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Fanny's Journal

Rick McConkie has provided Fanny's Journal in a format that can be downloaded. He explains what is available as follows:

About Fanny's Journal
By Forrest Rick McConkie August 6, 2006

There are two journals we know of attributed to Fanny Parks Taggart and virtually all the stories that have been submitted to The Daughters of Utah Pioneer's track their source back to one or the other. The Fanny journal that is currently in the possession of The Daughters of Utah Pioneers was originally the property of Fanny's oldest child Harriet Maria Taggart Goodrich, and is believed to be a hand written copy made by Harriet from her mothers original although Mildred Mansfield stated that it was hand made by Fanny herself. This was donated to the DUP museum by Lucy Goodrich Lind, the youngest daughter of Harriet Taggart Goodrich and seems to be an abridged copy of the original in that is does not include much of the genealogy and temple work entries. The DUP has declined our request to see it, but does offer a typed transcript of it for the cost of making the copies. The LDS Church Archives, however, does have a microfilm copy of that manuscript which can be viewed but not copied.

The other Fanny journal is most probably the original. It was in the possession of Fanny's oldest son George Henry Taggart and from an inscription on the inside front cover of the book was handed down to his daughter, Maggie Taggart Francis. In 1949 Maggie's brother, Scott Taggart, borrowed the book and loaned it to the Genealogy Society of Utah for the purpose of having it microfilmed. The book was returned to his sister, Maggie, after the microfilming was completed. Maggie died in 1958 and some time later one Alma W. Francis donated the book to the Utah State Historical Society in Salt Lake City [MSS A 4097]. It can be viewed and copied at the Utah State Historical Society's offices located in the Rio Grand Railroad Terminal Building on Third South and Third West in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Fanny's Journal appears to have been started on 14 February 1886 when she was just past her 64th birthday. It is in a bound book of lined numbered pages from 1 to 145 with a single unlined page at the beginning and end. She used the extra page at the beginning as a table of contents, and the one at the end she hand numbered 146 and 147. The book is approximately 11 inches by 8 inches by about inch thick in size. The pages have mostly come loose but all pages are accounted for with most of them being blank. The first 11 or so pages are made up of the recollections of her life and those she associated with up to that time. Other parts of the journal deal with information she had collected on her ancestors and close relatives, while in other parts of the book she recorded the Temple Ordinance Work she and her children had been able to do. Fanny also recorded several poems and what are termed Acrostics which are a number of lines of writing, especially a poem or word puzzle, in which particular letters, for example, the first, in each line, spelled a word or phrase. She seemed to enjoy these kind of exercises.

[Available here is a scan of the original as it was microfilmed in 1949 by what later became the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.]

Several of the stories submitted to the DUP include references to Fanny's days in Nauvoo and the teachings of Joseph Smith. Thus far we have not been able to locate in either copy of her journal references to such. We firmly believe they are authentic but thus far have not been able to locate the original sources other than in DUP versions of Fanny's story as submitted by various decedents such as Mildred L. Mansfield and Dorthy M. Bird, and are worded something like this taken from a paper submitted by Mildred:

"Her journal included some poetry which she had composed, her several blessings and some extracts from a sermon she had heard Joseph Smith give. Following are some of these.

Some of the sayings of Joseph the Prophet in Nauvoo:

"God the Father took life unto himself the same as Jesus did. We were all present and saw the Savior chosen and appointed, and the plan of Salvation made, and we sanctioned it. We cane to this earth that we might have a body and present it pure before God in the celestial kingdom. The great principle of happiness consists on having a body. The devil had no body and herein is his punishment. Beings who have bodies have power over those who have not. The devil has no power over us only as we permit him. The moment we revolt at anything that comes from God the devil takes power. I will give you one of the mysteries of the kingdom - it is an eternal principle that has existed with God from all eternity that man who rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the Church, saying that t6hey are out of the way, while he himself is righteous, then know assuredly that that man is on the road to apostasy and if he does not repent will apostatize as God lives. The devil may appear as an angle of light, every sprit is not of God. The devil is an orator - he is powerful - the took our Savior to a pinnacle of the temple and kept him in the wilderness for forty days. The Lord has told us to flee, not delaying or we shall be scattered, one here and another there. Etc.

"The gospel net gathers in of every kind. I prophesy that the man who tarries after he a has an opportunity of going, will be afflicted by the devil. Wars are at hand, we must not delay. We ought to have the building up of Zion as our greatest objective. When wars come we shall have to flee to Zion. The cry is to make haste. The last revelation says ye shall not have time to have gone over the earth until these tings come. It will come as did the cholera. Wars and fires, burning earthquakes, one pestilence after another, etc. Wherever it maybe, if it be a place of refuge the devil will use his greatest efforts to trap the saints. The time is soon coming when no man will have any peace but in Zion and her stakes. I saw men hunting the lives of their own sons, and brothers murdering their brothers, women killing their daughters and daughters seeking the lives of their mothers., I saw armies arrayed against armies. I saw blood and desolation and fire etc. These things are at our doors.

"I lived in Nauvoo the most of the time after the saints commenced to settle there and generally attended meeting and have heard the Prophet say many good things. I heard the sermon that these few lines are a part of, but could not have written them here had they not been written by some one at the time.

"I was at a fast meeting in the grove near the temple that was called on account of the Prophet being in the hands of his enemies, and it was called early in the morning and the most of us went without our breakfast and stayed until nearly night. I well remember one of the brethren got up and talked in tongues and the interpretation was that the Prophet was released and it proved to be the case as the word came to us that night that he would be home the next day.

"I often think of the many happy hours I have spent in listening to the words of life that flowed from the lips of the Prophet. No one could help but like him for he was kind and good. I have heard him reprove men for their wrong doings and talk pretty sharp but it was always in such a good spirit that it appeared t me that no one could be offended. I have heard him talk a great many times and can bear testimony that I always felt benefited and I know he was a prophet of God and that the Lord called him in his own due time to lay the foundations of this latter day work."

Or this from two paper's submitted by Dorthy Bird:

"Fannie ends her autobiography with an eye-witness testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith. "I often think of the many happy hours I have spent listening to the words of life that flowed from the lips of the Prophet. No one could help but like him for he was kind and good. I have heard him reprove men for their wrong doing and talk pretty sharp but it was always in such a good spirit that it appeared to me that no one could be offended. I have heard him talk a great many times and can bear testimony that I always felt benefited and I know he was a prophet of God and that the Lord called him in his own due time to lay the foundations of his latter day work"

It may be that the copy the DUP has includes this information but was not included in the typed transcript they provided. Memory does not recall if it was in the microfilmed copy at the LDS Church Archives. This determination will have to be made by another trip to the Church Archives at a later time, and perhaps a careful comparison of the hand writing in each version can be made at that time as well.

 

Here is the entire journal as submitted by Scott Taggart. The file is very large, 65 MB, and we suggest that only those with broadband Internet connections such as cable, DSL or satellite download it. It is in Adobe Reader format, (.PDF).

Important. The file should first be downloaded to your computer before opening it. Right-click the link and choose Save Target As...

Fanny Parks Journal - Complete

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