Story

Henson Walker

Printed from the LDS Collectors Library: Early LDS Membership Data
Page 31

In 1841 Henson began the ecclesiastical duties of a life of devotion to the work of God. In the year that followed, he with his father-in-law, traveled from New York (how about just from Michigan) to Michigan (how about to New York) and thence to Illinois by team. While here they visited the city of Nauvoo, where they first met the Prophet Joseph. About this time he was ordained to the office of a Seventy by Joseph Young. In the early spring of 1843 the happiness of their sunny Salem home was increased by the arrival of their first child, a boy. But when the warm summer days came his wife sickened and died, leaving her bereaved husband to care for the babe, then only five months old. Henson then moved to the home of father-in-law, where the child was tenderly cared for. While living with the Bouk family, he became well acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith and stood guard for him at different times, when his life was in danger. The trials and sufferings of the Prophet were then at their height. When the Prophet was kidnapped, near Dixon, Ill., by Joseph H. Reynolds and Harmon T. Wilson, in June 1843, Henson was called with others to rescue him. They rode night and day until they overtook him. On their return they rode along by the carriage that contained the Prophet and the officers. One of the officers put his head out of the carriage and seeing more than a hundred people riding along, he said, “We would never have come after the Prophet, if we had known he had so many friends.” Henson was a member of the Nauvoo Legion and enjoyed their drill very much, but more than all else in the world he enjoyed standing in the square listening to the inspired commanding tones of that humble young Prophet, Joseph Smith. He was always happy when in company with him and was more than willing to render him all possible aid. He was with the Legion at the old frame house, near the Mansion, June 18, 1844 when the Prophet unsheathed his sword for the last time. When Joseph left Nauvoo for Carthage, Henson was very anxious to see an armed escort go with him, because he was pledged to support him. In a dream he was told that Joseph and Hyrum were all right, that they were beyond the reach of the mob. And when the next news came, they were truly beyond the reach of all the mobs. Henson was present at the time that Sidney Rigdon set forth his claims to the presidency. He also witnessed the mantle of Joseph resting upon Brigham Young and was fully convinced that he was the future Prophet of God. He now commenced work on the Nauvoo Temple, remaining at work until it was completed for endowments and baptisms for the dead. He married Elizabeth Foutz. A few days after the celebration of this happy event, his little child, now three years old, was accidentally drowned. In May 1846, he started west with Elder Cutler’s company and crossed the Missouri River. He returned to assist in suppressing the mob.

Henson was the first bishop and the first mayor of Pleasant Grove, Utah. He was a veteran of the Indian wars.

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