Tag Archives: church history

Wilford Woodruff – colorized photograph

By Jenny Smith

I’ve recently gotten into colorizing family history photos, and I’ve been wanting to do a series on Prophets. It’d be cool to start a colorized church history reddit, dontcha think? Anyway, this is the first image I’ve done. It’s Wilford Woodruff, third prophet-president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons), who […]

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Program/Worksheet for the First LDS Church Meeting

It wasn’t known as the LDS Church on April 6, 1830, but this is what a program for the newly organized Church of Christ might have looked like on that historic day.

Church Organized Handout in form of Sacrament Meeting Program D&C 20-21

Church Organized Handout in form of Sacrament Meeting Program D&C 20-21

Westward Movement – LDS Church History Map 6, Enlarged

This is the map of the Westward Migration of Mormon settlers.  It’s from the LDS maps section, Church History, Map 6.  

Please be aware that the church’s map is of poor quality, and the poster size (2×3 feet) is likely to print very blurry.  I would probably not go larger than 11×17 with this map.

Joseph Smith Translating the Book of Mormon by Del Parson

D&C 20:811; Joseph Smith—History 1:3435, Joseph Smith—History 1:71 footnote
The Book of Mormon … [proves] to the world that the holy scriptures are true, and that God does inspire men and call them to his holy work in this age and generation, as well as in generations of old. D&C 20:8, D&C 20:11

Three years after Joseph Smith was visited by God the Father and Jesus Christ, the angel Moroni appeared to Joseph and told him there was a record written on gold plates that gave an account of the ancient inhabitants of the Americas. Joseph was to translate this record using two stones fastened to a breastplate, the Urim and Thummim. (See Joseph Smith—History 1:3435.) Moroni taught Joseph about the work he was called to do for four more years and then delivered the plates and the interpreters to him in 1827.

Oliver Cowdery served as a scribe to the Prophet Joseph as he translated the Book of Mormon. In describing his experience, Oliver wrote: “These were days never to be forgotten—to sit under the sound of a voice dictated by the inspiration of heaven, awakened the utmost gratitude of this bosom! Day after day I continued, uninterrupted, to write from his mouth, as he translated with the Urim and Thummim, or, as the Nephites would have said, ‘interpreters,’ the history or record called ‘The Book of Mormon’ ” (Joseph Smith—History 1:71 footnote).

When the Prophet Joseph Smith received the gold plates from the angel Moroni, he studied the strange language written on them. With Heavenly Father’s help, Joseph translated the writing on the gold plates into words he could understand. Oliver Cowdery helped Joseph by being his scribe. As Joseph read out loud from the plates, Oliver wrote down the words. When the translation into English was completed, the book was printed. It is called the Book of Mormon.

Artist, Del Parson

© 1997 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. Used by permission.

Martin Handcart Company – Bitter Creek, Wyoming, 1856 by Clark Kelley Price

The Martin Handcart Company was the fifth handcart company to travel west to the Salt Lake Valley. This company of English emigrants left Iowa City, Iowa, on 28 July 1856. There were “576 [people], with 146 carts, 7 wagons, 30 oxen, and 50 cows and beef cattle” (LeRoy R. Hafen and Ann W. Hafen, Handcarts to Zion [1960], 93).

At Florence, Nebraska, they stopped for handcart repairs. It was late in the season, and they wondered if they should continue. A few members dropped out, but most wanted to go on. They left Florence on 25 August.

They reached Fort Laramie, Wyoming, 8 October. After leaving Fort Laramie their food rations had to be cut. Because of their growing weakness, they had to lighten the loads they were pulling, so they discarded blankets and clothing. On 19 October they crossed the North Platte River. As soon as they crossed, it started to snow. Several people died that night.

As the storms and cold continued, the pioneers desperately needed the supplies they had left behind. The men became so weak and sick they couldn’t pitch the tents. Twelve miles beyond the river they were stopped by the deep snow. Fifty-six had died since they had crossed the river.

Early in October President Brigham Young heard there were still pioneers on the trail. He knew they would have problems, so he called for volunteers to go to their aid. Horsemen, wagons, and supplies were sent. On 28 October three men rode into the camp of the Martin Company. The deep snow had halted the rescue wagons, so the men told the emigrants their only hope was to keep moving to reach the rescue wagons. They struggled on, and on 3 November they reached the first of the supply wagons. The rescuers decided the company had to move on to find better shelter from the snow and cold.

The company pushed on until they came to the Sweetwater River. For many, crossing the river seemed more than they could manage, but men from the rescue party bravely carried several of the pioneers across. The company found shelter in a mountain cove where they stayed for several days.

When they moved on, they left most of the handcarts behind. The rescuers loaded the sickest and weakest into wagons, but the rest had to walk. The storms had forced some rescuers back, while others waited to try again. One of these, Ephraim Hanks, left his wagon and went on with two horses. One day he killed a buffalo and loaded his horses with the meat. That evening he reached the Martin Handcart Company. The meat was welcomed by the starving pioneers. On 11 November Ephraim Hanks and members of the handcart company camped on Bitter Creek (present-day Cottonwood Creek).

Gradually other wagons reached the pioneers, and all were able to ride the rest of the way into the valley. They reached Salt Lake on 30 November. Between 135 and 150 people had died on the way.

Due to a late start, the 1856 Martin Handcart Company was caught in early snow in Wyoming. Weak and cold and low on supplies, they were in a desperate situation. Some began to die. Volunteer rescuers with supplies left Salt Lake, but deep snow slowed the rescue wagons. Gradually the Martin Company got help, and they struggled on. More continued to die along the way at places like Bitter Creek. But through the heroic efforts of the rescuers and the courage and faith of the handcart pioneers, the surviving company members eventually arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on 30 November.

Artist, Clark Kelley Price

© 2002 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. Used by permission.