Arthur Elijah Morgan: “Made Sense”

When asked at age 89 to recall what had attracted him to the gospel more than 60 years earlier, Arthur Elijah “Ot” Morgan answered with the terseness bred into him as a West Virginia mountain man: “Made sense.” He may have been short on words, but his life was long on action where the gospel was concerned.

Ot was born on March 7, 1868, in Wetzel County, West Virginia. He grew up with hard labor on a farm built on hills so steep that human muscle had to take the place of even mule power, much less mechanized power. He married Jane Lemasters in 1887 and continued to farm to feed his family, while working on the railroad to buy the necessities he couldn’t grow. He and Jane eventually raised seven children.

About a year after their marriage, LDS missionaries first reached their neighborhood. Ot answered the door one day to find two missionaries who invited the Morgans to attend a religious service that evening. Jane said they wouldn’t be able to come – she was too sick to leave home, she said, and indeed, she was lying in bed when she said it. The elders, though, simply said, “We shall expect you.” Ot watched as the elders walked down the road a little way, then knelt under a tree in prayer.

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