I love Church history. I love to read of the experiences of those who have pioneered across massive oceans, walked across the plains, and tamed the desert to create a place where they can worship the Savior without being attacked by the adversary. Those who fought against all odds to follow their faith and their love of the Savior Jesus Christ, with hearts aflame with a testimony of the Book of Mormon are my heroes.
I love the brief story recently shared of Frederick William Hurst. I post this here that it may inspire you to become involved in family history work. I am inspired by Brother Hurst’s testimony:
Frederick William Hurst was working as a gold miner in Australia when he first heard Latter-day Saint missionaries preach the restored gospel. He and his brother Charles were baptized in January 1854. He tried to help his other family members become converted, but they rejected him and the truths he taught.
Fred settled in Salt Lake City four years after joining the Church, and he served faithfully as a missionary in several different countries. He also worked as a painter in the Salt Lake Temple. In one of his final journal entries, he wrote:
“Along about the 1st of March, 1893, I found myself alone in the dining room, all had gone to bed. I was sitting at the table when to my great surprize my elder brother Alfred walked in and sat down opposite me at the table and smiled. I said to him (he looked so natural): ‘When did you arrive in Utah?’
“He said: ‘I have just come from the Spirit World, this is not my body that you see, it is lying in the tomb. I want to tell you that when you were on your mission you told me many things about the Gospel, and the hereafter, and about the Spirit World being as real and tangible as the earth. I could not believe you, but when I died and went there and saw for myself I realized that you had told the truth. I attended the Mormon meetings.’ He raised his hand and said with much warmth: ‘I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ with all my heart. I believe in faith, and repentance and baptism for the remission of sins, but that is as far as I can go. I look to you to do the work for me in the temple. … You are watched closely. … We are all looking to you as our head in this great work. I want to tell you that there are a great many spirits who weep and mourn because they have relatives in the Church here who are careless and are doing nothing for them” (Diary of Frederick William Hurst, comp. Samuel H. and Ida Hurst , 204).