The opening of the British Mission a century and a half ago was a declaration to the world: it was a declaration of a great millennial vision; it was an expression of tremendous faith; it was a demonstration of personal courage; and it was a statement of everlasting truth. Gordon B. Hinckley says: "The infusion of the blood of Britain into the weakened body of the Church in 1837 and in the years that followed gave needed strength. From those isles came thousands of converts, many with great skills which became useful in building Nauvoo and, later, the communities of these western valleys. I never look upon the magnificent Salt Lake Temple and Tabernacle, and the other Utah temples, the Lion and Beehive Houses, and various other Church structures that I do not marvel at their handiwork. Hundreds died on the journey to these mountain valleys. But they and those who lived to settle here have left a residual of faith consonant with that carried by the small group who in 1837 crossed the sea and cast the gospel net in England."