The Gift of Dreams

Ogden Kraut

For God speaketh once, yea, twice, yet man perceiveth it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; Then He openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction.                                                              Job 33:14-16


I dream magic dreams of such wonderful things;

Of love, and achievement, and life–

A life idealistic where harmony rings

‘Bove the tumult of labor and strife.


Of things that are fine, and things that are rare;

Of love that exalts and ne’er dies;

Of paintings, and starlight, and music, and prayer.

And of peaks where eternal snow lies.


In my dreams I would fly to the suncrest of things;

I would spurn all the vulgar and base;

I would soar to the heights, on undaunted wings,

Till I stood on the summits of space;


But I wake from my dreams, and the world presses ’round.

And my rose garden rankles with weeds;

The peaks are obscured–my feet trudge the ground–

And my soulflight is stayed by misdeeds.


And my once starlit sky sheds no glamour nor gloss;

For harsh daylight has shattered its sheen;

And my painting, I find, is mere pigment and cloth–

And I find that my dreams are–just dreams.


But think not that my meteor dream flash was vain;

For it lit the rough path where I plod;

And I cry out with joy as I stumble again

One step nearer my dream-plane–and God.

O.E. Howel
Improvement Era

[3]                               CHAPTER I


The word dream comes from a Teutonic word “draugma,” which means an illusory picture. People of every nation have considered dreams with various feelings: a German proverb says that “Dreams are shadows,” and a French proverb says “Dreams are lies.” In Greece dreams were greatly respected, and Aristotle considered them a reality represented as ripples of water that merely needed to be straightened out. Artemidorus, one of the most famous authorities of the ancient world, lived about 180 B.D. in Daldis near Ephesus, and compiled a five-volume work on dreams and other workings of the mind. The Arabs regarded almost every dream as significant, and the nations of Egypt, Babylon, and Mesopotamia were a people of spiritual dream interpreters.

In our time Dr. Freud seems to conclude that every dream has a meaning–not in a spiritual sense, but as a creation with a mental or physical cause. His interpretation of dreams was called “dreamwork,” and he believed dreams were the results of conflicts and desires–more often of sexual excitement. Many modern psychiatrists explain dreams as a network of psychological processes.

Dreams appear in various sorts–nightmares, nonsensical phantoms, and fantasies which quickly fade away. These dreams are best forgotten, but not all dreams are the result of an upset stomach, psychological frustrations, or vain anxieties. Some dreams may prove to be inspirational revelations from God; therefore, it is necessary for men to discern the difference between useless or meaningless dreams and those which are inspirational. Many men may have had revelations from God which they have passed off as insignificant, simply because they failed to discern or interpret the inspirational message which was offered through this means of communication.


[4]           Mankind generally have failed miserably in acquainting themselves with the means by which God dispenses his wisdom and intelligence. Dreams are one of God’s most useful means of conveying inspiration and are one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We must learn to acknowledge and respect this gift as we do the gift of tongues, the gift of visions, or any other means of divine revelation. Too often the gifts of God are rejected, neglected, or misunderstood. Whenever a gift or talent is refused, it is quickly lost. However, when the gifts of God are received and appreciated, they will increase and grow “unto the perfect light of day.”

For example, many Old Testament prophets were prepared to receive divine instruction and their dreams were prophetical and inspirational, and were considered as gifts from God. Joseph of Old said, “Do not interpretations belong unto God?” (Gen. 40:8), and Daniel said that “there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets and maketh known to King Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days” (Dan. 2:28). Then the Lord spoke to Jeremiah and said, “The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully.” (Jer. 23:28)

The multitude of inspired dreams that have been manifest to the Saints would fill many volumes. Heber C. Kimball said that if he had “one dream about the old ship Zion, he had received a hundred.” And, nearly every faithful Saint has had, or should have had, many inspirational dreams. This brief compilation is intended only to illustrate God’s reasons and methods of conveying His will to man through dreams.

The gift of dreams, like other gifts of God, is to be appreciated and developed for the benefit and salvation of His children. When men cultivate these virtuous inspirational powers, they will draw nearer to God, and God will draw nearer to them. For this reason these gifts of the Spirit are invaluable to us.



[5]                               CHAPTER II



In ancient times, many nations–particularly the Jews–gave deep respect to the meaning and inspirational significance of dreams. They sought for them and desired to follow them as a guide.

The instance of Joseph’s dream concerning the butler and the baker indicated the special significance of dreams among the Egyptians–especially with the Pharaoh himself. Nebuchadnezzar was another example of spiritual recognition of dreams among the Chaldeans. Citizens of the Jewish nation were advised to be watchful of dreams, as they were often instructions from God.

The scriptures abound with instances where God did indeed reveal His will through the means of dreams, and on occasions He raised up others who could interpret them. The Lord expressly declared that He would reveal Himself and His will to His chosen servants, the prophets, by this means. (See Num. 12:6)

Why does the Lord inspire and communicate to men during the hours of sleep? The mind, while asleep, is not troubled with the active turmoils of the day, thus rendering it in a state of peace which is necessary for the reception of inspiration. The hustle, confusion, anxieties and fears of most daily activities seldom leave the mind in a proper state of calm repose for which deep and solemn thoughts must occur. Many great men have noted the clarity of reason and inspiration which has occurred within their minds during the hours of sleep.

Undoubted proof has been afforded that the energy of the intellect is sometimes greater during sleep than at other times, and many a problem, it is asserted, has been solved in [6] sleep which has puzzled the waking sense. Cabanis tells us that (Benjamin) Franklin on several occasions mentioned to him that he had been assisted in dreams in the conduct of many affairs in which he was engaged. Condillac states that while writing his “Course of Studies” he was frequently obliged to leave a chapter incomplete and retire to bed, and that on awaking he found it, on more than one occasion, finished in his head. In like manner Condorcet would sometimes leave his complicated calculations unfinished, and after retiring to rest would find their results unfolded whim in his dreams. La Fontaine and Voltaire both composed verses in their sleep, which they could repeat on awaking. Doctor Johnson relates that he once in a dream had a contest of wit with some other person, and that he was very mortified by imagining that his antagonist had the better of him. Coleridge in a dream composed the wild and beautiful poem of “Kubla Khan,” which had been suggested to him by a passage he had read in “Purchas’s Pilgrimage” before he fell asleep. On awaking he had a distinct recollection of between two and three hundred lines, and taking writing materials, began eagerly to set them down. Unfortunately he was interrupted before a quarter of the task was done–was called away to attend to some business which detained him an hour–and found when he returned to his writing that the remainder had vanished from his memory. The most remarkable testimony of this kind is perhaps that of Sir Thomas Browne, who declared that, if it were possible, he would prefer to carry on his studies in his dreams, so much more efficient were his faculties of mind when his body was asleep. He further adds that were his memory as faithful as his reason is then fruitful, he would prefer that season for his devotions. (Mill Star 35:225)


[7]           During the hours of sleep there is a serenity in which a person is without interruptions. Parley P. Pratt reasoned that this was a most receptive time for communication from our guardian angels, who could communicate to us through the medium of dreams. He wrote:

In all dispensations God has revealed many important instructions and warnings to men by means of dreams.

When the outward organs of thought and perception are released from their activity, the nerves unstrung, and the whole of mortal humanity lies hushed in quiet slumbers, in order to renew its strength and vigor, it is then that the spiritual organs are at liberty, in a certain degree, to assume their wonted functions, to recall some faint outlines, some confused and half-defined recollections, of that heavenly world, and those endearing scenes of their former estate, from which they have descended in order to obtain and mature a tabernacle of flesh. Their kindred spirits, their guardian angels then hover about them with the fondest affection, the most anxious solicitude. Spirit communes with spirit, thought meets thought, soul blends with soul, in all the raptures of mutual, pure, and eternal love.

In this situation, the spiritual organs are susceptible of converse with Deity, or of communion with angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect.

In this situation, we frequently hold communication with our departed father, mother, brother, sister, son or daughter; or with the former husband or wife of our bosom, whose affection for us, being rooted and grounded in the eternal elements, or issuing from under the sanctuary of love’s eternal fountain, can never be lessened or diminished by death, distance of space, or length of years.

[8]                           We may, perhaps, have had a friend of the other sex, whose pulse beat in unison with our own; whose every thought was big with the aspirations, the hopes of a bright future in union with our own; whose happiness in time or in eternity, would never be fully consummated without that union. Such a one, snatched from time in the very bloom of youth, lives in the other sphere, with the same bright hope, watching our every footstep, in our meanderings through the rugged path of life, with longing desires for our eternal happiness, and eager for our safe arrival in the same sphere.

With what tenderness of love, with what solicitude of affection will they watch over our slumbers, hang about our pillow, and seek to communicate with our spirits, to warn us of dangers or temptation, to comfort and soothe our sorrow, or to ward off the ills which might befall us, or perchance to give us some kind token of remembrance or undying love!

It is the pure in heart, the lovers of truth and virtue, that will appreciate these remarks, for they know, by at least a small degree of experience, that these things are so.

Those who are habitually given to vice, immorality and abomination; those who walk in the daily indulgence of unlawful lust; those who neither believe in Jesus Christ, nor seek to pray to him, and keep his commandments; those who do not cultivate the pure, refined and holy joys of innocent and heavenly affection, but who would sacrifice every finer feeling at the shrine of lawless pleasure and brutal desires–those persons will not understand and appreciate these views, because their good angels, their kindred spirits have long since departed, and ceased to attend them, being grieved and disgusted with their conduct.

[9]                           The Spirit of the Lord has also been grieved, and has left them to themselves, to struggle alone amid the dangers and sorrows of life; or to be the associates of demons and impure spirits. Such persons dream of adultery, gluttony, debauchery, and crimes of every kind. Such persons have the fore-shadowings of a doleful death, and of darkness, and the buffetings of fiends and malicious spirits.

But, blessed are they who forfeit not their claims to the watchful care and protection of, and communion with, the heavenly powers, and pure and lovely spirits.

We can only advise the other classes of mankind, and entreat them, by the joys of love, by all the desires of life, by all the dread of death, darkness, and a dreary hereafter, yea, by the blood of him who died, by the victory of him who rose in triumph from the grave, by their regard for those kindred spirits which would gladly love them in worlds without end, to turn from their sinful course of life, to obey the ordinances and commandments of Jesus Christ, that the Spirit of God may return to them, and their good angels and spirits again return to their sacred charge.

O what a comfort it is, in this dreary world, to be loved and cared for by all-powerful, warm-hearted, and lovely friends!

A Dream!

What have not dreams accomplished?

Dreams and their interpretation brought the beloved son of Jacob from his dungeon, made him prime minister of Egypt, and the savior of a nation, and of his father’s house.

Dreams, and the interpretation of dreams, raised a Daniel from slavery or degrading captivity in Babylon, to wear a royal chain of gold, and [10] to teach royalty how to rule, whilst himself presided over the governors and presidents of more than a hundred provinces. Dreams, and the interpretation of dreams, have opened the future, pointed out the course of empire through all the troublous times of successive ages, till Saints alone shall rule, and immortality alone endure.   (Parley P. Pratt, Key to Theology, pp. 120-124)

An interesting article on the subject of dreams was published by Elder Joseph G. Romney in the Millennial Star of 1864. Although it is quite extensive, its logical, historical and spiritual explanations require a partial reprinting.

It is by dreams that God often makes known his mind and will to mankind. In the holy scriptures we find many notable instances of this power, or of this gift, in which man, visited in his slumbers by the angels of God’s presence, has partaken of that Spirit of light and intelligence that surrounds Him, and has, by its aid, seen the course of human events, and noted the results of human actions, which were long afterward to take place upon the earth. . . .

Dreams are of different kinds and are given for various purposes; each true one, however, being applicable to the situation and requirements of the individual receiving it, or, of the people about whom it contains directions. Dreams must be divided into two kinds or classes, true and false; the former are given for a definite purpose, either as warnings of judgments to come, or telling of duties to perform [11] in the present or the future; the latter are delusive, treacherous and not to be counted as proceeding from a good source. Those beneficial to us and productive of happiness and joy are from a good and holy source, and are given for the purpose of strengthening our determinations and confining our faith, or of warning us of difficulties which will be presented before us by the Adversary, to daunt our courage and lure us on to destruction by the seductive arts of the siren Pleasure; and, by a proper and becoming attention to such warnings, we may know how to avoid disastrous consequences….

. . . In the New Testament we are told that different men were given divers gifts. One has all the powers and privileges of a Seer, another has the gift of prophecy, another great power of faith, another the power to dream true dreams, and to another the power to interpret them, or, in rare instances, all those great and glorious gifts have been centered in one individual. It is not often, however, that all these gifts are centered in one person; few, indeed, have had that inestimable privilege. . . .

We have many other examples wherein men who received dreams from God, and were obedient to their teachings, realized blessings at his hands. They had faith in God sufficient to know truth from error; but, now-a-days, we may look a long while before we can find, amongst the people of the world, an individual who has thus faith enough to forsake his home and journey into a strange land in obedience to the requirements of God manifested in a dream. Scepticism is too rampant, infidelity is too prevalent, to allow such simple confidence to exist: worldly wisdom pretends to know more [12] than does the inspiration of God’s Spirit, were its expounder to be the judge; and those who will not listen to, nor believe in the revelations of His will to man in this age, will have still less confidence in dreams which chain their wandering fancies through the night. And, indeed, while they enjoy so little of the Spirit of God as they do, they are justified in not believing the dreams that they have given unto them, for they are delusive and vain, and are calculated to lead them astray; but to those of an inspired servant of God they are equally unbelieving, and, by being so, grove in still greater darkness than before.

Dreams are great and glorious gifts of God to man, and they are given for his benefit, or his holiest and most deserving servants would not alone receive them, or be called upon to interpret them. They are promised, however, by the Apostle to all believers in Jesus Christ, and are a proof, along with other gifts, to those who receive them, that they are, indeed, believers, and that they are in that road which will lead them on to salvation. They are given to strengthen the faith of individual Saints, . . . . A good dream from the Spirit of God is very easily told; it will make persons wiser, more humble and more obedient than they have ever been before. . . . (Mill. Star, 26:293)

Being the recipient of inspired dreams is one of the great gifts of God. Such dreams can be of major importance to God’s servants–so important that this means of communication is both recognized and appreciated by Gods true disciples.

We often pray for the gifts of God, and when He bestows them upon us, we are sometimes unaware, it seems to me, that we are in [13] possession of them. We do not try to make ourselves understand the whisperings of the Spirit, nor do we always endeavor to distinguish between dreams in which there is an inspired meaning, and others to which there is no such importance attached. And too often, also, when a manifestation has been received, we are very anxious to tell it to our neighbors, that we may receive the praise of men. There is no fear that God’s people will not receive more and still more of His blessings just as fast as they prepare themselves for them, and learn how to use them in accordance with the Divine will. We should be very careful not to lightly esteem the gifts of God, for by them we live, and without them we can never be saved in His kingdom.

Let us encourage the good Spirit, and strive earnestly for the best gifts. Live good, honest lives, and the reward of our actions here shall be life eternal hereafter. (Mill. Star, 51:18)

Essentially, dreams may be a means of inspiration, guidance, or comfort to a man, and as such he should consider them as a blessing from God. Dreams may be the means of saving his life or directing his course toward eternal salvation.



[14]                             CHAPTER III



The varied and useful gifts of God are granted mainly to assist man in gaining his salvation. They were never meant for entertainment or exhibition, nor to appease the desire of sign seekers. As with all of God’s gifts, inspirational dreams are for the work of the ministry, the perfecting of the Saints, and edifying the Church of Christ. Inspired dreams have often been manifest to the Saints of God for their encouragement, guidance, and comfort, but essentially they are the means of communication from God to man.


When inspiration is not enough to clearly depict God’s message to man, He will often employ a dream to convey His will. When a dream is not forceful enough, He will manifest His will through an open vision; and if that is insufficient, He may send an angel or perhaps even manifest His Son, or on special occasions He will reveal Himself:

Dreams, then, are one of the stepping stones of communication from God to man. When men are capable of receiving revelations from God, they can then be directed, reproved, comforted, warned or instructed and thus have the assurance that they are walking in the path that God wills them to follow.

Visions and dreams have constituted a means of communication between God and men in every dispensation of the Priesthood. In general, visions are manifested to the waking senses whilst dreams are given during sleep. In the vision, however, the senses may be so affected as to render the person practically unconscious, at least oblivious to ordinary occurrences, while he is able to discern the [15] heavenly manifestation. In the earlier dispensations, the Lord frequently communicated through dreams and visions, oftentimes revealing to prophets the events of the future even to the latest generations. (James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, p. 226)

Dreams constitute not only a blessing to men who recognize them as a means of communication from God, but they represent one of the essential elements and gifts of His Church. Revelation through dreams, visions, angels, etc., is an evidence of the Holy Spirit, for it is with these means that God’s Holy Spirit must operate within God’s Church. The Apostle Orson Pratt explained the purpose of these gifts in the Church by saying:

Among all nations, and in all ages of the world, whenever the Holy Spirit has been given, it has exhibited itself in super-natural gifts. These gifts were given, not only for the benefit of the church in this life, but to prepare them for still greater blessings in the world to come. It is altogether a mistaken idea to suppose that these gifts were merely given for the convincing of unbelievers. Paul says expressly, that the gifts which were given by our Lord after His ascension were intended for other purposes. “When He (Christ] ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” (Eph. 4:8) “And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers.” (Verse 11.) These, together with numerous other gifts, were given, not merely to establish the truth of Christianity, but as Paul says, “For the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the [16] stature of the fullness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body, unto edifying of itself in love.” (Verses 12, 13, 14, 15, 16)

By these declarations we discover the objects which the Lord has in view, by giving gifts unto men. One object is declared to be “For the perfecting of the Saints.” It is very evident from the whole tenor of the scripture, that unless the Saints are perfected they can never enjoy a perfect salvation. The only plan which Jesus has devised for the accomplishment of this great object, is through the medium of the spiritual gifts. When the supernatural gifts of the Spirit cease, the Saints cease to be perfected, therefore they can have no hopes of obtaining a perfect salvation. To do away from the Church, apostles, prophets, and other gifts, is to do away the great plan which heaven has devised for the perfection and final salvation of the righteous.

The author of the epistle to the Hebrews urges upon the Saints the necessity of “going on unto perfection,” (see Chap. 6:1), but this would be impossible for those churches who have no apostles, prophets, and other gifts which Jesus gave after His ascension. Such churches could not “go on unto perfection,” for they [17] have lost, and continue to do away the very gifts which were intended to accomplish that object.

Has Jesus anywhere in His word told us that His plan of perfecting the Saints should cease, and that mankind would introduce a better one? If not, why then should we not prefer our Savior’s plan in preference to all others? Why do away the powers and gifts of the Holy Ghost, which were intended, not merely for the convincing of unbelievers, but for the perfecting of believers? In every nation and age, where believers exist, there the gifts must exist to perfect them, otherwise they would be altogether unprepared for the reception of the still greater powers and glories of the eternal world. If there were no unbelievers on the earth, still there would be the same necessity for the miraculous gifts that there was among early Christians; for if the whole world were believers in Christ they could not possibly be perfected without these gifts, and hence they could not enter into the fullness of His glory.    (Orson Pratt’s Works, p. 97)

The Prophet Joseph Smith also commented on the necessity of these gifts and revelation in the true Church of Christ by saying:

All men are liars who say they are of the true Church without the revelations of Jesus Christ and the Priesthood of Melchizedek. . . . (T.P.J.S., p. 375)

Because faith is wanting, the fruits are. No man since the world was had faith without having something along with it. The ancients quenched the violence of fire, escaped the [18] edge of the sword, women received their dead, etc. By faith the worlds were made. A man who has none of the gifts has no faith; and he deceives himself, if he supposes he has. (T.P.J.S. , p. 270)

No man can receive the Holy Ghost without receiving revelations. The Holy Ghost is a revelator. (T.P.J.S., p. 328)

If we do not get revelations, we do not have the oracles of God. (T.P.J.S., p. 272)

However, even many of those belonging to the Church of God are ignorant of, or lacking in, many of these gifts of the Holy Spirit, and do not know the way to obtain these gifts. When the restoration of the Gospel was commencing, the gift of translation was one of these gifts given to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. Cowdery was told by the Lord:


Behold thou hast a gift, and blessed art thou because of thy gift. Remember it is sacred and cometh from above. Make not thy gift known unto any save it be those who are of thy faith. Trifle not with sacred things. (D.C. 6:10, 12)

The Lord gave further instructions and promises regarding His gifts and how they might be obtained. His promises in receiving these gifts were:

. . . whosoever believeth on my words, them will I visit with the manifestation of my Spirit. (D.C. 5:16)

Ask the Father in my name, in faith believing that you shall receive, and you shall have the Holy Ghost, which manifesteth all things which are expedient unto the children of men. (D.C. 18:18)


[19]                         Wherefore, beware lest ye are deceived; and that ye may not be deceived seek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given; for verily I say unto you, they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do; that all maybe benefited that seek or that ask of me, that ask and not for a sign that they may consume it upon their lusts. (D.C. 46:9-10)

If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things–that which bringest joy, that which bringeth life eternal. (D.C. 42:61)

One of the means of detecting the source of revelation is that its doctrines or principles are consistent with what has already been revealed. Manifestations and gifts are given to direct man in the course that God wishes him to take. They will inspire, enlighten, direct and give purpose and comfort to a man engaged in the work of the Lord. They also confirm or correct him in his pursuits; but in all instances they will tend to edify and increase his faith in God.

The Lord also has revealed the reasons why many lose the gifts of the spirit after they have received them.

For what does it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receives not the gift? Behold he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in Him who is the giver of the gift. (D.C. 88:33)

. . . your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have re-[20]ceived–which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation. (D.C. 84:54-55)

. . . in your temporal things you shall be equal, and this not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall be withheld. (D.C. 70:14)

Another common fault among men is the desire to see these gifts displayed for a sign–mainly for a demonstration of their power. The Lord warns:

. . . he that seeketh signs shall see signs, but not unto salvation. Verily, I say unto you, there are those among you who seek signs, and there have been such even from the beginning; but, behold faith cometh not by signs, but signs follow those that believe.

Yea, signs come by faith, not by the will of men, nor as they please, but by the will of God. Yea, signs come by faith, unto mighty works, for without faith no man pleaseth God; and with whom God is angry he is not well pleased; wherefore, unto such he showeth no signs, only in wrath unto their condemnation. Wherefore, I, the Lord, am not pleased with those among you who have sought after signs and wonders for faith, and not for the good of men unto my glory. (D.C. 63:7-12)

Today we see clairvoyants, mystics, astrologers with horoscopes, palm readers, crystal ball gazers and Ouigee Boards ruling the lives of a great portion of our population. It is necessary that we know what God’s will is–to learn the means of His revelations, that we be not deceived by these many false and erroneous revelations from the power of darkness.


[21]                         The Saints find out `the deep things of God’ by the Spirit. The faithful Saints or the elect cannot be deceived; for the Holy Ghost dwells in them as a Spirit of constant revelation, teaching them all things; guiding them into all truth; showing them things to come; taking of the things of the Father and showing the same unto them by heavenly visions and dreams, and revealing the deep things of God such as no natural man could ever see, hear, think of, or know, for they are only spiritually discerned. Thus there is no possibility of a person’s ever being deceived who follows the teachings and revelations of the Holy Ghost . (Orson Pratt’s Works, p. 70)

Another prophetical elder, probably Parley P. Pratt, wrote an article depicting the dark spiritual plight of the future. It was entitled “The Coming Crisis” and gives excellent counsel in obtaining revelation from God.

. . . No man in any age was ever for God or even a friend of God, that did not hold intercourse with Him personally, and receive for himself the revelations of His will. The rock of revelation, by which Peter knew Jesus Christ is the only basis upon which any man can escape the strong delusion which God will send among the nations, through Satan and his mediums and coadjutors. Reader, if you live long, you will be compelled to take a side for God or for Satan.

. . .Now, reader, you need present revelation from God to your own dear self, in order to help you out of this nasty, confused labyrinth, and to set your feet firmly upon the solid rock of revelation. Mere flesh and blood cannot help you now. It requires an Almighty arm to effect your deliverance. Therefore, put [22] no more trust in man, for a curse rests upon him that will be guided by the precepts of man. I do not ask you to be guided by what I say to you, unless the Lord from heaven shall reveal to you that I speak the truth, even as it is in Christ. Although I know that I am declaring heaven’s truth to you, in all sobriety, yet my knowing it, does not suffice for you. You also must know it for yourself, and not for another. This is your right and your privilege. For God has made this promise to you, and not to you, readers, only, but to all others whom He calls to repentance. Now, go and get revelation for yourself. If you are penitently desirous with all your heart to get revelation from God to your own self, go to some one whom God has called and ordained to confer the Gift of the Holy Ghost upon men, according to His promise in the Acts of the Apostles, and I promise you in the name of Jesus Christ, whose I am both by covenant and by sacrifice, that you shall have the desire of your heart. . . .

