Diary of Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner; The Life and Testimony of Mary Lightner; Papers
Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner was born on April 9, 1818 in Lima, Livingston, New York. Her parents were John D. and Keziah Keturah (Van Benthuysen) Rollins. Mary 's father was shipwrecked on Lake Ontario during a storm when she was ten years old. Her family moved to Kirtland, Ohio, to live with her uncle, Algernon Sidney Gilbert. In Kirtland, Mary heard about the Book of Mormon. She and her mother were baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in October of 1830. Newel K. Whitney and Mary's uncle were business partners in Kirtland. When the Prophet Joseph Smith lived with the Whitneys, he and Mary became good friends. Mary was involved with many well-known Saints and events of the early years of the Church. She saw Bishop Partridge and Brother Charles Allen get tarred and feathered. Mary and her sister Caroline saved copies of the Doctrine and Covenants when Bro. Phelps' printing office was destroyed by a mob. She was present when three half dollars were found inside a fish in the Missouri River, which was just enough money to allow all of the LDS families to cross to safety. Mary married Adam Lightner on August 11, 1835. Adam was not a member of the Church, but cared deeply for Joseph and Hyrum Smith. The Lightners left the Church but returned in 1863. In that year they crossed the plains and settled in Minersville, Utah. Mary and Adam Lightner had ten children. She died in 1913.
This is a copy of a biography/diary of Mary Rollins Lightner. It was written by her grand-daughter Elsie E. Barrett in 1936. Barrett wrote down many of Mary's stories and used these to compile a history of her. Much of the content relates to events in early Church history, including detailed descriptions of Mary's encounters with Joseph Smith. The history also includes information about Mary's family after her marriage, such as the places where they lived and hardships they endured. The account of Mary's trek to Utah comes directly from her diary. BX 8670.07 .L62l: This is a paperback book with two sections: Mary E. Lightner's Life History as recorded in Church Records, and Mary E. Lightner's Testimony as delivered at BYU. The first section was written in 1926 for the Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine. It contains nearly the same information as BX 8670.07 .L62. The second section is a talk that Mary gave at Brigham Young University to young men preparing for missions. She relates her experience of receiving a witness to be sealed to Joseph Smith. This book also contains a copy of a dream Mary had that helped her to know that she should stay with the Church. It is referenced in BX 8670.07 .L62, but the entire account is not found there. This collection contains thirty folders of correspondence to and from Mary Rollins Lightner. Some items are original copies; others are photocopies. The collection includes correspondence from LDS Apostles and prominent Mormon women. See the BYU Library Catalog for more information.