Early Mormon Exploration and Missionary Activities in Mexico
In 1875, a few days before the first missionaries to Mexico were to depart, Brigham Young changed his mind: rather than have them travel to California where they would take a steamer down the coast and then go by foot or horseback inland to Mexico City, Brigham asked if they would mind making the trip by horseback, going neither to California nor Mexico City, but through Arizona to the northern Mexican state of Sonora—a round trip of 3,000 miles! He instructed them to look along the way for places to settle and to determine whether the Lamanites were ready to receive the gospel. But Brigham Young had other things in mind: the Saints might need another place of refuge, and advanced exploration was a logical course to pursue, should that need ever arise. The most promising site for such a refuge lay to the south, perhaps Mexico.