Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Emma’s Gift to Thomas Grover

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In June 1844 Elder Thomas Grover was on a mission in Michigan when he was warned in a dream to return at once to Nauvoo. While on the way back, he met the same group that were transporting the dead bodies of Joseph and Hyrum back to Nauvoo. Brother Grover was asked to prepare the prophets body for burial. What did Emma give to Thomas Grover for helping?
a.                  The prophet’s horse
b.                  The prophets sword
c.                   Some of the prophets clothes
d.                  A lock of the prophets hair
Yesterday’s answer:
A   Italy
A fascinating development during this incipient stage—one that has been documented in other contexts as well—is the appearance of pseudo-Mormon groups or individuals who adopted the name and selected teachings of the LDS Church without authorization. According to the account of Leavitt Christensen (president of the Italian District), in April 1965 he accompanied President Russon and Paul Kelly (a U.S. Air Force officer stationed at Aviano airbase near Pordenone and serving as a counselor in the Italian District presidency) to meet with a “professor” who was making unauthorized use of the LDS Church’s name. They traveled by car to Grisolia (near Cosenza), a remote hilltop village at the end of a long drive in the dark along winding mountain roads. The three Church leaders found a doorway with the name of the Church inscribed in large, bold, red lettering. A man came to the door and invited the guests into his small apartment.
For the next ninety minutes, President Russon conducted a detailed interview about the group’s origins and activities. The “professor” had heard about the Church from an uncle in Boston and had received letters, pamphlets, manuals, pictures of Church presidents, teaching aids, and roll books from Church headquarters in Salt Lake City. Though unbaptized himself, he had baptized 300 “converts” to Mormonism in a nearby river and counted several thousand other followers in surrounding towns. The professor, it appeared, was collecting tithing from the group to support himself and a clandestine political agenda. He expressed interest in having the Mormon missionaries come teach his congregation; but when Russon explained that membership would involve giving up wine, coffee tobacco, and tea, he retorted:  “I don’t think the members would go for that. These things are needed in Italy.” The visitors then noticed a picture of Adolph Hitler on the wall and asked the professor about it. He arose and tore the picture down, stating that he had no affiliation with the Nazis.
At that point, Russon ended the interview and the visitors bade their host goodnight. Russon and his two companions recommended in their report that the LDS Church should exercise more caution when receiving such request and investigate “similar movements prior to furnishing lesson materials and supplies and prior to giving evidence of support in the form of official letters. It is believed such letters if confiscated by the authorities in Rome might prove embarrassing and possibly detrimental to the Church in its efforts to gain official status in Italy.” It is not clear what became of this group, as mission records contain no further references to its activities.

James A. Toronto, The “Wild West” of Missionary Work” Reopening the Italian Mission, 1965-71, Journal of Mormon History, Fall 2014, 21-22.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Claiming to be LDS

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During the 1960s which mission struggled some with groups claiming to be LDS but did not have the authority to make this claim?
a.                  Italy
b.                  China
c.                   Russia
d.                  Australia
Yesterday’s answer:
C   Church Island
Young sent herders to Cache Valley in the summer of 1855 to set up Elkhorn Ranch for Church and private cattle. Briant Stringham was called to lead the group, which included the three Garr brothers. They had tended Church livestock on Church Island (later Antelope Island) in the Great Salt Lake. However, heavy snows in the winter of 1855-56 killed hundreds of cattle and marked the end of the ranch. 

Glen M. Leonard, Seeking An Inheritance: Mormon Mobility, Urbanity, and Community, Journal of Mormon History, Spring 2014, 29-30.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Before It Was Antelope Island

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Antelope Island, Great Salt Lake 
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The large island in the Great Salt Lake is currently known as Antelope Island, but what was it known as in early Utah Territory?
a.                  Pronghorn Island
b.                  Pioneer Island
c.                   Church Island
d.                  Young Island
Yesterday’s answer:
C   England
In addition to the traditional but monotonous proselytizing activity of door-to-door tracting, South African missionaries held public services, formed touring choirs and of course played baseball. The emphasis on sports—specifically its baseball project—was not unique to South Africa. Works by Richard Ian Kimball and by Jessie L. Embry and John H. Brambaugh explored sport-related missionary techniques. . . .
According to Kimball, Mormon missionaries in Japan were playing baseball as early as 1911; however, the “Tokyo-American Baseball Team” was religiously eclectic mix consisting of “a Baptist, an Episcopalian, a Presbyterian, a Quaker, a Methodist, and a ‘Mormon’ missionary,” not to mention an army officer who was not religiously affiliated, an electrical engineer, and two employees of the American embassy. Somewhat less formal then league play in Japan were a series of games played in the Samoan Islands in 1923-24, during which a team of LDS missionaries took on “experienced baseball players from American and British Samoa.” More important than the outcome was the “hope that his play may be the means of more friendly relations and better understanding between us ‘Mormon’ missionaries and the local people in charge here.”
A decade later in April 1935, Harry Holland of the National Baseball Association of Great Britain called the Millennial Star office and asked whether the Mormon missionaries would like to join the West-London League. The missionaries accepted the invitation enthusiastically and entered the association as the “Latter-day Saints.” A total of eight teams comprised this league with fifty-nine other clubs competing in various divisions throughout England that same year. “To the Church,” reported missionary and baseball player Wendell (“Buzz”) Ashton, “baseball in Britain is proving a powerful instrument for breaking down barriers of prejudice that existed for nearly a century and for opening the way” for Britons “to hear the Gospel message. . . . Scores of people in Great Britain are learning through baseball that Mormon means ‘more good.’”
Embry and Brambaugh used these examples, among many others, to examine the efficacy of sports programs and other organized recreational activities in missionary work. Taking their findings one step further, Embry and Brambaugh subjected their case studies to a series of questions, perhaps the most demanding of which was: “How successful were these sports programs?” According to their results, they concluded” “In terms of directly generating baptisms, the answer is ‘probably not,’ especially since many other factors had to come into play even if sports had provided the initial introduction of Mormonism. But if the definition of ‘success’ includes the element of creating a positive public image and ‘making friends’ for the Church, the program was questionably successful.”
For missionary baseball in South Africa, these results hold true in both regards—unsuccessful in terms of convert baptisms but highly successful in terms of positive publicity.

