Tuesday, February 25, 2014

We Need You to Stay Behind

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Shortly after the Willie and Martin Handcart rescue, some of the men called to help were asked to stay behind. What purpose did Brigham Young want these men to stay in the area until the following spring which eventually led to a standoff?

a.      Slow down the advancement of Johnston’s Army

b.      Guard personal belongings of the Saints that was cached in the area

c.       Assist other wagon trains and handcart companies

d.      Build a supply fort to assist other pioneers on their way to Utah

Yesterday’s answer:

c.   The Word of Wisdom

At the April 1867 conference, President Young instructed bishops that “every Elder in Israel must know that whiskey, tobacco, tea and coffee are not good for them to take” and that “he sometimes felt like making the observance of the Word of Wisdom a matter of fellowship, but it would be thought severe.” So, he assigned the bishops to ask members to obey the Word of Wisdom. They did, with good results, at least temporarily. Two weeks later, Salt Lake Valley bishops reported that the majority of Saints had been obeying the Word of Wisdom since conference. Others were gradually leaving off their use.” they said, except “some whose advanced years and long usage, deemed it unwise to abstain.” Less than a year later, Bishop Hunter “rejoiced that the general observance of the word of wisdom,” at least in Great Salt Lake Valley. The late-1860s campaign brought a slight improvement that was short-lived. Obedience to the Word of Wisdom did not become a binding worthiness behavior until the twentieth century.

Nearly Everything Imaginable, Walker, Ronald W., Doris R. Dant ed., (Provo, Utah: BYU Press, 1999), 278.

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