Pioneer to Present–Life Incidents

Helen Mar Kimball Whitney wrote extensively about the early doings of the Church, in Nauvoo and Salt Lake City, during her youth.Helen Mar Whitney Because of her record, we have a clear picture of what it was like to live in that time period. She wrote of the Martyrdom, faithful women, and many miracles that took place, the trek west, as well as life as the city of Salt Lake grew.

This record comes from some of her writings that appeared in the Woman’s Exponent:

“The scenes which are familiar to the Latter-day Saints of an earlier day, are but little known to those who have since been gathered from the different nations, nor to those who have grown up in the peaceful valleys of the Rocky Mountains…The spirit of unbelief which has crept into our midst is lamentable, and a stupor seems to have come over a portion of this people, who I sometimes fear, will need the judgments of God to awaken them from its influence, and we know that they are sure to come upon the slothful and disobedient, if they do not repent.”

These early Saints were full of faith toward their new religion. One example, mentioned by Helen, is of her mother and brother:

“While we were living…in Quincy, when I was about ten years of age, I had a severe attack of fever, and a heavy storm coming on, the weather was quite cold, and not having a fireplace in the room, mother [Vilate Kimball] placed a kettle of live coals in the center of the apartment. Just as she stepped out into the other room, my little brother aged about four years came in and accidentally fell into the kettle and burned him badly. I was so frightened that I was upon the point of leaping out of bed when mother heard him scream, but he sprang out before she got into the room and cried for her to anoint him with the consecrated oil. She immediately administered it, and was silently praying, when he cried, ‘Pray loud.’ She obeyed him and in a few minutes he was sound asleep. He never cried from the burn after the oil was administered and it was healed from that moment. What a pity we cannot always have faith like a little child, and instead of calling upon doctors who have no faith in the ordinances, call on the Great Physician, who giveth freely to all and upbraideth not.”

This four-year-old boy had faith because he had seen faith in his parents. Our homes need to be laboratories of godly manifestations. The homes of our pioneer ancestors were small, but faith floated as thick as gravy from wall to wall. Our homes are bigger now, so that much more faith must flow from room to room.


As a truly faithful people we too can witness, and be a part of, many miracles. As Satan appears to reign triumphant, let us hold firm to our knowledge that Jesus Christ will come, in all of His glory, to reign with righteousness upon this earth. It is up to us to bring about these miracles through humble obedience and spiritual strength. There is still much proving to be done while we wait.


Let us make a point to teach our children to ask for blessings. Teach these precious little ones about faith in Jesus Christ. They need to know that they are never alone. This last generation has been saved to greet the Lord and as their parents we hold a grave responsibility to prepare them well to welcome the Savior of the World.




Information can be found in:

Helen Mar Kimball Whitney, “Life Incidents,” Woman’s Exponent 9-10 (1880-1882) and “Scenes and Incidents in Nauvoo,” Woman’s Exponent 11 (1882-83)