Personal testimony

The Book of Mormon's power of conversion was demonstrated on the first missionary journey, taken by Samuel H. Smith in 1830. On June 30, he walked 25 miles, was frequently jeered and rejected, and found no one who would listen to his message.

The next evening, a stop at a house in Bloomington, N.Y., was a welcome relief as he was received with hospitality by John P. and Rhoda Young Green. He loaned a copy of the Book of Mormon to them and, as Samuel explained the book to Mr. Greene, the preacher termed it a "nonsensical fable" but agreed to take a subscription list. On a third visit, a discouraged Samuel was told by Mrs. Greene that "Mr. Greene had no disposition to purchase the book" and was about to take it with him when "it was impressed upon my mind to leave the book with her." The good woman burst into tears as he told her that "the Spirit forbade me taking it away."

She later pressed her husband to read the book, and he finally did so and soon gained a testimony. Then he shared the book with his relative, Phineas Young, who read it and gave it to Brigham Young, who read it and gave it to Fanny Young Murray, who, after reading it, gave it to her daughter and son-in-law, Vilate and Heber C. Kimball. All of these people and another Young brother, Joseph, were eventually converted and baptized.

Excerpted from Church News article, Calvin N. Smith, "Noble legacy left by early convert," Sept. 28, 1986.

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