Relief Mine, Chapter Three

2002-9-10 04:47:00

The Relief Mine
By Ogden Kraut
First Published 1978

Chapter 3


The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine go]d: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. (Psalms 19:7-10)

Mormons are proud of their pioneer heritage. Church history and genealogy records relate heroic examples of the courage from men and women who have endured the dreadful consequences of savage Indians and white-man mobs. They suffered from famine, poverty, stormy winters, and the hot barren deserts. From every form of hardship they lived and died in faith. It is from such honorable parentage that John H. Koyle descended.

The Koyle name was found among the early converts to the Latter-day Saints Church. In 1839 Hyrum Koyle (grandfather to John H. Koyle) joined the Church and witnessed the rise and fall of Nauvoo. In 1846 he was in the midst of the mass exodus westward. However, under the direction of Brigham Young, he remained in Iowa to assist other immigrants who were going to the Rocky Mountains. Later in 1852 he joined the Edward Hunter company and journeyed with them to the Salt Lake Valley.

[25] Hyrum Koyle was called to assist in the establishment of Spanish Fork and immediately proceeded to make his new home there. His son John married Adlinda Hillman, and on August 14, 1864, the second of their six children was born. The little boy was named John Hyrum Koyle.

In 1868 the Koyles were called by President Brigham Young to fill a mission to the Rio Virgin River, often referred to as the "Muddy Mission". While making this journey to Southern Utah, John Hyrum Koyle nearly lost his life in an accident. Apparently while their wagon was jostling over rough terrain, it caused John to fall in front of one of the wheels. Fortunately a friend was close by and responded quickly enough to jerk him away from the wheel that would have crushed his head.

In 1871 the "Muddy Mission" was closed and everyone was called back home; so the Koyles returned to Spanish Fork. But the trials and sorrows of pioneer life were not over.

Shortly thereafter, young Koyle and his father were quarrying stone in a nearby canyon when a slide occurred, and the boy, who very narrowly escaped, watched helplessly as his father was crushed to death beneath the tumbling mass of earth and rock. Although nine years old at the time, John Hyrum Koyle soon found himself pressed into the activities of an adult world. He obtained employment at the earliest opportunity and at fourteen was considered to be a capable mule skinner. (Historical Study of the Koyle Relief Mine, 1894-1962, by James R. Christiansen, p. 8)

Then in 1884, John married Miss Emily Arvilla Holt, and to provide for his newly acquired bride, he purchased a little farm south of Spanish Fork at Riverside, which was later renamed Leland. He chose the profession of farming for his livelihood.

[26] John had always been seriously religious with a good set of moral standards; yet there was something lacking in his spiritual experience. His desire was to know for a certainty that the Gospel was true and what the Lord might want from him in life. He had often heard speakers say that men could pray for a testimony of the Gospel and God would give it to them. He believed that such a testimony was not only a privilege but also a duty, yet very few men could bear such a positive testimony in answer to a prayer.

However, one day as John and his wife were sitting in a meeting at church in Leland, the speaker said anyone could get an absolute and certain testimony if they would pray for it--but, he continued, "If you do not get a testimony in answer to your prayer, it is because you have not repented enough to make things right between you, the Lord and your brethren." This was a different kind of preaching, and John could see it was the truth. He knew the seeds of spirituality could not endure in stony ground; therefore, the Lord could only speak through clean vessels.

This explained the difference between men who receive revelation and others who fail. John was determined to obtain a strong testimony of the Gospel, but he realized there were a few disagreeable things existing between him and some of his brethren. On the way home, while riding on his buckboard, he told Emily that he was going to make amends for his mistakes. He would obtain forgiveness from some of his neighbors and he would forgive them. He was determined to make things right with God because he wanted that certain knowledge and testimony.

When men are required by the law of the Gospel to place everything upon God's altar, they must have more than a supposition or belief in that gospel. Men must know for a certainty that the principles they have espoused are of God or else they will compromise or concede those [27] principles when "storms" arise. Men cannot be fully purified except through the fire of the adversary; therefore, they must know by the power of the Holy Ghost that they are doing the will of God. It is only upon such men that God can bestow His oracles.

John went to his neighbors and friends to correct any misgivings, and when he felt he had done all he could, he went to a little willow patch to pray. He told the Lord that he had straightened out his faults the best that he knew how. He asked the Lord if he could be worthy to receive that certain testimony of the Gospel, and also a forgiveness of his sins. His prayer was humble, sincere and very earnest. After he finished praying, he arose from his knees but noticed nothing different than when he began to pray. No answer seemed eminent, nor was any further testimony obtained. On his way to his house he began to feel disappointed that nothing had happened.

In those days Brother Koyle had a few cattle on his farm, one of which (a red heifer) he had not been able to find. He had hunted the fields for some three weeks without finding his red heifer and had given up hope of finding her, thinking that she was stolen or dead. That night he had a dream. In this dream he saw his red heifer in a field down below the Union Pacific Railroad track. The heifer was standing in Willie Wood's field facing east. One horn was knocked down and was interfering with her eye, causing the eye to run. He was shown that he was to go down the next morning, and just after the passenger train came by, he was to cross over the track and go into the field and there he would find the heifer as he had been shown in the dream. In the dream it was said to him: "Will this be a testimony unto you that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true?" He answered: "Yes." (The Dream Mine, by C. F. Weight, p. 2)

The next morning he told his wife Emily of the dream and replied, "Em, I'm going down there and get my heifer; I know she is there for I saw her." His wife replied, "John, you've hunted those fields over and over, and if your heifer had been there, you would have found her." But John was assured in his mind he would find the place shown to him in the dream and that his cow would be there.

He saddled his horse and waited a little while so he would arrive at the railroad track about 10:00 o'clock when the train was due to pass by. The train came and then John proceeded to the field that he saw in his dream. There was the heifer exactly as he had seen her and He marvelled at such a wonderful experience. When he got the cow up and on the road, she seemed glad to be going home.

While he was on his way home behind the heifer, he prayed to the Lord with joy and thanksgiving in his heart. He also made a covenant with the Lord that if He would give him dreams and visions from time to time to help him, he would serve the Lord all the days of his life.

Thus from such a simple but marvelous beginning, John H. Koyle received a special spiritual gift. His story would reach the ears of thousands and perhaps millions of people. Other men, too, would seek to amend their lives, finding favor with the Lord so they too might be guided and blessed from on High.

John H. Koyle was a man of simple faith and education. He had no university diplomas, no formal honors among men, nor did he seek them. But he had a gift from God. And he had made a commitment that he could use that gift in any way God desired.


-- End Of Chapter --


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Chapter Four

Chapter Two

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