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Samuel and Amanda Chambers: Lesser-Known Pioneers

Brother Swenson describes his feelings on that temple day:

I will always remember that night in the Jordan River Temple when hands were laid on my head and the priesthood was given to Sam Chambers. I have never felt the veil more thin than I did that night. I knew Sam was present. Interestingly, when we were on our way to the Endowment room of the temple, my wife and I were selected to be the Witness Couple for the session. We were deeply honored and this added to the special feelings of the evening. Later that night President Moss sealed Sam and Amanda for time and all eternity as my wife and I knelt at the altar as the proxies in the temple.

Could there be a more appropriate image for the Freedman Bank CD—a genealogical resource that provides a way for millions of African Americans to trace their lineage—than Sam and Amanda Chambers, who valued family in ways most of us will never comprehend? There they are with the famous Frederick Douglass, the ex-slave/orator who stood for freedom, equality, and justice in his time.

Samuel Chambers received a Patriarchal blessing from John Smith, as did Amanda. Sam was told that he would live a long life (he died at age ninety-eight), would prosper, and that his name would be held in remembrance among the Saints.

Many have seen his face. Perhaps those who are reading about him now may help in the fulfillment of that last prophecy.

Note: Most of the information on Sam and Amanda Chambers is from William Hartley—the real expert on their lives—who has published their stories in The New Era (June 1974) and in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought (summer 1979). The Dialogue article includes transcriptions of Samuel Chambers' various testimonies. It is titled "Saint Without Priesthood."

10/14/2012 4:00:00 AM