MY MARRIAGE AND MISSION
IN THE SUMMER of 1873, Bishop Levi Stewart called on our family in Nephi as he was on his way from Salt Lake City to his home at Kanab. He had with him his daughter, Eliza Luella, known as Ella. They ate dinner with us and went on their way that afternoon. The fair, slender girl with clear blue eyes took my heart away with her, just as on first sight Eliza King had captured my father's heart in Old England.
During the next winter I was more than glad to make the five hundred-mile round trip to Kanab "to take my father a load of flour." I was not unmindful that Ella was living there. After corresponding for the year following that trip, I went to Kanab again to bring away Ella who had promised to be my wife. Gratefully I recall her father's words to me when I asked him for Ella's hand in marriage. He said, "Yes, David, I would rather give Ella to you than to any other man I know." In Kanab I bought a lot of pine nuts from the Indians and sold them in Salt Lake City to help defray the expense of our wedding trip.
My sister Mary traveled with us to Salt Lake City where Ella and I were married in the Endowment House on February 1, 1875, by President Daniel H. Wells, who was a dear friend of the Stewarts. I went from Nephi to Kanab alone; Mary, Ella and I traveled from Kanab to Salt Lake City and back to Nephi, which was nearly eight hundred miles by wagon and mule team. It was worth
ELLA AS A BRIDE
the effort for in the Salt Lake Endowment House we were married for time and all eternity--not "until death do ye part." After fifty-five years of married life I look at our large family and thank my Heavenly Father for the eternity of our marriage covenant, which unites us as parents and children in this life and the life to come.
The joy of our honeymoon received a shock when soon after we were married I was called to go to England
on a mission. We had spent six happy weeks keeping house by ourselves in Aunt Becky's south rooms. Then came the letter from "Box B," Salt Lake City, which meant to a young man in my day a call to go on a mission to some faraway state or country.
I wept together as we opened and read that letter. Suddenly a comforting
thought occurred to me--"There had been a mistake in addressing the letter;
it was meant for my father, David Udall, and not for his son, David K."
Bidding Ella cheer up, I went out and found Bishop Joel Grover and confidently
handed him the letter, saying: "Bishop, I take it there has been a mistake
made in addressing a letter to me that was meant for my father." The reader
will understand that then as now, missionaries are usually first named
and recommended by the Bishops of the Church. Bishop Grover read the letter
and handed it back to me with a look of amusement and said, "No, David,
there is no mistake in this call; it is for you." The following is a copy
of the letter which I have preserved:
That remark of Bishop Grover's settled the question. We began at once to shape our plans and efforts to conform to this new turn in our affairs. I had only a few weeks for preparation as I was to be ready to leave by the latter part of April.
The big problem facing us was arranging to finance my mission. I knew that if I could reach England I might travel without "purse or scrip" depending on the Lord to open the way for me as did most of the Mormon elders in those days. It would take several hundred dollars to travel from Utah to England and to buy the necessary books and clothing. There was little cash in circulation then in Utah, and missionary farewells and contributions were almost unknown. I had spent my small savings for our wedding journey. My father and one family were still living in Kanab on a colonizing mission. My wife's father had been a man of some means, but at that time he had but little cash as he had pooled his possessions with the members of his ward in Kanab when they were living in the United Order. He presented me with five dollars in cash and a set of our Church works (except for a Bible which Mr. Ferron, one of my non-Mormon friends gave to me). I collected one hundred dollars coming to me from the Tintic sawmill for logs I had hauled from the canyons. I borrowed one hundred dollars from Brother John Vickers and arranged with the Richie boys to return this amount to him in exchange for the use of my teams and wagon while I was away. Sister Vickers, dear soul, gave me an English sovereign, "to use in time of need."
Through all our difficulties it was a comfort to me to know that Ella would be well cared for in her father's home in Kanab. She planned to resume her duties as clerk
page 19MY MARRIAGE AND MISSION
Father came home from Kanab soon after I received my call to go to England. The Church had decided to release father from the Kanab mission with the understanding that on my return I would take his place in the United Order there. When Ella's father came from Kanab to take her back to her old home, father returned to Kanab with him, to bring Aunt Elizabeth's family back to Nephi. Elizabeth Claridge McCune accompanied them. My young brother Joseph and I went with them for one day's journey. We camped that night near the Little Salt Creek Canyon. The next morning we journeyed on, Ella and I, in a small buggy behind our fathers' wagons. We delayed as long as possible the goodby that must be said. Old Nebo looked very unrelenting that morning. The memory of it still clings to me.
