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Odds and Ends: UK to celebrate anniversary of first LDS baptisms in 1837

Published: Monday, June 11 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

LDS Church members in England will celebrate the 175th anniversary of the first baptisms in the UK with a concert in July.

www.bbc.co.uk

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History, it seems, is on the forefront of everyone's mind this week.

An upcoming concert in the United Kingdom will celebrate the 175th anniversary of the first baptisms performed by LDS missionaries, the British Broadcasting Company reported today. The British Mission, established in 1837, was one of the first foreign missions of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"There were 8,000 onlookers that day," said local Latter-day Saint member Dr. James Holt about the baptisms in 1837. "We hope to exceed that number in July (at the concert). … This will be a wonderful opportunity for the Mormons in Britain to remember their heritage and celebrate the history of the church on these islands."

The celebration, to be held in Avenham Park, will include a choir of church members singing well-known Christian hymns as well as talks from LDS church leaders.

Meanwhile, two news media this week featured articles about Mormons and genealogy. The Minneapolis Star Tribune named FamilySearch as a useful and convenient web tool for researching family history, while a blogger from the Jersey Journal recommended researchers visit their local family history center.

"I recently visited the Family History Center in Emerson, and found that it is a great place to do research," blogger Daniel Klein wrote on blog.nj.com. "Here’s how it works: Visit the aforementioned FamilySearch.org from your home computer to do some searches for your family history. If you find something, you might then be able to order a film from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. There’s a good chance you find something about your ancestry within the 2.4 million rolls of microfilmed records the Family History Library has to offer."

And a returned missionary's family in Colorado is trying recover history of a more personal nature — Elder Alexander Dench's journals.

Kathy Dench, of Loveland, Colo., wrote a letter to the editor of the local newspaper, the Reporter-Herald, asking for whoever received the misdirected 57-pound box her son mailed on May 9 before leaving from serving a mission in New England to at least return the journals.

"Whoever has this box is welcome to the clothing and other things in the box, if you really need them and that's why you haven't contacted us, but we ask that you at least please return the priceless journals that it contained," she wrote in the letter titled "Please return items missed from LDS mission." "There is no way to replace the value of these journals in our son's mind."

Email: jhenrie@desnews.com

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