A Zealous Missionary Has Passed Away
Remarks made by Elder B.H. Roberts, at the funeral of Elder John Morgan in the Assembly Hall, August 18, 1894
Reported specially for the Utah Church and Farm by Francis Bannerman.
It has been my good fortune to be very intimately acquainted with Elder John Morgan whose remains now lie before us, and which we are about to lay away in the tomb. I knew him when I was a boy, and for a time attended his school in this city. My acquaintance soon ripened into admiration of him. The first circumstance which drew me towards him was his relating how a mistaken father in this city, for some slight offense, had driven his son from home, and told him he was a disgrace to the family.
Elder Morgan himself became the friend of the young man and led him back to the paths of rectitude. In connection with this incident he remarked that for himself, his children should always find a friend in him, though all the world should turn against them. I admired that sentiment. I loved the principle that stood behind it.
Shortly after this I left his school and met him no more until I was appointed to labor under his presidency in the Southern States mission. The hundreds of elders who were associated with him in that mission for some fourteen years during which he was president of it, know how they became attached to him—how much we learned to rely upon his judgment and what great confidence we had in following his leadership. For some six years I was associated with him in that labor, and I can recall many instances of meeting with him, not only in public but in the quiet woods and by the silent streams of the south, where we met in counsel or in priesthood meeting. I know that the inspiration of Almighty God rested upon him in planning our labors, and in directing our efforts. The memory of this man is enshrined in the hearts of hundreds of the elders of Israel who labored with him during those years. As a missionary Elder Morgan laid the foundation of a great work and started currents of gratitude in his direction which will run towards him through time and through all eternity in constantly widening and deepening streams. When I think of the man who left his home at a great sacrifice to bring the Gospel to the foreign land where my parents lived and preached it to them in public and at the fireside, my heart goes out in gratitude to him. I regard him as my friend and the friend of my father’s house. I shall ever revere his name and shall teach my children after me to hold him in honorable remembrance. This is merely one stream started in that Elder’s direction, but doubtless while on his mission he started many such streams of gratitude. It was so with Elder Morgan. Thousands of families who have been blessed by his ministrations will rise up and call him blessed; and he has by his labors laid up an exceeding and eternal weight of glory for himself and his family. Those of us who have been permitted to associate with him in councils know how great the wisdom was that God inspired in him. We will know how much we have lost when no longer his voice is heard in our midst.
To be continued...