Today I am reading Mosiah L Hancocks journal. The whole thing is pretty long, but very interesting. Here are some excerpts that I thought people might enjoy. To read the whole thing click the link at the Bottom of the post.
I saw many remarkable cases of healing under the hands of the Prophet while we were at Nauvoo.
Once a man came to live with us, and he was quite lazy. He would pop a large pan full of corn and eat it all by himself; but because he was poor and had no home, my parents were kind to him. I am proud of my lineage.
I was baptized on April 10, 1842, by John Taylor, one of the apostles of the Prophet. I was baptized in a river at the end of a road which ran into it. There I shed my old shirt; and donned a calico one, and a pair of jeans!
Many things transpired in Nauvoo that I witnessed; but they are in history, so I need not mention them. I attended April conference on the 9th of April, and also attended Sunday School for the first time. There were 14 scholars who attended that school. I was in the New Testament class taught by John Taylor.
We boys in Nauvoo formed a company called the 'Sons of Helaman'. Brother Baily from Massachusetts was our captain; and he was proud of us and we were proud of him. I was second Lieutenant, and we drilled quite a lot. Just before we left Nauvoo, I was in the Prophet's guard most of the time. I loved to march and parade and have the martial spirit; and was happy under military discipline. I would take my rifle with me even though not in company nor on parade with the Sons of Helaman. Often I was in the rank of the grown men, and no one ever said, "Your in the way". Why it was thus, I could never comprehend. I loved to see a martial feeling cultivated.
Sometimes after our annual conference, the Prophet and others brought oil to our house to be consecrated! And it was my father's fortune to be kind to the poor, to preach the gospel, to guard the Prophet, and to work on the temple. Nothing at our house that was eatable ever went to waste. Big lubbers would come to our house with large pieces of bread and butter only to show how much of it they could crumble and waste. They would ask for a top, and father being a good turner on the lathe, could soon turn out a top for them. Even after father was kind to them, they would come and say to me, "Why doesn't your father get plenty of bread so you can carry it around town and waste it as we do?" I would reply that my parents were not fools; that my father worked hard helping others; that he preached the gospel; worked on the temple; and guarded the Prophet--which was more than they could say.
A few of the apostates began to get a little power in the Church again. There were the Bennets, the Laws, and the Fosters, whose acts were deplorable; and they seemed to think of the Church only because of the 'loaves and the fishes'.
The newspaper, "The Nauvoo Expositor", was printed and issued by the spawn of Satan. They printed the most abominable lies and misrepresentations. These falsehoods were more than the Prophet and the good Brethren could stand. One night, I had a notice that something was to be done by the despisers of iniquity. I shouldered my rifle and marched along, and I saw the press and type go through the window. I picked up a hat full of type, shouldered a press log, and with my rifle returned home, arriving there about 4 o'clock in the morning. Right or wrong, I thought I was prompted to do it, but from that time on, all the powers of the evil one seemed to be directed against the Prophet. He knew no peace from then until his death. Some may ask why I did it; and as I said, Right or wrong, I think that I was prompted to do it. The heavenly watchers know more about it than I; and the Power of Heaven did the prompting.
I was in a sham battle, and expected to be in another one directed by Bennet, but I was told to keep my eye on Francis Higbee, which I did, for he was a serpent in the grass, through the goodness of the Father of life, our noble Prophet was spared to still cheer the Saints.