Now there are several ways in which the pure and obedient get revelations. It will be your privilege in due time to become acquainted with these various ways. One way is through the inspiration of the Spirit. The Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. All men have such a measure of the Holy Spirit as to enable them to make a profitable use of the light and opportunities that they have and to obey the law under which they are placed. All the different methods of revelation are not probably given to all men now. God dispenseth His gifts severally as He will. The inspiration of the Almighty giveth understanding. Every various method of immediate revelation, however, always accords with the inspiration of the Spirit. If an holy angel [23] talks with a man, what the angel speaks accords with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. If the Urim and Thummim is consulted, it accords with the teachings of the Holy Spirit. An open vision or a dream, each accords with the inspiration of the Holy Ghost.    (Mill. Star, 15:273, 291)

Wilford Woodruff gave the Saints counsel to pay special consideration to a dream which may seem to be inspired.

We may have dreams about things of great importance, and dreams of no importance at all. The Lord warned Joseph in a dream to take the young child Jesus and his mother into Egypt, and thus he was saved from the wrath of Herod. Hence there are a great many things taught us in dreams that are true, and if a man has the spirit of God he can tell the difference between what is from the Lord and what is not. And I want to say to my brethren and sisters, that whenever you have a dream that you feel is from the Lord, pay attention to it.    (Wilford Woodruff, J.D. 22:333)

The study of revelation through the medium of dreams is as much an important part of religious education as it ever was. Our lives, even our salvation, may depend upon the particular interest we manifest towards the revelations given to us by God through dreams.



[24]                              CHAPTER IV



The inspiration and counsel of God through the gift of dreams is well documented in ancient scripture. From the beginning of man’s history, inspirational dreams prove to be one of the divine principles of communication between God and man. But the stories and testimonies of God’s gifts are not restricted to the scriptures–but rather wherever the people of God are to be found.

It is the belief of the Latter-day Saints that every person who keeps the commandments of God is entitled to inspiration or counsel from heaven for his individual guidance, not only when engaged in the work of the ministry, but also in ordinary occupations. Among other agencies employed, at times, by the Lord to communicate His directing counsel to His people, visions and dreams have been somewhat prominent. They do not belong to any particular age, but have characterized every dispensation which the Lord has established in the earth. (Mill. Star, 51:17)

Jacob had a dream in which he saw a ladder to heaven filled with angels; he also saw the Lord God of Abraham. This revelation was given to him of the promise of eternal life.

And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

[25]                         And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. (Gen.28)

Laban had a dream about his befriending Jacob (Gen. 31:24). Then Jacob’s son, Joseph, interpreted the dreams of the butler and the baker, changing the course of his life. The following account is recorded in Genesis.

And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants. And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand: But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them. (Gen. 40)

Solomon received promises of rewards, instructions, and counsel from the Lord through a dream. The merits of such a dream may well be appreciated by all who read it.

In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.


[26]                         And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge the people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.

And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.

And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants. (1 Kings 3:5-15)


[27]         Then Gideon received a promise of victory in battle against the Midianites. Although it was but a dream, he rejoiced and was thankful to the Lord for it.

And when Gideon was come, behold, there was a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Middian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along.

And his fellow answered and said, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: for into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host. And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the Lord hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian. (Judges 7:13-15)

President John Taylor commented on the dream that was given to the great King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel, Chapter 2, which dream and its interpretation caused the king to rejoice and praise the Lord.

Nebuchadnezzar had a dream, in which he saw a variety of things pass before him. By-and-by the dream was taken from him, and he could not remember it; and he called upon the magicians, and soothsayers, and astrologers to give unto him the dream and the interpretation thereof, but they said it was too hard a thing for them to do; they could not give the king this information, for nobody can know these things but the Gods whose dwelling is not with flesh. They believed, as we do, that there is a Being that had spirit and intelligence above [28] the other gods, and that he alone could unravel those mysteries. Finally, the king sent for Daniel, and Daniel knew nothing about it until he prayed unto the Lord, and the Lord showed it to him; for the Lord had given the dream to Nebuchadnezzar, and if he had given it to one, he could to another. He could read it in Nebuchadnezzar’s mind or spirit in the record which He kept. He revealed the same thing to Daniel, who said unto the king, “Thou sawest a great image; its head was of gold, its arms and breast of silver, its belly and thighs of brass, its legs of iron, and its feet and toes part of iron and part of clay.” When Nebuchadnezzar heard the dream which he had forgotten, he gave glory to the God of Israel, because he could reveal secrets and manifest things which had been manifested to him. (John Taylor, J.D. 11:78)

The Old Testament abounds with outstanding stories of dreams. The New Testament and the Book of Mormon also contain inspirational stories of faith among the prophets. Elder H. Ricks wrote:

The Old Testament relates a number of inspired dreams, and the most of them required inspiration to interpret them correctly. Joseph, the beloved son of Jacob, had two prophetic dreams when a mere lad, and when he told them in boyish simplicity to his relations, doubtless without any knowledge of the important meaning they contained, he was rebuked by his father and hated by his brethren. The latter called him “the dreamer,” and perhaps many other scornful names. They thought, too, to evade the possibility of their fulfillment when they sold him into Egypt. But we may learn from their verification the futility of the efforts of puny man to thwart the purposes [29] of the Almighty. After Joseph was taken into Egypt, he was cast into prison through the machinations of Potiphar’s wife, and subsequently the king’s butler and his baker were also thrown into prison with him. Each of the latter had a simple dream, and in fulfillment of the interpretation given through Joseph, one was restored to his office in the house of Pharaoh, and the other was hanged upon a tree.







671 – 538 B.C.

(Nebuchadnezzar – Belchazzar)

“Thou err this head gold” — (Daniel 2:38)

Belshazzar slain – (Daniel 5:30)




538-381 B.C.

(Cyrus and Darius)

Darius the Median takes Kingdom — (Dan. 5:31)

“In the reign of Darius — and Cyrus the Persian” — (Dan. 6:28)

“And after thee shall arise another Kingdom” — (Dan. 2:39)




331 – 160 B.C.

(Alexander the Great)

“And another third kingdom of brass” — (Dan. 2:39)

Further source reference see Dr. Wm. Smith LLD Bible Dictionary of

England (the original four volumes not the revised and condensed one

volume American edition of 1884)




160 B.C. to 488 A.D.

(Under the Caesars)

DIVIDED – Eastern and Western Empire.

“And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron” — (Dan. 2:40)




496 to 1829 A.D. (as they originated)

1 – Italy                                  496         6 – Portugal                           1138

2 – France                              752         7 – Prussia                              1139

3 – England                           803         8 – Austria                             1159

4 – Belgium                           806         9 – Spain                                                1179

5 – Holland                            922         10 – Greece                            1829

“and as the toes of the feet were part of iron and part of clay, so the

kingdoms shall be partly strong and partly broken” — (Dan. 2:42)

In Daniel’s later dream or vision a similar situation described — “And the

ten horns out of the kingdom are ten kings that shall arise” — (Dan. 7:24)



Behold the Assyrian Kingdom heads the line,

The Median-Persian sceptre ruled the time.

And then to Greece who held the day.

To Rome we come who mistress was. How stand we now?

Down in the feet of iron and clay frail and feeble.

Yet mighty in a worldly way.

Not able to control our situation.

What, will be the next great issue?

Why, t’will be the kingdom of the Lord

Rolling on amid the encircling gloom,

Of earth’s sad darkened state,

Until Christ’s coming and Eternity.

The day of Millennial Bliss.

Pharaoh, the King of Egypt, also dreamed two dreams, and I think if they had occurred to some of the people in these days they would not be apt to attach any importance whatever to them, but they would regard them as wholly unworthy of consideration. Although Pharaoh’s dreams were peculiar, or almost ridiculous, they were invested with the utmost importance relative to the prosperity of the people of the times in which he lived, and they were instrumental in pointing out a way of temporal salvation, not only to his own nation, but also to the house of Israel.

One of the most important dreams related in the Bible is that of Nebuchadnezzar’s, which was interpreted by the Prophet Daniel (Dan. ii). It is now over twenty-four hundred years since that great King of Babylon had the dream referred to, and we can trace its fulfillment in the history of the world down through all the succeeding centuries to our day. The last great event represented in this dream refers to the latter times, and shows that the God of heaven would set up a kingdom which would break down all other kingdoms and stand forever. This is the kingdom that it was the mission of Joseph Smith, jun., to establish, and which the Latter-day Saints are laboring to build up.


[30]                         Dreams also characterized the opening of the New Testament dispensation. After the birth of our Savior, the wise men who came from the east to see Him, were warned by a dream to return to their own country by another way, thus avoiding the wicked King Herod, who sought the life of the young child. Joseph, the reputed father of Jesus, was warned in a dream to take Him and His mother and flee into Egypt in order to preserve the Savior’s life. When Herod was dead, Joseph was told in a dream to take Jesus and His mother and return to the land of Israel. . .  (Mill. Star, 51:17-18)

The stories of faith among the ancient prophets were recorded and passed down to their descendants that they, in like manner, might seek for and possess the same gifts and faith. The stories of those noble men bear a strong significance and an applicable meaning to the men of our time. Apostle George Q. Cannon elaborated upon this principle.

While Brother Joseph W. Young and Brother Gates were speaking, my mind reverted to the history of Joseph, who was sold into Egypt, the progenitor, perhaps, of the greatest portion of this congregation. An axiom came to my mind, that history repeats itself. And the great majority of us who are his descendants are not unlikely to accomplish a work similar to that which he accomplished. You know what has been meted out to us by our brethren. It has been our fortune, like him, to be dreamers. Like him, we related our dreams to our brethren, and they acted towards us as his brethren did towards him. They said, “We will not have this dreamer to rule over us.” They put him into a pit, and afterwards sold him to the Ishmaelites, and he was carried to Egypt, where they thought they would never see him or hear from [31] him again. But God overruled their acts, and the fulfillment of the dreams for which they sold him into slavery was brought about by that very means. So our brethren, instead of owning the truth of our visions, acted towards us as the brethren of Joseph did towards him. They would not own the power of God, nor look upon us as their benefactors, but abused us and treated us cruelly, driving us from their midst; yet out of it God will bring salvation to the remnant which is left of them.


(Picture of Three Wise Men)

Dreams played an important role in the birth and life of Christ. The Three Wise Men were warned in a dream not to go back to King Herod–so they returned to their own country by another way. Also, Joseph had a dream instructing him to go to Egypt to avoid Herod’s decree of death. In a later dream he was warned to avoid Jerusalem on his return.

You may depend upon it, we are repeating the history of the past. We will yet have to feed our brethren in the flesh; we will yet be the head and will extend unto them the salvation and deliverance, spiritually and temporally, which they need. We can see plainly that the Lord is overruling circumstances for the accomplishment of this end. Shall we not, then, be willing agents in his hands, and seek with all the energy of our nature to do what He requires of us? (George Q. Cannon, J. D. 11:46)

John Taylor first heard of Mormonism while he was a very active Methodist. He was converted to the restored Gospel because of the promises of the gifts of the Holy Ghost by the scriptures to those who belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He said:

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and shall know for himself of the things which he has believed in. This was the principle upon which my faith was based at the commencement. For instance, an Elder came to me and preached the Gospel and told me all these things. I was struck at once with them. I was well acquainted with the Bible, yet I [32] had never heard such teachings before; had never listened to such words as came from his mouth, illustrating, making manifest and explaining the Scriptures, the Book of Mormon and the revelations of God, and opening the heavens as it were to my view. It was to me one of the greatest things I had ever heard. He said to me, “If you will be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, inasmuch as you go in faith and humility and obedience to the law of God and forsake your sins,” etc. This was precisely the same thing that Peter told the people in his day. Said he, “‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” What will it do for us, Peter? “It will cause your old men to dream dreams, and your young men to see visions, and your servants and handmaids shall prophecy; it will bring things past to your remembrance, lead you into all truth, and show you things to come.” Here was quite a chance for a man to detect whether Peter was an impostor or not; and there was a favorable opportunity to detect whether the Mormon Elder was an imposter or not, for he promised the same things that Peter promised to believers, and all the Elders do the same. Can you find a Methodist, a Presbyterian, a Baptist, an Episcopalian, a Roman Catholic that dare tell you what Paul said anciently, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ?” Why? Have you not been persecuted and afflicted and been let down in a basket over a wall, been driven from place to place and considered a deceiver? Yes. “But I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth, and therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith.” I [33] have obeyed the same Gospel. What then? Did the signs follow? Yes; I believed before I obeyed, and after I had been baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins, and received the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, that Holy Ghost took of the things of God and showed them unto me, so that I then knew for myself. But did I believe particularly because I heard tongues and prophesyings and saw healings? No; but these made me glad, for in them I saw the ancient order of things brought back again. It made me rejoice to see the sick healed, the lame to leap for joy and the blind receive their sight, the deaf to hear and the dumb speak. This was a certain amount of testimony for the doctrines that had been advanced. But, besides this, there was an inward evidence–an invisible manifestation of the Spirit of the living God, bearing witness with mine that this was the work of God that he had established in the last days, and I knew it for myself and not because anybody said so. At first I believed it on the testimony of others, and then obtained a knowledge for myself. If there is no other man under the heavens that knows that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God I do, and I bear testimony of it to God, angels and men. How did it operate upon others? In the same way, inasmuch as they were sincere and faithful, and diligent in observing the laws of God, and hence, as the Scriptures say, “You are all baptized into one baptism, and have all partaken of the same Spirit,” and that is the Spirit that first commenced to be revealed through Joseph Smith, and the administration of holy angels, and the development and restoration of the holy Priesthood. If you do not know in the same way that I know this is the Work of God, I would not give a straw for your religion. (John Taylor, J.D. 10:129)


[34]         There is one factor which makes the Church of Jesus Christ different from any other Church–it is the principle of receiving the revelations and gifts of God. And, if people do not have these manifestations, they are not the people of God. They will excuse themselves from such a faith by saying that it is not necessary for God to speak to man today as He did anciently. Yet there has never been a time in man’s history when men needed to live by the light of God’s directions more than they do today. The revelations to Noah to build an ark, or God’s manifestations to Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt are not sufficient guides for us in the murky circumstances of our modern society. Men must have guidance through the manifestations of the Holy Ghost today as they did anciently, or they may be deceived or destroyed. Men cannot possess the Holy Ghost without receiving revelations, and they cannot belong to God’s kingdom without having the Holy Ghost. God has promised the powers and gifts of the ancients to those of the latter days if they will conform to the same laws and principles that were lived by the ancients. A history of God’s dealings with people anciently is worthless to us if we are not inspired to conform our lives to the same principles by which they lived. If we live as they lived, we will enjoy the blessings they enjoyed.



[35]                              CHAPTER V



The interpretation of dreams, like the interpretation of tongues, is one of the gifts of God. Inspirational dreams without a proper interpretation, or dreams of the imagination with mistaken interpretations, are worthless and possibly dangerous, to the dreamer. Many modern psychologists claim that every dream has a meaning, and throughout Babylonian and Egyptian backgrounds the meanings of dreams were always given the same interpretative analysis–blood meant money; fire meant a wedding; a wedding dress was death, a raven an adulterer, and a crocodile meant a greedy politician.

Discerning which dreams are inspired and which are merely fantasies of the imagination, has always been a matter of some concern; and since most people disbelieve in any dream being inspirational, the Lord has had difficulty in giving revelations through this medium. Yet we may conclude with this fact–there has never been a prophet who has not received revelations from God through dreams. The Lord Himself has made this promise by saying:

If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. (Numbers 12:6)

Prophets and inspired men, both anciently and in recent times, have been abundantly blessed with the gift of dreams. The great difficulty has been in getting people to believe in this gift–and then to get them to understand which dreams are inspired and which are not. As Apostle Penrose humorously remarked:


[36]                         Now, dreams are very peculiar things. I have had some recently. They were very clear and plain. I have dreamed several times that I had passed out of the body and was in the other world, and I saw things and heard things that seemed to me to be just as plain and just as clear as if I were actually out of the body, but when I came to wake up and weigh what I had seen I found it was only a dream. Just what the cause of it was I cannot tell. There are various causes for dreaming. The wise man, as he was called, Solomon, said, “In the multitude of dreams and words, there be divers vanities,” and I have dreamed a great deal that was nothing but vanity and followed by a vexation of spirit.

A lady who was a great believer in dreams, came to me once, and wanted me to give the interpretation to one of them. She dreamed some very peculiar things, “And, Brother Penrose,” she said, “just give me the interpretation.” I did not want to offend her. I saw there was nothing in them of any particular moment, so I said, “Sister, what did you have for supper last night?” You know in England (it was in England) they often have very late suppers. “Well, Brother Penrose,” she said, “I had some fried pork and onions.” “Well,” I said, “that is the interpretation.” (C.W. Penrose, Liahona 20:284)

The editor of the Millennial Star wrote an article in 1853 in which he described one of the keys of discerning an inspired dream from one which is not:

Now one mark of a dream from God is, that it is distinguished for the clearness and simplicity of the impress that it makes upon the mind of him that dreams. A dream from the [37] Lord being always true in all its legitimate bearings, will be so disembarrassed from error and uncertainty to him that has the spirit of truth in lively exercise, that he will know it perfectly in distinction from all false hallucinations or deceptions of the mind. . . .

The Lord does not suffer wicked spirits to foul and blot and mar a dream, when he wants to communicate His mind and will in a dream. Foul spirits are rebuked and commanded to depart when God wants to indict the truth upon anyone’s mind. The Angel of God guards the dreamer till a clear and a distinct impression is made. And that impression is of an unmistakable character; it cannot be misunderstood, any more than the light of the sun can be mistaken for the darkness of midnight.    (Millennial Star, 15:291)

A dream which is troublesome, disturbing, or causes the dreamer undue grief may not be from the Lord. Mariah Burgess had this revealed to her by an angel, and she wrote about it in her journal:

I formed an acquaintance with William Burgess and about a year later, September, 1840, I married him. Soon after my marriage, we settled in Nauvoo, Illinois, and helped build a city in spite of much sickness.

The mobocrats were continually seeking Joseph Smith’s life. He and Hyrum were finally slain; what a time of trouble!

That fall I was so “low” I told my husband to pray for me. Before he returned to bed he prayed for me. I prayed, too, asking the Lord to show me whether I should live. I lay free from pain for about an hour thinking of [38] the situation of the Church, having to leave in the spring. I was not asleep. The room shone bright, all of a sudden I saw evil spirits; I was scared and was just going to call my husband when a voice spoke. “I am your Ministering Spirit.” It immediately came into my mind that I had heard the Prophet Joseph say while preaching that Angels had appeared to him. He said the third time they always answered. I spoke the third time. The spirit then spoke, “If you were to see me it would scare you. You would not know the things I am going to tell you. You shall be well in the morning; from this time you shall have more faith. You shall have a dream that shall comfort you. When you have a dream that troubles you, you may know it is from the evil spirit. Be careful of your health, and do not do too much hard work. Obtain your Patriarchal blessing; this shall be a blessing to you.”


I asked if Joseph Smith died a true prophet. He spoke, “He died a true Prophet; Brigham Young is now the man to lead the Church.” (Diary of Mariah Pulsipher Burgess)

Inspired dreams may be interpreted in the following ways:

  1. Figurative The 7 kine in Joseph’s dream represented 7 years.
  2. Illustrative The great image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was composed of various elements representing different kinds of kingdoms.
  3. Literal A person may see an event just as it will happen. Every detail of the dream will be just as it will occur or already has taken place.


[39]         Other indications of an inspirational dream may be that the person will awaken immediately after a dream occurs. This gives him a chance to consider the dream, its meaning, and his position in the matter.

Secondly, the ideas and message of the dream will be clear and easily remembered. It will be uncluttered and impressive to the mind. Sometimes a dream may be as easily remembered many years later as when it was first received.

Interpreting others’ dreams is also a special gift. One who is acquainted with inspirational dreams is often blessed with the gift to interpret them for others since they are both obtained by the Spirit of the Lord.

A humorous incident occurred in the early days of the Church when Elder P. Brown attempted to interpret the beasts in John’s Revelation. The Prophet Joseph Smith remarked:

Elder Pelatiah Brown, one of the wisest old heads we have among us, and whom I now see before me, has been preaching concerning the beast which was full of eyes before and behind; and for this he was hauled up for trial before the High Council.

I did not like the old man being called up for erring in doctrine. It looks too much like the Methodist, and not like the Latter-day Saints. Methodists have creeds which a man must believe or be asked out of their church. I want the liberty of thinking and believing as I please. It feels so good not to be trammelled. It does not prove that a man is not a good man because he errs in doctrine.

The High Council undertook to censure and correct Elder Brown because of his teachings [40] in relation to the beasts. Whether they actually corrected him or not, I am a little doubtful, but don’t care. Father Brown came to me to know what he should do about it. The subject particularly referred to was the four beasts and four-and-twenty elders mentioned in Rev. 5:8–“And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four-and-twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints.” Father Brown has been to work and confounded all Christendom by making out that the four beasts represented the different kingdoms of God on the earth. The wise men of the day could not do anything with him, and why should we find fault? Anything to whip sectarianism, to put down priestcraft, and bring the human family to a knowledge of the truth. A club is better than no weapon for a poor man to fight with.

Father Brown did whip sectarianism, and so far so good; but I could not help laughing at the idea of God making use of the figure of a beast to represent His kingdom on the earth, consisting of men, when He could as well have used a far more noble and consistent figure. What! the Lord make use of the figure of a creature of the brute creation to represent that which is much more noble, glorious, and important–the glories and majesty of His kingdom? By taking a lesser figure to represent a greater, you missed it that time, old gentleman; but the sectarians did not know enough to detect you.

When God made use of the figure of a beast in visions to the prophets He did it to [41] represent those kingdoms which had degenerated and become corrupt, savage and beast-like in their dispositions, even the degenerate kingdom of the wicked world; but He never made use of the figure of a beast nor any of the brute kind to represent His kingdom. (D.H.C. 5:341)

When a dream occurs and the person does not understand it, he should pray for the interpretation. If he does not receive any interpretation, then he should consider it to be without any merit. The Prophet Joseph Smith said:

When you see a vision, pray for the interpretation; if you get not this, shut it up; there must be certainty in this matter. An open vision will manifest that which is more important. (T.P.J.S., p. 161)

Sometimes only part of the interpretation may be given while the rest of the meaning may gradually unfold. On some rare occasions the interpretation of a dream may not be realized until years later.

The people of the Jewish nation were counseled to ask the Lord for the interpretation to their dreams. Or, oftentimes a high priest or prophet would render the interpretation of their dreams.

Heber J. Grant related a very unusual story about a dream and its interpretation which concern the death Apostle Orson Pratt:

I was out in Tooele at a quarterly stake conference. The patriarch of the stake, Brother John Rowberry, had told me many years before of having had a dream (as I remember it, thirty years before), in which he was on a great vessel, and every once in a while some-[42]body fell overboard, and he finally fell overboard himself. When he struggled through the water he came out into the most beautiful country that he had ever seen, and he met Brother Orson Pratt there. He asked Brother Pratt: “Where am I?” and Brother Pratt said: “You are in heaven, Brother Rowberry.”

Brother Pratt happened to be out in Tooele at that particular time, visiting the various wards in that stake. Brother Rowberry told him of this dream, praying to the Lord that Brother Pratt would not ask him who the man was that he met in his dream. He did not want to tell him that he, Brother Pratt, had to die first. Brother Pratt said: “I will pray about it and if I get the interpretation, I will give it to you.”

Just before leaving (he was there several weeks), Brother Pratt said:

“Well, I prayed about your dream, Brother Rowberry, and I got the interpretation. The people on that vessel represented the people of the world. You said that the majority of the people who fell overboard you did not know. If you will write down a list of those you did know in the order in which they fell overboard I promise you that they shall die in that exact order, and I promise you that when you shall go to heaven, you shall meet the identical man that you met in your dream, and when you meet him tell him that the dream was from the Lord and the interpretation was also from the Lord through Brother Orson Pratt.”

And Brother Rowberry said: “Brother Pratt, I will tell him.”


[43]                         While I was still in Tooele as president of the stake, I received a telegram to the effect that Brother Orson Pratt was in a very serious condition of health and requested that we hold a prayer meeting in both Grantsville and Tooele for his recovery. We did so, and as we were going into the prayer circle room in Tooele, Brother Rowberry said to me: “Heber, do you remember my dream?”

I told him, “Yes.”

He said: “Well, it is Brother Pratt’s turn next.” And indeed, that proved to be Brother Pratt’s last illness.

