Preaching, Theodore Turley “created a perfect furor in the neighborhood,” Upper Canada 1837.

2013-6-17 Churchville (61)

The Credit River near Theodore Turley’s home in Churchville, Peel, Upper Canada

On 16 July 1837,  a few months after his own baptism (1 March 1837) Theodore Turley baptized George A. Hicks and his wife in Peel County by Ontario, Upper Canada.

Here is a short history from the LDS Biographical Encyclopedia (p. 163).

Hicks, George Barton baptized by TT 16 July 1837 LDS BioEncyc

And here is an account in George A. Hicks’ own words:

Excerpts from the Personal History of George Armstrong Hicks
By George Armstrong Hicks

In the early part of the year 1837, just 7 years after the organization of the new church, my father and mother were living quietly in the back woods of their farm, when a strange man came to their settlement and told them the “glad news that he was an authorized preacher of the Gospel of Christ.”

The name of the man was Theodore Turley. He spoke with great eloquence and power. He told the people they should know for themselves if they would ask God whether the doctrine he taught was from Heaven or of men. He created a perfect furor in the neighborhood.

Many believed the new doctrine and among them were my father and mother. In the month of July, A.D. 1837, they gave up the religion of their forefathers and were baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter–day Saints. It was not long before they were fully satisfied that this new religion was really from Heaven. My mother received the gift of tongues, and other spiritual gifts were made manifest in the small branch of the church which had been established there.

James and I got whooping cough “very badly” and the Elders of the Church being sent for, laid hands on them, healing them immediately. My father became a very active member of the church, and he was very zealous in finding ways and means whereby the Gospel might be preached in his town and adjoining neighborhood, and men might follow his mode of worshipping the “unknown God.”

I have felt sorrow because friends whom I have loved have become alienated to the Religion that I was taught to believe in, but I never felt any malice in consequence of such a change in sentiment as “a man’s a man for that.” I know that honest men may have and hold different opinions on the same subject; (then why should they quarrel about theories of religion when it is absolutely impossible to know what the future reward of any religion will be an hundred or a thousand years hence, for it is given to mortal men to know very little of the future.

After baptism and other first principles of the gospel had been obeyed by my parents, the “gathering” was preached. The headquarters of the Mormon church at that time was in Jackson Co., Missouri. The elders taught the new converts it was their duty to gather up to Zion. The indignation of the Almighty was about to be poured out on the nations of the earth. My parents with the rest believed it was their duty to sell their possessions and go to the new Zion and live with the people of God. They got all things in readiness and in the year 1838, in connection with others who had joined the church, started for Jackson Co., bidding farewell to Canada forever.

I have a distinct recollection of our family bidding adieu to our home in Canada and starting for the far west. It was certainly a great undertaking, not as to distance, certainly, but their confidence must have been great or they never could have undertaken so great and self–sacrificing an act to lay all, as it were, upon the Altar of their faith and go “not knowing whither they went.”

Hicks, George & Elizabeth (TT Converts UC)

George Armstrong Hicks and his wife, Elizabeth, converts of Theodore Turley in 1837, Peel County, Ontario, Upper Canada

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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