Craig Ostler and John Livingstone, among other Brigham Young University Religious Education professors, have come together to work on a wonderful new project: Hallowed Grounds Sacred Journeys. The early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spans a vast area of the United States, plus significant areas in other countries and on other continents; in short, far too wide spread for most Church members to be able to personally visit most of these sites.

Mormon Nauvoo TempleHallowed Ground Sacred Journeys is a non-profit group which has already produced a hardcover book entitled Hallowed Ground, Sacred Journeys: Salt Lake City, Ensign to the Nations, which includes a DVD covering more than 50 historic sites in Salt Lake City, Utah. The scope of the group goes far beyond Salt Lake City, however.

Participants travel to significant Church history sites all over the United States and document them. These reports are then posted on an interactive website, byuvirtualtours.blogspot.com. This blog is updated weekly with information on a different historical site, “complete with documentary video and stories and pictures based on the scholarly work of Brigham Young University Religious Education professors.” This is such a wonderful gift to so many people, especially people who live half the world away who have no chance of being able to visit these places in their lifetimes. This blog is able to bring these sites to the world. People can see, hear, and feel the significance of these places for themselves from the comfort of their own homes or meetinghouses.

When the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints first organized themselves, they were commanded to build a city unto God: Zion. Though Zion was originally defined as Jackson County, Missouri, the Saints were persecuted and forced to leave this area. They were also forced to leave their settlements in Ohio and Illinois. Eventually they left what was then the boundary of the United States and settled in the Utah Territory, eventually gaining statehood and admission into the United States of America. Their history is one of suffering, perseverance, and faith. Now any who are interested can follow the trek of the Saints and see where and how they lived.

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