Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fascinating LDS Trivia

OK, let's get this straight -- this isn't a gripe session, or an anti-Mormon article on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
It is simply a collection of some unusual trivia, if you will, of things I have discovered over the years about what has to rate from the most unusual church on the planet:
Fascinating LDS Church trivia -- (some of it unique content to this article):

-The LDS Church Office Building in downtown SLC, was originally proposed to have 38 floors, that number to honor Joseph Smith's total years of life. However, heating and design, plus cost, lowered the total floors to 28 only.


-Joseph Smith didn't go down without fighting at Carthage jail, despite what some movies or accounts depict. Clearly, he had a gun and shot some of his assailants before he died. Just read the footnotes to official church history for the complete story.

-There is ANOTHER Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The small, "Strangite" church, mainly in the Wisconsin area, is a breakoff from the original LDS Church, but has legal rights to the title written in this paragraph. Note there is no dash in Latter Day in their title or a beginning "The."
I dare you to go to Google and search for "Strangite" and click on their Web Site to see that almost identical church title pop up.

-Check out the copyright on most LDS printed materials or other media and you will see the name Intellectual Reserve Inc. To some, that name may be shades of Sunstone, but it is a name the church started using early in the 21st Century as a legal requirement and no, the church leaders didn't choose the name, some church attorneys did.

-Ensign Peak, located just north of downtown Salt Lake City, is probably the LDS Church's most sacred mountain, a Mormon version of Mount Sinai.

-Not one of the original and first group of Mormon Pioneers who entered the Salt Lake Valley on Juny 24, 1847, died en route.

-The Seagulls and the cricket event in Utah not only happened when Brigham Young had traveled east and was not around, but this happening was apparently not considered a miracle until weeks or months afterwards.

-There was no "lone tree" standing in the Salt Lake Valley when the Mormons arrived. There were many other trees standing along creek banks. However, there may have been a single cedar tree standing not far from the center of Salt Lake City. The lone cedar tree has a special monument to its honor, located at about 600 E. and 300 South in Salt Lake City.


-The Mormon Pioneers came through Emigration Canyon and into the Salt Lake Valley. Why that route? Because of Devil's Gate, a rugged and narrow geographical feature only a few miles east of the mouth of Weber Canyon. Advance scouts for the pioneers were considering coming through Weber Canyon, but Devil's Gate halted that idea and caused the detour to East Canyon and then Emigration. A wagon train had actually made it through Devil's Gate a year or so earlier, but was bogged down a lot.

-What are "Blue Cards"? They were reports that mission presidents completed on every LDS missionary until sometime in the late 1970s. They were a subjective report on the missionary's attitudes and work. They were accessed later, if the missionary applied for employment with the church, or the church needed to provide a reference on a particular former missionary. A former LDS Seventy told me the Blue Cards were discontinued, because they were too subjective. What he didn't tell me was if all the old cards were kept and are still referred to at all.

-Do you subscribe to the Salt Lake Tribune, or read it on-line? Back in the 1890s, just having a subscription to the Salt Lake Tribune was grounds to hold an excommunication hearing on a church member, as the newspaper was that anti-Mormon in its early years.

-The original plans for the Salt Lake Temple called for 2 Angel Moroni statues, one on each end. However, only the east Angel became a reality. In the "Brigham Young" room at Cove Fort is a drawing by Truman Angell that clearly shows angel statues on each end.

-If someone is excommunicated from the LDS Church today, only the main ward and stake leaders usually know about it. In the 1940s and into the early 1950s, it was standard practice for the church to publish excommunication lists (and full names) in the LDS Church News section of the Deseret News. So, it has gone from too public to perhaps a much too private knowledge policy today.

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