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Page 6

Sam visits Seminary classes
near church history sites


Salt Lake City, Utah

After traveling for nearly a year, Seminary Sam finally entered the Salt Lake Valley in Utah.

Seminary Sam's visited was hosted by students from the West High School Seminary in Salt Lake City. The high school (shown below) is a few minutes walk from Temple Square and downtown Salt Lake City.

Seminary Sam's visit to Salt Lake City has been organized into six separate sections:

The First Encampment in the Salt Lake Valley

Temple Square

The Church History Museum

Two of Brigham Young's Salt Lake City homes
(the Lion House and Beehive House)

The church headquarters area
(in downtown Salt Lake City)

"This is the Place" Heritage Park and Old Deseret Village



First Encampment
(Salt Lake City, Utah)

The first pioneer company to travel to the Salt Lake Valley left Winter Quarters on April 5, 1847.

This group consisted of 143 men, 3 women, and 2 children. They traveled with 72 wagons, 93 horses, 52 mules, 66 oxen, 19 cows, 17 dogs and some chickens. Others later joined this group, while some returned East as guides. (Deseret News 1997-98 Church Almanac, page 114. Referred to hereafter as Almanac.)

The main body of this pioneer company reached the Salt Lake Valley on July 22, 1847 and camped near where Emigration and Parley's Creeks come close together. Other members of the company were in various locations. Brigham Young and almost three dozen pioneers entered the Valley two days later on July 24, 1847.

First Encampment Park is dedicated to the pioneers in the first pioneer company--especially those who spent the first night in the valley.

The pictures that follow show some of the rock monuments dedicated to those who stayed at the First Encampment.

Orrin Porter Rockwell "became a good friend of Joseph Smith, Jr. He was baptized early in 1830 in Fayette, Seneca County, New York... In the west, he gained considerable influence with the Indians, and often helped avoid troubles. He became a terror to the lawless elements and would ride a thousand miles in the harshest of weather in the interests of the Church. A volume of folklore has accumulated about his service as a deputy marshal of Salt Lake City. He also rode for the Pony Express and his house, 25 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, was a station for them."
(Almanac, p. 147)

George Albert Smith was a cousin of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. "He helped with the Kirtland Temple, hauling the first loads of rock. He took part in Zion's Camp in 1834... On the journey westward, unknown to anyone else, he locked away 25 pounds of flour. As the journey wore on, "I issued my reserve flour, cup by cup, to the sick, some of whom attribute to this circumstance the preservation of their lives."... In 1868 he was called as first counselor to Brigham Young. He was active in territorial government and is considered father of the southern colonies, the largest of which, St. George, is named in his honor." (Almanac, p. 149)

William Henrie was "a valued scout and was a marksman and hunter. After his arrival in the Salt Lake Valley, he helped explore the regions around Salt Lake, Utah Lake, Cedar Valley, and Tooele Valley. ... He later helped found Bountiful where he constructed a pond, built a sawmill and sawed lumber." (Almanac, p. 138)

Willard Richards was baptized by his cousin, Brigham Young, in 1836. "A year after his baptism he was sent to England with Heber C. Kimball and Orson Hyde. Shortly after his return, he was ordained an apostle and in 1841 was appointed clerk to Joseph Smith and to the Church. He was with the Prophet during the martyrdom. ... Upon arriving in Salt Lake Valley... he was appointed to lead prayers, consecrating and dedicating the land to the Lord. He returned to Winter Quarters where he was chosen as second counselor to Brigham Young, in Kanesville, Iowa. ... He later served as secretary to the government of the State of Deseret, postmaster of Salt Lake City, and member of the Perpetual Emigrating Fund committee. He was the first editor of the Deseret News. (Almanac, p. 146)

Jacob Burnham was baptized in Nauvoo on November 13, 1844. "He received a patriarchal blessing by John Smith in Nauvoo in 1846. Although he was one of the original pioneers, he remained in the valley just a short time. He traveled to California [in 1850 where he]... died later that year... while mining for gold..." (Almanac, pp. 126-127)

William Clayton joined the church in England in 1840. "While crossing the muddy fields of Iowa near what is now Corydon, he wrote the famous hymn "Come, Come, Ye Saints" which has since become well-known around the world. As scribe and historian of the pioneer journey, he recorded many of the events of the historic trek. Along the way he built a "roadometer" to count the revolutions of a wagon wheel to thus record distances." (Almanac, p. 128)

Green Flake was born in 1828 "a slave of African descent. ... At age 20, he was given as a gift to James Madison Flake. He was baptized in the Mississippi River near Nauvoo... He was selected to be part of the advance company that entered the valley July 22, 1847. His carriage, however, is believed to be the one that carried an ill Brigham Young into the valley. The carriage was returned to Winter Quarters that fall, but he remained and built a cabin in the Cottonwood area... He remained in the area as a devout Latter-day Saint for many years." (Almanac, pp. 133-134.)

