said he had something for me.  He had saved a watermelon on purpose for me, so he now went and picked it.

He was so grateful to me, it appeared to do him good to see me enjoying the watermelon, as if he were feeding an angel.  He was so thankful to be baptized and felt the spirit of the Lord with him.  I had no Elder with me at this time.

Soon after this, we thought we should leave here, as we had done all we could in Winchester.  The people were growing hard and had threatened to mob us, but had not done it yet.  I will now mention a time when we though they were going to harm us.  It was almost dark and I was crossing the public square.  I saw a company of men standing at the tavern door talking, when one man came up to me and wanted me to stop.  He handed me a letter, it read as follows:  

    Dear Sir;

    We have been reading your new Bible and find it to be a piece of nonsense and we            

    understand you are looking after the New Jerusalem.  We inform you it is not here. 

    And you must leave this place before tomorrow at ten o’clock or we have something

    to reveal to you, far beyond the Book of Mormon.  You may take Mr. Brindle with you,

    [Mr. Brindle was the first one we baptized there], if you have any use for such an ass

    to pack your religion on.

    It was signed, ‘The Public’.

I showed the letter to Zebedee and asked him what we should do.  He said, “I’ll stay and fill our appointment if you will.”  We had an appointment at eleven the next morning and we were warned to leave town at ten.  We had put our meeting off until eleven in order that some farmers could come to it.  I told Zebedee that I was willing to stay. 

The next morning, Sunday, came and we were prepared for the worst.  It was my turn to speak and I sang, too.  Zebedee gave the prayer.  Bill Walker placed himself at the door and looked as surly as a bull.  He was my friend.  He said nothing, but something said to me that I should not be hurt.  So, I commenced taking and soon forgot myself and said what came to my heart.  I mounted the bench  and walked in among the same crowd who had written that letter.  I said, “You wrote to warn me to leave this place before ten, but you see I am still here.”  What I said before this, I know not.  I was heated up until I cared little what came.  I said, “My father fought for liberty that rightly belongs to me.  I am a son of the only man who survived the great struggles for Independence, who belonged to the family and I am a cousin to the first man who signed the Declaration of Independence.  Now if you want to reveal anything to me, come o, I am ready.”  I felt as independent as if I were a king and they were subject to me. 

Nothing was said, so I sat down and Zebedee then took hold of the subject and gave a good sermon.  He opened the door for baptism.  We felt the Spirit of the Lord there with us. After the meeting, we went to the water and baptized seventeen out of that crowd, who the day before were going to mob us.

It is now the month of August that I made this last account.

Mr. Jones showed me his cornfield and cut down one stalk that measured one rod (17 ft).  It was the tallest corn I had ever seen.  I think there was none in the field any longer.  This was on a branch, he says, of the head waters of the Wabash.

I took a route through the country with a brother by the name of Burket and was called upon to preach a funeral sermon for a child who had died.  I did not know what to do, for I had never done this before, but I trust the Lord and did the best I could.  I did not know that a gospel sermon would do and I liked to have been backed, but I believe the people were satisfied.  Brother Burket bore his testimony.  I wanted Zebedee along, but he was in Winchester.

We left here and went to Muncetown (Muncie, IN) and held a meeting.  Afterwards, we went to Winchester where we found Zebedeee sick, so we did not start on our journey until about the first of September.  We stopped in Muncetown and held a meeting, then continued our journey west.

We had made a little raise of money and was determined to reach Indianapolis as soon as we could.  We did not attempt to preach much on the way until we felt better, as we were both of us nearly worn out speaking.  However, we called to a preachers house where he had invited us to come in at the town of Muncie.  He thought he could use us both up in one night I suppose, as quick as he had some Sectarians, as he called them.  He had a church of his own settled around him and he felt at home.  He had heard us preach before and we though he wanted to show himself before his people, smart enough to silence us.  He stated that he had got us there on purpose to show us our folly in trying to preach to Book of Mormon.

He said, “Now I must be plain.  It is my duty to be plain.  And I will inform you first of all, that you will find me a crooked stick to begin with.”  Addressing himself to me, then he paused a moment.  Then I made him this reply, “We read that crooked must be made straight.”  It confounded him so much that he let us say what we would.  He would not try to contend with us.  He gave what we wanted to eat that night.  We also stayed the night with him and had breakfast with him. We then went on our way.

