Recollections of “Old Nauvooers”

Memories from Oral History

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One Sunday afternoon at 2:00 P.M., my father took me to a fast meeting in the old Twentieth Ward chapel on Second Avenue and D Street in Salt Lake City. What I experienced there was my first meaningful acquaintance, even though vicariously, with Joseph Smith and the story of the restoration of the gospel and the Church of Jesus Christ on earth. The people who bore their testimonies had known Joseph and Hyrum Smith personally, and related their recollections of them, their love of Joseph Smith as a decidedly human being, and their appreciation of the religious and spiritual understanding he had given them. When the meeting was opened for testimony these were the ones who rose and bore their testimonies, and were still at it when the bishop closed the meeting. Gradually I became aware that they were known as “The Old Nauvooers.” Among the younger members of this group was my Grandma Lyon, who was a girl of five at the time Joseph Smith was murdered.

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