Graphite on watercolor sketch study by Elspeth Young
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journey from wilton, connecticut to nauvoo, illinois
[In my sixteenth year] an Elder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was traveling through our country [and] preached there . . . I went on a Sunday and was fully convinced that it was the true Gospel he presented and I must embrace it. The following Sunday I was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints . . . [In 1840] I started for Nauvoo with my Mother, Eliza Manning; my brothers Isaac, Lewis, and Peter; my sisters, Sarah Stebbings and Angeline Manning; my brother-in-law, Anthony Stebbings; Lucinda Manning (a sister-in-law), and myself. We started from Wilton ...
We started in Wilton, Conn[ecticut], and traveled by Canal to Buffalo NY . . . [T]hey insisted on having the money at Buffalo and would not take us farther. So we left the boat, and started on foot to travel a distance of over eight hundred miles. We walked until our shoes were worn out, and our feet became sore and cracked open and bled until you could see the whole print of our feet with blood on the ground. We stopped and united in prayer to the Lord, we asked God the Eternal Father to heal our feet and our prayers were answered and our feet were healed forthwith . . . When we arrived at Peoria Illinois the authorities threatened to put us in jail . . . . [W]e traveled on until we came to a river and as there was no bridge we walked right into the stream . . . but we got safely across . . . we went on our way rejoicing, singing hymns and thanking God for his infinite goodness and mercy to us, in blessing us as he had, protecting us from all harm, answering our prayers and healing our feet. (Autobiography dictated to Elizabeth J. Roundy in 1893)
1300-mile trek from nauvoo, illinois to the salt lake valley
In the Spring of 1846 I left Nauvoo to come to this great and glorious Valley. We traveled as far as Winter Quarters--there we stayed until Spring; at Keg Creek my son, Silas, was born. In the Spring of 1847 we started again on our way . . . We arrived here on the 22nd of September 1847 without any serious mishaps. The Lord's blessing was with us and protected us all the way . . . in all the Lord was with us and gave us grace and faith to stand [all suffering].
reserved seats in the tabernacle
In gratitude for the sacrifices and selflessness of Jane Elizabeth Manning and her brother, Isaac, in building the kingdom and furthering the work, she and Isaac were granted the privilege of reserved seats at the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Jane contributed from her meager living to support the Lamanite Mission and the building of the St. George, Logan, and Manti Temples.
(See "A Test of Faith: Jane Elizabeth James and the Origins of the Utah Black Community" by Henry J. Wolfinger in Social Accommodations in Utah (American West Center occasional papers, University of Utah, 1975), pp. 126–29.)
I have seen Brother Brigham, Brother Taylor, Woodruff, and Snow—rule this great work and pass on to their reward—and now Brother Joseph F. Smith. I hope the Lord will spare him—if 'tis his holy will, for many many years—to guide the Gospel ship to a harbor of safety, and I know they will, if the people will only listen and obey the teachings of these good, great, and holy men.
I have lived right here in Salt Lake City for fifty-two years, and I have had the privilege of going into the Temple and being baptized for some of my dead. I am over eighty years old . . . and I am nearly blind, which is a great trial to me, it is the greatest trail I have ever been called upon to bear, but I hope my eyesight will be spared to me poor as it is, that I may be able to go to meeting, and to the temple and to do more work for my dead . . . I want to say right here, that my faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is as strong today, nay, [if it is] possible stronger that it was the day I was first baptized . . . I try in my feeble way to set a good example to all . . . (Autobiography dictated to Elizabeth J. Roundy in 1893)