“When I arrived at Kirtland, I went to the house of Joseph Smith and told him I had come to stay a few days in the place. He was going to work in the hayfield. He invited me to go with him. I did, so, further said he would tell me all about it. I stayed nine days at the place, worked with the prophet six days. During my stay at Kirtland, Brother Brigham Young came from Canada to Kirtland and had some four or five very interesting meetings. The power of God was poured out upon us, so that we spake with other tongues and prophesied as the spirit gave utterance. Much good instruction was given by President Joseph Smith.” Source: Autobiography of Joseph Bates Noble, typescript, BYU-S. and Joseph Bates Noble Journal from Grandpa Bill’s General Authority Pages
JOSEPH BATES NOBLE 1810 – 1900
- Born 1810 Egremont, Massachusetts
- Baptized 1832
- Zions Camp 1834
- First Quorum of Seventy 1835
- Married Mary Adeline Beaman 1837; later practiced plural marriage
- Performed first Plural Marriage for Joseph Smith to Louisa Beaman 1841
- Ordained High Priest and called as Bishop
- Received Prophet’s Legion Sword June 24, 1844
- Deeded his home to Lucy Mack Smith 1846
- Second Wagon Company to enter Salt Lake Valley 1847
- Settled in West Bountiful, Utah
- Mission to United States 1872
- Died 1900 Wardboro, Bear Lake County Idaho; Buried Salt Lake City, Utah
THIS WEEK IN CHURCH HISTORY Deseret News January 15,1966
Jan 14, 1810 – Their first child was born to Mr. and Mrs. Ezekiel Noble at Egremont, Mass. They named him Joseph Bates.
When the Prophet Joseph Smith rode out of Nauvoo toward Carthage on that fateful Jun morning in 1844, his bishop was among those who accompanied him. The bishop was Joseph Bates Noble of the Nauvoo Fifth Ward.
The Prophet and the bishop had been through a kaleidoscope of experience together in the 11 or so years that they had known each other. Many strands had been woven into the friendship that now bound them together.
Both were New Englanders by birth though born many miles and five years apart. Both had moved to New York in childhood and had learned the lessons of hard work at an early age. Bates, as he was often called, was helping support his family at the age of 14. There were 10 children that followed after he was born.
He learned the miller’s trade and earned enough money to buy a 70-acre farm for his father. The lad built a log cabin on the farm, helped the family move in, then bought them three cows. He was an industrious youngster.
Four person who come to the community of Sheldon at about the same time brought profound changes into the life of this hard-working miller. Brigham and Joseph Young and Heber C. Kimball brought the message of the Gospel. School teacher Mary Beman made his heart skip. He was baptized in the fall of 1832. When summer came, he was on his way to Kirtland to see the Prophet. Joseph Smith was just on his way to work in the field when Bates arrived. For six of the nine days that he was in Kirtland, Bates learned the Gospel of work while pitching hay with the prophet.
Bates marched to Missouri with Zion’s Camp, another opportunity to associate with and learn form the Prophet.
He returned to New York and married the pretty schoolteacher then settled in Kirtland where he worked as a miller. He became a member of the First Quorum of Seventy, attended the dedication of the Kirtland Temple and fulfilled a million call to southern Ohio.
In 1838, he joined the migration to Missouri, but had to retreat to Illinois, prodded by the bayonets, of a Mormon hating militia. He was miraculously healed in an administration by the Prophet.
For a time, Bates served as a counselor in the bishopric at Montrose, Iowa. After he moved to Nauvoo in 1841, he became bishop of the Fifth Ward, quartermaster sergeant in the Nauvoo Legion and a member of Gen. Smith’s bodyguard.
So it was that Bishop Joseph Bates Noble rode toward Carthage with his close friend and leader. But the bishop became seriously ill on the way and was forced to turn back. The Prophet rode off the road with him a short distance. The parting was a sad one. The Prophet gave the bishop his legion sword as a token of their friendship and asked him to deliver a note to Mrs. Smith. That was the last time Bishop Noble saw the Prophet alive.
His love never diminished for the man who had restored the Gospel. Hectic days followed, but one of the bishops final acts as he was preparing to leave for the West was the delivery of the deed to his house and lot in Nauvoo as a gift to Lucy Smith, the Prophet’s mother. This was undoubtedly a gesture of love and loyalty to the Prophet as much as to his mother.
Bishop Noble was a leader in the trek to Salt Lake Valley. In the valley he served again as bishop, as a bishop’s counselor, a high councilor and finally as a patriarch.
He fulfilled numerous other special assignments and missions for the Church in addition to the task of providing for his large family. He died at the age of 90 while visiting in Wardboro, Idaho.
By Arnold Irvine Complete Article Here
History speaks of Joseph Smith receiving his sword from Wilford Woodruff
by Thomas G Alexander
“Better equipped than most of the Zion’s camp recruits, Wilford owned his team, wagon, and personal armaments. Appointed a teamster, he had charge of sixteen horses. Like the others, he furnished his own arms, but unlike some with antiquated weapons, he carried a rifle, sword, dirk, and pistol. Joseph asked for the sword, and Wilford made him a gift of it.” (24)
(24) Woodruff Autobiography page 41
The following biographical sketch is adapted from the LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Andrew Jenson, Vol. 4, p.691 and the Ancestral File.
Joseph Bates Noble, a member of Zion’s Camp, was born Jan. 14, 1810, in Egremont, Berkshire Co., Mass., the second child of twelve and the first son of Ezekiel Bates and Theodotia Bates.
He was converted to the Gospel in 1832; and volunteered to go to Missouri as a member of Zion’s Camp in 1834. Returning to Kirtland, Ohio, he attended the Elders’ school before being chosen a member of the Seventy. Joseph witnessed glorious manifestations of the power of God in the Kirtland Temple;
Joseph married Mary Adeline Beman Sept. 11, 1837, and later practiced plural marriage, having a total of seven wives, three of whom he married on a single day, and three of whom were sisters. The Ancestral File lists thirty-one children he sired by the six of his wives who bore him children.
Joseph took part in the Kirtland Camp and went to Missouri where he passed through the persecutions of the saints; he then located in Commerce (Nauvoo), where he was miraculously healed from a severe attack of sickness through the administrations of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Elder Noble was ordained a High Priest and appointed to act as Bishop of the Nauvoo Fifth Ward. Later, he acted as one of the Prophet’s body guards. Later still, he acted as a Bishop in Winter Quarters.
Bishop Noble came west in 1846 and followed the Pioneers to the Salt Lake Valley in the fall of 1847. There he acted as first counselor to Bishop Edward Hunter of the Salt Lake City 13th Ward.
Elder Noble moved to Bountiful, in 1862 where he was called as a member of the Davis Stake High Council. He performed a mission to the United States in 1872.
He died Aug. 17, 1900, in Wardboro, Bear Lake Co., Idaho.and is buried in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Grampa believes that no one is better qualified than an individual to tell the individual’s life story. Fortunately, Elder Noble has left us an autobiography of his early years which we herewith cite.
I am the son of Ezekiel Noble. My father was born in May, about the year 1785. My grandfather’s name was Ezekiel Noble. My father had a number of brothers and sisters. One of his brothers’ name was Harvey. He had also a sister, Unice Noble. My mother’s maiden name was Theldosia Bates. Her father’s name was Joseph Bates. My mother has brothers by the name Harvey Bates, John Bates, Joseph and Britewell Bates. My parents were married about the year 1805, and in 1815 moved to the state of New York, Penfield, Monroe County (May).
My sister, Sarah, was born in May, 1807, and I was born in 1810, January 14, and when at the age of 5 years, my father moved to the above mentioned place, where we lived until 1830. During this time my father’s family had increased until we numbered 11 in family. I will here give their names and the year of their birth. My sister, Unice, was born in the year 1813, Penfield, Monroe County. My sister, Rhoda, was born in the year 1815, in the same place. My mother gave birth to a pair of twins in the year 1817, both of them girls. The one she called Elonora Persillia, and Leonora Cordelia.