Booker T. Alston, The Cumorah Baseball Club: Mormon Missionaries and Baseball in South Africa, Journal of Mormon History, Summer 2014, 96-98.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Latter-day Saints

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The Latter-day Saints is the team name of missionary baseball players. What country did they play in?
a.                  Japan
b.                  Switzerland
c.                   England
d.                  Dominican Republic
Yesterday’s answer:
A   Leave Nauvoo
From the life of Henry Grow:   Henry Grow was in the famous battle of Nauvoo. While this battle was going on he heard a voice one night distinctly say”: “Get up and get out of here in the morning.” He arose in the morning, hitched a yoke of cattle to his wagon, put in utensils, bedding and tent, leaving everything in the house, got his wife and three children in the wagon, and had moved about 50 yards from his house when the mob fired a 12-pound ball through the house, which was a frame building.

Andrew Jensen, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, (Salt Lake City: Western Epics, 1971), 3: 94.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Faith to Listen

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During the Battle of Nauvoo, early member Henry Grow (master mind of the Salt Lake Tabernacle) heard a voice. What did the voice tell him?
a.                  Leave Nauvoo
b.                  Build the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City
c.                   Continue to fire at the enemy
d.                  Surrender
Yesterday’s answer:
B   The discontinuance of the Neighbor
Senior editor John Taylor explained to subscribers the reason for stopping the paper: “Because we are compelled by mobocracy, on account of the weakness of the law and the stupidity or hypocrisy of its executors, to quit the ‘asylum of the oppressed,’ we have thought it advisable to discontinue the Neighbor at this number.”

Susan Easton Black, Nauvoo Neighbor, The Latter-day Saint Experience at the Mississippi River, 1843-1845, BYU Studies, Vol. 51, Number 3, 2012, 161.

Friday, May 18, 2018

“The Weakness of the Law and the Stupidity and Hypocrisy of its Executors”

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What caused John Taylor to bluntly make this comment?
a.                  The Saints forced out of Navuoo
b.                  The discontinuance of the Neighbor
c.                   The murder of Joseph and Hyrum Smith
d.                  The election of Martin Van Buren
Yesterday’s answer:
C   Brigham Young
From the life of Hannah Tapfield King:   On March 16, 1860, Hannah wrote to Brigham Young that they were planning to sell their home to meet the tax bill and wondered if he would purchase it. Young arranged matters so that they could retain ownership in the home and continue to reside there.

Leonard Reed, “As a Bird Sing” Hannah Tapfield King, Poetess and Pioneer, BYU Studies, Vol. 51, Number 3, 2012, 117.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

A Heart of Gold

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When Hannah Tapfield King was about to lose her house to taxes in 1860, who made it possible that the King family didn’t have to leave?
a.                  Mary Decker Young
b.                  Clarissa Young
c.                   Brigham Young
d.                  Susa Young Gates
Yesterday’s answer:
D   Orson Hyde
In reference to the 1835 mission of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: In a later reminiscence, Orson Pratt recounted coming upon a member in Columbus, Ohio, who showed him a notice published in the Messenger and Advocate 1 (March 1835): 90 that requested that he be at Kirtland at an appointed time. The news set him immediately on his way by stage, and after walking the last three miles he arrived, valise in hand, as the meeting was beginning and as “it had been prophesied. . . I would be there that day...”

Ronald K. Esplin and Sharon E. Nielsen, The Record of the Twelve, 1835, BYU Studies, Vol. 51, Number 1, 2012, 25.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Prophesied that he Would be in Kirtland

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While he was in Columbus, Ohio in 1835, this individual heard he was wanted in Kirtland. Unbeknownst to him, it was prophesied that he would make it to the meeting on time. He did make it as prophesied. Who was the individual?
a.                  Oliver Cowdery
b.                  Martin Harris
c.                   John Page
d.                  Orson Hyde
Yesterday’s answer:
A   Sego Lilies
From the life of Frances Ann Otten Crossland Adams:   Frances Ann and her husband joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in May 1851. They decided to take their three young girls to join the Saints in Utah. Frances was expecting her fourth child. While they were in Keokuk, Iowa, just four days before they began their journey across the Plains, Frances Ann gave birth to a baby girl. It was not an easy birth and she was confined to her bed in the wagon through much of the trip. The long and arduous journey was exceedingly difficult for her husband and proved to be fatal. He became ill with Mountain Fever and died near the Bear River in Evanston, Wyoming.
Suddenly, Frances Ann found herself a widow. She was still weak and ill from childbirth. She was alone with three little girls and a baby.
They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley about September 26, 1853. She found a meager dwelling and tried to find work.
They found themselves totally without food during the cricket invasion of crops. She determined that they would seek the Lord’s help. They all knelt and prayed all night for assistance. The next morning they saw that the whole back yard was covered with sego lilies.

International Society Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Pioneer Women of Faith and Fortitude, (Publishers Press, 1998), 1:8.