Friday, October 24, 2014

Meet the Muslims


There is far too little understanding of Islam in the West.

I include myself in this indictment.  It is regrettable that so many of us know next to nothing about one of the world's great monotheistic religious traditions.  Furthermore, what we do know, or what we think we know, is too often informed by the consumption and regurgitation of sensationalized media reports.  If the recent film Meet the Mormons has helped in any way to shed light on the lives and beliefs of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (which I think it has), I can only imagine what a film like Meet the Muslims might accomplish.

But since, to my knowledge, such a film has not yet been produced, allow me to outline a few resources that may be useful in helping us to better understand Islam and the people who adhere to this widely practiced and vibrant faith.


Rules of Religious Understanding:
The Noble Qur'an

Qur'an and Hadith:


Verbal Description of the Prophet Muhammad

The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):

Latter-day Saint Perspectives on Islam:

A Few of my own Blog Posts on Islam:

Twin Pillars of Eternal Truth

Christ Stopped at Eboli

Carlo Levi's Memoir in Exile: Christ Stopped at Eboli
Soon after I received the call to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Southern Italy, my dad gave the book Christ Stopped at Eboli as a gift.  I read and enjoyed the book before my mission, but only after my mission could I appreciate it more fully.

Carlo Levi
In 1935, as a result of his political activism, the Italian-Jewish painter, writer, activist, anti-fascist and doctor Carlo Levi, was exiled to Lucania, one of the poorest regions of Southern Italy.  Christ Stopped at Eboli is a poetically written memoir of his exile, the title of which comes from an expression of the people of 'Gagliano' who said of themselves: "Christ stopped short of here, at Eboli."  Levi explained that this phrase "means, in effect, that they feel they have been bypassed by Christianity, by morality, by history itself—that they have somehow been excluded from the full human experience."

Of course Levi -who was also a friend of the Italian writer Italo Calvino- wrote his memoir in Italian, but it has been translated into English.  As an undergraduate student at Brigham Young University, I wrote a brief essay on Levi's memoir Cristo si è fermato a Eboli.  There is also a cinematic adaptation of the book that I recommend to anyone who might be interested.

The film adaptation of Levi's memoir

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Two Gospel Centered Conferences

A Trip to the Not So Local Library

The Vatican Library, Online Edition: https://www.vatlib.it/
Speaking of a time in which hidden things will come to light, it will soon be possible to instantly access more than 4,000 ancient manuscripts from the Vatican Library.  That's right.  The Pope's personal library:

"Formally established in 1475, though in fact much older, it is one of the oldest libraries in the world and contains one of the most significant collections of historical texts. It currently has 75,000 codices from throughout history, as well as 1.1 million printed books, which include some 8,500 incunabula." (Wikipedia)

Look.  Here's an old Bible.  Here's Dante's Convivio.  Here's something on Petrarca, and Boccaccio.
 
Someday perhaps the "Secret Archives" will be available for all, not just the Holy See, to see as well.

Exchanging Gifts in the Vatican

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Mantle of Charity

The Prophet Joseph Smith
"It is one evidence that men are unacquainted with the principles of godliness to behold the contraction of affectionate feelings and lack of charity in the world. The power and glory of godliness is spread out on a broad principle to throw out the mantle of charity. God does not look on sin with allowance, but when men have sinned, there must be allowance made for them. … The nearer we get to our heavenly Father, the more we are disposed to look with compassion on perishing souls; we feel that we want to take them upon our shoulders, and cast their sins behind our backs. …

“… How oft have wise men and women sought to dictate Brother Joseph by saying, ‘Oh, if I were Brother Joseph, I would do this and that;’ but if they were in Brother Joseph’s shoes they would find that men or women could not be compelled into the kingdom of God, but must be dealt with in long-suffering, and at last we shall save them. The way to keep all the Saints together, and keep the work rolling, is to wait with all long-suffering, till God shall bring such characters to justice. There should be no license for sin, but mercy should go hand in hand with reproof." - Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 5:24

The Wise Lawgiver and Just Judge

The Prophet Joseph Smith
"The great designs of God in relation to the salvation of the human family, are very little understood by the professedly wise and intelligent generation in which we live. Various and conflicting are the opinions of men concerning the plan of salvation, the [requirements] of the Almighty, the necessary preparations for heaven, the state and condition of departed spirits, and the happiness or misery that is consequent upon the practice of righteousness and iniquity according to their several notions of virtue and vice. …

