Knight Family Reunion includes temple attendance and gravestone dedication

By Lila Palmer Shoemaker

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, June 30 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

Janis Palmer, left, Monty Palmer, Lila Shoemaker and Grant Palmer at the Joseph and Polly Peck Knight Family Reunion in St. George June 8-9 which included a re-dedication of the restored granite foundation of Lydia Golthwaite Knight’s gravestone located in the St. George cemetery. Lydia would be 200 years old on June 9.

Provided by Lila Palmer Shoemaker

ST. GEORGE — More than 350 of the 13,000 descendants of the Mormon pioneers Joseph and Polly Peck Knight attended this year’s Knight Family Reunion in St. George June 8-9. The culmination of the reunion, was a re-dedication of the restored granite foundation of Lydia Knight’s gravestone located in the St. George cemetery. The 200th anniversary of Lydia's birthday was on June 9. Lydia was the daughter-in-law of Joseph and Polly Knight.

After registration, family attendees were given a Bingo card to get to know other “cousins.” Four different humanitarian service projects were offered. A pieced quilt was set up for sewing on heart buttons to coincide with the theme “Hearts Knit Together in Love.”

Joseph Knight Sr. was a friend of Joseph Smith, the first prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and helped support Smith during the translation of the Book of Mormon. Both Joseph Knight Sr. and Newel Knight are mentioned in The Doctrine and Covenants in sections 12 and 23.

Reunion highlights included workshops on Knight descendants from Jesse Knight, Anna Knight, Polly Knight and Joseph Knight Jr.; the dedication of a plaque for Samuel Knight in Santa Clara, Utah; a memorial at the Mountain Meadows Massacre site; and a fireside with St. George Utah Temple President Bruce C. Hafen and his wife, Marie, at the St. George Tabernacle.

Performing LDS temple work was a part of the Knight Family Reunion experience for one group. En route to the reunion, a small group of couples visited three LDS temples in three states — all in one day. Beginning at 6 a.m. on June 7, the group attended sessions in the Mesa Arizona Temple, the Las Vegas Nevada Temple and the historic St. George Utah Temple.

Over the years, many branches of the Knight family took part in a number of important early LDS events. The Palmer family's line descends through Newel Knight and his second wife, Lydia Goldthwaite. Their daughter, Sally, married Zemira Palmer, who was 15 years old when he marched with the Mormon Battalion. Zemira’s son Alma Zemira accepted the call from Brigham Young to settle the Snowflake, Ariz., area. His son, Alma Jordan Palmer, moved to Mesa, Ariz., in 1920. Grant Lewis Palmer Sr. was born in 1923. His children are Grant, Winston, Monty, Jonathan, David, Lana, Lila and Cary, three of which attend the reunion.

For more information about the Knight family, see www.josephknightfamily.org.

Lila Palmer Shoemaker lives in Mesa, Ariz.

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