Some years later I was out in Tooele at a stake conference at which Brother Rowberry was one of the speakers. He was in very good health, although he was an aged man at the time. He spoke with a great deal of power and vigor and expressed his gratitude for the gospel. After the meeting he said: “Brother Grant, do you remember my dream?”

I said, “Yes.”

He said: “The people have died in the exact order in which they fell off the vessel. They are all gone, and it is my turn next, and I am the happiest man in all Tooele County. I am anxious to meet Brother Pratt and to meet your father and other men and women I have loved with all my heart. By the way, I will tell your father, Brother Grant, that you are doing very well as an apostle.”

The next time I went to Tooele he had passed on. (Improvement Era, 41:712)


[44]         The interpretation of dreams can best be appreciated by reading the stories of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Dan. 2:1-49), Joseph’s dreams of the sheaves, (Gen. 37:5-11), and of the 7 kine and 7 corn stalks. (Gen. 41:1-23)


From the scriptures and inspired men we can learn the value of understanding God’s inspirational guidance to men anciently and also in modern times. Dreams are a most effectual means of communication from God.

It is imperative that we become acquainted with the methods of determining inspirational dreams from those of common occurrence, and also learn the way to interpret them. Once a person has improved this talent, and wisely used it, God will bestow more and greater gifts upon him.



[45]                              CHAPTER VI



As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.                                                                                                  Daniel 1:17

God speaks, or is willing to speak, to men today just as he did anciently. If men were more diligent in their search to know the will of their Father, they would become better acquainted with the many means of communication He has provided for them. Dreams are one of the more common types of divine revelation. They are intended to teach us in every principle and theory pertaining to life and salvation.

Wilford Woodruff explained:

. . . what I wanted to say in regard to these matters is that the Lord does communicate some things of importance to the children of men by means of visions and dreams as well as by the records of divine truth. And what is it all for? It is to teach us a principle. We may never see anything take place exactly as we see it in a dream or a vision, yet it is intended to teach us a principle. (Wilford Woodruff, J.D. 22:333)

Lucy Mack Smith, mother of the Prophet, was troubled about which religion she should join. She prayed that her husband would find the right gospel and that his heart would be softened to receive it when it came. She said that she retired for the night and soon fell asleep and had the following dream:


[46]                          THE TWO TALL TREES

I thought that I stood in a large and beautiful meadow, which lay a short distance from the house in which we lived, and that everything around me wore an aspect of peculiar pleasantness. The first thing that attracted my special attention in this magnificent meadow, was a very pure and clear stream of water, which ran through the midst of it; and as I traced this stream, I discovered two trees standing upon its margin, both of which were on the same side of the stream. These trees were very beautiful; they were well proportioned, and towered with majestic beauty to a great height. Their branches, which added to their symmetry and glory, commenced near the top, and spread themselves in luxurious grandeur around. I gazed upon them with wonder and admiration; and after beholding them a short time, I saw one of them was surrounded with a bright belt, that shone like burnished gold, but far more brilliantly. Presently a gentle breeze passed by, and the tree encircled with this golden zone, bent gracefully before the wind, and waved its beautiful branches in the light air. As the wind increased, this tree assumed the most lively and animated appearance, and seemed to express in its motions the utmost joy and happiness. If it had been an intelligent creature, it could not have conveyed, by the power of language, the idea of joy and gratitude so perfectly as it did; and even the stream that rolled beneath it, shared, apparently, every sensation felt by the tree, for, as the branches danced over the stream, it would swell gently, then recede again with a motion as soft as the breathing of an infant, but as lively as the dancing of a sunbeam. The belt also partook of the same influence, and, [47] as it moved in unison with the motion of the stream and of the tree, it increased continually in refulgence and magnitude, until it became exceedingly glorious.

I turned my eyes upon its fellow, which stood opposite; but it was not surrounded with the belt of light as the former, and it stood erect and fixed as a pillar of marble. No matter how strong the wind blew over it, not a leaf was stirred, not a bough was bent; but obstinately stiff it stood, scorning alike the zephyr’s breath, or the power of the mighty storm.

I wondered at what I saw, and said in my heart: What can be the meaning of all this? And the interpretation given me was that these personated my husband and his oldest brother, Jesse Smith; that the stubborn and unyielding tree was like Jesse; that the other, more pliant and flexible, was like Joseph, my husband; that the breath of heaven, which passed over them, was the pure and undefiled gospel of the Son of God, which gospel Jesse would always resist, but which Joseph, when he was more advanced in life, would hear and receive with his whole heart, and rejoice therein; and unto him would be added intelligence, happiness, glory, and everlasting life. (History of Joseph Smith, by Lucy Smith, p. 44)

Lucy’s husband, Joseph, then had a dream which instructed him that there was no true church upon the earth at that time. He had prayed about the situation of the so-called Christian religions of that day, and one morning he related this dream:


[48]                          THE GLOOMY DESERT

I seemed to be traveling in an open, barren field, and as I was traveling, I turned my eyes towards the east, the west, the north and the south, but could see nothing save dead, fallen timber. Not a vestige of life, either animal or vegetable, could be seen; besides, to render the scene still more dreary, the most death-like silence prevailed, no sound of anything animate could be heard in all the field. I was alone in this gloomy desert, with the exception of an attendant spirit, who kept constantly by my side. Of him I inquired the meaning of what I saw, and why I was thus traveling in such a dismal place. He answered thus: “This field is the world, which now lieth inanimate and dumb, in regard to the true religion, or plan of salvation; but travel on, and by the wayside you will find on a certain log a box, the contents of which, if you eat thereof, will make you wise, and give unto you wisdom and understanding.” I carefully observed what was told me by my guide, and proceeding a short distance, I came to the box. I immediately took it up, and placed it under my left arm; then with eagerness I raised the lid, and began to taste of its contents; upon which all manner of beasts, horned cattle, and roaring animals, rose up on every side in the most threatening manner possible, tearing the earth, tossing their horns, and bellowing most terrifically all around me, and they finally came so close upon me, that I was compelled to drop the box and fly for my life. Yet, in the midst of all this I was perfectly happy, though I awoke trembling.

From this forward, (continues Lucy Mack Smith) my husband seemed more confirmed than [49] ever in the opinion that there was no order or class of religionists that knew any more concerning the Kingdom of God than those of the world, or such as made no profession of religion whatever.    (History of Joseph Smith, by Lucy Smith, p. 47)

Lucy Smith wrote about another dream which her husband received in Vermont in 1811, instructing him on the true gospel:



“I thought,” said he, “I was traveling in an open, desolate field, which appeared to be very barren. As I was thus traveling, the thought suddenly came into my mind that I had better stop and reflect upon what I was doing, before I went any farther. So I asked myself, `What motive can I have in traveling here, and what place can this be?’ My guide, who was by my side, as before, said, `This is the desolate world; but travel on.’ The road was so broad and barren that I wondered why I should travel in it; for, said I to myself, `Broad is the road, and wide is the gate that leads to death and many there be that walk therein; but narrow is the way, and strait is the gate that leads to everlasting life, and few there be that go in thereat.’ Traveling a short distance further, I came to a narrow path. This path I entered, and, when I had traveled a little way in it, I beheld a beautiful stream of water, which ran from the east to the west. Of this stream, I could see neither the source nor yet the mouth; but as far as my eyes could extend I could see a rope, running along the bank of it, about as high as a man could reach, and beyond me was a low, but very pleasant valley, in which stood a tree such as I had [50] never seen before. It was exceedingly handsome, insomuch that I looked upon it with wonder and admiration. Its beautiful branches spread themselves somewhat like an umbrella, and it bore a kind of fruit, in shape much like a chestnut bur, and as white as snow, or, if possible, whiter. I gazed upon the same with considerable interest, and as I was doing so, the burs or shells commenced opening and shedding their particles, or the fruit which they contained, which was of dazzling whiteness. I drew near and began to eat of it, and I found it delicious beyond description. As I was eating, I said in my heart, `I cannot eat this alone; I must bring my wife and children, that they may partake with me.’ Accordingly, I went and brought my family, which consisted of a wife and seven children, and we all commenced eating and praising God for this blessing. We were exceedingly happy, insomuch that our joy could not easily be expressed. While thus engaged, I beheld a spacious building standing opposite the valley which we were in, and it appeared to reach to the very heavens. It was full of doors and windows, and they were all filled with people, who were very finely dressed. When these people observed us in the low valley, under the tree, they pointed the finger of scorn at us, and treated us with all manner of disrespect and contempt. But their contumely we utterly disregarded. I presently turned to my guide and inquired of him the meaning of the fruit that was so delicious. He told me it was the pure love of God, shed abroad in the hearts of all those who love him, and keep His commandments. He then commanded me to go and bring the rest of my children. I told him that we were all there. `No,’ he replied, `look yonder; you have two more, and you must bring them also.’ [51] Upon raising my eyes, I saw two small children standing some distance off. I immediately went to them, and brought them to the tree; upon which they commenced eating with the rest, and we all rejoiced together. The more we ate, the more we seemed to desire, until we even got down upon our knees and scooped it up, eating it by double handfuls. After feasting in this manner a short time, I asked my guide what was the meaning of the spacious building which I saw. He replied, `It is Babylon; it is Babylon, and it must fall. The people in the doors and windows are the inhabitants thereof, who scorn and despise the Saints of God because of their humility.’ I soon awoke, clapping my hands together for joy.” (History of Joseph Smith, by Lucy Smith, p. 48-50)

After the Gospel of Jesus Christ had been restored to the earth, many of the Saints and missionaries received dreams which instructed them and prepared them for certain events which would transpire in their lives. An Elder, Charles E. Robinson, had a dream about his own death while in the missionfield in South Carolina.



“About two months prior to his death, Brother Robinson had a dream in which his uncle, Counselor D. H. Wells, appeared to him and said, addressing him familiarly by name,”Charlie, you must hurry up; you have only half an hour left.” He afterwards related it to the Elders with whom he was associated, at a conference held in July, a little over a month before he died. Some of them supposed at the time that it indicated their being driven out of the State, but Brother Robinson, himself, as soon as he was taken sick, accepted it as a premonition of his end. He never expressed [52] any hope afterwards of living, except to remark that nothing but the power of God could save him.”

The following account is also given of another dream, from which an inference may be drawn as to the labor in which Brother Robinson is now engaged, and the reason why his presence was required in another sphere:

“Mrs. Mary Gordon, a member of the Church, living at King’s Mountain, the place where Elder Robinson died, a month afterwards had a dream, in which her father (whose name was Harkness, and who died soon after the civil war, in which he took part), came to her and said that Brother Robinson (then dead) had been to see him and convinced him of the truth of the Gospel. He further declared that his daughter (Mrs. Gordon) had embraced the true Church, and that he depended upon her for his Temple work to be done, as his son, who then lived in Colorado, had apostatized, after joining the Church and emigrating to that State. Mrs. Gordon afterwards learned, although her dream was the first intimation she had had of it, that such was really the case, that her brother had fallen away from the faith.”

Numerous instances could be related, in which the Latter-day Saint Elders laboring as missionaries in various lands have been warned by dreams of dangers they were about to meet with, and shown how they could escape from them. We have been assured by some Elders, that they have been shown in dreams beforehand nearly every circumstance of importance that has occurred in their missionary experience. (Mill. Star, 45:825)

* * * * *


[53]                           SEEN IN A DREAM

Dreams have often been the means by which the Holy Spirit has prepared people to receive the message of the restored gospel. Elder C. V. Spencer found that a dream had prepared the way for his missionary labors as he went to preach in Colchester, England:

“I came in sight of the place, on the top of a long hill, and noticed a woman crossing the road with two pails. She filled them with water and started back, but as she saw me walking towards her, she dropped both pails and came to me, saying, `I knew you would come; I saw you in a dream. Come into my house; I have a room all fixed nice and clean for you.'”

Here I baptized my first fruits of the gospel, and accomplished a good work. (Gifts of the Spirit, by Duane Crowther, p. 195)

Apostle Orson Pratt noted the spiritual manifestations which brought many Lamanite people into the Church:



Now, after so long a period has elapsed since God brought forth this wonderful sign, he has begun to work among the remnants of the house of Israel, the American Indians, upon this continent, by his own power. What is it that has stirred them up to believe in this work? Has it been your exertion? Not altogether; yet, no doubt, you, in some small degree, as far as your faith would permit, have helped on the work among these wild tribes…. Your hearts have been almost discouraged so far as your own labors were concerned. But how soon and how marvelously, when the time [54] had come, has the Lord our God begun to operate upon them as nations and as tribes, bringing them in from hundreds of miles distant to inquire after the Elders of this Church. What for? What do they want with the Elders? They want to be baptized. Who told them to come and be baptized? They say that men came to them in their dreams, and spoke to them in their own language, and told them that away yonder was a people who had authority from God to baptize them; but that they must repent of their sins, cease their evil habits and lay aside the traditions of their fathers, for they were false; that they must cease to roam over the face of the land, robbing and plundering, and learn to live as the white people. (Orson Pratt, J.D. 18:19)

When God chooses to instruct people and direct their lives, it behooves them to be obedient. At one time Brigham Young was troubled about the great variety of people who comprised the Mormon faith; subsequently, he received the following dream:



Several supposed that they would be able to so sanctify themselves, that in one year they could take Great Salt Lake Valley and the regions round about up to Enoch, or have him come here. I did not so view the matter, and did not give any special instructions upon it.

At that time I dreamed that while I was a little below the road and just north of the Hot Springs, about four miles from here, I saw Brother Joseph coming and walked up to the road to see him, and asked him where he was going? He replied, “I am going north.”


[55]                         There were two or three horsemen along, and some men were riding with him upon a few boards placed loosely upon the running gears of a wagon, upon which were also a tent and camp utensils. I wished to talk with him, but he did not seem inclined to conversation, and it occurred to me that he was going to Captain James Brown’s to buy all his goats.

I had been promised ten or a dozen of them, but I thought that he was going to buy every one, and that I should not get a single goat to put with my sheep, and I laughed in my sleep.

Pretty soon he came back, with a large flock of sheep and goats following the wagon, and as I looked upon them I saw some sheep that were white, pure, and clean, and as large as a two year old cow, with wool from ten to twenty inches in length, as fine as silk and as white as the driven snow.

With them were all lesser sizes down to the smallest goat or sheep I ever saw, and all mixed up together. I saw some sheep with hair like that of goats, and goats of all colors, red, black, white, etc., mixed with the sheep; and their sizes, colors, and quality of fleeces, seemed to be almost innumerable.

I remarked to Joseph that he had got the strangest flock I ever saw, and looked at him slyly and laughed, and asked him what he was going to do with them. He looked at me in his usual shrewd manner and replied, “They are all good in their places.”

On awaking I at once understood the dream, and I then said, go to California, or where [56] you please, for goats are as good in their places as sheep, until the time for them to mingle is over. And in striving to guide and improve the flock we sometimes have to cry out, shoo, and at other times to draw them nigh by calling, sheep, sheep.

We are trying to train the flock, and to turn the goats into sheep, and the spotted, ring-streaked. and speckled into beautiful white, and how shall we succeed? Perhaps we shall see rather a curious flock at last, but we will do the best we can.    (Brigham Young, J.D. 3:321-22)

Elder James W. Lesueur explained how the way was opened to him to preach the Gospel:



Having been transferred from Yorkshire to the isles of the English Channel, in May, 1899, I labored alone about two months, and during that time, as well as before and after that, my way was opened by the Lord so that I could act as his instrument in getting the gospel before a number of souls. One instance, I will relate:

Having finished tracting St. Sampson’s Parish (Guernsey Isle), I was intending to visit some investigators there on the 10th of January, 1900. While on the road, I was impressed to go into a certain house just passed. Not knowing why, I kept going on. Again the impression came, this time: with double force. Turning about I walked back, knocked on the door and was invited inside. Sitting down, I conversed on general topics with an intelligent woman. Suddenly a thought came forcibly to [57] her mind, and she exclaimed: “What an odd dream I had the other day! It might have been a vision, for I am quite sure I was awake!”


(Picture of woman in a boat)

A woman was converted to the Church by a dream showing her on a rudderless, oarless boat, tossed and drifting in the sea of doubt and confusion of false religions.

Then she related the following: “I thought I saw myself out in the sea in an oarless, rudderless boat. The waves were dashing against the little boat, nearly capsizing it at every splash. I was in such horror. Sometimes there seemed stones before me, but reaching for them, I found they were merely feathers and straw. After being tossed about nearly to desperation, there appeared before me a fine, large steamer, laden with happy and contented people. Those on board were beckoning me to them. But, no; I drifted away, and finally the ship of rescue disappeared from view. Three times I beheld this dream or vision, and at the close of each, my mother’s face came before me for several moments; each time, she had an anxious look. What it all meant, I do not know, but it has worried me ever since.”

This was, in substance, the account she gave of her dream or vision. Like a flash, the interpretation thereof was given me, which, as far as I remember, was as follows:

You have acknowledged to me you did not know which was the right faith; you disbelieve in christening, yet belong to a sect that teaches it as essential to salvation; you say you go to a chapel of another creed, and at the same time agree with me that their claims of “instant salvation” and “belief-alone” doctrines, are wrong. Still you attend another faith, yet doubt its authority. To be plain: what could be a better illustration of your condition than that of the rudderless, oarless boat, tossed about upon the waves of life’s [58] rough sea? Are you not “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive?” Paul says, that is the way with all not having “apostles and prophets” as their instructors and leaders (Eph. 4). Are you not drifting about in the shallow boat of doubt and confusion, nearly despairing, reaching for the sure rocks of salvation, and catching only straws in the shape of flimsy romantic tales “with a hidden meaning,” that does not satisfy the cravings of your soul for heavenly light?

Madam, you tell me how hard it is to know which is the truth, and that you are about to despair in your search for it. Yet in your life, the good old gospel ship has appeared before you to rescue you from your dangerous condition three times. First, in your youth in Abingdon when, you say, many joined the “Mormon” faith among your friends. Still you drifted upon the stormy sea of life. The elders and saints left your old home, most of them emigrating to America, and then the vessel disappeared for a time. The second time it came before you was seven or eight years ago when Elder Sears and his companions preached in the streets and halls of Abingdon, England. You acknowledge that every thing he taught seemed according to the Bible. Yet you drifted, and in time the elders again left Abingdon.

Now again, having moved to Guernsey, the sea of life is more turbulent than ever. While you are being tossed about, the Lord again causes the gospel ship to come before you, and with cheerfulness, we beckon you to enter the same and the voyage of life will be completed [59] in a safe vessel, so you can land in due time at the port of heaven where there is no more death, sorrow, crying or pain, for the former things have passed away.

Your own mother, beyond the veil, is anxious for you to go on board the gospel ship by entering the Church of Christ. The question now is: “Will you drift again?”

She acknowledged the interpretation to be correct. I begged her and her husband to give prayerful consideration to the warning, for by living up to what it teaches, it would mean their salvation.

This not only opened up the way at their home, where we had a standing invitation, and where there was a whole family interested in the truth, but from them it went to others, and thus the Lord opened the way. (Improvement Era, 2:583)

Sarah Leavitt, an early Saint who lived at the time of the Prophet Joseph, was also inspired in her missionary efforts. She was having a little difficulty until she had the following dream:



We had only been in the church a short time, perhaps two months. About this time I had a dream. I dreamed there was a deep hole in the place that looked very black and muddy, but there were lots of fish in the hole if by any means we could catch them. It was such a filthy looking place that it would be a job to get near enough to put a hook in, but I thought I would try. So I got a hook and line and bait and went, and after much trouble I got near [60] enough to throw in my hook. There was a shark in the hole that took the bait every time; I saw that it was of no use to try to catch fish until the shark was out of the way and so I went to fishing for the shark and I soon caught it. It was a savage looking creature. Then I could catch fish. I caught many fish which pleased me well. (Sarah Leavitt Journal, p. 10)

The shark was a man who finally believed the truth of the gospel. Her work eventually was the means of converting many souls to the restored Gospel.

W.J. Kohlberg wrote about two dreams and a prophecy.



While on a Wisconsin train bound for my native Illinois home, anticipating a happy meeting with my parents, brothers and sisters, after a first and lengthy absence, I fell asleep, just before reaching the junction where I was to change cars:–dreamed of home, and did not awake until the train was near the boundary line of Iowa, and I, further away from home than ever. I got off at the first station with the intention of taking a train back, but before doing so, I met a man who was instrumental in leading me to the place where, for the first time, I attended a “Mormon” meeting. That meeting later resulted in more than I had anticipated–my mountain home among the Saints.

After hearing awful tales about the “Mormons” and reading for two and a half years all that I could find, for and against the Church, I determined to know things for myself, bade my pleading parents, friends and relatives goodbye, and left my home in tears with a promise of converting either myself or some of the “Mormons.”


[61]                         I arrived in Salt Lake City on New Year’s morning, 1903, an absolute stranger. The first residence I entered was that of Solomon F. Kimball, at 274 6th Street, where to my surprise I was greeted and welcomed as one he had seen before. I had never seen Brother Kimball before, and I wondered, till he said: “I saw you in a dream three days ago.” This statement together with a subsequent prediction of my conversion to “Mormonism,” and my accomplishment of a great work, almost overcame my surprise–because of my skepticism concerning “Mormon” dreams and prophecies–but his further telling me of my past experience in the East, and my reason for coming West, turned my surprise into greater wonder.

When I expressed myself as thinking Brother Kimball a good mind-reader of past and present, and a possible guesser of the future, I was boldly told of the glorious victory that would take place within me by coming faith and evidence.

Oh, how I hoped it true! Faith and evidence one way or the other, was what I had long been looking for, and now–O happy thought!–to have them come to me! When I remembered the pangs I had endured in Doubting Castle, I not only hoped their coming, but I prayed for them in tears, and looked till both came and conquered unbelief. On a sunny morning, the second day in the beautiful month of May, 1903, faith and evidence led me to the waters of baptism. Later I was confirmed with knowledge, and filled with conviction, through the gift of the Holy Ghost. Since then, amid storms and sunshine, I have had ecstatic experiences and mountain-high evidence that so-called “Mormonism” is the restored gospel of Christ. (Improvement Era, 9:573)


[62]         Elder T. Lafayette Hatch related another dream which was received by a lady in Ireland before she ever saw Elder Hatch and his companion. He says:

After the close of the last Irish conference, Elder Leo J. Neville and I were appointed to labor in the city of Dublin. It was impossible for us to leave Belfast immediately after receiving our appointment, as I was confined to my room through sickness. In the meantime, Elder T. J. Bennett decided that it would be best for us to labor in the town of Lurgan. Accordingly he asked us if we would be satisfied to have our appointment changed. We replied in the affirmative, and as soon as I had fully recovered we started for our appointed field of labor. On reaching Lurgan, we walked directly to the opposite end of the town from the station before we made any inquiries as to where we could get a place to stay. A shopkeeper on Avenue Road directed us to a place just a few doors away where, he thought, we could get accommodation. We knocked at the door designated and were greeted by a lady who, on seeing us, showed signs of great astonishment.

We made arrangements to stay at her home, provided, however, that we could have the privilege of looking about the town for a more suitable place. After searching diligently, we returned to the home of the above-mentioned lady, fully convinced that that was the place where we were to stay. We then learned that the whole incident of our coming had been shown to the lady in a dream two nights before our arrival, or the night previous to the changing of our appointment. She recognized our dress and our features to be the same as those shown to her in the dream, hence the [63] cause of her being startled at our appearance at her door. She had been shown the exact positions we would take on entering the room, and she was even shown the difference which she now actually knows exists in our dispositions.

This, together with the fact that we were advised to come directly to her home, is a strong testimony to us that the hand of the Lord is over His servants. This is the same work in which the prophets of old were engaged; this is the work which Jesus Christ set up; this is the same gospel which was preached by Peter and Paul and other apostles. The same spirit which directed them directs God’s servants today, and if we are faithful we will not fail to enjoy the gifts of the Spirit. (Mill. Star, 70:283)

Another Elder, by the name of Walter G. Paul, also wrote about his mission.

In April, 1882, I left my home in Utah for a mission to the Eastern and Southern States of America. I was then but a young man of twenty-one, and inexperienced in the mission field. On arriving at my destination, Nashville, Tennessee, I was appointed to labor in and around Rochester, Butler Co., Kentucky, to which locality I was sent with a letter of release for Elder John W. Taylor, by Elder John Morgan, president of the mission.

Elder Taylor spent a week with me before he left. I felt extremely weak and timid, but my companion in his prophetic vein predicted that I would soon be able to explain intelligently the principles of the Gospel, and therefore, I was somewhat comforted.


[64]                         I preached my first discourse in a log cabin, ten by twelve feet, located in a dense wood. There were ten people present, and I talked two and one half minutes. This cabin was built by and for the Latter-day Saints, but unfortunately it extended on to the possessions of one who was unfriendly to us, and we were ordered to move it. Nothing was to be done but to put all hands to the task, and with a long pull and a strong pull we moved the meeting house a distance of six feet off the enemy’s ground. We then named the cabin, “Liberty.”

