Orson Pratt and Joseph F. Smith
Joseph sent for me to come to Harmony to get him and Oliver and bring them to my father’s house. I did not know what to do, I was pressed with my work. I had some 20 acres to plow, so I concluded I would finish plowing and then go. I got up one morning to go to work as usual and, on going to the field, found between five and seven acres of my ground had been plowed during the night.
I don’t know who did it; but it was done just as I would have done it myself, and the plow was left standing in the furrow. This enabled me to start sooner (“Report of Elders Orson Pratt and Joseph F. Smith” in Millennial Star 40, December 9, 1878, p. 772).
Lucy Mack Smith
Near this time, as Joseph was translating by means of the Urim and Thummim, he received, instead of the words of the book, a commandment to write a letter to a man by the name of David Whitmer, who lived in Waterloo, requesting him to come immediately with his team and convey himself and Oliver to his own residence, as an evil designing people were seeking to take away his (Joseph’s) life, in order to prevent the work of God from going forth to the world. The letter was written and delivered, and was shown by Mr. Whirmer to his father, mother, brothers, and sisters, and their advice was asked in regard to the best course for him to take in relation to the matter.
His father reminded him that he had as much wheat sown upon the ground as he could harrow in two days, at least; besides this, he had a quantity of plaster of paris to spread, which must be done immediately, consequently he could not go unless he could get a witness from God that it was absolutely necessary.
This suggestion pleased David, and he asked the Lord for a testimony concerning his going for Joseph, and was told by the voice of the Spirit to go as soon as his wheat was harrowed in. The next morning David went to the field and found that he had two heavy days’ work before him. He then said to himself that if he should be enabled, by any means to do this work sooner than the same had ever been done on the farm before, he would receive it as an evidence that it was the will of God that he should do all in his power to assist Joseph Smith in the work in which he was engaged. He then fastened his horses to the harrow, and instead of dividing the field into what is usually termed lands, he drove round the whole of it, continuing thus till noon, when, on stopping for dinner, he looked around and discovered to his surprise that he had harrowed in full half the wheat. After dinner he went on as before, and by evening he finished the whole two days’ work.
His father, on going into the field the same evening, saw what had been done, and he exclaimed, “There must be an overruling hand in this, and I think you had better go down to Pennsylvania as soon as your plaster of paris is spread.
The next morning David took a wooden measure under his arm, and went out to spread the plaster which he had left two days previous in heaps near his sister’s house, but, on coming to the place, he discovered that it was gone! He then ran to his sister and inquired of her if she knew what had become of it. Being surprised, she said, “Why do you ask me? Was it not all spread yesterday?”
“Not to my knowledge,” answered David.
“I am astonished at that,” replied his sister; “for the children came to me in the forenoon, and begged of me to go out and see the men sow plaster in the field, saying that they never saw anybody sow plaster so fast in their lives. I accordingly went and saw three men at work in the field, as the children said, but supposing that you had hired some help on account of your hurry, I went immediately into the house and gave the subject no further attention.”
David made considerable inquiry in regard to the matter, both among his relatives and neighbors, but was not able to learn who had done it. However, the family were convinced that there was an exertion of supernatural power connected with this strange occurrence.
David immediately set out for Pennsylvania, and arrived there in two days, without injuring his horses in the least, though the distance was one hundred and thirty-five miles (Lucy Mack Smith, History of Joseph Smith, p. 148).