Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Wilford Woodruff, Cyrus Dallin, and the Angel Moroni

 Image result for lds cyrus dallin

President Woodruff solicited Cyrus Dallin, a non-member, to sculpt the Angel Moroni on top of the Salt Lake Temple. Why did Cyrus initially refuse the offer?

A)  He did not like the Church.

B)  He did not believe in angels.

C)  The Church and Cyrus could not agree on a price.

D)  He did not believe in the Book of Mormon, and therefore, Moroni could only be a mythical character.

Yesterdays’ answer

(C)   The residents of Jackson County, Missouri

John Taylor had the following to say at the Fourth of July celebration in 1861. It is during this speech that he expresses his opinions on the Civil War. “It may now be proper to inquire what part shall we take in the present difficulties. We have been banished from the pale of what is termed civilization and forced to make a home in this desert place. . . .

     “Shall we join the North to fight against the South? No! Why? They have both, as before shown, brought it upon themselves, and we have had no hand in the matter, Whigs, Democrats, Americans, and Republicans have all in turn endeavored to stain their hands in innocent blood, and whatever others may do, we cannot conscientiously help to tear down the fabric we are sworn to uphold. We know no North, no South, no East, no West; we abide strictly and positively by the Constitution, and cannot, be the intrigues or sophisms of either party, be cajoled into any other attitude.”

     Nevertheless, as the war dragged on and casualties mounted, Church leaders slowly changed their reasoning, and began to express concern for their fellow citizens in the East.  In 1863, Brigham Young said “The waste of life in the ruinous war now raging is truly lamentable,” and shortly after expressed concern for those suffering in Jackson County, the home of their old enemies.

Salt Lake City Deseret News, 10 July 1861; Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. (Liverpool: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-86), 10:251 (October 1863)

DB- Jackson County was hit the hardest by the war, more so than any other area of the United States. Where the Civil War lasted 5 years for most areas, the Civil War dragged on for 10 years in Jackson County. Jackson County lay in ruins after the war. Many had died, many others had moved on. Only the chimneys were left standing. This is reminiscent of the Missourian's treatment of the Saints prior to their expulsion in 1838. Also, there were more battles of the Civil War fought in Missouri than any other state. If you visit Jackson County, be sure to visit nearby Lexington, Missouri where you can still see a cannon ball lodged in top of a column supporting the front of the courthouse.

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