John Taylor's strength of witness and conversion were illustrated by an event that occurred near Columbus, Ohio, where a group of trouble-makers, learning that he had scheduled to preach a service there, decided to tar and feather him. When a few Church members heard about the plot, they urged him to cancel the meeting, for they lacked the strength to protect him. Expressing his thanks for their concern, he decided nevertheless to fulfill the appointment. At the meeting, the English convert proceeded to lecture his audience about the blessings of freedom guaranteed in the American Constitution and about the valor of their forefathers in fighting for liberty. Having laid that groundwork, he suddenly shifted his focus: 'I have been informed that you purpose to tar and feather me, for my religious opinions. Is this the boon you have inherited from your fathers? Is this . . . your liberty?' After letting the implications of these accusatory questions seep in, he said, 'Gentlemen come on with your tar and feathers, your victim is ready; and ye shades of the venerable patriots, gaze upon the deeds of your degenerate sons! Come on, gentlemen! Come on, I say. I am ready!' (in B. H. Roberts, The Life of John Taylor , 53–55). The would-be tormentors made no move. Instead they remained quiet and attentive while Elder Taylor expounded on the plain and precious doctrines of the restored Church for three hours.
The scriptures are our Father in Heaven’s letters; only He knows more than I did as a father what you and I would need. There are times in our lives when we need to open the letter and communicate with our Father in Heaven, and understand what He is like and His concern for us. I would like to share this morning, with you, four letters from my Father in Heaven that have been very important to me—that I hope will be indicative of the power that the scriptures can be for us as we face different trials and challenges of our lives. The first letter is called "The Fourth Watch." That letter comes from the sixth chapter of Mark. The Savior has fed the five thousand that day, and in the late afternoon, early evening, He is sending his apostles down into the ship. He will dismiss the multitude. He wishes to pray that evening, and then He will meet the apostles a little later on the shore and they are to pick Him up. In late afternoon, early evening, the apostles get on the sh