Spanish Fork, Utah Iceland Monument
Many of the Saints that immigrated to Utah from Iceland settled in Spanish Fork, Utah. Spanish Fork is a small city now with many of the current residence able to trace their ancestry to these Icelandic immigrants. Today it is known as little Iceland. When missionaries returned to Iceland in 1975 how many active members of the Church were found?
A. Sent a proclamation to the world
After bringing the first group of pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley, Brigham Young returned to Winter Quarters. Here the leading men of the Church talked about the necessity of reorganizing the First Presidency with Brigham Young as president. On December 5, 1847, nine of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles sustained Young as president of the Church with Heber C. Kimball as first counselor and Willard Richards as second counselor. A special conference was to be held December 24 to 27 so members of the Church could assemble and sustain these men in their new positions.
Before the conference was held, however, Brigham Young issued a greeting to all the world. It was dated December 23, 1847.
“We are at peace with all nations, with all kingdoms, with all powers, with all governments, with all authorities under the whole heavens, except the kingdom and powers of darkness, which are from beneath and are ready to stretch forth our arms to the four quarters of the globe, extending salvation to every honest soul; for our mission in the Gospel of Jesus Christ is from sea to sea, and from river to the ends of the earth; and the blessings of the Lord are upon us; and when every other arm shall fail, the power of the Almighty will be manifest in our behalf; for we ask nothing but what is right, we want nothing but what is right, and God has said that our strength shall be equal to our pay; and we invite all Presidents, and Emperors, and Kings, and Princes, and Nobles, and Governors, and Rulers, and Judges, and all nations, kindred, tongues and people under the whole heavens, to come and help us to build a house to the name of the God of Jacob, a place of peace, a city of rest, a habitation for the oppressed of every clime, even for those that love their neighbor as they do themselves, and who are willing to do as they would be done unto; and this we are determined to do, and we will do, God being our helper; and we will help everyone that will help to sustain good and wholesome laws for the protection of virtue and punishment of vice.
“We ask no preeminence; we want no preeminence; but where God has place us, there we will stand; and that is, to be one with our brethren, and our brethren are those that keep the commandments of God, that do the will of our Father who is in heaven; and by them we will stand, and with them we will dwell in time and in eternity.
“Come then, ye saints of Latter Days, and all ye great and small, wise and foolish, rich and poor, noble and ignoble, exalted and persecuted, rulers and ruled of the earth, who love virtue and hate evil, and help us to do this work, which the Lord hath required at our hands; and inasmuch as the glory of the latter house shall exceed that of the former, your reward shall be an hundred fold, and your rest shall be glorious. Our universal motto, ‘Peace with God, and good will to all men.’
“Written at Winter Quarters, Omaha Nation, west bank of Missouri River, near Council Bluffs, North America, and signed December 23, 1847 in behalf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. . .”
International Society Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Museum Memories (Talon Printing: Salt Lake City, 2011), 3: 216-217.