LDS Church signals 'remarkable' transparency with new book on 'First Fifty Years of Relief Society'

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  • chosha ,
    Dec. 18, 2016 2:51 p.m.

    @ WastinTime
    ""It's not hard to understand that if Emma openly opposed polygamy in church meetings that that very well might have helped stoke the fires against her own husband."

    I agree with your statement. But shutting down the whole Relief Society program seems a little extreme and childish doesn't it? "

    Rather as extreme and children as when the church response to the women's rights movement in the 60s was to institute new policy that women would not pray in Sacrament meeting - a ban only lifted in 1978, the same year the priesthood ban was lifted.

  • GD Syracuse, UT
    Feb. 26, 2016 8:55 a.m.

    Perhaps we should all read the book before we criticize the few statements made as the article suggests. Articles like this seem to open the doors for the naysayers who have plenty to say without reading the book. It sounds like a good read which I plan to do. I appreciate the church providing books such as these which will strengthen testimonies or if in the other group will give them more fodder to add to their arsenals of anti mormon statements. So be it.

  • Int'l Businessman SLO, CA
    Feb. 25, 2016 2:28 p.m.

    @ windsor

    "The Gospel is either true or it isn't. 'Transparency' makes no difference."

    I believe there is perhaps a more nuanced way to look at it. When one considers that there are about 50 different churches (albeit some of them are very small) today that believe in the Book of Mormon, then the actions of the leaders of the different sects becomes relevant. Stated differently, weren't the Pharisees a large Jewish sect with most of the same basic beliefs as the other Jewish sects, but didn't Jesus have a much larger problem with the Pharisees than he had with some of the other sects?

  • windsor City, Ut
    Feb. 25, 2016 12:06 p.m.

    Tomboy said "...the past mistakes or whatever that were made in the building up of the church have never been important to me."

    This was my first response to this article/comments too.

    Its fascinating that so many are concerned about/or rejoice over 'transparency' because it matters not at all.

    The Gospel is either true or it isn't.

    'Transparency' makes no difference.

    I have a testimony that it is true and all the transparency in the world about early Church sideline stories is not going to change the experiences THAT I have personally had.

    I just find it interesting and puzzling that so many think this book is so very important.....if the Church is true, what does it matter?

  • Int'l Businessman SLO, CA
    Feb. 25, 2016 10:35 a.m.

    @BlueHusky

    "For a long time, speculative LDS history like Brodie's book was the norm."

    You call Brodie's work "speculative". Please elaborate regarding where it was speculative.

    "I applaud the Church's open and scholarly position."

    First, if we examine the facts as noted by other posters on this thread, I'm not sure applause is warranted. The Church has made more historical items available, but the essays (essentially validating Brodie's work) are unsigned and buried on their website. It looks to me that the free flow and accessibility if historical writings on the internet has forced truths (regarding history) out more than anything else.

  • BlueHusky Mission Viejo, CA
    Feb. 25, 2016 8:37 a.m.

    I've always been interested in history. It is and always was a bit murky. Who tells us the Trojan's side of the Iliad? All religions cover over their dark side. Calvin in Geneva, the Popes through the years, the witch hunts, wars and atrocities in the name of God pervades history. Consider Islam today, at a crossroads in history. Which path will they take?

    Now Mormon history is being published by academics (Mormon or otherwise). For a long time, speculative LDS history like Brodie's book was the norm. Apologists countered with faith-promoting propaganda. Now the Church is making the real documents available to scholars. Mormon Studies programs throughout academia are starting to take Mormon history seriously.

    I view these changes positively. Joseph, Emma, and Brigham were people under enormous pressure. Life and death, survival. Literal enemies, real persecution. This is not romance fiction.

    I applaud the Church's open and scholarly position. Otherwise, we have speculation. It is hard to be objective, even with good information. Impossible if we don't have it.

    The Church will benefit by it.

  • Ghost Writer GILBERT, AZ
    Feb. 24, 2016 2:35 p.m.

    @DonO -- I think we all have our own version of history. We have scraps and pieces of documents that report from limited perspectives to go on . . . I think it's a mistake to believe that there is "one true version" when it comes to viewing and interpreting history.

