Sunday, June 1, 2014

Church News: Born To Defend Gospel Truths: Thomas Evan Jeremy

Church News: Week Ending July 15, 1967
This Week in Church History: Born to Defend Gospel Truths

July 13, 815--Thomas E. Jeremy was born on a Llanegwad, South Wales, farm
"Those damned night-dippers will lead you down to hell!" the red-faced landlord shouted at tenant farmer Thomas E. Jeremy who had come to pay his half-years rent.
Thomas, a husky man of about 31, had been reared by God fearing parents among the green fields of South Wales.  After his marriage he joined the Baptists, but recently had cast his lot with the not-too-popular Mormons.
He had recognized the truth of the Restored Gospel from the day he first heard it preached by Dan Jones, companion of the Prophet Joseph Smith at Carthage Jail.  Baptized March 3, 1846, Thomas had been one of Elder Jones' first converts.
The landlord was violently opposed the the religious activity of his young tenant who was a branch president and active proselyter for the Mormon cause. 
"I know my duty to you sir, and will do it.  Bur I consider it my privilege to serve God according to my conscience.  I fell it my duty to obey God more than a man," was Jeremy's quiet but firm reply.
Madder than ever, the landlord heaped a torrent of abuse on the stubborn farmer.  The tirade came to an abrupt end when the landlord fell back in his chair in what seemed to be a seizure of some kind.
Thomas was a man of strong and unshakable conviction and faith, once he was assured he had the priesthood of God.  Walking to a conference at Myrthyr Tydfil with a young convert, John Rice, one cold, stormy day, he took a trail over a steep mountain.  John slipped in the mud and dislocated his ankle.
The young man flopped down by the roadside, crying with pain and fear.  There was no help that he could see.  The nearest home was seven miles away.
Thomas explained the ordinance of the laying on of hands to his friend promising that he could be healed if he had faith.  When John asked for the administration, Thomas proceeded to command that everything in John's body that had been dislocated be restored.  When he was through, John jumped to his feet with a happy shout and they went their way.
Thomas himself was the beneficiary of the gift of healing on another occasion when he leveled his shotgun at a flock of crows that were gobbling his grain.  The gun barrel exploded and a fragment crashed into his skull knocking him senseless.
Fear was expressed that he would not live, but hands of the priesthood were laid on his head an he bore his testimony in church the next Sunday.
By 1849, Thomas was ready to move his family to Utah.  They discovered real hardship when snow caught their company on the Sweetwater River.  Help finally came and they were able to continue to the valley, but not without losses.
The Jeremys settled in the 6th Ward.  Thomas began learning the skills of irrigation as he farmed his land on the banks of the Jordan River.  Whenever he had food he shared generously with his neighbors, taking his chances for survival along with everyone else when the supply was gone.
The Welsh in the city enjoyed gathering in their own special meetings to talk in their distinctive dialect.  Thomas was called as their presiding officer.  He fulfilled three missions to his homeland.
For over 20 years, he was a member of the Salt Lake Stake High Council while continuing to operate his farm on the Jordan and a coalyard int he city.
After h is release form the high council, he was ordained a partriarch serving in this calling until his death in 1891.  Arnold Irvine
Source: Andrew Jensen "LDS Biographical Encyclopedia"

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