Wednesday, December 19, 2012

History of Mormonism: Samuel Smith

In the History of Mormonism, Samuel Smith, born March, 1808, was Joseph's younger brother. He was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on May 25, 1829, at the age of 22. He was the third person to be baptized in the church, and receiving the priesthood. Joseph then asked Samuel to be the first missionary. His first day of being on a mission, Samuel walked 25 miles, carrying only a knapsack full of Book of Mormons. Samuel visited four houses along the way, but none of them wanted to buy a copy. Tired, hungry, and discouraged, Samuel stopped by an inn to rest. He asked the innkeeper if he wanted to buy a Book of Mormon. He told the innkeeper about his brother receiving revelation from an angel where the plates were buried. Angry, the innkeeper called Samuel a liar and threw him out of his inn. So Samuel had to sleep under an apple tree on the ground.
The next morning Samuel stopped by a widow's house. In return, the widow gave Samuel some breakfast. He gave her a Book of Mormon in return. Then he walked eight miles and shared the Book of Mormon with John Greene, a Methodist minister. He only took it see if others he knew might be interested in buying a copy. Mr. Greene’s wife, Rhoda, was Brigham Young’s sister, but Brigham did not know about the church yet.
Two months later, Samuel returned to the Greene's home. When he arrived, Mr. Greene wasn't home, but Mrs. Greene told Samuel that she had read the book. The Spirit prompted Samuel to leave the book with her, and he did. Later, Mrs. Greene convinced her husband to read the book, and the couple was later baptized.
Samuel also sold a copy of the Book of Mormon to Brigham Young’s brother: Phineas Young, a Methodist preacher. Samuel told Phineas about the book, including how he is one of the witnesses of the Golden Plates. Phineas thanked Samuel for his time, and had it in his mind to find errors in the book and expose it to the world. A week later, and after reading the book twice, Phineas told his congregation that he believed the Book of Mormon. Later in the summer, the Young family read the Book of Mormon, including Brigham Young.
Even though Samuel baptized no one, and would feel like he didn't succeed in his calling, his efforts would later convert many church members, including Brigham Young who would be the next prophet of the church, and Heber C. Kimball, an Apostle to the church.
Samuel died a month after Joseph did in 1844, from gunshot wounds received from the mob while he was fleeing on horseback.

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