022B - The Battle Has Begun

"In the Midst of Thee" - volumes 1 & 2 contain 200 favorite Glenn Rawson Stories - at: History of the Saints . org

From “In the Midst of Thee” – volume 1.

The mind and heart of God are not the mind and heart of men. What is worthy of remembering in the eyes of God is often trivial and of no consequence to men. Well in that light, this story is an effort to remember a monumental moment in the eternal affairs of this earth. It is dedicated to those modern warriors of light anxiously engaged in the cause of Christ.

Late one fall evening after Heber and Vilate Kimball had retired to their bed, they were awakened suddenly by a sharp knocking at their door. A neighbor, John Greene, stood at the door and bade them come out and see the incredible scenery in the heavens.

They did so, and it was a beautiful starlit New England night, so exceptionally clear and brilliant that Heber said later he could have seen to pick up a pin.

As the little group watched, a white smoke or cloud formed on the eastern horizon, and slowly began to rise upward. As it did so, it formed itself into a belt spreading across the sky toward the southwest, and it was accompanied by the sound of a rushing mighty wind.

Gradually, that belt flattened out and broadened across into a bow – like a rainbow, becoming transparent with a bluish cast, and stretching from horizon to horizon.

No sooner had that bow formed than an army of men appeared arising from the east, and began marching twelve abreast across the bow toward the west. As vivid and real as men in the flesh, they marched in the most profound order, every man stepping in the tracks of his leader in perfect synchronization. They were dressed in the full battle gear of 19th century soldiers – muskets; bayonets. They were so clear and distinct that Heber and the small group of neighbors could distinguish the features of their faces, and could hear the jingle of their equipage as they moved.

Shortly, the entire bow from horizon to horizon was crowded and filled with marching men, the sound of that marching reaching clearly to the ears of the astonished onlookers.

Heber later described the event this way:

“No man could judge of my feelings when I beheld that army of men, as plainly as ever I saw armies of men in the flesh; it seemed as though every [the very] hair of my head was alive.”

Well, when the celestial army reached the western horizon, they were met by an opposing force, and a battle ensued. The noise of the rush of men, and the clash of the arms was distinct and unmistakable. Heber and his friends looked upon this scene for hours, and till [until] finally it gradually disappeared.

Heber’s wife, somewhat afraid, turned to one of the older men in the group and asked, “Father Young, what does all this mean?”

“Why, it’s one of the signs of the coming of the Son of Man,” he replied.

And indeed it was, even though the world missed it, just as surely as the meridian world missed the birth of Christ. For you see, that momentous night marked the commencement of the marvelous work and wonder spoken of by Isaiah – that oh, so significant night – that night of nights eternally was September 22, 1827. *

My dear friends, the battle between good and evil has begun. Welcome to the war!

Adapted from Whitney, Orson F. Life of Heber C. Kimball: An Apostle – The Father and Founder of the British Mission, 2nd ed., Salt Lake City: (Bookcraft, 1945. p. 16-17.)
* This was the same night that angel Moroni delivered the plates of the Book of Mormon to the prophet Joseph Smith.

Glenn Rawson – Sept. 2000
Music: The Battle Has Begun – Michael Leavitt
Song: The Battle Hymn of the Republic – The Mormon Tabernacle Choir & Orchestra