Sunday, February 1, 2009

Modern Jonah saved by belly of whale

Joseph Millett was an early missionary, called to labor in a small fishing village in Nova Scotia. Although there was a tiny band of members, it would be overstating it to call the results of his missionary efforts there "mixed." From his journal:

"June 30, 1853. At the Brothers Bagnal's they were starting out to fish. I said, 'Success to you; you must catch a whale,' just in a foolish, joking way, and thought no more about it until I went down to Brother John McGilvery's. After a while one of the girls came down and said that Brother Millett had promised that Uncle Joseph's folks would get a whale and the Gentiles said that now you see he is a false prophet, for any fool would know that they can't get a whale. I overheard the girls talking about the whale. It then came to my mind what I had said. I then ran to the woods and thought how foolish I was to say such a thing. I prayed the Lord to forgive, that I desired to do right. I felt the position we were in. I couldn't keep back the tears. I called on the Lord to help me in his cause.

About one o'clock p.m. the people noticed six boats coming in the Bay towing something. Some said it was the hull of a schooner--others said no, that it was the whale that the Mormon promised about.

The brothers Bagnal's was the first boat going out of the Bay. They heard the report of a cannon and saw the flag and topmast of the packet steamer circling around, [which] fired their third gun as soon as they saw that the fishermen were coming; the steamer went on and Brother Bagnal was the first to the prize.

Amd it was a lucky day for all of them that assisted in getting the prize in. The whale I believe was about 70 feet long, the biggest fish I ever saw....I never have ceased to thank the Lord for his goodness."(Diary of Joseph Millett, holograph, Historical Department Archives, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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