    @UtahBlueDevil Your last comment seems pretty astute, so I was wondering why you expressed a "Wow" about Brigham venting about Emma's possible contributions to the anti-Mormon hysteria that led to Joseph's death. Emma was definitely not ingratiating herself to Brigham at this time, and I can certainly understand how a grieving Brigham Young (who was undoubtedly being threatened himself) would make this statement.

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    Feb. 24, 2016 2:08 p.m.

    I thought we already had a rich history of the LDS church's beginnings that came out in print about 60 years ago...

    "No Man Knows My History" by Fawn Brodie.

    That book shared much of what is now in the LDS Essays released on lds dot org during the last couple of years. Previously, that book was considered apostate material. Good to see progress.

  • trueblue75 USA, NC
    Feb. 24, 2016 9:55 a.m.

    I've mixed feelings about books lie this and when writers express their own opinion it makes me feel a little uncomfortable unless it is clearly stated it is indeed how they see it. I may see things differently. I look at the purported statement of BYoung and I think, 'wow, there are statements my husband and I make to each other during some difficult moments that I'd never want repeated.' and maybe felt that way at the height of the emotional moment and yet in reality did not feel. There are so many things like men being called out of the congregations to go serve missions, did this not put a lot of pressure on the brethren as well as the sisters; I, as a very active LDS woman do NOT see the need to try to justify anything in the history of the Church. It was a growing, line-upon-line for all who joined. I guess the book has its place; but, I personally do not see the real value other than keeping the nay-Sayers at bay where they might suggest the Church is hiding things..

  • PCHiker Park City, UT
    Feb. 24, 2016 7:45 a.m.

    I hope this is a good insight of early women in the church. I think our collective angst over the church in some matters is just like this, Joseph put together the relief society (presumably under the Lord's direction) and then Brigham does away with it (presumably under the Lord's direction). Did the Lord change his mind for a few years and then changed it again or was it man (a prophet) being imperfect and making a mistake? As church members, we do not like to admit that the prophets could make a mistake, even though they are human.

  • EternalPerspective Eldersburg, MD
    Feb. 24, 2016 7:39 a.m.

    Church history, gay marriage, women and the Priesthood, fallibility of leaders, and plural marriage are just a few contributors that contribute to apostasy.

    We read of these themes in ancient scripture (Bible, Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price) and modern revelation (Doctrine and Covenants) where the Lord established His Kingdom by Priesthood authority and covenants (pattern of the Bible). Many doubts always existed that shook the testimony of those who made eternal covenants with God to be His elect people.

    That is why prophets throughout the scriptures have counseled covenant makers according to the challenges of their day to follow the Lord's commandments and patterns for spiritual protection so that testimony would not be shaken by persecution, worldly challenges, and temptations. It is no different in this day with a living prophet on the earth again.

    Jesus said in John 15, "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 24, 2016 6:31 a.m.

    "we must be careful when we attempt to judge those in the past with the standards of our day."

    So, when people of color were treated inhumane, that was ok because it was the standard of the day.

    I would contend that right and wrong are not dependent on societal norms in the eyes of a higher being.
    Slavery was NEVER right, even in the context of the day.

    To suggest otherwise makes it look like decisions of man rather than guidance from above.
    Can you really imagine that it was God's wishes that blacks be excluded from the priesthood in the early days of the church because it is what society expected?

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 24, 2016 12:28 a.m.

    The authors write Brigham Young believed/accused Emma Smith of using the Relief Society to foment discontent about polygamy.

    But is there evidence Brigham Young was correct? Or was it a baseless accusation? This article doesn't say.

    The historical record does show that Emma publically denied and taught her children that Joseph did not practice polygamy, before and after his death.

    After Joseph Smith's death, Brigham Young and Emma fought about financial issues--inheritance and debt--such as what legally/rightfully belonged to the church, and what belonged to Emma and her children.

    Putting things in historical context is important--but it dosen't erase or negate the wrongs/errors--case in point, Mountain Meadow Massacre.

    It is good the church is finally providing a more accurate history--like accurately referring to Eliza Snow as a polygamous wife of Joseph--consistent with her tombstone which reads "Eliza Snow Smith--rather than presenting her as (only) Brigham Young's wife.

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    Feb. 23, 2016 10:00 p.m.