We traveled down the White River.  Sometimes we stopped and had conversations with those we met along the way about the Book of Mormon.  We found them not inclined to believe much, but treated us well.  It seemed that they had bought new farms and their minds were all on them.  We did no more than bear our testimony and go on.   

One morning, as we were traveling the road by a marsh, I looked down in the road and saw something like a snake, making its way toward Zebedee.  It was not over eight inches long, it was a fast runner.  I never saw the like before.  When Zebedee would turn toward him, he would stop still and flatten himself as flat as if a wagon had run over him. As soon as we would start on, it would run after us.  Zebedee said, “He must be a poisonous creature or he would not want to make war with us.”  We concluded it must be a viperous animal, but thought we would  not kill it, but let it go although it was so spiteful.  It is thought by some of the Saints to be a sin to kill anything. So, we try to cultivate this same feeling and go on rejoicing, ‘live and let live’>

We soon arrived in Indianapolis.  We thought that the people who lived there could stand more than we could, for when we entered the city, it seemed that the scent of the privies would suffocate us before we could get through.  We hastened as fast as possible on the National Road, until we came to the stream.  While standing on the east bank of the White River, we stopped in the street and looked at the topsy building until we were satisfied.  We crossed the river and traveled until night and put up.  We passed through one hard time, but the prospect now appears to look better, as we have a good turnpike to travel on, about half the way from Indianapolis to Tera Haute. 

We put up and after we had told that we were preachers, we were invited to preach.  It was my turn to speak first. That night there was five Methodists preachers come to hear, they said nothing.  They were on their way to Indianapolis.  I wanted them to preach the Gospel if they preached anything and showed them what the Gospel was, as well as I was able and spoke theses words, “If I or an angel from Heaven preach any other Gospel than what we have preached, let him be cursed.”  This text had been the club used by our foes to put down Mormonism.  Zebedee said he wondered they had not attacked me.  He was surprised that they said nothing. 

There was one woman there who told another lady, if she had known we were preachers, she would not have asked us anything for our supper.  She lived not far from there.  We ate at her house before we put up for the night. This other lady said to her, “Give them their money back and they will forgive you.  Don’t fell bad about it.”  She said nothing about it.  The other woman said she hated such hypocrisy.  She gave lodging and breakfast to us and asked nothing for it.  We left that place with the best feelings and had considerable to say about the woman who felt so badly about taking money from the preachers, but could not offer it back. 

There is many new town laid out on this road, but few settlers.  I do not take time to put down their names, but pass on toward Terre Haute.  We began to come to where the road is worked by heads, appeared to be let to companies to work many places.  I twas bad traveling.  About the middle of September, we got in sight of Terre Haute.  We learned that Zebedee had an uncle and a cousin living about three miles northeast from there.  We took that course and soon came to his house.  They appeared to be glad to see us and treated us well.  We stayed some time with them and preached some four times in the neighborhood.  When we had rested, we started on our journey. 

We passed through towns and kept on the National Road.  Passed through Vandalis and soon got to St. Louis.  Here we bought some bread to last us for a day or two.  We started then for St. Charles, ten miles distance. 

This is the forepart of October.  It is warm and pleasant.  I came to a tree filled with beautiful fruit, red on one side and yellow on the other.  I was dry and hungry, so I stepped up to the tree and picked some fruit and began to eat it.  It drew my face into all manner of shapes.  I did not know what to make of it.  I did not know what the Lord wanted to make such fruit for.  I thought it was something made in vain.  I threw the fruit away and tried to straighten my face.  I made all the attempts to do it, but couldn’t.  Zebedee laughed and made many expressions about me before the pucker left my mouth.

About this time, my feet were blistered nearly around.  Not over an inch and half remained sound and that was in the hollow of my feet.  It was agony to walk and I could just walk. 

Zebedee got almost out of patience with me.  My head would ache and I felt as if I could not go any farther.  At times the corruption would gush out in my shoes and everything would be dark to me.   I would call on him to pray for me.  My brain would appear to be tormented and the sun would not give more light than the moon in a light night.  I said, “What will become of me?  I am so sick, I can’t go on.”  I prayed all the way and called on him to pray for me.

