Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hans Peter Jensen (1844-1931) mentioned in journal entry about Helen Mendenhall

I was intrigued by the story of Hans Peter Jensen giving numerous priesthood blessings to a little girl named Helen Mendenhall, so I looked for her on Family Search and found her record there. A journal entry by her mother has been attached to her record, so I looked through it and was surprised to find that Hans Peter Jensen is mentioned in it! I tried without success to tag him in the story on Family Search and finally concluded that it would be easier to just copy the journal entry here.

All of our children has grown to maturity-except Helen-she was a dear sweet child and was not born to us to live for long just 9 1/2 years. But we surely enjoyed her while she was with us. Everybody loved her. She was the first granddaughter on both sides of the two families. I had three younger sisters or two I mean and my oldest sister Bessie and they loved her dearly. But she wasn't spoiled in the least. Lovells Mother and father almost idealized her. She was her Fathers shadow. When she was 6 1/2 years old she had an attack of appendicitis and was operated on. It was a puss abscess and Helen just drained her life away inch by inch for four months when she began to recover and at the end of six months was able to walk a few steps. She recovered sufficiently to even to to school one year and tehn all in a flash she was wafted away as a feather on the breeze. She died Aug. 1-1912 in the west bedroom up stairs. Sick just from four o'clock till about 10 o'clock next morning when conscious to the last minute. Prayers were offered in her behalf in England, in the Eastern States Mission, and all over Utah and the Bishop at her funeral said, "I never knew of as much faith to be exercised in behalf of a child as there was exercised for little Helen and the Lord was mindful of these prayers and permitted her to live just three short years but then he wanted her and took her before we could rally to her aid."

Patriach Lowery said, "She is a blessed child to be able to fill her mission in 9 1/2 years. Here I am 83 years old and mine is not yet filled."

We have thought of this many times since when worries beset us about our family as they grew to man and womanhood. Of the evils and temptations toil and struggles of the earth that she had missed.

We had hundreds of friends to offer sympathy and consolation but yet the sorrow was ours to bear and a great sorrow it was. Our dear little first born our own little daughter whome everyone loved so dearly. Time alone could heal such a deep wound.

My father came very soon after she passed away. He knew she was very ill. He was plowing in the field just east of our farm. He came so quickly we ask who told him. He said no one but I knew Helen was gone, that her spirit was wafted to Heaven. He said he heard a noise as the wings of thousands of birds and looked into the sky to see where they were going, he said, "I saw nothing above but a clear blue sky but I knew God had taken our little girld and I unhitched and come as quickly as I could, She was taken by the angels." We mourned but we thanked God also that we had her the short time we did.

I and Lovell went into the orchard to pray and give her to the Lord if it was His will when she was so sick just three years before and we felt our prayers were answered and that her mission was on the other side. Our faith was tested many times during her illness after her operation when she lay draining puss from her little body. It seemed the evil power shadowed us at all times to take away our faith but her Father staunch and true to his faith and me in my weak way battled many a night with our feelings as to whether we were the caue of her sufferings. We had been told by an opposing faction that it was because we had not kept the word of wisdom. We felt terrible and went to our Heavenly Father in secret prayer and ask him to forgive us if we had done anything to cause her to suffer so. That night about 12 o'clock a neighbor of ours a dear old Danish Saint who loved us dearly came into our home after all were in bed and said he could not keep from coming to tell us that he had made it a matter of prayer and ask God to make it known to him through his spirit if it was our actions that causing her to suffer. He said twice he had got out of his bed and went afar from hearing of others and prayed earnestly for the Spirit to tell him or assure hom o the matter. He said, "I was given an answer through the spirit of God communing with me and he said you are not the cause of the childs suffering and told us to lift our heads and rejoice in the fact." We knelt in prayer and thanked our Father in Heaven for such a friend and Brother as was Hans Peter Jensen. We are full of errors of course but we were accused of not keeping the word of wisdom by an over zealous brother. We could after that pray with him and still feel that our prayers were accepted unto our maker. It was an ordeal to go through but we were strengthened through it all as nothing else on earth could strenghthen us.

The following Feb. God sent us another son and we were glad for his safe arrival after going through our sorrow.

Grandmother Mendenhall loved Helen so much that she said she hoped she never loved another as much.
I am so happy that we have no bitterness in our hearts left from experiencing of sorrow. We know that "what God giveth he takethy away." And as we are born to die we have subjected ourselved to the will of the Father. We know our darling is not lost to us forever. She will someday meet us and we shall know her and see her and have her for our own to love and cherish through eternity.

(Taken from the Journal of Hannah Bird Mendenall, Helen's Mother. Journal titled "Memories of My Life")

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