February 15, 2023

Amanda Barnes Smith Haun’s Mill Massacre Miracle

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Amanda Barnes Smith was a strong, faithful women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She and her family lived in Hawn’s Mill Missouri in 1838. Amanda and her family were in the middle of the horrendous act of the “Massacre of Hawn’s Mill”. Amandas faith and strength inspires generations. No matter the hardships Amanda she knew God would help her!

Amanda and her family did not live in Hawn's Mill, but were simply traveling through the area, to join the Saints in Far West when the Missouri Militia attacked Hawn's Mill. Amanda and her husband Warren were traveling with their five children, over eight-hundred miles. They had traveled for six months when they made it to Hawn's Mill where they had stopped to camp for a couple days. This poor young family found themselves in a massacre.

It was October of 1838 when the Missouri militia attacked the small town of Hawn’s Mill. The Latter-Day Saint men of Hawn’s Mill planned to defend themselves by going to the Black Smith Shop and stick their guns out of the holes in the shop and fire on the Missouri mob. The Missouri Mob Men did the same thing, and stuck their guns into the whole in the blacksmith shop and the men and boys inside were like 'fish in a barrel'. The Missouri mob killed most of the members of the town, along with raping and pillaging the homes. Amanda Barnes Smith found her son, Sardius and her husband Warren dead in the blacksmith shop. Amanda then found her little six year old, Alma with “his hip all shot off and to pieces.”

Here’s Amanda story in her own words:

”The entire hip joint of my wounded boy had been shot away. Flesh, hip bone, joint and all had been ploughed out from the muzzle of the gun which the ruffian placed to the child’s hip though the logs of the shop and deliberately fired.

We laid little Alma on a bed in our tent and I examined the wound. It was a ghastly sight. I knew not what to do. It was night now.

There were none left from that terrible scene, throughout that long, dark night, but about half a dozen bereaved and lamenting women, and the children. . .

Yet was I there, all that long, dreadful night, with my dead and my wounded, and none but God as our physician and help.

Amanda’s Prayer of Faith

”Oh my Heavenly Father,” I cried, “what shall I do? Thou sees my poor wounded boy and knowest my inexperience. Oh, Heavenly Father, direct me what to do!”

"And then I was directed as by a voice speaking to me."

"The ashes of our fire were still smoldering. We had been burning the bark of the shag-bark hickory. I was directed to take those ashes and make a lye and put a cloth saturated with it right into the wound. It hurt, but little Alma was too near dead to heed it much. Again and again I saturated the cloth and put it into the hole from which the hip joint had been ploughed, and each time mashed flesh and splinters of bone came away with the cloth; and the wound became as white as chickens flesh."

God as the Physician

"Having done as directed I again prayed to the Lord and was again instructed as distinctly as though a physician had been standing by speaking to me.

Nearby was a slippery elm tree. From this I was told to make a slippery elm poultice and fill the would with it.

My eldest boy was sent to get the slippery elm from the roots, the poultice was made and the wound, which took fully a quarter of the yard of linen to cover, was so large was it, was properly dressed.

It was then I found vent to my feelings in tears, and resigned myself to the anguish of the hour. . .

I removed the wounded boy to a house, some distance off, the next day and dressed his hip; the Lord directing me as before. I was reminded that in my husbands trunk there was a bottle of balsam. This I poured into the wound, greatly soothing Alma’s pain.

”Alma, my child,” I said, “you believe that the Lord made your hip?”

”Yes, mother.”

”Well, the Lord can make something there in the place of your hip, don’t you believe he can, Alma?”

”Do you think that Lord can, Mother?” Inquired the child, in simplicity.

”Yes, my son,” I replied, “he has shown it all to me in a vision.”

Then, I laid him comfortably on his face and said: “Now you lay like that, and don’t move, and the Lord will make you another hip.”

So Alma laid on his face for five weeks, until he was entirely recovered—a flexible gristle having grown in place of the missing joint and socket, which remains to this day a marvel to physicians."

Miraculous Healing

"On the day that he walked again, I was out of the house fetching a bucket of water, when I heard screams from the children. Running back, in affright, I entered, and there was Alma on the floor, dancing around, and the children screaming in astonishment and joy.

It was now nearly forty years ago, but Alma has never been the least crippled during his life, and he has traveled quite a long period of time as a missionary of the gospel and a living miracle of the power of God.”

Alma’s Life

The Lord saved Alma’s hip and his life. He grew up with a full functioning hip, it was a medical marvel! Alma was not handicapped at all throughout his life.

When living in Quincy, Illinois, a few months after the Haun's Mill massacre, a board of doctors in St. Louis heard of Alma Smith's "Mormon Miracle" and sent a team of 5 physicians to investigate. They could not understand how Alma's leg, without any bone in the hip joint, was just as strong and active as the other one. They asked Amanda the name of the surgeon who had performed this wonderful piece of surgery. She replied, "Jesus Christ." One said, "Not the Savior of the World?" Amanda responded, "Yes, the same sir. He was the physician and I was the nurse."

Alma went onto serve over four foreign missions.

One of the most amazing miracles was that Alma was on the his second mission to Hawaii, he helped save the life of Lorenzo Snow!

More Blog Posts on Miracles:

David Whitmer’s Miracle

“Miracle of the Quail”

Lorenzo Snow Raising a Girl from the Dead!

Places to visit:

Hawn’s Mill Memorial Marker

Amanda is buried in Richmond Cemetery in Cache County Utah


“The Witness of Women, firsthand experiences and testimonies from the Restoration” by Janice Johnson and Jennifer Reeder (P. 40-42)

"She did, Ordinary Women Extraordinary Faith" by Emily Cushing and Bekki Hood pg 6

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