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Picturing history: James Smithies home

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 25 2012 5:00 a.m. MST

This home was once owned by James and Nancy Smithies, two early converts when the restored gospel was first preached in Great Britain.

Kenneth Mays

This home was once owned by James and Nancy Smithies, two early converts when the restored gospel was first preached in Great Britain. The home became a center of religious activity for the church where conferences, ordinations and confirmations were held.

On one occasion, Elder Heber C. Kimball and his companion knocked on the door of the Smithies' home at 2 a.m., looking for a place to stay. Shortly before, while crossing the frozen River Hodder in the dark, Elder Kimball felt the desire to pray and "give glory to God for we felt as though all heaven was pleased with what we had done that night."

Brother Smithies was pleased to let the missionaries stay there. After discussing the gospel for a while, they got to sleep at about 4 in the morning.

On one occasion, Elder Kimball blessed the infant daughter of James and Nancy Smithies who was gravely ill. The young child, who was likely the first baby blessed in England, was healed.

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