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Love this church newsroom article. Stick to true stories!


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I'm glad no one has discredited the account of Francis Webster's experience as related in that Sunday School class.  He, along with Levi Savage, is one of my heroes.

Edited by Kenngo1969
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8 hours ago, bsjkki said:

This has been a pet peeve of mine for ages now. Stick to ‘true’ pioneer stories. 
 

Inevitably, every pioneer day or trek fireside, I suffer through untrue ‘tales’ still being shared as factual accounts. We have known they are not true for some time. It’s about time we get an article like this. I hope they keep them coming. 
 

https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/keith-erekson-tell-pioneer-stories-that-are-more-than-true?fbclid=IwAR2yNWMaJqwAPHui89T2_-JEEvjCAb19h-1ib9xHe4j09bY8GE694El-fxM

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The prevalence of these Mormon myths has lead me to doubt every miracle story I am told until I can find actual evidence of it for myself.

- The Utah grasshopper / seagul story 

- elevators in the SLC temple

- the women’s pull at trek being originated because men had to leave for the army

- Bill Carpenter Conversion Story

- Youth being “generals” in the war in heaven

- people in the afterlife bowing down to us because of the generation we lived in.

- a mysterious man giving a rousing speech just as the founding fathers were about to give up on leaving deciding to leave England 

Edited by Fether
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15 minutes ago, Fether said:

The prevalence of these Mormon myths has lead me to doubt every miracle story I am told until I can find actual evidence of it for myself.

- The Utah grasshopper / seagul story 

- elevators in the SLC temple

- the women’s pull at trek being originated because men had to leave for the army

- Bill Carpenter Conversion Story

- Youth being “generals” in the war in heaven

- people in the afterlife bowing down to us because of the generation we lived in.

- a mysterious man giving a rousing speech just as the founding fathers were about to give up on leaving deciding to leave England 

This exact list used to be consolidated on a website holyfetch.com.  I think it's been taken down.

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29 minutes ago, Fether said:

The prevalence of these Mormon myths has lead me to doubt every miracle story I am told until I can find actual evidence of it for myself.

Far better just to experience your own miracles, I reckon.

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19 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

This exact list used to be consolidated on a website holyfetch.com.  I think it's been taken down.

There are more. There was a podcast on the official church website that listed out a bunch of myths. I can’t seem to find it though

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9 hours ago, webbles said:

That article linked to a really good rundown on the actual story - https://byustudies.byu.edu/article/francis-webster-the-unique-story-of-one-handcart-pioneers-faith-and-sacrifice/

It looks like Francis Webster probably did stand up one time in a Sunday School class and did say something to the affect of what we know.  But his story has been expanded to include all the members of the Martin handcart company.  Most likely, he is only talking about the few members that he personally knew in Cedar City, one of them being a woman who had both her legs amputated because of the ordeal.  Webster was talking about her and others in Cedar City and reminding the people in Sunday School of them.

Interestingly, I just recently gave a talk on the Martin handcart company and wanted to tell this story.  So I tried to track down its origin.  I only got to President McKay's version that was published in the Pioneer Women in 1948.  Per the article, he most likely got it from William Palmer who told the story in a radio address in 1943.  President McKay did meet with the daughter of Webster so he probably had verified it before telling it.  The article doesn't explain how William Palmer learned of it, though.  Palmer names two people that were probably the teachers and they taught in Cedar City in 1904, which is two years before Webster died.  Luckily for me, the version in the Pioneer Women is pretty close to the original story so it doesn't have any of the later embellishment.

I also found the "Francis Webster’s Choice" section of the article interesting.  He and his wife were originally planning on going by wagon as they had a bit of wealth.  They, instead, chose to go by handcart to help other members.  So, they could have blamed themselves for what happened as they didn't need to go by handcart.  And I think that is probably the main reason why Webster would be so adamant about the benefit of the handcarts.  I have a relative who came across in the Willie company and also choose to donate their money for others instead of going by a wagon.  I had always had fondness for the story because of my relatives and now knowing that they are also similar in choosing to forgo a wagon makes it even stronger to me.

I've sometimes been skeptical about my own ancestor's story that was featured on the movie, "17 Miracles". Could it be similar to what the church Newsroom says about these stories?

Here's the article of my relatives. 

https://snohomishtrek2019.wordpress.com/louisa-mellor-clark/ 

As a child I got to play my own ancestor, Clara Althera Mellor in a church play about the trek of the Willie/Martin handcart company, which I thought was pretty cool. 

