In the Spring of 1859 my wife and I lived in the 13th Ward in Salt Lake City. We were entirely out of firewood. Not having a team I borrowed a handcart and went up to the mouth of Red Butte Canyon. The snow was over a foot deep with a hard crust, consequently I had a hard pull to get there. I succeeded in getting a good load. I had to wallow in snow waist deep to get it. I had broken road in the deep snow till I was very wet. The sun was getting very low when I started for home. The cold was so intense that my pants froze stiff on me. It was very hard and laborious to pull the handcart through the crusted snow. I pulled and struggled for hours. Fortunately the moon was at the full. As near as I can judge it must have been near ten at night when I got down off the bench near the cemetery.
I was so very much exhausted and give out that I dropped the shafts nearer dead than alive, and leaned back on the load. I soon fell into a deep sleep from which I was awakened by an unseen messenger from the other world. I was grasped by the shoulders from behind and it took a great deal of powerful shaking to awaken me. There was a cloudless sky, and the moon shone bright and clear. I could see quite a distance in every direction. At first I thought my brother-in-law, Creighton Hawkins, had come to hunt for me. I looked around the load but nobody was there. I started again with my load but that was the last that I could remember.
When I came to my senses again I found myself inside a small one room house in a chair by a warm fire in a fireplace, no stove. A woman was on one side of me pouring hot soup down my throat, and a man on the other side. They told me that about 11 o'clock the good lady heard a noise outside like a drunk man falling down near the door. Her husband said: "Oh! you are always imagining some unreasonable thing or other." However she opened the door and there they found me insensible and perfectly helpless, and to all appearances dead. I told them that I had been after wood and maybe it was not far off. He went out and found the load a good quarter of a mile East of the house. I came nearly freezing to death twice in one night.
Surely the kind and protecting care of the Almighty was over and round about me in a wonderful manner. I do with heartfelt soul thank the Lord my God.
April 20, 1864. Well, well, here I am alone keeping batch, and I feel very low in spirits, in fact I do not feel well. I cannot work with any spirit although I have got plenty to do, and I might say nothing to do with. One ox dead, consequently no team to plough with, and here it is time that both corn and sugar cane were being planted. Now isn't that too bad for a young and inexperienced farmer like me. And now that I have commenced suppose I tell a few more of my troubles. Here we have had a sick cow for five long weeks nursing and doctoring. Had to call in the neighbors twice a day to help get her up.
Suppose I was to keep on, eventually both paper and pencil would fail and then what a fool I would be. Don't the wise man say, "Keep thy sorrows and thy troubles to thyself." Why not be a man and shake off the feeling. Let us suppose the consequences by and by if I do not. Aurelia and the two darling boys will soon come home. She will probably feel dull on account of her mother's contemplated departure to England on a visit. The children will be tired and hot, and if I meet them with a long paper face, without a smile, there won't be much sunshine will there.
Now I don't calculate to feel dull any longer. I shall and must go to work. Now I think of it I must fix up that Lucerne patch, but before I go let me just say goodbye Ma, may you be blessed with a prosperous trip to and back from England, and may we all prosper and have plenty of good things for you when you return. These are a few of the wishes of Old Sobersides.
May 1st, 1864 (Sunday). Ma started for England yesterday with the missionaries by mule team. We all feel very lonely and dull. Willie is in such a way. He ants to know if he can go and spend Sunday with his little cousin Joe. The day is hot and dry It is now upwards of four weeks since we have had any rain and the crops are in great need of water.
19 September 1864. Monday morning. Will you believe it, we had a little daughter come to town about quarter to one this morning. Born before I could get back with the midwife. It looks the tiniest little thing. As fat as a little pig. Aurelia is doing well. Had quite a job getting a nurse. Old Sister Davis is staying until we can get somebody else. The boys, Willie and Harris are not a bit jealous, but are very proud of their little sister. Lucy Hurst Bennett's birth.
October 11, 1864. Here we are. Poor little Harris is sick, and the baby colicky, and we are all lonesome together. I have to leave every night working at the T. O. Yards Molasses Mill. There has been very little sleep for poor me these days, but then we must cheer up. Aurelia is weak yet and we have no nurse now, and it is very hard on her having everything to see to, and what makes it worse I have to be away so much. Better times ahead. I have no doubt that things will work out alright if we will continue to do right.
Sometime in the year 1873, I had the following dream: I found myself standing East of where the Logan Temple now stands. I was very much astonished to see the foundation of a large building completed to the water table. I thought to myself is it possible that I live in Logan and did not know of such a great work as this going on? A personage appeared to me and said aloud: "You marvel at this."
I replied: "Yes, Sir, I really do."
He answered in a mild sweet voice: "What you see here is the foundation of a temple which will be built right here on this spot of ground in a short time from now, and it will be built by the free will offerings of the Saints, and they will be far better off when it is completed than they are now, and will be a great blessing, both temporal and spiritual."
In the year 1878 I saw the foundation exactly as I saw it in my dream five years previous.