Like most pioneers, the trip to the Salt Lake Valley was not uneventful. Ocean storms, wild animals, fire, natives, etc. where very real possibilities as one crossed the plains. What happened to Bendt Jensen Eriksen on his trip to the Salt Lake Valley in 1864?
a. He lost everything when the ship he was on burned
b. A Buffalo stampede destroyed the majority of the wagons in his company
c. He was stolen by the natives
d. He got lost and crossed the plains by himself.
C. Infant mortality
Mormonism progressive theology, Talmage then argued, was the source of its practical results and marvelous development. It produced the Church’s organizational and managerial efficiency, capable of raising $30,000 for war sufferers in a single day with no administrative costs. It also produced remarkable results in health and wellness. The Mormon community’s “vital statistics” told “of prolonged life, high birth and low death rates.” A chart comparing the “vital statistics” of Mormons to the rest of the country showed Mormon superiority in every category. Infant mortality rates in particular were “strikingly significant.” Deaths of children under age one averaged 249 per thousand in the United States. For children under five, the moratality figures were 82 per thousand versus 349 per thousand.
Bradley Kime, Exhibition Theology: James E. Talmage and Mormon Public Relations, 1915-20, 221.