Buggy Whip

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Brother Barlow

Another insightful story about Brother Barlow and his devotion to the Prophet was recorded by his grandson Joseph S. Barlow:

Upon another occasion my grandfather was assisting in the building of the Temple at Nauvoo and was driving a pair of beautiful high-spirited black mares.  One day while backing his wagon in at the quarry which was down by the river's edge, the Prophet came over to him and said: "Israel, on your next trip, stop and buy yourself a buggy whip," to which grandfather assented.  On his next trip up town he bought a buggy whip and returned for another load of rock.  Backing the team in this time, he attempted to stop them as usual by saying, "Whoa," to which they paid no attention, but kept backing until Israel, in excitement, was compelled to use the whip which the Prophet had told him to buy. The horses jumped forward and the wagon stopped right at the edge of the quarry, beyond which they would have plunged below.

Grandfather frequently told this story as an illustration of what obedience meant.  Grandfather accepted everything the Prophet Joseph Smith told him and never questioned "why?"  Some would call this blind obedience, but not so.  Israel Barlow knew full well the divine calling of the Prophet and bore that testimony to the day of his death.