Every time I would ask Zebedee to pray, he would scold and find fault.  Sometimes he would tell me it was the Devil and that would scare me.  I would try to think of all the mean things I had done and then I could find nothing that meant sin.  I knew I was liable to err in many instances, but I ought to have told Joseph Smith about it before I started and see what he would have said.  Although she was none the worse for me.  Yet, giving encouragement and leaving as I did, it might cause her to go to Hell, and God would hold me accountable.  All this worked only on my  mind, together with what Zebedee would say and like to have run me to distraction. 

I began to think God cared nothing for me.  I could not walk, but a little ways in a day and our money was the greater part spent and we were a long distance from Jackson County.  We continued this way until we had got to Boone County, nearly the center of the State of Missouri and I could stand it no longer.  I concluded I would stop.  I gave Zebedee all, every cent of my money did I sacrifice to him.  I told him I would die or find some friends to visit me till I got well.

He took the money and followed after me.  I saw a beautiful plantation ahead or a comfortable looking house at the right.  I hobbled to the house and knocked at the door.  A pleasant voice said, “Come in.”

The first words I said was, “I am sick.  Will you let me stay with you till I get well or die?  I am a cabinet maker and if I get well, I will work for you until you are paid satisfactorily.” 

“Oh, yes my friend, “ said the man.  “Take a chair.” 

Zebedee saw that I had found friends and a place to stay until I got well.  He then bid us good-bye and went on his way.

The old man went to his bureau and took down a decanter and pored out himself and me a good dram and said, “Come sir, drink.” and wished me better again.  We drank and then commenced our conversation.  I told him who I was and what I had been doing and how I was on my way to Jackson County to find my people.  I told him how I had suffered on the way.  I took my shoes off and showed him my feet.  He told me the name of the fruit I had eaten some days back on the road that drew my mouth in such a shape.  He said the fruit was good in its season and after the frosts came, it would be good to eat.  He called it ‘persimmon’.

He appeared to take pleasure in doing good for me.  His son gathered some hickory nuts and told me to eat all I wanted.  His wife a\as a queen, for she washed and mended my clothes.  I soon learned his name was Thomas Thraelkill.  I said my father’s name was Thomas, too and I had a brother by that name, also.

The news soon went through the neighborhood that a Mormon Elder was in the place, so I soon began to have visitors.   I told them I did not feel like talking for a while.  I had been sick and was weak and faint.  He said I need not talk. 

One preacher came and Mr. Thraelkill said he would like to have me use him up, if I could.  The preacher asked me a few questions and I answered him.  He did not appear to be hard and we parted as friends.

After I had been there about one week, I wanted to see Zebedee and thought of the good times together.  I still had a headache when I attended anything.  By this time, my feet began to peel.  I tore off skin from one to two inches long.  My feet looked like an infants flesh.  I could not rest for the disorder in my brain.  One night, as I was in a daze and felt a little better, I saw Samuel Smith coming towards me and said, “Brother Levi,” and laid his hands on my head and felt the power of the Spirit come on me and I filled full.  From this time on, I began to feel better and came to my senses. 

I then began to realize what trouble Zebedee had in trying to get me along the road.  I felt to forgive him and also me.  I praised God in my hear and knew that God had not forgotten me, but my faith was not sufficient to heal my head.  I grew better each day.  It had been a long time since I was first taken ill and grew worse each day, until now.  It was death to my spirit to be in the plaint I was then in.  I was so thankful to be improving and felt it was through prayer. 

It was now the middle of October and I went to Mr. Thraelkill and told him I felt like working if he would get me some timber.  He got some and I started to work on some bedsteads.  

About this time, some men came and inquired for me.  I knew their voices and found they were Thomas B. Marsh and Cyrus Daniels.  They stayed all night and we had (a) good visit.  Cyrus gave me two dollars before they left the next morning.

I continued to work until I had finished five bedsteads.  I asked Mr. Thraelkill if he was satisfied that I had paid for my keep.  He said, “Yes, “ he was. 

