Friday, June 11, 2010


While searching the net for stories about our Ancestors, I came across this story about our 3rd Great GrandParents:  James and Drusilla Dorris Hendricks.  It's a story that I know well,
but to have it retold by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is a treat! - Even a blessing with significant importance for us, their descendants!

Elder Holland's telling of the story was published as the Special Witness of Christ feature for the FRIEND and titled   “Come Running”

"Amidst the terrible hostilities in Missouri that would put the Prophet in Liberty Jail and see thousands of Latter-day Saints driven from their homes, Sister Drusilla Hendricks and her invalid husband, James, … arrived with their children at a hastily shaped dugout in Quincy, Illinois, to live out the spring of that … year [of great suffering].

Within two weeks the Hendrickses were on the verge of starvation, having only one spoonful of sugar and a saucerful of cornmeal remaining in their possession. In the great tradition of LDS women, Drusilla made mush out of it for James and the children, thus stretching its contents as far as she could make it go. When that small offering was [eaten by them], she washed everything, cleaned their little dugout as thoroughly as she could, and quietly waited to die.

Not long thereafter the sound of a wagon brought Drusilla to her feet. It was their neighbor Reuben Allred. He said he had a feeling they were out of food, so on his way into town he’d had a sack of grain ground into meal for them.

Shortly thereafter Alexander Williams arrived with two bushels of meal on his shoulder. He told Drusilla that he’d been extremely busy but the Spirit had whispered to him that “Brother Hendricks’ family is suffering, so I dropped everything and came [running].”

May God, who has blessed all of us so abundantly, bless us to hear the whispering of the Holy Spirit when any neighbor anywhere “is suffering,” and to “drop everything and come running.”   (Jeffrey R. Holland, “Special Witness: ‘Come Running’,” Friend, Nov 2002, 7)    
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Felicia said...

I feel a connection to Drusilla ever since I first read her story. If I remember it right, her husband found her crying because she didn't know if she was up to the task of motherhood...or was it crossing the plains? I can't remember. I just know that she went on to take care of her injured husband and support her family across the plains. Whenever I feel like something is too hard, I remember her experience. I owe it to her to "keep going" so that her hard work wasn't in vain.

Todd and I went to Richmond to see her headstone once, and there was a small museum in the cemetery that was dedicated to her. It was locked and I've never been back, but I'd love to go someday. She is buried just blocks away from the school where I attended 8th and 9th grade, which were my hardest years. I wish I had known her story back then.

bevanmission said...

I've also had those sweet tender experiences where I have felt her loving influence. I have felt her presence walking by my side as I served in the Madrid Temple during our mission - and many other times, too. Her faith and legacy has blessed me greatly and I hope to imprint her example onto my grand-daughters, too, as they struggle to be good mothers in their future.

Here's the story you mentioned: "The time went on until I was 15 years old. During which time my brothers and sisters were all married and I was left alone with my parents. My mother taught me in all the branches of housewifery that she was capable, for which I always felt thankful. In my 18th year, I was married to James Hendricks. Then I had to leave my parents but oh how hard the parting, for I loved my parents. But the distance was but one mile from my childhood home. We often went to see them. I was married the last day of May, 1827. My first child was born on the 10th day of May 1828. We called her name Elizabeth. It was then my trouble began for I found I was a Mother and the responsibilities of a mother were upon me. My husband came in and found me crying. He then asked if he had neglected me or said or done anything to hurt my feelings. I answered him, no but I was a mother and was not capable of doing a Mothers duty. He wept with me and told me that I was better prepared to be Mother than he was to be a Father and do the duties of a Father. We had many serious hours over it and as it appeared to me then, so I found it. No small thing to be a mother."

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