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Page 7

Sam visits Seminary classes
near church history sites


Church History Museum
(Salt Lake City, Utah)

The Museum of Church History and Art is located just west of Temple Square. It contains many original, unique, and wonderful items from the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

This is the original press that was used to print the first 5,000 copies of The Book of Mormon in Palmyra, New York. (The press currently in the Grandin Building in Palmyra is a replica.)

Sam is on the back of a wagon loaded with typical items that pioneers would have carried to Utah as they crossed the plains.

This is one of the few original pioneer handcarts that still exist. Families loaded hundreds of pounds of food, bedding, and supplies on the handcart and then pulled them over 1,000 miles on their way to Utah.

Saints who traveled from Europe to America often slept in small berths such as the one pictured above.

Sam is sitting on a replica of the "roadometer" that was invented by William Clayton to measure the distance that the Saints traveled.

Brother Clayton's original "roadometer" is shown above.

Seminary Sam is standing on the wheel of a cannon that the first company of pioneers brought with them to the Salt Lake Valley. A nearby plaque states:

"Old Sow" Cannon

The Saints hauled this War of 1812 vintage cannon with them when they evacuated Nauvoo. It was intended as a display of self-defense while travelling across the Great Plains.

The cannon later served as an unusual prop when the Saints arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. Wilford Woodruff recorded in his journal on July 25, 1847, that:

"This is the first Sunday that any LDS ever spent in the Great Salt Lake valley.... Meeting was opened by the bishops and [Apostle] G.A. Smith preached the first sermon while standing upon the cannon."

This original 1847 pioneer cabin is located just south of the Church History Museum. A plaque near the cabin reads:

Pioneer Log Home

Residence of Osmyn and Mary Duel and Osmyn's brother, Amos, from fall 1847 to spring 1848.
This historic structure is one of two surviving log homes built by Mormon pioneers upon arrival in the Salt lake Valley in 1847. Originally it was part of the north extension of the pioneer fort erected [one mile southwest of Temple Square]...

The home, 15 feet by 20 feet, was constructed of Douglas fir and lodgepole pine brought from the mountains east of the city. ...

The Duels tilled and planted fourteen acres their first season in the valley and also had a garden plot near their homes. The Duels were natives of New York. ... They lived in Kirtland, Ohio, and Nauvoo, Illinois, before emigrating west. ...

The picture above shows what the inside of the Deuel family cabin may have looked like.

Seminary Sam is resting in a wooden cradle that was used by Samuel Chase Kimball, who was born in the Salt Lake Valley on February 13, 1848. He was the son of Heber C. and Susan Kimball.

Underneath Seminary Sam are the original dies used to mint $5 and $10 gold coins from gold dust and nuggets brought to Utah from California by members of the Mormon Battalion.

Prior to the coming of the railroad, each hand-cut block of stone for the Salt Lake Temple had to be hauled down the canyon by oxen-drawn wagons. This is a replica of one of those wagons. The plaque that Seminary Sam is resting on states:


Stonecutters usually worked in teams to cut large stones. First they drilled a series of holes using sledgehammers and chisels. Then they inserted slips and wedges into the holes and struck them each in turn until the stone split. These smaller stones were then hewn into blocks ready for transport.

Seminary Sam is resting on an original pioneer beehive. The beehive, a symbol of industry, is still used today as a symbol of the state of Utah. A beehive also appears on the state flag of Utah.

The Museum of Church History and Art also contains personal items owned and used by each of the prophets in this dispensation. The small trunk, pictured above, was used by the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr.

Seminary Sam is resting near personal affects of Brigham Young.

This unusual eight-sided desk belonged to the Prophet Brigham Young.

President Heber J. Grant's dictaphone and desk are shown above.

Seminary Sam is sitting on a saddle once used by President David O. McKay, who was a great lover of horses.

This is the famous stone that influenced President David O. McKay as a young missionary in Great Britain.

