Guide Mormon Thunder: A Documentary History of Jedediah Morgan Grant

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At twenty-three he was called to preside over the Tooele Stake. And two years later, in October , he filled the destiny seen by Bishop Woolley when he was set apart as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. Two daughters died in their youth; the two other daughters, Rosette Marshall and Susan Vilate Muir settled on out-of-the-way Utah farms.

After a long and successful mission to England, George was killed in a hunting accident a few months short of his thirtieth birthday. Lewis McKeachie, an adopted Scottish orphan, managed the Grant family lands in Davis County, Utah, where he also served as a justice of the peace, county selectman, city judge, and bishop. Jedediah Morgan Grant, Jr. Later, while farming in Bountiful, he contracted yellow jaundice.

The disease wasted his body to about seventy pounds, and doctors failing to detect a pulse pronounced him dead. Yet a priesthood blessing promised him both life and the opportunity to serve as Davis Stake President. Hyrum realized both promises. The life story of half-brother B.

Dictionary of Mormon Biography

Grant reads like a romance novel. The lad then traveled throughout the West as a miner, cowboy, and laborer. When B. But it was not until B. Elder Marriner W. Merrill of the Council of the Twelve had an explanation for B. The night after his Cache County neighbors learned that the boy had run away, Elder Merrill had a dream about B. He saw him in all kinds of wicked company, but B. Moreover the Grant second generation achieved a remarkable unity, particularly the sons.

Elder Grant admitted feeling homesick. Despite many subsequent years of Church travel, Heber Grant always felt lonely when away from his family. His return home was usually a joyous occasion. I can see him now walking around the house with a child on each foot, or tossing the children up on his knee. The lovely and hardworking Lucy Stringham was his first wife. Young Heber vowed to capture her before his twenty-first birthday and succeeded with three weeks to spare.

The three Grant wives were remarkably similar. They were well educated for the times. All had taught school. Augusta in fact conducted classes ten years before her marriage and was reputed to be the ablest and highest-salaried schoolmarm in the territory. Each of the women bore a quiet but firm belief in her religion and each descended from pioneer families.

Augusta came from early settlers who fanned in Pleasant Grove, Utah.

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These three women, their husband, and Rachel, who lived into her eighty-eighth year, set the tone for the Grant household. Church activity always was stressed. We early became aware that the best way to show our love and appreciation for our parents was to do our best to help in Church organizations. There was no way we could make them happier than to be faithful in Church duties.

The children were also introduced to cultural influences. Elder Grant for many years owned the controlling interest in the majestic Salt Lake Theater, and the family attended its performances at least weekly.

Jedediah M. Grant

Following the play the children were asked to discuss the production at the family dinner table, a practice which led one Grant child to count the theater second only to her schooling in educational value. The printed word likewise had a high place among the Grants. Rachel had indulged young Heber, balancing light discipline with loving but demanding expectations. The formula was now tried upon another generation.

The Panic of removed any possibility of spoiling the children. Wealthy before its onslaught, Elder Grant was left with crushing debts. Nickels now seemed worth dollars.

Jedediah M. Grant - Wikipedia

Domestic help became an unaffordable luxury. The Grant home life had other challenges. Elder Grant admitted that even in the best of times plural marriage was difficult. And the s and s, with Congress and the federal courts attempting to stop the practice, were not the best of times. While the Grants succeeded in achieving genuine love within the system, it also placed great strain upon the family. At times there were weeks and even months when Elder Grant was separated from his loved ones. The Grant family felt the tragedy of death. His beloved Lucy passed away at the age of thirty-four, leaving five children between the ages of four and fourteen Anna, Edith, Florence, Lucy, and Rachel; Heber was deceased.

Yet the family remained united, just as the second generation had. The ten Grant daughters remembered a happy early life. There were family outings such as picnics and drives through the city, ward parties where their much-in-demand father danced only with his children, and fatherly letters which counseled but never carped. Indeed Elder Grant always seemed to say the right things at the right time.

Once Augusta suggested that each of them point out the annoying habits of the other. Her husband agreed. On 20 November , members of the Heber J. As part of the program, a pamphlet profiling the characteristics of the family was distributed. The booklet recorded descendants of Heber J. Grant if spouses were counted. While 60 percent of the descendants continued to live in Utah, Grants now resided in twenty-one other states. The Grants have continued to serve their church. Young, an Assistant to the Twelve.

Florence Smith, another child, served as matron of the Salt Lake Temple. Later generations have also accepted calls at the general Church level. George I. At least eight other descendants have served on Church general boards, while another three have presided over missions.

Neither side of the controversy has been accepted as a doctrine at all. Roberts, like Talmage and Widstoe, testified to the worthiness of scientific investigation as a desirable pursuit. Such support for science among outspoken leaders of the church helped to encourage the development of a tradition at mid-century for Mormons to respect the scientific endeavor.

It also created an atmosphere in which Mormon thinkers of the stripe of BYU religion professor Hugh Nibley, 45 Apostle Joseph Merrill, 46 and Frederick Pack 47 rose to state their devotion to reason and their rejection of any exclusivity between religion and science. But certainly there have been severe conflicts between interpretations of facts of science and some teachings of religionists.

They are usually due to misinterpretations and intolerance. Scientists and religionists of the present generation have found that there were faults on both sides among their predecessors. Yes, I believe the facts of science, rightly looked at and understood, are helpful to the development of a sound religious faith.