In the year 1819 my mother gave birth to another pair of twins and called their names Mary Sobia and Rebecca Maria. In the year 1822 John Noble was born. Harvey Noble was born in the year 1825. Robert Noble was born in the year 1827. These are the names of my father’s family.
When at the age of 14, my father, having a large family, and not much to help himself with, depended upon the labor of his own hands for the support of so large a family. I went to work by the month for Nelson Fullom for six months at $5.00 per month. I, with part of my summer’s work, bought a cow for my father and the remainder I clothed myself with, and from this time on till I was 18 years of age I was from home most of the time. Summers I worked on a farm and most of the time for Mr. Fullom, who raised my wages and gave me many presents because of my faithfulness. Winters I went to school.
At the age of 18 I went to live with one Harrison A. Fairchild, for to learn to be a miller (or to tend mill). Mr. Fairchild moved to north Bloomfield and rented what was called Smith’s Hills, in partnership with Oliver H. Tomlinson. At the end of the year, Mr. Fairchild sold his interest to Mr. Tomlinson. I then hired to Mr. Tomlinson for one year. I have been able, by my good attention to business to give good satisfaction. I never had a word of difficulty with any man up to this day.
During this time I gave considerable to my father. I took delight in helping my father and in seeing them comfortable as to the things of this world. I did not, as many did at my age, spend a great deal of their time to no value. My mind was so directed (or led) that I enjoyed myself best when I was in a situation to help my father’s family. The steady course I took gave them great confidence in me and I had their confidence and blessing. I continued to work as a miller. By this time I began to get knowledge of the business and my wages were accordingly. I will say here that I became acquainted with a man by the name of Eben Wilcox while I was in the employ of Mr. Fairchild, and when to work for Mr. Tomlinson. Eben Wilcox had the oversight of the mill as a miller. The mill was conveyed into other hands at the first part of the year. Mr. Wilcox and myself went to Avon, Livingston County, and hired to Mr. McMillen to tend mill. Mr. Wilcox has $26 per month. I got $18 per month.
We were in the employ of Mr. McMillen two years. McMillen then sold the mill to Mr. Norman Little. We stayed with Mr. Little one year. During this time I have been attentive to my father and family, really distributing my means for their benefit. (Note: Re has this marked out) bought them three cows, I remember, and hogs, and clothing for their comfort.) I took up for them 70 acres of land in the Genessee County, town of Sheldon, and built a good log house there, 16 by 20, and assisted in moving my father’s family to the before-mentioned place. I also helped them to clearing off the same season three acres of very heavy timberland that was put in wheat.
My father’s health was quite poor, owing to a fall he got the winter before in which his side and some of his ribs were broken. The weakness continued to trouble him for years, even unto this day. I have bought for them three cows and many other necessary things for their comfort. Sometime previous to my father moving from Penfield, my eldest sister, Sarah, was married to David Graves. After living with him for one year, he went to visit his mother and brothers and sisters who then were living in Blackrock, four or five miles below Buffalo, New York. He was taken with a fever and died. My sister, soon after, had a son, and she called his name Theodore.
I continued to work at the milling business. Sometime in the fall of 1832, I heard for the first time the gospel preached by Brigham [Young] and Joseph Young, and Heber C. Kimball. I said in my heart, “that is truth according to the spirit that is in me, “for I was a person who thought much about the things of God, and often meditated and wondered in my heart, and asked myself this question; Where is the people of God? Where are they that exercised the faith before Him that our father’s did? I have, from the age of 12 years old, often felt after the God of my fathers, and have from time to time obtained by the whispering of this spirit a testimony of my acceptance with him. I have a proud heart, and from the good intention I gave from what was put into my care I gained the confidence of all. I took time in endeavoring to excell and minding my own business.
I was baptized in the fall of 1832, as also was Eben Wilcox, and some four or five others, who bore our testimony in favor of the work of God, that he had commenced in these last days by revealing to his servant, Joseph Smith, the keys of the Holy Priesthood, authorizing him to build up his kingdom on the earth. In the summer of 1833, I went to Kirtland, Ohio, to visit Joseph Smith, for as yet I had never seen him. The distance was 250 miles. When I arrived at Kirtland, I went to the house of Joseph Smith and told him I had come to stay a few days in the place. He was going to work in the hayfield. He invited me to go with him. I did, so, further said he would tell me all about it. I stayed nine days at the place, worked with the prophet six days. During my stay at Kirtland, Brother Brigham Young came from Canada to Kirtland and had some four or five very interesting meetings. The power of God was poured out upon us, so that we spake with other tongues and prophesied as the spirit gave utterance. Much good instruction was given by President Joseph Smith.
I left Kirtland sometime in the forepart of July, in company with Brigham Young and Edmund Bosley. We went to Fairport, 12 miles, and there went on aboard the steamboat to Buffalo. We had a pleasant voyage dots the lake, arrived in Buffalo. It was soon found out by some that we were Mormons (so called) and a youngerly man who had sometime previous been acquainted with Brother Bosley, came to us and wished to have an interview with us, pretending that he was apio’s to know the truth and to brace it. We were at a public house and he invited us into an upper room, Brother Young and myself alone. He asked Brother Young many questions. Brother Young explained to him the coming forth of this work–how the Lord had sent his angels to communicate his will unto his servant, Joseph Smith.
While they were conversing, I discovered that there was no light in him. I spoke to Brother Young and told him, “This man does not see the situation of the world.” He exclaimed in a rage, “I do, I do, I do. I’ll not see sinners going the downward road to perdition.” He then told Brother Young he wanted he should take a quantity of poison that he had prepared for that purpose, saying, “If it did not kill you, I will believe your testimony.” He was mad when he saw he could not accomplish the thing which he had undertaken, and threatened us with a mob if we did not leave the city straightway.
This was one of the students which was in the priest-factory, where they manufacture priests, but for some cause he was not able to bring a mob upon us. We had a pleasant time, and a good visit altogether.
In the spring of 1834, I settled up my business because there was a proclamation made by the servants of God that the strength of his house was wanted to go up to Missouri to redeem Zion, (or for the redemption of Zion). I accordingly volunteered, bid farewell to my father’s family and all my acquaintances for a season, and started on the first day of May. I arrived in Kirtland on the sixth, found the company had left, that they were to be in Woster that night, a distance of 50 miles. I hired Brother Johnson to take me with a horse and buggy to Wooster that night, which he did. We arrived there about 9:00 in the evening. I called up a public house and I found by inquiring that there was a company of Mormons who came in there that evening on their way to Missouri. My heart leaped with joy. I went to where they were. They were glad to see me, especially Elder Eben Wilcox. They began to fear that something had happened to me. I was some behind the time appointed.
About two days from Wooster we overtook the rest of our company. We numbered 205 in all, and we organized ourselves into companies of tens and fifties and hundreds, with captains over them, and a baggage wagon for each ten. We received much good instruction from President Joseph Smith from time to time as circumstances would permit. We traveled the more part of the way through an old settled country. Considerable excitement prevailed. Many questions were asked with regard to our motives, what we intended to do. We answered them as we thought best, or as we were instructed from time to time. President Smith would have us travel sometimes with arms on and sometimes without it. Sometimes most of us were in our own wagons, and then sometimes we were all out. We did not travel on Sundays. We stopped and held meetings. When we were near a village or town we would give notice for meetings. Sometimes we would have a Methodist preaching, Presbyterians and Universalist, and sometimes all in one day. We could easily make them believe or think that the company was made up of these different denominations and at the same time teach some of the items of our faith by such persons as had previously belonged to these different sects. They can give it the proper tone.
We were often countered by men on horseback and at ferry’s where one would think they need not mistake who it was. I never heard of our being numbered less than twice our actual number. Reports said we were a thousand strong. I have somewhere among my papers a brief sketch of places and distances, and of things that transpired on the way, which I intended to put in this journal, for there were many things said and done that to me were interesting and no doubt would be to my friends.
