"Thomas Giles, a Welsh convert who joined the Church in 1844, . . . suffered much in his lifetime. He was a miner, and while he was digging coal in the mine, a large piece of coal hit him on the head and inflicted a wound nine inches long. The doctor who examined him said the injured man would not live longer than 24 hours. But then the elders came and administered to him. He was promised that he would get well, and that 'even if he would never see again, he would live to do much good in the Church.' Brother Giles did indeed live but was blind the rest of his life. Within a month of his injury 'he was out traveling through the country attending to his ecclesiastical duties.'"In 1856 Brother Giles and his family immigrated to Utah, but before he left his homeland, the Welsh Saints presented him with a harp, which he learned to play skillfully. At Council Bluffs he joined a handcart company and headed west. 'Though blind he pulled a handcart from Council Bluffs to Salt Lake City.' While crossing the plains his wife and two children died. 'His sorrow was great and his heart almost broken, but his faith did not fail him. In the midst of his grief he said as did one of old, "The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the name of the Lord" ' (see Job 1:21). When Brother Giles arrived in Salt Lake City, President Brigham Young, who had heard his story, loaned Brother Giles a valuable harp until his own arrived from Wales. Brother Giles 'traveled from settlement to settlement in Utah, . . . gladdening the hearts of the people with his sweet music' (see Andrew Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 4 vols. [1901–36], 2:507–8)."
James E. Faust, "Where Do I Make My Stand?" Ensign, Nov. 2004, 20
Topics: Pioneers, Faith
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