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Letter from Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightener to Emmeline B. Wells

Submitted by joefree on Sun, 2006-07-16 00:37.

Letter in 1905 in Minersville, Beaver, Utah.

Letter written to Emmeline B. Wells by Mary E. Lightner - Summer 1905
Typed by Myrtle Hamblin Stoddard - June 1983

Dear Sister Wells:

I was very much surprised to receive a letter from you, after 15 years silence. But am very thankful to be remembered. I have felt, and do yet, that I am alone I feel as if I was not recognised by the Smith family.

I have never had five minutes conversation with Joseph F. Smith in my life, I could tell him a great many things about his father that he does not know, about the early days of the church, and in Far West, but have never had the opportunity. I have received but very little council or advise since Joseph's death. I feel that I have been spiritually neglected.

I was at your Relief Society conference in the afternoon last April, Sister's Stevenson and Pratt came and shook hands with me after meeting. I spoke to you and Sister Richards, who has been my staunch friend for years. Oh, how I have longed to have a good talk with you. How happy you must be up there all together among the noble women who are energetic in the work of God.

As for Sister Whitney, Bishop Whitney's wife, I shall never forget her. It was at their house that the Prophet Joseph first told me about his great vision concerning me. He said I was the first woman God commanded him to take as a plural wife. That was in 1831. He was very much frightened, the angel appeared to him three times. It was in the early part of Feb. 1842 that he was compelled to reveal it to me personally, by the Angel threatening him. I said I would not accept it until I had seen an immortal being myself. I could tell you about this, but cannot write any more in regard to this subject.

I will enclose a description of the hymn book we have in the family. Think it is a Methodist hymn book. It has a great many of the songs that are in our L.D.S. book, among the hymns are - God Moves In a Mysterious Way, How Firm A Foundation, etc.

I was baptized in the early part of 1830. Was sealed to Joseph Smith the Prophet by Brigham Young in a room over the old red brick store in Nauvoo. Received my first washings and annointings in Parley P. Pratts house in Nauvoo, by Sisters Whitney and Pratt, before the temple was built. Joseph wished to give me the endowments himself but was debarred the percentious(?) at that time. I received them the second time in the Nauvoo Temple by Brigham Young standing proxy, Heber C. Kimball doing the work. Brigham said at that time that I had more blessings sealed on my head than ever before given to a woman. Said my brother Henry was full of the Holy Ghost from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet.

I never saw the Kirtland Temple. We left there by divine commandment in the fall of 1831 to go to Independence, Jackson Co., Missouri. Yes, all of my people were with the saints in Missouri. My health is precarious but am willing take care of the people when they want me to. Want to do all I can for the Kingdom of God.

Yes I love to talk about the Prophet and the early days of the church. Will always remember how he looked, especially how he looked at that first sealing. He was tall and of commanding figure, full of life and when filled with the Holy Sprit his face was beautiful in expression. I have a picture of him done in water color. but it is faded some. Joseph F. Smith's smile is exactly like the Prophet Josephs was. Yes, I could tell you many things that I cannot write. I remember every word he ever said to me of importance, have seen his predictions verefied especially so in my own family. I have heard Sydney Rigdon preach when he was a Cambellite preacher, before he joined the church. Think I have answered all your questions now. You can use this as you see fit. Your sincere friend and well wished.

S/ Mary E. Rollins Lightner.