President’s Message for July

Larry Gibson
Larry Gibson 2021-22 National President

There are 365 days in a year, and July 1st is the 182nd day, placing the month of July right in the middle of the annual calendar. It constantly amazes me as July 1st comes to realize that the year is already half over. Hopefully, it has been a good year for each of you, and you are looking forward to the remainder of the year with great anticipation.

I am writing this message while sitting in my room after visiting Fort Sumter in the Charleston Harbor in South Carolina. You may recall that the opening shots of the Civil War were fired at this Fort on April 12, 1861, by the Confederates. As I toured this Fort, my mind turned to the Joseph’s prophetic words received from the Lord in 1832 (D&C 87) which stated that “wars will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina…and that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place.” He again made reference to this prophecy in 1843 (D&C 130), just a year before he was murdered, with these words: “I prophesy, in the name of the Lord God, that the commencement of the difficulties which will cause much bloodshed previous to the coming of the Son of Man will be in South Carolina.” Abraham Lincoln seemed to be prophetic three years before these opening shots were fired in what is referred to as his “House Divided” speech. The foundation of these difficulties was part of the process of founding this great covenant nation, which would provide freedom to all, opening the doors of the restoration of the gospel. That is what Joseph Smith was seeking when he was martyred in Carthage Jail on June 27, 1844, which we just commemorated.

Brother Joseph did not find all that he had hoped for but he knew it would be found and that vision was kept alive by those he had ordained to continue the establishment of restoration which continues even today. July is a wonderful month to contemplate all that has been provided by those who have preceded us and to whom we owe so very much. Here are a few things I hope you will contemplate as you look to the weeks ahead and the blessings these events are to you and those you love. Share your thoughts with your family.

  • July 4th is a historic moment in the United States, as it is the day the Declaration of Independence was adopted in 1776 and is our Independence Day. It is considered the birthday of the United States of America.
  • July 1846 Though President Brigham Young had hoped to have the Vanguard Party well on its way to their new home in the west, the timing and preparation just did not work out so they found a place to further prepare and wait out the winter.
  • 16 July 1846 What becomes known as the Mormon Battalion is mustered into the U.S. military in Council Bluffs, Iowa, during the Mexican War.
  • July 19, , Orson Pratt’s party of 23 wagons and 42 men arrived near the Big Mountain summit. Orson and John Brown climbed up higher becoming the first to see some of the Salt Lake Valley. Two days later on July 21, Orson Pratt and Erastus Snow became the first Latter-day Saints to enter the Salt Lake Valley.
  • On July 22, 1847, The first wagons arrived in the Valley. That same afternoon nine men under the direction of Orson Pratt immediately began exploring, planning, and plowing a site on the east bank of City Creek near 400 South and Main Street.
  • 24 July 1847 President Brigham Young entered Salt Lake Valley.
  • 24 July 1947 President George Albert Smith dedicated the “This is the Place” in Salt Lake City to commemorate the centennial of the pioneers’ arrival.

Two wonderful events you will not want to miss this month are SUPer DUPer Day on July 18th with an outstanding devotional at 10:00 am. Get your tickets online. And, the Days of ’47 Sunrise Service on July 23rd in the Assembly Hall at Temple Square with Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Seventy at 7:00 am, and the Parade at 9:00 am. Come and help pull a in the parade. We will have 13 of them.

Remember that online registration is available for the upcoming 2022 National Encampment in Salt Lake City, September 8-10, 2022. It will be an outstanding event celebrating the 175th Anniversary of the Saints entering the Salt Lake Valley. Please make sure you do not miss it and register early.

From all of us here at the National Headquarters, we wish you the very best Summer. Please know that we are thinking of you, praying for you, and appreciate the privilege it is to serve you. May the Lord’s blessings pour out upon you and all those you hold dear.

CHALLENGE: I hope you took last month’s challenge and found 2-3 regarding your mother’s grandfather on her father’s side to share with your family. I found several stories about Moroni Miner which I will share with my children. This month find 2-3 stories about your mother’s grandmother on her father’s side (one of your two great grandmothers on your mother’s side) that you want to share with your children. Write them and share them.

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