George Farnworth History
(24 Jan 1818 - 11 July 1903)
by Joseph Grant Stevenson
Joseph Farnworth, father of George Farnworth, was a farrier (one who shoes horses) in the English Army, and resided in France, Ireland, and England. His wife was Margarite McBride.
George Farnworth was born Jan. 24, 1818 at Landerton, LaNord, France. He came to America in 1847, landing at St. Louis, Missouri, where his wife, Elizabeth Bustard and child both died. He came by ox team across the plains, arriving at Salt Lake City, July 18, 1853. In 1855 he moved to Pleasant Grove, and from there, moved to Mt. Pleasant, Sanpete County, Utah, in 1859.
His second wife, Elizabeth Hitchings had no children.
His third wife, Susanna Coats daughter of Joseph and Ann Coates, was born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire England, Dec. 10, 1836.
George Farnworth was a well-respected citizen of Sanpete County, Utah. He served as Tithing Clerk for many years. He did a great deal of work in the Manti Temple, and during his life he received two impressive visions. He died in Mt. Pleasant, Sanpete County, Utah, July 11, 1903. His wife, Susanna Coats died there also, Nov. 2, 1898. His fourth wife, Mary Jane Allen, died Dec. 17, 1920 at Mt. Pleasant.
The story to follow was related by President Anthon H. Lund of the First Presidency, then President of the Genealogical Society of Utah, and at the dedication of the Hawaiian Temple, November 27, 1919:
I remember one day in the temple at Manti, a brother from Mount Pleasant rode down to the temple to take part in the work, and he passed the cemetery in Ephraim, he looked ahead (it was early in the morning), and there was a large multitude all dressed in white, and he wondered how that could be. Why should there be so many up here? It was too early for a funeral, he thought; but he drove up and several of them stepped out in front of him and they talked to him. They said, "Are you going to the temple?" "Yes." "Well, these that you see here are your relatives and they want you to do work for them." "Yes," he said, "but I am going down today to finish my work. I have no more names, and I do not know the names of those whom you say are related to me." "But when you go down to the temple today you will find there are records that give our names." He was surprised. He looked until they all disappeared, and drove on. As he came into the temple, Recorder Moses Frederick Farnsworth came up to him and said. "I have just received records from England and they all belong to you." And there were hundreds of names that had just arrived, and what was told him by these persons that he saw was fulfilled. You can imagine what joy came to his heart, and what a testimony it was to him that the Lord wants this work done. (Proceedings of the Dedication of the Hawaiian Temple, p. 79, as cited in SAVIORS ON MOUNT ZION by Archibald F. Bennett, p. 156.)
One of the most glorious principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that of salvation for our dead.
The man who had that visitation was my great-grandfather, George Farnworth. He was born 24 January 1818; and died 11 July 1903. He was baptized into the Church 30 October 1853. He left England with a wife and one child. Both died at St. Louis Missouri. He crossed the plains by ox teams and settled at Pleasant Grove, Utah in 1855. In 1859 he and his fourth wife, Mary Jane Allen, moved to Mount Pleasant. While there the experience related by President Lund occurred. At the time President Lund was in the Presidency of the Manti Temple, which had just been dedicated. Brother Farnworth and his wife frequently attended sessions there.
In our family is preserved the written account by my great-grandfather of his impressive interview. These are his words:
GEORGE FARNWORTH'S VISION
(SANPETE COUNTY, 16 JULY 1888)
This morning about 10:00 o'clock while traveling between Pidgeon Hollow and Ephriam graveyard, I felt a very strange sensation, such as I never had experienced. Under this influence, I went along and I looked ahead. It seemed that right in front of me there was a vast multitude of men. To the right and a little in front stood a large man, about the size of my father, who weighed about 242 pounds, who waved his right hand and said, "They are your kindred and we have been waiting, waiting, waiting for your Temple to be finished. It is now dedicated and accepted by our Father, and you are our representative. We want you to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. "You have the privilege of hearing the Gospel of the Son of God.We have not that great blessing."
Just then I looked at them, and saw that they were all men, and thought it strange there were no women. I tried to recognize some of them, but knew none. I was thinking how can I find out their names, etc., when it appeared that a voice by me said, "When that will be required, it will be made known.
I felt while looking at them, "Oh! shall I be worthy to help them. "Just then the tears were rolling down my cheeks and in the humility of my soul, I shouted, "God help me, and said aloud, "God, being my helper, I will do all I can. "And it seemed as if the whole host shouted as if with one voice, "Amen."
I could not stand it any longer and cried aloud while wiping my face and eyes, and after I could control myself, I looked ahead and all had gone. During all this time my team was going at their wanted gait, but I got no nearer to them. Some of these men had white and some had dark clothes on. All their heads were uncovered. When I got to Ephraim I felt so overcome, I had to tie up my team and rest before I could go on to Manti. My sincere prayer is, "God help me to do all I can for them."
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