Thomas Briggs

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Thomas Briggs and his Story About the St. George Temple

The temple in St. George has recently been completed and Thomas was strongly reminded of this father's dying injunction to "never forget the dead." He was so strongly impressed with the fact that it was his duty to go to St. George and have the work done for all of his ancestors whose names he had, that he talked the matter over with his neighbor, Newton Tuttle, who became so enthusiastic on the subject that he offered to go to St. George with him and to furnish the team to convey them on the trip.

Though impelled by the Spirit to go to the Temple, he still had doubts as to whether he would be allowed to engage in ordinance work therein, because of having the running sores on his leg. He accordingly conferred with Bishop Anson Call on the subject, but the Bishop was unable to answer the query. Thomas then appealed to the Lord in prayer to know whether it was His will that he should go, and whether the dead knew what was being done on earth in their behalf. He had perfect confidence that the Lord would hear and grant his wish, as he had heard and answered his prayers many times in the past. Some time after he asked Bishop some questions concerning the dead, which the Bishop did not venture to answer, but suggested that he go and talk with President Brigham Young, and offered to go with him.

They accordingly visited President Young, who answered the questions that Thomas wanted to be enlightened upon in a way that was satisfying and very comforting to him, and explained temple work to him in a way that he had never fully understood before.

After conversing about an hour, he said: "Brother Briggs, how many of the names of your kindred dead have you?" On learning that he had only seven names, he asked: "And have you faith to travel to St. George, over three hundred miles distant, to do the work for seven dead persons?"

Thomas told him he had, and seemed surprised at his asking, for it had not occurred to him that it required a great amount of faith to do so.

"Well, the Lord bless you for your faith!" said President Young. "Go to St. George, and have the work done for those whose names you have. Travel comfortably and independently, making your own camp and sleeping in or under you wagon. Put the people along the way and in St. George to as little trouble as possible. If you require hay, bread or other supplies, pay for them. Then, all the honor will be yours. You shall be blessed on the trip, and you shall never want for names of the dead to work for as long as you live." After finishing the work for all the dead whose names and genealogies they had, they drove out on their return journey a few miles and camped. That night, soon after Thomas had retired to rest in his bed under the wagon, his mother appeared to him. "You have made a mistake in giving in my genealogy," she said. "You have given the date upon which I was married instead of the date of my birth, but you need not go back now, as some of the family will soon come here, and then you can have the error corrected."

This visit and the purpose of it, were testimonies to Thomas that the dead have a knowledge of the work being done in their behalf. It was also an answer to the prayer offered by Thomas when he sought for information upon that point. (The sores mentioned on his legs, were caused from an injury he received while fixing fences. It at one time swelled so much that it was equally as large as the rest of his body. This swelling was caused from a sore formed under his knee. When this broke it left these running sores, which he carried with him many years. When the Salt Lake Temple was completed he had his leg amputated, in order to continue doing temple work, which he was engaged in the later part of his life.)



I was looking for a reference for the pdf story and found this on a used bookstore site:

"They called upon President Wilford Woodruff, who was then in charge of the St. George Temple on the same day. After he had endorsed their recommends, Thomas explained to him his condition, and asked whether he should keep the bandage on his leg or remove it. Brother Woodruff remained silent for a while as if communing with the Lord, and then told him to come to the temple early the following morning and to remove the bandage.

"Thomas recognized the St. George Temple as soon as he saw it for it was the building he had seen in his dream. When he entered the temple, the scene was enacted that he had witnessed in the interior, although he had said nothing to anyone about the dream. "They worked in the temple the entire week. Each day Thomas removed the bandage from his leg when he entered the temple as he had been advised and noticed with both interest and gratitude to the Lord that there was no discharge whatever from the ulcers. Strangely, however, when he left the temple in the afternoon each day, the oozing recurred and continued until he entered the temple on the following day. Nor did he suffer any pain while in the temple. "After finishing the work for all the dead whose names and genealogies they had, they drove out on their return journey a few miles and camped.

That night, soon after Thomas had retired to rest in his bed under the wagon, his mother appeared to him. "'You have made a mistake in my genealogy, ' she said. 'You have given the date upon which I was married instead of the date of my birth; but you need not go back now, as some of the family will soon come here, and then you can have the error corrected. '"She disappeared when Thomas was about to embrace her . . . . "This is a remarkable account of sacrifice, spirituality and miracles and appropriately placed in the FAITH-PROMOTING SERIES. ; Faith Promoting Series Series; 5" x 8"; 65 pages,

From the Suffering and Service of Thomas Briggs