Sunday, November 24, 2013

Samoa in Church History

Early Mormon missionaries to Samoa
From this Fall 1977 BYU Studies article by historian R. Lanier Britsch on the founding of the Samoan mission:
It is noteworthy that by this time [in 1889, only one year since Mormon missionaries formally opened the Samoan islands for missionary work,] the missionaries had experienced almost every problem Samoa could offer them. They had endured war, famine, a hurricane, and other tropical storms. They had suffered sickness, apostasy, days in open boats, and storms at sea. Rumors had been circulated against them and Protestant ministers had used newspapers and their pulpits to republish all the old lies about Joseph Smith and the Latter-day Saints. (Although Elder Lee mentioned that the Roman Catholics were to be commended because they did not persecute the Mormons.) Their housing was inferior to their home in Zion, and living conditions resembled a perpetual camping trip. Nevertheless, through all this the elders were in excellent spirits and eager to spread the gospel throughout the islands.
Image courtesy of the Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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