Thursday, June 4, 2009

History of the Southern States Mission, Part 18: More Violence

The Elders of Middle Tennessee, after partaking of a spiritual feast, were consigned to their respective counties.

The Elders’ hearts were light, and they all entered to their various fields of labor with a renewed determination to expend all the energy they possessed in the propogation [sic] of the gospel as taught by Jesus Christ and as restored by Joseph Smith the prophet.

The conditions in Alabama were not as auspicious at this time as they were in other parts of the mission.

While Elders A.H. Richards and Wm. Moultrie were holding meeting in the Flat Rock church, Etowah county, Ala., they were assaulted by an inebriate mob, led by a methodist [sic] minister, Rev. Hortley. The rabble entered the house where services were being held, and demanded that the Elders proceed no further in diisseminating [sic] their blasphemous doctrine, but leave the country immediately. The Elders had previously made preparations for leaving the neighborhood and ere the sun arose on the 6th of May, they were in a less mobocratic locality.

This spirit of mobocracy was not only breathed by the citizens of Etowah county, Ala., but inhailed [sic] by the people of Rye Station, Miss.

The Mississippi conference of 1884 was to convene May 17th. President B.H. Roberts was expected to be present. The place selected for the conference was about fifteen miles from the railroad. Elder Charles Flake was sent to Rye Station to conduct President Roberts to the conference. While awaiting the arrival of a train a subtle fiend sneaked up behind him and poured about two gallons of tar on him. He was warned that this was only an introduction and if he did not make his disappearance immediately he would be in the custody of a mob who knew no mercy nor possessed no love for their fellow being. Elder Flake was in too critical a condition to wait long so harkened to the warning of the mob and left for Banner neighborhood where he had many fervent friends.

Despite the unfavorable conditions existing in Mississippi, the conference met and proved to be very successful. The Elders were impregnated with a desire to go forth and labor assidously [sic] in the establishing of truth and righteousness upon the face of the earth.

President Joseph L. Clark, who had been a faithful Elder for over two years, was releaved [sic] and Elder Joseph E. Jolly was appointed to fill the vacancy.

Latter Day Saints Southern Star, Vol. 1, No. 22, Chattanooga, Tenn. Saturday, April 29, 1899, p 169. [It seems like the Southern Star had a new author for the last two histories.]

The picture of the Etowah County marker from

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