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ALL TIMES, ALL THINGS, ALL PLACES (Benjamin F. Johnson)


At Adam-ondi-Ahman, 20-year-old Benjamin F. Johnson was spared a similar fate at the hands of a Missourian who was determined to shoot him. Benjamin had been arrested and kept under guard for eight days in intensely cold weather before an open campfire. While he was sitting on a log, a “brute” came up to him with a rifle in his hands and said, “You give up Mormonism right now, or I’ll shoot you.” Benjamin decisively refused, upon which the ruffian took deliberate aim at him and pulled the trigger. The gun failed to discharge. Cursing fearfully, the man declared that he had “used the gun 20 years and it had never before missed fire.” Examining the lock, he reprimed the weapon and again aimed and pulled the trigger—without effect.
Following the same procedure he tried a third time, but the result was the same. A bystander told him to “fix up his gun a little” and then “you can kill the cuss all right.” So for a fourth and final time the would-be murderer prepared, even putting in a fresh load. However, Benjamin declared, “This time the gun bursted and killed the wretch upon the spot.” One of the Missourians was heard to say, “You’d better not try to kill that man.”22
-E. Dale LeBaron, “Benjamin Franklin Johnson: Colonizer, Public Servant and Church Leader” (master’s thesis, Brigham Young University, 1966), 42–43; quoted in Our Heritage, 49

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