[Note: Dave Sudweeks , a great-grandson of Joseph C. Bentley, shared with LDS-Gems a slightly different version of this encounter:

[In March of 1919, President Joseph C. Bentley was taken captive by Pancho Villa's men. General Villa made the following statement: "I know all about the Mormons and their doctrine. I have been in their colonies many times; they are a good and peaceful people. It is alright for them to do what they are doing, but this is no time to be doing missionary work. They should go home where they will not be in any danger. Nobody knows what will happen to them around here during times like this."

[President Bentley finally had an opportunity to talk with Villa and learn that he had once lived with a Mormon family in Sonora and had heard a great deal about the gospel. Villa said, "Many times I might have entirely cleaned up on all of your Mormons, and destroyed the colonies, but I have never had any desire at all to do you any harm. I would like to help you, and I will help you all I can, but during times of trouble there is no guarantee of safety. You gentlemen should return to your homes and stay there until we get these things settled. Then will be the time for you to do the thing that you are doing now."

[Now, back to the Church News article:]

Not long afterward, Angeles was captured and shot by the opposing forces. Villa also met a violent death in 1923, at the hands of assassins. Because of the apparently sincere acceptance of the Gospel teachings by the two leaders, President Bentley persuaded the First Presidency that the temple work should be done for them. However, no action was taken at the time. Years passed. President Bentley died and Elder Whetton became an old man. One night, Pancho Villa, whose real name was Doroteo Arango, appeared to him.

"Do you know me?" Villa asked.


"You told me that if there was ever any time that you could do something for me, you would do it," the general said. "You are the only one who can help me. I want you to do my temple work."

Elder Whetton wrote to the Church Offices in Salt Lake City for permission to do the work and received approval. After the genealogical sheets were prepared, Doroteo Arango was baptized by proxy on February 25, 1966, in the Arizona Temple. Whetton himself did the endowment work for the general a few days later. He also had the temple work done for Angeles.