Question: What were the events around Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner's married life?

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Question: What were the events around Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner's married life?

Mary married Adam Lightner, who was not a member of the Church, on 11 August 1835.[1]

Following the Haun's Mill Massacre in Missouri, the Missouri militia and mob came to capture, kill, or drive out the Saints:

For in the midst of sorrow, news came that the militia (besides the hundreds of the mob), were marching to destroy our city and its inhabitants. A part of the bloodthirsty mob camped near the city and placed a cannon in the middle of the road, intending to blow up the place. Then they sent in a flag of truce, demanding an interview with John Cleminson and wife, and Adam Lightner and wife. We went a short distance to meet them. We saw a number of the brethren standing around the place of meeting, well armed. As we approached, General Clark shook hands with the two men, being old acquaintances, and remarked that Governor Boggs had given him an order for our safe removal before they destroyed the place. I asked my sister-in-law what we should do about it. She replied, "We will do as you say; I was surprised at her answer, as she was the mother of four or five children, and I had but one. So I asked the General if he would let all the Mormon women and children go out? He said, "No." "Will you let my mother's family go out?" He said, "The Governor's orders were that no one but our two families should go but all were to be destroyed." "Then, if that is the case, I refuse to go, for where they die, I will die, for I am a full blooded Mormon, and I am not ashamed to own it." "Oh," said he, "you are infatuated, your Prophet will be killed with the rest." Said I, "If you kill him today, God will raise up another tomorrow." "But think of your husband and child." I then said that he could go, and take the child with him, if he wanted to, but I would suffer with the rest.

Just then a man kneeling down by some brush, jumped up and stepping between the General and myself, said, "Hold on, General," then turned to me and said, "Sister Lightner, God Almighty bless you, I thank my God for one soul that is ready to die for her religion; not a hair of your head shall be harmed, for I will wade to my knees in blood in your behalf." "So will I," said Brother Hyrum Smith, and others. The first speaker was Brother Heber C. Kimball, with whom I was not acquainted at the time. Then the General pleaded with my husband, but it was of no avail.[2]

The Lightners went to Louisville, Kentucky, but once they heard of the Saints regathering at Nauvoo, they sold what little they had and went to join them.[3]

They moved away from Nauvoo to find work, though Joseph told them they would not prosper if they did so. Mary would ultimately believe the prophet was correct. She became very ill, and her life was despaired of:

I prayed for help to get well, but the doctor coming in, said there was no hope for me. But I dreamed that an angel came to me and said if I would go to Nauvoo and call for a Brother Cutler, that worked on the temple, to administer to me, I should be healed. But we could get no team to go. I was in despair; however, my brother was impressed to send for me, he felt that something was wrong, so he sent a boy with an ox team after me. I was so glad, that for a few moments I felt new life. But the people said I would not get a mile from town when he would have to bring back my dead body. But I said I wanted to be buried in Nauvoo, and pleaded with them to take me there, dead or alive. We went a mile and stopped the team; they thought me dying, all the children were crying. I had my senses and motioned for them to go on. We went a few miles further, stopped at a house and asked to stay all night. The woman was willing until she saw me. She said I would die before morning, and she did not want me to die in her house. Mr. Lightner told her that I would certainly die if I was left in the open wagon all night. She finally let us in. She made us as comfortable as she could and fixed me some light food; after drinking some tea, I felt better and had a good night's rest; but she was glad when we left, for she thought I would never see Nauvoo. After traveling a few miles further, we finally reached Nauvoo. They still thought me dying. Mr. Lightner asked Brother Burt if there was an old man by the name of Cutler working on the temple. He said "Yes." Mr. Lightner told him my dream; soon they brought him, he administered to me and I got up and walked to the fire, alone. In two weeks I was able to take care of my children.[4]

Notes

  1. Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner, "Autobiography," Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine 17 (July 1926), 197.
  2. Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner, "Autobiography," Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine 17 (July 1926), 199.
  3. Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner, "Autobiography," Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine 17 (July 1926), 201.
  4. Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner, "Autobiography," Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine 17 (July 1926), 204.