The following incident was related to the writer in the St. George Temple in the presence of the acting president of the Temple, George F. Whitehead, and others. The narrator was David Cannon, who said that his famous father, David H. Cannon, Temple President and a prominent pioneer in southern Utah, was once captured by the savage Navajos, who were anxious to kill him for revenge, one of their braves having been killed a short time before by a party of whites en route to California.
Many of the native tribes in the southwest had agreed that the Mormons were their friends and should never be molested. For this reason they were requested to keep their hair clipped up to the top to their ears when traveling in Indian territory. Brother Cannon, who could speak the language of many Indian tribes, had neglected to keep his hair cut in the stipulated manner, and thus his captors refused to believe that he was a member of the society they were pledged to protect.
He was tied to a tree; an archer was selected to send an arrow into his breast, yet he contended with that chief that he was a Mormon, whereupon the chief ordered the archer to put aside his bow and arrow for a moment. The angry leader of the Navajos approached the trembling; white man and tore open the front of his shirt. When he saw the marks of the priesthood upon his clothing, the spirit of the war party instantly left the face of the chieftain, and the smile of a friend played upon his rugged features.
Removing the buckskin thong which bound the captive, the venerable red man explained: many moons ago, when my people were good, and the Great Spirit often visited them, they were permitted to wear those same marks in their clothing; but when my people went to war, and forgot the teachings of the Great spirit, he never came to them any more, and they were not permitted thereafter to place those marks in their clothing.
Their white friend was taken to their village, where he was entertained with great hospitality. When he departed for his home, an escort of warriors conducted him to the settlements of the white men.