History of the Church Series | BYU Studies

History of the Church Series

Joseph Smith Birth Place Memorial
June 7, 2017
History of the Church Series
How Authentic Are Mormon Historic Sites in Vermont and New York?
T. Edgar Lyon

This daily feature is an introduction to a full article by T. Edgar Lyon. Each Wednesday we focus on an aspect of church history, beginning in New York in the early 19th century and progressing throughout the year to Utah in the 20th century. To read the full text of this article, follow the link below.

Commencing in 1903 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having firmly established itself in the Far West, was bold enough to turn its face eastward to look back at its places of origin. Under the direction of President Joseph F. Smith, Carthage Jail was the first site acquired in this movement, because of the nostalgic feelings of the Mormon people for their beloved prophet who had been murdered there. Still further eastward the Church leaders pursued the course of the Church which the previous century had seen moving ever westward. In Vermont and New York places of great historical, theological, and religious importance were located and purchased. Now, more than a half a century since this renewed interest in important historical sites, it is time for a second look and more thorough confirmation of places.