My third great grandmother, Margaret Crawford Houston, had quite the conversion to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her experience was recorded and written by, I believe, Gladys Delong Banks, a granddaughter. I have taken Gladys's own words and posted them below, with the exception of the title and some other minor edits for clarification:
The Whitewashed Walls
Margaret Crawford (Houston) was born in Dunsyre Parish, Lanark, Scotland in 1825. When she was a young girl, about 17, a very strange incident happened to her.
|Margaret Crawford Houston|
1825 - 1912
She had just finished putting chalk, or whitewash, on the walls and hearth stone. They had a large fireplace at one end of a low ceiling room where the family lived and did most of their cooking. In the hills nearby there were large deposits of white clay, or chalk, which if dissolved in water, made a white wash. This was used to paint the walls and the great hearth stone of the large fireplace, often, to keep the house clean and comfortable for the family. It was Margaret's job to do this as she was the oldest girl. She had just finished her task, and she and her mother were admiring the snow-white walls and hoping they would not have to be done again very soon, when a knock came at the door.
Margaret opened the door and let in who seemed to be a beggar. He walked into the room and looked at the girl, then the mother, and the white walls. He stood a moment and gazed steadily at Margaret. He walked to the fireplace and picked up a piece of charcoal and went to the white wall and began to write.
The mother and daughter looked on in speechless amazement. No one uttered a word since the appearance of this strange person. Then both Margaret and her mother began to remonstrate at having the walls all marked up with black charcoal.
But he would not quit and seemed to know nothing of what they were saying but continued writing until he had covered the whole wall from top to bottom. When he finished, he walked from the room never saying a word.
At first, when Margaret looked at the writing, it seemed to be in some strange language and she could not make it out. Then after a time, it was made clear and she read as follows:
"Margaret was going to be visited by a young man who was teaching a new and strange religion. The young man was from the new world and had crossed many waters to teach her this religion. She would accept the new religion and some of her family would accept it, but they would suffer persecution by joining it. The young man was of their own nationality, and would return to his home. Then he would come to her land and take her as his wife across the many waters, and there in the new world they would build a home and have a great posterity."
After the family read this they all laughed and made fun of it and thought it was just some crazy person who was roving around and had written a fairy tale. But Margaret was deeply impressed. They wondered how it would be possible for one of their own nationality to come from the new world.
1817 - 1864
Things turned out just as they were written. James Houston, born in Paisley, Scotland, was converted to the [Mormon church] by Samuel Mulliner and went to America [in 1840]. Later, James was called on a mission to his native Scotland, and there, he converted Margaret Crawford [in 1845] whom later he married and took to America where they raised their family and made their home in Utah.
<< End of Gladys's words >>
And Margaret Crawford did have a great posterity. Using Puzzilla.org, below is a visualization of just six generations that have descended from her. Each particular individual is either a blue square (man) or a pink circle (woman). Gray squares don't represent people. My particular line to Margaret is highlighted in yellow. Except for my own line, living people are not displayed. Otherwise, the only people displayed are those who have already passed away. This means the chart is only a portion of her descendants as of this writing (March 2017), and may be at least a few hundred people.
I am inspired by and grateful for Margaret's conversion to the church. My life would not be the same had she not made such a decision! What an amazing conversion!
Margaret Crawford Houston's Descendants - 6 Generations
Source of story:
Ancestors and Descendants of James and Margaret Crawford Houston, starting page 211