While one portion of the human race is judging and condemning the other without mercy, the Great Parent of the universe looks upon the whole of the human family with a fatherly care and paternal regard; He views them as His offspring, and without any of those contracted feelings that influence the children of men, causes ‘His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.’ [Matthew 5:45.] He holds the reins of judgment in His hands; He is a wise Lawgiver, and will judge all men, not according to the narrow, contracted notions of men, but, ‘according to the deeds done in the body whether they be good or evil,’ or whether these deeds were done in England, America, Spain, Turkey, or India. He will judge them, ‘not according to what they have not, but according to what they have’; those who have lived without law, will be judged without law, and those who have a law, will be judged by that law. We need not doubt the wisdom and intelligence of the Great Jehovah; He will award judgment or mercy to all nations according to their several deserts, their means of obtaining intelligence, the laws by which they are governed, the facilities afforded them of obtaining correct information, and His inscrutable designs in relation to the human family; and when the designs of God shall be made manifest, and the curtain of futurity be withdrawn, we shall all of us eventually have to confess that the Judge of all the earth has done right [see Genesis 18:25]." - Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 4:595–96

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

So Shines a Good Deed

"How far that little candle throws its beams!  So shines a good deed in a weary world." - William Shakespeare



The Power of Kindness

K.I.N.D. = Know, Invite, Now, Do It

"Nothing is so much calculated to lead people to forsake sin as to take them by the hand, and watch over them with tenderness. When persons manifest the least kindness and love to me, O what power it has over my mind, while the opposite course has a tendency to harrow up all the harsh feelings and depress the human mind." - Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 5:23–24

"The best portion of a good man's life: his little, nameless unremembered acts of kindness and love." - William Wordsworth, Lyrical Ballads 

"I have wept in the night
At my shortness of sight
That to others' needs made me blind,
But I never have yet
Had a twinge of regret
For being a little too kind." - C.R. Gibson

"Kindness is powerful, especially in a family setting." - Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Loving Others and Living With Differences





 

Repentance

"Repentance is a thing that cannot be trifled with every day. Daily transgression and daily repentance is not that which is pleasing in the sight of God." - Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 3:379

Sunday, October 19, 2014

My Pioneer Ancestors

My Pioneer Ancestors

William Thomas Higginson
William Thomas Higginson (1835-1914):
  • Parents: Charles Wood Higginson and Mary Ann Bouncer
  • Relationship: William Thomas Higginson, father of George Taylor Higginson, father of Elmo Cassim Higginson, father of Julie Lynn Higginson, my mother.
  • Birth: November 1, 1835, Kenton Hall, Shifnal, Shropshire, England
  • Marriage(s): Elizabeth Jones (October 18, 1857), Christina Young (September 27, 1863), Hattie Jane Taylor (February 10, 1873)
  • Children: 13 - 8 (Christina Young), 5 (Hattie Jane Taylor)
  • Occupation(s): Jockey, Stable Boy, Farm Laborer
  • Fun Facts: His brother George was with Parley P. Pratt when he was killed.  By 1967 William Thomas Higginson had 13 children, 62 grandchildren, 246 great grandchildren, 537 great great grandchildren, 85 great great great grandchildren.
  • Pioneer Company: William B. Preston Company
  • Age at Departure: 27
  • Mission: Northern States, 1899-1900
  • Life Sketch and Other Documents: Short story, Letter Containing Testimony, etc., Same Letter with More Details, Same Letter Complete VersionMission Call from President Lorenzo Snow 
  • Trail Experience: Individual Information, Trail Excerpt 
  • Testimony: "The next morning after I got home, there lay some Milleneum Stars on the table. I
    William T. Higginson and Christina Young
    picked one up and on the front page there was a revelation given to the Prophet Joseph and these were the words I read; 'Thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph', and I asked myself the question, 'can I deny that'? And the spirit of the Lord said unto me, 'No you cannot deny it'. And from that time to this present moment I have never had no doubt in my mind as to Joseph Smith being a true Prophet of God. And after receiving that testimony I tended to the meeting at Astley and got acquainted with our father and mother and other Saints, yet I did not get baptized till July 1855, that was over one year after I received the testimony. I would have got baptized sooner but I was very bashful and did not like to ask for baptism, and as Father and were gong to a meeting we called at Tetley's and he was going to baptize a brother, so he asked me if I didn't want to be baptized. I told him yes, and so I was."
  • Death: November 29, 1914, Hatch, Bannock, Idaho, United States
  • Headstone