One spring morning, not long after this, while I was walking through the woods, I met a gentleman with grip and umbrella. On seeing me he exclaimed: “Hello, Brother Paul. I know you; I dreamed about you last night.” We were soon fast friends, as I discovered him to be Elder Louis A. Kelsch, who had walked seventy-five miles to meet me.

He told me that for months past a Baptist preacher’s wife, of Gracon county, Kentucky, had been dreaming all about me. She knew my name, and could describe me accurately. “She says,” explained Elder Kelsch, “that she will not be satisfied until she sees you. She claims that she will know you even among a thousand.”

This lady had been told that there was no Elder in the mission by my name or answering to the description which she gave. Not only that, but the Elders said they knew no one in Utah by my name. “Well,” the lady had said, “there is, and I am going to see him.”

[65]                         I was therefore told to get ready for the seventy-five miles walk, which I did. We walked forty miles the first day, twenty the second, and finished the journey on the third. It made me very footsore and tired. Within a short distance of the Miller house a halt was made, and a consultation was had as to the best manner of procedure. It was finally decided that we all three should go up to the house and that I should be introduced by some other name.

But Mrs. Miller could not be deceived. She laughed as we greeted her, and she said to me, “How do you do, Brother Paul? I have been dreaming about you for months past.” We next went out into the cornfield and endeavored to play the same trick on Mr. Miller; but he had listened to his wife’s description of me so often that he recognized me at once.

I wanted to accompany the Elders on their journeys to fill appointments, but nothing would do but I must stay with the Millers. The children (there were fifteen of them) were dispatched to the neighbors with an invitation to come and see the long looked for preacher from Utah. I tried to be sociable, but I was very much embarrassed upon being invited to talk to them. I tried to entertain them on home and other topics as I could not discuss freely the principles of the Gospel.

In this providential way I was led to this family. It certainly was not chance. My first mission call was for Great Britain, which was changed to the Southern States. Then my appointment was to the exact locality where I had been seen in dreams by this woman.


[66]                         It was not long, however, before another kind of experience awaited us. One of our friends came rushing into the house exclaiming “Flee for your lives! A mob of fifty armed men are not over half a mile away, and they have taken an oath to drive the Mormon preachers from the county.” My companion and I decided to take refuge in the woods, where we asked the Lord in humble prayer for His protection.

A friend was raised up for us, and the mob dispersed without doing us any mischief. We came out of our hiding, and as we were going along the road to a nearby town, we passed a number of the mobbers on their way home. They did not molest us. (Mill. Star, 68:175)

Brigham Young said that he gave these promised blessings upon all the Saints who would be obedient to every requirement of the gospel.

How shall we know what to do? By being obedient to every requirement of the Gospel. Brother Hooper has stated that I promised him the assistance of the Almighty. I did. I laid my hands upon him and blessed him, and told him that he should have dreams and visions, and power with God to know what to do, if he lived his religion; but if he did not, I promised him nothing. (Brigham Young, J.D. 8:148)

Lewis Stewart wrote the following account of a most unusual dream. On this occasion the Lord gave instruction in a dream to the parents of a sick child.



Well it happened several years ago. We lived in Salt Lake City then, but incidents like the one I now relate are never forgotten, [67] the impressions which they make are so vivid they seem to become a part of our being. A friend of mine, my neighbor, asked me to call on him at his home, and bring with me some other Elder that we might administer to his child who then lay sick, it might be dying. This was no uncommon call, at that time and when the evening brought release from toil, a brother, whose heart beat in sympathy with the sick, and with faith in the Lord had often blessed them with new health, and myself called on our mutual friend.

The family lived in the upper part of a large house. To reach them we had to climb some stairs on the outside of the house, leading to the rooms in which they lived. I mention this because, when ascending the stairs, a voice seemed to whisper over my shoulder, “You need not enter there for death has gone before you.”

I was a young man, but this was not the first time in my life that I had heard the Tempter’s voice, and turning (mentally, I mean) rebuked the power that leads men’s souls astray. On going into the rooms, however, my heart first throbbed with fear and then it seemed almost to stop beating, for there I saw, lying on its mother’s lap, the little child; disease had blanched its little cheek, and oh! its eyes were sunken and glazed. Surely that was death.

But rousing myself, the thought that duty called me there–and doubts and fears though common enough, never yet helped mortals to bear their burdens, nor helped to move those burdens from off the shoulders of weary, struggling souls–stirred me to action.


[68]                         We blessed the baby, and the great Physician heard our prayers. It seemed to me that even while our hands were on the little head sickness left and life and health, taking its place, flowed like a fountain through all the little veins carrying to the limbs strength and to the features beauty. Before we left the house the little pet, fully restored to health, stretching its little hands toward us, smiling and cooing, expressed its joy in happy baby language. Salt Lake City, that night, contained few happier hearts than those assembled in that little room.

Now, it seemed to me, although, it is no uncommon thing for the sick to be healed through the laying on of hands, and the blessings of our God, yet every time we see it done we wonder while we praise, and simple though my story is, the recollection brings forth again the thoughts of wonder and gratitude.

But hear the sequel of my tale: Some time after the baby was healed, the father asked me if I remembered the circumstance, and on my assuring him there was little likelihood of my forgetting such an incident, he said as near as I can recollect: “You know the baby had been sick for some time and we had doctor’s help; we gave it the medicine prescribed, and watched and nursed it day and night. I would tend the baby from evening until three or four o’clock in the morning, then waking my wife from her too short sleep, would lie down to get a nap before going to work. In this way we worked until we were nearly worn out, as you know. One morning I laid down, with my clothes on as I always did, and while sleeping had an interesting dream.



The Lord prescribed olive oil for a child’s illness, as shown in a dream. The father called for the Elders who prayed and administered the olive oil, and the child was healed.


[69]                         I thought that I was going to Z.C.M.I. drug store to get medicine for the baby; I got a bottle, wrapped in white paper and tied with a red string (the way drug store goods are usually fixed up) and returning home untied the string, and removing the paper found a bottle of what seemed to be olive oil.

I awoke, and thanking God for the lesson, asked you brethren to call, with the happy result we witnessed.   (Lewis Stewart, Contributor, 16:616)

Brigham Young received a dream instructing him to teach the Saints to get the spirit of the Lord and to keep it. George Laub records this incident in his journal:



Conference April 6, 1847, at Winter Quarters. B. Young was teaching the people to get the spirit of the Lord and to keep the spirit of the Lord, for he had seen Joseph in a dream and he told him to tell this people to get the spirit and to keep it and that he told him again and again, and to try all spirits that they may know good spirits from evil ones and not to bar their hearts against any but cleave to the good for this is the way to try the different spirits. (Journal of George Laub)

George Q. Cannon was instructed in a dream about the power of prayer and faith:



There were ten of us, of whom I was the youngest, wind-bound in the Bay of San Francisco, and we had been thus delayed for nearly [70] a week near the Golden Gate in consequence of head winds. I dreamed one night that this party of brethren were heaving at the windlass having a rope attached to it reaching forward to the anchor at the bow of the vessel. We were working with all our might endeavoring to raise the anchor, but seemingly we made but little progress. While thus engaged I thought the Prophet Joseph came from the after part of the vessel dressed in his temple clothes, and tapping me on the shoulder told me to go with him. I went, and he climbed on to the forecastle which was higher than the main deck and on a level with the bulwarks, and there he knelt down, also telling me to kneel down with him. He prayed according to the order of prayer which is revealed. After prayer, he arose upon his feet. “Now,” said he, “George, take hold of that rope”–the rope we had been pulling on with all our might. I took hold of it, and with the greatest ease and without the least effort, the anchor was raised. “Now,” said he, “let this be a lesson to you; remember that great things can be accomplished through the power of prayer and the exercise of faith in the right way.” (George Q. Cannon, J.D. 22:289)

Another dream of instruction was given beautifully portraying the value and example of prayer:



I was recovering from a severe illness of many weeks, and was well enough to sit at an open window in my easy chair, and as our house stood in a pleasant garden in the suburbs of London, the first roses of the year scented the soft breeze that fanned my pale cheeks and revived my languid frame. The bells of the [71] parish church were just beginning their chimes, and the familiar sound awakened in me an intense longing to be with my family once more a worshipper in the house of God. I took up my Bible and prayerbook which had been placed on the table beside me, intending to read when the hour of eleven o’clock service should be announced by the ceasing of the bells, and in the meantime closed my eyes, and soothed my impatient wishes by picturing to myself the shady avenue of blossoming limes that led to the church, and the throngs that would now be entering it for the public worship of the day. All at once I seemed to be walking in the beautiful churchyard, yet prevented from gratifying my eager wish to enter the church by some irresistible though unseen hand. One by one the congregation, in their gay Sunday dresses, passed me by, and went in, where I vainly strove to follow. The parish children, in two long and orderly trains defiled up the stairs into the galleries, and except a few stragglers, hurrying in, as feeling themselves late, I was left alone. Suddenly I was conscious of some awful presence, and felt myself addressed by a voice of sweet solemnity in words to this effect: Mortal, who, by divine mercy hast been permitted to return from the gates of the grave, pause before thou enterest God’s holy house again; reflect how often thou hast profaned His solemn public worship by irreverence, or by inattention, which in His sight is irreverence; consider well the great privilege, the unspeakable benefit and blessing of united prayer, lest by again abusing it thou tire the patience of thy long-suffering God, and tempt Him forever to deprive thee of that which hitherto thou hast so little valued.


[72]                         Seeing that I cast down my eyes with a flush of conscious guilt, the gracious being, continued in a milder tone: I am one of the angels commissioned to gather the prayers of the Saints, and form them into odorous incense that they may rise to the throne of God. Enter now with me, and thou shalt for thy warning, be enabled to discern those among the devotions about to be offered which are acceptable to Him, and to see how few in number, how weak, and how unworthy they are.

As he ceased speaking, I found myself by the side of the angel still, but within the Church, and so placed that I could distinctly see every part of the building. “Observe,” said the angel, “that those prayers that come from the heart, and which alone ascend on high, will seem to be uttered aloud. They will be more or less audible in proportion to their earnestness–when the thoughts wander, the sounds will grow faint, and even cease altogether.” This explained to me why the organist, though apparently playing with great energy, produced no sound, and why, when the service began, though the lips of many moved, and appeared attentive, only a few faint murmurings were heard.

How strange and awful it was to note the sort of death-like silence that prevailed in whole pews, in which, it was thus evident no heart was raised in gratitude to heaven. Even in the Te Deum and Jubilate, the voices sometimes sunk in total silence. After the creed, there was a low murmuring of the verticles, and then, distinct and clear above all other sounds, a sweet childish voice softly and reverently repeated the Lord’s Prayer. I turned in the direction of the sound, and distinguish-[73]ed among one of the children of the poor people, a very little boy. His hands were clasped together as he knelt, his eyes were closed, his gentle face composed in reverence, and as the angel wrote on his tablets the words that fell from those young lips, his smile, like a sunbeam, illuminated the church for a moment, and I remembered the words of David, where he says, “Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings, Thou hast perfected praise.”

Presently I was again reminded of the prayer of the publican in holy writ. A wretched looking man, who swept the crossings near the church, lounged into the centre aisle during the reading of the lesson, his occupation being for the hour suspended. The second lesson was the twenty-fourth chapter of St. Matthew. Some verses attracted his attention; he listened with more and more seriousness, until at length he put his hand over his face, and exclaimed aloud: “What will become of me at the day of judgment! Lord have mercy on me, a sinner!” That prayer was inserted in the tablets of the angel. O, may it not stand alone, but be an awakening of better things. May God indeed have mercy on the poor, neglected ones, and raise up some one to teach them and care for their immortal souls!

After this, I grew accustomed to the broken murmur and interrupted sounds–and followed many a humble Christian through a portion of the Litany, though often while I was listening with hopeful attention, a sudden and total pause showed but too plainly the thoughts of the kneeling supplicant had wandered far away, and that those who had appeared so earnest in their devotions had become languid and silent like the rest of the congregation.


[74]                         “Thou art shocked at what thou hast observed,” said the angel; “I will show thee greater abominations than these. God is strong and patient. He is provoked every day. Listen, now, and thou shalt hear the thoughts of all these people. So shalt thou have some faint idea of the forbearance God continually exercises towards those who draw near to Him with their lips, while their hearts are far from Him.” As the angel spoke, my ears were deafened by a clamor which would have been shocking in a humble meeting, but which here, in God’s holy house, was awfully profane. The countenance remained composed and serious as before, the lips moved with the words of prayer, but the phrases they uttered were of the world and its occupations:

“How shamefully late Mrs. Alack always comes,” said one woman, who looking over the edge of her prayer book, saw her neighbor and a train of daughters bustle into the next pew. “What an example to set her family! Thank goodness no one can accuse me of that sin;” “New bonnets again already!” exclaimed the last comer, returning the neighborly glance from the other seat, ‘ere she composed herself to the semblance of devotion. “How can they afford it, heaven only knows, and their father owing all his Christmas bills yet; if my girls look shabby, we at least pay our debts.” “Oh, there’s Tom S.,” nodded a young man to his friend in the opposite gallery; “He is growing quite religious and respectable, I declare: He has been at church two Sundays running; how much longer will the devout fit last?” These were shocking and striking examples of irreverence; there were, happily, not many such; the involuntary wanderings of thought were more common.


[75]                         As the service proceeded, the attention of the congregation flagged more and more–the hubbub of worldly talk increased. One man composed a letter he intended to send, and even altered whole passages, and rounded elegant periods without one check or recollection of the holy place where he stood. Another repeated a long dialogue which had passed between himself and a friend the night before, and considered how he might have spoken more to the purpose. Some young girls rehearsed scenes with their lovers–some recalled the incidents of their last ball. Careful housewives planned schemes of economy, gave warning to their servants, arranged the turning of a dress, or decided on the most becoming trimming of a bonnet.

To me, conscious of the recording angel’s presence, all this solemn mockery of worship was frightful; I would have given worlds to rouse this congregation to a sense of what they were doing and to my comfort I saw that for the involuntary offense a gentle warning was provided, as the angel was about to quit a place so desecrated, his frown of disapproval threw an influence over these thoughtless ones, and recalled the wandering thoughts of many a soul, unconscious whence came the breath that revived the dying flame of their devotions. Then self-blame and remorse of which those kneeling nearest knew nothing, wrung the heart, shocked at its own careless ingratitude, wondering at the forbearance of the Almighty, while more devotional thoughts, and I trust more fervent prayer, succeeded to the momentary forgetfulness.

In spite of all these helps the amount of real devotion was small, and when I looked at [76] the angel’s tablets I was shocked to see how little was recorded therein. Out of three hundred Christians, thought I, assembled after a week of mercies, to praise and bless the Giver of all good, are these few words the sum of what they offer? “Look to thyself,” said the angel, reading my thoughts, “such as these are such hast thou long been; darest thou, after what has been revealed to thee, act such a part again? Oh, could thy immortal ears bear to listen to the songs of the rejoicing angels before the throne of the Almighty thou wouldst indeed wonder at the condescending mercy which stoops to accept these few faint wandering notes of prayer and praise. Yet the sinless angels veil their faces before Him in whose presence man stands boldly up, with such mockery of worship as thou hast seen this day. Remember the solemn warning, lest hereafter it be counted to thee as an aggravation of guilt.”

Suddenly the sweet solemn voice ceased, the glorious angel disappeared, and so oppressive seemed the silence and loneliness that I started and awoke! My watch pointed to the hour of eleven; it must have been the stopping of the bells that interrupted my slumbers, and all the solemn scene had passed beœore my mind in the short space of a few minutes. May the lessons I learned in those few minutes never be effaced from my heart; and if this account of them should recall one wandering thought in the house of prayer, or teach any to value more highly, and cultivate more carefully the privilege of joining in the public worship of our God and Father, it will not have been written in vain. (Contributor, 6:141)


[77]         The principles of the laws of health were clearly portrayed in a dream to another Latter-day Saint. He wrote:



Dear Sir,–Permit me to trouble you with a dream of mine, which, if worthy of a place in your paper, is at your disposal.

A few evenings ago, I was reading the “News,” when my eye rested on the “Word of Wisdom,” together with your remarks, etc. to the Saints.

You must know, I have been one of the best customers to the store keepers for tea, coffee, etc., and I could not help thinking what I should do in this matter, and asked myself why it should come out at this particular time?

I went to bed still deeply impressed with the question, not being able to solve it, when sleep came over me, and I dreamed that I was taken to a high hill, where I could see the nations of the earth before me.

I beheld a great commotion, the people mourning and crying, and all seemed in great distress.

I looked round and beheld a man standing by my side. I asked him why this distress amongst the people?

He answered, that the destroying angel was abroad in the shape of the cholera; that he was taking his thousands from the people, and but few could escape.


[78]                         I inquired if the Saints would be taken? he said, look! and I looked and beheld the mountains of Deseret, with their snowcapt tops; I beheld the vallies covered with grain, and the lowing of the cattle, and the bleating of the sheep on the hills, was music to my ear.


I beheld that health and prosperity dwelt in their midst, and I rejoiced and gave thanks to God, that His people were protected from the destroyer.

My companion asked me to go down with him to the city where the Saints dwelt. I did so, and entered their habitations; they were clean, and I beheld that every man, woman and child wore home-spun clothes. The sound of the weaver’s shuttle, the women’s spinning wheel, and the song of the maiden while at work, was melody equal to the harp of David, when he dispelled the evil spirit out of Saul; their gardens round their houses were like paradise, and the morning glory grew in loveliness round their windows. Peace and prosperity dwelt in every habitation, and wisdom flowed from their lips–the children looked healthy, and their eagle eyes and noble foreheads showed that there was a race springing up like unto the first-born sons of Adam.

In our meanderings through the city we chanced to go into one house, where there were many people gathered together. I asked the reason; when I was told that it was a party of strangers who were going to the old mines, together with some of the brethren.

I beheld that the table was covered with all the luxuries of life; the bell rang, when all sat down.


[79]                         I saw that the tea and coffee were very profuse. But the Saints drank cold water; I was astonished at it, and was about to ask my companion why they abstained from the tea and coffee when he pointed to one end of the table, where I beheld a man drop down on the floor; the cry of “the cholera!” was immediately heard throughout the room; soon after, I heard another cry, and then another, and I beheld that the destroyer was doing his work. We drew nigh to the table where they had sat; I was struck dumb when my companion pointed to the tea and coffee cups, opposite where these men had sat, and he said,–“your question is answered, why the Presidency has put forth the Word of Wisdom, and if the Saints will keep the laws of God, and obey His Word of Wisdom, they shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones, and shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures, and shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not be faint; and the destroying angel shall pass by them as the children of Israel, and not slay them; Amen.”

With this I awoke, and I have had no more trouble about tea, coffee, tobacco, etc. Hoping that the brethren who keep large parties will profit by this dream, and show an example by having their tables beautifully ornamented with tumblers, and the clear spring water sparkling in them, which invites us to drink of the waters of health freely, and by that means wisdom may flow from the lips of all the Saints, and that our children will rise up and call us blessed. I subscribe myself respectfully yours, Homer. (Deseret News, Jan. 25, 1851)


[80]         By simple means the Lord is able to bring about His wonders among men. As men prepare their hearts for the instructions of God, He then can write upon them. Thus the weak and humble of the world can accomplish mighty and powerful things. It is when we ask that we shall be given, and when we knock that it will be opened to us.



Elias Howe, inventor of the sewing machine, spent every cent he owned and could borrow trying to perfect a working model. But always one problem thwarted him: where to put the eye in the needle so the machine would stitch.

Placing it at the heel, as with the ordinary sewing needle, didn’t work. After long months of experimenting, the discouraged and fundless young Howe was on the verge of abandoning the whole project when he was saved by a dream! In the dream, he was prisoner of a savage king in a strange country–and as his waking problem was the perfection of a sewing machine, so it was in the dream. Savages danced about, chanting as he sweated at his task; the king advanced to the beat of tom-toms and gave Howe 24 hours to finish the machine. Either that, or he would go to make a cannibal dinner.

The hours spun past, yet the machine would not sew for lack of a proper needle. Howe finally had to give up. But as he was being led to the place of execution, he noticed the warriors’ spears were pierced near the point!

Frantically he pleaded for more time. Now he knew how to make his machine sew! As the savage king paid no attention, he raised his voice louder and louder…and woke up yelling.

It was 3 A.M. Still trembling but wide awake, Elias Howe hurried to his workroom. When the sun rose, he had finished the first model of a needle with the eye near the point. At last, the sewing machine worked! –Mary Alkus                                                                                                                     CORONET Nov. 1949



[81]                             CHAPTER VII



And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I.                                                                               Gen. 31:11

Dreams often convey a divine message or provide comfort to the recipient. Such messages of inspiration may be comforting to someone who suffers from poverty, sickness, death, or a host of other distressing matters. The greatest comfort obtained from such dreams is to know that God is mindful of our sorrow.

For example, Lehi and Nephi were comforted by the Lord in a dream of the tree of life. (I Nephi 8:2,4,36) Such dreams give comfort at the time of sorrow and also render consolation in the future.

Nearly every mortal has grief and sorrows while living in this world of darkness, sorrow, and sin. God often gives comfort to His servants that they may not become too discouraged to fulfill their missions in life.

An inspirational message was given to a woman which gave her strength to accept the Gospel of Christ.



The Lord aided Benjamin Brown, an early convert, to bring his wife to the waters of baptism. For a year and a half following Brother Brown’s entrance into the Church his wife had opposed the work, saying that the Church was poor and had a bad reputation among her acquaintances. Then the following manifestation was given to her, together with the revelation of godly knowledge to her husband:


[82]                         She dreamed one night that a large company of visitors had come to her house, for whom she had to prepare supper. On going into her buttery to procure the necessary food to cook, she could only find a small potato, about the size of a robin’s egg, lying on a wooden tencher. However, with small stock she commenced, and by some wonderful means converted this little affair into a splendid preparation of pies, puddings, etc.

When they were ready she stood still, wondering how it had all been done, for, as may be supposed, it puzzled her sorely to conceive how, from a small potato, and that on a wooden tencher, she had produced such an elegant entertainment.

Just at this moment while she was thus marvelling, I was awakened from my sleep, with a command sounding in my ears that I was to say to my wife, “Don’t you remember hearing that you should not despise the day of small things?” I was to speak at once, without waiting. So I awoke her, and without any preface did as I was bid.

The wonderful concurrence of these words with her dream, and the self-evident interpretation of it, referring as it did to her past conduct (for one of the principal reasons of the opposition she felt to my joining the Church was, that she considered it disgraced “her to have her husband belong to a Church that was so poor, and everywhere spoken against), so impressed itself upon her mind, with other confirmations, that she was baptized, and has remained firm to the Church ever since. (Gifts of the Spirit, by D. Crowther, p. 89-90, and Gems for Young Folks, p. 63-64)


[83]         Another early Saint was comforted by a dream that helped him in his financial matters.



In the Fall of 1861, I was called upon to furnish a team outfit for “Dixie.” I was not very flush in means and secured a yoke of oxen and a wagon on credit, which I started off for the southern country. As the time approached for me to pay for it I was still more embarrassed, and myself and family were quite exercised about it and made it a subject of prayer. One night, after retiring, I saw in my sleep the oxen and wagon coming down the Bingham canyon with a load of wood as plainly as I ever had seen them when awake.

I was intending to send my mules and hired man the next morning to plow my farm, but when I arose I told the hired man my dream and sent him to borrow a saddle, and, after breakfast, we both started to hunt for my outfit which I could not now believe was on the way south. We rode until noon and came home to lunch. The hired man finished eating first and went to the barn. When I went out he was just about to hitch the mules on a wagon to go down to the farm and plow, saying, “I thought you had chased a dream long enough, and I would go and plow till late and you would not lose much.”

I told him to take off the harness and I would prove to him that the dreams of the Saints amounted to something. We started out again on our search. About half past three p.m. I noticed a sloping-roofed shed with the front shut up close with new boards. And on stopping our mules I saw the end of a wagon-tongue sticking out from under the bottom [84] board. I alighted and went around to the back part of the shed, got in and found my wagon that I had sent to “Dixie.” I took it home and the next day had the man, in whose charge the outfit was placed, before Bishop E. D. Woolley. The result was that I received my oxen and the entire outfit as I furnished it for Dixie. It was proven that it had been hauling wood from Bingham just as I saw it in my dream. At the close of the investigation I asked the Bishop what I should do with the outfit; he replied, “You do as you like with it.” With it I paid my debts and was relieved of my anxiety, and my prayer was answered. (by C. V. S., Juvenile Instructor 19:95)

A man by the name of James Ward was shown where he could find a box of money to help him in his financial difficulties.



