1st Cousin of Hugh, both are decendents of |
Henry Moon and Alice Porter.
Bishop, pioneer, school board member and farmer he was born in Eccleston, near
Chorley, Lancashire, England, on the 29th of March 1819. Robert and Ann Walton
Moon were his parents. He was only a year old when the greatest event in nearly
1800 years took place: The Father and the Son appeared to the boy Prophet,
Joseph Smith, hundreds of miles away in peaceful Vermont. Subsequent events
transpiring from this vision proved to be the greatest blessing in Henry's life
as well as the lives of his numerous posterity. |
His forefathers had lived in Eccleston for generations. On the family estate still stand the large two story brick house called 'Horse Stone House' with its three tall fireplace chimneys and beautiful windows and a windowed gable at one end; also a two story brick home called Horse Stone Cottage' with roses climbing over the door and a neatly clipped hedge with a white gate. Near these homes is a brick place of business, which housed Robert Moons saddlery shop. It was here that Henry worked with his father. Now there is a sign over the large double wooden door that reads "J. & P. Moon, est. 1800, Wheelwrights and Body Builders and Funeral Undertakers." Later Robert sold his saddlery business to his younger brother, Peter.
Thus it was a very interesting, beautiful and prosperous home in which Henry was raised. The happiness of their family life, however, was greatly marred by the death of Henry's young mother, Ann, who lived only 36 days after Henry was born. We have no knowledge about who raised Henry and his sister Hannah but know that they remained at Horse Stone House with their father until they were grown.
His mother was buried inside the ancient church at Eccleston very near the pulpit. Her husband, Robert Moon, was the last person to be buried inside the church. The Moons are buried at the back of the church in the churchyard. Ann's name and death date are on her father's stone in Leyland Church yard.
Henry was just 18 years old when in far off Kirtland, Ohio; another event took place, which was to prepare the way for him to receive the Gospel. "On Sunday, the 4th day of June 1837," says Heber C. Kimball, "the Prophet Joseph came to me . . . in the Kirtland Temple, and whispering to me said, 'Brother Heber, the Spirit of the Lord has whispered to me: Let my servant Heber go to England and proclaim my Gospel, and open the door of Salvation to that Nation." Orson Hyde, Joseph Fielding and Willard Richards were also with the group who left for England.
From the Autobiography of Heber C. Kimball, we gain the following insight into the conversion of the Moons who lived in that area:
"Having an appointment to preach in the village of Wrightington, while on the way I stopped at the houses of Brothers Francis Moon and Amos Fielding, when I was informed that the family of Matthias Moon had sent a request for me to visit them, that they might have the privilege of conversing with me on the subject of the Gospel. Accordingly, Brother Amos Fielding and I paid them a visit that evening. We were kindly received by the family, and had considerable conversation on the subject of my mission to England, and the great work of the Lord in the Last days. They listened with attention to my statements, but at the same time they appeared to be prejudiced against them. We remained in conversation until a late hour, and then returned home. On our way Brother Fielding observed that he thought our visit had been in vain, as the family seemed to have considerable prejudice. I answered, be not faithless but believing; we shall yet see great effects from this visit, for I know that some of the family have received the testimony, and will shortly manifest the same at which remark he seemed surprised.
"I returned by the way of Brother Fieldings, with whom I again tarried for the night. The next morning I started for Preston, but when I got opposite the lane leading to Mr. Moons, I was forcibly led by the Spirit of the Lord to call and see them again. I therefore directed my steps to the house. On my arrival I knocked at the door. Mrs. Moon exclaimed, Come in You are welcome here! The lassies (meaning her daughters) and I have just been calling on the Lord, and praying that he would send you this way. She then informed me of her state of mind since I was there, and said she at first rejected my testimony, and endeavored to think lightly on the things I had advanced, but on trying to pray, the heavens seemed to be like brass over her head, and it was like iron under her feet. She did not know what was the matter, saying, certainly the man has not bewitched me has he? Upon inquiring she found it was the same with the lassies. They then began to reflect on the things I told them, and thinking it possible that I had told them the truth, they resolved to lay the case before the Lord, and beseech Him to give them a testimony concerning the things I had testified of. She then observed that as soon as they did so light broke in upon their minds; they were convinced that I was a messenger of salvation; that it was the work of the Lord, and they had resolved to obey the Gospel. That evening I baptized Mr. Moon and his wife, and four of their daughters.
"The same night I went to Leyland, and stayed with Francis Moon, and the next morning I went to Preston where I stayed about three weeks with Brother Hyde." "I visited Mr. Moon again, and baptized the remainder of his family, consisting of thirteen Souls the youngest of whom was over twenty years of age. They received the Gospel as little children, and rejoiced exceedingly in its blessings. The sons were very good musicians, and the daughters excellent singers. When they united their instruments and voices in the songs of Zion, the effect was truly transporting."
Henry left his father's home on the 30th of May 1840 (with his sister, Hannah) to join the company of Saints at Liverpool with whom they sailed to America. A1though Hannah sailed with them she returned to England after arriving in New York.
This information obtained from Ralph Moon.
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