|FATHER OF HUGH MOON|
Mathias Moon was born in Eccleston. Lanceshire, England, 10 November 1775 (he was christened on Nov. 26), the son of William and Hannah Kerefoot Moon. He was the third of seven sons; the others, in their order were: Henry, John, Edward, William,
Thomas and Robert These good people were members of the Church of England. They were honest, upright people of character, much respected in their locality.|
When he was about twenty, Mathias joined the Methodist Church and remained a member for forty years.
Mathias married Alice Plumb, daughter of Richard and Dorothy Rigby Plumb. She was born in September 1779 (christened on the 26th). They were married February 1, 1802 and became the parents of nine children, five sons and four daughter:
In November, 1837, the missionaries brought the Gospel of Jesus Christ to these good people. The following is copied from the journal of Heber C. Kimball, a missionary.
"Having an appointment to preach in the village of Wrightington, while on the way I stopped at the home of Brothers Francis Moon and Amos Fielding. Where I was informed that the family of Mathias 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 statement, 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 the 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 see great effects from this visit", for I knew that some of the family had received the testimony and would shortly manifest the same. At this remark he seemed surprised.
I returned by the way of Brother Fielding's 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. Moon's 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 on the door. Mrs. Moon exclaimed, "Come in, you are welcome here. I and the lassies (meaning her daughters) 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 endeavoured to think lightly of 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" and upon inquiring she found it was the same with the lassies. Then they began to reflect on the things I had 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 baptised Mr. Moon and his wife and their four daughters. Three weeks later when I came back, I baptised the five sons. They received the Gospel as little children and rejoiced exceedingly in it's blessings."
Very soon after their baptism these five brothers were all ordained to be fellow: labourers or missionaries and spent the greater part of their time working to spread the Gospel among their neighbours, their relatives and friends, and great success attended their efforts.
Speaking of his father Mathias Moon. his son Hugh has the following to say:
"When I was a boy I worked with my father on the farm. He used to instruct me in the great many righteous principles which were engraved on my heart in the days of my youth and which I shall never forget. May God reward him for all his diligence to teach children true principles, that in the day when the trumpet shall sound and awake the dead in Christ, that he (my father) may come forth to inherit eternal life and to stand at the head of his family."
Hugh goes on to say about his father and mother: "My father and mother had a custom of going to pray in secret every day at noon. They prayed every night and morning with their family. They taught their children to be strictly honest in all their dealings.
After joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Mathias lived only a few years enjoying the blessings of the Gospel. He died with a strong testimony of the resurrection. His passing occurred on November 13, 1839, just a few days short of his 64th birthday.
Before his death, he and his family had been strongly considering the advise of the Church leaders to gather with the Saints to Zion. Their plans were not completed, but after his death his family disposed of their property that they could not take with them and made preparations to depart. On the 30th day of May 1840, they bid farewell to their old home, friends, relations and departed.
At Liverpool, they boarded the vessel called Brittania which had been chartered by the Church to bring 41 converts from England to America. This was the beginning of the Church's Emigration Program which eventually developed into the Perpetual Emigration Funds which assisted about 58,000 converts of the Church to gather to Zion. These 41 people were mostly of the Moon family organised into a company by Brigham Young and others of the Council of Twelve who were in England. The company was placed under the supervision of John Moon and his Younger brother Hugh and was instructed by Elder Kimball to keep a record of their trip to Nauvoo. These instructions to Hugh were a blessing to his posterity because he formed a habit which has resulted in a fine record which he kept for the most of the balance of his life and which gives a record from which we are able to learn about our ancestors.
Anyway, on June 6, 1840 the Brittania left dock pulled down the river and out into the great ocean bearing with it away from their homeland and bound for a new world. 41 new converts to the Church. For the first several days most of them experienced sea sickness and other illnesses, several were ill during the whole six weeks of their crossing. They pulled in at Newfoundlands and bought some fish and other things. Two weeks later they dropped anchor in the mouth of Hudson River, within sight of New York where they stayed for two days, then they went into the city where they stayed for eight days, possibly to allow for the recovery of some of the company who were ill. Hugh reported in his journal: "I took a bad cold on the banks of Newfoundlands and, and the glands of both my ears fell. I could neither sleep, speak, eat or drank anything. They carried me to the home of Brother Addison Everatt. William W. Rust gave me some medicine which opened my throat; Sister Everatt nursed me with all the care of a mother until I could move again."
In July the company started overland for Nauvoo. They took steamboat and then train for Philadelphia and slowly proceeded by way of Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and St Louis, and finally to Nuavoo, where they arrived on April 16, 1841. Nine months 'after they' began their journey. During this time, as they travelled overland. two of the Moon family had died, first the brother Thomas Moon had died of bilious fever on Oct. 2, 1840 at Allegheny City, Pa. They were forced to stay in this area due to low water, cold weather and lack of funds. On January 19, 1841 Uncle Henry Moon died at the age of 71.
They arrived at Montrose, Iowa, across the river from Nauvoo and set up their abode there. This has been a long hard journey and their strength was low, shortly after they all took sick with the fever and ague. For weeks Hugh lay hovering between life and death with his mother patiently nursing him and the others who were ill. When it became evident they were recovering, she took to her bed and after a short but sever illness she died on August 14, 1841. Typical of all good mothers, she gave of her last failing strength to care for her children.
From the writings of; Hugh Nelson Wells
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