After graduation Elder McKay accepted a mission call to Great Britain. He arrived in Liverpool on August 25, 1897, and, like his father before him, was soon appointed to preside over the Scottish conference (later known as district). During a special priesthood meeting, he received a powerful spiritual manifestation confirming the truthfulness of the gospel. He had been seeking that confirmation since childhood, and it remained with him throughout his life. In Liverpool in 1899, he discovered a saying that became a lifetime motto. Homesick and discouraged, he noticed over the doorway of an unfinished house an unusual stone arch bearing the inscription "What-E'er Thou Art, Act Well Thy Part." His attitude changed, and that perspective exemplified his life. (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Volume 2.)

The Family History Library of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is located next door to the Museum of Church History and Art. It is the largest genealogical library in the world.


Brigham Young Homes
(Salt Lake City, Utah)

Two of Brigham Young's homes, the Beehive House and the Lion House, are located next of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in the block just east of Temple Square.

A plaque on the wall on the outside of the Beehive House reads:

Brigham Young's Office

Erected about 1852, used as the executive offices of the Territory of Utah until 1855. Headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the time it was finished until 1917 when the new church office building was completed. For a short time it was also the church tithing office. Many distinguished persons have been entertained here.

Presidents of the Church who occupied these offices were: Brigham Young, 1852-1877; John Taylor, 1877-1887; Wilford Woodruff, 1887-1898; Lorenzo Snow, 1898-1901; Joseph F. Smith, 1901-1917.

Very little was wasted by the Utah pioneers. The desk above, for example, was made from hardwood packing crates that arrived in Salt Lake City after carrying goods shipped from the East.

A city historical marker in front of the Beehive House states:

The Beehive House
1853-1855, Truman O. Angell

The Beehive House served as Brigham Young's residence, office, and reception area for official visitors. At the time the house was built, Young was both president of the LDS Church and Utah's territorial governor. The Beehive House was designed by Young's brother-in-law, Truman O. Angell. ... Built of stuccoed adobe, the Beehive House features a two-story veranda, an observatory, and a cupola topped with a beehive. Young's son added a three-story wing to the north when he remodeled the house in 1888. In the early 1960s, the LDS Church restored the Beehive House to resemble its 1888 appearance.

Seminary Sam is shown in front of the Beehive House which is connected to the Beehive House on the west. An historical marker in front reads:

National Register
Utah Historic Site

Lion House

Constructed 1855-1856 as a residence for Brigham Young and his family, the Lion House takes its name from the recumbent lion, carved by William Ward, set on top of the front portico. The house was designed by Truman O. Angell and built of stuccoed adobe. Brigham Young, second president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and first territorial governor of Utah, died in this house on August 29, 1877. Since its construction the Lion House has functioned as a community social center.

This portrait of Brigham Young hangs outside of the main parlor in the Beehive House.

Among the many talents he possessed, Brigham Young was an accomplished cabinet maker and woodworker. Sam is resting on a trunk full of some of Brigham Young's woodworking tools.

The beehive motif appears numerous places in the Beehive House, such as on the stair railing above.

A plaque outside the Beehive House reads:

The Lion House

... On the lower floor were the dining room and kitchens. On the next floor were the living rooms and large parlour; and on the top floor were the bedrooms.
... The lion is a replica of one that occupied a similar position on a prominent home in Vermont, the state where President Young was born and spent his youth.
In 1869, Brigham Young founded the Young Women organization in the Lion House.

Although he received little formal schooling, education was important to Brigham Young. Part of his personal library (above) shows extremely wide tastes in reading and study.

Seminary Sam is looking through the "fairy castle" window. Brigham Young installed this window in the Beehive House so his children could look through it to the staircase below and see the many important visitors who came to call on their father, the Prophet.

Seminary Sam stands with dolls in the home school at the Beehive House.

Sam is resting on Brigham Young's bed in the Beehive House. The walking cane and hat belonged to Brigham Young. The hat was given to the Prophet as a gift. It was too small for his head, but he often carried it to show his appreciation for the thoughtfulness behind the gift.

Seminary Sam is posing beside a picture of sego lilies, the state flower of Utah. During the initial winters in Utah, some pioneers ate the bulbs of this beautiful flower in an effort to supplement their meager diets.


  Seminary Sam's journeys are continued on page 8.


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