His son told me how he had saved me from getting a whipping.  He said when I was turning some bedstead posts, there was a man kept around you watching for a chance to knock you down.  I told him not to.  I thanked him and the old man said, “When you go, I want to see you first.”

I told him I was leaving the next morning.  His son said, “Don’t go this winter.  I will harness the horses and will take you among the young folks and it shan’t cost one cent.”  Indeed, he appeared more like a brother than anybody else.

In the morning the old man shook hands with me and put a number of small pieces of money into my hand and said, “This may come in handy.  Good-bye.  My wife don’t mean to leave you yet.  She is going with you a mile or two.”

We started on our way, she walked with me awhile, then got one of her neighbor women to walk us to the forks of the road, when Mrs. Thraelkill said, “”This is your road sir.  I am going on a short distance on this road, (right hand), I wish you prosperity and health.” as she shook my hand. 

I said, “The same to you and your people.  You have been good friends indeed.”  As we parted, I though to myself, “Oh, I could never see such friends miserable and I in happiness.”

It was a pleasant day in November.  I traveled on with speed until I came to the ferry in Noward County.  The river Missouri was low, the ferryman said.   It was clear then.  I had heard that it was very muddy.  I had crossed it once near its mouth, but have no recollection father than here.  I did not travel so fast now, as my head began to be bewildered.  The sun appeared dark.  I got out of my road frequently, but would try with all my might to exercise my reason and go ahead.  I saw in a short distance a house which looked comfortable.  I though I would stop.  I soon found that it was a kind of tavern.  I took off my pack and sat down.  The landlord saw I was not well.  I found that he was one of those holy religious characters I had often heard of, whose God was the world, with great pretensions.  I did not converse with him.  The Spirit would not let me.  In the evening, there came in a man going to Jackson County.  He was loaded with salt.  This man swore more than anyone I had ever heard before and I was not used to it.  But, I ventured to ask him for a ride and he freely let me get on his barrels and ride.  He let me take his blankets and he traveled beside his team and when I would get rested I would get out and run ahead of his team.  We put up one night in what was called Victory Grover.  The woman there said there had been a man, by the name of Solmon Hancock, who stayed there last summer.  I told her he was a brother of mine.  She thought he was a mighty fine man, she said.

I started the next morning and traveled and rode some of the way until I came to the forks of the road, then the man told em the way to Independence, Missouri and would take nothing for my ride with him.

I traveled the distance of about five miles and came to the Temple lot, where some of the Saints lived and I soon was able to find Zebedee.  He was glad to see me, as I was to see him.  We prayed together and he soon took me to Sister Gilbert’s.  She showed me the Revelation given in August, which read something like this:

    “Let the residue of the Elders of the Church which are coming to this land, some of who

    are exceedingly blessed even above measure.  Also, take hold a conference upon

    this land.”

“There,” said she, “that means you Brother Levi, Zebedee, Simeon and Solomon, Joseph gave this when you were seven hundred miles away.  Everybody said you are blessed.”

I also saw other Revelations he had given.  She showed me one and said, “There is a piece for you and Zebedee.”  It read:

    “And now, I speak of those Elders who have not yet come to the land of Zion, for the

    Testimony you have born is recorded in Heaven for the angels to look upon and your

    sins are forgiven you.”

She said some were tired when these words came and their faith almost failed them, because they had heard that nothing was done.  Many had apostatized and there was but four behind: Solomon Hancock, Simeon CArter, Zebedee Coltrin and myself. 

As soon as the news came that Solomon and Simeon had baptized between twenty and thirty souls, it revived their drooping spirits and as soon as they heard that Zebedee and Levi had baptized upwards of one hundred, Sidney Rigdon gave glory to the God of Heaven and said, “I did not know what those Revelations meant before.” 

All of this did not make me well and as for the work, I never did doubt it from the first time I saw Parley P. Pratt and heard him preach.  And no man can make me believe that he could make (up) what I saw in him, that caused me to believe and my vision that confirmed me in it.  Also, the transfiguration of some in Kirtland.  I have to be honest before God and do all the good I can for his Kingdom or woe is me.  I care not for the world, nor what they say.  They have to meet my testimony at the Judgement seat.  I meant that my conduct shall be such, that my words will be believed, that Lord being my helper. 

