Note that only the editorial content created specifically for this issue of the Elders’ Journal is annotated here. Articles reprinted from other papers, letters, conference minutes, and notices, are reproduced here but not annotated. Items that are stand-alone JS documents, such as the letter from Wilford Woodruff and others, are annotated elsewhere.
Died on the 7th of May last, James G. Marsh, second son of , aged 14 years, 11 months and seven days.
From early infancy he manifested a love and reverence towards his heavenly Father, while his parents diligently taught him the first principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And having a thirst for knowledge and a love of good principles, he eagerly embraced the gospel, and was baptized into the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints, early in the spring of 1832 being between eight and nine years of age.
His great love of knowledge led him to lay hold of every opportunity to read the most useful books, and as he was a lover of the gospel, he made himself well acquainted with the sacred writings, and even at this early age he had become well skilled in profane as well as sacred history.
It seems that the Lord had respect unto this lover of righteousness; for when he was but about nine years of age, he had a remarkable vision, in which he talked with the Father and many of the ancient prophets face to face, and beheld the Son of God coming in his glory.
He said that the Lord showed him his own name written in the book of life in the mansions of Celestial glory, and he saw his own mansionry there. And the Lord informed him that the righteous did not die, but fell asleep to rise again in the resurrection of the Just, although the world called it death; and to show him that there is no bitterness in the death of the righteous, he was permitted to see, in the vision, the departure of a young sister, in the church, who was the daughter of br. , who was then living a neighbor to him, but she died shortly after he had the vision. And he said that he saw angels conduct her spirit to the celestial pardise.
He saw bloody wars among all people accompanied with earthquakes, pestilences and famines. And he saw all the cities of the nations crumble and fall to rise no more.
He saw the church of Christ make ready to ascend on high, and when they were ready, Zion from above hove in sight, accompanied by the Lord and all the holy prophets. The church on beholding them, arose triumphantly and met them in the expanse above.
These are a few of the things which he related of his vision to his parents, suffise it to say, he saw the beginning and end of all things, and he never after appeared to be afraid of death. During his illness, which lasted but four days, he constantly manifested a desire to depart and be with the Lord. At one time he said, “if it is the will of God to take me, I do not wish to stay’. On seeing his parents exceedingly anxious to save him, he said ‘I do not wish to live only for the sake of my and mother”. At an other time he said he would not turn his hand over to live, and besought his parents to let him pray the Lord to take him. He prayed much, and wanted all the Elders to pray with him, as often as they came in. A few minutes before he died, a number of boys, who had been his playmates, came into see him; he seemed glad to see them and said to them, “good evening boys, I shall never see you again in time, so farewell, be good boys and serve the Lord.” When his saw that he prayed the Lord to take him, he said, my son, are you confident that if you die now your spirit will rest in the celestial paradise? he answered yes sir. Then, said his , my son, go in peace and expect to come forth at the resurrection of the Just where you and I will again strike hands. He again answered, yes sir I will and immediately he fell asleep without a struggles or a groan.
Thus ends the life of this dear youth,
Who loved the way that leads to heaven
In wisdom’s paths he sought the truth
His manners mild, his temper even,
In vision bright he soared above
And saw the Father face to face,
He heard the Angels sing God’s love.
And saw his own abiding place;
He talked with Christ, and saw his name,
Within the book of life inscribed.
He’s gone to realize the same
With God and Angels to abide.
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OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS;
Joseph Smith jr.,
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