William Plummer Tippets (1812-1877):
  • Parents: John Tippets IV and Abigail Pierce
    William Plummer Tippets
  • Relationship: William Plummer Tippets, father of Abigail Eliza Tippets, mother of Mary Sophia Tippets, mother of Reba Marchant, mother of Jacquelyn Tebbs, mother of Ralph Cornel Hancock, my father.
  • Birth: June 26, 1812, Wilton, Hillsborough, New Hampshire, United States
  • Marriage(s): Caroline Tippets (July 30, 1835), Jeanette Stebbans (1837), Sophia Burnham Mead (January 1, 1842) 
  • Children: 10 - 1 (Caroline Tippets), 9 (Sophia Burnham Mead)
  • Occupation(s): Farmer
  • Fun Facts: The pioneer company that William Tippets traveled with transported almost 5,000 pounds of freight destined for Brigham Young and Newel K Whitney.
  • Pioneer Company: Edward Hunter Company
  • Age at Departure: 37
  • Mission: 
  • Life Sketch and Other Documents: Building a Log House, Incomplete History, History
  • Trail Experience: Individual information, Trail Excerpt
  • Testimony:
  • Death: March 29, 1877, Cause of Death, Typhoid Fever
  • Headstone
William Marks Miles (1828-1897):
  • Parents: Samuel Miles and Prudence Marks
    William Marks Miles
  • Relationship: William Marks Miles, father of Emmeline Emilia Miles, mother of Jeremiah Hatch, father of Lelia Hatch, mother of Julie Lynn Higginson, my mother
  • Birth: May 28, 1828, Attica, Genesee, New York, United States
  • Marriage(s): Orpha Ann Alexander (1853), Martha Jane Curtis (1859), Margaret E. Lawrence (December 11, 1859)
  • Children: 12 - 3 (Orpha Ann Alexander), 9 ( Martha Jane Curtis)
  • Occupation(s): Farmer, Stone Cutter, "It had always been my ambition to have a good farm and raise horses and cattle.  I, being twelve years old this year, was able to raise a garden and also hire out to do light work in many types of construction. I got what schooling I could along with working long hours to help make a living for my younger brother and sister." / "William Marks Miles, was a stone cutter by trade, even helping with the building of several temples. He was also called by President Brigham Young to be an Indian Interpreter and Peace Maker. The Indians learned to love William and asked him to wear a small bunch of whiskers on his chin to identify him, so that they would not kill him during any of the frequent uprisings. (Although it was customary to wear whiskers in those days, William was always clean shaven.)"
  • Fun Facts: William and his family knew the prophet Joseph. Smith and his contemporaries personally, and resisted mob persecution (his family was once held prisoner by the mobs), and they traveled to Adam-Ondi Ahman and Nauvoo.  He quarried granite from the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon for the construction of the Salt Lake Temple. William also helped build a rock dam in the Cottonwood river.  He was a friend of the Indians. 
  • Pioneer Company: Ezra T. Benson Company, Jedediah M. Grant-Joseph B. Noble Company
  • Age at Departure: 21 
  • Mission: Temple builder, Indian Interpreter and Peace Maker
  • Life Sketch and Other Documents: Autobiography of William Marks Miles, History of William Marks Miles 