As an introduction to the daily diary I kept while on my mission, I will say here that I have felt apologetic for its many trivialities and its lack of literary merit. As I read it over now, after more than fifty years, it seems accurate in everything but spelling and I have told Pearl to look after that and to make a brief summary of my recordings written in leather-bound books. I trust that my family may find in my missionary record some things that will be of interest and value to them. I can say truthfully that the diary was written from my heart when I was young,
Apostle Erastus Snow set me apart for my mission and that blessing sustained me and lessened my trials. I am reminded here that one night before I left Salt Lake City for my mission, I walked to the Temple Block and climbed to the top of the unfinished Temple walls where
DAVID KING UDALL
I knelt down in the moonlight and poured out my heart in prayer to my Heavenly Father. I promised Him that if He would assist me in fulfilling an honorable mission and would bless and care for dear Ella in my absence, I, in exchange, would dedicate the rest of my life to His service. I prayed that He would bless me with children and in turn I covenanted to do all in my power to rear them
to love and serve Him. As I look back over the long years, I am sure that my entire life has been influenced by that solemn promise I made to my Creator. How richly He has blessed me and mine in return!
My missionary story, as told in my journal, is typical of the missionary experiences of hundreds of Mormon boys at that time. Most of them were equipped about as I was. The conditions tested the stamina of a boy from the day his call came. It stirred within him all the determination, resourcefulness and faith that he could muster.
What a blessing this missionary activity has proved to be to individual elders and to the Church in general! I came from my mission with a testimony that has never wavered--a testimony that Jesus is the Saviour of the world, and that God has spoken to the modern world through His prophet, Joseph Smith. I had a desire in my soul to be susceptible to the influence of the Holy Spirit and to be of service to my Church and the world. joy and sustaining strength have come to me through all my years because of the testimony I gained while on my mission.
PEARL'S SUMMARY OF FATHER'S MISSIONARY JOURNAL
The day father left mother at the fork of the Warm Creek road when she was starting to Kanab, and he was returning to Nephi and was soon to leave for England, marked the beginning of his mission.
EXCERPTS FROM HIS DIARY
Duringthe first week father wrote daily about collecting debts and making final arrangements for his departure.
Sunday, April 18.... I have been writing to my dear wife. Feel lowspirited and downcast. Called upon to preach this evening. It is very hard for me to arise before a congregation and express my feelings. Our faith is a very trying one at times, but the greater the trial, the greater the reward. That is the way I feel and I hope that I shall ever be that way.
Monday, April 19. I feel some better since I preached last night.
Thursday, April 22. I left home today for England, starting on my mission. I feel better than I did a few days ago. Mary, Joseph, Aunt Becky and Mary Richens went with me to the railroad depot at York. I left them at 1 p.m., and I felt lonely on the train, being alone without anyone I ever knew. I got to Salt Lake City about 5 p.m. I am staying with Johnny Squires. He is the man who converted father in England. They treat me very kindly. I feel lonesome when I think of a short time ago when I was so happy with mydear wife.
Sunday, April 25. I started from Salt Lake City on the 6 a.m. train. I had to run from the City Hall to the depot. I had no watch. I feel to do as I am bid more than ever before, a feeling I have not before experienced to this degree.
[Note: There were twelve elders in the company. They reached New York after seven days. The diary describes the country and the cities and gives experiences at Green River, Utah, where the road was washed out, and starting at daylight the passengers walked four miles to the next station. In New York they spent a few days sightseeing. Speaking of Booth's Theatre, father says: "The performance was not so grand. It didn't beat ours in Salt Lake very much." "Wrote my dear wife."]
Tuesday, May 4. Set sail for England at three o'clock p.m. (on the ship Manhattan, Cuisine Line). It is queer to see nothing but water.
Saturday, May 8. Very rough night. Hatchways closed for two and one-half days. A terrible smell down in the berths
Monday, May 17. We saw land today. The coast of Ireland is beautiful. We read in the papers of a ship being lost in that heavy storm. It left the day we did. Three hundred lives lost. I thank God all is well with us.
Tuesday, May 18. We docked at Liverpool at 8 p.m. Some of the brethren came to meet us and took us to the office at 42 Islington. Brother Joseph F. Smith, President of the European Mission, assigned me to the London Conference.
(The London Conference took in our part of England, the home of the Udalls and Kings. No doubt that was the reason for President Smith's assignment to me. Joseph F. Smith loved and trusted me from the time we met. We did not see each other often during the twenty-seven months I was in the field, but he kept his eye on me. When I was released to come, home, President Smith put me in charge of 165 saints going to Zion, a responsibility of considerable importance.)
