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A Talented Servant

Updated: Apr 5, 2022

John Witt Carling

Hello my name is Blake Garner, I have been asked to share something unique about my family's history. So I decided to log onto There I was able to see a bunch of stories that belonged to many family members and their legacy's.

John Carling was born September 11, 1800. John went on to learn many skills in that he would bless the lives of many people. John's occupations included carpentry, cabinet builder, stone mason, tinner, cooper, blacksmith, coppersmith, florist, seed producer, horticulturist, music teacher, choir leader, and shoe maker.

John lived a life of service. John, before leaving for Nauvoo, was building shoes for the saints. The mobs would look for every little thing they get on the Mormons. They would look to make sure that no Mormons worked on Sunday. John's son Isaac was stationed outside to keep watch while John prepared shoes. He felt he had t

o work on Sunday. They were soon ready to go. If anyone came looking to see him working on the Sabbath, Isaac would tap on the window and John would lay down until they passed by.

As John Carling was getting his family ready to make the trek to Nauvoo, Brigham Young asked him and his son to stay behind to build more wagons for the saints. He was also asked to make warm clothing for the saints to get away in. Brigham declared “I promise you in the name of Jehovah that you will be protected and that you will reach the valleys of the mountains in safety.” He was also promised something similar from Heber C. Kimball. “ In the name of Jesus Christ I promise you that you will get off without a hair on your heads being molested.” John and his son stayed despite the rising threat of the mobs increasing. After the last wagon was made and the clothing was ready he talked to the Ferryman and he told John to be ready early in the morning before the mobs assembled. The next morning as they were getting the last wagon on to cross the Mississippi river the Captain Said “Quick, Quick, here they come!” The mob was angry Pointing their guns and firing at the saints while they swore and cursed at them. They became wild and one of them even latched on to the boat with their hands but failed to get on and drowned.

I also learned that John was also a Bodyguard to the Prophet Joseph Smith. The prophet's farm was about four miles north from the Nauvoo temple. And it so happened that John Carling’s farm was just south of the prophets.

One day when John was doing some carving in the Nauvoo Temple, the prophet noticed his intricate work that he was doing on the time clock. It was then when the prophet asked him to take charge of the Baptismal font. He proclaimed that it must be built upon the oxen to symbolize the 12 tribes of Israel as in times of old. John later returned home and started to draw one of his oxen. He had his son hold the grain bucket as he drew Taurus the Ox. He explained to Isaac the Important role they had been given. He then pinned planks together with hardwood pins and glue and began to carve the first pattern of the first oxen used in the modern day temples. This story was never written and recorded in the history of the church because John didn’t want the glory but would rather have people marvel and glory in the Lord. This is a true story non the less.

This has taught me that we should always be willing to share our talents that the Lord has blessed us with. As we look for ways to share them they will be strengthened. While serving others we can and will learn new skills and the lord will always bless us. We should always be willing to be an powerful instrument in the Lords work. It is when be join the Lord in his work we see his hand at work in our lives as well as in the lives of others.

John Carlings Sketch of the Nauvoo Baptistry

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Thank you Donny and Blake for sharing your family’s stories. I’m inspired to look a little deeper into my own.

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