On one point, all of these Mormon thinkers, from Widtsoe and Roberts to Nibley and Pack, agree completely. Mainstream Christianity misinterpreted biblical ideas of the origin of the earth and life thereon. Roberts suggested that insufficient understanding of creation among theologians was responsible for the theory of evolution in the first place.

One of the major complaints of mainstream Christianity is that Latter-day Saints have other scriptures in addition to the Bible. Nibley studied these other scriptures as possible keys to untying the Gordian Knot of science and religion. David Rees outlines that historical drift, and Duane Jeffery documents clearly the conflict among church leaders on organic evolution. Others lament the growing sense that science simply cannot coexist peacefully with religion in the minds of Latter-day Saints. Most notable among the latter are personal essays by Cedric Davern 61 [p.

Some comfort for these troubled souls appeared in an article in the September issue of the official church magazine The Ensign. A similarly conciliatory article appeared in the January Improvement Era , predecessor to The Ensign. Among the first of these is parallelism. During the s, a renaissance promised to usher in a Golden Age of Mormon studies. The truth of the Restoration would come forth [p. Arrington, his staff, and countless others who would flock to the church historical department to write a new and open history of Mormonism.

But gradually, as the first works came forth, certain leaders decided that such an open-minded pursuit and the scholarly interpretation of it could damage faith. Too many questions might create too much discomfort. After all, they argued, the church is in the business of saving souls and should sponsor only activities that lead directly to that end. On that occasion the point man in the attack was Elder Boyd K.

Packer, whose condemnation of non-faith-promoting history and resulting debate among Mormon intelligentsia made national news. In other words, anything that does not promote faith is counterproductive. In the Mormon situation, there exists a strong personality factor. Differences between the perspectives of apostles like Widstoe and McConkie need no analysis. Plainly, their contrasting views and styles and resulting effects on the general population of the church have manifest themselves in the dramatic change we have seen.

The degree of respect for science that comes across in common discourse both from the high pulpit of the tabernacle and in the lowliest Sunday school class in the church is eroding. In the nineteenth century, isolationist church leaders thumbed their noses, so to speak, at the sectarian world. With statehood and the end of polygamy, the new century brought the need for respectability and a desire on the part of church leaders to move Mormonism into the mainstream of placid American Christianity. As it steadily backed away from overt doctrinal and social radicalism, it absorbed other aspects of the conservative church at the very time when Darwinism and Freudianism were taking a toll on traditional notions of religious truth.

American church membership and attendance went into a slide, and although Mormonism with its own growth dynamic did not share that fate, it naturally moved with the current into the fundamentalist reaction to the forces of dysfunction. By the post-war period, Mormon expansion into a national and then international arena demanded a conservative demeanor. It would not do to [p. Literalist interpretations of the Bible fit naturally into such a scheme. Another reason for the Mormon retreat from science is particularly curious.

LDS dogma, the same beliefs that inspired the liberal ideas of Nibley, have in other hands added more justification for the fundamentalist retrenchment. Literal interpretations of the books of Moses and Abraham, filled as they are with more detail about the Creation, provide even heavier cannon fodder for the fundamentalist than does the Bible.

Some suggest that anti-intellectualism in the Mormon church is cyclical, that the archives and minds of the church will reopen.

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Unfortunately, a multi-generational mindset now seems in place that retracts fetally to intellectual challenge. Such pursuits become too confusing and challenge simple tenants of faith. If a literal interpretation of the scriptures suggests it, then so be it. I think it is fine to discuss these questions and for each individual to try to convert others to what he thinks is right. The building notion that there is no room in the church for harmonizing and reconciling scientific and religious truths has slowly caused a retreat among many Mormons from a former reverence for science.

Perhaps James E. Appreciation is extended to the following authors, publications, and publishers for permission to reproduce, sometimes under a different title, many of the essays appearing in this collection: to Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought for essays by David H. Bailey, James L. Bradshaw, F. Keller, Edward L. Kimball, Steven H. Heath, Duane E. Norman, and Richard Pearson Smith; to the Ensign for the essay by [p.

The essays by L. Mikel Vause, Gene A. Sessions, and Craig J. Oberg are published here for the first time. Boyd K. Packer, unpublished discourse, 30 Oct. Kimball, ed. Kimball [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, ], Farmer, W. See also sermon by Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses , 26 vols. Bruce R.

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Joseph Fielding Smith, comp. See Melvin A. Dean R. Reid E. Bankhead, Fall of Adam , Contrast this attitude with the position of George Q. This he taught half a century ago; it is now generally recognized as a great truth connected with the creation of the world. Joseph F. John R. Jeffrey E. See John A. It believes that men of science, seekers after truth, are often assisted by the Spirit of the Lord in such researches. The open mind is ready to accept truth; but more ready to reject error.


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It does not question the observed order of advancement or progression in nature, whether called the law of evolution or by any other name. Nor am I overly concerned as to just when they might have lived, for their world is not our world. See Joseph F. Hence, the religious man who professes the proper conception of his own faith should be able to go into the field of learning and accept everything that is true. Duane E. Frank B.

Eldon J. William E. Keith E. Cedric I. The late Professor Davern, a renowned scientist, spent most of his career as a non-Mormon scholar teaching at the University of Utah. Richard P. Morris S.