Midvale Union Fort
 Multi-Stake Family History Center
540 East 7155 South in Midvale
 (just north of fire station) Please use north door      
Phone: (801) 569-1621 
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Guided to Camp

The party made a clearing in fourteen inches of snow and pitched their tents. The season opened on the following day. Shortly after a camp was set, a series of events happened between that time and eleven o’clock that night which show the guiding power of an intelligent mind that is far superior to that of mortal man, an intelligence and power, too, that were manifested in response to fervent prayer.

Here is the story told by each man in the order that the events occurred:

Testimony of George E. Walton

Shortly after our tents were pitched, I walked a short distance from camp alone, to make a preliminary survey of the grounds. I came upon some fresh deer tracks from which I concluded there must have been about six or seven animals in the drove. The snow was fresh and about fourteen inches deep and the tracks had been very recently made. Out of curiosity, more than anything else, I followed the trail, thinking I might come upon them within a few hundred yards. The excitement of the moment made me lose track of time, distance and direction, and, before I realized it, I was enveloped in a dense fog and lost. Night came on and with the darkness added to the fog, I was unable to see to retrace my steps through the dense timber into which I had wandered. I began to feel greatly fatigued too, for I had worked with the three cars from the time we reached the canyon until we struck camp, getting them through the snow up the grades. I was hungry as well, for I had had nothing to eat since daylight, except a piece of bread I had broken from a loaf before I left camp.

The pines and underbrush were weighted down with snow, and walking was very difficult. The temperature by this time was biting cold, and I hadn’t a match nor was there a dry bit of wood anywhere to be had. A dreadful fear of being frozen to death seized my heart and I resolved to keep walking at least as long as my fast waning strength would last. Suddenly I came against a dead pine stripped of its bark and showing a white, smooth surface. I resolved to leave a last message on the tree and give up the fight. I reached for my lead pencil and as I did so, some force or power that I cannot describe or explain, prevented my leaving the note. Almost distracted over my desperate condition I knelt down and fervently prayed for help. As I arose my strength returned and I continued on. I had not gone far when suddenly a shaft of light broke through the fog and darkness coming from a point in the heavens, a little to my left and above me and striking the ground where I stood. At the same time, the fog in front of me lifted and a bright rift in the clouds appeared and there, before my eyes, I saw the Marysvale trail over the pass with which I was familiar. I saw it as clearly as though I were upon a mountain peak above it looking at it in the light of a noon day sun. Then, all at once, the mysterious light vanished and the strange curtain fell and I was in darkness again, but I had my bearings and the panoramic vision of my course was upon my mind’s scroll. Then too, I felt the presence of some influence that kept urging me to keep walking.

From the intelligence that came to me when the vision of the Marysvale trail appeared before me, I knew the location of an abandoned mine, known to all of our party, and which we had all agreed was to be our retreat if we were ever lost, for we had hunted in these parts for several seasons.

The course now before me was up a very steep hill, covered with brush and timber. I had in mind to reach the summit, in the direction of the trail, and from that point, return to camp. My hands and forearms were numb and stiff, and my feet and legs were in the same condition. Once I fell and when I arose, I tried to wipe the snow from my face, but my hands and arms were so stiff I could not do it. I was now so fatigued that, as I came to a dead tree, I would stop and, although I wanted to sit down to rest, the same influence and power that prevented my writing a last note, kept me from sitting down, and so I leaned my back against the tree until the same power forced me to move on.
When I reached the vicinity of the old mine, I turned my course in the direction of the tunnel, but this same power held me back, even against my will, and forced me to keep walking. I felt this force even as if someone were actually pushing and forcing me forward. Finally I reached the top of the ridge and there I lost all consciousness.

Testimony of Leonard S. Walton

It was about three-thirty in the afternoon, when I missed my brother George. I inquired of the other members of our party if they had seen him and also went to adjoining camps to locate him, but no one knew anything about him. As time wore on, and he did not return, I checked the knives and guns and found that he had taken none of them. I found too, that all provisions were intact, except one loaf of bread, part of which had been taken. Although we all knew that George was familiar with the territory, yet I had grave fears concerning his safety, and as night began to fall everyone in camp and in the camp adjoining believed that he had wandered away, was lost and was probably frozen to death, for it was so cold that a cup of water would freeze around the edge the moment it was lifted from the bucket that stood near the stove.

In Scouting about with flashlights, some of the men picked up his trail and brought word back. We decided to organize a searching party and, by casting lots, the leadership fell to my brother Lafayette. I was to remain in camp with father and the two small boys, Eldon and Marlow. A code of gunfire signals was arranged between me and the men who were to go. It was agreed that when they reached the top of the ridge that lay five miles away in the direction of the course I felt George had taken, they were to report their findings by firing certain shots and I, in turn, should advise them in the same manner if he returned or not.

The intense cold, the deep snow, the fog, the rough country into which we felt he had wandered, the long time he had been away and the fact that he had nothing to eat since morning and was without a knife or gun, all pointed to but one conclusion, unless some Divine Power intervened in his behalf. In every heart there was a prayer, not only for the safety of my lost brother, but for the guidance and preservation of the brave men who were to risk their lives for his.

