Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Elder John W. Taylor [May 15, 1858 – October 10, 1916]

Elder John W. Taylor son of the prophet, John Taylor served a mission in Kentucky. Lucy Susan Hendricks had dreams of the truthfulness of the gospel as recorded in Elder Taylor's history:

"Elder Taylor was then sent to the State of Kentucky. Here he labored with Jacob G. Bigler with great success, baptizing about eighteen people. He was released in the spring of 1882. During this mission he enjoyed much power in preaching the gospel, and the spirit of prophecy rested upon him to a great extent. Many times when standing before a congregation of people, his countenance was resplendent with the light and inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Many people were impressed with the divinity of the message which he bore, and some honest-in-heart remarked, "Surely you must be inspired, or you could not speak as you do!"

In missionary labor Bro. Taylor in a happy manner always adapted himself to the circumstances of the people with whom he labored. He would help them plow the corn, work in the cotton or tobacco fields, and while side by side with the farm laborers he was equal or superior to them in speed and endurance; while thus working in the field he would preach the gospel to those about him. He had great faith in administering to the sick, and many were healed under his administration. The spirit of prophecy was enjoyed to a marked extent by Elder Taylor.

The following occurrences will serve to bear out his statement: When he read the inaugural address of President James A. Garfield, a spirit of inspiration came upon him and he remarked, "Something will happen to that man!" On learning of the assassination of the President, some months later, Elder Taylor's missionary companion, to whom the prophetic utterance was made, recalled the prediction While laboring with Elder Bigler, the two approached a house one evening and applied for entertainment Filled with the gift of inspiration Brother Taylor, in his characteristic manner, said, "We have a message for you from heaven; and if you will entertain us, it shall be made known to you by dreams this very night that we are the true servants of the Lord." They were invited in and their wants provided for. That night the father of the household as well as some of the children had dreams that were satisfying to them that the Elders they were entertaining were servants of the Lord.

The mother [Lucy] also had a dream or vision which was most assuring to her mind that these men were sent of God. In this dream a heavenly messenger appeared to her. She had been for some time in a quandary about which of the religions she was acquainted with was the right one So she enquired of this messenger concerning the matter. Thereupon there passed before her all the preachers she was acquainted with or had ever seen in the neighborhood. Then the messenger asked if she was satisfied with either of them. She replied that she was not. She was next carried away in a vision to a steep cliff the top of which she was trying to reach. One of the sectarian preachers whom she had before met appeared above her and offered her something to grasp and thereby draw herself up to the summit of the rock. What he held out to her proved to be nothing but a straw, and it snapped in two the moment she caught hold of it. He next offered a stick, but this too proved to be useless as it was rotten. Presently Elder Taylor appeared on the top of the cliff. He offered his hand to help her up, and she at once gained the desired footing upon the rock. Still she was not entirely satisfied as to who had the truth.

Another scene then presented itself to view. An open field spread out before her in which appeared all the preachers she previously saw in vision. In a moment they all vanished from her sight and directly before her there stood the two "Mormon" Elders who had received shelter under her roof. Upon being asked again by the messenger if she was satisfied, she replied that she was. The family was afterwards baptized into the Church. Some time later Elder Taylor, on leaving the house, one very clear, bright morning, said to a little girl, belonging to this same family, whom he saw in the front yard, "My little girl, a storm is coming here today." The child told her parents what the Elder had said, and they in their honest confidence in the word of Bro. Taylor, without waiting for further indications of a storm, housed themselves up and waited for its approach. Sure enough in the afternoon the howling tornado came and did considerable damage. But the family who believed in a living Prophet prepared for the predicted event and escaped all harm."

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