MY Missionary Trip and Travels









By William Albert Adams.  This poem was written to highlight experiences he lived while serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the Southern States Mission 1900-1901.


I was born in a place called Utah,

A state you all know well,

Brought up by Mormon parents,

So the truth to you I’ll tell.

I loved to join my village friends

In causing society to thrive

‘Til I was called as a Minister

At the age of Twenty-five.


The Bishop thought it would be wise

To send me on a trip

To preach the precious Gospel

With neither purse nor script.

Accordingly he took my name

And sent it to the Seer,

A man who we all recognize

As our worthy Prophet dear.


President Snow then took my name

And went in Secret Prayer

And asked to be directed

In which mission to declare.

Next day there came a letter,

And it was marked “Box B”,

And when I read, to my surprise,

I was called to Tennessee.


I left my home, my friends, my all,

And took the East bound Train

The parting, it was very sad—

The mem’ries still remain.

And every station I’d pass by

I’d hear the people say,

“There goes another Mormon,

I’d like to get his pay!

His mission, it is one from hell!

We know it for a fact.”

They read it in some History,

And it was yellow backed.

The office, it was reached in time.

The Elders, they all met,

Their instructions to receive

And appointments for to get.

The meeting, it was well enjoyed

By Elders, small and great.

And at the close my lot was cast

To labor in the Tar Heel (N.C.) state.


I left the office and my chums

And took the train once more.

The parting it was very sad

The same as time before.

I traveled over wooded lands

At a very rapid rate,

And landed in a factory town

In the old North Carolina State.


And then I met one of my faith

A Minister of God

Who beckoned me to go with him

The dusty roads to trod.

He led me to a Shady Grove

Where the Elders often go

To give their thanks to God above

For the blessings they bestow.


He showed me where he slept that night.

The grass was leveled down.

At first I could not understand

For ‘twas near a Christian town.

But after I had tried the same

I understood it all

‘Twas only to test the servants of God.

It was witnessed by Peter and Paul.


He led me to his nearest friend

Which was over ten miles away.

My empty stomach and empty grip

Caused us to lag in the sun all day.

At last we reeled up to the house.

I staggered in the door.

So tired, feet sore, hungry and weak

I felt my days were o’er.


Our supper it was soon prepared.

I couldn’t control my appetite.

They found that I was head to head

Putting victuals out of sight.

The diet it was very strange.

This is what we had to eat—

Corn bread, molasses, collards,

Field peas and also meat.


We would travel through the country

From early morn ‘til night

Distributing our literature

To friend and foe alike.

The preachers they would scoff at us

Call us Knaves, Imposters and Scamps.

“We’ve got the Gospel in on the shelf

So away with you Mormon Tramps.”


My companion tried to break me in.

He called on me to preach.

I hadn’t stood there very long

Before I took my seat.

I hadn’t scarcely struck the chair

‘Til my heart began to throb

When armed masked men rush in the door.

I could see it was a mob.

The leader he rushed through the house.

We scuffled to the door

Where he was aided by his imps.

There were just a half a score.


They dragged me from the house at once

From companion and friends yet new.

When they waved their guns about my head

I wondered what they’d do.

The crack of guns and cries from friends

Rang through the Midnight air.

And overpowered as I was, I could but lisp

A silent prayer.

They struck me till my breath had fled.

Then to complete their sin

They took me to the River Bridge

Where they had planned to plunge me in.

But as the Bridge was far away

And our wooded route was dim

My prayer had been fully answered

Before we reached the brim.


At first they would not let me speak.

But I started after a while.

‘Twas my longest sermon while in the South

For its length was near 4 miles!

Their hearts were touched by the power of God

As He had prompted me.

So instead of being thrown over board

They decided to set me free.


I could tell you how from mobs I’ve fled

To save my threatened life,

Which they’d have severed from me

By a Ball or Bowing Knive.

With heart in mouth and grip in hand,

My long legs almost flew

Until I reached a boat and crossed

The river from their view.


But since that time, how scenes have changed.

It’s been all peace and joy.

I’ve met with friends on every hand

Where mobs do not annoy.

I’ve added many to Christ’s fold

That have sought the narrow way.

My forgiving prayer to Mobbers is

That they’ll obey God’s will some day.

Harkers Island, North Carolina Seminar 1987
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