A Young Folks' History of the Church
persecutors very angry. It was now about midnight, but the elders took it quietly and sang
a hymn or two. Then Elder Pratt said that if the witnesses who had told false things about
them and the judge who had abused and insulted them, would repent of their evil words
and acts and would all kneel down together he would pray that God might forgive them.
"My big bull-dog pray for me!" said the judge.
"The devil help us!" cried another.
Next morning as Elder Pratt and the man placed to guard him were walking in the road,
the elder asked the officer if he was good at a race.
"No!" was the reply, "but my big dog is. I have trained him and he will take any man
down at my bidding."
"Well," continued Bro. Pratt, "you have given me a chance to preach and have given me
lodging and breakfast. I thank you for your kindness, but I must be going. Good-day, sir."
With that Elder Pratt left the man and his dog, and had got quite a distance before the
officer had recovered from his surprise. Then he came running after him, clapping his
hands and shouting to his dog.
"Stu—boy, stu—boy, take him Watch, lay hold of him! Down with him!" At the same
time pointing in the direction of the fleeing elder. Just as the fierce animal was about to
overtake him, Elder Pratt began clapping his hands and shouting like the officer, pointing
into the woods just ahead. The dog bounded past him and was soon lost to sight in the
forest, while the missionary got safely away.
Mr. Carter read the Book of Mormon the elders had left. He believed, went fifty miles to
Kirtland, was baptized, returned home, began to preach, and soon there was a branch of
sixty members in that place.
In western Ohio the missionaries found another tribe of Indians with whom they stayed a
few days. They then went to Cincinnati and from that city to the mouth of the Ohio river
by boat. It was now very cold, and the river was so blocked with ice that the boat could
go no farther. The missionaries therefore walked the rest of the distance to St. Louis and
from there across the state of Missouri to its western boundary.
The snow was deep, there were no beaten roads, the houses were few and far between,
and the wind blew fierce and cold. For days they had nothing to eat but corn bread and
frozen pork; but at last they reached the town of Independence, in Jackson county,
Missouri, which was then near to the Indian country.
The elders now took up their labors among the Indians. They were kindly received, and
the chief called a council which Oliver Cowdery addressed. The Book of Mormon was
presented to them and explained, and they became very much interested. The sectarian
preachers heard about this and complained to the Indian agent, who ordered the elders off
the Indian lands. So after but a few days of preaching the elders had to leave. They went
back to Jackson county and preached to the white settlers, some of whom believed the
word of God and were added to the Church. Four of the elders remained at Independence,
while Bro. Pratt was sent back to Kirtland to report their labors.