When James Ward, a forty-year-old janitor from Des Moines, Iowa, had a recurrent dream in which he saw a shoebox full of “dreams” on fire, he had no idea that his dream was a pre-cognitive warning which was about to come true. On the morning of April 6, 1962, after he had had that same dream the third night in a row, James Ward heeded the “warning” and found $8,700!

On the day it happened, James was awake earlier than usual, sitting alone in his kitchen, staring absently into space. When his wife, Charlene, entered and saw him she knew at once what was bothering him. “Jim, you had that funny dream again, didn’t you?”


[85]                         “Yes,” he said hollowly. “I dreamed it again. But I sure would be relieved if I could figure out what it means. I know it’s some kind of a warning because I keep dreaming it every night. I see myself down at the dump burning trash and when I throw this big old shoebox in the fire, I see all my dreams burning up too. It sure bothers me, that dream.”

James, who at the time was trying to negotiate a second mortgage loan on his house in order to buy a truck for three thousand dollars with which he hoped to go into the hauling business for himself, had more than one reason for being worried. He was worried if he would be doing the right thing by giving up a steady job he had held for ten years. He knew that he would never get anywhere in life if he didn’t better himself. If he did not take the plunge now, at age forty, he knew he would never do it and would remain a janitor for the rest of his life. Moreover, he was anxious about his loan application. He did not know if the mortgage company would give him the money. Then too, he was worried about going into debt and paying off the loan; if he failed, if his business venture did not work out, there was the chance he would lose his house. He did not like the idea of borrowing money to risk it on a business venture, but what else could he do?

At eight o’clock that morning, James’ employer, who had just acquired an abandoned warehouse, sent him there to clean up the place and burn the trash. The man wanted the building neat and clean so it would be attractive when he offered it for lease. He told James that if he did the clean-up job in one day he could have anything of value he might find in [86] the building. “Just get that place in shape today,” he told James, “and anything that isn’t nailed down is yours.”

The building, which had been used by a previous tenant as a household-goods storage warehouse, was in an indescribably messy condition. The floors were strewn with rubble. Huge piles of trash and empty cardboard cartons were everywhere. But, accustomed as he was to such dirty jobs upon occasion, James went to work without complaint. He swept up and carried the waste paper and boxes out back to a vacant lot where he lit a fire and began to burn them.

By eleven o’clock the building was cleared of trash. As James was about to toss a big pasteboard box containing a quantity of empty smaller boxes inside it into the fire, he stopped abruptly, recalling his dream. He had an eerie feeling that everything which he had pictured in the dream was suddenly coming true, happening just as he had known it would. He put the big carton down and poked around inside it, examining with curiosity a shoebox that looked oddly familiar. Of course–it was the shoebox full of dreams! He opened it and blinked in amazement. Now he understood the “warning” of his recurrent dreams. Inside that box was a large bundle of banknotes– $8,700! Had it not been for his inexplicably recurring dream he would not have looked inside that box and the money would have been burned.

James Ward finished his part of the bargain by completing the dirty job of cleaning up the warehouse and the money was his. With the money he bought his truck and went into business. He prospered and today he often [87] speaks of his “box full of dreams” which came true. (E.S.P. Forewarnings, by Robert Tralins, p. 5-6)

Through the instructions given in a dream Elder Thomas Phillips was provided with a new hat.



I was traveling in the towns and villages in a part of the county of Surrey, England, preaching the gospel as revealed from the heavens through the ministry of holy beings. Under these circumstances, food and raiment were sometimes hard to obtain; consequently, at one time I had a hat that was very much the worse for wear.

In a village called Hersham in that county, lived a brother by the name of William Hobbs, whose house I sometimes visited and received food and lodgings.

One night Brother Hobbs dreamt that a personage came to him and told him that Brother Phillips would be at his house on a certain day, naming the time, which I think was four or five days from the time he dreamt. He was further told, that he must get a new hat for Brother Phillips, for the one he wore was very shabby.

This dream was very much impressed on the mind of Brother Hobbs and troubled him sorely, for it found him without money and some miles from any town where he could buy a hat. Brother Hobbs was the overseer of a small number of men, whose work was to keep some miles of railroad in repair for the safety of the trains.


[88]                         Then the day came that I was to be at his house in the evening, he went to his work very low-spirited, not having obtained the hat. While at work on the track, a long train of cars came along, and when passing the place where Brother Hobbs and his hands were at work a hat, suitable for the finest gentleman in the land, flew out of one of the windows.

Brother Hobbs shouted. “That’s the hat for Brother Phillips! Thank God!”

When Brother Hobbs came home in the evening, I was there, it being the time specified in the dream.

He walked up to me and said: “Brother Phillips, I was to give you a hat, and here it is.” To our surprise, it fitted me well.

As a matter of course I was anxious to know who was so thoughtful of an Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and in answer to my questions, Brother Hobbs told me the dream. (String of Pearls, p. 64, and Gifts of the Spirit, by D. Crowther, p. 185)

Apostle Matthew Cowley bore testimony of an unusual occurrence which took place on his mission to the East. The dreams he received gave him comfort and strength in his duties as a missionary.



Elder Henry W. Barnett and myself left Salt Lake City, February 24th, 1878, for the South, with instructions to spend some time in Graves County, Kentucky, among the relatives of Elder Samuel R. Turnbow of this city, and from whose nephew B. R. Turnbow, the Elders [89] had received an invitation to visit. If we found no encouraging field of labor there we were to proceed to the State of Virginia. We spent one month in Kentucky, and held a number of public meetings and Gospel conversations. My companion felt impressed that we should go to Virginia, and started for that field about April 1st. Not having a very liberal supply of money we traveled by steamboat instead of rail from Paducah, Ky., to Nashville, Tennessee. From thence we proceeded by rail to Chattanooga, where we found ourselves in a strange city without sufficient means to pay our way to Big Lick, our railroad destination in the State of Virginia. We had enough, however, to pay for lodging a few days, and obtain a little food each day. We had addresses of members of the Church in Kentucky and Virginia, and concluded to write them for means, as a loans to help us to our field of labor. We did so, but in every instance failed to procure assistance, and in some instances received no response to our letters. In the meantime the little money we had was well nigh exhausted, until we had to get trusted for our lodging, and for food expended sometimes five cents, sometimes ten cents a day each for a few crackers and a little cheese or a bowl of bread and milk. While in this straightened situation, I dreamed that I was housed up in a room where there was no air, and in struggling for breath I would turn to the North, then to the East, then to the South, but in vain, until I turned my face to the West, when it seemed that an opening was made in the enclosure and I breathed with freedom. Upon awakening I felt very depressed, for it seemed to me that the dream meant that while we had friends North of us in Kentucky, East in Virginia, and South in Georgia, the only hope was to write home for money and this I [90] fought against with a strong resolution. Again I slept and dreamed that I received two letters from home in the same mail, one was a pale, cream-colored envelope, the other, the old-fashioned deep yellow, and addressed to me in my mother’s hand-writing. When I awoke in the morning I was still depressed, for while the dreams were clear to my mind as having a decided importance, it was against my inclination to write home for money, so I held out for several days, and did not tell my companion the dream. In a few days, however, Elder Barnett made a remark to me, which impressed me that it was my duty to write for means, which I did, and when the answer came, there were two letters instead of one. One was contained in a pale, cream-colored envelope, the other a deep yellow, addressed to me in my mother’s handwriting, in all particulars just as I had seen it in my dream, and containing means for our assistance.

During a six weeks’ sojourn in Chattanooga without friends and short of means, I also had a dream which was given to me more than once, and which many Elders also experience, and that was that I was home from my mission before my time; and any Elder who has such a manifestation knows what remorse and sorrow rests upon him while in the dream, and what joy and peace fills his soul when he awakes and finds himself still far away from home and kindred where duty casts his lot. In one of these dreams I saw President John Taylor, and was very fearful of meeting him lest he should chide me for being home too soon; but when he spoke, he smiled and in terms of kindness said, “Well, you’re home, are you; you can prepare to go to Georgia now.” I finished my mission, was honorably released, and was home a little less [91] than six months, when I was called again to the Southern States. Having been so greatly blessed in Virginia, having so many friends there, I naturally inclined to go there on my second mission, but President Morgan did not want me to return to that field but assigned me to the State of Georgia to labor with Brother John W. Taylor. Thus fulfilling my dream, though President Morgan knew nothing of the dream until after its fulfillment.

To some these manifestations may appear childlike and simple. Suppose they do; we are all children–“children of a larger growth.” The Prophet Joseph Smith said if the Lord should speak to a child he would speak as a child, that the child might understand.

The lessons I learned by my experience of trial and dreams in Chattanooga were very useful. The experience taught me that while a doctrine is true and designed to be continuous, such as the injunction to travel without “purse and scrip,” no man can carry it out by his own strength; it must be done by the help of the Lord, or it cannot be done at all. It is one thing to know the truth of a doctrine in theory; it is another thing to know how to rightly apply it.

The manifestation of being home before the right time so filled me with chagrin and sorrow, that I was constantly buoyed up with courage to discharge my duty and be contented in my field of labor until honorably released to return to my mountain home.    (M. F. Cowley, Improvement Era 2:264)

The comfort given in a dream to Elder A. Hinckley is a most impressive story. It illustrates the Lord’s concern for his servants.


[92]                       THE ELDER’S HAPPY FAMILY

Elder Alonza A. Hinckley was called on a mission to Holland in 1897 and left behind a wife who was expecting her second child. When the time for the arrival of the child drew near, Elder Hinckley grew very apprehensive and was filled with anxiety concerning the well-being of his loved ones. Yet he was blessed with a dream concerning his family and was able to write the following letter to them.

“November 18, 1897: I have never received better news than I have received from you this morning. I am so happy and relieved of anxiety that I actually am beside myself. I cannot keep from laughing when I meet any one, and tell them of my good fortune. I am the most thankful man in Holland; and I tell you, it did not take me long to get on my knees and pour out my heart in gratitude to God for His mercies unto us.

“I have had such a lovely dream. I have been with you all–seen you, my dear wife, and the little newcomer, and all those kind ones who have surrounded you. I saw you made comfortable and happy. It seemed that I was in a hurry to get off again for Holland. But I first thanked all, with my heart so full of love that I gathered you all in my arms and embraced you, and then took one more peek in the door at Rose (his wife) and the children, and then landed back in Holland. Was this not a beautiful dream for one in my mood?” (Gifts of the Spirit, by D. Crowther, p. 89; also in Faith of Our Pioneer Fathers, p. 234)

One of men’s greatest fears is death. This fear is implanted within the breast of every man that he might [93] cling on to life and thus fulfill his mission in mortality. God gives this fear of death; thus, He can also live comfort when necessary.

Apostle Wilford Woodruff spoke about a death that occurred in his family and the dream that gave him comfort.



When I was in the City of London on one occasion, with Brother George A. Smith, I dreamt that my wife came to me and told me that our first child had died. I believed my dream, and in the morning while at breakfast, I felt somewhat sad. Brother George A. noticed this and I told him my dream. Next morning’s post brought me a letter from my wife, conveying the intelligence of the death of my child. It may be asked what use there was in such a thing. I don’t know that there was much use in it except to prepare my mind for the news of the death of my child. (W. Woodruff, J.D. 22:333)

Apostle John Taylor, in a dream, saw his wife nearly dead. He prayed fervently for her recovery, and his prayer was answered. He said:




When I was in Paris, France, about thirty years ago, I had a dream that troubled me very much in which I saw my first wife–lying sick at the point of death. And it so affected me that I awoke, being troubled in my feelings. I fell asleep again, and again the same scene presented itself to me when I again awoke and experienced the same feelings of sorrow, and after some time slept again and it was repeat-[94]ed a third time. I knew then that my wife was very sick, lying at the point of death.

I got up and fervently prayed the Lord to spare her life until, at least, I should have another opportunity of meeting her in the flesh. He heard my prayer. I took a note of the circumstance at the time, and learned afterwards that such had been the case exactly as it had been shown to me. On the following morning I remember meeting a gentleman who was a Protestant minister, and he observed that my countenance looked sorrowful, and he enquired the cause. I told him that my wife was lying at the point of death, and he asked me if I had received a letter. I told him no; but related to him how it had been shown to me. But I said, I got up and prayed the Lord to spare her life, and I feel consoled in knowing that she will be healed. (John Taylor, J.D. 22:354)

Before the death of Jedediah M. Grant, Heber C. Kimball received the following dream:



About two weeks previous to the death of Brother Jedediah M. Grant, I dreamed that we were travelling, and we came to a beautiful stream of water. I thought I was going to cross it with him, and with the expectation and understanding that he would guard me across. He crossed the stream unobserved by me, and then I saw him running up the hill as fast as he could, and he got away from me and passed out of my sight. The stream kept rising and becoming more boisterous and apparently more dangerous; and so it continued till I awoke. (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 8:88)


[95]         Mark Twain was given a dream in which it was revealed to him that his brother, Henry, was going to die. This, like the previous dream, was both prophetic and comforting.



One night, young Sam Clemens, who would later win literary fame as Mark Twain, had a dream in which he saw the body of his younger brother Henry lying in a metallic casket resting on two chairs. On his brother’s breast lay a bouquet of white flowers with a single crimson blossom in the center. The dream haunted Sam for days but at last he pushed it out of his mind.

Many months later, Sam Clemens was aboard the river steamer Lacey on his way to St. Louis. There he was to meet Henry, who had left New Orleans on the steamer Pennsylvania. But as Sam’s boat tied up at Greenville, Mississippi, the little river town was seething with excitement. A gruff voice shouted the news: “One hundred and fifty people lost on the Pennsylvania. She blew up just below Memphis!”


Dazed, Sam walked around the dock, bought a newspaper and read an account of the tragedy. And suddenly his heart thudded with relief: Henry Clemens’ name was among those saved!

But in Memphis Sam’s hopes were shattered. In attempting to rescue other passengers, his brother had been scalded by steam and was near death. For six days and nights Sam sat by Henry’s bed–waiting, hoping. Exhausted, he finally fell asleep and sympathetic towns-people put him to bed.


[96]                         When he awoke, Sam hurried back to the improvised hospital. He stopped in his tracks as he saw a metallic casket resting on two chairs in the hall. In it lay his brother, just as he had in the dream. Only the bouquet of white flowers with the crimson heart was missing. Later Sam learned that Memphis people, deeply moved by Henry’s heroism, had contributed money to buy the metal casket.

Then, even as Sam leaned over his brothers body in wordless grief, an elderly lady entered and placed a bouquet of creamy white flowers on Henry’s breast. In the center was a fresh red rose–final fulfillment of Sam Clemens’ dream. (Stanley S. Jacobs, Coronet Magazine, June 1948)

A prominent Latter-day Saint had a dream which was comforting even though its sequel was somewhat sad.



He retired to rest one night in his usual good health, and soon fell asleep. He dreamed that his spirit left the body and proceeded, in company with a messenger whose presence was very pleasing, to a most beautiful country. The land was covered with the richest verdure, dotted here and there with houses of convenient size and rich proportion.

He was informed by his companion that one of these residences was occupied by the Prophet Joseph, another by his brother Hyrum, and others by brethren whom he had personally known in life or whose names were familiar.

He inquired if he might see these brethren, but was told by the messenger that they [97] were not at home, their duties, which were very numerous and pressing, having called them to another part of the realm. The impression which this reply made upon the dreamer was that they were engaged in the important and seemingly almost limitless work of preaching the Gospel to the spirits in prison.

He next asked if his daughter who had died some time previous, was in this delightful place, and if so might he be permitted to see her. That she was here he was assured, and groups of children engaged in some instructive amusement was pointed out to him, in whose company she was; but the father would not be permitted to see her now! The disappointment did not last more than a moment, for in this heavenly place naught but joy can endure. As the dreamer was standing on a street corner he saw two ladies approaching him, one of whom he recognized as a young lady who lived not far from his earthly home. He expressed surprise at seeing her, but learned that her present visit, like his, was merely temporary, though he learned that she would soon make this her permanent home.

After a visit, the length of which was great when the sights he had beheld was considered, but so short that it lasted only part of one night, his spirit returned to its earthly tabernacle. He wakened his wife and told her that the young lady whom he had met in the other sphere was destined soon to die.

Several weeks later our brother was called to visit this same young lady. She was very sick, and apparently had no desire to recover her health. After the visitor had administered to her she indicated that she de-[98]sired to speak to him, and he placed his ear close to her mouth when she whispered, “You remember having met me some weeks ago in the other sphere. Well, I am now going there to remain.”

Shortly thereafter she quietly and peacefully passed away, and without doubt went to that delightful place which our dreamer saw, that was not lighted with sun or artificial means, but was made bright by the presence of the Father. (Mill. Star 58:823 and Contributor 17:41)

When a man suffers in pain, grieves over a disaster, or mourns from a death, his soul can be heavily burdened. He may cry to God through tears of sorrow, pleading to the Father to consider his woes. God is mindful of man’s every concern and will give aid and comfort in those hours of darkness. He may bestow a message in the night through the communication of a dream–and that dream may become a source of inspiration and comfort throughout a man’s life. Everyone should live so that his Creator may guide and comfort him in every time of need.

John Huss, a Czechoslovakian theologian who lived in the 13th Century, wrote and preached the truths which later inspired Martin Luther to finalize the work of the reformation. Huss is considered to be one of the morning stars of the reformation, and his labors were inspired by the gift of dreams. To a friend he once wrote:

I dreamed of the Pope’s evasion before it took place, and after the event being related, I heard, in the nighttime, the Seignior John say, “The Pope will return to you.” I have dreamed of Master Jerome’s captivity, but not in what way it should occur; and like-wise of the different prisons to which I should be conducted, such as they were afterwards assigned to me, but without any particular details . . . . A multitude of serpents often presented themselves before me, rolled into a circle, the head forming the tail. I have seen many other things besides.  John Hess, Great Voices of the Reformation, p. 62, By Harry Emerson Fosdick



[99]                             CHAPTER VIII



The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully.                    Jeremiah 23:28

The moral and physical pitfalls in life, like the hidden shoals of a dangerous coral reef, are not easily seen. The future of a man’s life is nearly totally unpredictable, and only God can foresee the events which can or will occur. It is because God can foretell imminent dangers of the future, that He will reveal these warnings to his children–often through the use of dreams.

In the scriptures we read of many of God’s warnings to man. “God came to Abimelech in a dream by night” and made it known to him that he would commit a sin if he took Sarah from Abraham because she was his wife. (Gen. 20:3) Then “God came to Laban, the Syrian, in a dream by night” and warned him against attempting to bring vengeance on Jacob (Gen. 31:24). Nephi said that “the Lord commanded my father, even in a dream, that he should take his family and depart into the wilderness” (1 Nephi 2:2), because Jerusalem was going to be destroyed. A secret combination threatened the life of Omer; therefore, “the Lord warned Omer in a dream that he should depart out of the land.” (Ether 9:3)

Recorded in the New Testament is the warning given to Joseph to “take the young child (Jesus) and His mother, and flee into Egypt” (Matt. 2:13) to save His life. Joseph was also warned that he should not go to Jerusalem on his return: “being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee.” (Matt. 2:22) Also the wise men “being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their [100] own country another way.” (Matt. 2:12) Pilate’s wife tried to warn her husband and said, “have thou nothing to do with that just man for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.” (Matt. 27:19)

From these accounts of dreams recorded in scriptural history, we learn that often dreams are given by God for a guide or warning. It is therefore necessary that these kinds of dreams should be carefully regarded because of their importance to our safety from physical or spiritual dangers.

A most remarkable dream revealing “the work which God had begun in these last days” was given to an Elder by the name of R. L. Mills. He wrote his manifestation in the pages of the Millennial Star–perhaps as a warning to the wicked who would reject the light of the restored gospel.



After the evening’s meeting, I walked over to Melksham with brother Ellis, where we sang several hymns, took supper, and offered up thanks to God for our preservation through the day.

It was about eleven o’clock when we retired to rest. I soon fell asleep, and as I slept I dreamt I was in a very large field wherein were a great multitude of people. Immediately a man, (the very man that I am now labouring with) brother Reese, whom I had never seen before in my life, came to me as I stood alone in the field; for the multitude were a great way off, though in the same field, for the field was very large.

The multitude were walking towards the east. I and my companion walked north for the [101] purpose of being alone, as we were both desirous of making ourselves acquainted with each other and where we were going. He said he was here “for the purpose of making known to the people the work which God had begun in these last days,”–a work with which he supposed I was some little acquainted.


I told him I should like to know who that multitude of people were. He said he did not know, but said that we should pray to God to make it known to us. This we did; and after praying, we understood and became satisfied in our own minds that they were an oppressed and downtrodden people, seeking deliverance from the bondage and thraldom of their masters.

Just at that time the multitude came towards us, and we turned to meet them. As we were walking towards each other, a few very large drops of rain fell; and all stood gazing, being astonished to see the drops of rain fall, while not a cloud could be seen. All this time the light was very bright; but there was no sun. The rain ceased. It did not last above one minute; but it fell in the largest drops I had ever seen. Immediately after the drops of rain had fallen, a tremendous clap of thunder burst over our heads. Such a one I never before had heard, nor can I well describe it, it was so terrific. The earth shook to the very centre, and we were afraid, and wished it were over and passed. Meanwhile we looked a little west of where we then stood, and there was a large wood, from which came a great noise, adding to the noise of the thunder.

In that wood grew the finest, the highest, and the largest trees I had ever seen; and as [102] we looked upon it, partly admiring and partly terror-struck by the thunder, lo, with one tremendous crash, the whole wood fell to the earth. The terrible shaking, the awful roar of the thunder, and the breaking up of the wood lasted, I should think, about three or four minutes; after which, there was a lovely calmness all around. It filled my heart with joy to think, too, that not a soul of all the multitude, nor either of us, was hurt.

I and my companion then looked upon the fallen wood, and really it was wonderful to behold the largest trees I had ever seen broken off close to the ground, and little ones in which no one would have thought wind or thunder, lightning, or even fire from heaven could have lodged sufficiently to have destroyed them so quick. But it was so. Indeed it was heartrending; and we mourned over it, and could not refrain.

Beyond the wood was a beautiful country, and the multitude appeared to be going there. It was a long way off, for the wood was very large, and I thought if ever they crossed that awful scene of devastation, it must be by the same omnipotent hand that had destroyed it.

This was westward; but our attention was now drawn eastward by a cloud that was ascending very gradually beyond the lofty hills that stood in the distance in that direction. This cloud was very black, although at first not larger than a man’s hand.

It continued to ascend until it got about the height that the sun gets in two hours after it rises. Here it stood still and increased in size until it appeared in our view [103] as large as a good-sized field. By that time its darkness became so intense that the earth was darkened by it. The heavens also appeared black as far as we could see.

In the midst of the cloud there now appeared a white spot, which increased until it became as large as a small doorway. In the midst of the white spot there stood a child of very ordinary appearance. The child grew; and as it grew, I saw several tokens that it manifested of a superior intellect it had to any other child I had ever seen. The child grew till it became twice as large as an ordinary man: The white spot increased, and continued to absorb the black cloud.

As this work of absorption was going on, the child (or rather the man) exhibited a lion, which he took from behind him. The lion appeared to be conscious of what was going on, and was very affectionate.

The man now took the lion up in his arms, and held it up, extending his arms towards us. He then addressed us as follows:–“As the wood is broken up and torn in pieces, so shall the Gentiles be broken up and torn in pieces, if they repent not and receive not the Gospel; for the Lord God will send the lion through among them, and it shall tear them in pieces and destroy them, even as the wood is destroyed; and if they do not repent of their wickedness and obey the Gospel, not one of them shall be delivered.”

The lion was then put into his own place behind the man, and he ceased to speak. During the whole of this time, the brightness that surrounded the personage continued to increase; [104] until it exceeded all the brightness I had ever heard of. It was not “the moon with her coldness,” nor was it “the sun with his dazzling rays;” it was light–pure light. Its birthplace must have been the regions of eternal bliss. From its glorious presence that solemn blackness of despair which so short a time before darkened the whole earth and sky fled as if upon the wings of the wind. But there was no wind; yet it fled, insomuch that there could not be seen one particle thereof remaining.

The personage and the lion were both enveloped in the glory of that brightness, and the whole earth was lighted up by its glory. I gazed as long as I could on the awful and majestic scene; but both the personage and the lion were hid from my view, being enveloped in the light.

Having become almost exhausted by the varied changes and impressions made upon my mind, and being filled with wonder and astonishment at the things I had heard and seen, I awoke. Immediately I heard the clock strike two, so that I must have been in this dream at least two hours and a half, during the whole of which time my mind was exercised to its utmost extent.