Liverpool, Thursday, May 20. One of the boys might have lost his life last night. He blew the gas out instead of turning the screw. We started for London at 9:15 p.m. and reached there the next day at 3 p.m. We had a pleasant journey through beautiful country-green fields and pastures, meadows, and hedges everywhere, and a forest part of the way. Our conference house is at Bishop's Grove, Ball's Pond Road, Islington, London. This is my headquarters while I am in England.
[ Pearl comments: It was father's wish that this sketch be brief, not boring, to his readers--his own dear ones. Therefore, I shall quote progressively, but briefly, here and there from the diary with its day-by-day entries. I shall include some letters also, and give comments as required.]
London, May 21, 1875. I don't feel at home. Things seem strange to me and I feel like a lost sheep. I went downtown with Brother Fowler and bought me a watch and a few things I need.
Saturday, May 22. Damp and foggy. Went to Putney and found some of my relatives at 10 a.m. Father's cousin, Gains Udall, was the first relative I saw. We had a good meeting. His daughter, Emma, took me to Wansworth to meet her sister, "Pop" Howick and her husband and family. I stayed there all night and they treated me splendidly. I thank God that the day has come when I can see my relatives. I thank Him that He has preserved my life on land and sea and I pray that He may be with me in all my labors and travels on this earth. I am thinking of the dear ones at home. Goodnight.
Wansworth, May 23. Uncle Gaius took me to meet my Uncle George Udall, who was not home. While on a drive through Richmond Park, I saw hundreds of oak, walnut, and chestnut trees. I had a good talk with Uncle Gaius about the times he and father were together. I went to a meeting at Wansworth and preached for the first time on my mission. For a few seconds I was flustrated, but felt well after and determined to go ahead. If I can't do much reaching, I'll do, what I can.
Wednesday, June 3. Went to Inglefield Green to see my Aunt Ann, mother's sister, the first of mother's folks I have seen.
Monday, June 7. Went to Aunt Mary White's at South Gate. She, too, is mother's sister. They were pleased to see me. Read me letters from mother just before she died, which showed mother loved Mormonism to the last. Uncle George White took me sightseeing.
June 12. Visited my cousin Charley and went to the Binfield Church Yard where my King grandparents are buried. When I looked on their graves I thought of mother--of how she left this country--of my birth, and eleven years later of her death. I thought of my mission and what we live for and of all the Temple work that we need to do. We must strive to build up the Kingdom of God.
July 12. I feel well today. My whole heart is in my work. I feel I am doing some good.
August 20, 1931. I feel constrained today to make some comments on my early experiences in England.
Brother Robert T. Burton, the President of the London Conference, was getting ready to return home and was away from London Headquarters much of the time. Brother Francis M. Lyman, who succeeded Brother Burton, was also away. The Conference work was at the time being carried on in irregular fashion. The first month I went here and there at will, having no special work to do and I felt miserable about it. Naturally this increased my homesickness. I succeeded in making myself somewhat acquainted with the big, city of London, walking many miles each week, going through parks and museums and picture galleries, which was enjoyable and educational, yet I felt ill at ease for the want of a steady job. I had come out to preach the Gospel and not to do these other things.
I looked up many of my relatives but did not succeed in interesting them in the Gospel.
Every letter that came from home, especially from Ella, made me so homesick I scarcely know my name, although had it not been for those letters and my thoughts of home, I should have given up in despair. Often in jest I have remarked that if the walking had been good, I might have struck out for home, but the ocean lay between me and Utah's mountains.
I had practically no money and my clothes were already shabby. I remember putting shoeblacking on my underclothes to make less conspicuous a hole in the knee of my trousers.
I worried a good deal about my debt to Brother Vickers for I realized that the Richie boys of necessity would be slow in making enough cash out of the use of my mules and wagon to pay back the one hundred dollars that I had
borrowed. I had to trust in Providence to provide for my needs as my loved ones at home could do little toward my financial support. Had Ella's salary been in cash rather than in local commodities all would have been different. Perhaps I should have missed some valuable lessons. Who can say?
Late in June Brother Francis M. Lyman came into my life and soon after that everything began to change.
During the "dark ages" of the first two months of my missionary work I tried to study the Scriptures, but did not make much headway, for there was a whole new world before me, full of new and interesting things that diverted my mind. I had no near companion to guide me save the Lord. I prayed earnestly and regularly every morning and every night, and I can truthfully say I was preserved from temptation. My lack of education and money were often a source of humiliation and trial to me. I am thankful still to my relatives who so kindly ministered to my needs.
