Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Benjamin F. Johnson journal

[Interesting story. K. would appreciate the logic, I think. I hate to admit it, but I think I can understand it now too, which I would not have said five years ago.]

And with these industries another seemed to force itself upon me, and the writing of it may prompt reflection. We are taught charity, and to refrain from judging, as we may not know the motive of another; and looking back, I realize that in my "strait jacket" of prejudice, I may have been uncharitable towards others. As example. I was so adverse to the use of ardent spirits that I could disfellowship or despise those who would make or sell it, without pity–almost a marvel in me. Father Miller, an old soldier of 1812 owned a place joining ours and ran a distillery. Buying his place, I could suffer loss unless we ran the distillery for a time. At first I felt repugnance at the thought, but a voice within said, "you have judged others, and the Lord would now prove you," and I felt confident the hand of the Lord was in it. So I laid off my straight jacket, and went into the distillery, but did not forget my prayers. My son B. Farland, about 16, was my principal help and became expert. Many came to buy whiskey to whom I had none to sell. Elderly people got it, and perhaps a second glass, but no more, and I made it to myself a field of mission labor, especially to the young; and it was said my words & example had a lasting effect upon many. From the wild carrot and from Sorghum, we made spirits which we sold in quantity where it would do no harm to our people. But we did not continue it long, when winter approached we ceased it entirely.


"The presentation or 'gift' of the Holy Ghost simply confers upon a man the right to receive at any time, when he is worthy of it and desires it, the power and light of truth of the Holy Ghost, although he may often be left to his own spirit and judgment." --Joseph F. Smith (manual, p. 69)

"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

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