Exemplary Elder: The Life and Missionary Diaries of Perrigrine Sessions, 1814–1893 | BYU Studies

Exemplary Elder: The Life and Missionary Diaries of Perrigrine Sessions, 1814–1893

Exemplary Elder: The Life and Missionary Diaries of Perrigrine Sessions, 1814–1893
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Exemplary Elder: The Life and Missionary Diaries of Perrigrine Sessions, 1814–1893

Editor Donna T. Smart,

Between 1815 and 1893, Perrigrine Sessions traveled some 50,000 miles. He spent most of his life on a road or a trail, on foot or on horseback, in a wagon, or a train. Through this documentary history, readers trek beside this energetic sojourner. His diaries delve into both familiar and little-known events of early Church history. Perrigrine obediently followed the Prophet's instructions, accepting plural marriage and mission calls. His eight wives and 55 children constituted one of the largest Mormon pioneer families. Yet he had to leave them often to serve seven missions between 1839 and 1886. While prominent Church leaders' experiences have been well-documented, the sacrifices of many others such as Perrigrine also call for recognition. This exemplary elder will always be remembered as the founder of Utah's second settlement, Bountiful. Perrigrine was assigned to drive the surplus cattle north and start a new settlement—to this place with "a heavy growth of grass"—signaling the beginning of Brigham Young's western expansion.