We travelled, I believe, 40 days. We arrived in Clay County, Missouri, without the loss of any. The Lord blessed us in a wonderful manner. We could see and feel that his care was over us. By his might and power we were preserved. Many were taken sick on the way. They were administered to and soon well. As soon as we arrived in Clay County there was sent to us a principal man of the county to learn our desire (or what we intended to do). We told them they well knew that our people had been driven from Jackson County, and from their lands. They had bought up government, and paid them cash for it. We had come to see the law put in force against those that had broken it, and to see our people reinstated on their land. They acknowledged it was right. They should (our people) be reinstated on their land. These men pledged themselves to use all their influence to bring about this thing. They told us the whole country was very much excited. They had heard that we were 2,000 strong, well armed with several pieces of artillery and that we intended to kill all, both great and small.
While in this place, President Joseph Smith received the word of the Lord, saying our offering was accepted, comparative to that of Abraham. Our hearts rejoiced when they heard this. A few were for crossing the Missouri River into Jackson County, or die trying. At this time there was stationed at the crossing, 500 men. Some two weeks previous to this time President Smith told us plainly there was a scourge coming from the camp. He said he had prayed, but nevertheless it will come. We thought it would come from our enemies who were threatening us continually, but just at the time when we were dismissed to make our own arrangements to get back, behold a cholera came on us with mighty power, and 14 of our best men fell, and I, myself, very narrowly escaped with my life. It was my lot to assist in taking care of four of them in one small room until they were dead.
I then, by the request of Brother Young and Kimball, went with them to the house of Peter Whitmer, in the village of Liberty, about two miles distant from our last encampment. I there was violently seized with the cholera, puking and purging violently, then cramping from head to foot, in a most powerful manner, with a burning fever in my bowels. In this situation I lay 40 hours. My voice and my hearing had nearly left me.
While in this situation Brother Brigham Young and Joseph Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, Peter Whitmer, with some three or four more prayed for me. While I was lying on the floor they formed a ring around me. While praying in this situation, the veil seemed very thin between me and my God, and I realized things that I never before thought of. Such were the blessings of God upon me that I nearly had an open vision. Through the faith of my brethren who was in exercise for me, I got up and with their assistance put on my clothes and in two days I started back for the Ohio with Lyman Johnson, Sylvester Smith,Luke Johnson, Zebedee Coltren, and Zerubable Snow, and two or three others. Never had I experienced before such a manifestation of the blessings of God as at this time. I continued to gain strength very fast so that in six or seven days I could do my portion of walking, as we had but one baggage wagon. I would like to say here that President Joseph Smith and others strove with their mights to rebuke the destroyer and continued to do it until the Lord told him to go away, and then he left, and not till then. We continued our march travelling from 25 to miles a day. We arrived in Kirtland the first day of August, and found President Joseph Smith had arrived a few days before us, all in tolerable good health, although some of us were quite poor from fatigue and exposure.
When we had all got together on our way up to Missouri every one put his money into the hands of President Smith and his council, and the commissary bought our provisions and distributed equally among the several officers. I put in $30 (or about that), and soon I had none. When through, we found the expense to be about $5.00 each. There was some money left in the hands of the presidency that was equally divided among all, $1.15 to each person. I obtained by loan, money to pay my expenses through to Ohio. There I had left my surplus clothes and some money in care of Eben Wilcox. This brother Wilcox was one of the four I mentioned of assisting in taking care of till they were burned. Never in my life did I feel to mourn like as on this occasion. I was sensible that a strong cord of friendship bound us together, but did not know that our hearts were so completely knit together as I found they were.
The circumstances in which we were placed made it the more trying. The excitement was so great that we always lay with our armor on so we were ready in a moment’s warning. One thing I was assured of–the God of our fathers was our defense. When our enemies gathered thick around us and ready seemingly to destroy us, the heavens gathered blackness and power, poured forth their thundering and lightening and hail storms, so that a little way off our camp trees were stripped the many leaves and limbs to the size of a man’s finger. How plain we could discern the hand of the Lord in our preservation.
I stayed in Kirtland one week to rest, and have my clothes washed. I then went to Fairport (fifteen miles), got aboard a steamboat, and in 24 hours landed in Buffalo, good passage (200 miles) by stage. I went to my father’s, [a] distance 40 miles. I found them all well; my mother’s joy was full at the sight of her dear boy (as she often called me). “Oh,” she says, “What have you accomplished? You have come very near losing your life. How poor you are. How you have tanned up.” Every kindness that I could expect from parents were shown me. They, with my brothers and sisters, welcomed me home.
I stayed with them three or four days, and then went to see the person that had won my affections–may I not say, had possession of my heart more than two years before I left for Missouri. I formed an acquaintance with Mary A. Beman (distance of about 20 miles from my fathers). My first introduction to this young woman was at McMillan’s, my place of boarding. She was teaching school in the neighborhood. Her father, Alva Beman, lived about 2 1/2 miles distance, a man well off as to houses and lands, and the goods of this world, very highly esteemed among men for his word. This man was well acquainted with the Smith family before the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and was with Joseph at one time, assisting him in hiding the plates from the mob. He was permitted to handle the plates with a cloth coming over them.
This Mary A. Beman brought the Book of Mormon into the neighborhood the first I had ever heard of, by the request of an old lay by the name of Wilcox, who testified continually that a great change or overturn was about to take place in the world. This woman read the Book of Mormon and believed it was true. By her testimony and from reflections that came to my mind, I was led to believe that the God of our father’s was about to fulfill the covenant that He had made with them, how He would remember their posterity in the last days, though they would have dwindled in unbelief, and have mixed themselves among all people, yet they should be gathered home again and come to a knowledge of a covenant made with their fathers.
I found Mr. Beman and family all well. They all welcomed my return, especially my dear Mary, whose heart, like the fawn, leaped for joy. She was still engaged in teaching in a large district school. I told her my calculations were, as soon as I could I wished to return to Kirtland, Ohio. I had agreed with Joseph Coe to tend his mill for $300 per year. A house and lot and firewood sweepings of mill.
She was willing to have her lot cast with mine, although at this time was not a Mormon (or had not been baptized). I made my wishes known to her parents. They gave their consent and the time was set for our marriage. The whole family connection was invited to attend. We were married Thursday p.m., at 5, September 11, 1834. The more part of our relatives were present. The large commodious room was filled to overflowing. We had an excellent supper and pleasant interview with our friends. However, the thought of our leaving their society and moving off for the Ohio was sorrowful, for as yet the family were so closely settled down together that in one-half days’ drive they could all come together. So it had been for a number of years. They were in the practice of coming together twice a year for a feast. But now the scene is about to be changed. The youngest but two about to break the tie. They made liberal offers to me if I would settle down among them, but no, my eyes had seen the light that shone forth in the West and I felt determined to follow it. I prepared myself with a horse and wagon, and one week after our marriage we started for the Ohio. Her parents had given her a good fit-out from everything we could take and money to buy the rest.
In a little less than six days we arrived in Kirtland, Ohio, a distance of 200 miles, I must say one of the most pleasant times I ever before witnessed. I found things prepared for me as we had agreed on. We then went to Richmond, and I got such things we needed for keeping house nad went immediately to keeping house, having things very comfortable.
About this time the Lord manifested to President Joseph Smith that it was necessary to select (or all) twelve men to be apostles (or special witnesses) to form a quorum equal in authority to that of the First Presidency. It was then said to Joseph Smith, “Call a Seventy, and ordain them out of Zion’s land.” The names of the Twelve were, Thomas B. Marsh, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, P. P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Lyman Johnson, Luke Johnson, William McClellan, William Smith, Jerod Patton, John Boynton. I was one of the Seventies. I was appointed a mission in the spring after this ordination, but was [blank] at tending and preparing meal in Willoughby, New York. My wife gave birth to a daughter. We called her Miram. She stayed with us but a very short time. When two weeks old she died, in the spring of 1836.
