President Taylor, the only man to serve as a President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who was not born in the United States, lived and worked in the area around Milnthorpe (in north England). He was born in Milnthorpe, England on Nov 1, 1808. He lived in the town as a boy and took from it many of the qualities that emerged in later life. Below is a story of President Taylor as a boy in Milnthorpe, our site of the week.
“When I was a young boy of ten years, my best friend, Robert West, died from a serious illness. The boy’s father, Allee West, moved from the village to become a shepherd, and I missed him very much. Feeling lonely for my friend’s father, I asked one day if I could visit Allee. My parents, knowing how close I had been to Allee, fixed a basket of food for him to take along.
It would take all day for me to get to Allee’s house and back, so I left early in the morning. There were many hills to cross. Once, while resting, I was tempted to eat the food in the basket but got up instead and walked the rest of the way as quickly as possible. Allee was overjoyed to see me. We ate the food together and talked of old times.
Late that afternoon, some storm clouds began darkening the sky, so I left for home. Before I could get there, a thick fog settled on the hills, and I could not see very far. A team of horses almost ran over me because the driver could not see the small boy walking on the roadside. When I came to a fork in the road, it was so dark and foggy that I couldn’t see the landmarks that would tell me which way to turn. I fell to my knees in prayer. As I stood up, I felt a hand on my shoulder. It was Allee. He had worried about my safety and had come to help me find my way home. That is only one of the many times the Lord has watch over me.”
Boys Who Became Prophets, by Hardy, L.C., p. 17-18