I joined the whistling and whittling band. In those days there was, now and then, a fop or dude who would go to a man's shingle pile, and with his hat or cap cocked on one side, would sit and whittle and whistle. There was no law against that, but from what we could learn, some of them were interested in taking the life of the Prophet. We kept a good watch, and were directed to keep an eye on the "Black Ducks". We really tried to do our duty and we succeeded in bagging some game. I was about to give some instances, but forbear by saying, "In no case did I ever help to engage in whittling any one down to make them cross the great river unless they were known to be lurking around the Prophet's premises quite late, or to be seeking that which was none of their business. In extreme cases when we knew a man to be a snobber, and who still sought the life of the Prophet, we would use our rail. We generally had four boys to a rail-----the rail would be flat on the bottom and was three cornered; on the top corner it was terribly sharp-----fixed to suit the aggravating circumstances. Four boys generally knew how to manage the rail. We all had our knives and our timbers to whittle and make rails from, and we knew what tunes to whistle. I do not know if the boys from Nauvoo would like for me to betray those old-fashioned secrets; but that was the way we initiated those who seemed to wish with all their hearts to become thoroughly acquainted with the secrets of the Prophet. If they appreciated the way of innocent childhood, they could repent of their sins and be ready for baptism. I do not know of any who seemed to be desirous of continuing the war; instead they were on hand for a covenant of peace. Bennet and some of the others were left to the Prophet's own management. Well do I remember the Prophet's speech from a frame in front of his mansion--where he said, "Brethren, I now roll this work onto the shoulders of the Twelve; and they shall bear and send this Gospel to every nation under Heaven". He asked the Legions if they were not all his boys, and they shouted "Yes!" I stood on the rail of the fence in front of the mansion. When the Prophet said, "Brethren, the Lord Almighty has this day revealed to me something I never comprehended before! That is--I have friends who have at a respectful distance been ready to ward off the blows of the adversary. (He brought his hand down on my father's head as he was acting as body-guard to the Prophet) While others have pretended to be my friends, and have crept into my bosom and become vipers, and have been my most deadly enemies. I wish you to be obedient to these true men as you have promised. ARE YOU WILLING TO DIE FOR ME?" Yes! was the shout. "You have said you are willing to die for me--". Then he drew his sword and cried, "I WILL DIE FOR YOU! If this people cannot have their rights, my blood shall run upon the ground like water". When the Prophet had his hand upon my father's head, I said to myself, "I trust that I will be as true to young Joseph, the Prophet's son, as my father is to his father". Afterwards at home, I told my father of my thoughts, and he said, "No, Mosiah, for God has shown to Brother Joseph that his son, Joseph, will be the means of drawing many people away from this Church after him. Brother Joseph gave us to understand that it was our duty to follow the Twelve. The majority of this people will be right; but when you see people thirsting for the blood of the Saints, you may know they are not right". Before the Prophet spoke from the frame, he had started to go to the rocky mountains, and went as far a Montrose; but through the interference of some pretended friends, he returned. I was a witness to these things--and when the Prophet spoke from the frame, he spoke with power, and the people loved him.
The next day the Prophet came to our home and stopped in our carpenter shop and stood by the turning lathe. I went and got my map for him. "Now", he said, "I will show you the travels of this people". He then showed our travels through Iowa, and said, "Here you will make a place for the winter; and here you will travel west until you come to the valley of the Great Salt Lake! You will build cities to the North and to the South, and to the East and to the West; and you will become a great and wealthy people in that land. But, the United States will not receive you with the laws which God desires you to live, and you will have to go to where the Nephites lost their power. They worked in the United Order for 166 years, and the Saints have got to become proficient in the laws of God before they can meet the Lord Jesus Christ, or even the city of Enoch". He said we will not travel the shape of the horse shoe for there we will await the action of the government. Placing his finger on the map, I should think about where Snowflake, Arizona is situated, or it could have been Mexico, he said, "The government will not receive you with the laws that God designed you to live, and those who are desirous to live the laws of God will have to go South. You will live to see men arise in power in the Church who will seek to put down your friends and the friends of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Many will be hoisted because of their money and the worldly learning which they seem to be in possession of; and many who are the true followers of our Lord and Savior will be cast down because of their poverty. There will be two great political parties in this country. One will be called the Republican, and the other the Democrat party. These two parties will go to war and out of these two parties will spring another party which will be the Independent American Party. The United States will spend her strength and means warring in foreign lands until other nations will say, "Let's divide up the lands of the United States", then the people of the U. S. will unite and swear by the blood of their fore-fathers, that the land shall not be divided. Then the country will go to war, and they will fight until one half of the U. S. army will give up, and the rest will continue to struggle. They will keep on until they are very ragged and discouraged, and almost ready to give up--when the boys from the mountains will rush forth in time to save the American Army from defeat and ruin. And they will say, 'Brethren, we are glad you have come; give us men, henceforth, who can talk with God'. Then you will have friends, but you will save the country when it's liberty hangs by a hair, as it were".