A company of about 40 others was again called on a mission. I again made preparation to go. As we were about ready to start, a learned gentleman by the name of Sexas came to Kirtland and wished to teach a Hebrew class and other languages, if wanted. President Joseph Smith called the leaders together and said to us it was a favorable opportunity to get a knowledge of the Hebrew and other languages. The hand of God was in it. We right about and went to school. The next six months I gained considerable information on the Hebrew and Chaldee language, so I could read and translate tolerably well. I had at this time no knowledge of the English grammar. That was against me in making progress.
Source: Joseph B. Noble, “Early Scenes in Church History,” Juvenile Instructor 15 (March 15, 1880):112.
By request, I shall attempt to refer to some things, of which I have been an eyewitness, for the benefit of the numerous readers of the Instructor.
The first matter that impresses itself upon my mind is an incident that occurred directly after the expulsion of the Saints from the state of Missouri. We found shelter in and about Quincy, Illinois. Soon after this, President Joseph Smith and his fellow prisoners in Liberty Jail found more liberty outside than they had for five months inside. I may tell you at some future time about certain things that happened at Liberty that came under my observation.
About this time a general conference was held at Quincy, at which some six or eight persons were called to go on missions, and I was one of the number.
We soon commenced to move our families up the river about fifty miles, to a place called Commerce, afterwards Nauvoo. Quite a number of us crossed the Mississippi River, to the Iowa side, to avail ourselves of some log cabins that had formerly been used as barracks for soldiers, at a place called Montrose.
Our exposure during the previous winter caused a great deal of sickness. I and some of my family were attacked with bilious fever. I think I can safely say that one half of the families of the whole people had more or less sickness, and many died. Two of my children were buried; and I was nigh unto death. So low was I that my wife asked me, in tears, if I was dying.
At this time Brother Elijah Fordham, a next-door neighbor to me, was very sick; indeed they were preparing clothes for his burial. In this trying hour the Holy Ghost was poured out upon the Prophet Joseph Smith, and he, with Brothers Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt and others, came to Brother Fordham’s house and commanded him, in the name of Jesus Christ, to arise and walk. He immediately jumped from his dying bed, kicked off the drafts from his feet, and came into my house, following the brethren, and shouting, leaping, and praising God with all his might.
President Smith, while leading the way to my bed, made this remark: “Brother Noble, you have been too long with me to lie here.” As soon as I saw him the tears of joy burst from my eyes. In a moment he was by my bedside, and took my by the hand. Without waiting for the other brethren to get to my bed, he commanded me, in the name of Jesus Christ, to arise and walk. I arose, and while putting on my clothes I fainted. When I regained consciousness I was on the bed, and Joseph was standing close to me.
While he was speaking I felt the healing virtue flowing through every part of my system. I immediately arose and walked, rejoicing and praising the Lord with all my heart, for His blessing resting upon me, by which I was made whole.
Brother Fordham was more active and stronger than I was. He never sat down in my house, but as soon as Brother Joseph had given directions to my wife concerning some nourishment for me, he left with the rest of the brethren. They went and administered to others who were sick, and called them up in a similar manner.
Joseph, at this time, rebuked the Elders for administering the form without the power. Said he, “Let the Elders either obtain the power of God to heal the sick, or let them cease to administer the form without the power.”
And here ends Elder Noble’s writing as Grampa has found them.
Andrew Janson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p.691
Autobiography of Joseph Bates Noble
Lawrence R. Flake, Prophets and Apostles of the Last Dispensation, p.269
2005 Church Almanac, p.60
Copied from Granpa Bill’s General Authority Pages:
HC Volume 2 Page 181-187
Kirtland, February 14, 1835.—This day, a meeting was called of those who journeyed last season to Zion for the purpose of laying the foundation of its redemption, together with as many other of the brethren and sisters as were disposed to attend.
President Joseph Smith, Jun., presiding, read the 15th chapter of John, and said: Let us endeavor to solemnize our minds that we may receive a blessing, by calling on the Lord. After an appropriate and affecting prayer, the brethren who went to Zion [ in Zion’s camp ] were requested to take their seats together in a part of the house by themselves.
President Smith then stated that the meeting had been called, because God had commanded it; and it was made known to him by vision 3 and by the Holy Spirit. He then gave a relation of some of the circumstances attending while journeying to Zion—our trials, sufferings; and said God had not designed all this for nothing, but He had it in remembrance yet; 4 and it was the will of God that those who went Zion, with a determination to lay down their lives, if necessary, should be ordained to the ministry, and go forth to prune the vineyard for the last time, or the coming of the Lord, which was nigh—even fifty-six years should wind up the scene.
The president also said many things; such as the weak things, even the smallest and weakest among us, shall be powerful and mighty, and great things shall be accomplished by you from this hour; and you shall begin to feel the whisperings of the Spirit of God; and the work of God shall begin to break forth from this time; and you shall be endowed with power from on high.
President then called up all those who went to Zion, if they were agreed with him in the statement which he had made, to arise; and they all arose and stood upon their feet.
The names of those who went to Zion in the camp are as follows: 5
Hazen Aldrich, Alonzo Champlin, Joseph S. Allen, Jacob Chapman, Isaac Allred, William Cherry, James Allred, John M. Chidester, Martin Allred, Alden Childs, Milo Andrus, Nathaniel Childs, Solomon Angel, Stephen Childs, Allen A. Avery, Albert Clements, Almon W. Babbitt, Thomas Colborn, Alexander Badlam, Alanson Colby, Samuel Baker, Zera S. Cole, Nathan Bennett Baldwin, Zebedee Coltrin, Elam Barber, Libeus T. Coon, Israel Barlow, Horace Cowan, Lorenzo D. Barnes, Lyman Curtis, Edson Barney, Mecham Curtis, Royal Barney, Solomon W. Denton, Henry Benner, Peter Doff, Samuel Bent, David D. Dort, Hiram Backman, John Duncan, Lorenzo Booth, James Dunn, George W. Brooks, Philemon Duzette, Albert Brown, Philip Effleman, Harry Brown, Bradford W. Elliot, Samuel Brown, David Elliot, John Brownell, David Evans, Peter Buchanan, Asa Field, Alden Burdick, Edmund Fisher, Harrison Burgess, Alfred Fisk, David Byur, Hezekiah Fisk, William F. Cahoon, Elijah Fordham, John Carpenter, George Fordham, John S. Carter, Frederick Forney, Daniel Cathcart, John Fossett, Solon Foster, James Foster, Jacob Gates, William S. Ivie, Benjamin Gifford, William Jessop,
Levi Gifford, Luke S. Johnson, Sherman Gilbert, Lyman E. Johnson, Tru Glidden, Noah Johnson, Dean C. Gould, Seth Johnson, Jedediah M. Grant, Isaac Jones, Addison Green, Levi Jones, Michael Griffith, Charles Kelley, Everett Griswold, Heber C. Kimball, Elisha Groves, Samuel Kingsley, Joseph Hancock, Dennis Lake, Levi W. Hancock, Jesse B. Lawson, Joseph Harmon, L. S. Lewis, Henry Herriman, Josiah Littlefield, Martin Harris, Lyman O. Littlefield, Joseph Hartshorn, Waldo Littlefield, Thomas Hayes, Amasa M. Lyman, Nelson Higgins, Moses Martin, Seth Hitchcock, Edward W. Marvin, Amos Hogers, Reuben McBride, Chandler Holbrook, Robert McCord, Joseph Holbrook, Eleazer Miller, Milton Holmes, John Miller, Osmon Houghton, Justin Morse, Marshal Hubbard, John Murdock, Solomon Humphrey, Freeman Nickerson, Joseph Huntsman, Levi S. Nickerson, John Hustin, Uriah C. Nickerson, Elias Hutchins, Joseph Nicholas, Heman T. Hyde, Joseph B. Noble, Orson Hyde, Ur. North, Warren S. Ingalls, Roger Orton, Edward Ivie, John D. Parker, James R. Ivie, Warren Parrish, John A. Ivie, Orson Pratt, William D. Pratt, Charles C. Rich, Leonard Rich, Samuel Thompson, Darwin Richardson, Wm. P. Tippetts, Burr Riggs, Tinney Thomas, Harpin Riggs, Nelson Tribbs, Nathaniel Riggs, Joel Vaughn, Milcher Riley, Salmon Warner, Alanson Ripley, William Weden,
Lewis Robbins, Elias Strong, Erastus Rudd, John Joshua Tanner, William Henry Sagers, Ezra Thayer, Wilkins Jenkins Salisbury, Nathan Tanner, Henry Sherman, James L. Thompson, Lyman Sherman, Elias Wells, Henry Shibley, Alexander Whitesides, Cyrus Smalling, Andrew W. Whitlock, Avery Smith, Lyman Wight, George A. Smith, Eber Wilcox, Hyrum Smith, Sylvester B. Wilkinson, Jackson Smith, Frederick G. Williams, Zechariah B. Smith, Alonzo Winchester, Joseph Smith, Benjamin Winchester, Lyman Smith, Lupton Winchester, Sylvester Smith, Alvin Winegar, William Smith, Samuel Winegar, Willard Snow, Hiram Winter, Harvey Stanley, Henry Wissmiller, Hyrum Stratton, Wilford Woodruff, Zerubbabel Snow, Brigham Young, Daniel Stephens, Joseph Young.
