Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Tubuai, Christmas 1851


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Louisa Barnes Pratt was the first set apart sister missionary in the Church. She was called to Tubuai (South Pacific Islands) in 1850. She taught the natives in this country about the birth of Christ. What did she to that amazed the natives, something they had never seen before?
a.                  The colorful decorations
b.                  The size of the feast
c.                   The Christmas Tree
d.                  The Nativity Pageant
Yesterday’s answer:
C   The first General Conference
On Christmas day of 1837, 10 years before the pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, a General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was held in England, the first in that country. Heber C. Kimball kept a journal. He wrote:
It being near Christmas, we agreed to hold a general conference in Preston on Christmas day, there being business of importance to the churches to be attended to and likewise several to be ordained to the ministry.
On  Christmas day, the Saints assembled in the Cock Pit, and we then opened the conference, which was the first that was held by the Church of Christ  in that country.[The Cock Pit was known as Preston’s Temperance Hall during the time that the missionaries were there. This hall could sit about eight hundred people and was located near Stoneygate at the bottom of St. John’s Place and Greystock Yards, between St. John’s church and the market place. It had been built about 1800 by the 12th Earl of Derby as an arena for cockfighting, had been closed for cockfighting in 1830, and was licensed as a meeting place for the Preston Temperance Society.] There were about three hundred Saints present on the occasion, all of whom, with the exception of three, had been baptized within a very short time. Elders Hyde, Fielding, and myself were present.
The brethren were instructed in the principles of the gospel, and their several duties enjoined upon them as Saints of the Most High. We then proceeded to ordain several of the brethren of the lesser priesthood, to take charge of the different branches where they resided. We confirmed fourteen who had been [baptized] and blessed about one hundred children.
At this conference, the Word of Wisdom was first publicly taught in that country, having previously taught it more by example than precept; and from my own observation afterwards, I am happy to state that it was almost universally attended to by the brethren.
International Society Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Museum Memories (Talon Printing: Salt Lake City, 2011), 3:  223-224.

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