    As an apologist for my religion, known by most as "Mormonism", I must say that that "remarkable transparency", unfortunately, has been driven in recent years by distractors and enemies of the (LDS) Church. IMO, what is remarkable, is that it took the Church so long to quit trying to smooth over things, and to let the truth come out on so many things.

    I have, myself, been one who has for all of my life, tried to find out the truth of what happened in Mormon history, and then try to understand why. My faith was challenged on more than one occasion. However, still, I pursued it because I felt that if the (LDS) Church truly was and is of God (and I firmly believe it is what it has always claimed to be, the one and only true church of God upon the face of the earth).

    However, with that said, I believe that also the LDS Church hierarchy also needs to take less of a stand of it as "us" versus "them". By this, I mean, leaders versus members. I am with them. My question is, "Are they with me, too?"

  • From Ted's Head Orem, UT
    Feb. 23, 2016 8:18 p.m.

    As I have gotten older and now have adult children, I find myself explaining how things were from my perspective in the 60's and 70's, especially where the social standards of today differ from those of earlier times. I feel that on occasional there are those who accuse the LDS Church of subterfuge when looking back in time, without pointing out that there were other institutions with similar beliefs and practices. I highly doubt that the transparency of today would have been found in many places in the 60's and earlier. That statement does not condone past practices, merely suggest that societal norms were different and access to information was very limited, allowing for less-than-full disclosure of embarrassing or controversial issues. Ours is a different time with different standards and I believe we must be careful when we attempt to judge those in the past with the standards of our day.

  • BCA Murrieta, CA
    Feb. 23, 2016 6:43 p.m.

    "remarkable"---I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    Feb. 23, 2016 5:26 p.m.

    Wastintime

    "...shutting down the whole Relief Society program seems a little extreme and childish doesn't it?"

    This happened during a time of great upheaval in the church's history. The Relief Society was not the only concern on Brigham Young's plate. It was likely far down the list. As he became president I would guess his first concern, given their recent history, was the physical safety of the Mormons. The move west was an enormous undertaking. The fear of further violence was a daily reality. They were not comfortably settled in like we are today. We have our own issues to be sure, but what may look like sour grapes may have been largely a matter of prioritizing, maybe a mix of both.

    My guess is that we would judge our ancestors and past church leaders less harshly (Joseph, Emma, Brigham Young, etc.) if we understood the full weight of the times in which they lived and really understood their challenges - which is impossible.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Feb. 23, 2016 3:53 p.m.

    Faith to Heal and Faith to be Healed are spiritual gifts. Both come in answer to sincere prayer.

    These are separate from the authority to pronounce blessings in the name of the Lord. It is a heavy weight to physically represent the risen Savior in an ordinance He would perform were He physically present.

    Whether by faith alone or by faith combined with authority, the healing power comes through faith in the Lord.

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    Feb. 23, 2016 3:09 p.m.

    @Dan Maloy

    "It's not hard to understand that if Emma openly opposed polygamy in church meetings that that very well might have helped stoke the fires against her own husband."

    I agree with your statement. But shutting down the whole Relief Society program seems a little extreme and childish doesn't it? Wasn't there anything going on in Relief Society that justified its existence as an organization? I think it's subsequent reestablishment answers the question.

    It is fairly easy to look back and recognize prejudices and the frailties in Church leaders of the past, yet members tend to think the current leaders are infallible. This makes no sense to me particularly in light of the how the Prop 8 campaign was waged in California etc.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 23, 2016 3:03 p.m.

    "If God literally parted the heavens and commanded you to practice polygamy, and you KNEW it was God, would you do your best to follow it or not?"

    Dan, Surely you can understand that many could be skeptical about the authenticity of a "commandment to practice polygamy". It would certainly sound like Emma was not convinced that Josephs motives were pure.

    Do you not leave open the possibility that sometimes things are driven by sins of the flesh?

  • Tomboy Canada, 00
    Feb. 23, 2016 2:56 p.m.

    I was thirty six years old read the Book of Mormon prayed and asked God in the name of Jesus Christ if it was true.
    I received an powerful answer to the affirmative by direct revelation. After that I joined the church and have found that everything that I have been taught to do has made my life better when I put the teachings into practice. So the past mistakes or whatever that were made in the building up of the church have never been important to me. I know that it is led by Jesus Christ using imperfect people as his instruments to carry out the work. Mistakes are made and corrected in the Lords time. My testimony is based on personal revelation only,events or happenings have nothing to do with it.

