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Newport – The Pioneers

We enjoyed an excellent talk about the origin and early days of the Mormons and their church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from Malcolm Otton on 29th June.

Malcolm had done a huge amount of preparation for this talk and illustrated it with an excellent range of film clips.

He started with the founder Joseph Smith and then he took us through the terrible deprivations and struggles of Smith’s followers as these pioneers tracked right across the United States- often walking and pulling, by hand, trolleys containing all their possessions. He fully brought home to us the terrible cost in human life of this endeavour.

We learnt about the effect of the Mormons’ belief in polygamy- or plural marriages- on their relationship with other Americans and the opposition they faced. We learnt about the role of Smith’s successor, Brigham Young, on their final establishment in Salt Lake City- and the reason for their keen interest in family history records to help with their intention to save, by proxy baptisms, their dead ancestors for entry into the Kingdom of God.

This brief summary can in no way reflect the content of such a thorough review of a movement so important to our own family history research. Many thanks, Malcolm.

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