Every year at Christmas time, I read and re-read this simple story that a man named Moses Thatcher delivered at a General Conference in Salt Lake City on April 6, 1883. It reminds me to give freely and without comparison, always a challenge for me. I love his resolve and pray for that same assistance as I share what I am able.
Said Moses Thatcher: I heard a story in regard to a brother in Farmington, a few years ago. the question of gathering the poor Saints from England came up in an evening meeting. The brother had two cows, and he donated one for the purpose mentioned. In going home, a spirit of darkness said unto him: “You have been very foolish. You have given away one of the two cows you possessed, while Brother So-and-So, a much wealthier man than you, has only given five dollars. Now, you have done a wrong thing, a foolish thing. And thus was this brother tempted until he turned round and said, as though addressing himself to Satan, “If you don’t cease tempting me, I will go back to the bishop and give him the other one.” Now, that is just as I feel. If at any time the Lord has blessed me with means, and I am tempted not to do as I should because of the action of others. I hope I shall always . . . feel to draw near unto the Lord and ask his assistance. I would rather give all I have–and it is not much–and be like an Indian clothed in a blanket, and be acceptable to the Lord, than be clothed in velvet and surrounded with riches, feeling that my prayers were never heard by the Almighty.
Journal of Discourses, 24:300
Interestingly, I found this in my Great Grandfather, Emanuel Richard Lundquist’s autobiography. He came from Sweden.
About the year 1884, we were located in Hyde Park, about 5 miles north of Logan. My mother lived there until 1903, at which time she passed away.
Moses Thatcher (then one of the Twelve Apostles) was the next man to give me work, doing chores. Here I remained seven or eight months, receiving $4.00 cash and $4.00 in tithing orders per month. By this time I was able to speak the language. My next work was on a farm at Preston, Idaho. I received a cow for a whole summer’s hard work, and after giving it to mother, the cow got bloated from eating green Lucerne and died.
Cow Art by Norma Wilson: Inching Closer