Orson F. Whitney reprints account of James Lawson retelling how JS sealed Heber C. Kimball to Vilate Kimball after a test of faith.

James Lawson
Scribed Verbatim
2nd Hand

Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball (Salt Lake City, UT: Juvenile Instructor Office, 1888), 450–451

Juvenile Instructor Office
Sarah Noon, James Lawson, Vilate Kimball, Orson F. Whitney, Joseph Smith, Jr., Heber C. Kimball
Reading Public

JAMES LAWSON'S narrative:

"In 1855, Heber C. Kimball sent for me (I had just been married thirteen days) and said, 'Brother James' I want you to give your wife Betsy a divorce,' I said, 'Brother Kimball what is the matter? There is nothing wrong with us, and we think everything of each other?' He said, 'Nothing is the matter, but here is the divorce and I want you to sign it.' I signed it and he told me to send her home to her mother (Sarah Noon) which I did. At the same time I asked her if she had been making any complaints to Bro. Kimball against me. She said, 'Never, to anybody.' I did not sleep a wink that night, and no one knows what I suffered in my feelings. I prayed frequently to the Lord and enquired of Him what all this meant. Towards morning I received an answer to my prayers. The Spirit said unto me, 'Be comforted, my servant James, all will come out right.' Soon after this Brother Kimball went to the Legislature, which was held at Fillmore, and was absent from home about two months. When he returned he gave me a mission to Carson Valley and told me to get Betsy and bring her to the Endowment House with me. I did so and he sealed us for time and all eternity.

"After this took place I said, 'Brother Kimball what did you do that for?' He said, 'Brother James, I did it to try you as I was tried. I will tell you. After I had returned from my second mission to England in 1841, the Prophet Joseph came to me one evening and said, 'Brother Heber, I want you to give Vilate to me to be my wife,' saying that the Lord desired this at my hands.' Heber said that in all his life before he had never had anything take hold of him like that. He was dumbfounded. He went home, and did not eat a mouthful of anything, nor even touch a drop of water to his lips, nor sleep, for three days and nights. He was almost continually offering up his prayers to God and asking him for comfort. On the evening of the third day he said, 'Vilate, let's go down to the Prophet's' and they went down and met him in a private room. Heber said, 'Brother Joseph, here is Vilate.' The Prophet wept like a child, said Heber, and after he had cleared the tears away, he took us and sealed us for time and all eternity, and said, 'Brother Heber, take her, and the Lord will give you a hundred fold."

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