Just recently my wife and I had the missionaries over to eat. I asked the Sisters how much of their time was spent tracting. They looked at each other and giggled. They knew what it was, but as of yet had not spent a single minute of their time in this endeavor. They carried their tablets and explained that missionary work was done electronically now. I was jealous since tracting was a way of life for me as a missionary 37 years ago. I devoted thousands of hours to this cause with only one baptism for all my efforts. It is through tracting though, that treasures have been discovered, and not just in the form of baptisms. It was missionary Vern Thacker, who was tracting in Anaheim, California in 1946 that discovered the original prints for the construction of the Nauvoo Temple. He was able to purchase them and donate them to the Church. It was because of these prints that the Church could replicate the Nauvoo Temple when they re-built it. What did Lorenzo Sorenson and his companion stumble across while tracting in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1902?
a. Brigham Young’s cane
b. A gun owned by Porter Rockwell
c. Joseph Smith’s sword used while the Commanding Officer of the Nauvoo Legion
d. The tar bucket and lantern used the evening that Joseph Smith was tarred and feathered
a. Mittens, socks, and apples
A small congregation of 27 Saints in the Andover, Ohio, congregation stretched to send contributions. Their sacrifices were carefully identified in a letter with the names of those who donated, along with a note explaining that they hoped to send more later. They contributed twenty dollars in cash, thirteen and a half yards of cloth, a skein of yarn, a quit, three skins, two pairs of boots and a pair of shoes, some socks and mittens, and twenty-five pounds of apples.
James M. Adams to Joseph Smith, 16 November 1842, Whitney Collection, Brigham Young University. Quoted in Donna Gill, Joseph Smith: The First Mormon (New York: Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1977), 294-5.