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Joseph Smith’s First Journal

Joseph Smith’s first journal covers a period of 739 days—from November 27, 1832, to December 5, 1834—and contains about 80 entries, about half of them dictated and half in his own handwriting. His later journals contain more frequent entries, but fewer written by the Prophet himself.

See R. Eric Smith, “Joseph Smith’s First Journal,”
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24 July 1847

Brigham Young and the main company of pioneers traveling with him reached the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. Preparations for settlement began when Orson Pratt and a small group riding ahead of the main camp entered the valley on July 22.

“We have been kicked out of the frying-pan into the fire, out of the fire into the middle of the floor, and here we are and here we will stay. God has shown me that this is the spot to locate His people, and here is where they will prosper. . . . I have the grit in me and will do my duty anyhow.”
—Brigham Young

(Life of a Pioneer, James S. Brown [Salt Lake City, Utah: Cannon & Sons, 1900], 121-22)
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“I know of no single thing in the history of man that has caused all people throughout the world to be so vitally and unitedly interested in and involved in what was taking place as they were in the flight of Apollo 11 and putting man on the moon. I feel that man on the moon, communicating with us on the earth, should help men to believe and understand that God, the Creator of the earth, which is the spaceship on which he placed us, can communicate with us, and that if we keep in tune with him we will have a safe landing when we have completed our mission here on earth.”

N. Eldon Tanner, “The Church Moves On,” Improvement Era (Sept. 1969), 77

#moonlanding #Apollo11  
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+Jared R. Jones​ you too Jared! 
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Many Mites

In 1855, John Taylor recalled how the Saints had worked and sacrificed together to build the Kirtland Temple: “It cost the martyr’d Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum, and their revered and honored father and hundreds of dead and living Saints, many, many days of toil, labor and anxiety, who labored on its walls in the midst of poverty, reproach and almost the lack of everything.—the widow, the orphan, the halt and lame, all contributing their mite to build a Temple to the God of Israel, that there might be a place for him to communicate with the children of men.”

John Taylor letter to Christopher Dixon, Apr. 27, 1855, Church History Library, Salt Lake City
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Living Up to a Name

Latter-day Saints named their western settlement “Deseret” after the Jaredite word for honeybee (see Ether 2:3), and the beehive quickly became the symbol of the industrious Latter-day Saints. Yet for many years, there were no honeybees in Utah! One man succeeded in keeping a swarm of bees for three years in the 1850s, but only by providing them with artificial food, probably sugar water. “Appropriate native flowers are scarce in this dry climate,” Brigham Young mourned. But he also noted hopefully, “Cultivated flowers in fields and gardens are increasing, and of course can be increased, sufficiently . . . to sustain many swarms.

”Brigham Young letter to William Urie, Feb. 2, 1860, Brigham Young Office Files, Church History Library, Salt Lake City
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First Bicycle in Utah

A picture of Utah’s first bicycle, made by a Mr. Silver in 1872, illustrated a 1915 article called “The Achievements of Civilization.” Little did readers know then how recognizable bicycle-riding missionaries would become.
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Have them in circles
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Isolated Church Units

Political and other challenges have sometimes cut off members in a given region from Church headquarters for extended periods of time. For example, local units survived in isolation from the main body of the Church “from 1852 to 1892 in French Polynesia, from 1862 to 1888 in Samoa, and from 1924 to 1945 in Japan.”

Eric A. Eliason and Gary Browning, “Russia’s Other ‘Mormons,’ BYU Studies, vol. 40, no. 1 (2001), 10

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Pulling handcarts isn’t the only sign of being a pioneer. What modern-day pioneer stories can you share? #IAmAPioneer http://bit.ly/1Ien94p
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m. I am a pioneer in our clan.
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The Gospel Path

“The Gospel is not mere fire escape, a way out of a difficult situation,” taught Orson F. Whitney in 1916, “It is a path of progression, and the first step of that progression was the fall of man . . . We owe to Adam our opportunity for progress, the opportunities for development that this earth affords, the great education and probation that comes with mortal life.”

Orson F. Whitney, Ogden Utah Weber North Stake general minutes, June 25, 1916, Church History Library, Salt Lake City"
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The First Church Historian

John Whitmer had served as a scribe for Joseph Smith but was hesitant when he was called to write the Church’s history, as it unfolded, on his own. “I would rather not do it,” he told Joseph Smith when first asked about the assignment, but he agreed to do his best if God really wanted him to. A revelation confirmed the assignment and promised him inspiration and help from the Comforter as he endeavored to write.

Brian Reeves, “The Book of John Whitmer: D&C 47, 69,” http://bit.ly/1HXSRsF
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The history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
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