riages, clothed in broadcloth, and had
large salaries, and would see this whole
world sink to perdition before they
would wade through one hundred and
seventy miles of mud to save the people.
The landlord wanted a little fun, so he
said he would keep me if I would preach.
He wanted to see if I could preach.
I must confess that by this time I be-
came a little mischievous, and pleaded
with him not to set me preaching.
The more I plead to be excused, the
more determined Mr. Jackson was that I
should preach. He took my valise, and
the landlady got me a good supper.
I sat down in a large hall to eat sup-
per. Before I got through, the room
began to be filled by some of the rich
and fashionable of Memphis, dressed in
their broadcloth and silk, while my
appearance was such as you can imagine,
after traveling through the mud as I had
When I had finished eating, the table
was carried out of the room over the
heads of the people. I was placed in the
corner of the room, with a stand having
a Bible, hymn book and candle on it,
hemmed in by a dozen men, with the
landlord in the centre.
There were present some five hundred
persons who had come together, not to
hear a gospel sermon, but to have some
I read a hymn, and asked them to
sing. Not a soul would sing a word.
I told them I had not the gift of sing-
ing; but with the help of the Lord, I
would both pray and preach. I knelt
down to pray, and the men around me
dropped on their knees. I prayed to
the Lord to give me His Spirit and to
show me the hearts of the people. I
promised the Lord in my prayer I would
deliver to that congregation whatever
He would give to me. I arose and spoke
one hour and a half and it was one of
the best sermons of my life.
The lives of the congregation were
open to the vision of my mind, and I
told them of their wicked deeds and the
reward they would obtain. The men
who surrounded me dropped their heads.
Three minutes after I closed I was the
only person in the room.
Soon I was shown to a bed, in a room
adjoining a large one in which were
assembled many of the men whom I had
been preaching to. I could hear their
One man said he would like to know
how that Mormon boy knew of their
In a little while they got to disputing
about some doctrinal point. One sug-
gested calling me to decide the point.
The landlord said, "no; we have had
enough for once.''
In the morning, I had a good break-
fast. The landlord said if I came that
way again to stop at his house, and stay
as long as I might choose.
After leaving Memphis, I traveled
through the country to Benton County,
and preached on the way as I had oppor-
Most of the night was spent by the
family in music and dancing.
In the morning, at the breakfast table,
Mr. Hardman asked me if we believed
in music and dancing.
I told him we did not really consider
them essential to salvation.
He said he did, and therefore should
not join our Church.
On the 4th of April, 1835, I had the
happy privilege of meeting Elder War-
ren Parrish at the house of Brother Frys.
He had been preaching in that part of
Tennessee, in company with David W.
Patten, and had baptized a number and
organized several small branches.
Brother Patten had returned home,
and Brother Parrish was laboring alone.
I joined him in the ministry, and we
labored together three months and nine-
teen days, when he was called to Kirt-
During the time we were together we
traveled through several counties in Ten-
nessee for the distance of seven hundred
and sixty miles, and preached the gospel
daily, as we had opportunity. We bap-
tized some twenty persons.
By the counsel of the Prophet Joseph
Smith and Oliver Cowdery, Elder Parrish
ordained me an Elder, and left me to
take charge of the branches that had
been raised up in that neighborhood.
As soon as I was left alone I extended
my circuit and labors. For a season I
had large congregations; many seemed
to believe and I baptized a number.