The First Missionaries to Scotland

The first missionaries to Scotland went to their own families

Arthur’s Seat,

The first missionaries of the church to take the message of the Restoration to Scotland were and Samuel Mulliner. Following their conversions to the restored gospel in Canada, these two met en route to Great Britain and were counseled in New York to go to their native homeland of Scotland. Feeling that their preaching should begin with their own families, they separated. Alexander walked for days in wintry conditions to reach his family in Marnock.

Upon his arrival, it was determined that he had been suffering from smallpox for weeks. He quarantined himself for about 10 days so as to not infect his family members. As Alexander Wright was journeying to Marnock, Samuel Mulliner began his labors in the general area of Glasgow. On January 14, 1840, Samuel baptized Alexander and Jessie Hay of Bishopton in the River Clyde. Brother and Sister Hay were the first baptisms in Scotland. In the town of Bishopton, with himself and members of the Hay family, Elder Mulliner also conducted the first LDS sacrament service held in Scotland.

, 1851

By the time 28-year-old Elder Orson Pratt arrived to supervise the work in Scotland, April–May, 1840, Elders Wright and Mulliner had already baptized about 80 people from a number of towns in the Glasgow area. Moving east to , Elder Pratt climbed a hill in May 1840. Known as Arthur’s Seat from the legends of King Arthur, that hill was one Orson Pratt would climb multiple times. From there, he dedicated the land of supervise the work in Scotland, April–May, 1840, Elders Wright and Mulliner had already baptized about 80 people from a number of towns in the Glasgow area.

Moving east to Edinburgh, Elder Pratt climbed a hill in May 1840. Known as Arthur’s Seat (see the cover image) from the legends of King Arthur, that hill was one Orson Pratt would climb multiple times. From there, he dedicated the land of Scotland for the preaching of the gospel and pleaded with the Lord to lead him [Orson] to 200 souls who would accept his message. He continued that petition for the time he served in Edinburgh. By the time he left, Elder Pratt was blessed to have seen some 200 converts to the Church come in through the waters of baptism. Because of his leadership and service there, local Latter-day Saints often refer to Arthur’s Seat as Pratt’s Hill.


This article first appeared in Pioneer Magazine, 2010 Vol.57 No.3
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