  • Trail Experience: "I had gained much experience through my contacts with the captains and wagon masters and working and riding with the guides and frontiersmen the last few years. l learned a lot about the ways of the Indian and learned to talk their sign language. l had become quite handy at driving oxen and pulled many a family out of the mire that were driving horses."
  • Testimony: "Our farm joined that of Dr. Warren Cowdery, he and my father being brothers-in- law. His wife being Patience Simonds, a sister to Father’s first wife, Sarah Simonds, and being a brother to Oliver Cowdery. We early became acquainted with the rise of the church known as Mormons. It wasn‘t till the winter of 1833-34 that the Elders visited the town. Father learned of a meeting to be held in an adjoining town, Farmersville. Father and some of my older brothers attended the meeting held in Ira L. Hatch’s house. After the meeting closed, a few proceeded to a nearby stream where the ice was cut, it being mid-winter, and some baptisms were tended to. In a few weeks our town was visited by Elders John Murdock, Orson Pratt and others. A large branch was raised up. My parents were early baptized. Warren A. Cowdery was appointed and set apart as president of the Branch Other members included Hyman Hyde and family, Thomas Graven, Ira C. Hatch, the Cheaneys, the McPherson family, the Caulkins brothers, Lyman and Israel; Benjamin F. Wheeler and his wife, Eliza, my sister, Isaac Decker and family (they were baptized after moving to Ohio), also my brother. Joel. Mother's brother. William Marks, visited us at this time and attended our meetings. He became a convert to the truth of the gospel and was shortly afterward baptized... l was baptized in March 1836 by Solomon Warner. In April 1836 Father and Mother received their Patriarchal Blessings under the hands of Joseph Smith, Sr., who visited the branch."  His creed was: "Let your conscience be your guide."  
  • Death: July 7, 1897, Moreland, Bingham, Idaho, United States
  • Headstone
Thomas Henry Wright
Thomas Henry Wright:
  • Parents: Joseph Wright, Frances Green
  • Relationship: Thomas Henry Wright, father of Elizabeth Wright, mother of Earnest Wright Marchant, father of Reba Marchant, mother of Jacquelyn Tebbs, mother of Ralph Cornel Hancock, my father.
  • Birth: April 18, 1818, Woolwich, Kent, England
  • Marriage(s): Elizabeth Barrett (March 9, 1846), Caroline Eliza West (February 8, 1869)
  • Children: 20 total - 15 (Elizabeth Barrett), 5 (Caroline Eliza West)
  • Occupation(s): ? 
  • Fun Facts: He had some disagreements while crossing the plains, and he was even accused of murdering a man's wife, but she actually just died of cholera: "I Tho. H. Wright of the Church of Jesus Christ of L.D. Saints do charge Bro. Edward Middlemass With Falsly & Wantonly accusing Me of Killing his Wife & Makeing Me out to be a Murderer When it is Well known she died from the effects of a severe attack of Cholera." / A wagon wheel ran over his daughter's leg, but her leg did not break.
  • Pioneer Company: Seth M. Blair / Edward Stevenson Company
  • Age at Departure: 37
  • Mission: ?
  • Life Sketch and Other Documents: 
  • Trail Experience: Trail Excerpt, Trail Excerpt
  • Testimony: ?
  • Death: May 27, 1881
  • Headstone
Simmons Philander Curtis:

