SMITH, Amanda Barnes: My Ancestor

Submitted by Brexan Wittwer, a student at Little Valley Elementary School in St. George, Utah.

Amanda Barnes Smith is my great-great-great-great-great grandmother. people have used phrases such as “remarkable pioneer women,”women of great faith,”and heroine of the Haun’s Mill Massacre”. Her story is inspiring and I am amazed about how much faith she had. Here is her story.

In late October 1838, Amanda and her husband, Warren, with their children and other members of the church, were on the way to Far West Missouri. They stopped at a mill to make some repairs on their wagon.

While they were there, a mob attacked Latter-day Saints who were working at the mill, killing 17 men and boys and wounding 15. Amanda, who had hidden during the attack, returned to find Warren and their son Sardius among the dead. Another son, Alma, was severely wounded.

image courtesy of The Church News

His hip had been blown off by a gun blast. Amanda later told of the personal revelation she received so her son could be healed:

“I was there, all that long, dreadful night, with my dead and my wounded, and none but God as our physician and help”.

“Oh my Heavenly Father, I cried, what shall I do? Thou seest my poor wounded boy and knowest my inexperience. Oh Heavenly Father direct me what to do!”

“And then I was directed as by a voice speaking to me.”

Amanda was directed to make a lye, or washing solution, from the ashes of their fire to clean the wound. Then she was directed to make a poultice out of cloth and slippery elm to fill the wound. The next day she found some balsam and poured it into the wound to soothe Alma’s pain.

“Alma, my child,”I said, “you believe that the Lord made your hip?”

“Yes, mother.”

“Well, the Lord can make something there in place of your hip, don’t you believe he can, Alma?”

“Do you think that the Lord can, mother?” inquired the child, in his simplicity.

“Yes, my son,”I replied, “he has shown it all to me in a vision,”

“Then I laid him comfortably on his face,” and said: “Now you lay like that, and don’t move, and the Lord will make you another hip.”

“So Alma laid on his face for five weeks, until he was entirely recovered-a flexible gristle having grown in place of the missing joint and socket, a marvel to physicians.

“On the day that he walked again I was out of the house fetching a bucket of water, when I heard screams from the children. Running back, in affright, I entered, and there was Alma on the floor, dancing around, and the children screaming in astonishment and joy.”

Through the spiritual gift of revelation, the Lord taught Sister Smith how to care for her son. She, like Elizabeth Ann Whitney and countless others, received “joy and strength” and “fresh revelation of the Spirit” because of her faithfulness. It was so fun to learn about my grandmother Amanda and she is so inspirational to me and I hope that I could have the same amount of faith that she had.

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