Friday, March 2, 2018

Coming to Rescue the Bills

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When the Bills and other families from Canada traveled to Missouri to be with the Saints, they faced mob shootings and the flooding Crooked River. Who led 50 men to rescue these Canadian Saints?
a.                  Porter Rockwell
b.                  Parley P. Pratt
c.                   David Patton
d.                  Joseph Smith
Yesterday’s answer:
B.   Their honesty
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has historically followed the Catholic Church as the second largest religious denomination to actively proselytize Native Americans in Arizona. Preaching a message that promised Native Americans an illustrious future as a chosen people and presenting the Book of Mormon as a history of their forefathers, this new faith was embraced by some Native Americans and rejected by others. The earliest converts in central Arizona are those found among the Akimel Au-Authm (Pima, or “River people”) and the Xalychidom Piipaash (Maricopa, or “People who live towards the water”). Here, a nucleus of early converts formed the Papago Ward, a unit that is unique in the history of the LDS Church. Steeped in ancient Hohokam influences, it represents the attempt of two vastly different nineteenth-century cultures to reach equilibrium as one flock-one whose joint labors helped form what is today the oldest continuing LDS Native American institution of its kind.
Members of the LDS Church, as part of the Mormon Battalion, and the Pima and Maricopa tribes first met in December of 1846. At that time, the Native Americans befriended the beleaguered soldiers by providing them with much-needed food and water. According to Private Henry Bigler, these supplies included “large quantities of corn and corn meal, wheat, and flour, also beans and squashes.” Battalion members also admired many of the personal attributes of their new friends including their industriousness and honesty. Sergeant Daniel Tyler wrote that his first encounter with the tribe occurred when 1,500-2,000 Pima visited the federal soldiers at their camp near the Gila River. He recalled: “Although all our property was exposed in such a manner that many articles might have been easily stolen, not a thing was molested by them.” As peace-loving peoples, both groups also promoted family-centered, self-sufficient, agrarian lifestyles. Impressed by their surroundings, leading officers discussed the possibility of future LDS colonization in the area.

D. L. Turner, Akimel Au-Authm, Xalychidom Piipaash, and the LDS Papago Ward, Journal of Mormon History, Winter 2013, 158-159.

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