I will not presume to make a long comment on this dream, but will make a few plain remarks; for there may be some who, although not altogether infidel in their belief, may smile incredulously at it.

To such I would say, Reflect upon it again; you will find it manifests the blessings of God. And when you have reconsidered it, ask him not who my companion in the dream was; for [105] I have told you. Ask him not who the multitude were, as I have done that myself, and have told you. But ask him who the man was that I saw, what the lion meant, and where the wood was. Ask him what country it was I saw beyond the destroyed wood, and if ever the people crossed the wood and dwelt in that beautiful country. By this time it will have occurred to your minds that God has often disclosed his holy will in dreams.  (R. L. Mills, Mill. Star 22:716)

A Mormon Elder wrote about a dream that warned him of persecutors who were trying to do him bodily harm. His dream depicted the death of one of the apostate persecutors–this came to pass just as he saw it.



In the early days of the Church, it was a great treat to an Elder in his travels through the country to find a “Mormon;” it was so with us. We were hardly in Arkansas when we heard of a family named Aheman. They were in Jackson County in the persecution. Some of the sons had been tied up there and whipped on the bare back with hickory switches by the mob. We heard of their living on Petit Jean river, in the Arkansas Territory, and we went a long way to visit them.

There had recently been heavy rains, and a creek that we had to cross was swollen to a rapid stream of eight rods in width. There was no person living nearer than two miles from the crossing, and no boat. The people living at the last house on the road, some three miles from the crossing, said we would [106] have to tarry till the water fell before we could cross. We did not stop, feeling to trust in God. Just as we arrived at the rolling flood a negro, on a powerful horse, entered the stream on the opposite side and rode through it. On our making our wants known to him, he took us, one at a time, behind him and carried us safely over, and we went on our way rejoicing.

We arrived that night within five miles of Mr. Akeman’s, and were kindly entertained by a stranger. During the night I had the following dream: I thought an angel came to us, and told us we were commanded of the Lord to follow a certain straight path, which was pointed out to us, let it lead us wherever it might. After we had walked in it a while we came to the door of a house, which was in the line of a high wall running north and south, so that we could not go around. I opened the door and saw the room was filled with large serpents, and I shuddered at the sight. My companion said he would not go into the room for fear of the serpents. I told him I should try to go through the room though they killed me, for the Lord had commanded it. As I stepped into the room the serpents coiled themselves up, and raised their heads some two feet from the floor, to spring at me. There was one much larger than the rest in the centre of the room, which raised his head nearly as high as mine and made a spring at me. At that instant I felt as though nothing but the power of God could save me and I stood still. Just before the serpent reached me, he dropped dead at my feet; all the rest dropped dead, swelled up, turned black, burst open, took fire and were consumed before my eyes, and we went through the room unharmed and thanked God for our deliverance.



I awoke in the morning and pondered the dream in my mind. We took breakfast, and started on our journey on Sunday morning, to visit Mr. Akeman. I related to my companion my dream, and told him we should see something strange. We had great anticipations of meeting Mr. Akeman, supposing him to be a member of the Church. When we arrived at his house he received us very coldly, and we soon found that he had apostatized: he brought railing accusations against the Book of Mormon and the authorities of the Church.

Word was sent through all the settlements on the river for twenty miles that two “Mormon preachers” were in the place. A mob was soon raised, and warning sent to us to leave immediately or we would be tarred and feathered, ridden on a rail and hanged. I soon saw where the serpents were. My companion wanted to leave; I told him no, I would stay and see my dream fulfilled.

There were an old gentleman and lady, named Hubbel, who had read the Book of Mormon and believed. Father Hubbel came to see us, and invited us to make our home with him while we stayed in the place. We did so, and labored for him some three weeks with our axes, clearing land, while we were waiting to see the salvation of God. I was commanded of the Lord by the Holy Ghost to go and warn Mr. Akeman to repent of his wickedness. I did so, and each time he raged against me, and the last time he ordered me out of his house. When I went out he followed me and was very angry. When he came up to me, about eight rods from the house, he fell dead at my feet, turned black and swelled up, as I saw the serpents do in my dream.



His family, as well as ourselves, felt it was the judgment of God upon him. I preached his funeral sermon. Many of the mob died suddenly. We stayed about two weeks after his death and preached, baptized Mr. Hubbel and his wife, and then continued on our journey. (Juvenile Instructor 2:74-75)

Levi Hancock related a dream given to a woman about the gospel’s being accepted by members of the Baptist Church. He recorded:

It is now May 1831. I told what I had done with the help of the Lord, for I know He was with me and guided me all the way. I found that we had nearly broken up the Freewill Baptist Church west. A Mr. Rollins came to see me. I told him many names he knew them well, he said. From that time on he did not appear to want to see me, as he had been their preacher before and now his flock had left him.

There was an old sister there that told him a dream she had before I got back there. The dream did not please him. She told him the following dream: “Well, she said, she saw two curtains let down from heaven while she could not see the top, she saw Levi W. Hancock walk between them until he came to a large field, in it was a fruit tree that spread its branches over a large body of land. Many people shook hands with him. He reached and took some fruit almost from the top twig and commenced singing. She saw Mr. Rollins start and run with his hat off, the fire pursued him as far as she could see. Some had left the church of Christ and they also ran.” (Journal of Levi Hancock, p. 30)


[109] It is often difficult to understand why certain events in life seem destined to happen. Death is one condition which is often foreseen or forewarned. Such a dream was given to President Abraham Lincoln. We can only speculate as to why this should occur–perhaps it was a warning as well as being prophetic in its nature. It is interesting to note that about this time President Lincoln had written a letter in which he announced his contempt for Mormonism. He had already signed a political bill of law against a Mormon ecclesiastical law, and he had just declared further political designs against the Mormon people. In the light of such a spotted background the Lord may have manifest this dream to him as a warning. Nevertheless, his life was to end as he had dreamed. Death prevented further stains upon the hands of this great American.



President Abraham Lincoln–assassinated 106 years ago last April 14–dreamed of the event about three weeks before John Wilkes Booth fired the fatal shot in Ford’s Theater in Washington.

Lincoln believed his dreams to be prophetic, and this one so troubled him that he became deeply depressed.

In the dream, Lincoln heard mourning sobs in the White House and was told by a soldier stationed by a casket that the President had been assassinated.

This little-known story of Lincoln’s extrasensory perception was recorded by Ward Hill Lamon, a federal marshal who was close to the President. It later appeared in the sixth volume of Carl Sandburg’s Lincoln biography.



Lamon, who was responsible for Lincoln’s safety, made many notes, none of which he published himself, but which were published some years later by his daughter and others.

The Lincoln dream story also appears in “The Civil War Treasury of Tales, Legends and Folklore,” published by Random House.

Lamon wrote that Lincoln considered his death dream a bad omen and became increasingly melancholy because of it. When Mary Todd Lincoln questioned her husband about his dark mood. Lamon, who was present for the conversation, wrote that Lincoln told her of the ominous dream he had about 10 days earlier.

He had been waiting up late at night for dispatches from the front in the waning days of the Civil War and “I soon began to dream,” Lincoln related. “I thought I heard subdued sobs, as if a number of people were weeping.

“I thought I left my bed and wandered downstairs,” the President said. “There the silence was broken by the same pitiful sobbing, but the mourners were invisible.

“I went from room to room; no living person was in sight but the same mournful sounds of distress met me as I passed along. . . .

“Where were all the people who were grieving as if their hearts would break? I kept on until I arrived at the East Room, which I entered. There I met a sickening surprise. Before me was a catafalque (a stand holding a coffin), on which rested a corpse.


[111]  Lincoln Dreamed of His Assassination 3 Weeks Before It Happened


LYING IN STATE: This is eyewitness drawing of Lincoln’s coffin in East Room, White House. Lincoln saw this scene in his dream and it depressed him.



“Around it were stationed soldiers who were acting as guards. And there was a throng of people, some gazing mournfully upon the corpse–whose face was covered–others weeping pitifully.

“`Who is dead in the White House?’ I demanded of one of the soldiers.

“`The President,’ was his answer. `He was killed by an assassin.”

“Then came a loud burst of grief from the crowd, which awoke me from my dream. I slept no more that night.

“And although it was only a dream, I have been strangely annoyed by it ever since.”

A shocked Mrs. Lincoln protested that her husband should not have told the story.

“Let us say no more about it, and try to forget,” the President replied, according to Lamon.

On April 15, 1865, the President experienced still another dream, one which he had envisioned several times while living in the White House, Lamon noted.

The marshal said Lincoln felt that the recurring dream–which also came to him just before major battlefield engagements–foretold of Northern victories, because he saw “the enemy routed.”

The next night Lincoln went to Ford’s Theater. During the carriage drive, he remarked to his wife that he was happy “for I con-[113]sider that this day the war has come to a close.”

Less than two hours later, Lincoln was fatally shot, dying the next day. According to Lamon, Mrs. Lincoln cried out after the shooting: “His dream was prophetic.” (By Bernard H. Gould, National Enquirer, May 9, 1971)

While some dreams may forewarn of certain death, others will forewarn the dreamer so that he can avoid death. The Lord warned a Cuban refugee of his possible death.



Late in the evening of February 3, 1963, a shrill scream pierced the silence of an apartment building on South West 12th Avenue in Miami, Florida. The scream had come from a bedroom occupied by a Cuban refugee, Armando Jesus Cespedes. Not only did the cry startle his wife, Ofelia, but it as well aroused the other tenants in the house.

Thinking something was wrong, Armando’s and Ofelia’s next door neighbors and friends, Enrique and Teresita Martinez, rushed into their apartment and inquired about the scream. Armando explained that he had been awakened by a frightening nightmare in which he had seen himself and Ofelia blown to bits by a bomb which had been placed in their car. He had good reason for having such a dream. For more than six months ever since he had arrived in the United States, Armando had been going to secret meetings held by the Cuban underground. He was planning to attend another such meeting on Tuesday, February 5. It was to be held about thirty miles from Tampa and Ofelia was to accompany him. In Armando’s dream he had [114] seen his wife and himself entering their car at the site of their rendezvous where they had gone on two previous occasions. Then when he inserted the key in the ignition switch, the bomb under the hood exploded.

Enrique and Teresita Martinez were compatriots of the Cespedes. They knew of Armando’s activities. They also knew there was a danger from the Castro sympathizers, agents and terrorists who actively were working to infiltrate and expose the exile underground movement. Moreover, Teresita was a firm believer in dreams and their prophetic portent. She cautioned Armando several times before they left the Cespedes apartment, warning him and Ofelia to take care.

The dream was all but forgotten on the afternoon of February 5, while Ofelia and Armando were attending the secret meeting near Tampa, Florida; but when they left the other Cuban exiles and returned to their car, Armando suddenly recalled the dream. He vividly remembered how he had seen his wife and himself blown to bits. With a shaking hand he returned the ignition key to his pocket, climbed out of the car and went around to the front to open the hood.

Two of the others saw him opening his car hood. They walked over, inquiring if he was having trouble with his car. For a fleeting moment Armando felt foolish as he told them of his “silly” dream. A few seconds later, however, he did not feel quite so foolish. One of his compatriots spotted something wired to his ignition. It was a powerful explosive which had been placed there by a Castro agent who was later apprehended.



Had it not been for the bomb that exploded in Armando’s dream that night in February, 1963, he and his wife would not be alive today. (E.S.P. Forewarnings, by Robert Tralins, p. 21-22)

Two incredible dreams exchanged between two people at the same time proved to be a warning which saved many lives.



The English submarine crawled along the bottom of the murky sea. Its mission: to hunt out and destroy enemy U-boats. Lieut. Ian Scott, aware that his craft was not due to surface before 10 p.m., climbed into his bunk and fell into a deep sleep.

Suddenly, strangely, he was in a munitions factory. He could see women turning shells on lathes; he could hear the squeaking of driving belts. Then, in a corner, Lieutenant Scott saw his sister, alone at a desk, her body slumped over in exhausted sleep. In that moment, indescribable horror swept over him. A finger of flame was creeping along the floor. He tried to shout a warning, but in vain. A tremendous explosion tore through the factory. Scorching timber rained down on the workers–and Scott awoke from his terrible nightmare.

Gasping, he looked around the silent sub. It was 10 o’clock, time to surface for night patrol. But as he approached the watchkeeper, Scott felt a weird sense of unrest.

The watchkeeper was asleep. When Scott shook him, the man collapsed on deck. What was wrong? And then, for the first time, Scott [116] detected the odor of gas. The men were not sleeping–they were near asphyxiation. By dousing the inert figures with water, he managed to rouse three men. Working mightily, they finally brought the submarine to the surface. There above, instead of inky night, was bright daylight.

It was 10 o’clock the following morning. The sub had been submerged 25 hours, and all that time gas fumes had been leaking from an open vent. Had not Scott been roused by a nightmare, the crew would have perished.

When the sub reached port, Scott found a letter from his sister. It told of a disastrous explosion in the munitions factory where she worked, on the same day the gas almost wrote finis to Scott’s crew.

“I escaped without a scratch,” she wrote. “I had dozed off at a desk in another building and was having a terrifying dream about you. I saw you and your crew lying motionless in your submarine.

“I tried to wake you but I simply couldn’t. The munitions explosion shattered my dream and woke me. Had I not fallen asleep where I was, I too, would have been blown to pieces. The explosion occurred at 10 in the morning, . . .” (by Lawrence Elliott, Coronet Magazine, August 1952, p. 29)

At three o’clock on the morning of August 17, 1966, Burton Klein, a G.I. serving in Viet Nam, awoke from a disturbing dream about his wife, Janice, who was in an automobile accident. His dream saved her life.


[117]                       THE BURNING AUTOMOBILE

He clearly saw Janice in their car driving along U.S. 301 approaching Washington, D.C. He instinctively knew that she was returning from a visit to her mother. Then, as she approached a dangerous curve in the narrow two-lane highway, he saw a huge tractor-trailer truck crossing the solid white line in the center of the road. The truck was on a collision course for Janice’s car.

Burton, his eyes squeezed shut, screamed. As if he had somehow told her what to do, Janice wrenched the steering wheel to the right. Her vehicle narrowly missed the speeding truck, but rode up upon the shoulder of the road, then plunged down and turned over and over until it bounced to a stop in a ravine. At once the car burst into flames from the ruptured gas line. Burton saw Janice struggling to get out of the car, but she was unable to open either door. He then saw that the rear window of the vehicle had been popped out as a result of the tumbling of the car during its downward plunge into the ravine. He knew at once that Janice would burn alive if she didn’t crawl over the seat and climb out through the rear window. He also knew that she was too terrified to think of turning around to see if the window was intact or not. She kept pounding on the doors and windows but was unable to force them open. The frame of the car was warped and twisted and the flames were beginning to lick through the dashboard.

Burton began to cry out, telling Janice to hold her breath and try not to breathe in the smoke, and then he told her to be calm and climb over the seat and out through the rear window.



She seemed to hear him. She became calm at once, then she crawled up over the seat, then across the back seat and out through the window. Just as she reached the trunk several motorists who had seen the accident were sliding down the embankment toward her. One man gave her a hand and dragged her clear. They then started up the embankment to get out of the way of the flames which were leaping higher and higher. Scarcely a few moments later the entire vehicle was bathed in flames.

At this, Burton collapsed upon his cot, unmindful of his buddies whom he had unintentionally awakened. When he finally recovered his wits he told them of what he had just envisioned. They laughed and said he had imagined it all–that he had had a nightmare.

Several days later, however, they learned the truth. Everything that had happened in his “dream” took place exactly as he had dreamed it.

They read the proof of it in the air mail letter from Janice Klein “. . . And darling,” Janice wrote, “I heard your voice warning me and I knew it was outlandish to think such a thing at a time like that when I was about to be burned alive, so when I unfastened my seat belt I knew it was our `Thing’ again, and you were there by some mystic power helping me. I heard your voice and I knew you were there with me. I did as you said and I at once became calm and the panic left me. I climbed over the seat and out through the rear window and just as I reached the top of the trunk a man gave me a hand and told me to hurry, the car looked as if it was about to explode. He asked me if anyone else was in the car with me [119] and I had a tight moment of hesitation (thinking you were there) before I told him, no. Then just as we got out of the way the car blew up.

Janice Klein’s letter also confirmed that the accident had taken place exactly at the moment when her husband was “seeing” it 9,000 miles away. (E.S.P. Forewarnings, by Robert Tralins, p. 14-15)

It is strange that some dreams may provide minute details to aid the dreamer and warn him of future dangers. The following three stories illustrate these unforeseen hazards:



A few years ago, a doctor now residing in Glasgow, dreamt that he received a summons to attend a patient at a place some miles from where he was living; that he started on horseback; and that, as he was crossing a moor, he saw a bull making furiously at him, whose horns he only escaped by taking refuge on a spot inaccessible to the animal, where he waited a long time, till some people, observing his situation, came to his assistance and released him. Whilst at breakfast on the following morning, the summons came; and, smiling at the odd coincidence, he started on horseback. He was quite ignorant of the road he had to go; but by and by he arrived at the moor, which he recognized, and presently the bull appeared, coming full tilt towards him. But his dream had shown him the place of refuge, for which he instantly made; and there he spent three or four hours, besieged by the animal, till the country people set him free. The doctor declares that, but for the dream, he should not have known in what direction to run for safety. (Mill. Star 10:107)


[120]                       DANGERS OF THE INDIANS

Probably you, children, have all had dreams. To dream correctly is a gift from the Lord.

There are many people in the world in these days, however, who laugh at dreams, and call people fools who believe in them. They seem to think that dreams did very well in old times; but now they can do without them. But we have found them very useful in these days. We lately read an account of a dream, which pleased us so much that we thought we would write it for our little Juveniles.

There is a saw-mill a few miles from Scipio, or Round Valley, Millard County, Utah. Two men were working at that mill by themselves. One of them–brother Goff– dreamed one night that he must go away from there, or he would be scalped. The dream made a deep impression upon him. In the morning, being thus warned, he persuaded the brother who was working with him to leave there too. They both started for Deseret City–their place of residence–upwards of forty miles distant. They took the road which led directly to their home, and did not call at Scipio.

The very morning they left the mill, a band of wicked Indians came down the kanyon, and stole a number of horses and cattle belonging to the people of Scipio. Besides stealing the cattle and horses, they killed and stripped a man and a boy whom they met. When the men of Scipio followed the trail of the cattle, they found the bodies of the two whom the Indians had murdered. Not finding the two men at the mill, they supposed they were [121] also killed by the Indians. This caused the report to spread that three men and a boy were missing. But brother Goff’s dream had saved himself and companion. They knew no more about the Indians coming than the people of Scipio did.

Now, children, do you not think it was better for brother Goff and his partner to believe in dreams, than to call them foolish? By believing that God could warn them of danger in a dream, they escaped. But if they had said, “Oh, dreams are not to be trusted; we will not be so silly as to believe in a dream and leave our work;” they would, very likely, have been killed.

The Lord speaks to his people, and shows them things in many ways. Sometimes he gives them visions, sometimes dreams, sometimes he whispers by his Spirit to their minds. Children ought to have their minds open to receive the teachings and warnings which the Lord may give them. When they do this constantly, they will never be caught unawares. Every important thing, which they should know, will be revealed to them. They will also be able to know which are good dreams that can be trusted, and which are not. (Mill. Star 28:502)



I have often thought that if the fifth-part of the lives of our missionaries could be embodied in a history, it would form the most interesting and probably the most romantic reading ever offered to the public, and, perhaps, as trying to the belief of this generation as the creation of the world, the account of Jonah or other histories accepted as ortho-[122]dox in King James’ translation of the Bible. And life’s experience has solidified as a fact that “truth is stranger than fiction.” I am going to offer you a singular, yet a perfectly truthful, illustration of the foregoing remarks.

In the early years of missionary labors Elders were charged not to court women, and married Elders were forbidden to engage women to be sealed to them when they got home. I went on my mission to Europe in 1850, as a single man, and religiously obeyed counsel formed no engagements and got into no entanglements; judge of my surprise, then, and realize what a comfort and encouragement (?) it was to my faith when after being there nearly three years, a prominent man of the English mission paid me a visit, and in sleeping with me one night called my attention to two young ladies who had come to conference, and asked me why I did not spark one of them. He remarked, “I would if I had not so many on my hands,” naming at the same time five as engaged to him. You can probably imagine my feelings at hearing this.

But there came a time when the revelation on plural marriage was to be made public and the late Elder Joseph W. Young and myself were counseled to marry in Europe. In my conference was a young lady, whom I thought would be pleased to have me. In considering the subject of marriage I made up my mind to go to London and get me a new suit of clothes, make all preparations, and, when I returned solicit her hand and, if accepted, be married at once, thus giving no chance for gossip to Saint or sinner. Now I come to my illustration:



I went to London and stopped with Sister Haslem, now in Salt Lake City. While asleep I dreamed I saw my future first wife, her father, mother and some other relatives, in the same old sleigh, the same horses and outfit altogether that he used to own in the States before we were “Mormons.” Snow was on the ground, as it used to be in our country. The persons were driving down a road that led past where myself and the girl I was going to ask to be my wife were standing. When I saw them I was jubilant and exclaimed, “There come my folks, let us go and meet them!” But as they drove past they made no halt, but all stood up and pointed their hands at us two and cried, “Shame, shame, shame!” and vanished out of sight. Three times before two o’clock in the morning was this dream repeated without variation. I got up and dressed, got the latch key and went out and walked the streets of London until about eight o’clock; when I returned to the house, I stopped at the doorstep, carefully cleaned the dust from my boots and said, “Father in Heaven, thank you; it is enough: I will mind the warning.” I returned to my conference and after some few months it was proven that the girl of whom I had thought as my wife, had been for quite a time the kept mistress of the richest dry goods merchant of that city, and that her acts of attention and kindness to me were part of a plot to bring the work of God in disrepute, and disgrace on me as a “Mormon” Elder. (Juvenile Instructor, 18:367)

The author of this book has had the privilege of receiving a few inspired dreams, one of which was a warning. This dream was given in clear reality of something that was about to happen.

[124]                     PROTECTION ON THE HIGHWAY

I dreamed that I was alone driving my car down a road at night. The lights of the car showed the road to be clear and in good condition. Strangely, the car seemed to be gaining speed. Suddenly a voice spoke to me and said “slow down.” I could see no danger in the road; but the voice repeated the same words twice more as though it was a serious warning to me. In an instant everything seemed to vanish into blackness and I awoke in terror. There didn’t seem to be any interpretation so I soon dismissed it and went back to sleep.

The next evening I was visiting some friends who lived in the country. It was quite late in the evening when I left. They lived on a high hill; and as I was driving down the hill, the car began to gain speed. Suddenly I recognized everything exactly as I saw it in my dream–alone in my car, driving at night, the lights on the clear road, and my car was gaining speed. Immediately I slowed down not waiting for the strange voice to tell me to do so. At the bottom of the hill there was a little rise in the road. As I went over this rise, there was a herd of black cows in the middle of the road. I would have crashed into them if I had not been warned of that danger in that dream!

Heber C. Kimball related a dream which portrayed the influence of the Gentiles upon the Mormon community.



You will remember that when those commissioners came to make peace with us, we came up from the South to see them, to find out what they wanted. The night we arrived in the city, I dreamed that there was an awful flood, and that the flood-wood had stopped up the stream. I watched it; and after a while the flood-wood gave way, and it came down Emigration Kanyon, [125] and went in a south-westerly direction. I then looked round to see what the effects were, and all at once this whole city and adjacent country became full of hogs. I spoke to the President and the brethren who were with him, and said–“The country is full of hogs,” and they were frothing at the mouth just like mad hogs do; and I saw them running after the brethren, who got on the walls and fences in different directions, and they were jumping up at them, but their mouths were full of froth; and I was pleased to see that there was not one of those hogs could bite any of the brethren. By-and-by our attention was called to other business, and when I had a little leisure I looked round and said to the brethren–“Where are those hogs gone?” We looked around us, and lo and behold there was not a hog to be found in the country!

But while they were here did they not froth at the mouth? They did, and they jumped and made a terrible stew; but I do not know that they have ever hurt anybody. They have not had the power to meddle with or hurt anybody except those who wanted to be meddled with. Now I consider that those men and women who have suffered themselves to be overcome by these hogs are no better than the hogs themselves, (H. C. Kimball, J.D. 8:250-251)

Apostle George A. Smith also commented on this dream and its interpretation:

. . .the dream related by brother Kimball, describing the multitude of hogs that were in the city, was so perfectly illustrated at the time the town was so tremendously full of soldiers, [126] teamsters, gamblers, and camp-followers, and they floated off so suddenly, that it could almost be said it was dreamed awake. That is the best way to dream: a man can many times dream wide awake straighter than when asleep.

