Getting Thrown Into The Deep End!

Eli has only been a Deacon for a week and he’s been given the Priesthood, gone to the temple for the first time on Saturday, and was asked to give a talk on Sunday as well as pass the Sacrament  for the 1st time all in the same day!!! Whew! Nothing like being thrown into the deep end! 😛
Apparently they don’t give the Deacons a whole lot of training to pass the Sacrament. We showed up to Sacrament Meeting yesterday and they told him he was going to pass it. They have this card which they showed him for like 2 minutes and then it was go time! Holy Moly! Maybe we should help our poor new Deacons a little more than that. It’s a BIG you don’t want to mess up. 
Thankfully he’s a quick learner and he did just fine. I watched him as discreetly as I could with a giant grin on my face. I was very proud!
As soon as he was done passing the Sacrament, he walked up to the stand and got ready to give his talk. I had butterflies in my stomach! I was so nervous for him. He looked so calm and collected though, it amazed me!
He was the very first speaker…I think that’s the theme for him this past week!!! 😀
I thought I’d share his talk with you. I didn’t edit it, the way you see it is the way he wrote it. Enjoy!

  • name
  • ward for life
  • just turned 12
  • this is my talk

I was asked to give a talk on Joseph Smith. I actually have a cool story about him and my 5 times Great Grandfather, Philemon C. Merrill who traveled with him, who was one of his bodyguards. This story was told by his son and is a little different than other accounts I have read. In 1843, the Prophet Joseph Smith was put under arrest by the United States Marshal Ronalds. They were traveling for purpose of getting the prophet and running him over to Missouri so he could be tried. They stopped at an Inn for lunch. While there, the Marshal and his guards were sitting on a little knoll and the Prophet, with my ancestor Philemon, and his other guards were close by resting in the grass.

The U.S. Marshal got a couple of stones and marked lines on the ground and started jumping, and marked his mark. No one came to contest with him. Then, he said, “I can out run, out throw, and out wrestle any man in the state of Illinois!” He repeated the statement again, this time using the name of the Lord in vain.

Joseph Smith laying close by told Philemon, who was in his early 20’s, unmarried, and was tall and slender to accept his challenge. The Marshal was a large man weighing over 200 pounds. So you can imagine Philemon was probably feeling very unsure about this, but having faith in the Prophet he knew he wouldn’t steer him wrong.

As the Marshal continued to boast, the Prophet commanded Philemon to throw the Marshal. He hesitated at first, he being so large, and him so tall and slender. The Prophet then said, “Philemon, in the name of Israel’s God, get up and throw that man down!”

He rose and spread both arms out at arms length… This part of the story is a little confusing but the  Marshal wanted to take a grip that even his own men said was unfair, but the Prophet said, “It makes no difference either way he wants to.”

The Marshal then said, “Now when I count three (spitting on his hand each time) he counted 1-2-3—Go! Philemon caught the Marshal onto his hip and threw him into the air and when he came down he landed on his head and shoulders about fifteen feet from where they were.

The Prophet ran to him and found that he was not dead, and asked him if he wanted more?
Now for the purpose of making this “PG” for Sacrament Meeting the Marshal said, “Not by a long sight.”

After, the teams were hitched, they started back on their journey to extradite him to Missouri. They sent a request to Nauvoo where a Writ of Habeas Corpus was issued by Daniel H. Wells for the Prophet not to be extradited to Missouri. He was tried in Nauvoo by the court and exonerated and turned loose.  

I like how we have stories showing how the Prophet Joseph was a real person. It helps me appreciate all that he had to overcome to follow the Lord’s Will.
  • church true
  • prophet true
  • temple feelings true
  • i know that when joseph smith told my ancestor to throw the marshal god helped them
  • i know that joseph smith true

In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

I sat there in pure awe as he shared his talk with all of us. He was so comfortable up there. He was so at ease. He had everyone laughing multiple times throughout! And yes, I cried….I couldn’t help it, I was so overwhelmed by his maturity and spirit. 🙂

I had several people come up to me afterwards and tell me how funny he was, and how composed he was, and what an amazing job he did. Jared said he had several people tell him the same thing. Eli said Bishop Hawk told him in Priesthood that that was the best talk given by a 12 year old he’s ever heard, and since he did so well, he wants him to speak once a month!! Ha!! 

We love you Eli!

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