Return J. Redden was baptized in the Ohio River in 1841. "He was closely associated with the Prophet Joseph Smith and was one of his body guards. ... After arriving in Salt Lake Valley, he assisted in planting and then returned to Winter Quarters with Brigham Young. He brought his family west the following year." (Almanac, p. 146)

John Dixon was killed by Indians in 1853. "After reaching the Salt Lake Valley, he helped in the erection of the fort and building the settlement." (Almanac, p. 130)

Shadrach Roundy was baptized in 1831 in Fayette. "He was captain of the police in Nauvoo and once intercepted an attempt to kidnap Joseph Smith. ... he was one of three men to plow the first furrows in the Saints' newfound home. ... He crossed the plains five times to assist poor immigrants. He was one of the founders of Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Association [zCMI]." (Almanac, pp. 147-148.)

Truman O. Angell and his wife joined the church in 1833. "He helped build the Kirtland and Nauvoo temples. After crossing the plains with the original company, Angell returned the same year to get his family. ... He built the Beehive and Lion Houses, and he traveled to England to learn how to build a sugar factory in Sugar House, and to study architecture. He was the architect, although not the designer, of the Salt Lake Temple. He devoted 37 years almost exclusively to the construction of the temple in Salt Lake City. He also supervised the work on the Salt Lake Tabernacle and the St. George Temple." (Almanac, p. 123)


Temple Square
(Salt Lake City, Utah)

Seminary Sam was excited to be visiting Temple Square in the heart of Salt Lake City. Like other original Salt Lake City blocks, Temple Square is ten acres in size.

Temple Square is the architectural center of Salt Lake City, sacred ground for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and a primary point of interest for millions of visitors annually. Within the square are the Salt Lake Temple, the tabernacle (home of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir), the Assembly Hall, two visitors centers, several historical statues, and well-kept grounds. Its appearance today differs sharply from that of the treeless desert that greeted the first Mormon pioneers in 1847.  (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 4)

Seminary Sam is posing in front of the replica of the Christus statue by Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen that is located in the north visitors center on Temple Square. "It depicts the Savior with arms outstretched inviting all to come to him. The Christus represents the central focus of the Church's beliefs and worship: Jesus Christ." (Encyclopedia of Mormonsm, Vol. 4)

These sister missionaries from South Korea are two of the many missionaries on Temple Square who stand ready to assist visitors and teach gospel principles.

The explanatory panel at the base of this statue reads:

Restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood

John the Baptist, the biblical prophet who baptized Jesus Christ, conferred the Priesthood of Aaron upon Joseph Smith (left) and Oliver Cowdery (right) on May 15, 1829, on the bank of the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania. The priesthood, which holds the authority to baptize for remission of sins and entrance into the kingdom of God, had been absent from the earth for centuries. Its latter-day restoration by John the Baptist made the blessings of baptism again available to all mankind.

Seminary Sam is shown posing at the statue honoring the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon: Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris.

This statue (above ) honors the memory of the almost 3,000 pioneers who walked from Iowa and Nebraska to Utah pulling wooden handcarts loaded with food and family belongings.

Sam is held up in front of the southwest corner of the world famous Tabernacle. "Construction of the Tabernacle began in 1863. It was in use four years later and dedicated in 1875." (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 4)

"A decade later the Assembly Hall was built to accommodate smaller gatherings. This building holds approximately 3,000 people and is often used for overflow of the Church's general conferences."  (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 4)

Seminary Sam admires the beautiful Salt Lake Temple.

Only days after arriving in the Salt Lake Valley, President Brigham Young identified the site for the temple. It was originally planned as a 40-acre block but was reduced to ten acres "for convenience." The ground-breaking ceremony for the temple was held on February 14, 1853, even though the ground was frozen and covered with snow. Construction continued for forty years, and the temple was dedicated on April 6, 1893.  (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 4)

Seminary Sam is standing in front of decorative doors of the Salt Lake Temple. The beehive, symbol of the state of Utah and LDS industriousness, is molded on each door knob.

A marker on the south side of the Salt Lake Temple states:

Salt Lake Temple

The temple is used by Church members for marriages and other sacred ordinances designed to strengthen families, both now and for eternity. Begun in 1853, it was completed forty years later. Granite rock used in its construction was hauled twenty-three miles by ox-drawn wagons from Little Cottonwood Canyon. The walls are nine feet thick at the ground level and narrow to six feet thick at the top. The east center tower is 210 feet high and is topped by a statue of an angel heralding the restoration to earth of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the latter days.

City planners often marvel at how well organized downtown Salt Lake City is. The "base and meridian" from which all roads in Salt Lake City are measured is shown above. A nearby plaque states:

Great Salt Lake Base and Meridian
Latitude 4046'04" -- Longitude 11154'00"
Altitude (sidewalk) 4,327.27 ft.

Fixed by Orson Pratt assisted by Henry G. Sherwood, August 3, 1847, when beginning the original survey of "Great Salt Lake City," around the "Mormon" temple site designated by Brigham Young July 28, 1847, the city streets were named and numbered from this point...


  Seminary Sam's journeys are continued on page 7.


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Copyright 2003, by Kenneth L. Alford. All rights reserved.