I remember once (when in Zion’s camp,) I was very thirsty, hungry, and tired, that I dreamed when I was walking on the road I could see a loaf of bread, a bottle of milk, and a spring of water. It was one of the pleasantest dreams in the world, and I dreamed it while walking along the road. At the same time a great many dreams, as men consider, are no more nor less than open vision, and a great many dreams are the result, perhaps, of fatigue–of overexercise–of over-eating before retiring to rest, or some other cause.

When a man’s mind is illuminated by a dream, it leaves a vivid and pleasant impression: when it may be guided by the Spirit of God, it leaves the mind happy and comfortable, and the understanding clear. (G. A. Smith, J.D. 8:225)

Joseph Lee Robinson had a similar dream in which the apostates took upon them the worst of human forms.



And now while we are narrating some items of Nauvoo times, it might be interesting to relate some remarkable dreams that I had in the early days of Nauvoo. James Blakely as I have heretofore mentioned was the man who did so much preaching in the state of New York where I first became acquainted with him. He built up several branches and baptized many converts and had become deep rooted in my confidence [127] but when he came to Nauvoo he was not taken very much notice of by the authorities and he was very much tried. And with the Laws (?) and others the big apostacy, he went with them, but before this took place, I had the following dream. I thought I was a short distance from Nauvoo where there were two log houses close together. I had been in conversing with the man of the house but at the time was out at the bars close by the house, conversing with the man. Looking up I saw James Blakely coming upon a horse. I recognized him at once but oh what a feeling came over me when I gazed upon him, frothing at the mouth, with an old battered hat on and his coat, vest, hat, shoes, every vestige of his clothing from head to foot was rusty, ragged and tattered, insane and traveling away from home, the situation he was in and the feelings that I had, foreshadowed misery and death for that man. I felt sorry for him. Not long after this he went to preaching for the Apostate Law party, report said, and he went away with them, and I have never seen or heard from him since. (Joseph Lee Robinson Journal, p. 35)

The Prophet Joseph Smith received a dream which warned him of the dangers in connection with some men.



In the evening I attended meeting in the Seventies’ Hall. George J. Adams preached and I made some observations afterwards, and related a dream which I had a short time since. I thought I was riding out in my carriage, and my guardian angel was along with me. We went past the Temple and had not gone much further before we espied two large snakes so fast locked together that neither of them had any power. [128] I inquired of my guide what I was to understand by that. He answered, “Those snakes represent Dr. Foster and Chauncey L. Higbee. They are your enemies and desire to destroy you; but you see they are so fast locked together that they have no power of themselves to hurt you.” I then thought I was riding up Mulholland Street, but my guardian angel was not along with me. On arriving at the prairie, I was overtaken and seized by William and Wilson Law and others, saying, “Ah, ah! we have got you at last: We shall secure you and put you in a safe place:” and, without any ceremony dragged me out of my carriage, tied my hands behind me, and threw me into a deep, dry pit, where I remained in a perfectly helpless condition, and they went away. While struggling to get out, I heard Wilson Law screaming for help hard by. I managed to unloose myself so as to make a spring, when I caught hold of some grass which grew at the edge of the pit.

I looked out of the pit and saw Wilson Law at a little distance attacked by ferocious wild beasts, and heard him cry out, “Oh, Brother Joseph, come and save me:” I replied, “I cannot, for you have put me into this deep pit.” On looking out another way, I saw William Law with outstretched tongue, blue in the face, and the green poison forced out of his mouth caused by the coiling of a large snake around his body. It had also grabbed him by the arm, a little above the elbow, ready to devour him. He cried out in the intensity of his agony. “Oh, Brother Joseph, Brother Joseph, come and save me, or I die”‘ I also replied to him, “I cannot, William; I would willingly, but you have tied me and put me in this pit, and I am powerless to help you or liberate myself.” In a short time after my guide came [129] and said aloud, “Joseph, Joseph, what are you doing there?” I replied, “My enemies fell upon me, bound me and threw me in.” He then took me by the hand, and drew me out of the pit, set me free, and we went away rejoicing. (June 13, 1844. D.H.C. 6:461-462)

The editor of the Millennial Star also made mention of this dream by the Prophet Joseph Smith:

This dream would seem to have had its fulfillment in the actions of those two men, for all who are acquainted with their proceedings know that they plotted against the Prophet, and did all they could to overthrow his authority; and, finally, by apostatizing, they put themselves where it was no longer possible for him to help them to their salvation. I have given this dream as near as my recollection serves me, it being now several years since I read it. (Mill. Star 26:293)


Mortality presents a variety of blessings and disasters–all of which may greatly change a man’s course in life. Only by the utmost care and consideration can a man avoid the disasters and accept the opportunities which are for his eternal welfare. The character which we mold for ourselves in mortality is carried with us into the eternities. Our forefathers are closely watching over us from the Spirit World, and they are deeply concerned about what we do with the heritage they bestowed upon us. That they may be proud or ashamed of how we have treated their name is beautifully portrayed in a dream of George Albert Smith.


[130]                           YOUR GOOD NAME

By President George Albert Smith

A number of years ago I was seriously ill. In fact, I think everyone gave me up but my wife. With my family I went to St. George, Utah to see if it would improve my health. We went as far as we could by train, and then continued the journey in a wagon, in the bottom of which a bed had been made for me.

In St. George we arranged for a tent for my health and comfort, with a built-in floor raised about a foot above the ground, and we could roll up the south side of the tent to make the sunshine and fresh air available. I became so weak as to be scarcely able to move. It was a slow and exhausting effort for me even to turn over in bed.

One day, under these conditions, I lost consciousness of my surroundings and thought I had passed to the Other Side. I found myself standing with my back to a large and beautiful lake, facing a great forest of trees. There was no one in sight and there was no boat upon the lake or any other visible means to indicate how I might have arrived there. I realized, or seemed to realize, that I had finished my work in mortality and had gone home. I began to look around, to see if I could not find someone. There was no evidence of anyone’s living there, just those great, beautiful trees in front of me and the wonderful lake behind me.

I began to explore, and soon I found a trail through the woods which seemed to have been used very little, and which was almost obscured by grass. I followed this trail, and after I had walked for some time and had traveled a considerable distance through the forest, I saw a man coming towards me. I became aware that he was a very large man, and I hurded my steps to reach him, because I recognized him as my grandfather. In mortality he weighed over three hundred pounds, so you may know he was a large man. I remember how happy I was to see him coming. I had been given his name and had always been proud of it.

When Grandfather came within a few feet of me, he stopped. His stopping was an invitation for me to stop. Then–and this I would like the boys and girls and young people never to forget–he looked at me very earnestly and said:

“I would like to know what you have done with my name.”

Everything I had ever done passed before me as though it were a flying picture on a screen—everything I had done. Quickly this vivid retrospect came down to the very time I was standing there. My whole life had passed before me. I smiled and looked at my grandfather and said:

“I have never done anything with your name of which you need be ashamed.”

He stepped forward and took me in his arms, and as he did so, I became conscious again of my earthly surroundings. My pillow was as wet as though water had been poured on it–wet with tears of gratitude that I could answer unashamed.

I have thought of this many times, and I want to tell you that I have been trying, more than ever since that time, to take care of that name. So I want to say to the boys and girls, to the young men and women, to the youth of the Church and of all the world: Honor your fathers and your mothers. Honor the names that you bear, because some day you will have the privilege and the obligation of reporting to them (and to your Father in heaven) what you have done with their name. (Improvement Era, 1947, pg. 139)

Heber C. Kimball’s dream of earthen pots representing people too weak for the fire of the gospel.

According to a dream of Heber C. Kimball, some people, like earthen vessels, were stretched to thin; and although they were made of good material, they were unable to take the fire and the difficulties that the gospel would require of them.

I dreamed that I was working at my old trade of making pots, that I had a kiln, and that brothers Brigham, Grant, and others were there. The kiln was full of earthen vessels, and we had burnt wood in the arches until it became red hot, but the blaze was coming out of the flues. . . . But when I began to look around, I saw a great many vessels, off an one side, that were not good for anything, they would not stand the fire and began to fall in when nobody was touching them; a whole tier of them fell in at a time. Said I, “Why have you made these vessels so thin? You have made them two thirds larger than they ought to be, with the amount of clay that is in them. Their skin is too thin, you have stretched them too far, and not given them the thickness in proportion. . . . ”

Do you understand that dream? The Elders or somebody else, had stretched those vessels too much; they had got the big head, that is their heads were larger than the substances would sustain, and they fell in–the vessels fell in. The clay was good, but the vessels were made too big in the start; we must not stretch them too much. Potters always work according to the amount of clay an hand; if it is a small lump they make a small vessel, and make it all the way of a thickness, as near as possible. (Heber C. Kimball. J.D. 3:162)



[131]                             CHAPTER IX



I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophecy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.                                                           Joel 2:28

The gift of prophecy–or foretelling the future–is perhaps the most predominate gift of the spirit. Such manifestations from God are evidences of God’s influence and powers of communication with mortals. It is written that “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy,” and that spirit may be manifest in many ways.

Paul the apostle said we should “follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy” (I Cor. 14:1), and also “wherefore brethren, covet to prophesy” (I Cor. 14:39). Such a gift can be the means of spiritually guiding an individual through his life; and perhaps such an inspired prophetic gift can be used for the benefit of many people. Hence the prophets are the world’s greatest benefactors.

Because of the tremendous influence that a prophet may have, many false leaders and uninspired men often claim revelations from God. Such claims are made by false prophets and the spiritually weak so that they can gain influence and support from the people.

Because of the dangers in following such spiritually dead imposters, the Lord spoke through the Prophet Jeremiah saying:

Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. Behold, I am against them that prophesy [132] false dreams, saith the Lord, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the Lord. (Jer. 23:30-32)

Every man should live by the gift and power of the Holy Ghost and not become dependant upon another for God’s direction. Every man has the right to earn these gifts for himself; however, some men may go through life without ever knowing the influence of such spiritual gifts.

The following article published in the Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star offers further assurance that numerous prophetical dreams have been given to men in all walks of life.

Some very remarkable instances have occurred in which dreams have come to pass in the manner revealed to the dreamer. According to the London News, on the occasion of the terrible railroad accident, from which Charles Dickens narrowly escaped with his life, there was in the same train a lady and gentleman just landed in England, after their return from India. Just before the accident, the lady said to her husband: “I see the great wave rolling; it is close to us;” and then the crash came and she was killed. The husband was unhurt, and at a later time, explained the strange words of his wife. Ever since they set out from India, she had been haunted in sleep by the dream of a vast silvery wave, and always as it was about to break on her, she had wakened in terror. This was the wave which she recognized immediately before the accident which caused her death. Professor Hedge relates that, “Andre, in a visit to friends in [133] Derbyshire, before his embarkation for America, was introduced to a certain Mr. Cummington. That gentleman recognized in him the original of the countenance of a man whom he had seen in a dream, arrested in the midst of a forest, and afterwards hung on a gallows.” The subsequent death of Major Andre, in the manner indicated in the dream, was a remarkable point in its fulfillment.

During the American Civil War, many instances occurred in which men were forewarned in dreams of their own death or that of their comrades. A week previous to the battle of Fair Oaks, a New York volunteer dreamed that in just one week there was to be a great battle in which he would be killed while charging across a field; that two sergeants of his acquaintance would be killed in the woods, one shot in the breast and the other in the groin, and that a large number of others would be killed. The soldier appeared so depressed in spirits the next day that his companions rallied him about being homesick, and he reluctantly told his dream. In just a week the battle took place, and the dreamer was killed in full sight of his regiment, and the two sergeants were killed, twenty minutes after, in the woods, one shot through the breast and the other in the groin, just as had been foretold in the dream. More than fifty men, it is said, were witness to the truth of this statement. The night before the cavalry fight at Brandy Station, a trooper, who slept as he jogged along in the column, dreamed that a certain captain in his regiment would be unhorsed in a fight the next day, and while rising from his fall would be wounded in his left knee. He told the captain his dream, but was laughed at for his credulity. But in the very [134] first charge the next day the captain was unhorsed by the breaking of the girth, and was pitched heels over head into a patch of briars. While he was struggling out his horse was killed by a shell, a fragment mashed the captain’s left knee, so that he had to have it amputated. Three days before the engagement at Kelly’s Ford, “a corporal in the Sixth Michigan cavalry dreamed that a brother of his, who was sergeant in another company, would have his horse killed in the action, and would almost immediately mount a dark bay horse with a white nose. Within five minutes both horse and rider would be killed by a shell. This dream was related to more than a score of comrades fully two days before the fight. Early in the action the sergeant’s horse was struck square in the forehead by a bullet, and dropped dead in his tracks. It was scarcely three minutes before a white-nosed horse, carrying a blood-stained saddle galloped up to the sergeant and halted. He remembered the dream, and refused to mount the animal, and soon after picked up a black horse. The white-nosed animal was mounted by a second corporal in another regiment, and horse and rider were torn to fragments by a shell, in full sight of four companies of the Sixth.” In the last instance, apparently, the life of the sergeant was saved by heeding the admonition of the dream. The writer who narrated this and other similar instances, adds that, “there was a time when a soldier’s dream saved Gen. Kilpatrick’s life; when a dream changed Custer’s plans for three days; when a dream prevented Gen. Talbert’s camp from a surprise and capture; and when a dream gave Gen. Sherman more accurate knowledge of Early’s forces than all the scouts.”

[135]      Numerous other instances of prophetic dreams might be narrated, but enough has been adduced to show that there is something worthy of considerate attention in some dreams; however trivial the greater part of them may be. The prophetic revelations made through dreams in ancient times are perhaps sometimes repeated in these modern times. (Mill. Star 83:317)

The Prophet Joseph Smith holds the keys of this last dispensation, and all the work of the restored Gospel is still under his direction. Evidence of this has been manifest to several of the leaders of the Church. President Wilford Woodruff received an interesting dream in which he was given prophetic instructions from Joseph Smith:



After the death of Joseph Smith I saw and conversed with him many times in my dreams in the night season. On one occasion he and his brother Hyrum met me when on the sea going on a mission to England. I had Dan Jones with me. He received his mission from Joseph Smith before his death; and the Prophet talked freely to me about the mission I was then going to perform. And he also talked to me with regard to the mission of the Twelve Apostles in the flesh, and he laid before me the work they had to perform; and he also spoke of the reward they would receive after death. And there were many other things he laid before me in his interview on that occasion. And when I awoke many of the things he had told me were taken from me; I could not comprehend them. (Wilford Woodruff, J.D. 21:317)

During the crusades against the Mormon people by the U. S. Government, President John Taylor appointed a [136] special mission for Charles O. Card to find a place of refuge in Canada for the Mormon people to gather. As he and his small group were camped by Lee’s Creek, near where Cardston is now located, he received a dream which indicated the place for the gathering of the Saints in that country. The settlement was made and the temple was built there through his inspiration.

Thus, after exploring the Waterton and Belly Rivers, Lee’s Creek, and the St. Mary’s River areas, a choice of location was made. On record is a dream that Mr. Card told wherein he saw bees swarming to a hive. He interpreted the dream to mean saints gathering to the Lee’s Creek site. There can be little doubt but that the leaders felt it was the mercy of God that directed them to this site. (A History of the LDS Church in Canada, 1830-1963, a thesis by Melvin S. Tagg, pg. 106)


(Photo of Charles O. Card’s Home)


The home of Charles O. Card, who had a dream pertaining to the location of the settlement of Cardston, Alberta, Canada.

A Mormon Elder had a prophetical dream while traveling across the sea to England, and was thus warned of an impending disaster.



While crossing the Atlantic somewhat over two years ago to fill a mission here in Great Britain, the writer had a little experience that was interesting to him and taught him to take notice of forewarnings that may be given. One night he dreamed that he was standing on the deck of the vessel with one of the other passengers, Elder Joseph Nelson. There was a very heavy sea, and the ship was rolling dangerously. Suddenly his companion lost his footing and shot across the deck to the edge of the vessel, but seemed to catch one of the upright bars of the railing and this saved his falling into the sea. The writer rushed to [137] him, drew him up and helped him back. A peculiarity about the dream was that when the writer bent over his companion, one of those strange transformations, so common in dreams, occurred; the prostrate figure seemed to be some one else.

The dream was so impressive that on rising the writer went to the door of Elder Nelson’s cabin and related it, with a warning that he should be careful. The young man was just ready to go on deck, and as the sea was very rough, he promised to take care. He had been gone only a few minutes when he returned to the cabin, pale as death, saying that the dream had not needed to wait long for an interpretation. On reaching the deck he had taken pains not to expose himself to any danger. A young lady, less watchful, however, had lost her footing on the wet deck, slipped partly under the railing at the vessel’s edge, but had caught herself exactly as had been seen in the dream. Elder Nelson quickly rescued her from the dangerous position, and brought her back to safety.

What would have happened had the warning not been observed, no one, of course, can tell. It was a testimony, however, that the Lord foresees all things, though we have of ourselves such limited knowledge, and that He is willing to impart to us what is necessary for us to know. (Mill. Star 64:750)

Elder Benjamin Andrews was one of the early Saints who had been persecuted in Missouri. While he was mourning over his sufferings from the nation that boasted of spiritual freedoms, he received a dream which seemingly foretold the destiny of America.


[138]                     DREAM OF WASHINGTON, D.C.

I will now relate a dream, which I had near the time that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was driven from Jackson County, in Missouri.

In my dream I was at the capital of the United States. All was solemn as the tomb. The voice of the eloquent orator was hushed to silence. The senator, the sage, the honorable, the rich and poor together, all were clad in mourning; indeed, nature herself, and all things seemed to participate in the general gloom. All was silent but the voice of one man, his was low and solemn as the lonely sepulchre. In the archives of state there was a twilight, by which, with some difficulty, one could peruse the records. As I was returning from a spacious bureau, where it seemed I had been reading, in an opposite part of the room I saw a man approaching the same bureau. I did not know him, but felt assured within self that it was one of the ancients of the nation. He took from the bureau two or three small boxes; and as he presented one of them to me, exclaimed, “these were the archives of state,” and, while in the act of placing it in my hand, finished the sentence he had commenced, “but it is turned to blood.” I saw while yet the words were on his tongue, the box dissolve to blood. Then I turned to view the other boxes; and they were also turned to blood.

With sentiments of respect, I remain your humble servant, Benjamin Andrews. (Mill. Star 6:189)

Another early Saint was given a prophetic dream which related to the future destiny of this nation:


[139]                        VIOLENCE IN AMERICA

I am a descendant of the Puritans of New England and one of those who had to flee into the wilderness from persecution on account of religious belief in 1846, and one of those who under the Edmunds law are disfranchised.

In my meditation on the probable outcome of the present attempts to impede the progress of God’s great work, it was shown to me that our persecutors and oppressors would not be satisfied with the results of the proscriptive measures now in operation inasmuch as they would not prove sufficiently effective. The Mormon question would be at least temporarily dropped, and the sectarian priestly mobbers would turn their attention to the Roman Catholic Church which, in consequence of its rapidly increasing political power and influence in the United States, will be likewise feared and assailed. The Roman Catholics also would be made to feel the iron hand of oppression, as would also the Jews who will remember the prophecy that they will return to and build up Jerusalem.

It was also shown to me that there would be a great conflict between capital and labor, that would result in the destruction of both life and property. Violence and crimes of all descriptions will increase in the land, and life become very insecure. The elements will become angry, and storms and tornadoes will increase to a fearful extent.

Political dissension will become more intense and bitter, and at the next election for President, it was shown to me, that between the two parties being so nearly equal, a ter-[140]rible struggle and conflict would ensue, much blood being shed. In the midst of this struggle for the supremacy, the Indians would commit depredations on the frontiers, and great uneasiness would be felt by the people of the frontier Territories and States. In the midst of the confusion, the Mormons shall have almost been forgotten, but their union, organization and powers, give the peace loving portion of the nation, hope and trust, and with the assistance of these persecuted and almost forgotten people, the Constitution and the Government will be saved. B.F.S., Benjamin, Sept. 7, 1882. (Mill. Star 44:663)

A rather lengthy and detailed dream, which depicted national calamity, was published nearly 100 years ago. This dream portrays an apparently chemical or biological warfare brought against the American nation.



The present times seem to be more than usually prolific of prophetic dreams among the Latter-day Saints. In nearly every settlement the people have been warned of events soon to occur; and visions of the future glory of the Kingdom of God upon this earth have passed like a panorama before many of those who love God and obey His commandments.

Some two or three years ago, I had retired for the night, when suddenly a glorious messenger appeared at my bedside and awoke me from my slumber. The light of his presence filled the room, so that objects were discerned as clearly as at noonday.

He handed me a book, saying, “Look, and see what is coming to pass.” I took the book [141] in my hands and, sitting up in bed, examined it carefully and read its contents. In size this book was about seven by ten inches, opening like a copybook and bound in beautiful covers, on the front of which was stamped in gold letters its title, which was THE BOOK OF THE PLAGUES. The leaves were printed only on the front side of each, and were composed of the very finest quality of pure white linen, instead of paper. The typography throughout was in the finest style of the printer’s art. Each page was composed of a picture printed in colors as natural as art can copy nature, which occupied the upper half of the space, below which was the printed description of the scene represented.

On the first page was a picture of a feast in progress, with the long table set upon a beautiful lawn, over which were interspersed clumps of fine shrubs and towering trees. In the background through the foliage, could be discerned a stately suburban villa, adorned with all the ornaments of modern architecture. The landscape presented the appearance of midsummer. The sky, and indeed the whole atmosphere, appeared of a peculiar sickly brassy hue, similar to that which may be observed when the sun is wholly eclipsed, and the disc is just beginning again to give its light. Throughout the atmosphere small white specks were represented, similar to a scattering fall of minute snow flakes in winter. About the table a party of richly dressed ladies and gentlemen were seated in the act of partaking of the rich repast with which the table was laden. The minute specks falling from above were dropping into the food apparently unheeded by all, for a sudden destruction had come upon them. Many were falling backward in the [142] agonies of a fearful death; others drooping upon the table, and others pausing with their hands still holding the untasted food, their countenances betraying a fearful astonishment at the peculiar and unlooked for condition of their companions. Death was in the atmosphere; the judgments of God had come upon them as silently and swiftly as upon the proud Sennacharib and his host of Assyrians.

In one corner of this picture was a small circular vignette, showing the front of the store of a dealer in pork. The wide sidewalk was covered by an awning supported on posts at the outer edge, and on this walk were shown barrels of pork, long strings of sausages, fresh slaughtered hogs, piles of smoked bacon and headcheese; and along the edge of the walk, next to the store, beneath the front windows, leaned a number of large hams and pieces of side meat, reaching across the whole front, except a small space at the doorway. There were twelve of these pieces, and on each piece was painted a large letter, in order to make as a whole the word ABOMINATIONS.

Below this scene was the description: A feast among the Gentiles, commencement of the Plague. And in smaller type below, a note saying that the particles of poison, though represented in the picture, are so small as to be invisible to the naked eye.

On the next page was another picture. It was a street scene in a large city. In the foreground were the residences of wealthy city merchants. The character of the buildings gradually changed; along the view and in the distance were shown the great buildings of trade and commerce in the heart of a large [143] metropolis. On the sidewalks throughout the long vista, the busy, throbbing, rushing crowd had been cut down like grass before the mower.

Again it was a midsummer scene. The same atoms of poison were falling through the air, but their work was done; the same sickly brazen atmosphere that seemed thick with foul odor laid upon the earth, in which no breeze stirred a leaf of the foliage. Upon the balconies of the richly decorated residences, across the thresholds of the opened doorways, along the walks and upon the crossings, lay the men, women and children, who a few days before were enjoying all the pleasures of life. Further on, the dead were everywhere. Houses of business that had been thronged with customers stood with open doorways, frowning upon streets covered with the dead. Across the thresholds of the banks lay the guardians of wealth, but no thieves were there to take the unlocked treasures within. The costly merchandise of a thousand owners laid untouched upon the counters and shelves. In the noonday glare of the sickly sun, not a soul was shown alive; not one had been left to bury the dead–all had been stricken or had fled from the death-dealing plague and the doomed city. Along midway upon the street, a hungry drove of those horrible ugly slaughterhouse hogs, (which may be seen in the pens attached to the filthy slaughtering places in the outskirts of many cities), was tearing and devouring the dead and feasting upon the bodies of rich and poor alike with none to molest them.

Below this picture was the description: Progress of the Plague among the Gentiles. A street scene in a large city. Nearly fifty of these pictures I carefully observed, wherein [144] the fearful effects of this and other plagues were almost as vividly portrayed as if I had actually seen them.