But, the distress in my head is such, that I cannot remember anything I hear, but I believe I shall one day enjoy myself in health yet.  I am not easily discouraged.

I want to go to work at my trade and soon Brother Gilbert got me to work on his store.  In a short time, Olivier Cowdry and David Whitmer came and Gilbert told them I was just the man to build the printing works.  I told them if they knew how they wanted it done, I could do it.  Olivier gave me the plans and I began to work on it and was soon finished.  I was able to build many things for the Brethren in this place.  Brother Gilbert gave me his old satin coat to last me home.

Olivier Cowdry gaveme five Book of Mormons.  From them I save one for myself and sold the other four.  When I had got through, Bishop Partridge asked me to go with him and see the land and thought it looked good.

I went to Lyman White’s.  In his neighborhood we had our Conference.  I then went to Independence.  I stayed at Seelah Griffin’s and in the night I thought I talked with God.  I told him He might do with me as he chose.  About this moment, something told me God was my friend and I had faith given to me.  And there came a light and entered into my head and body.  I thought I could see out of my fingers, as well as my eyes.  I had my eyes quickened.  I could see as well again as I ever could before. 

I have been here nearly two months and Bishop Partridge has given me ten dollars to go home on and about the middle of the month, we started.  Olivier Cowdry came and gave me words of consolation.  He told me God would be with me. To go and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  W. W. Phelps also gave me such a lot of good advice and instructions.

The middle of January class came and Parley P. Pratt and I was appointed to go together.  On the day designated we started and traveled twelve miles and put up for the night.   Parley had been sick and was not strong as usual.  The next day, we went across a large prairie and came to a grove of trees.  We stopped there and held a meeting where Parley preached a fine sermon and I bore testimony.  We stayed at this place over night. 

The next morning, we continued down on the south side of the Missouri River and we were overtaken by Lyman White and John Murdock.  Parley and Lyman tarried behind and John and I went on, as fast as we could.  The houses were so scattered that we could not do any better than preach by the firesides.  We were treated well sometimes, and other times, not so friendly.  Some places we stayed, they would ask pay and sometimes not.

I took turns traveling with Lyman and John.  Lyman and I went into Jefferson City and stayed a little north of the State House.  We held meetings and one old lady said it looks so much like the Catholics.  She liked the Doctrine, for we had a Priesthood and found we neither one knew too much about it and felt we should do more studying.  I soon perceived that I knew what it was, but did not understand it, and he could then give me no light on it.

I remember seeing a little Negro boy in the cold, carrying a pail of water.  It was early n the morning and he was crying.  His hands were so cold.  He would first blow on one hand, then the other, taking turns holding the pail.  We tough that if the white children had to do that, their parents would think it cruel.  But, that little fellow had no one to pity him, but the poor, despised Mormons and he didn’t know that. 

We traveled to the Osage River and waited a long time before we could get anybody to take us across.  At length, we saw a man.  We hollered and called as loud as we could before he heard.  He then went to his canoe and come after us.  We got in and felt as we could soon have a rest.  It was John Murdock who was with me at this time. 

We traveled slowly and continued to preach to the people whenever we got a chance.  The people we met were good livers, if they were of a mind to be, but the way they managed was more like beasts then like humans.  They had dogs, horses, cows and pigs and chickens in abundance around the house and in the house and mixed together.  In the cold weather doors were open night and day.  Snow flying and wind blowing through the cracks that were not chinked  They used rags for beds, ground for floors.  The children were ragged and dirty.  They had corn pudding and dogger to eat, with a little bacon and sassafras tea. 

These are the people living here.  When they have an abundance of horses, cattle and cows they might spare and make themselves and family comfortable.  Land is all they want.

We have suffered with the cold extremely on our way.  We have got among the Gosconad Mountains or high hills.  We ascended the first about one fourth mile and wound around on the backbone ridge until we came to some houses, where we found lodging for the night.  In the morning, we continued on our way, over the highlands until we came to Gosconad River.  We could not cross over and we were nearly frozen. We chased each other around a tree until we warmed up a little and felt better.  We then yelled and hollered until we made the people on the other side hear.  One man came and took us over in his boat.  We felt so thankful to get to a fire, as we had been out in the cold so long and were about frozen. 