Robert Nish:
Robert Nish
Josiah Howe Call:
  • Parents: Cyril Call and Sarah Tiffany
    Josiah Howe Call
  • Relationship: Josiah Howe Call, father of Lydia Rosetta Call, mother of Alzina C. Loveland, mother of Elmo Cassim Higginson, father of Julie Lynn Higginson, my mother
  • Birth: August 12, 1821 Madison, Geauga, Ohio, United States
  • Marriage(s): Henrietta Caroline Williams (March 11, 1846), Christence Nielsdatter (January 14, 1856)
  • Children: 8 - 7 (Henrietta Caroline Williams), 1 (Christence Nielsdatter)
  • Occupation(s): Farmer, Collier, Sheriff, Alderman
  • Fun Facts: Although he was friendly with the Indians, he was killed by a hostile bunch of Indians.  He fought bravely, like a bear, to preserve his life, but the Indians showed him no mercy: "An Indian, wearing Grandfather's hat, came six months later to the home of my grandmother. Grandmother's six frightened children clung to her apron while he told the story. Grandfather begged for his life. He told them he had six little papooses and a squaw that he would like to go home to; that they needed him, He offered to trade them anything for his life. They refused him. When an Indian says he'll do a thing he usually does it. He told her they took his right arm as a sign of Bravery."
  • Pioneer Company: Allen Taylor Company
  • Age at Departure: 27
  • Mission: Pioneer, Settle Pauvant Valley (Fillmore, Utah), Bishop
  • Life Sketch and Other Documents: A Short Story of Josiah Howe Call, Tell Me a Story, Story by Granddaughter, Indian Massacre
  • Trail Experience: Individual Information, Trail Excerpt
  • Testimony: Josiah and his family heeded prophetic counsel: "Josiah had married Henrietta Williams, March lst, 1846 in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois. Josiah and his brothers and families were part of the first 10 Wagons of Brigham Young's company. They traveled westward and they overtook a 52 Wagon company, and also overtook the George Miller company on the Platte River Where they received instructions July 22, 1846 to go no farther. There Josiah and the others erected 125 cabins to a fort. In February of 1847 Apostles arrived with instructions for these to return to Winter Quarters. Some of the them­ ­weren't in favor of returning te Winter Quarters; but the Call's heeded the instructions and returned to Winter Quarters."
  • Death: October 7, 1858 Chicken Creek Camp, Juab, Utah Territory, United States, Cause of Death: Scalping, shot by Indians, and right arm cut off
  • Headstone
Jeremiah Hatch:
Jeremiah Hatch
Michael Wheatley:
Michael Wheatley
  • Parents: John Wheatley and Sarah Moore
  • Relationship: Michael Wheatley, father of Heber Kimball Wheatley, father of Zina Maria Wheatley, mother of Lelia Hatch, mother of Julie Lynn Higginson, my mother
  • Birth: August 19, 1834 Dale Abbey, Derby, England
  • Marriage(s): Martha Anna Varley (February 24, 1851), Elizabeth Eliza Berrow (October 26, 1905)
  • Children: 2 - 2 (Martha Anna Varley)
  • Occupation(s): Coal Miner, Farmer  
  • Fun Facts: One of Michael's brothers died in a coal mine blast, and he himself had many narrow escapes from dangerous situations in the coal mines, his back was scarred from falling coal / 
  • Pioneer Company: ?
  • Age at Departure: ?
  • Mission: ?
    Michael and Martha Wheatley
  • Life Sketch and Other Documents: History of Michael WheatleyLife SketchObituary,  
  • Trail Experience: ?
  • Testimony: ?
  • Death: December 28, 1916 Calls Fort, Box Elder, UT
  • Headstone
Hezekiah Hatch:
Joseph Harrison Tippets:
Joseph Harrison Tippets
  • Parents: Joseph Tippets and Abigail Lewis
  • Relationship: Joseph Harrison Tippets, father of Brigham Lewis Tippets, father of Mary Sophia Tippets, mother of Reba Marchant, mother of Jacquelyn Tebbs, mother of Ralph Hancock, my father
  • Birth: June 4, 1814, Lewis, Essex, New York, United States
  • Marriage(s): Rosalia Elvira Perry (January 1, 1837), Amanda Melvina Perry (June 26, 1842), Rose Wickham (May 10, 1865)
  • Children: 14, 2 (Rosalia Elvira Perry), 9 (Amanda Melvina Perry), 3 (Rose Wickham)
  • Occupation(s): Locksmith and Cabinet Maker, Farmer 
  • Fun Facts: Joseph was the youngest child.  Joseph was very friendly with the Indians and he spoke their language as well as his own.  The Natives loved him and did not want him to move.  Sadly, he accidentally shot his second wife while cleaning his gun.  He made the most beautiful and best quality chairs of the time.  Many of his descendents became carpenters and poets just like him.  He was very kind and tender hearted, and his eyes would well up with tears for the sorrows and trials of others. Because of his kindness to the Indians, many were in attendance at his funeral services.  Joseph attended the school of the prophets and helped work on the Kirtland Temple.  He and his family were driven out of their home in Missouri by the mob.  The mob burned another one of his homes to the ground.  It has been said that Joseph and his family were living close enough to Carthage that they heard the shots that killed the Prophet and Hyrum.  There is also a very interesting letter that he wrote to the prophet Joseph Smith.  Joseph H. Tippets gave $98.67 in cash and $120.37 in property to the Church of Jesus Christ for the purchasing of lands in Jackson County Missouri.  On March 7, 1835 Joseph H. Tippets was one of 119 men who received a blessing from the prophet Joseph Smith for helping to build the Kirtland Temple.  He also wrote fantastic poetry.  
