My Grandfather and Grandmother Brown I knew but little about; they died when
my father was quite young. They had three sons: Joseph, John and Jonathan. My
Grandfather and Grandmother Fairchild I well remember. Grandmother died when I
was four years old, in
My Father, John Brown, was born February 27, 1770. My mother, Sarah Fairchild was born March 6, 1771. Their children were: Juda Brown, born November 2, 1793. John Brown, born August 24, 1795. Eunice Brown, born August 4, 1794. Mary Brown, born March 2, 1799. Thirsa Brown, born July Il, 1802. Sally Brown, born February 27, 1805. Catherine Brown, born August 13, 1808. Loring G. Brown, born April 17, 1811.
They were all born in
My oldest child was born May 30, 1816. Mary Ann Pulsipher, born May 30, 1816. Died July 14, 1816. Almira Pulsipher, born September 8, 1817. Married Horace Burgess. Died March 8, 1868. Nelson Pulsipher, born March 28, 1820. Died May 7, 1824. Mariah Pulsipher, born June 15, 1822. Married William Burgess. Died 1893. Sarah Pulsipher, born November 2, 1824. Married John Alger. Died January, 1909. John Pulsipher, born July 17, 1827. First marriage: Rosella Huffaker. Second marriage: Ester Barnum. Died August 9, 1891. Charles Pulsipher, born April 20, 1830. Mary Ann Pulsipher, born November 20, 1833. Married Thomas S. Terry. Died September 17, 1913. William Pulsipher, born January 21, 1838. Married Esther Chidester. Died March 12, 1880. Eliza Jane Pulsipher, born July 26, 1840. Married Thomas S. Terry. Died May 6, 1919. Fidelia Pulsipher, born October 13, 1842. Died January 8, 1846.
We lived in
He helped build the [Kirtland] temple. Got his endowments in it, then we
were driven from that place with the rest of the Saints. We started in July
(the 15th) with a large [Kirtland] camp for
The winter we were in
We stayed in Bear Creek Woods mostly two years. Then the First Presidency
had gotten out of prison and out of
Then we were called to go south 300 miles and help cultivate another barren
desert. We have lived ten years in this place,
I used to say when my children were small that if I could live to see my children grow up to be honorable men and women it would be all I could ask for. I have lived to see them all settled with good families, all trying to do what good they can to build up the kingdom of God. I feel very thankful and much pleased with my children. I hope they will live and do much good, be agreed, united, and try to help each other and carry out the counsel their father and mother has given them. I write this after I am seventy-two years old for my children to look at. It is written very poorly. Perhaps you cannot read it.
By request I write a little more history and experience. Eight years have
passed away since I wrote the little sketch. I am yet here. I will begin by
writing my first experiences in the
Perhaps one year passed away and not a word was said about baptism. I said to the preacher, "Do you believe baptism to be a duty for us to obey?" He said baptism was not a saving ordinance, just to answer a good conscience. I said, "I see by reading the New Testament, I consider it a duty--a command." "Well," he said, "it is your duty to be baptized. I said, "I want to be." He said, "What way?" I said there was only one way that looked to be right--to be immersed and buried in the water. He said, "The Savior set the example and he was not immersed. He went out into the water and knelt down and had some water poured on his head." He said he had seen it in history. We went to the water. He sang and prayed, then took me by the hand and led me to the water. He said, "Step in and kneel." I did. He dipped a little water, said over the ceremony, and poured it on my head, while he stood on the bank. He did not wet his feet. I thought if baptism was to answer a good conscience, I was not satisfied. It looked like mockery to me, but I had done my duty.
I write this to let my children see the darkness and ignorance the world was then in. Surely the prophet could say darkness had covered the earth, and gross darkness, the people. I rejoice that we live in a day that the true light and true gospel was shining.
I think I was in the
I was very ignorant, I had not heard anything about being confirmed, or receiving the Holy Ghost. The next evening I went to meeting and the six that were baptized were there. When he put his hands on my head, he said, "Sister Pulsipher, by the authority of the Holy Priesthood and in the name of Jesus, I lay my hands on your head to bless you and to confirm you a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. I say unto you, receive the Holy Ghost." He promised great blessings if I would be faithful. The Spirit of the Lord was there. We sang, prayed, and praised God together.
It was not long before the news went all around that Brother and Sister Pulsipher were Mormons. Some would not believe it until they came to see us. We had plenty of visitors. Some came to try to convince us that it was all delusion. They thought they could reclaim us, but went away discouraged. Others came to inquire. They said if we had got something better, they wanted to know it. They would be baptized and go home rejoicing.