Women in Zion’s Camp. Charlotte Alvord, Mary Chidester, Sophronia Curtis, Diana Drake, Mary Snow Gates, Eunice Holbrook, Nancy Lambson Holbrook, Mrs. Houghton, Betsy Parrish, ———Ripley. Ada Clements,
Children in Zion’s Camp Diana Holbrook, daughter of Chandler Holbrook, Sarah Lucretia Holbrook, daughter of Joseph Holbrook, Charlotte Holbrook, daughter of Joseph Holbrook, ———, daughter of Alvin Winegar, Sarah Pulsipher, daughterh of Zera Pulsipher, John P. Chidester, son of John M. Chidester, Eunice Chidester, daughter of John M. Chidester.President Joseph Smith, Jun., after making many remarks on the subject of choosing the Twelve, wanted an expression from the brethren, if they would be satisfied to have the Spirit of the Lord dictate in the choice of the Elders to be Apostles; whereupon all the Elders present expressed their anxious desire to have it so.
A hymn was then sung, “Hark, listen to the trumpeters.” 6 President Hyrum Smith prayed, and meeting was dismissed for one hour.
Assembled pursuant to adjournment, and commenced with prayer.
President Joseph Smith, Jun., said that the first business of the meeting was, for the Three Witnesses 7 of the Book of Mormon, to pray each one, and then proceed to choose twelve men from the Church, as Apostles, to go to all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people.
The Three Witnesses, viz., Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris, united in prayer.
These Three Witnesses were then blessed by the laying on of the hands of the Presidency.
The Witnesses then, according to a former commandment, proceeded to make choice of the Twelve. Their names are as follows:
1. Lyman E. Johnson,
2. Brigham Young,
3. Heber C. Kimball,
4. Orson Hyde,
5. David W. Patten,
6. Luke S. Johnson,
7. William E. M’Lellin,
8. John F. Boynton,
9. Orson Pratt,
10. William Smith,
11. Thomas P. Marsh,
12. Parley P. Pratt,
Lyman E. Johnson, Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball came forward; and the Three Witnesses laid their hands upon each one’s head and prayed, separately. 8
HC Volume 2 Page 201-203
The Organization of the Seventies—Blessing of the Faithful Elders and Saints.
On the 28th of February, the Church in council assembled, commenced selecting certain individuals to be Seventies, 1 from the number of those who went up to Zion with me in the camp; and the following are the names of those who were ordained and blessed at that time, to begin the organization of the first quorum of Seventies, according to the visions 2 and revelations which I have received. The Seventies are to constitute traveling quorums, to go into all the earth, whithersoever the Twelve Apostles shall call them. 3
Names of the Presidents and Members of the First Quorum of Seventies, Ordained Under the Hand of the Prophet Joseph Smith, with his two Counselors, Sidney Rigdon and Oliver Cowdery. 4
Hazen Aldrich, Leonard Rich, Joseph Young, Zebedee Coltrin, Levi W. Hancock, Lyman Sherman, Sylvester Smith.
Elias Hutchings, Harpin Riggs, Cyrus Smalling, Edson Barney. Levi Gifford, Joseph B. Noble, Stephen Winchester, Henry Benner, Roger Orton, David Evans, Peter Buchannan, Nathan B. Baldwin, John D. Parker, Burr Riggs, David Elliot, Lewis Robbins, Samuel Brown, Alexander Whitesides, Salmon Warner, George W. Brooks, Jacob Chapman, Michael Griffith, Charles Kelly, Royal Barney, Edmund Fisher, Libbeus T. Coons, Warren Parrish, Willard Snow, Joseph Hancock, Jesse D. Harmon, Alden Burdick, Heman T. Hyde, Hiram Winters, Lorenzo D. Barnes. Hiram Blackman, Hiram Stratton, William D. Pratt, Moses Martin, Zera S. Cole, Lyman Smith, Jesse Huntsman, Harvey Stanley, Solomon Angel, Almon W. Babbitt, Henry Herriman, William F. Cahoon, Israel Barlow, Darwin Richardson, Wilkins Jenkins Salisbury, Milo Andrus, Nelson Higgins, True Glidden, Harry Brown, Henry Shibley, Jezeniah B. Smith, Harrison Burgess, Lorenzo Booth, Jedediah M. Grant, Alexander Badlam, Daniel Stephens, Zerubbabel Snow, Amasa M. Lyman, George A. Smith.
Life Sketch of Mary Adeline Beman Noble
Contributed By Pearl Irene Hart · 2014-04-21
Mary Adeline Beman was born October 19, 1810 in Livonia, Livingston County, New York. She was the daughter of Alvah Beman and Sarah Burtts. Alvah was a prosperous farmer and through hard work and frugality has acquired a good home, and much land. They had become known among the town’s people as well-to-do.
Into the Beman home eight children were born, two sons and six daughters. Of the sons very little is known, but of the last three girls much has been written. These three fine young women were destined to be among the vanguard of women to the Salt Lake Valley. Artemesia became the wife of Erastus Snow in Far West in 1838, and Mary Adeline married Joseph Bates Noble in 1834 in New York. The third sister Louisa, was the first plural wife in this dispensation. She was married to the prophet Joseph Smith on April 5, 1941 by Joseph Bates Noble, her brother-in-law. After the prophets death she was married to Brigham Young in September of 1844. She had two sets of twins, all of whom died, and Louisa died when the second sets were born in Salt Lake City. These loyal and devoted sisters were among the first Pioneer women to arrive in the Salt Lake Valley.
Alvah and Sally Beman gave their daughters every opportunity in education. Mary Adeline was a bright and intelligent girl and she was allowed to go to school – all private schools – until she was 18 years old. This was very unusual in those days and Alvah must have been a loving and understanding father. The Beman home was one of refinement and culture, one filled with music. At 18, Mary was given a certificate stating she was qualified to teach in any school, and she taught in different schools for four winters. She lived at home when her school was close enough and boarded out for at least two winters. We read from her journal, “The summer seasons my time was employed in the domestic affairs of my father’s family. My father was a farmer. Has a very extensive farm…. My time together with my sisters was spent in manufacturing clothe and attending to the dairy…”
Alvah and Sally Beman and their daughters were among the early converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the New York area. Old Father Beman, as he was affectionately called, made his home a headquarters for the missionaries as they traveled from Kirtland, Ohio preaching the Restored Gospel.
