Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith
Prophet, Seer and Revelator

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Indians in Las Vegas

Heavenly Father not only told Brigham what to do for the entire Church, but also for individuals when Brigham needed their help to colonize the west.

Aroet Lucious Hale records in his journal that he and several others were called at April Conference of 1855 to serve a mission to the Navajo Indians in the Colorado River area. Their main camp was to be in Las Vegas. It was not a safe place to go because the Indians raided emigration parties who passed through on their way to southern California. The Indians stole the pioneers’ animals and sometimes killed the men, leaving the women and children in the desert.

Before the missionaries traveled to Las Vegas, Brigham gave them a blessing that if they would remain prayerful and follow Brigham’s “council strictly,” they would return safely to their families and find them all well.

On their mission, one of the missionaries nearly drowned crossing the Colorado River. He and his horse went into a deep, swirling hole, sucking both of them under the water and pulling the man off his horse. The missionaries on the bank thought he was dead. But the man swam to the surface, coughing and sputtering. He grabbed the horse’s tail and was pulled to the bank. Brother Hale remembered President Young’s blessing and was grateful for it.

Another time, seven of the missionaries, including Brother Hale, were out scouting when they were surrounded by twenty Navajos covered with war paint, bows drawn, and arrows pointing at them. The missionaries’ Indian guide ran away, and the men were left alone. Their interpreter, George Been, told the Navajos that the Mormons were sent by the Great White Chief Brigham Young to trade with them if they would smoke the peace pipe.

George Been found out from the Indians that the chief’s papoose was sick and dying. The Navajos said their god was angry because the Indians allowed the white man to cross their lands. If the child died, the Mormons would all be killed at sundown. George convinced the Indians to allow the missionaries to go to their camp and smoke the peace pipe. After they smoked, the missionaries were permitted to see the papoose. A missionary named Brother Snider took his handkerchief, dipped it in warm water, and washed the child. When the child was clean they knelt around the papoose and administered a blessing. The child opened his eyes and was healed. The missionaries fed the papoose a little bread and sugar in warm water. It was all the food they had with them. The men were allowed to return to Las Vegas unharmed.

Aroet Lucious Hale thought again of President Young’s blessing and was thankful. Every missionary eventually returned home to find their families safe and well.

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