Mormon Missionary Diaries
About the Collection
Alma Helaman Hale, Jr.
by Jeffrey S. Hardy
Alma Helaman Hale Jr. was born in Grantsville, Tooele County, Utah, on 11 June 1857 to Alma Helaman Hale and Sarah Elizabeth Walker. Alma Jr.’s mother died a few years later after giving birth to his younger brother, Enos Eliphalet Hale, who also died shortly thereafter. Young Alma was therefore raised by his step-mother, Sarah Annie Clark, whom Alma Sr. married on 24 December 1861. On meeting his step-mother, Alma exclaimed, “Oh Papa! You got us a new Mama.”1 Sarah later gave birth to ten children, but always treated Alma as one of her own. At the age of eight, Alma was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 1875 he was rebaptized and reconfirmed, and also received the office of elder. His father performed both baptisms.
As a young child Alma came to value the importance of prayer and the power of the priesthood. On one occasion he witnessed his father and other elders bring his half-brother back to life after being struck by a lightening bolt. Alma’s education was very limited, attending school only during the winter months of his early life. At the age of twenty he began to work for money to buy his own team of horses. He then moved to live with his uncle, Solomon Hale, in Idaho where he broke wild horses for a living. He also served during this time as ward clerk and Sunday school superintendent. In 1883 he was healed from a serious illness by a priesthood blessing.
On 1 October 1884, Alma married Elizabeth Precinda Hendricks in the Logan Temple. She was shown to Alma in a dream before they met and he instantly knew she was to be his wife. They settled in Oxford, Idaho, a small town in Cache Valley. She bore him eight children from 1885 to 1911. Soon thereafter he was ordained a high priest and called as first counselor in the bishopric, and then as stake clerk.
In January 1889 Alma was called by Wilford Woodruff to serve a mission in the British Isles. Although in debt and the father of two young children, Mabel, the youngest, being only two weeks old, he resolved to fulfill this calling. After arriving in Liverpool in May, Alma was assigned to serve in Ireland. During the second year of his mission Alma served as president of the Irish Conference. He and his companions met much opposition and mob violence here, but they persevered and were rewarded by being able to bring souls into the church. He was a hard-working missionary, often distributing 100 tracts before noon. He also had several opportunities to bless the sick; on one such occasion he recorded: “We finally concluded to administer to him again which we did and was [sic] blessed with great power, which will no doubt have its desired effect.”2 This example shows Alma’s great faith in the power of the Lord.
Arriving home in 1891, Alma moved his family to Preston, Idaho, where he found work as a bookkeeper. Subsequent moves took them to Soda Springs and in 1895 to Marysville, Idaho, where he served as president of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association and as ward clerk, before being called to the high council of the Yellowstone Stake. By 1920 he moved his family to Logan, Utah, where he dedicated himself to temple work. Alma Helaman Hale died of pneumonia at home on 9 April 1938.
Esshom, Frank. Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah. Salt Lake City: Western Epics, Inc., 1966.
Gardner, Nathan Hale. Alma Helaman Hale History and Genealogy, 2d ed. Centerville, Utah: J.G. Ralph, c2001.
Hale, Alma Helaman (1857-1938). “Collection, 1891-1901.” MSS 2084, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.
________. “Papers, 1874-1930.” MSS SC 300, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Lee Library, Brigham Young University.