Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Book Review: Scouting for the Mormons on the Great Frontier

This book is the biography of Ephraim Hanks. It is written by Sidney Alvarus Hanks
and Ephraim K. Hanks. I am not sure of the year. It can be accessed at the website:
Some of it is stories from church magazines, some letters are copied, and part of it is the first person account of the rescue of the Martin Handcart Company. It includes stories of Ephraim's life after the handcarts, including his practicing of polygamy and his reaction to the federal marshalls.

Ephraim Hanks was a man of miracles, and I feel closer to he, as well as my great-great-grandfather Isaac from reading this book. His story of the rescue of the handcarts manifests the miracle it was that any of them got out alive. Ephraim was not a rescuer at Red Buttes, or Martin's Cove. He arrived shortly after the company left the Cove.

But he made a big impression. He is one of two rescuers mentioned in Isaac's one page person history. He continued on to the company, when all the other rescuers stopped to ride out the winter storms, and he prayed for a buffalo, and one was provided by God, and he rode into camp at dinner time with his horses laden with buffalo meat. That was his first impression; but the impression he made by anointing and healing and curing the sick even more lasting. He brought one man back to life (at least he was dead as best anyone could tell.) One day he performed over 100 blessings. He also healed with his soap and knife, removing dead skin with his castille soap, and cutting away flesh that was dead due to frost bite.

Miracles followed this man in more dealings than with the handcarts. He carried mail for many years along the trail, and escaped Indian trouble only with God's help. He performed annointings and healed the sick through out his life. He also was somewhat a prophet, seeing beforehand things that would shortly come to pass.

This story is worth reading.

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