It is now the month of February and we begin to have better times. I have carried John Murdock sick on my back, sometimes over the waters.  We had many trials and had to have a lot of faith to be able to stand the test we were put to.

Parley and John are now companions and Lyman White and myself.  We started to St. Louis together.  The towns and farms we pass look like living.  We hold many meetings, but no converts could we make. The people were all very religious and will let us stay with them for our money.  We went to the city of St. Louis and to the priests, they were worst of all.  We had to talk with five of the Methodist preachers.  They felt as large as Lucifer to appear once.  We warned them and left.

We crossed the river and put up for the night in Glanoice, at a tavern.  We stayed there for four days and preached several times.  When we left, our bill was only four dollars.  Our landlord said that he freely gave that to us.  We then went our way to Vendolia.  We were told here that one man undertook to cross the river Kashaska and died in sight of town.  In the morning we have to try it.  Two miles across the bottom, where we have to wade it.  Morning came and we walked to the water determined to go it.  We traveled sometimes waist deep, then on tree tops.  I asked Lyman what our sectarian preachers would say if they had to do as we did.  They thought it was hard to have to ride through rain and snow and would talk and sing about it for years.

We had to go on foot, find our cash, shoes and clothes, wade rivers and carry each other on our backs when sick.  In the winter time, too.  If a man was capable, he could tell a story worth hearing and then stories that would be nonsense, for we had many laughs and fun as well.  On the tree tops, Lyman made many observations and those acquainted with Lyman knows he could answer questions and give them.  I will not try to record these funny things that happened.

About 12 noon this day, we came to the high banks where stood a log cabin.  Here we stopped as wet as if we had swam the river.  We enjoyed ourselves as well we could. Told our stories about the doctrine of the church and bore our testimonies.  We paid our bill and started on our journey, preaching as we went.  We met a man who pretended to be our friend.  Said he had friends at Terre Haute.  He was out of money, so we paid his bill and left him have some money to bear his expenses through.  This man left and we never saw him again.  We heard he got drunk at Terre Haute. 

We held a few meetings in Terre Haute and then went on our way. WE passed through Indianapolis and went to Winchester.  Here, the brethren were in a confused state.  Some dissatisfaction had arisen between some of the members and there became two sides.  A war of words was the consequences.  I tried all I could to stay their feelings. There were complaints concerning an Elder who had been sent from Kirtland there to regulate the affairs of the Church.  It was said that he came to Winchester and heard one side and called a vote and disfellowshipped the others and they were angry about it.  The Devil took this advantage and made them enemies.  I felt sorrowful.  They all treated Lyman and me well.  We did the best we could there to help them. 

Lyman started to Cincinnati on the Ohio River and I went to Greenville and I held one meeting there in the evening.  Was asked to hold another.  The candles were blown out, some began to dance, some came toward the stand where another young Elder and I were.  This young Elder had just got into town and this was the first we had met.  We dodged among them and under some arms till we came to the door and ran to the woods to pray.  We prayed together, then went to some friends and stayed all night. 

In the morning, I left my young friend and started for Dayton, Ohio.  I preached as often as I could, when ever I got a chance, until I got to Rome, Ohio, Ashtabula County, among my old acquaintances. 

On the first day of May, I met one man who said I had come on the day I had written I should get back from Missouri.  I had not through of it since I wrote.  I was glad of it, but was sorry the people had made such destruction of my property.  All my property was scattered to the four winds, tools and all, for pretended claims where I owed not one sent justly.  It cost half to get the rest back or nearly that. 

I went to painting and working at my trade.  I was soon able to clothe myself and built me a wagon.  I sold my land to a man from the other part of town, that in New Lyme they knew nothing of.

I settled with all men there and left and went to Rome.  Lived awhile with John Reed (his future father-in-law), then went to Chagrin and stopped with Solomon (his brother) for a few days, when the Prophet Joseph Smith sent for me.  I went and saw him again and had a conversation with him.  Heard him tell about him being mobbed in Hiram and how they pulled the hair out of his head.  Then he showed me the place where they had pulled the hair out of.  He said they poured aqafortis down him, he thought.  I said while I was in Cleveland I heard some laughing about it, who said the devil must have gotten the better of the Lord that time.  I told them I though he did once before, when they killed the Son of God and his disciples, too.  I did not consider that proved him an impostor.  I never saw men so much confounded.  I said no more, but all eyes were on me while I stayed at the house. 

