Posted by on Nov 20, 2011 in Site of the Week - LDS Church History Tour | 0 comments

Merthyr Tydfil, Wales – Birthplace of David O. McKay’s mother and death place of extraordinary missionary, Abel Evans. In the Merthyr Tydfil area, Pres. McKay went in search of the birth place of his mother, Jennette Evans McKay.  Several townsfolk were inquired as to where the cottage was located.  Finally, the small four-room cottage was found.  Pres. McKay toured the home and found a six by nine bedroom in which the bed completely occupied the narrow end of the room.  Here he stood weeping at being able to be at this beloved place.  A memorial plaque was placed at the cottage which made his trip to this area extra special to him. Prior to coming to Merthyr Tydfil, President McKay was given a dinner in his honor.  He was presented with a beautiful organ and plaque in honor of his mother to be placed at the Merthyr Tydfil chapel which was soon to start construction. On March 2, 1961, President McKay visited Merthyr Tydfil for the groundbreaking of the LDS chapel.  President McKay was so touched by the people that he promised those present that he would return to Wales for the dedication of the chapel.  Many doubted that the church would be finished on time.  However, they underestimated the devotion of a united, dedicated people.  Men, women, and younger people from the entire area joined to have everything in readiness.  Of the 30,000 hours of donated labor on the building, 22,000 came from the Church builders, and 8,000 were given by local members.  Probably the greatest record was set when more than 220 men, women, and young people from the entire district put in over 1,600 hours of work on one day.  The donated hours for the week totaled 2,650. The chapel went from the footing stage to its completion in less than eight months.  It is no wonder they termed it “the miracle at Merthyr Tydfil.”  On August 25, 1963, the dedication of the new chapel at Merthyr Tydfil, Wales took place.  At that time Pres. McKay officially accepted and honored the gift of the organ that was given in memory of his mother. Abel Evans Evans, Abel, one of the Latter-day Saint Elders who died while filling a foreign mission, was born June 24, 1813, at Carmarthenshire, South Wales. Becoming a convert to “Mormonism,” he was baptized Feb. 10, 1844, by William Henshaw and is believed to be the second person baptized by divine authortiy in Wales. He devoted about six years to the ministry, traveling in South and North Wales and labored with great success. He was a man of strong faith, the Lord working many miracles through his instrumentality, many being healed of their maladies through his faith and prayers, among others several cases of cancer and cholera. He emigrated to America in 1850, and in the April 1865, he was called on a...

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Posted by on Nov 10, 2011 in Site of the Week - LDS Church History Tour | 0 comments

President Taylor, the only man to serve as a President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who was not born in the United States, lived and worked in the area around Milnthorpe (in north England).  He was born in Milnthorpe, England on Nov 1, 1808.  He lived in the town as a boy and took from it many of the qualities that emerged in later life.  Below is a story of President Taylor as a boy in Milnthorpe, our site of the week. “When I was a young boy of ten years, my best friend, Robert West, died from a serious illness.  The boy’s father, Allee West, moved from the village to become a shepherd, and I missed him very much.  Feeling lonely for my friend’s father, I asked one day if I could visit Allee.  My parents, knowing how close I had been to Allee, fixed a basket of food for him to take along. It would take all day for me to get to Allee’s house and back, so I left early in the morning.  There were many hills to cross.  Once, while resting, I was tempted to eat the food in the basket but got up instead and walked the rest of the way as quickly as possible.  Allee was overjoyed to see me.  We ate the food together and talked of old times. Late that afternoon, some storm clouds began darkening the sky, so I left for home.  Before I could get there, a thick fog settled on the hills, and I could not see very far.  A team of horses almost ran over me because the driver could not see the small boy walking on the roadside.  When I came to a fork in the road, it was so dark and foggy that I couldn’t see the landmarks that would tell me which way to turn.  I fell to my knees in prayer.  As I stood up, I felt a hand on my shoulder.  It was Allee.  He had worried about my safety and had come to help me find my way home.  That is only one of the many times the Lord has watch over me.” Boys Who Became Prophets, by Hardy, L.C., p....

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LDS Site of the Week – Haun’s Mill

Posted by on Oct 30, 2011 in Site of the Week - LDS Church History Tour | 0 comments

Today October 30, in the afternoon of 1838, a mob consisting of more than 200 men descended upon Haun’s Mill settlement.  Haun’s Mill was named after Jacob Haun, a member of the Church, who built a mill on Shoal Creek between 1835 and 1836.  Mills of the period were typically three stories in height, to permit grain storage in the upper level, grinding on the main floor, and machinery below.  At that time there were an estimated 75 families living there, although there were only perhaps a dozen or so houses along with a blacksmith shop and a mill. This site is mainly thought of because of its tragic incident.  However, the focus for this site of the week is on the miracles the Lord performed for those who suffered innocently from the unfortunate choices of others’ freedom to choose. Below is an account of the Healing of Alma Smith.  Afterwards, a short summary of Haun’s Mill incidences can be found.  If interested, a  detailed account by Joseph Young can be found in History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, volume 3: 183-186. “Flesh, hip bone, joint and all had been ploughed out… We laid little Alma on a bed in our tent and I examined the wound. It was a ghastly sight. I knew not what to do…yet was I there, all that long, dreadful night, with my dead and my wounded, and none but God as our physician and help. ‘Oh my Heavenly Father,’ I cried, ‘what shall I do? Thou seest my poor wounded boy and knowest my inexperience.  Oh, Heavenly Father, direct me what to do!’ And then I was directed as by a voice speaking to me. …Our fire was still smouldering…I was directed to take…ashes and make a lye and put a cloth saturated with it right into the wound…again and again I saturated the cloth and put it into the hole… , and each time mashed flesh and splinters of bone came away with the cloth; and the wound became as white as chicken’s flesh.  Having done as directed I again prayed to the Lord and was again instructed as distinctly as though a physician had been standing by speaking to me.  Near by was a slippery-elm tree.  From this I was told to make a … poultice and fill the wound with it…the poultice was made, and the wound, which took fully a quarter of a yard of linen to cover…was properly dressed…I removed the wounded boy to a house…and dressed his hip; the Lord directing me as before.  I was reminded that in my husband’s trunk there was a bottle of balsam. This I poured into the wound, greatly soothing Alma’s pain. ‘Alma my child,’ I said, ‘you believe that the Lord made your hip?’ ‘Yes, mother.’ ‘Well, the Lord can make something there in the place...

