Transcript for Smoot, Abraham O., "Early Experience of A. O. Smoot," in Early Scenes in Church History, Eighth Book of the Faith-Promoting Series [1882], 25

In April, 1846, I left Nauvoo and started westward with quite a large company of my southern friends. On arriving at Winter Quarters I was ordained a Bishop and appointed to preside over a Ward, and spent the winter in building cabins to shelter the people and in looking after the wants of the poor. In the spring of 1847 I was appointed to organize and lead westward a company of Saints having one hundred and twenty wagons. I chose as my assistants Major Russell and Geo. B. Wallace. We arrived in Salt Lake Valley on the 24th day of September. . . .

I remember a rather remarkable instance of healing that occurred at Winter Quarters, which I think worth relating:

During the winter of 1846-7 while the Saints were encamped on the banks of the Missouri there was a great deal of sickness among them, and many died. Among others who were afflicted was a man by the name of Collins, who had followed up the Church for some time on account of his wife being a member, but who never felt quite satisfied to embrace the gospel, although he never opposed the work. When he was taken sick it was not thought by his friends that he could recover, as he had appeared to be sinking rapidly under the effects of the disease, and for some time he lay in a semi-unconscious state, from which it was feared he would never rally.

However, he finally regained consciousness and looked around, when I asked him if he had any message to leave before he died. He immediately replied that it would not do for him to die then, as he had not been baptized, and urged very strongly to be taken right down to the river to receive this ordinance. . . . from that time became a healthy man.

CHAPTER III. A. O. Smoot ; On my return from England in 1853, on board the new steamer Pacific, we encountered a severe storm. . . . I had seventeen thousand dollars in gold in my possession, and I did not even fear that I would lose that. . . . we finally arrived safely in New York with the wrecked vessel, after a voyage of sixteen days. . . . I remained at Lexington about eight days looking after the interests of the Saints and purchasing stock, after which I returned to St. Louis, where I met the company of Saints I was to conduct across the plains. On reaching Atchison, our starting point for the overland journey, the company was stricken with the cholera. There were over forty cases, and of these some fifteen proved fatal. Numbers were healed instantaneously through the prayer of faith when the Elders laid their hands upon them, although apparently near death’s door; others gave way entirely to fear, failed to exercise faith and soon died. After we had started upon our journey and when the last person who had been afflicted had recovered, I was prostrated with the same dread disease. The train was stopped and the whole company fasted and prayed for two days for my recovery, but I continued growing worse until my limbs and the lower portion of my body were apparently dead, but then the faith of the Saints and the power of the Almighty prevailed in my behalf and I recovered. I had, however, lost seventy-five pounds in weight within a few days.