  • Manzanita Las Vegas, NV
    Feb. 23, 2016 2:47 p.m.

    @LDSareChristians -

    Thanks for pointing out that it is available online as well. I had missed that part when I first read it. Hopefully it won't be too long until all of the sections are available online. And even better, hopefully not too much longer until these things become part of the Church's Sunday curriculum.

  • Dan Maloy Enid, OK
    Feb. 23, 2016 2:36 p.m.

    @ Bob A. Bohey - Marlborough, MA - "The book's four co-editors wrote that, "President Young believed that Emma Smith's efforts to thwart the practice of plural marriage" — including the use of Relief Society meetings as a forum for her objections — "contributed to the furor against Joseph and Hyrum Smith and helped lead to their deaths." The above strikes me very much as a blame the victim mentality."

    Sounds to me like the truth.

    It's not hard to understand that if Emma openly opposed polygamy in church meetings that that very well might have helped stoke the fires against her own husband. It isn't rocket science. Any opposition from anywhere would likely fan the flames, especially from within the church, because that opposition "looks" like it has immediate legitimacy.

    Many people, even many Christians, freak out over polygamy, while entirely overlooking passages of scripture in the Bible that approve it. God commands what God commands, and who is man to over-ride it?

    If God literally parted the heavens and commanded you to practice polygamy, and you KNEW it was God, would you do your best to follow it or not?

  • LDSareChristians Anchorage, AK
    Feb. 23, 2016 2:24 p.m.

    to Manzanita,

    The end goal of the JosephSmithpapers.net project is to make available everything for free. They are ALSO providing it all in printed form for those who desire to purchase the printed form.

    The DN article mentions that this book will also be freely available at the website.

  • Dan Maloy Enid, OK
    Feb. 23, 2016 2:24 p.m.

    @ Esquire - Springville, UT - "I wish I had the time and space to address the mixed messages that arise out of this article. Suffice it to say that the current era Church might be too dogmatic and inflexible in many respects. Humans should not be expected to conform to a certain living standard."

    Ahhh....I see. So you think it is man that should set the rules and not God?

    I don't mean to be contentious but that is not how life works.

  • Manzanita Las Vegas, NV
    Feb. 23, 2016 1:57 p.m.

    First, I am pleased to see the article expressly acknowledge that this book is being published in an effort toward increased transparency. I hope such candor will be useful when the gaslighting begins from others who would claim that "the church has never hid anything" and "the Church has taught this stuff all along", etc.

    Second, I'm not sure why one needs to pay $40 for the privilege of having access to the increased transparency? In a Church that requires a 10 percent tithe, shouldn't one be able to receive the unvarnished, transparent truth at church? Why not include this information in Sunday School manuals, rather than putting it behind a pay wall?

    I don't think a commitment to transparency is complete without a willingness to make the information easily accessible.

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    Feb. 23, 2016 12:54 p.m.

    @MormonForever
    "I do not believe the church has ever tried to hide anything."

    The Church used to disclose its financial information, but now hides it. So your statement above is demonstrably false.

    To DN moderators: The title of this article is "LDS Church signals "remarkable" transparency" so I think it is more than fair game to point out where there is little transparency.

  • riverofsun St.George, UT
    Feb. 23, 2016 11:55 a.m.

    20 years from now, will books be written about mistakes made by LDS General Authorities?
    Appears to be lots of anger and questioning going on in the Mormon Church the last few years.

  • EternalPerspective Eldersburg, MD
    Feb. 23, 2016 10:50 a.m.

    Brigham Young said:

    “Men begin to apostatize by taking to themselves strength, by hearkening to the whisperings of the enemy who leads them astray little by little, until they gather to themselves that which they call the wisdom of man; then they begin to depart from God, and their minds become confused.”

    Church history will strengthen those who follow the oracles of God by living worthy of personal revelation to confirm truth the world cannot know. But to those who persecute the Church, have apostatized from it, or are in the process of going down that path, they will find offense, confusion, and an endless debate about events where they could not be eyewitnesses.

