Even though Mother’s Day is over, I’m going to keep blogging about the power of moms. I had hoped to do more blog posts of mother stories before Mother’s Day but only got two done. Story #1 in my countdown is here, Story #2 is here. Yet I don’t feel done blogging about the power of moms. Moms wield so much unsong power in this world, both throughout history and currently. So I’ll keep blogging about moms for the month and of May. Now I’m calling this series “May 2022 Stories of Ordinary and Heroic Moms.” Here’s Story #1.
This story is about a remarkable woman, Rebecca Swain Williams. Copied and pasted below is the first paragraph from the story published over here.
“Born in Pennsylvania, USA, in 1798, Rebecca Swain was the youngest of 10 children. When she was about nine, her family moved to Niagara, near the United States–Canada border. They were close enough to Fort Niagra that they could hear the gunfire when the fort was attacked during the War of 1812. Even as a young girl Rebecca showed her fearlessness. Once, while traveling alone through the woods, she met a bear face-to-face on the trail. Having a parasol in her hand, she opened and closed it several times in the bear’s face, and it ran away.”
That’s just the beginning of the story of her pluck and resourcefulness. She learned about the restored gospel alongside her husband Frederick Granger Williams, when missionaries taught them in Kirtland, Ohio in 1830. She got baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the same month. The story says she was like Eve, in that she was the first in her family to take a courageous first step into a new world.
Here are some remarkable gems about her:
-she protected Joseph Smith from mob violence by dressing him in her cloak and bonnet and sending him out the door to walk into the mob. They didn’t recognize him in the disguise, and he safely got away.
-she and her husband were the ones who comforted Joseph after he was tarred and feathered, by removing the feathers and washing off the tar. Because of their care, Joseph was able to preach the very next day
-she stayed true to the gospel even though her dad sent her several letters, threatening to disown her, which he eventually did
-she resisted her father’s persuasive efforts to get her to leave the Church. She testified that she had heard the Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon (see quote in image below).
-she stayed true to the gospel even though her husband, who was a member of the First Presidency, lost his faith in the church leaders, including Joseph Smith, and got excommunicated. He later came back into the Church.
-her example ended up working on someone whom we can presume she wasn’t expecting to persuade, her sister, Sarah Swain Clark. Sarah got baptized in Michigan in 1832.
In short, Rebecca was amazing! I do hope you read the story here and watch the video below. Prepare to be inspired!