BYU Jerusalem Center
What helped BYU get the Jerusalem Center approved?
a. The death of a missionary in the late 1800s
b. The persecution of the saints in the area
c. Anti-Mormon literature
d. A drop in tithing donations
A The day she would enter the Salt Lake Valley
From the life of Elizabeth Carter Whitmore Casey: Elizabeth was raised in Brazos Country, Texas from the age of four. She helped to milk forty cows every morning before walking four miles to school.
Elizabeth married an Irishman named Flaherty around 1850 and they moved to start their own 400 acre ranch in Waxahachie, Texas. Mr. Flaherty caught yellow fever and died on one of his many trips taking cattle to the market in Louisiana. They had no children. Elizabeth was left to care for the ranch.
Some years later she needed medicine for some of the cattle and met James Montgomery Whitmore, who is believed to have been the druggist in Texas, when he came to see how the cattle were doing, they were married in Waxahachie in 1853 and continued to ranch there.
Elizabeth and her husband joined a group of friends to go see missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after having heard the wild rumors about them. They had intended to heckle but instead were touched by their words and in 1856 were baptized along with James’ brother and sister. They were immediately ostracized.
In May of 1857 the Whitmore’s left Texas for the Salt Lake Valley with other converts in the company of Homer Duncan. They left their ranch unsold and their crops standing in the field because no one would have anything to do with the ‘Mormons.’
Elizabeth had second thoughts about returning to the ranch and trying to sell it about the time that she had reached Ft. Leavenworth on the Missouri River. She asked the advice of Homer Duncan and in his journal he tells the story of praying on her behalf for guidance. He felt instructed to tell her that she would arrive in Salt Lake on the 15th of September, ahead of him. She was surprised and replied, “You don’t know that! You don’t know that I shall live ‘til tomorrow morning. I will go and if I land in Salt Lake City on the 15th of September then the work of the Lord to me is true, and He has guaranteed my life and the day set that I shall land in Salt Lake City and I shall know that Mormonism is true and you are his servant.”
Elizabeth arrived in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake Valley on September 15, 1857, ten days before Homer Duncan and just six weeks before Johnston’s Army.
Pioneer Women of Faith and Fortitude, Daughters of Utah Pioneers: (International Society Daughters of Utah Pioneers: 1998), 1: 522-523.