The Diary of
Frederick William Hurst

Web Part 34


In the fall and winter of 1892-3, I worked at painting in the Salt Lake Temple. Although sick, I felt strongly impressed to go and do my very best.

At noon the third day after beginning, President Woodruff called all of the workmen together. He said he had been told that some of the workmen had stated that it would be impossible to have the temple completed by April 6. He said when he looked at this body of men he didn't believe a word of it. Some of you may be sick and weak (I thought he was talking to me) he continues, some of you may be give out at night, but you will be here in the morning if you are faithful. You are not here by accident, you were ordained in the Eternal World to perform this work. Brethren, I will be here April 6th to dedicate this building. I know what I am talking about for this was shown me in a vision 50 years ago in the city of Boston.

At times during that winter I was so sick with vomiting I dare not ride on a street car. I had two miles to walk to my lodging at Creighton Hawkins' home, which was located in the first Ward. Often the Brethren would say to me: "You can't go to work tomorrow." I thought of President Woodruff's promise and didn't miss a day all winter, but was constant until the work was finished.

Along about the 1st of March, 1893, I found myself alone in the dining room, all had gone to bed. I was sitting at the table when to my great surprise my older Brother Alfred walked in and sat down opposite me at the table and smiled. I said to him (he looked so natural): "When did you arrive in Utah?"

He said: "I have just come from the Spirit World, this is not my body that you see, it is lying in the tomb. I want to tell you that when you were on your mission you told me many things about the Gospel, and the hereafter, and about the Spirit World being as real and tangible as the earth. I could not believe you, but when I died and went there and saw for myself I realized that you had told the truth. I attended the Mormon meetings." He raised his hand and said with much warmth: "I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ with all my heart. I believe in faith, and repentance and baptism for the remission of sins, but that is as far as I can go. I look to you to do the work for me in the temple." He continued: "You can go to any kind of sectarian meeting in the Spirit World. All our kindred there knew when you were trying to make up your mind to come and work on the temple. You are watched closely, every move you make is known there, and we were glad you came. We are all looking to you as our head in this great work. I want to tell you that there are a great many spirits who weep and mourn because they have relatives in the Church here who are careless and are doing nothing for them."

Three different times during our conversation I leaned over the table towards him and said: "Alfred, you look, talk and act perfectly natural, it doesn't seem possible that you are dead." And every time he replied: "It is just my SPIRIT you see, my body is in the grave." There was a great deal more that he told me but these are the important items as I remember them. He arose and went out through the door that he had entered.

As I sat pondering upon what I had seen and heard, with my heart filled with thanks and gratitude to God, the door opened again and my brother Alexander walked in and sat down in the chair that Alfred had occupied. He had died in 1852 in New Zealand. I did the work for both he and Father in April 1885. He had come from a different Sphere, he looked more like an angel as his countenance was beautiful to look upon. With a very pleasant smile he said: "Fred, I have come to thank you for doing my work for me, but you did not go quite far enough," and he paused. Suddenly it was shown to me in large characters,


I looked at him and said: "I think I understand, you want some person sealed to you."

He said: "You are right, I don't need to interpret the scriptures to you, but until that work is done I cannot advance another step." I replied that the Temple would be completed and dedicated in about four weeks, and then I would attend to it as quickly as possible.

"I know you will," he said, and then got up and left the room, leaving me full of joy, peace, and happiness beyond description.

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pages 204-205 in the 1961 edition of
The Diary of Frederick William Hurst

Frederick William Hurst's artwork

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