When Brother Lyman came into my life he understood me--my desires and my trials. He was a great comfort and a compelling inspiration to me. At times he took me in his arms and blessed me. He loved and trusted me. I gained more confidence in myself. The Scriptures took on new meaning, my power to study increased, even my language improved. Due to the fact that he called on me to speak even though I begged him not to do so, I slowly learned to do better in my public work,
I have felt for many years that this early missionary experience should not be lost to my children and their children. It may help some of them to keep up their courage and trust in God and to expect that a Francis M.
[ Comments: From July 12 to 20 (1875), father was getting a firmer hold on regular missionary work, as shown by the following quotations: "Brother Ellingsford gave me the addresses of many people in this branch. I want to spend all my time in my work for the benefit of the honest in heart." "Spoke at White Chapel, though it was difficult." I begged Brother Lyman not to call on me to speak, but he would not listen to it." "Visited some of the Saints, some of whom were full of beer and full of the devil." "Sunday, I prayed in meeting and spoke on tithing and felt well." ]
July 22. Went with Brother Lyman to meet Sister Barrett from Birmingham. She is very wealthy and well educated. Went to a meeting in North London. I spoke on the "Wheat and Tares" and read from the Doctrine and Covenants.
July 23. Left the office with Brother Lyman for Putney. We get the best "vittals" here of any place we go. Brother Lyman had a good talk with Mrs. Udall. She is anxious to have her husband attend our meetings. We went to Barnes to visit Uncle George and Brother Lyman bad the spirit of the Lord with him when be talked to Uncle George. I believe he will join the church.
July 24. I prayed this morning before Brother Lyman--the first time I have done this with just us two. We elders do pray in secret, Mrs. Udall says she will join the church if her husband will. Went to Wansworth to visit the Howicks. Then Brother Lyman started for the office and I for Wrotham. Got there at 10:30. As I walked along I came across a small boy with a wheelbarrow with
July 31. Cousin David took me to meet his father, John Udall, my father's brother. We passed some beautiful fields and some large groves of timber. We passed the house where grandfather Jesse Udall lived before he visited America. It was a two story frame building with brick in between the framework. The name of the place is Curtessen Green, Goudhurst Parish. We passed the farm where great-grandfather, John Udall, lived. He owned it but some of his sons drank the place up and then had to work for a living.* We visited the church and churchyard where lie my grandparents and my great-grandparents and two or three great-uncles and aunts. I looked around the place in silence, thinking what the passing of time brings about. I visited the church they attended, which is similar to other churches here. The deacon took us around and the feeling I felt while in and around the place I cannot express. This church was built in the twelfth century.
August 1. Had a good night's rest last night. I paid 7.6 for our supper
and night's lodging and breakfast. We left Cranbrook at 10 a.m. and passed
through the park between Cranbrook and Glassenbury. It puts me in mind
of my home in the mountains. Uncle John was waiting for me and took me
to Goudhurst, the place where my father was born and reared, two miles
from Glassenbury. We talked on "Mormonism" and about my folks. Then we
went to the place on Clay Hill where my father was born in the old workhouse,
while his father was in America. I am now on the ground where father spent
his young days. The old schoolhouse still stands, also the workhouse. The
old frame building with ,brick between the timbers is a comely building.
It is rented as a cottage now. From there we went to the old lane where
father traveled with grandfather to Hammon Farm, It is 12 o'clock noon
*In connection with this it is interesting to read the following in a letter dated August 20, 1860, written from Chart Sutton, England, by Jesse Udall to his son David Udall at Nephi:
"As to Genealogy. I was young. My grandfather was a large farmer. A rich family background, and there was a coat of arms. There was an Esquire relation to my grandfather near Breadport in Dorsetshire, and my father came from near Breadport in Dorsetshire."
and I am now by the old fireplace and on the same old bench where father sat. The bake oven is the same and so is the brick floor. In the back of the fireplace is a plate put there in 1776, The same toolbox is in the wall near the door; all is as it was when father left here. I went through the garden and around the house to the barnyard and from there to the farm where father was dragged and of which be has so often told us. We went to the spring from which father lugged many a bucket of water. I had a good drink and thought of father at the time. I cannot tell just how I feel visiting where, my father and mother have been. Uncle John looks like father and has his ways. He is pleased to see me, and I am to see him. We went to the old house where Uncle John was born on the old farm that grandfather and his brothers squandered. It is a beautiful farm that belonged to great-grandfather who was well-off. He owned the farm and carried on a woolsorting business. We had a good talk in regards to the past.
