Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, WPA Federal Writers' Project Collection.


Interview given by Mrs. Maggie Cragun

I went to the dedication of the temple in January 1777. President Brigham Young was present. President Young said that the doctors had told him he had gout, anyway he was lame and had to use a cane. He was carried up into the Temple in a big chair. People thought that he would not be able to talk but he was. Just on the outskirts of town the people built an arbor for President Young to pass under as he entered town. People from far and near went out and greeted him, and then followed the procession down to the Temple.

President Young was not planning on speaking, but before the meeting was finished he spoke to the people. He raised up on the stand, and brought his cane down very hard on the pulpit. He said, "If I mar the pulpit some of these good workmen can fix it up again." He did mar the pulpit but the people did not fix it up again. They left it for a mark to be carried down through the years.

When the meeting had been dismissed they began to file out of the building. Just as it was dismissed a terrible wind began to blow. The people began to crowd one and another trying to get out the building because they thought something was going to happen. Then President Young again stood up and said, "Sit down and calm yourselves and let the devil roar." The devil did roar for perhaps two hours or more doing much destruction in its fury. It upset buggies, tore trees up, and did much damage to everything in general. The devil tried his best to discourage the people, but he had found that he had met up with a stronger opposition than he could overcome.

The Temple was filled to the utmost capacity. People from everywhere had come to witness the dedication of the first Temple. After the dedication the people were very anxious to become workers in the Temple. There was not very many temple clothes prepared, but the people worked hard and before long people were going into the Temple and doing their temple work. Those who did not have clothes borrowed them from their friends, thus making it possible for many to get their temple work done.

I do not remember much about the dedication of the Tabernacle, but I do remember that Brother Isaiah Cox, father of Henderson Cox, climbed to the top of the Tabernacle and put the finishing touches on the ball and steeple. It was surrounded by a frame and so was not so dangerous.

Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, WPA Federal Writers' Project Collection.


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