Edited by Tacenda
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3 hours ago, Fether said:

The prevalence of these Mormon myths has lead me to doubt every miracle story I am told until I can find actual evidence of it for myself. ...

- Bill Carpenter Conversion Story

...

Is he lying?

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2 hours ago, Tacenda said:

I've sometimes been skeptical about my own ancestor's story that was featured on the movie, "17 Miracles". Could it be similar to what the church Newsroom says about these stories?

Here's the article of my relatives. 

https://snohomishtrek2019.wordpress.com/louisa-mellor-clark/ 

As a child I got to play my own ancestor, Clara Althera Mellor in a church play about the trek of the Willie/Martin handcart company, which I thought was pretty cool. 

It is possible.  I haven't watched 17 Miracles even though it has been recommended to me by my parents.  I generally have a hard time accepting what is shown in movies as being fact.  I prefer reading so that I can take notes and try and track down what really happened.  If you aren't sure about, I'd recommend going into familysearch.org and finding the relative.  Then click on the "Memories" tab for that relative.  For someone who was in a handcart company, you'll probably find at least one story that talks about what happened.  You might need to check the spouse, parents, or children if you can't find it initially.  That's usually what I've done to verify my family stories.  I've corrected my own father a few times because the oral version of the story has become embellished vs the autobiographical story.

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5 hours ago, Fether said:

a mysterious man giving a rousing speech just as the founding fathers were about to give up on leaving deciding to leave England

Lol what I have never heard this one.

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While we rightly want everything to be Hoyle and up-to-date, made-up or embellished stories orbit around all historical events and people, not just LDS. It’s human nature. It’s interesting that we feel the drive to deconstruct our history and heroes nowadays. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Bernard Gui said:

While we rightly want everything to be Hoyle and up-to-date, made-up or embellished stories orbit around all historical events and people, not just LDS. It’s human nature. It’s interesting that we feel the drive to deconstruct our history and heroes nowadays. 

I don’t think the purpose of church historians exploring these stories was to destroy heroes or our history.  The true stories are just as faith promoting as the myths. It is a historical game of telephone and it is ok to correct the record.

Edited by bsjkki
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2 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

Just anecdotal, but my wife served in Demoines Iowa. I have asked her and everyone e she served with if they have ever met anyone who knew who he was and no one has.

Additionally, the seminary he says he attended doesn’t exist.

You can say “he is just switching out names”, and to which I would at “sure”.

Point is, I can’t find a single source of evidence that says this is a true story.

Im fine with it being true… but let’s stop telling it until we can find proof

Edited by Fether
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9 minutes ago, Fether said:

It’s American folk lore. Not from the church. I just had this spouted out as being true in an EQ meeting once.

I guess it's no worse than me telling the Primary kids during sharing time, the story of Noah's Ark.

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1 hour ago, bsjkki said:

I don’t think the purpose of church historians exploring these stories was to destroy heroes or our history.  The true stories are just as faith promoting as the myths. It is a historical game of telephone and it us ok to correct the record.

Please note that I said we rightly want things to be accurate (where possible) and that it’s interesting that we are deconstructing our history and heroes.

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1 hour ago, Fether said:

Just anecdotal, but my wife served in Demoines Iowa. I have asked her and everyone e she served with if they have ever met anyone who knew who he was and no one has.

Additionally, the seminary he says he attended doesn’t exist.

You can say “he is just switching out names”, and to which I would at “sure”.

Point is, I can’t find a single source of evidence that says this is a true story.

Im fine with it being true… but let’s stop telling it until we can find proof

One of my MTC teachers knew him.  I can't remember how she knew him (30+ years ago), but I remember that one of the reasons it meant a lot to her was because of how she knew him. 

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16 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

We call those faith promoting rumors.  So inspirational it doesn't matter if they're true. 

Except it definitely matters.

No, that's "scripture".

And no, it doesn't matter.  It is true if it makes your life better 

These are called "parables".

What was the prodigal son's name? Where did he live?

Edited by mfbukowski
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1 hour ago, Bernard Gui said:

Please note that I said we rightly want things to be accurate (where possible) and that it’s interesting that we are deconstructing our history and heroes.

Define "accurate" !

We are postmoderns, deconstructing is what we do.

 

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