August 13-19. Brother Lyman started on a two-weeks trip in the country and I leave the office today for a month in Kent County to visit the saints and preach and teach the Gospel. Traveled on foot and visited the towns of Orphington, Sheerness, Dover, Sittingbourne, Chatham and Wrotham. (Some twenty-two different families are named in the diary as having been visited.) We left tracts with some investigators. Sometimes I slept on the floor.
On September 5th I got up at four o'clock to attend the baptizing of Brother Cripps and Brother Stringer in the sea while the tide was right for it. Thoughts of dear wife buoyed me up and helped me to strive on. Never felt better in speaking. One hundred persons present at one meeting. Received three letters from Brother Lyman. Excerpts from third letter follow:
November 26. I met Brother A. 0. Smoot at Maidstone Station. I was pleased to meet him. He has a splendid spirit with him. He is only nineteen years old. We are staying with Brother and Sister Drake, who treat us with great kindness. They bad us take their bed and I think I heard them complaining of the cold in the night.
[Dec. 1-22. Note: During December, father and young Owen Smoot were very active among the saints and strangers in Kent. They walked usually, from town to town, through storms and mud. Much snow fell, one time to a depth of eighteen inches. The people were good to them, the sisters washed and mended their clothes. Father says: "Sister Simon's girls knitted me three pairs of socks." Missionary work now took on a new color for father who had traveled alone, almost without purse or scrip, for the greater part of the first seven months of his mission. They held many meetings. "Brother Smoot began the hymns and I joined in the first time he'd ever sung in his life and the first time I had tried with only one other person." During the month father had a bad cold and longed for his wife to give him a "good doctoring up." Their mail was delayed. He writes: "Baptized George Marsh this morning, Owen officiating." ]
December 22. Brother Whitehead called us before daylight this morning saying a ship was on fire in the Thames. It was a ship anchored for training boys to be sailors. There were five hundred boys on board. They were all rescued. We splashed through the mud one-half mile to see it--a sight never to be forgotten, nor the bravery of the men who risked their lives in boats to rescue the boys.
December 23, 24. Reached the office at eight o'clock p.m. Attended a meeting the next night. Christmas Eve, started for Aunt Mary White's; we went to bed at midnight after trimming the Christmas tree. Had the usual Christmas dinner and supper and enjoyed them. Uncle and Aunt have been so kind. It is a Christmas long to be remembered ...
December 31. I met David Claridge, who lives at Shepherd's Walk, City Road. He is a brother to Samuel Claridge of Nephi. He invited me to see him whenever I have time. I was writing to my wife when the New Year came in, I can look back on the
[Note: Thus is father's diary closed for his momentous year of 1875--the year of his marriage and the first six months of his mission. Through the preceding pages the reader will have discovered father's pattern of thought and his way of attending to daily duties; also an overall picture of the missionary work as it was carried on at that time in the London Conference, mostly on foot, without money and with a feeling of real dependence on the Lord.
of father's recordings for the next twenty-one months seem not very important--to
many would not be interesting therefore, the remainder of this sketch will
deal more with
Father was now twenty-four years old. He was five feet ten inches in height and weighed about one hundred and eighty pounds. He had rosy cheeks, kind brown eyes, waving brown hair and a beard--just as English in appearance as he would have been had he and his parents stayed in England. On his way home from England he was amused and a little annoyed by the women emigrants speaking of him as the "purty man." He was, no doubt, handsome and radiated an influence for good as all Mormon elders do.
* * *
Early in January 1876, he left the London office "feeling well" for a three-months tour in the Kent Dis-
He was alone, as his companion, Owen Smoot, had been assigned to the London
District. At Green St. Green he lodged with an investigator ". . . as kindhearted
a man as I have met in all my, travels., He has an honest heart. Such a
friend, so far from home, makes a man rejoice. I know that if we elders,
put our trust in God, He will not see us want for anything that is required
to, sustain life. I feel that He is with me continually and is blessing
me with His Holy Spirit, and I thank Him with all my heart and ask Him
to continue to bless me in the future." ]
(Quoted here is a portion of aletter written to a cousin-inlaw, who wrote and forbade father to come and see them again: "I admire the pointed and plain way you have of expressing yourself and many thanks for sending me the note if such is your feeling. If I have intruded on you in any way that has been ungentlemanly or contrary to the way I should act in my position as one having been called by the Holy Priesthood of God to preach the restored Gospel, then I beg your pardon and leave the Lord to judge." Father then bore his testimony and closed by saying, "Please find enclosed one of my photographs for your wife, my cousin, and give her my love and best wishes and say goodbye to her as we may never meet on this earth again.")
March 15. On the road today I visited with an old man with a wooden leg. I told him about the Gospel and be said to me, "You are a man of God. Your voice betrays you."
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