Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Price of Testimony

by Christy Monson



In the early 1800s Nathaniel Thomas was a wealthy farmer, living on the Fox Islands off the coast of Maine. Wiford Woodruff preached the gospel to the people of the islands, and Nathaniel and Susanna Thomas were baptized. Nathaniel sold his land and home, and he committed to lead the little band of Saints from the Fox Islands to Missouri, outfitting his family and others for the arduous journey.

Nathaniel and Susanna, daughter, Clara, age 5, son, Martin, age 2, and a new baby left their beloved island home on October 3rd,, 1838. Snow storms and bitter winds raged, hampering their journey. Little Clara became ill and died on the way. Can you imagine how Susanna felt, leaving her child’s grave and knowing she would never return to it?

By the time they reached Portage Ohio on November 21st., they were spent—Clara was dead, Susanna and the baby were ill, and Martin had a cold. The family and many of the company stopped for the winter.

By the time they reached Illinois the next spring, the Saints had begun to settle Nauvoo. Nathaniel died during the persecution in Nauvoo. Susanna and her widowed mother, Ruth Grant Luce, trekked westward to the valleys of the mountains alone.

What a price they paid for their testimonies!

Several years ago we took our six children and their families to visit the Fox Island homeland the Thomas family left when they joined the church. It was truly a life-changing experience for us all.


The old luxurious family home—brought from the mainland in the 1700s—has been refurbished. 



They well they dug is green with moss and unused, but still a landmark.



The old graveyard, decayed over the years, haunts one with visions of life before ours.

Testimony? They knew the truth because the Spirit bore witness to them—the sacrifice they paid was not too great.

I ask myself, “What am I willing to pay for my testimony?”

The Holy Ghost bears fervent affirmation of the Truth for me today. No offering is too great—whether it’s temple attendance, church callings, raising a righteous family, connecting with my ancestors, or battling the evil influences of today’s society.

My contributions are different, but no less valid. My price is before me, and I will pay it willingly—a thousand times over because I love the Lord.

Love, Hugs and Hope, When Scary Things Happen will be out in  hard copy Sep. 1, 2013

Becoming Free, A Woman's Guide to Internal Strength will be available in Ebook form Sep. 1, 2013


1 comment:

  1. I am descended from Susanna's brother, Ephraim. Thank you for posting this story! I would love to correspond with you about any additional information you might have, particularly about Susanna's parents.

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