AN OLD DISCIPLE A Latter-Day Saint Baptized in 1830 Still Living.
His Powerful Testimony to the Truth of the Gospel-Items Gathered by Elder E. Stevenson

Springville, Utah County, Utah, May 27th, 1895.

     
Editor Deseret News:

Yesterday President Fjelsted, Assistant Superintendent J.C. Carlisle, of the Cache Stake Sunday schools, and myself, attended and took part in four meetings in this place. A Seventiesí conference of the Fifty-first quorum also took place and a very agreeable time was enjoyed. Elder Reynolds was ordained one of the presidents of the Fifty-first quorum of the Seventy in place of Elder Hafen, who has moved to Salt Lake City.

The Fifty-first quorum of the Seventy has several missionaries out in the field preaching the Gospel. It is a live, useful quorum, holding weekly meetings and theological classes.

Today we visited Philo Dibble, probably the oldest member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints now living. If there be any one older, he or she is kindly requested to report to 118 South, First West Street, Salt Lake City, Utah, to E. Stevenson.

Elder Dibble was baptized Sept. 15, 1830, [I think this date might be inaccurate because my copy of Philo Dibbleís story says "Öthe sixteenth of October, 1830."óMark Sedgwick] by Parley P. Pratt; was ordained a Teacher at the same time when President W. Woodruff was a Priest, in 1833. He was wounded by the mob who unlawfully drove the Latter-day Saints from their homes in Independence, Jackson county, Mo., in 1833. He was shot near the navel, the ball ranging through the body and lodging where it still can be felt, under the skin near the backbone. He pleasantly told us he was loaded with lead but that there is no powder, and that he will carry the leaden missile with him to his tomb as a witness of the cruel treatment he received as a soldier of the Gospel of Christ, and for the Gospelís sake. I know, he said, the Church was established by divine revelation, Joseph Smith being Godís Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, with whom, he continued, I was familiar and closely associated during his life from 1833 until 1844, when I beheld him as a martyr, shot with four bullets even unto death; and I now lie here on my deathbed with lead in my body at the age of 89, and I shall soon go to meet the martyr, for I now feel that my work here on earth is done, and my desire is that I may soon go in peace where I shall see many others who like myself have suffered many tribulations for Christís sake."

It was remarkable to see and hear the strong testimony he bore and the clearness of thought and mind which he possesses. He said he received his endowments in the Nauvoo Templeóamong the first ones who received those blessings in the Lordís House, which he had the pleasure to help to rear unto the name of the Lord. He conveyed the idea that in the midst of all the numerous apostasies from this Church, none of them has continued the work of Joseph Smith, which was at his martyrdom going on, that is the gathering of the Saints from out of the world; also the building of temples, giving endowments and baptisms for the deadóa work of Jesus Christ the Savior of all, whose mission will not end until all of Adamís race shall be saved through Christís atoning blood, by obedience and the keeping of all His commandments; as Jesus says: "If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments." These were the words and sentiments expressed by the aged veteran, who is widely known as a lecturer and exhibiting paintings representing the Carthage jail and the martyrdom of Joseph Smith and other scenes from the early days of the Church. Among the last words he spoke to us were these:
"I was lying under a tent on the banks of the Missouri river in Clay county, just across the Missouri river from Jackson county, and only a few miles from Independence, the center stake of Zion. On account of my bleeding wounds some thought I would die, but Elder Knight anointed me with oil, and laid hands on me, and I was healed, and I saw that night, from the tent door, one of the signs spoken of in the Bible, the falling of the stars. What a grand sight it was." The writer of this also saw this, in September, 1833, while he stood on the banks of the Silver lake, near Pontiac, Oakland county, Michigan Territory. By request of our aged veteran, we anointed him with consecrated oil and laid our hands on him, joined by his son, who is over 60 years of age, and we blessed him that he may rest in peace and that in the due time of the Lord his body may return to the earth whence it came, and the spirit to God who gave it.
President Fjelsted and the writer gave him two bouquets, one in each hand. We then bade him a last goodbye, saying, "When you meet the Prophets and martyrs, say to them, we as Seventies and messengers are preaching the Gospel." The sweet smile on his countenance that responded to this will always remain with us.
Afterwards we visited friends and partook of the rare strawberries that abound in this vicinity. Our host, Bishop Laron H. (H?)Karmer, of the Second ward, had plucked some fresh from a lovely patch in his garden. Springville derives considerable profit from small fruit and also from honey. O.B. Huntington informed the correspondent that one carload or more of the product of the bees is yearly shipped east from there, and that the yield from 55 hives sometimes was equivalent to $500.

E. STEVENSON.