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Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightener


Submitted by joefree on Sun, 2006-07-16 00:40.

Source: Mary Lightner, "Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner,"
The Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine 17 (July 1926):193-205, 250-

I was born in the town of Lima, Livingston County, state of New York, April 9, 1818. My father, John D. Rollins, came from one of the New England States; I think it was Vermont. My mother, Keziah Keturah Van Benthuysen, was born in Albany, state of New York, May 16, 1796. She married my father in 1814 or 1815. Three children were the fruit of this marriage, James Henry, myself and sister Caroline, the youngest. When Caroline was six months old, my father was shipwrecked on Lake Ontario during a terrible storm. Only one person was saved out of all the passengers and crew.

When I was ten years old, we moved to Kirtland, Ohio, and lived in a house belonging to Algernon Sidney Gilbert, mother's sister's husband. We remained there two years, when we heard of the plates of the Book of Mormon, being found by Joseph Smith. Soon the news was confirmed by the appearance of Oliver Cowdery, Peter Whitmer, and Ziba Peterson, with the glorious news of the restoration of the Gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith. They bore a powerful testimony, by the Holy Spirit, of the truth of the great work they were engaged in; and which they were commissioned by the Father to present to all the world.

Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightener Speech at BYU

Submitted by joefree on Sun, 2006-07-16 00:39.

Speech on 14 Apr 1905 in Speech at B.Y.U..

Remarks and a letter by Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner. Copies or originals exist in the BYU Special Collections, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. Electronic Text by Howard K. Bangerter, Sept. 1997

B.Y.U. April 14, 1905

Remarks by Sister Mary E. Lightner who was sealed to JOSEPH SMITH in 1842. She is 87 years of age.

Well, my young brethren I can say I never was more surprised in my life than to be called upon to speak to you young men who are called upon to go into the mission field to preach the Gospel to the nations of the earth. It is true I have been in the Church from its beginning. Just six months after it was organized I joined it. I have been acquainted with all of those who were first members of this Church, with all of those who saw the plates and handled them; with even those who saw the angel Moroni who came to them. I am well acquainted with every one of them and I have known them from the time that they came to Ohio until their death; and I am the only living witness who was at the first meeting that the Prophet held in Kirtland. The Smith family were driven from New York, and a small Church had been organized. Oliver Cowdery, Peter Whitmer, and Ziba Peterson were members. Well I being anxious, though young, to learn about the plates from those who knew all about it, My mother and I went up to the Smith family the next night after they came to Kirtland. As I went in there were two or three others present. They were all there, from the old gentleman and his wife to all the sons and daughters. As we stood there talking to them Joseph and Martin Harris came in. Joseph looked around very solemnly. It was the first time some of them had ever seen him. Said he, "There are enough here to hold a little meeting." They got a board and put it across two chairs to make seats. Martin Harris sat on a little box at Joseph's feet. They sang and prayed. Joseph got up and began to speak to us. As he began to speak very solemnly all very earnestly all at once his countenance changed and he stood mute. Those who looked at him that day said there was a search light within him, over every part of his body. I never saw anything like it on the earth. I could not take my eyes off him, he got so white that anyone who saw him would have thought he was transparent. I remember I thought I could almost see the bones through the flesh. I have been through many changes since but that is photographed on my brain. I shall remember it and see in my mind's eye as long as I remain upon the earth. He stood some moments. He looked over the congregation as if to pierce every heart. He said "Do you know who as been in your midst?" One of the Smiths said an angel of the Lord. Martin Harris said, "It was our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ". Joseph put his hand down on Martin and said: "God revealed that to you. Brethern and Sisters, the Spirit of God has been here. The Savior has been in your midst this night and I want you to remember it. There is a veil over your eyes for you could not endure to look upon Him. You must be fed with milk not with strong meat. I want you to remember this as if it were the last thing that escaped my lips. He has given all of you to me and has sealed you up to everlasting life that where he is you may be also. And if you are tempted of Satan say, ‘get behind me, Satan.'"

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.

Poem for James Henry Rollins by his sister Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightener

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Submitted by joefree on Sun, 2006-07-16 00:34.

Poem about 1899 in Minersville (?), Beaver County, Utah.

Date uncertain:

To my Brother J Henry Rollins

When these scenes of life are fled
And we are numbered with the dead
O may our souls in Glory rise
To meet our Father in the skies.

There may we join in the hallowed throng
And sing a Glorious Heavenly Song.
Even to him who gave us birth,
And died for Mortals here on Earth.

Yes, Jesus died for all mankind,
That they Eternal life might find
And in his Glorious Kingdom rest
There to dwell amid the Blest --

Then do not grieve o'er trials here,
But trust in God, and never fear --
For Angels soon will bear us home
To meet our loved ones near his throne

I have written to Brother to day
and sent a copy of these verses
for fear he wont live
and I want him to have them
before he goes --

[no date given -- James died 7 Feb 1899, may have been written around that time]

Letter to Mary Elizabeth Lightener from Brigham Young

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Submitted by joefree on Sun, 2006-07-16 00:32.

Letter on 30 May 1864 in Great Salt Lake City.

President's Office
Great Salt Lake City, May 30, 1864

Mrs. Mary E. Lightner
Minersville, Beaver Co.

Dear Sister:

Your favor of May 20 has come to hand. I am
pleased to learn from it of the improvements which are being
made at Minersville and of the circumstances of the people.
I am sorry that Bro. Henry has such poor health. There is no
need for him to have feelings of sorrow through the idea that
he is under my displeasure because he went to California with
Bro. A. M. Lyman. I have no feelings against Bro. Henry because
of his going there, and I feel that all is right with him if
he himself will do right. Those who upbraid him with being
a Californian, and on that account despise his counsel, as Bishop
would do well to look to their own standing; for such a

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