Biddy Mason was born as a slave and separated from her family as a young child and sold to another plantation. As a teenager she learned herbal medicine and midwifery from other slaves. She also learned to have faith in herself. She was sold again. She had three children from unknown fathers.
When her third owners were converted to Mormonism, they started a journey to Utah taking Biddy and her children with them. They then relocated to California, a state where slaves would be free. She had hopes that her faith would be realized. However Biddy was not freed because slave owners who came from slave states were allowed to keep their slaves by the courts even though this was clearly illegal. But her faith endured.
When her owner wanted to move to Texas and sell Biddy and her children, two benefactors served her owner with a court order, the judge freed her. Her faith was realized. Biddy and her children moved in with the father of one of the benefactors. Biddy was able to work as a midwife. She risked her life when nursing those who had small pox. She began to share her faith with others.
Biddy saved the money she earned and became one of the first African American women to own land. She became a respected business woman and was able to build substantial personal wealth. She used her wealth to lift the hopes of others by providing food and housing to the poor. She created a daycare center and school for African American children. She became one of the founders of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles so others would learn to have faith in themselves.
Some people have an enduring faith that their lives will get better if they never give up hope. Their faith also guides them to lift up others who are struggling. Biddy was greatly aided by a benefactor, and she returned that support many times over to others.
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“If you hold your hand closed, nothing good can come in. The open hand is blessed, for it gives in abundance, even as it receives.” – Biddy Mason