  • Pioneer Company: John B. Walker Company
  • Age at Departure: 38
  • Mission: 
  • Life Sketch and Other Documents: Life sketch, and here
  • Trail Experience: Trail Experience, Trail Excerpt
  • Testimony: "Joseph Harrison Tippets was born 4 June 1814, at Lewis, Essex County, New York. When he was a young man he heard about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith and traveled to Illinois to learn more about it. He embraced the Gospel with all his heart and soul and was so overjoyed at finding the truth that he wrote a few verses to his mother who was a Methodist and still in New York. / He became well acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum. It is said that he lived near enough to the jail and heard the shots that were fired and witnessed the disturbances of that awful night when Joseph and his brother were martyred."  / Joseph walked fifteen miles to obtain a copy of the Book of Mormon when he first heard about it.  (See also this poem, same as above)
  • Death: October 12, 1868, Brigham City, Utah
  • Headstone
Gustavus Adolphus Perry:
  • Parents: Abijah Perry, Jr. and Elizabeth Tippets
  • Relationship: Father of Amanda Melvina, Mother of Brigham Lewis, Father of Mary Sophia Tippets, Mother of Reba Marchant, Mother of Jacquelyn Tebbs, Mother of Ralph Hancock, my Father
  • Birth: January 4, 1797, Wilton, Hillsboro, New Hampshire, United States
  • Marriage(s): Eunice Wing (1816), Sarah ("Sally") Jenkins (March 22, 1847), Elizabeth Wray
  • Children: 8, 7 (Eunice Wing), 1 (Sarah Jenkins)
  • Occupation(s): Farmer
  • Fun Facts: He was the oldest of six children.  His grandfather was a Revolutionary War soldier at Fort Ticonderoga.  After the death of his father, Gustavus left home when he was only 10 yrs. old because he did not like his step-father.  He and his family were converted to the Gospel in a miraculous way, and they experienced many miracles.  Gustavus may have lived in Far West, and he lived in Nauvoo.  He was also one of the delegates to the political convention in Nauvoo at the time that Joseph Smith was nominated to be a candidate for President of the United States in May of 1844.  Gustavus became a Mason on April 24, 1845.  After marrying Eunice Wing, he married a younger woman (Sarah Jenkins) who had been abandoned by her husband.  On March 27, 1847 Gustavus was sealed in celestial marriage to both of his wives at Winter Quarters by Brigham Young.  He and his family joined the John B. Walker company of pioneers and cross the plains, arriving in Utah in early October, 1852.  Gustavus married a third wife, Elizabether Wray Walker, whose husband had left her to seek gold in California (and who subsequently perished in a snow slide).  Gustavus is the great, great grandfather of Apostle Elder L. Tom Perry.    
  • Pioneer Company: John B. Walker Company
  • Age at Departure: 55
  • Mission: Pioneer, Missouri, Nauvoo, and Farmington Utah
  • Life Sketch and Other Documents: Life Sketch, Early History of Perry, Utah, Night Visitor, see also here, and here
  • Trail Experience: Trail Experience, Trail Excerpt
  • Testimony: "Close to the year 1830 one dark, stormy evening the family were all gathered in the kitchen, the latch strings drawn in for the night. The front door opened and they heard someone coming through the house toward the kitchen where the family was assembled when he entered the kitchen they saw that it was an old man with a white flowing beard. Although it was a stormy night there were no signs of raindrops on his clothes. He said 'God Bless You' and asked for food, and if he could spend night with them. Although they were poor and had little bread they gave him food and shelter. When he came in, he had a knapsack on his back with a little pup which he gave to the children to play with. During the evening he took from tis pocket, a book from which he read telling them it was soon to come forth and telling them to get one at their first opportunity. As he was leaving the next morning he promised them that they would never want for bread, which promise was literally fulfilled. That very next day a man who owed them some money asked if they would take wheat for the debt. Although it was broad daylight when the stranger left none of neighbors saw him leave. Sometime after the visit of the old gentleman, two elders with a Book of Mormon came to their door. The family obtained one and in reading the book they recognized passages of scriptures the stranger had read to them on the night of his visit. In the year 1832 the family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints.”  Here is an audio recording of Elder L. Tom Perry's account of the story.  
  • Death: May 2, 1868, Three Mile Creek, Box Elder, Utah, United States
  • Headstone   
George Taylor:
George Taylor
Cyril Call:
  • Parents: Joseph Call and Mary Sanderson
    Cyril Call
  • Relationship: Cyril Call, father of Fanny Call, mother of Anson Cassim Loveland, father of Alzina C. Loveland, mother of Elmo Cassim Higginson, father of Julie Lynn Higginson Hancock, my mother
  • Birth: June 29, 1785, Woodstock, Windsor, Vermont
  • Marriage(s): Sarah Tiffany (April 6, 1806)
  • Children: 15 (Sarah Tiffany)
  • Occupation(s):  Farmer, School Teacher, Soldier in the War of 1812, Warden of a Masonic Lodge, etc.
  • Fun Facts: Cyril Call was the youngest son of Joseph Call, a Baptist minister for many years who also served in the Revolutionary War under General George Washington. Cyril left the Baptist Church to join the Methodists before his conversion to the Gospel.  After his conversion, the Prophet Joseph Smith visited his house many times, and even held his twins Omer and Homer on his knee.  Cyril and his family endured much persecution and were driven out of Missouri by the mobs.       
  • Pioneer Company: Warren Foote Company
  • Age at Departure: 64
  • Mission: Temple Builder, Pioneer
  • Life Sketch and Other Documents: Life Sketch
  • Trail Experience: Pioneer Trek
  • Testimony: "In 1832, Cyril was introduced to a strange book called The Book of Mormon. He learned about Joseph Smith who was believed to be a latter-day prophet who claimed to have seen God and had translated the book. Cyril studied and prayed and became converted to Mormonism. In November 1832, Cyril was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Elder John Murdock. As he was the only member of his family to join the Church at this time, Cyril faced resistance and ridicule not only from the community, but also from members of the Call family." (Life Sketch)
  • "To become a convert to an unpopular religion, whose leaders were severely persecuted and members as well, requires great stamina and bravery. Cyril Call met the challenge and duties of life with rare courage and fidelity. There was not the slightest trace of hypocrisy or cowardice in his whole make-up. He stood for principle and had great faith in the religion he has espoused. It was while they lived near Kirtland that Cyril and his family became acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith. He loved the prophet in scriptural measure, heaped up, pressed down, and running over, and Joseph Smith loved him. They belonged to the same Masonic order, the Rising Sun, and Cyril was a warden in this organization. The prophet visited his home many times and rocked his twin sons, Omer and Homer, on his knee."
  • "On account of the persecutions of the Mormons in Ohio, he and two of his sons went to Missouri in the spring of 1838 and was with the Saints at Zions Camp. He purchased land near Far West and returned to Ohio to get his family. The Missourians in the meantime had started their persecutions of the Saints so he remained on the Illinois side of the river locating near Warsaw. It was here, in the fall of 1845, that his home was visited by a mob. There are a number of versions as to what was said at the time of this visit, but they are in general agreement. The leader of the mob said something like this: 'Mr. Call, you are a good citizen and we like you. If you will renounce Mormonism and Joe Smith, we will not burn you home.' Cyril replied: 'Joseph Smith is a prophet of God and Mormonism has been divinely instituted.' The mob proceeded to burn his house down. His wife and children were forced to make their beds in a cornfield until help came to relived the dreadful situation. Following this catastrophe, he moved his family to Nauvoo where they remained durning the following year. They started west in 1846, remaining in Iowa and Nebraska until the spring of 1849, and arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in the fall of that year. His son Anson and some of his daughters preceded him to Utah, Anson arriving in 1848." - Cyril's grandson, Benjamin C. Call
  • Death: May 23, 1873
  • Headstone
Enos Curtis:
  • Parents: Edmond Curtis and Poly Mary Averell
  • Relationship: 
  • Birth: October 9, 1783
  • Marriage(s): Ruth Franklin, Tamma Durfee
  • Children:
  • Occupation(s):
  • Fun Facts:
  • Pioneer Company:
  • Age at Departure:
  • Mission:
  • Life Sketch and Other Documents:
  • Trail Experience:
  • Testimony:
  • Death:
  • Headstone
Next Ancestor:
  • Parents:
  • Relationship:
  • Birth:
  • Marriage(s):
  • Children:
  • Occupation(s):
  • Fun Facts:
  • Pioneer Company:
  • Age at Departure:
  • Mission:
  • Life Sketch and Other Documents:
  • Trail Experience:
  • Testimony:
  • Death:
  • Headstone
Next Ancestor:
  • Parents:
  • Relationship:
  • Birth:
  • Marriage(s):
  • Children:
  • Occupation(s):
  • Fun Facts:
  • Pioneer Company:
  • Age at Departure:
  • Mission:
  • Life Sketch and Other Documents:
  • Trail Experience:
  • Testimony:
  • Death:
  • Headstone
Next Ancestor:
  • Parents:
  • Relationship:
  • Birth:
  • Marriage(s):
  • Children:
  • Occupation(s):
  • Fun Facts:
  • Pioneer Company:
  • Age at Departure:
  • Mission:
  • Life Sketch and Other Documents:
  • Trail Experience:
  • Testimony:
  • Death:
  • Headstone