Shaking hands with those of us who were to remain, the posse left, with the vow that they would follow the trail to the end and bring my brother in, no matter what it might cost in personal sacrifice.

As the hours passed, the tensity of anxiety increased. Father was beside himself with grief. We crawled into bed to keep warm, but no one slept. My son broke the silence with, “Let’s pray, father. God is still with us.”


 

Eldon Walton, Leonard's Son

I assured him that I had been praying all day. “Let’s pray again,” he urged. “The Lord will help us to find Uncle George.”

And we all did, even men prayed who had never uttered a prayer in all their lives, before, for there were some with us who did not belong to our Church and who gave little or no thought to religion.

Father was crying. His fears had forced him to anticipate the worst, and he had lost control of his emotions. Without knowing why, I turned to him and said, “Father, George will be here in thirty minutes. I’m going to make a fire for him.”


George H. Walton
Father, George H. Walton
I felt this assurance so strongly that, even against father’s protests that I was saying it to comfort him, I repeated it three times. I felt the truth of what I had said to such a degree that eventually I jumped up to make the fire. As I did so, I heard footsteps outside the tent. “George!” I exclaimed. “It’s George!”

With flashlight in hand, I sprang to the door of the tent and into the bitter air and there, coming over the inter-crossing ropes of the two tents, was my brother, covered with snow, his two arms raised from the elbows, his cheeks sunken and badly wrinkled and his eyes set and staring.
As he came within my reach he fell forward into my arms as if he had been instantly released by some one who had been supporting and guiding him. Instantly I felt the presence of a supernatural power and, into my mind came the inspiration, “Russel is here. He has saved his father.”

Russel was my brother’s eight-year-old son who died eight years before.

I could get no answer from George, even by slapping him sharply in the face. His arms were bent and stiff and likewise his fingers. I pulled his gloves and cut the laces in his shoes to release his feet. There was no circulation above his knees nor above his elbows. His cheeks were covered with snow, and the skin was rigid with cold.
Silently I placed my hands upon his head and prayed from the depths of my heart that God would spare his life and save him from all ill effects of his terrible experience. I stepped outside the tent and fired the shots calling the
men in and received their answer back from the top of the ridge, and then in frantic effort we all began the work of restoration which lasted the greater part of the night. In the course of time he regained consciousness and began to improve.

When George was able to speak, he told us that he knew it was his boy who had sustained and directed him into camp.

Deer Hunt in the 30's
George H.       ?       George E.       Lafayette       Leonard       Eldon
Testimony of the Father, George H. Walton,
Lafayette R. Walton,
Leonard Walton and William Fish

The miraculous power which evidently brought George into camp, so astounded us that the next day we followed his trail over the route he had taken. From the tent up to the top of the ridge, where he said he lost consciousness, he had taken a direct route, paralleling the direction of the winding Marysvale trail, but missing the curves. He had traveled this distance of about five miles with even step, through pines and quaking asps, over fallen trees, right along within twelve inches of the edge of steep precipitous banks where, had he lost his balance or missed his step, he would have fallen to serious injury or his death. In all the distance he had not faltered, nor had he fallen.
From the top of the ridge down on the other side, his trail came within two hundred yards of

the old mine he had tried to reach. Had he made this retreat, he would have been frozen to death. Nothing in this world could have prevented it in that freezing temperature, for the tunnel was but a few feet in the bank. Following his trail farther on, we went down a hill with a pitch of about forty-five degrees, covered with underbrush, timber and fallen logs, a course that would have taken the strength of a fresh, strong man in the daytime to travel.

The barked pine tree near which he saw the shaft of light and the view of the Marysvale trial through the rift in the clouds was actually about five miles from the trail. This manifestation must have occurred about ten o’clock at night, as nearly as we could fix the time.

All in all, he had traveled about eighteen miles, and had been out about eight hours, from the time he left camp until his return. The distance we verified by a forest ranger who knew the ground.

George suffered no ill effects whatsoever from his exposure, and our hunting trip was completed with thanksgiving and joy for the miraculous manner in which his life had been spared.

Ever since his boy died, and up to the time of the experience related, George could not be reconciled, and he had almost lost faith in God and in there being a life after death, but now, having felt the presence of his son, and having escaped death in the miraculous manner related, he acknowledges the power of God and the living existence of his boy. He is reconciled and his mind is at perfect peace.

We all acknowledge that the miracle performed before our very eyes is positive proof of the power in prayer and of a continuation of life after death.

Dated December 1, 1934.
Witness to signatures:

Jeremiah Stokes
Leonard S. Walton
G. H. Walton
Lafayette R. Walton
George E. Walton
Marlow Walton
William Fish

Original Text from the book Modern Miracles By Jeremiah Stokes
1st Edition 1935 Deseret Book Store Distributors, Printed in the USA By Deseret News Press
Photos added by David Perry, Leonard Walton’s Grandson