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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What Have I Lost?

"Brother [Thomas B.] Marsh was one of the first modern-day Apostles . . . . He eventually became President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
"While the Saints were in Far West, Missouri, Elizabeth Marsh, Thomas's wife, and her friend Sister Harris decided they would exchange milk in order to make more cheese than they otherwise could. . . . They agreed that they should not save what were called the strippings. . . . Strippings came at the end of the milking and were richer in cream.
"Sister Harris was faithful to the agreement, but Sister Marsh, desiring to make some especially delicious cheese, saved a pint of strippings from each cow and sent Sister Harris the milk without the strippings. This caused the two women to quarrel. . . . The matter was referred to the home teachers to settle. They found Elizabeth Marsh guilty of failure to keep her agreement. She and her husband were upset with the decision, and the matter was then referred to the bishop for a Church trial. The bishop's court decided that the strippings were wrongfully saved. . . .
"Thomas Marsh appealed to the high council, and the men comprising this council confirmed the bishop's decision. He then appealed to the First Presidency of the Church. Joseph Smith and his counselors considered the case and upheld the decision of the high council.
"Elder Thomas B. Marsh, who sided with his wife through all of this, became angrier with each successive decision—so angry, in fact, that he went before a magistrate and swore that the Mormons were hostile toward the state of Missouri. . . .
"After 19 years of rancor and loss, Thomas B. Marsh made his way to the Salt Lake Valley and asked President Brigham Young for forgiveness. . . . Said Brother Marsh: 'The Lord could get along very well without me and He . . . lost nothing by my falling out of the ranks; But O what have I lost?! Riches, greater riches than all this world or many planets like this could afford' (Thomas B. Marsh to Heber C. Kimball, May 5, 1857, Brigham Young Collection, Church History Library)."
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