Hatch, Ira Stearns – Remembering Joseph
(February 9, 1800 [or 1801, 1802, 1803]-September 30, 1869) At first meeting with the Prophet, Joseph said he expected the Hatches and immediately asked for the money they had brought for the temple; Ira also heard Joseph's last speech to the Legion. About this time the construction of the Kirtland Temple had started. Ira Stearns Hatch, although not a member of the Church, and Wealtha [his wife] decided to make a contribution to its construction. Ira was very anxious to visit the Prophet, Joseph Smith, and feel the spirit of the man. So they prepared to make the trip and upon arriving at Kirtland Ira inquired for the Prophet. Being informed that he would be found in the grove where they were cutting timber for the Temple, Ira made his way to that place. As he approached the workmen, one of them struck his axe into a tree and came toward him. When close enough, he shook the hand of Ira Stearns Hatch and said, "Brother Hatch, I have been expecting you for three days; the money which you have brought will be used to help build the pulpit in the temple." This left Ira Stearns Hatch with no chance for doubt that Joseph Smith was indeed a true Prophet. Ira's testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel remained steadfast the remainder of his life.
. . . While in the [Nauvoo] Legion, Ira and Meltiar [Ira's son] heard the last speech Joseph Smith gave to the Legion before the Prophet died.
The Hatch Family Historical Committee, Lula Campbell, "Wandering Home: Stories and Memories of Ira Stearns Hatch, Meltiar Hatch, and John Henry Hatch, and their Wives and Children, With Historical- Genealogical and Biographical Data on their Ancestry and Descendants," LDS Family History Center, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1988, 3-5.
Ira's wife persuaded him to go to Kirtland to meet the Prophet, which they did. [Tells that Wealtha Hatch read a copy of the Book of Mormon, gained testimony, and was baptized in 1832, thus being the first member of the Hatch family to join the Church. Then:] "She then persuaded her husband to visit the Prophet Joseph Smith and determine for himself whether or not these things were true. The story of this visit to the Prophet in Kirtland and his conversion is interesting and faith promoting. He was also baptized in 1832. So great was the excitement in the family concerning their new found faith, that some of the children were also baptized. Ransom was baptized January 1842, by E. White when he was 16 years old." "Biography of Ransom Hatch," LDS Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah, 4.
Present at transfiguration of Brigham Young. We were all present when Brigham Young spoke, after Sidney Rigdon tried to have himself appointed as custodian of the Church. It was as if Joseph Smith, himself, was giving the discourse. He spoke of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles being the ruling body of the Church when the President died. The people felt and saw the mantle of leadership settle on Brigham Young at this time. The choice of a new leader was simple. Richard Ira Elkins, "PU-AM-EY: Ira Hatch Indian Missionary, 1835-1909," Bountiful, Utah: 1984, 1990. LDS Family History Center, Salt Lake City, Utah.