Selected Teachings on
Mary Fielding Smith and
the Healing of Her Ox


Note: This story is sometimes misquoted and the details often confused to the point that Mary Fielding Smith is reported to have administered personally to her sick ox. This is not the case. The following account sets the details straight.

Things went along quite smoothly until they reached a point midway between the Platte and the Sweetwater rivers, when one of Mary's best oxen lay down in the yoke as if poisoned and all supposed he would die. All the teams in the rear stopped, and many gathered around to see what had happened. In a short time, the Captain perceived that something was wrong and came to the spot. The ox stiffened in the throes of death. The Captain blustered about and exclaimed: "'He is dead, there is no use working with him, we'll have to fix up some way to take the Widow along. I told her she would be a burden on the company.'" But in this, he was greatly mistaken.  

Mary said nothing but went to her wagon and returned with a bottle of consecrated oil. She asked her brother Joseph and James Lawson to administer to her fallen ox, believing that the Lord would raise him. It was a solemn moment there under the open sky. A hush fell over the scene. The men removed their hats. All bowed their heads as Joseph Fielding, who had been promised by Heber C. Kimball that he would have power to raise the dead, knelt, laid his hands on the head of the prostrate ox, and prayed over it. The great beast lay stretched out and very still. Its glassy eyes looked nowhere. A moment after the administration the animal stirred. Its huge, hind legs commenced to gather under it. Its haunches started to rise. The forelegs strengthened. The ox stood and, without urging, started off as if nothing had happened. This amazing thing greatly astonished the onlookers.  

They hadn't gone very far when another ox "Old Bully," lay down under exactly the same circumstances. This time it was one of her best oxen, the loss of which would have been very serious. Again, the holy ordinance was administered, with the same results.  

(Don Cecil Corbett, Mary Fielding Smith, Daughter of Britain: Portrait of Courage, p.237)