Elder Parley P. Pratt, one of these missionaries, relates the following instance in his autobiography. “Among those whose hospitality we shared in that vicinity (Genesse Co., New York) was Old Father Beman and his amiable and interesting family. He was a good singer and so was his daughters. We were much edified and comforted in their society and were deeply interested in hearing the old gentleman and Brother Joseph converse on their early acquaintance and history. He, Brother Beman has been intimate with Joseph long before the first organization of the Church and had assisted to preserve the plates of the Book of Mormon from the enemy and had at one time had them concealed under his own hearth.”
Alvah Beman was with the prophet, his father and several other people when a mob found they had the golden plates in their possession. They, (Joseph Smith and the others) ran to Joseph Senior’s home and hid the plates in the hearth. They were in a cloth bag. Alvah Beman always testified that he had hold of the bag although he did not see the plates he could feel them. His testimony influenced his daughter and when the Book of Mormon was printed she bought a copy and lent it to several of her friends at school. At least one of these were converted and was baptized. It was at this time she met the Prophet, Brigham Young, Joseph Young and Samuel Smith, and was greatly impressed with them. They came to her father’s house several times and she and her sisters cooked and served them meals at her father’s table.
It was interesting what she wrote concerning the man who became her husband, Joseph Bates Noble. She wrote, “At this time I was teaching school in Avon, Livingston co. And Mr. Noble was boarding at Mr. Knowls. The same place I made my home when I did not go to my fathers. My father lived about two miles from there. At this time Mr. Noble was paying attention to Mr. Knowls daughter. She was a fine girl; she was my intimate acquaintance; she was also a school teacher. We were frequently in each other’s society. She was naturally rather a proud spirited girl and did not care much for religion, but was naturally very lively’ but I was rather of a different turn. I always had respect to the principles of truth and righteousness, and sought the happiness of others as well as my own. I did not much expect at this time ever to be united to Mr. Noble. Still, it would have been a matter of my choice, could I have been permitted to have made it, but I unbosomed my feeling to no one. I held scared the feelings of my heart. My mind was employed in school and I attended my own business, trusted in the Lord, believing he would rule all tings for my own good and for the glory of God.”
She went on to write, “About this time Mr. Noble was baptized into the Mormon Church as it was then called. His curse, conduct, and conversations were highly gratifying to me. He was a person of god habits, good principles and a fine intelligent young man. In his society, I was happy.”
Joseph Bates Noble was one of the group of Saints who went from Kirtland, Ohio to Missouri in 1834 and they became known as Zion’s Camp. This is what she wrote, “On the first of May (1834) he called in the evening to take his leave. He said he was going to start the next morning for Missouri. We bid adieu for a season but under the most solemn engagement. At his return in the fall, if our lives were spared, we were to be united in the bonds of matrimony. For that cord of filial affection that was existing between us was not easily broke. I was engaged in school…almost every night after school I would bow before the Lord and in my supplications I would remember Zion Camp.”
Joseph Noble left the Beman home and went to Kirtland, but the camp had already started on its journey to Missouri so he hired a man to take him to where the men were camping and they were glad to see him. In his journal he gives a lot of detail of Zion’s Camp, especially the Cholera scare. He stayed with the sick men and nursed them until they either recovered or died. Then he came down with the disease and almost died himself. He was administered to by Joseph Smith Sr., Brigham Young, Joseph Young, Heber C, Kimball, Orsen Hyde and Peter Whitmer, and was healed.
When he came home, he went first to see his parents, then to see Mary Adeline and they decided to be married without delay. The first twelve Apostles and the First Presidency of the seventies were chosen shortly after the return of Zion’s Camp. Joseph Bates Noble was chosen to be a Seventy. Alvah Beman was the President of the High Priest Quorum.
The Bemans put on a big wedding for Mary Adeline. She was married in her parents home on September 11, 1834. Many people were invited to the ceremony and a huge supper afterwards. Everyone wanted the young couple to stay where they were and Joseph Noble was offered several jobs, but he wanted to live in Kirtland. He had a job waiting for him there, working for a miller with a salary of $300 a year and sweepings from the mill. Soon after their move to Kirtland, Joseph was called on a mission and accepted the call, but just as he was about to leave the Prophet decided to start “The School of the Prophets” and called all the elders home to attend. Joseph said he learned “considerable Hebrew” but was handicapped by his lack of formal education, especially in English grammar.
They were in Kirtland when the temple was dedicated and Joseph B. was among those who saw many heavenly manifestations. During this time, in November of 1835, Mary gave birth to her first child a baby daughter, Meriam, who only lived for two weeks. This was a great sorrow for Mary and Joseph. The following year on November first, Joseph Heber was born, there in Kirtland. When everything blew apart in Kirtland, the family moved to Missouri with the saints. Joseph Bates visited the Prophet several times while he was in the Liberty Jail. When in Missouri (Huntsville) another son was born, Nephi Noble, on August 20, 1938. He lived eleven short days and was buried along the trail in Missouri.
When the saints were driven out of Missouri, Joseph Bates and Mary Adeline fled to Montrose, Iowa, and took refuse in an abandoned log barracks. Most of the saints settled across the Mississippi River in Nauvoo. While in Montrose, Mary had a baby girl, Louisa, who only lived one day (September 9, 1939). In 1841 they moved to Nauvoo, and a fifth child, Edward Alvah, was born. This tiny boy was born on the second of February 1841. Mary wrapped him in cotton batting to keep him from freezing and his father gave him a priesthood blessing.
In Nauvoo Joseph built a home, which, after the exodus to the west, was given to Lucy Mack Smith. It is one of the houses that has been restored and can be visited today in Nauvoo. The people now call it the “doll house.” While in, Nauvoo Mary gave her consent for her husband to marry two women, Sarah B. Ally and Mary Ann Washburn.
Death once more visited the Noble family, a daughter Mary Adelia was born April 19, 1843, and died the same day. The year 1844 brought not only the death of the beloved Prophet Joseph Smith, but also the death of Mary and Joseph’s son, Joseph Heber, at the tender age of seven. In May of 1844, a son Hiram Brigham was born while there in Nauvoo. At the time of the exodus they had only two little boys, Edward and Hiram.
On December 10, 1845, the first Endowments were given to the saints in Nauvoo, in the temple. Mary and Joseph Noble received their endowments on the 15th of December, 1845 and the sealing ordinance was performed for them on January 23, 1846. From them they drew a fresh source of strength for the challenging life that lay ahead .
In Winter Quarters, Iowa, Joseph Bates was made a Bishop over the Thirteenth ward. The difficult trail to Winter Quarters had made heavy physical demands upon the pioneers. At the home of Bishop and Sister Noble their little son of eighteen months died on the 6th of November, 1846. He was tenderly laid to rest in the cemetery atop the hill overlooking Winter Quarters. One by one the Jospeh B. Noble family had buried six of their seven children. Only one child now remained, Edward Alvah, age six years. Mary Adeline had a baby daughter, Eliza Theodocia (August 12, 1847) born while crossing the plains, and miraculously, she lived.
The dust laden pioneer wagons of Joseph and Mary Noble arrived in the Salt lake Valley on October 2, 1847. This epic history making journey at last was at an end. Before them lay the new challenge of making a home in the mountain valley of Utah. Joseph Bates built three homes for his families in the North Fort. The last child born to Mary and Joseph Noble was a son Benjamin (July 31, 1849). This child was one of the three of Joseph and Mary Noble to grow to maturity.
Mary Adeline did not complete this journal, but her trails followed the pattern of strife, suffering, deprivation, death and disease that the saints went through from 1834 to 1847 when they left for the far west and Utah. She buried six of her nine children on that trail of woe, but continued to hold fast to her strong testimony of her God and the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.
It all had an effect on her health, on February 14, 1851, Mary Adeline Noble passed away. She was 41 years old. Her funeral was held in the Old Bowery and President Brigham Young preached the funeral sermon of this devoted Pioneer mother. Mary was buried in the Salt Lake Cemetery. Her three children were raised by one of Joseph Nobles wives. She died 49 years before her husband and saw only the beginning of Zion’s growth and the conquest of the state of Deseret. But she was one of the stalwart vanguard of the faithful servants of God and her posterity is proud of the heritage she willed them. Today her numerous decedents arise and call her name blessed.