    Conjecture is everywhere today. Truth of the past only comes from the Spirit of God as needed. Such is granted to the humble of heart who are willing to believe beyond the physical boundaries of this world and the philosophies of humanity. Brigham Young also said:

    "God is at the helm of this great ship, and that makes me feel good...Let those apostatize who wish to, but God will save all who are determined to be saved."

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Feb. 23, 2016 10:25 a.m.

    Lone Eagle - I think the important thing you may be missing is that their is a "culture" of perfectionism that has permitted the Church for a very long time. There are a lot of reasons for that.... none of which I will go into. The net effect though has been that some assume our current leadership to be perfect, or at least believe themselves to be perfect.

    I grew up around many of these men for the last 50 years. None of them that I knew would ever claim anything close to perfection. The fact that Emma and Joseph disagreed on certain things, less along Brigham Young and Emma, should give comfort to those who from time to time has challenges. Christ's own disciples, people who walked and lived with him, often needed to be reassured and reassured of Christ's mission - even though they had an intimate relationship with Him.

    The fact that Brigham Young and Emma disagreed should clear the air that yes, even those in Leadership disagree from time to time, and have and will have differing view points. Neither Emma nor Brigham Young were "perfect".

  • Arkei soi he charis mou Mount Laurel, NJ
    Feb. 23, 2016 10:00 a.m.

    - fowersjl, Likewise - I love how Brigham Young gave her a vial of consecrated oil before she left so that she could heal by the laying on of hands in the name of Jesus Christ. As Louisa said, "They would invariably bring their sick children to me and request me to anoint them with holy oil, never doubting but a cure would be expected." As Acts 13:47-48 says, "I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. 48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed." Thankfully all both male and female are "ordained to eternal life". As Mary Magdalene, Acts 1:22, "must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection."

  • MormonForever St George, UT
    Feb. 23, 2016 9:34 a.m.

    I do not believe the church has ever tried to hide anything. As to why all this great stuff is coming out now I think it is a combination of the church having the means and the technology to do it and then of course having the Lord's approval. The Lord has His own time table for everything. How wonderful to be able to access this for FREE.

  • One of Vai's Cousins DC, Washington
    Feb. 23, 2016 9:28 a.m.

    I appreciate the new transparency of the past couple of years. Hopefully that attitude will extend to local wards and branches where discussion outside of the traditional varnished version of history is too often rarely allowed or encouraged. Many still have no idea what the essays even are.

    Interesting that history shows Emma had it right all along. Imagine the pain and heartache that could have been avoided had her position on plural marriage been accepted over Brigham Young's.

  • Silver Stingray St. George, UT
    Feb. 23, 2016 9:26 a.m.

    "The average person's understanding, and even many scholars' vision of church history, is incomplete," said co-editor Kate Holbrook."

    No truer words were ever spoken. Why do you think Fawn Brodie titled her book "No Man Knows My History?" That book, along with other historic books by D. Michael Quinn (who like Brodie was excommunicated simply for telling the truth) would change many people's understanding.

  • Arkei soi he charis mou Mount Laurel, NJ
    Feb. 23, 2016 9:25 a.m.

    Grow states, "So, yes, we don't do faith healing like we used to do, or it's true that Relief Societies used to control their own budgets, or things like that". Taking away healing rights is a huge deal. Not controlling their own budgets until gaining a seat on the committee's last year is a big deal. "Things like that" includes writing their own magazine articles and curriculum. In early 1990's Okazaki was turned down by the all-male leaders of the curriculum committee where they stated, "We don’t need a new manual for the Relief Society.”, “We already are writing a manual for them.” Now after 25 years, we still need to pay $40 to Amazon to get these crucial documents on the history of the relief society which includes commentary on the early minutes and lectures by joseph smith to the RS? The book should be free to members of the relief society like the teachings of the prophets series has been.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 23, 2016 9:21 a.m.

    As I understand it, the Relief Society as set up by Joseph Smith was a highly autonomous organization, much more so than now. Is this correct?

  • Lone Eagle Aurora, CO
    Feb. 23, 2016 9:17 a.m.

    I think the book will be a good read and look forward to getting a copy.

    I find it interesting that, so far, the majority of comments seem to be about the humanness of Brigham Young and other early leaders of the Church. Yup. They were human and prone to make mistakes. As the French would say "et alors?"

