JACOB HAMBLIN'S CONVERSION
(Compiled and written by David Kenison, Orem, Utah,
[Jacob Hamblin served for years as "an apostle to the Indians" in southern Utah. He was a great peacemaker between the Mormon colonists and the natives. This story of his conversion hints at the greatness to come...]In February 1842, a neighbor called at my house and told me that he had heard a Mormon elder preach. He asserted that he preached more Bible doctrine than any other man he had ever listened to, and that he knew what he preached was true. He claimed that the gospel had been restored to the earth, and that it was the privilege of all who heard it to know and understand it for themselves.
What this neighbor told me so influenced my mind that I could scarcely attend to my ordinary business.The elder had left an appointment to preach again at the same place, and I went to hear him. When I entered the house he had already commenced his discourse. I shall never forget the feeling that came over me when I saw his face and heard his voice. He preached that for which I had long been seeking. I felt that it was indeed the gospel.
The principles he taught appeared so plain and natural that I thought it would be easy to convince anyone of their truth. In closing his remarks, the elder bore testimony to the truth of the gospel. The query came to my mind, How shall I know whether or not these things are so, and be satisfied? As if the Spirit prompted him to answer my inquiry, he again arose to his feet and said: "If there is anyone in the congregation who wishes to know how he can satisfy himself of the truth of these things, I can assure him that if he will be baptized, and have hands laid upon him for the gift of the Holy Ghost, he shall have an assurance of their truth."
This so fired up my mind that I at once determined to be baptized, and that too, if necessary, at the sacrifice of the friendship of my kindred and of every earthly tie. I immediately went home and informed my wife of my intentions. She told me if I was baptized into the Mormon Church, I need not expect her to live with me any more. [She did eventually leave him, and he remarried in 1849.]
The evening after the elder had preached I went in search of him and found him quite late at night. I told him my purpose and requested him to give me a "Mormon Bible." He handed me an Old and New Testament. I said, "I thought you had a new Bible." He then explained about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and handed me a copy of it. The impression I received at the time cannot be forgotten. The Spirit rested upon me and bore testimony of its truth, and I felt like opening my mouth and declaring it to be a revelation from God.
On the 3rd of March, 1842, as soon as it was light in the morning, I started for a pool of water where I had arranged to meet the elder, to attend to the ordinance of baptism. On the way, the thought of the sacrifice I was making of wife, of father, mother, brothers, sisters, and numerous other connections, caused my resolution to waver.
As my pace slackened, some person appeared to come from above, who I thought was my grandfather. He seemed to say to me, "Go on, my son; your heart cannot deceive, neither has it entered into your mind to imagine the blessings that are in store for you, if you go on and continue in this work." I lagged no more, but hurried to the pool where I was baptized by Elder Lyman Stoddard.
(Pearson H. Corbett, _Jacob Hamblin, the Peacemaker_, pp. 9-10)