The last scene in the book was descriptive of the same plague as the first. A beautiful park-like, grassy prairie was surrounded by elm and cottonwood trees, the area embraced being about eighty rods across. In the centre of this enclosure was a large cone-shaped tent of a bright purple color, about thirty feet in height by twenty in diameter at the base. Midway in height in this tent was a floor dividing the inside into two stories. Near this tent was another, a round wall tent, about thirty feet in diameter, and nearly as high as the first. This was clean and white. Leaving a space of about a hundred yards from these central tents were hundreds of shall rectangular wall tents in rows, reaching as far as the surrounding trees, each tent clean and white, and appearing to be of a size suited to the wants of an ordinary family. Not a human being, animal, bird or vehicle was in sight. Not a breath of air appeared to be stirring. The same atmosphere as in the previous pictures, with the atoms of poison, was represented, and the same time and season of the year.

Below this picture was the description: A camp of the Saints who have gathered together and are living under the daily revelations of God, and are thus preserved from the plague. I understood from this that each family was in its tent during the hours of the day that the poison falls, and thus were preserved from breathing the deathly particles.

Handing the book to the messenger, who all this time had remained by my side, he vanished [145] from my view as suddenly as he had appeared. I awoke my wife, who was soundly sleeping, and commenced to relate to her what I had just beheld. After telling her the description of the two pictures at the beginning of the book, and commencing on the third, this third picture and all up to the last was suddenly taken from my memory, so that I have never been able to recall them; but still I remember that they were scenes about the plagues and judgments.

In the revelations given to the Prophet Joseph, among the many plagues and judgments portrayed, that given in the Doctrine and Covenants, Sec. xxix: 17-20, has always seemed to me to fully coincide with what has been related in the account of that dream. But whether that plague or another is meant, it does not matter. Plagues will come and the wicked must suffer; but the Saints will be preserved by the very principle for which the wicked persecute them which is present revelation from the Almighty. (Contributor 5:411)

The last dream given to Joseph Smith was the night before he was martyred. He related the following which has been without an interpretation:



I was back in Kirtland, Ohio, and thought I would take a walk out by myself, and view my old farm, which I found grown up with weeds and brambles, and altogether bearing evidence of neglect and want of culture. I went into the barn, which I found without floor or doors, with the weather-boarding off, and was altogether in keeping with the farm.



While I viewed the desolation around me, and was contemplating how it might be recovered from the curse upon it, there came rushing into the barn a company of furious men, who commenced to pick a quarrel with me.

The leader of the party ordered me to leave the barn and farm, stating it was none of mine, and that I must give up all hope of ever possessing it.

I told him the farm was given me by the Church, and although I had not had any use of it for some time back, still I had not sold it, and according to righteous principles it belonged to me or the Church.

He then grew furious and began to rail upon me, and threaten me, and said it never did belong to me nor to the Church.


I then told him that I did not think it worth contending about, that I had no desire to live upon it in its present state, and if he thought he had a better right I would not quarrel with him about it but leave; but my assurance that I would not trouble him at present did not seem to satisfy him, as he seemed determined to quarrel with me, and threatened me with the destruction of my body.

While he was thus engaged, pouring out his bitter words upon me, a rabble rushed in and nearly filled the barn, drew out their knives, and began to quarrel among themselves for the premises, and for a moment forgot me, at which time I took the opportunity to walk out of the barn about up to my ankles in mud.



When I was little distance from the barn, I heard them screeching and screaming in a very distressed manner, as it appeared they had engaged in a general fight with their knives. While they were thus engaged, the dream or vision ended. (T.P.J.S., p. 393)


(piture of Salt Lake Temple)


The Salt Lake Temple, constructed of granite stone, was seen in a dream by Wilford Woodruff many years before the Saints came west.

Wilford Woodruff saw the Salt Lake City temple in a dream many years before the Saints entered the Valley:



When in the western country, many years ago, before we came to the Rocky Mountains, I had a dream. I dreamed of being in these mountains, and of seeing a large fine looking temple erected in one of these valleys which was built of cut granite stone; I saw that temple dedicated, and I attended the dedicatory services, and I saw a good many men that are living today in the midst of this people. And I saw them called of God and sent forth unto the United States and to Babylon, or what is called the Christian world, to bind up the law and seal up the testimony against the nations of the earth, because they had rejected the testimony of Jesus, and of the establishment of the Kingdom of God upon the earth. When the foundation of that temple was laid I thought of my dream and a great many times since. And whenever President Young held a council of the brethren of the Twelve and talked of building the temple of adobe or brick, which was done I would say to myself, “No, you will never do it;” because I had seen it in my dream built of some other material. I mention these things to show you that things are manifested to the Latter-day Saints sometimes which we do not know anything about, only as they are given by the Spirit of God. (Wilford Woodruff, J.D. 21:299)


[148] There is one peculiar, little-known, incident in Mormon history that concerns the financial aspect of the Church. At one time, near the turn of the century, the Church was in very heavy financial bondage. It was through a dream that the Latter-day Saints were delivered from their financial difficulties. The story of this dream is about Jesse Knight and his Eureka mine.



When he was five years old, with his mother and her family of seven children, he arrived in Utah, a settlement three years old, one thousand miles from the nearest town. His father died a few days journey westward from the Missouri River.

The homes in Utah at that time were improvised shelters; there were no public and few private schools, and the needs of home were never satisfied. With these surroundings he grew to manhood and fatherhood. He tasted life from every angle that could fall to a boy and a man, under such surroundings.

He had not been an ardent Church member; while he was recognized as a Mormon, he had not been classed as a Latter-day Saint; he had not “had a testimony;” in other words, he had not been convinced as to the truth of the religion of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the truth that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.

In a dream, or vision, there was revealed to him that Utah was for the Mormons; that the doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was true; that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God; also, that if he went to a certain place (indelibly imprinted on his [149] mind), that he would find a great vein of rich mineral, a mine. He followed the instructions given him in his dream, which took him to the now well-known Eureka mining district. There, away up on the mountain, he found the spot he had seen in his dream, and he uncovered the vein which led to a vast mineral body, which was opened up, only by much hard labor and many vicissitudes. Many times, for the lack of provisions, he would have to stop his work, but he never lost faith in his dream, and would return and continue his labor. At last the mine yielded the long sought precious mineral that made him a large fortune, which has multiplied and been added to.



His dream led him to a mine which contained a vast fortune of ore worth over $10 million.



When Jesse Knight told of his dream, the response was “Humbug!” But his dream became a reality, and his wealth saved the credit of the Mormon Church.



The boom town near Eureka, Utah, at the turn of the century. It was the only town in Utah where saloons and liquor were forbidden.

Before his dream came true, and while he was laboring (as only one can who has faith) to take from “Mother Earth” her treasure, he met Wilford Woodruff, then president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who prophesied that he (Jesse Knight) would save the Church’s credit.” Not long afterward, the mine began to yield. The Church had outstanding notes upon which the interest was nearly due, the country was in a panic and money almost impossible to get. The first car of ore came from the mine and gave much greater value than was expected. When the miners and debts incidental to the production of ore had been paid, there was ten thousand dollars remaining, which amount, Mr. Knight gave to President Woodruff, who paid the interest on the Church’s notes, and its credit was saved.

From thence on, he knew the truth of dreams, visions and prophecies, that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the restoration of God’s Church on the earth.



There are many pages in the history of Mr. Knight’s life that forces one to believe that the hand of providence guides our way. (Pioneers & Prominent Men of Utah, p. 8)

A few years after Jessie Knight opened his Eureka mine, another man commenced operation of a mine that was to become known as “the Dream Mine.” This unusual mine was operated by Bishop John H. Koyle of Spanish Fork, Utah. For over 50 years he labored and directed in the burrowing of miles of tunnels and the construction of an elaborate mill. All of this work was accomplished by this bishop who claimed divine guidance through dreams.

However, in 1947 the leaders of the Church took a stand against the bishop; and though he died a year later, the controversy about the mine continues. He maintained that the gold ore of the mine would be uncovered at a time when this country and the world would collapse through temporal and spiritual bondage.


Whatever has been said in favor of or in opposition to this mine, all who were acquainted with Bishop Koyle testify that he had the gift of dreams.


* * * * *

Nothing of greater importance can be revealed by prophecy than the future that reaches beyond the portals of death. The life to come is of greater mystery than the future of our lives in mortality. A most beautiful and edifying dream of the Spirit World and the Celestial Kingdom was published in the Millennial Star of 1867. The name of the lady who had this marvelous manifestation was withheld, but the editor of the Star wrote:

The following dream was had by a lady of this city, about thirty years of age, and the [151] wife of one of our most respectable citizens. Her name is withheld from motives of delicacy, but her veracity is unquestioned.

This young lady wrote the following story of her heavenly dream:



Great Salt Lake City

February 17, 1867

I dreamed I was at home sick, and sitting in an arm chair, surrounded by my husband, mother, children, and friends. I was told, or rather felt, I was going to die; and after confiding the care of my children especially to my mother–she agreeing in accordance with my urgent solicitations to come and live with them–and bidding good-bye and pressing hands with those present, I felt sensibly the first approach of death, by a feeling of coldness and numbness commencing at my feet and thence to my body, until it reached the region of my heart; whereupon I became speechless, and felt as though I was approaching the unconscious state of sleep. My head involuntarily dropped back in the chair.

At the return to consciousness, which was instantaneous, I found myself standing by the body from which I had just emerged, in a stooping posture, experiencing a sort of crampness in the breast and back, together with a feeling of general exhaustion. On looking up I discovered a female standing beside me in the attitude of one waiting, having her hand upon the chair, and attired in white flowing apparel She at once introduced herself to me as my attendant, and invited me, when I was ready, to follow her. I inquired as to the cause of the [152] peculiar feeling before referred to, and received in answer the following, which were her very words: “Oh, every one feels that just after leaving the body; it is but momentary;” accompanied with a smile which indicated that she had often answered such questions before.

While she was speaking I stood upright and the feeling of crampness had already passed away. I then expressed a willingness to accompany her. She asked if I did not want to look at my body once more before leaving. I replied I did not, and felt an instinctive shudder at the thought of my body, and assured her I was but too glad to leave it. We then passed out at the door walking. I felt a delightful sense of lightness, as though I could raise myself from the ground by a simple effort of the will. After proceeding through the gateway to the street, we glided somewhat rapidly along down the State road, southward, out of the city, until we reached a very large round building, built entirely of white marble, supported by heavy white marble columns, and having but one entrance, which consisted simply of an opening between two of the columns, with a flight of steps leading to the interior. The marble of which this building was composed was not purely white, but had a yellow tinge, as though time-worn. On reaching the entrance, my companion informed me that I needed her attendance no longer. After directing me to ascend the steps and enter the building, my attendant turned and left me. On entering the building I saw a man sitting nearly in the centre of the room at a large desk, directly under a peculiar canopy. Upon the desk was an exceedingly large book, having the appearance of a mammoth ledger. Four or five men were in a group near the desk, engaged in conversation [153] with this personage, whom we will call the Director. I observed that the place had an air of business, and was free from ornament. At this point I awoke, and remained so about an hour, meditating upon what I had seen.

When I again fell asleep and resumed the dream, I was still in the same place, and saw the same persons engaged as before described, none of whom up to this time had noticed me. The Director looked towards me and said, “Welcome, sister.” He was still engaged with those around him, all of whom were individuals whom I recognized as having seen before, but could not say when or where. They were dressed in the ordinary manner, one having a suit of grey homespun on. The Director, however, was dressed in the robes of the Priesthood. While he was engaged in conversation with those men, I had time to examine the interior of the hall, and discovered that the spaces between the columns–about twelve in all–were entirely open, so that I could see at once through and beyond them. Stationed at each of the pillars to the left, that separated these openings, were men who acted as guides. I ascertained this by seeing the Director point towards these men, and directing each of the men around him to go some to one man, some to another, and hearing him say, “There is your guide–go there.”

Through the first opening to my left were clouds of great density and blackness, the darkest I ever saw, and they seemed to be so near that they could be reached by the hand. The second opening to the left revealed dark threatening clouds, but not quite so black as the first. All the other openings to the left presented a dark atmosphere, thick and murky, [154] becoming gradually less dismal as they were removed from the first.

I turned to the right, where a far different picture met my gaze. Through all of these openings I saw the pure azure of heaven, clear and bright. Through the first space to my right I saw a city indescribably fair and beautiful, enveloped as it were in a thin mist of gold, and exquisitely beautiful; clouds of roseate hue were visible in the distance. The city was dotted with temples having lofty spires, and other buildings, combining in architectural designs more beauties than I had ever conceived it possible to exist, all of purest whiteness. Strains of lovely music floated on the atmosphere, that was more heavenly in its influence, and spoke more to the heart, than any music I had ever heard; it seemed to come from a legion of musicians. The space between the third and fourth columns to my right, almost directly behind and to the right of the desk, was filled up by a massive iron door, grained like oak, (the only door in the hall) before which a sentinel, dressed like the Director, was pacing to and fro.

I was so enraptured by the sight of the city and the sound of the music, that for a time I was insensible of what was transpiring around me, from which I was aroused by the voice of the Director, saying, “Sister, that is the Celestial City;” looking, as he spoke, toward the city I had seen. He then asked my name. I stepped toward the desk, and replied in a language I had never spoken before, which greatly surprised me. He, however, understood it. After glancing rapidly over the index, he at once turned to the latter end of the book, which, by its great weight, made a loud noise [155] as it fell open on the desk. He read very rapidly what was on the open page before him, and while thus engaged, I stood trembling with anxiety, fearing I should not be assigned a place in the celestial city, although I had no apprehensions of being consigned to any of the dismal places to my left; but I felt as though I had not properly appreciated the blessings I had enjoyed, and remembered with astonishing vividness every time I had given expression to angry feelings and used improper words, every instance of my having corrected my children in anger; in a word, I recollected with great distinctness every folly and weakness of which I had been guilty since my marriage, a period of about ten years; but strange to say, nothing before that time.

My anxiety was soon relieved by watching his countenance, which soon assumed a pleasant look. He rose and revealed a tall form, with a heavenly countenance abounding with masculine beauty. His eyes were grey, and beaming with expression. Taking me by the hand, he said, “Sister, you are one of the privileged few who are to go to that celestial city,” (pointing to the city I had seen) and having read my thoughts, added, “but you are not satisfied with yourself, are you?” I replied, “No, sir, I am not.” He continued, “Shall I tell you one grand secret? ‘Tis true you have not been wicked, but you have sometimes neglected your prayers, while in the body, and that gave the adversary a strong hold over you; but our Heavenly Father, when he sees his children err, is grieved–he is sad; but when he sees them show a spirit of repentance, and a desire to do right, he takes them under his protecting arm, he forgives he forgets, he is full of mercy, he is full of charity; he is [156] more merciful and charitable to us than we are to each other, and, with your children, is waiting anxiously to receive you.”

“Oh, then,” I exclaimed in an ecstacy of delight, “let me go to my children”‘ “Not yet,” said he, “not yet; you cannot leave the earth until your body is buried; take my advice and return to your home, for it is not long you will remain, and, moreover, before you can go to the celestial city, you must go into that room (pointing to the door) and change your dress.”

Then for the first time I looked to see how I was attired. I ascertained I had on a robe of exquisite whiteness. I remembered that during my illness I wore earrings, and felt my ears to find out if I had them still, but I had not. I then examined my dress carefully to see if there were any pins, hooks and eyes, or buttons about it, but found none of those things, strings being used instead. My hair next drew my attention. I found it free from hair pins, combs or net of any kind; but instead of hanging loosely on my shoulders, the ends were nicely curled under in waves, and it was glossy and soft as the finest silk. I then looked at my hands and found them almost transparent, having a pink look similar to the natural hand when held between the eyes and a strong light; and yet my sense of touch seemed as real as ever. On the whole I was extremely gratified with my appearance, and thought it could not be improved.

The Director again reading my thoughts, told me that when I entered that room I should exchange my robe for one of dazzling whiteness, before leaving for the celestial city, and add-[157]ed, “You cannot come here then.” Before proceeding further, I will state that I had been in the hall but a short time. In addition to the guides stationed by the columns on the left of the hall, and the sentinel at the door, there were other persons, men and women, sauntering about the place, and going in and out, who were rather shabbily dressed in the ordinary mode. One poor woman I noticed particularly; she was seated on a low stool at the left of the desk; her arms were crossed on her breast, and she held her head downwards, and appeared to be in great distress, and apparently oblivious to all that was going on. I understood intuitively that she was prevented by some act of hers from joining her children in the celestial city. From the moment I heard the joyful words that assigned me to the celestial city, some of these persons commenced to annoy me in various ways; some would sneer contemptuously upon me; some would grin in my face in a semi-idiotic manner; others made ugly grimaces at me; and one, a female, insultingly pulled my dress from behind. This alarmed me, and I inquired of the Director what it all meant, who replied, “they are only poor, weak, envious creatures, and can do you no harm.”

I then departed from the hall and glided with increased rapidity through this city to my home therein. On entering the parlor, I saw an assemblage of relatives and friends, who were listening to the funeral ceremony which had been going on for some time. I stepped up to the head of the coffin, and saw my body therein as distinctly as I ever saw a corpse in my life. The coffin was covered with black velvet and lined with white satin. On gazing upon what had been once myself, I [158] again instinctively shuddered at the sight, and felt a sensation of loathing come upon me, and felt deeply grateful that I had escaped from its cold, clayey prison house. My husband was sitting with his head downward, and resting on one hand, apparently absorbed in thought. My mother was almost overcome with grief. My children were also present, but, strange to say, I felt no particular anxiety about them, feeling doubly assured that they would be well taken care of, and grateful to find that my mother had remembered her promise. President Brigham Young was preaching the funeral sermon. I heard him say I was far happier than those who were left, and that there was no cause for regretting my death. I thought I would have given anything if I could have only told them how happy I felt; and earnestly did I desire to communicate something that would stimulate them to increased diligence and faithfulness, but I had not the power to do so. Instead of following the procession to the grave, I went before it there, and remained standing at the head of the grave watching the coffin being placed in the pine box, and until the last shovelful of dirt was thrown upon it. During all this time, and in fact until I returned to the marble building, I saw a number of spirits similar to those I saw there, some of whom followed me wherever I went. I had got accustomed to them, and realizing fully the truth of what the Director told me, did not fear them in the least.

The funeral over, and not wishing to return home on account of the grief I knew I should witness, without the power of alleviating it, and the consequent pain it would cause me, I thought I would like to visit for the last time some of the familiar places where I [159] had so often been. I entered the theatre; it was crowded; I almost forgot for the moment that I was but a spirit. I was as usual followed by one of my spiritual followers, a woman, who took her seat beside me in the Parquette. We were unobserved, although I recognized many familiar faces there. Miss Alexander was dancing. I felt too sad, however, to remain, for I desired earnestly to be able to say something to those around me, to impress upon their minds the meagreness of earthly enjoyments, as compared with those higher and purer ones I had even then experienced. I next proceeded to Main Street, where I saw a much greater number of spirits–for such I shall now have to call them–and mostly men too, than in other parts of the city, some of whom I had seen before. They paid no more attention to me, nor I to them, than is customary with mortals under such circumstances; and there was all the variety of age, rank, dress, manner, speed in walking, etc., as seen ordinarily. Not one of them, however, was dressed in white. I also saw persons in the flesh, and had no difficulty in distinguishing between them and the spirits. I entered the Drug Store in Exchange Buildings; at the threshold I met a male spirit dressed entirely in black, who followed me into the store, where I saw a number of other spirits, and appeared to attract their attention. I saw some dried herbs on the counter, and feeling curious to know if I could pick up some with my fingers, I made the experiment and succeeded, much to the amusement of the spirit in black who followed me in, and who seemed to understand perfectly the motive that actuated me. I noticed that while standing, the spirits passed me in every direction, but when I walked, none of them went before me, and none took the liberty of speaking to me.



I cannot say how long I remained in the city after returning from the funeral, but suppose it to have been only an hour or two. My thoughts were upon the Celestial City; and when I turned to go back to the marble building, I seemed to glide along with incredible rapidity, so that scarcely any time elapsed before I got there. On entering the Hall, I recognized the same noble-looking personage at the desk as before, several men–malignant, wicked-looking men they were too–stood near him, waiting to receive their sentence. At first they seemed noisy, and even boisterous, talking among themselves; but when the Director addressed them with these solemn words, “There is your guide, go there,” and pointed to the gloomy opening at the left, feelings of unutterable anguish came over them; and never can I forget the sense of exquisite wretchedness– and in the cases of those who were consigned to the first and blackest opening, that of absolute despair–that distorted their countenances. They moaned, wailed piteously, and some gnashed their teeth and smote their breasts.

The spectacle was too appalling; I had to turn away, or my feelings would have overcome me. Immediately my gaze met the piercing eye of the Director, looking sternly at me. He said, “Sympathize not with them; their paths were plain before them, but they chose the evil and refused the good, not with their eyes closed, but with eyes wide open; and they must suffer the consequence.” For a moment I stood lost in thought, and said to myself, “How few there are who go to the right!” “Yes,” responded the Director, “few indeed;” and then added, his countenance lighting up with a beaming smile, “I suppose you are now ready to go to the Celestial City.” I replied I was an-[161]xious to go there. “You shall go directly,” said he. I then looked through the opening at the right, and again beheld the City, and again were my ears saluted with the heavenly strains from it. In the foreground I saw a glorious personage whom I recognized as my heavenly Father, with my two children by his side, anxiously waiting, as the Director had before told me, to receive me. Then I heard the key turn back the ponderous bolts in the door through which I had to pass to reach the City. I felt to regret that among those I had seen none went to the right, and desired that some one beside myself might be worthy to go to the Celestial City, when I heard footfalls ascending the steps, and recognized the well known face of___ ___, whom I knew from his dress would go there after the burial of his body; then the door opened just wide enough to let me in; I crossed the threshold, and just had time to catch a glimpse of one side of the long spacious Hall within. It was exceedingly light, and the wall seemed covered with white satin. At this moment I awoke, and found it was the break of day. I felt very much exhausted. I remained in bed two or three hours in order to gain strength; when I arose I trembled with weakness, so that it was with difficulty I succeeded in getting downstairs; and during the whole day felt as though I had but just recovered from a severe illness. (Mill. Star 29:369-374)

Man and the earth have a special destiny. The small portion of a man’s mortal life is only a minor thread in the handiwork of God. It is therefore man’s duty to learn his place in the creations of God.



God’s work is not like man’s; the Lord shows things to come, perhaps in dreams or by visions of the night, and we should learn what is mingled and connected in his designs. We should observe so as to know what is intended, so that we may not run into a snag. (Joseph Young, J.D. 9:232)

When men learn about their destiny and salvation, and what God’s work is, then he can accomplish his mission and fulfill life’s purpose. It is for these reasons that God will manifest the future through dreams and other gifts of the spirit.



[163]                             CHAPTER X




Mysterious power, whence hope ethereal springs!

Sweet heavenly relic of eternal things!

Inspiring oft deep thoughts of things divine:

The past, the present, and the future time.

Thy reminiscences transport the soul

To memory’s Paradise–its future goal.

Parley P. Pratt

In ancient times the Lord revealed His will to the prophets and chosen disciples through the gifts of the spirit. Dreams were one of the significant means of communication by which they obtained new wonders of knowledge and understanding. From the realms of the Spirit World came the scenes of the past, the present, and the future. The minds of these faithful men were illuminated by the gifts and powers of the Holy Spirit–they were comforted, warned and instructed concerning all of the emergencies of life.

It is the glorious privilege of the Saints of God in all ages to receive these spiritual gifts of dreams, visions, the visitation of angels, etc. These gifts are not done away–only as men cease to believe In the revelations of God.

In our modern mechanized society the temporal realm has crushed the spiritual. The lustre of wealth and the passion for pleasure has diminished or extinguished the deeper and richer blessings of heavenly things. Our generation cries out that God is dead, but it is they who are dead–spiritually dead! Through disobedience they have, like Saul of Old, offended their God that He will not speak, for “when Saul inquired of the Lord, the [164] Lord answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by the prophets.” (I Sam. 28:6)

However, there is as much a necessity for these various manifestations from God today as there was anciently. It is through these various gifts that all of the members of God’s Church are profited. (See I Cor. 12 and D. & C. 40) And all of the churches who do not enjoy these gifts do not have the Holy Ghost, and God does not acknowledge them. Individuals who do not enjoy the gifts of the Spirit are likewise somehow amiss. No man who has completely submitted himself to all of God’s laws and commandments will lack in the blessings and gifts of the Holy Spirit. These manifestations have always been promised to the faithful Saints. Heber C. Kimball declared:

There is no person in this church who can increase in the knowledge of God, in the spirit of revelation, in the gift of prophecy, in visions or in dreams, unless they cleave unto God with full purpose of heart, but by being faithful these gifts will be multiplied unto the Saints. (J.D. 10:245)

Too often spiritual gifts and the revelations of God are debunked through disbelief, when actually they are often worth more than life itself. It is through the acceptance or rejection of the revelations of God that the eternal destiny of man is decided.