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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Among the Mormons, A Story

by Seattle Jon (bio)

Among the Mormons, Historic Accounts by Contemporary Observers is one of several books currently in my church bag. The following story, from Jewish artist Solomon Carvalho as he traveled in Brigham Young's party through Cedar City in 1854, touched my heart today.
The morning after my arrival at Cedar City, I arose very early, and taking my sketch-book along, I sauntered around the city; in the course of my peregrinations, I saw a man walking up and down before an adobe shanty, apparently much distressed; I approached him, and inquired the cause of his dejection; he told me that his only daughter, aged six years, had died suddenly in the night; he pointed to the door, and I entered the dwelling. 
Laid out upon a straw mattress, scrupulously clean, was one of the most angelic children I ever saw. On its face was a placid smile, and it looked more like the gentle repose of healthful sleep than the everlasting slumber of death.
Beautiful curls clustered around a brow of snowy whiteness. It was easy to perceive that it was a child lately from England, from its peculiar confirmation. I entered very softly, and did not disturb the afflicted mother, who reclined on the bed, her face buried in the pillow, sobbing as if her heart would break.
Without a second's reflection I commenced making a sketch of the inanimate being before me, and in the course of half-an-hour I had produced an excellent likeness.
A slight movement in the room caused the mother to look around her. She perceived me, and I apologized for my intrusion; and telling her that I was one of the Governor's party who arrived last night, I tore the leaf out of my book and presented it to her, and it is impossible to describe the delight and joy she expressed at its possession. She said I was an angel sent from heaven to comfort her.
She had no likeness of her child.
I bid her place her trust in Him "who giveth and taketh away," and left her indulging in the excitement of joy and sorrow. I went out unperceived by the bereaved father, who was still walking up and down, buried in grief. I continued my walk, contemplating the strange combination of events, which gave this poor woman a single ray of peace for her sorrowing heart.
When I was about starting the next day, I discovered in the wagon a basket filled with eggs, butter, and several loaves of bread, and a note to my address containing these worlds - "From a grateful heart."

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