... I told Joseph how I had felt on the way.  I also told him about the girl that I left and how sorry I had been that I did not tell him before I went.  He said not to mind, that the Lord had a girl for me that would suit me better than she would if I had married her.  “I hope you will not marry so.  I want you to do some work for me.”  I told him I would do the work and was soon to work building his desk and room. 

He needed money and so I filled his hand with all the remains of my land in Rome.  He said, he would give me his note for it.  I told him he was welcome to it.

I was with him through the translation of the Bible.  I went to the School of the Prophets.  Orson Hyde was with us this winter.  AFter I finished the school room, Joseph offered to let me trade out of Whitney’s store.  I told him I would pay for all I purchased and I did do it. 

The Prophet Joseph was often in trouble.  If his friends gave him money, he was stripped of it all by his enemies.  I know, for I did all I could do to hold up that good man.  My heart would ache for him.  He had to stand against thousands of his pretended friends seeking to overthrow him.  It was terrible the abuse he suffered. 

Bishop Whitney also was cursed by some when he did his best to hold up Joseph. He would suffer himself to be slandered to save the Prophet from trouble.  All this I know.  I have witnessed.  I am bad enough, but thank God I never sought to harm any man.  I know it is not in my heart to wish the Prophet Joseph or any man, who is his friend, in any trouble. 

About this time, Joseph called on me to go to Rome with a hired girl, by the name of Clarissa Reed, who had been living with him.  I went and returned with her in about two weeks.  He then said I must go with Evin Green.  We started by the way of Chardon and preached by the way.  The snow came and it began to get cold to travel, but we went as far as we could get and returned back.  Joseph talked plain to me for not pressing forward into Pennsylvania.  I told him that I was to blame, for I had had a dream as you ever had.  

“You do as I now tell you to and you will come out all right.”  He gave me to understand how the Comforter would comfort the mind of man when asleep, whether it meant anything or not and Satan accused good people.  He said, “Go again,” and we started forthwith for Pennsylvania.  We went as far as Painesville and stayed the night. 

The next day, it snowed all day and we had to wallow through drifts and at times it seemed almost impossible.  It seemed that the Devil was determined to discourage us.  We tried to get the privilege of laying by the fire, but no, we could not.  We were among the people called ‘Campbellites’.  Seven times we were turned down at the doors. The eighth time, we got in to stay all night.  One of the holy men came in who had turned us down and by his actions we thought he intended to have us turned out again.  But, we were able to spend the night there and in the morning the woman gave us a nut cake each. 

That was all we cold get from the time we left Painesville.  Nothing but starvation stared us in the face.   We were then determined to trust the Lord.  The first thing we knew, we came across two of our brethren traveling into Pennsylvania.  They gave us some bread and meat.  We traveled on until night and put up.  The Elders paid our bill and in the morning we started early.

We traveled until we heard of a man, by the name of Hartshorn, who was a Mormon.  We felt glad.  He was about six miles ahead, so we quickened our pace and got there that day.  He was a friend, but his wife was an enemy.  His son found much fault.  We held a meeting and found the people more than tender.  We went from neighborhood to neighborhood preaching.  We were treated very well all through the land about.

When the time came for us to open the door to baptism, Lyman Johnson came along.  We asked him to preach.  He opened the door and baptized all we had labored, with except two who chose to have me baptize them.  Lyman returned to Kirtland and never mentioned Evin or Levi or their good works. 

I asked the Prophet Joseph about such a case.  He said the laborer who first labored with the people would in the end get the blessing.  I did not tell him what happened, for I felt the Lord knew who had put forth the efforts.  

It is now March, 1833 and we had not a place to worship in.  Jared Carter went around with a subscription paper to get signers.  I signed up two dollars.  He made up a little more than thirty dollars and presented it to Joseph.  The Lord would not accept it, but gave a command to build a temple.

I helped my father to move to Kirtland.  I had married Miss Clarissa Reed on the 29th of March, 1833....