First Mission of Ezra Taft Benson (1811–1869)
excerpt from his personal history
From Elden J. Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1846–1847 (1971), 250–51

“June 1, 1842 under the counsel and direction of Prest. Heber C. Kimball, I started on a mission to the Eastern States, the land of my nativity, without purse or scrip. About thirty miles east of Nauvoo, I appointed a meeting for the first time and preached as well as I could the first principles of the Gospel. The next meeting I held was in Chambersburgh near the Illinois river. I obtained the school house and gave notice to the people that I would preach there in the afternoon. The house was filled and many stood outside at the windows, and I preached one hour and a half and felt as though my feet were about six inches from the floor for when I stepped I could not feel it; many said at the close of the meeting that they had never heard such a discourse in their lives and I really began to think I was a preacher. The people requested me to tarry with them longer—but as my appointment was East I thought it necessary to continue my journey. Accordingly, the next day, I started for the town of Milton and obtained the use of the school house and appointed a meeting, had a small congregation and made an attempt to preach, but not having my trust in the Lord as much as I should, it proved the dryest discourse I ever heard, and had there been a back door I think I should have been missing, but just as I was closing bro. Harlow Redfield came into the meeting and I called on him to speak, which he did, and being quite a preacher the meeting passed off very well so that the congregation was satisfied.”

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