Mary Adeline must have been a sweet and lovable woman who was unselfish and devoted. Polygamy must have been a factor in her life both for happiness and unhappiness. We had nothing to judge her feelings for her journal ended in Kirtland, but once on her husband’s birthday, she made him a gift. A picture made out of her babies hair, and a sweet, but melancholy little poem telling him of her love and devotion. She was a talented poet and she left a little volume of her hand written poems. Her journal was signed by friends and has such names as Wilford Woodruff, Eliza R. Snow (with whom she crossed the plains with), Sarah Kimball, Louise F. Whitney and others.
One story- Artemisia Beman Snow was a great friend of a couple she and Erastus converted, the Ashbys. When they all moved to Nauvoo the Snows and the Ashbys built just across the street from the Noble home. Mary Adeline and Susan Ashby became good friends. They all left Nauvoo about the same time and during the hardships of the Exodus Mr. Ashby died. In the course of events, Susan became the polygamous wife of Joseph Bates Noble. When Mary Adeline had her 9th and last child in Salt Lake, she didn’t recover her strength and asked Susan to take care of her children if she should die which she did not long after the request. She was only 41 years old. Susan had them only four months when she too died.
After Mary Adeline’s death, Joseph Bates lived to be more than 90 years old and was made a patriarch in his later years. He was Joseph Smith’s bishop while they lived in Nauvoo. He went with a number of men to Carthage with Joseph and Hyrum when Joseph had a premonition he would never come back. He gave Joseph Bates Noble his Nauvoo Legion Sword.
[According to Lamar Noble, great great grandson of Joseph Bates Noble, Lamar had the Legion Sword in his home in West Bountiful along with a Casket Cane and an 1872 Family Bible with hair locks of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. Lamar’s cousin, Howard Carlos Smith has been the Protector of the Prophet’s Sword since about 2007, and in 2009 for the first time began sharing the Prophet’s Sword with the public}.
A poem wrote by Sally Brutts Beman in 1834 prior to her daughter, Mary Adeline, getting married to Joseph Bates Noble.
My love for thee must ever be fond as in years gone by,
While to the heart it shall be like a dream of memory,
Dearest, farewell, may angel hosts Their vigils o’er thee keep.
How can I speak that fearful word? Farewell and yet not weep,
Go dearest one, my selfish love Shall never pale thy cheek
Not even a mother’s fears for thee Will in sadness speak
Yet how can I with coldness check The burning tears that start?
Hast thou not turned from me to dwell Within another’s heart?
In fancy, still I see thine eyes Uplifted to my face.
I hear thy lisping tones and mark With joy thy childish grace.
And yet I would not breathe a sigh How can I but repine?
The sorrow that they mother feels Was suffered once by mine.
Sally Brutts Beman, 1834
(Apparently in Mary Adeline Noble’s writing) (The wife of Joseph B. Noble, and a daughter of Alva Beman)
My father was born Permolberry, Massachusetts, May 22, A.D., 1775. My mother was born Hartford, Connecticut, June 17, A.D., 1775. My father and mother were married August 18, A.D. 1796. My eldest Brother Isaac M. Beman was born December 27, A.D. 1797. My oldest sister, Betsy B. Beman, was born May 29, A.D. 1800. My brother, Alva P. Beman was born October 27, A.D. 1803. My sister Sarah M. Beman was born April 9, A.D. 1806. My sister Margaret P. Beman was born July 22, A.D. 1808. I was born October 19, A.D., 1810. My sister, Louisa Beman was born February 7, A.D. 1815. My sister, Armisia Beman was born March 3, A.D., 1819. This constituted my father’s family.
In 1799 my father left Massachusetts and moved to the state of New York, in Levonia, Livingston County, state of New York, where I was born. The earliest part of my life I spent in attending school. I did not, like the most children, idle away my time, but my time was devoted to my books. At the age of 10 and 12 I had a very good understanding of geography and grammar. At the age of 14 I boarded out and attended a select school. I drew several maps and my time was devoted to my studies. Of this, the winter seasons I spent in school, the summer season my time was employed in the domestic affairs of my father’s family.
My father, as a farmer, had a very expensive farm. He raised a great many sheep and cattle. He also raised flax and other things. My time, together with my sisters, was spent in manufacturing cloth and attending the dairy. During this time I spent six months in a very interesting select school and six weeks I attended a grammar school, at the close of which, I, with one other person, received a recommend stating that we were well qualified for teaching any school. This completed my studies for school teaching in the spring of 1828.
When I was in my 18th year I commenced to teaching school. I kept four months, gave good satisfaction. I taught about four miles from my father’s. The next season I taught five months in Mendon, Monroe County, New York. I had very good success during this time.
My father sold his place in Levonia and we moved with his family to Avon, Livingston County. Some year-previous to this, my father became acquainted with father Joseph Smith, the father of the Prophet. He frequently would go to Palmyra to see father Smith and his family during this time. Brother Joseph Smith came in possession of the plates that contained the Book of Mormon. As soon as it was noised around that there was a Golden Bible found, for that was what it was called at the time, the minds of the people became excited, and it rose to such a pitch that a mob collected together to search the house of father Joseph Smith to find the records. My father was there at the time and assisted in concealing the plates in a box in a secluded place where no one could find them, although he did not see them. My father soon returned.
At this time I was engaged most of the time in school teaching. The next season I taught in Avon, Livingston County, New York. I taught there two seasons, and there I became acquainted with Joseph B. Noble. I first received introduction with him at Mr. [James] McMillan’s house. The first time I ever saw him I felt an attachment for him that I never did any other man from so short an acquaintance.
Previous to this my father purchased a Book of Mormon, the only one in that region of country. I took this book down where I was teaching school. It was the first one they ever saw. There were different opinions respecting the book. Some believed in it, others did not. I lent the book to Mother Wilcox. She was a believer in it, and her son. Mr. Noble was boarding there at this time. He likewise read it and after this the elders came around preaching, first ones I ever saw, with the exception of father Smith and Samuel, that were around preaching here.
Brother Joseph Young and Brother Brigham Young, Father Smith, and Samuel had been to father’s before this on business, but when I came to see the two Brother Youngs, I had a testimony in myself that they were servants of the Lord, for they looked different to me than any other men I ever saw. They carried an expression in their countenances that be spoke men of God. From that time they used to call to fathers often in company with others. Father house was the only one in that region that they visited. I was always edified when in that society, to hear them converse on the subject of Mormonism, for I realized that they were in possession of something that I was not. It was my meditations by day and by night; the principles of the gospel that they held forth on the subject of Mormonism I knew were principles that I had never heard preached by any other people, and I had a testimony within myself that it was the truth of God.
At this time I was teaching school, as I said before, in Avon, Livingston County, and Mr. Noble was boarding at Mr. Knowles, the same place I made my home when I did not go to my fathers. My father lived about two miles from there. At this time Mr. Noble was paying attention to Mr. Owles daughter. She was a fine girl. She was my intimate acquaintance. She was also a school teacher. We were frequently in each other’s society. She was naturally rather of a proud spirit girl and did not care much about religion, but was naturally very lively, and I was rather different turn. I always had respect for the principles of truth and righteousness and sought the happiness of others as well as my own; I did not much expect at this time ever to be united to Mr. Noble. Still, it would have been a matter of my choice, could I have been permitted to have made it.
But I unbosomed my feelings to no one. I held sacred the feelings of my heart. My mind was employed in school and I attended my own business, and trusted in the Lord, believing he would rule all things for my good, and for the glory of God. I taught school two seasons in the same district. About this time, Mr. [Joseph B.] Noble was baptized into the Mormon Church, as it was then called. His conversation was highly gratifying to me. He was a person of good habit, good principles, and a fine intelligent young man. In his society I was happy.
