February 10th is a very special day in Reid Family heritage.
It was on February 10, 1877 that Marcus D Lafayette Reid and his wife Nancy Elizabeth Duke were baptized members of the Church of Jesus Christ by Elder John Morgan and his companion. A few days earlier Marcus had rescued Elder Morgan and his companion from a mob of men who were planning to tar and feather the two missionaries. Persecution of the Mormon Elders in the South was a common occurrence, so it was no small act of bravery for Marcus to intervene.
Somehow Marcus was able to get the missionaries out of town and back to his home to safety. When Nancy found out, she was angry and terrified. What if the mob came to their home looking for the missionaries? Now the entire family was in peril. No doubt, she and Marcus had words about it. Somehow Marcus prevailed and convinced Nancy to let the missionaries stay long enough to get cleaned up, and to feed them. In her anger, Nancy left the house to fetch fresh water from the nearby stream. Apparently the Lord knew that she needed comfort and convincing. It was while she was drawing water from the stream that a man with glowing white hair and a white beard approached her from behind and announced to her that the men in her home were “Elders of Israel, servants of the living God” and that she would do well to listen to them.
You might know the rest of that story. Nancy returned to the house with a new perspective. She and Marcus provided for the missionaries care, including fending off the mob that did come to the house later that evening demanding that the missionaries be released to them. Marcus stood his ground again in defense of the missionaries, and from that time on, Marcus and Nancy’s commitment to the Gospel never wavered. After his baptism, Marcus was made the Branch President of the small town of Armuchee, Georgia. In spite of the continued threat of persecution by neighbors, the on-going efforts of the missionaries and Marcus’s local leadership resulted in that small part of Northwestern Georgia becoming known as a “little Utah”.
Eight years later, possibly at the encouragement of the same Elder John Morgan who was about to serve his second term as the President of the Southern States Mission, Marcus packed up his family and moved to Kaysville, Utah where he and his family could fully embrace the Gospel without retribution. Marcus and Nancy had endured a mighty trial of their faith, and the Lord rewarded them, and their posterity, with the full blessings of the Gospel that we enjoy today.
Certainly, that event would be enough for us Reids to forever commemorate the 10th day of February, but that’s not all. It so happened that on February 10, 1906, 29 years later, George Samuel Reid was born to his parents Charles Morgan Reid (the Morgan is after Elder John Morgan) and Esther Weir Stedman. The Lord knew what kind of man George would become and what he would mean to his posterity, and saw to it that George’s life was preserved in spite of a life-threatening accident that occurred when George was only two years old.
George’s life history is too significant to chronicle here, but you should also know that the 10th of February continued to be an important day in his life. It was on February 10, 1914 that George was baptized and confirmed, and it was on February 10, 1918 that George received the Aaronic Priesthood and was ordained a Deacon. Not that he planned it that way, because it wasn’t until late in George’s life that he realized that each one of those events had occurred on that special day. Perhaps it was only fitting that he passed away on the 10th day of November, 1990, just three months before his birthday.
Now on this February 10th we pause to give thanks for the blessings of the Gospel, and for the legacy of commitment to it by those who came before us. It’s no matter of coincidence that every Reid who has since come from the union of Marcus D Lafayette Reid and Nancy Elizabeth Duke are part of that legacy.
That is the legacy we Reids commemorate this 10th day of February. It is a legacy of faith that we will always be grateful for.