Special Topics

This section will include special topics about Mormon history.

Joseph Smith Sr. Taken Advantage of in Ginseng Investment

Joseph Smith Sr. tried hard to provide for his family, but evil-hearted men often took advantage of such an honorable character. Early in his marriage to Lucy, Joseph Smith Sr. invested heavily in ginseng root, which grew wild in Vermont, to export to China, but his profits were stolen by Mr. Stevens from Royalton.

The Impoverishment of the Smith Family through a Bizarre Vermont Winter

Joseph Smith Mormon ProphetThe Smith Family was doing very well financially, when the town they lived in was struck by typhoid fever, and they had to spend all their savings on medical care for their children. Soon after, upon moving to Norwich, Vermont, three successive years of crop failure impoverished them even more. The third year they were in Vermont, 1816, saw a year with no summer, and caused a mass exodus from Vermont to other, more fertile areas.

History of Mormon Temples

The temples of the Mormon Church are one of its most unique and distinguishing characteristics. They stand as symbols of Mormons’ beliefs in the afterlife and in the purpose of life here on earth.  Since the beginnings of Mormon history, the prophets and members of the Mormon Church have sacrificed to build these sacred buildings and worship within them.  In comparison to most other Christian churches, Mormonism stands virtually alone in affirming the importance of its leaders having the proper authority, given of God, to administrate the Church. This authority, called the priesthood, gives leaders the ability to guide Christ’s Church and to build and operate temples for the salvation of the living and the dead.  In a revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord Jesus Christ declared, “my people are always commanded to build [temples] unto my holy name” (Doctrine and Covenants 124:39).  (Read more)

Mormonism in Germany

Mormon missionaries and leaders have been preaching the message of the restored gospel in Germany since 1841, and over the years, tens of thousands of converts have joined the Mormon Church. In the early years, persecution drove the Mormon converts to move to America, where they could practice religious freedom, but today, nearly 40,000 Mormons live and work in Germany. (Read More)

History of Mormon Missionary Work

Since the Prophet Joseph Smith first shared his message about the First Vision, Mormons have been doing missionary work. This work is one of great faith and sacrifice and illustrates the power of Mormon beliefs and the commitment of those who follow them. Mormons have sacrificed much to spread the message that Jesus Christ’s gospel has been restored through living prophets. (Read More)

Personal Accounts from Early Saints

Many of the early converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints suffered and sacrificed much. Here, in their own words, are some of their stories of crossing the plains to enter the Salt Lake Valley, of their time spent at Winter Quarters, of helping to establish Zion in the West, and of the work of the Mormon Battalion.

Development of Salt Lake City

As the Saints began to arrive in the Salt Lake Valley, they had to begin their lives from square one. They explored their surrounding areas, began to build homes and buildings, created a currency, organized a government, and began providing ways for fellow Saints to gather to the Salt Lake Valley.

Development of the Church Welfare System

With the coming on of the Great Depression, Church leaders recognized an apathy and idleness developing in some of the struggling members. In order to make sure poorer members did not simply live off of the government, Church leaders instituted the Church Welfare System to “help people help themselves.” The system is still in place today.

Anita Stansfield About Anita Stansfield
Anita Stansfield began writing at the age of sixteen, and her first novel was published sixteen years later. For more than fifteen years she has been the number-one best-selling author of women’s fiction in the LDS market. Her novels range from historical to contemporary and cover a wide gamut of social and emotional issues that explore the human experience through memorable characters and unpredictable plots. She has received many awards, including a special award for pioneering new ground in LDS fiction, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Whitney Academy for LDS Literature, and also a Lifetime Achievement Award from her publisher, Covenant Communications. She has fifty-six published books. Anita is the mother of five, and has three grandchildren.

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