I will mention one that came to see me, my brother-in-law, Joseph Chidester. He lived four miles from me. He was going to move away, but could not go without seeing me. I had belonged to the same church he did. He was a preacher. He said I was the last one he would have thought of as being led away with such heresy and delusions, as he thought it was. "Well," said I, "if this is what the world calls heresy, to worship my God, . . . I know in whom I believe." He said, "I think in about six months before you will see your error. I think Mormonism will be all down flat in that time." I said, "Joseph, I have not the least idea that it will. It will stand. But, if it does come down, I never could go to the Methodist or another church that I know of. It would be going right into darkness." He said, "I see I cannot convince you, but I have done my duty." He groaned and sighed and bid me farewell. I said, "I thank you for the kind feelings you have for me. Do not worry about me."
I never saw him after that. He moved away, lived a few years and died very suddenly with heart disease. He had an appointment to preach the day he was buried. His wife, my sister, died soon after. I think they have heard the gospel preached before this time. Zerah and Joseph were great friends. He had not read the Book of Mormon nor heard a sermon preached. He judged before he heard, like too many others. If they would hear and read without prejudice, there would not be half so many cry out heresy, delusion and false prophets.
Well, I began to gather with the church. I went to Kirtland. There I had my blessing from the first patriarch in this church, Father Joseph Smith. He said I should have my friends with me in this church, and that I would be the means of saving and redeeming them. I believed every word, but did not understand how it would come to pass. I never heard nor thought of being baptized for the dead. He said I had left all for the gospel, I should have a hundred fold in this world and in the world to come, life everlasting, with many more good blessings if I would be faithful.
I am now almost 81 years old, have lived and enjoyed myself well with my
children a long time. I expect the time will soon come when I must leave them.
I have watched over them, tried to comfort them and instruct them right. I pray
that they may live in peace, be united and keep all the commandments of God. If
riches increase, set not your hearts on them, but lay up treasures in heaven.
It is the only safe place that we can treasure up riches. I would like to have
my children live near together to help and comfort one another. May God bless
you all. Mary Brown Pulsipher;
Pulispher, Mary Brown. Autobiography. This autobiography has been published in Kenneth Glyn Hales, Windows: A Mormon Family (Tucson, Arizona: Skyline Printing, 1985). Grammar has been standardized according to that publication. Pagination is based on typescript at BYU. Courtesy of www.boap.org.
MEMORIES OF MY MOTHER, MARY BROWN PULSIPHER
By her son John
I, John, take the liberty to write a little in his book, as mother has passed away from mortal life.
She died on the 7th of May 1886, in the midst of friends and about as near ready as mortals ever get. So I record a little more of her history in this book.
As she lived to such advanced age, her children well desired
her to give up housekeeping and live with some of us. Then we would know if she
needed anything and could help her so much better than if she was alone in her
little house. So she did close her house and had a good time. She went to St.
George and visited her daughters, Sarah and Eliza, and their children and
friends for several months. She then returned to
Truly we did have an enjoyable time talking of early life,
incidents of history in
When she died, we buried her by the side of father in
March 2, 1879 - "When I went to the Relief Society Meeting I expected to see 10 or 12 sisters and 3 or 4 of the brothers there - the Bishop told me he was going. When I opened the door, the first I saw was long tables loaded with pies, cakes, cheese and the comforts of life. I looked around and saw about every family in town seated there, about 90 percent besides the babies. I was so surprised it almost overcome me. I said, `What does all this mean? I came to a meeting but it looks more like a feast.' I then took my seat. The Bishop then arose and said, `This is in honor of Mother Pulsipher. This is her 80th birthday.' I then began to cry, I was so overcome. The food was then blessed and all enjoyed it to their fill until all had enough. I was then called on to preside over the meeting. After singing, I asked my oldest son, John, to open the meeting with prayer. Another hymn was sung, then I walked onto the stand and said, `I don't know as I can say much, but I think these people can keep a secret, for I knew nothing of this feast until I was right here and opened the door. I feel very unworthy to have so much honor and respect shown me. I thank you all. I ask my Heavenly Father to bless you all. I suppose I am the oldest person here - 80 years old today. I have been in the Church over 47 years; have passed through persecutions, mobings and driving with the Saints since the days of Kirtland. I rejoice that I am worthy to have a name and place with these people.
"`I left all my friends but my own family. Father
Smith, the first Patriarch in the Church, laid his hands on my head and blessed
me. He said I should have my friends in his church, would stand on
Pulsipher, John. Memories of My Mother, Mary Brown Pulsipher.
16 Oct 1883
(These are a few lines mother wrote on Oct 16, 1883, before going to St. George to live awhile.)
I have been in
I have been in this Church 52 years; passed the persecutions
with the Saints, but never felt to complain, but that all would be well. I pray
my Father in Heaven to bless
May you all be true, keep covenants well
That we may all in Glory dwell.
by Mary B. Pulsipher
Pulsipher, Mary Brown. Farewell Address to