pure language in the German and English.
I heard Joseph say that he would soon take a rest, and the responsibility of building up the Church and sending the gospel to the nations, would be required of the Twelve Apostles. Upon their shoulders, the responsibility would rest. When Sidney Rigdon laid claim to the leadership of the Church, I remembered these words, and I knew that Brigham Young was the lawful successor of Joseph Smith.
I attended the last conference held in the Prophet's lifetime, April 1844, at which President Smith made many predictions and said to the largest congregation that had ever assembled since the organization of the Church, "You do not know me--who I am." He referred in prophetic, wonderful words to his near martyrdom and departure from this unfeeling world.
I was past eighteen years of age at that time, and was capable of judging for myself of the inspiration and prophetic gifts of Joseph Smith. I did not see his noble face again as I left Nauvoo on the 15th of April, 1844 on my first mission to my native state, Vermont, and on the 27th of June, 1844, Joseph and Hyrum were cruelly slain.
I received the sad news of this awful affair in the town of Bristol, Addison County, Vermont. While I yet had the letter in my hand this letter was written by my uncle who claimed that Sidney Rigdon was the man to lead the Church--a voice spoke to me and said, "Brigham Young is the successor of Joseph Smith. "
Notwithstanding the great love I had for my uncle, I could not believe for a moment that Sidney Ridden was to he entrusted with this power as Joseph had stated publicly that he shook him (Sidney Rigdon) from his (Joseph's) shoulders.
After an experience of sixty-six years in trying to live a good and upright life, and in the positions I have been called to fill in this great latter-day work, I bear my testimony that Joseph Smith was raised up to establish this work, and that the Book of Mormon and revelations received by him are from our Heavenly Father. I bear testimony that Brigham Young and all the men who have presided from Brigham Young to our beloved President Joseph F. Smith are prophets of the Most High God.
(signed) Lorenzo Hill Hatch
P.S. Dear Brother Nibley, my health has been quite poor, and I fear that I have not made myself clearly understood. I commenced this letter on the 14th, wrote nine and a half lines since and signed my name on the 15th of July, 1906.
I hitched up the buggy and took Ruth, Lawrence Worley and the Parrey boy and went to the orchard to work at potatoes. Ruth and Nora recorded some of the Temple work. Wilford was engaged in hauling flour this week.
I got endowments for Clarence Hatch, cousin of mine, and grandson of Sydney Rigdon. It was July 6 that Ruth returned from Franklin. She left January 30. I was glad to have her return.
Map of my birthplace drawn 26 July, 1906.
My dear daughter Lenora Savage started for her home in Woodruff, Arizona. H. E. Hatch, Vena Smart and myself went to the depot with her after which we rode in H. E. Hatch's surrey to the suburbs of Midvale where Georgia joined us. I was very tired when I returned. Nora was with us much of her stay, which was near sixty days. Dr. Merrill called and saw me. He gave some good advice. Brother Halliday, and Flinders called on me and administered to me. Hyrum Hatch called on me and left his blessing with me. I was quite heart broken when Nora left.
I went to prayer circle and fast meeting and took part in the same. May the Lord accept of my testimony of this great and wonderful work and give me the victory over every influence that would oppress me. July 30, I wrote a few lines to William Daines on this date.
I wrote a letter to sister Adeline at Heber and cleaned out the barn of Brother Worley.
I have not written in my journal for a long time as my health has been so poor. This morning I felt that I would write a few lines. I rejoice in the testimony that I have had for many years and still have, that the gospel as revealed through Joseph Smith is true. All that will listen to and obey the same will obtain a crown of eternal life. I am happy this morning to testify that I have been acquainted with all the leaders of the Church up to the present time and bear testimony that they are and have been Men of God.
I was eighteen years old when Joseph Smith was cruelly murdered. I have heard him speak and prophesy of the work the Lord had committed to him to perform. At his death I was on my first mission to my native state, Vermont. Whilst there I received a testimony that Brigham Young was the lawful successor to Joseph Smith.
Under the direction of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow and Joseph F. Smith, I have been able to perform a good work. I have helped build up new homes both in the north and the south, from Lehi to Franklin to St. George, from St. George to New Mexico, from New Mexico to Arizona. I have spent thousands of dollars making homes to promote and build up these places.
In all these places I have had many scenes of rejoicing, and with my family have passed through much affliction