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LDS Church History site of the week – WINTER QUARTERS

Posted by on Oct 22, 2011 in Site of the Week - LDS Church History Tour | 0 comments

164 years ago this week, thirty-two of the Mormon Battalion boys were anxious to meet their families at Winter Quarters.  They left Great Salt Lake City for Winter Quarters, Nebraska, our site for this week, where they arrived Dec. 18th, after a hard journey. Winter Quarters (Florence) is on the eastern end of Nebraska, near the Missouri River and just a couple of miles from Omaha.  It is where the first Nauvoo exodus company under Brigham Young spent the hardship winter of 1846-1847.  The poor quality of the shelters and lack of nourishing food resulted in much sickness and many deaths that first winter.  The Winter Quarters cemetery has more than 600 unmarked graves as a result.  The unhealthy climate caused most of this settlement to move back across the Missouri to Kanesville. The Winter Quarters experience shows the great leadership of Brigham Young.  There were 4000 living in hovels there, 5000 camping a hundred miles up and down the Missouri River on the Iowa side in what was called The Grand Encampment, 2000 more in various camps all across Iowa, and at least another 1000 destitute people in poor camps on the west side of the Mississippi who had not the means to travel.  By spring, one in every nine would have died as a result of these circumstances.  And in the middle of all of this wrenching hardship, dozens of fathers were called to leave their families and go to England on missions.  Franklin D. Richards, for example.  This is also the place were 500 men were recruited by the US Army to leave their families (32 of them our boys mentioned above) and assist in the campaign against Mexico. It was from Winter Quarters that the first Mormon pioneer wagon train under Brigham Young departed for Salt Lake City April 15, 1847, arriving 111 days later on July 22.  Winter Quarters is a tremendously compelling site protraying the dedication of the early Saints regardless of the...

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LDS Church History Site of the Week – Smith Family Log Home

Posted by on Sep 28, 2011 in Site of the Week - LDS Church History Tour | 0 comments

188 years ago on Sept. 21,  Joseph Smith, jun., was engaged in earnest prayer in his father’s house in Manchester, near Palmyra, N. Y.  He saw the room in which he had retired for the night filled with light surpassing that of noonday, in the midst of which stood a person dressed in white, whose countenance was as lightning, and yet full of innocence and goodness. This was the angel Moroni, who informed Joseph that God had a work for him (Joseph) to do, and that his “name should be had for good and evil among all nations.” The angel quoted many passages of Scripture, and told Joseph that the native inhabitants of America were a remnant of Israel who had anciently enjoyed the ministry of inspired men, that records engraved on plates of gold, containing their history and also the fullness of the everlasting Gospel had been preserved and were buried in a neighboring hill. While conversing with the angel, a vision was opened to Joseph’s view, so that he could see the place where the plates were deposited, and he was told by the angel that he should obtain them at some future day, if he was faithful. After imparting many instructions, the angel disappeared, but returned twice during the night, and repeated what he had said on his first visit; he also gave further instructions.  It is so amazing to go and feel the sacred spirit of this amazing rebuilt log home where Moroni’s visits took...

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LDS Church History Site of the Week – Logan Temple

Posted by on Sep 16, 2011 in Site of the Week - LDS Church History Tour | 0 comments

On 17 September 1877, the corner stones of the Logan Temple were laid.  Here are some Temple Facts for this site of the week. The Logan Utah Temple was the second temple built in Utah. The Logan Utah Temple was the only temple dedicated by President John Taylor. The five-story Logan Utah Temple was built entirely by volunteer labor over a seven-year period from 1877 to 1884. The exterior walls of the Logan Utah Temple were originally painted an off-white color to hide the dark, rough-hewn limestone. In the early 1900s, however, the paint was allowed to weather away, uncovering the beautiful stone that characterizes the temple today. On the evening of December 4, 1917, fire broke out in the Logan Utah Temple, engulfing the southeast staircase, destroying several windows and paintings, and causing extensive smoke and water damage. The origin of the fire was discovered to be electrical wiring. The Logan Utah Temple was flood lighted at night for the first time during the month of May 1934 as part of the temple’s Golden Jubilee celebration. Everyone entering the valley was astonished by the brilliant spectacle. Thirteen years would pass before the temple was lit again on the temple’s 63rd anniversary—this time with an elaborate permanent system. The Logan Utah Temple is the only temple to be completely gutted and rebuilt inside. The two-year project replaced the progressive-style ordinance rooms with motion-picture ordinance rooms. President Spencer W. Kimball, who rededicated the completed temple in 1979, regretted the need to reconstruct the interior because of the loss of pioneer craftsmanship. Taken from: ...

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