  • sfcretdennis Nice, CA
    Feb. 23, 2016 9:08 a.m.

    Esquire
    Springville, UT I take it from your comment that you do not believe we should follow the laws of God just because they seam to strict or hard or inflatable? Just asking as it is not us who has a say in what God asks or tills us we should and should not do. As parents we set the rules for our children to follow and if they do not follow we discipline and if a child says they do not like the rules do we change them? Of course we don't we know what is best for our children and God who is our Father in heaven and greater than us all, he knows what's best for us and so sets the rules we have not the right to tell him we do not agree and demand change.

  • BCA Murrieta, CA
    Feb. 23, 2016 8:50 a.m.

    For those who believe in the church, openly discussing history may be remarkable. For the rest of us, what is remarkable is the prior attitude of needing to hide historical events. People are human. Why the church has felt the need to portray otherwise is just sad.

  • DonO Draper, UT
    Feb. 23, 2016 8:20 a.m.

    "The average person's understanding, and even many scholars' vision of church history, is incomplete," said co-editor Kate Holbrook.

    A big, perhaps the primary. reason for this is the LDS Church teaching and fostering its own version of history for so many years. It's great to see the openness and honesty; I just wish it had come many decades sooner.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 23, 2016 8:13 a.m.

    It seems apparent to me that Emma was not too keen on the concept of Polygamy. Sounds like she was not of the mind that it was commanded from above.

    As far as the secrecy around polygamy, those with relationships outside of the bounds of their marriage have inevitably kept them quiet.

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    Feb. 23, 2016 7:50 a.m.

    The book's four co-editors wrote that, "President Young believed that Emma Smith's efforts to thwart the practice of plural marriage" — including the use of Relief Society meetings as a forum for her objections — "contributed to the furor against Joseph and Hyrum Smith and helped lead to their deaths."

    The above strikes me very much as a blame the victim mentality.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Feb. 23, 2016 7:25 a.m.

    ""President Young believed that Emma Smith's efforts to thwart the practice of plural marriage" — including the use of Relief Society meetings as a forum for her objections — "contributed to the furor against Joseph and Hyrum Smith and helped lead to their deaths."

    Wow.... President Young tried to lay some of the blame for the death of Joseph on the head of Emma. Then he disbands he organization Emma headed. It certainly was an interesting chapter in the Church's history. I am glad that the church is dealing with some of the elements of its human history - where peoples humanness intersected the church and the gospel.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Feb. 23, 2016 7:12 a.m.

    I wish I had the time and space to address the mixed messages that arise out of this article. Suffice it to say that the current era Church might be too dogmatic and inflexible in many respects. Humans should not be expected to conform to a certain living standard. It is not possible, and it has led to a lot of problems where people are unnecessarily left feeling inadequate and resort to leaving or abusing substances or have psychological issues and so forth. There is too much rigidity and not enough emphasis on tolerating human imperfection.

  • fowersjl Farmington, Utah
    Feb. 23, 2016 6:54 a.m.

    What a treasure this book is! Am excited to get my hands on it! Wonder if there is mention of my amazing ancestor Louisa Barnes Pratt, who, according to her journal was "called, set apart, and ordained to go to the Islands of the sea" to aid her husband Addison, in teaching the people. That was in 1850. She is not considered as the first sister missionary (the honor is given to Amanda Knight who served her mission in 1898) because she was "married" according to one Church historian. Am pretty sure that most of the male missionaries, including most of the apostles who went to England, etc. were married and their missions are certainly "counted". Maybe Addison and Louisa could be given the title of first missionary couple. (However, he went ahead of her and she had to travel from Salt Lake to San Francisco, and on to the Society Islands (Tahiti) alone (except she took her children with her, which only made things more difficult for her, just as she crossed the plains from Nauvoo to Salt Lake alone.)

  • Cambodian Girl Annapolis, MD
    Feb. 23, 2016 5:15 a.m.

    I absolutely love this and can't wait to read the book. I have always been a champion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have always been grateful that I was taught as a young girl that Heavenly Father loved me and would answer my prayers. I did not have to rely on others for my testimony and that if I would study the scriptures and pray then I would receive an answer but when the answer came, the choice was mine whether to be obedient or not. To be cheerful within the parameters of my circumstances is my goal. It is not easy but worth the effort.