The next season I taught school in the neighborhood of my fathers. This was 1833, in the fall and winter of the same year. I commenced keeping company with Mr. Noble, and in a year, the spring of 1834, Brother Joseph Smith came from Kirtland, Ohio, to my father’s New York estate, Avon, Livingston County. This was the first time I ever beheld a prophet of the Lord, and I can truly say at the first sight that I had a testimony within my bosom that he was a man chosen of God to bring forth a great work in the last days. His society I prized, his conversation was meat and drink to me. The principles that he brought forth bind the testimony that he bore of the truth of the Book of Mormon made a lasting impression upon my mind. While he was there, Sidney Rigdon and Joseph and Brigham Young, Luke and Lyman Johnson, and 12 or 14 of the travelling elders had a council to my father’s. I, in company with my sisters, had the pleasure of cooking, and serving the table, and waiting on them, which I considered a privilege and blessing.
Brother Joseph and Elder Rigdon held a meeting in Geneva, which is called the Orton neighborhood, in a barn. Elder Rigdon preached, Brother Joseph bore testimony of the truth of the Book of Mormon, and of the work that had come forth in these last days. Never did I hear preaching sound so glorious to me as that did. I realized it was the truth of heaven, for I had testimony of it myself. Many very interesting interviews we have had with them while they were at my father’s house.
At length the time arrived for them to start back to the Ohio, for they intended to take a journey [Zion’s Camp] that season for Missouri at a distance of a thousand miles, for previous to this the Lord had said in a revelation to Brother Joseph, “Gather up the strength of mine house, yea, ye young men and middle aged, and march to Zion for the redemption of the Saints,” for it was then in possession or in hands of a ruthless mob that had driven the Saints from their houses and homes which they had purchased with their own money and were then in a suffering condition.
Some were called upon to go from the branch of the church where I lived. Among the rest was Mr. [Joseph B.] Noble, the person that I have before mentioned, which a few months previous to this had visited my father’s house frequently. I had also received his addresses. On the first of May he called in the evening to take his leave. He said he was going to start the next morning for Missouri. We bid adieu for a season, but under the most solemn engagement. At his return and if all of our lives were spared, we were to be united in the bonds of matrimony, for that cord of filial affection that was existing between us was not easily broken.
I was then engaged in school in the neighborhood of my father. For six months my time was constantly employed either in school or at home almost every night. After I dismissed my school I would bow before the Lord and in my supplications I would remember the Zion’s Camp as they were called, for I felt and realized that they would have a great trial to pass through if they accomplished what they designed in their hearts, and that was to restore the brethren to the land of their inheritance. They passed through many trials on their journey, and after they arrived there many scenes transpired that would be interesting to relate, but I was not an eyewitness to these circumstances that [writing was blurred] I will defer mentioning them. I will only say that Brother Joseph Smith told them that the Lord had accepted their offering and it was even like that of Abraham. He offered up his son, Isaac.
But nevertheless, said he, there is scourge laid up for this people. I prayed that it might be turned away, but it will come. Soon after the cholera come among them. It took 14 of the most faithful brethren away, and many others were very sick, but I did not hear anything about it until one of the brethren returned back to York State where I resided, as I said before.
My time was employed in teaching school in the neighborhood of my father, and also making preparations for marriage and the return of Mr. Noble in the fall if the Lord should spare his life. The intelligence of the death of our brethren reached us the first of August. It was on sabbath morning. Brother Orton came to our house and brought the news. He himself was there, and witnessed the whole scene.
Power of Evil Spirits Over the Saints
Pr’d – RS Manual, 2006, pp. 142–145
While I was living in this cabin in the old barracks, we experienced a day of God’s power with the Prophet Joseph. It was a very sickly time and Joseph had given up his home in Commerce to the sick, and had a tent pitched in his door-yard and was living in that himself. The large number of Saints who had been driven out of Missouri, were flocking into Commerce; but had no homes to go into, and were living in wagons, in tents, and on the ground. Many, therefore, were sick through the exposure they were subjected to. Brother Joseph had waited on the sick, until he was worn out and nearly sick himself.
On the morning of the 22nd of July, 1839, he arose reflecting upon the situation of the Saints of God in their persecutions and afflictions, and he called upon the Lord in prayer, and the power of God rested upon him mightily, and as Jesus healed the sick around him in his day, so Joseph, the Prophet of God, healed all around on this occasion. He healed all in his house and door-yard; then, in company with Sidney Rigdon and several of the Twelve, he went through among the sick lying on the bank of the river, and he commanded them in a loud voice, in the name of Jesus Christ, to come up and be made whole, and they were all healed. When he had healed all that were sick on the east side of the river, they crossed the Mississippi River in a ferry boat to the west side, to Montrose, where we were. The first house they went into was President Brigham Young’s. He was sick on his bed at the time. The Prophet went into his house and healed him, and they all came out together.
As they were passing by my door, brother Joseph said: “Brother Woodruff, follow me.” These were the only words spoken by any of the company from the time they left brother Brigham’s house till we crossed the public square, and entered brother [Elijah] Fordham’s house. Brother Fordham had been dying for an hour, and we expected each minute would be his last.
I felt the power of God that was overwhelming his Prophet.
When we entered the house, brother Joseph walked up to brother Fordham, and took him by the right hand; in his left hand he held his hat.
He saw that brother Fordham’s eyes were glazed, and that he was speechless and unconscious.
After taking hold of his hand, he looked down into the dying man’s face and said: “Brother Fordham, do you not know me?” At first he made no reply; but we could all see the effect of the Spirit of God resting upon him.
He again said: “Elijah, do you not know me?”
With a low whisper, brother Fordham answered, “yes!”
The Prophet then said, “Have you not faith to be healed?”
The answer, which was a little plainer than before, was: “I am afraid it is too late. If you had come sooner, I think it might have been.”
He had the appearance of a man awaking from sleep. It was the sleep of death.
Joseph then said: “Do you not believe that Jesus is the Christ?”
“ I do, brother Joseph,” was the response.
Then the Prophet of God spoke with a loud voice, as in the majesty of the Godhead: “Elijah, I command you, in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, to arise and be made whole!”
The words of the Prophet were not like the words of man, but like the voice of God. It seemed to me that the house shook from its foundation.
Elijah Fordham leaped from his bed like a man raised from the dead. A healthy color came to his face, and life was manifested in every act.
His feet were done up in … poultices. He kicked them off his feet, scattering the contents, and then called for his clothes and put them on. He asked for a bowl of bread and milk, and ate it; then put on his hat and followed us into the street, to visit others who were sick.
The unbeliever may ask: “Was there not deception in this?”
If there is any deception in the mind of the unbeliever, there was certainly none with Elijah Fordham, the dying man, nor with those who were present with him, for in a few minutes more he would have been in the spirit world, had he not been rescued.…
As soon as we left brother Fordham’s house, we went into the house of Joseph B. Noble, who was very low and dangerously sick. When we entered the house, brother Joseph took him by the hand, and commanded him, in the name of Jesus Christ, to arise and be made whole. He did arise and was immediately healed.
While this was going on, the wicked mob in the place … had become alarmed, and followed us into brother Noble’s house.
Before they arrived there, brother Joseph had called upon brother Fordham to offer prayer.
While he was praying, the mob entered, with all the evil spirits accompanying them.
As soon as they entered, brother Fordham, who was praying, fainted and sank to the floor.
When Joseph saw the mob in the house, he arose and had the room cleared of both that class of men and their attendant devils. Then brother Fordham immediately revived and finished his prayer.
This shows what power evil spirits have upon the tabernacles of men. The Saints are only saved from the power of the devil by the power of God.
This case of Brother Noble’s was the last one of healing upon that day. It was the greatest day for the manifestation of the power of God through the gift of healing since the organization of the Church.
(Wilford Woodruff, “Leaves from My Journal,” Millennial Star,
October 10 and 17, 1881, 647, 669–71.)