A. S. Rogers, "Bathing," Juvenile Instructor, 1 August 1883, 231.
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- Source Locations
- Church History Library, M205.1 I59 v. 1-64 1866-1929
- Related Companies
- Brigham Young Company (1848)
As a warning to children who go into the water to bathe, I wish to relate an incident that happended while the Saints, of which I was one, were crossing the plains, on the way to these valleys. When starting from Winter Quarters, we were divided into companies, each company traveling at some distance from the others in order that we might have feed for our teams.
We would occasionally lay over for a few days so that the sister could bake bread, wash, iron, mend, etc., and also to give the cattle a chance to recruit. We used oxen in those days, there being but few who could afford a horse team.
At one of these stopping places, we camped by a stream of water called Looking Glass creek, which emptied into the Platte river about a mile from where we were camped. We had beautiful moonlight nights at that time, and one evening about ten or a dozen girls, myself being one of the number, with one elderly lady to take charge of us, took it into our heads to go to the mouth of the creek and have a bath in the Platte river, which is a very wide stream and quite shallow in places. We thought that by going so far we could have a good time and no one would molest us. In due time we started and followed the creek until we came to the river, after which, a place was soon found that suited our purpose, and in a short time we were all, with the exception of the elderly lady, in the water enjoing ourselves very much. We had not been in long, before some of the girls said, "let us play baptize," one saying to the other, "let me baptize you." We commenced to do this, although I do not remember that any words were uttered. We were soom interrupted in our sport by hearing some one exclaim, "What is that? See, what is that coming?" All looked in the direction pointed out, and sure enough something was coming, right towards us, and only a short distance away.
Then such a screaming and rushing for the shore was perhaps never witnessed before, nor since, some almost falling down in the water with fright. I never shall forget the fellings I had upon first beholding the object before us. I was like one paralyzed, and could not speak or move for a few seconds, and was nearly the last one out of the water. But all gained the shore, and in looking back saw this object go up the creek and disappear. It was rather strange that no two person thought it looked alike; some at first thought it was a man who was trying to scare us, but we neither saw nor heard any motion of the water as it moved along, first coming towards us, then turning and going up the creek, and from that day to this we never found any one who could explain the mystery of the scare. We all felt, however, that it was a warning for us not to meddle with sacred ordinances. We also felt that as we were in an Indain [Indian] country, we had acted very unwise in going so far from camp. It gave us many reflections, and we went home talking very seriously about what had happened.
I have had a desire to write this, so the children of the Saints could read it. I trust it will teach them to never make light of any of the scared ordinances of our Church, for I know it is displeasing to our Heavenly Father.