RELIGION

Church leader honors Mormon Battalion on 175th anniversary

Jan 30, 2022, 6:26 PM
California state leaders present Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles ...
California state leaders present Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles with a resolution to honor the 175th anniversary of the arrival of the Mormon Battalion in San Diego at the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park in San Diego, California, on Saturday, January 29, 2022. (Intellectual Reserve, Inc.)
(Intellectual Reserve, Inc.)

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Elder D. Todd Christofferson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints celebrated the 175th anniversary of the Mormon Battalion’s arrival in San Diego, California this weekend.

Christofferson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, honored the soldiers Saturday at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

“After Latter-day Saints were forced out of Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1846, they struggled to finance the migration west,” read a news article Sunday from the Church.

A total of 500 Latter-day Saints were then recruited by the United States army after the country declared war against Mexico.

Church leaders at the time, including then President Brigham Young, accepted the invitation, knowing the soldiers’ pay would help the Saints as they moved.

“What became known as the Mormon Battalion left from Fort Leavenworth in Kansas Territory in July 1846. After a march of nearly 2,000 miles — one of the longest marches in American military history — they arrived in San Diego, California, on January 29, 1847,” the article stated.

Many gathered in period clothing Saturday to honor the soldiers as Christofferson shared some remarks.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles arrives at the Mormon Battalion Historic Site at San Diego on Friday, January 28, 2022. (Intellectual Reserve, Inc.) The Mormon Battalion Historic Site at San Diego, California, on Friday, January 28, 2022. (Intellectual Reserve, Inc.) Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles greets a child at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park in San Diego, California, on Saturday, January 29, 2022, during a celebration of the 175th anniversary of the Mormon Battalion’s arrival in the city. (Intellectual Reserve, Inc.) At the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park in San Diego, California, on Saturday, January 29, 2022, many gather in period clothing to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Mormon Battalion’s arrival in the city. (Intellectual Reserve, Inc.) At the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park in San Diego, California, on Saturday, January 29, 2022, many gather in period clothing to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Mormon Battalion’s arrival in the city. (Intellectual Reserve, Inc.) At the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park in San Diego, California, on Saturday, January 29, 2022, many gather in period clothing to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Mormon Battalion’s arrival in the city. (Intellectual Reserve, Inc.) Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (third from left) joins a celebration at the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park in San Diego, California, on Saturday, January 29, 2022, to mark the 175th anniversary of the Mormon Battalion’s arrival in the city. (Intellectual Reserve, Inc.) At the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park in San Diego, California, on Saturday, January 29, 2022, many gather in period clothing to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Mormon Battalion’s arrival in the city. (Intellectual Reserve, Inc.) At the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park in San Diego, California, on Saturday, January 29, 2022, many gather in period clothing to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Mormon Battalion’s arrival in the city. (Intellectual Reserve, Inc.) At the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park in San Diego, California, on Saturday, January 29, 2022, many gather in period clothing to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Mormon Battalion’s arrival in the city. (Intellectual Reserve, Inc.) At the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park in San Diego, California, on Saturday, January 29, 2022, people celebrate the 175th anniversary of the arrival of the Mormon Battalion in San Diego by roasting marshmallows. (Intellectual Reserve, Inc.) Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (left) joins his brother Greg at the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park in San Diego, California, on Saturday, January 29, 2022, during a celebration of the 175th anniversary of the arrival of the Mormon Battalion in San Diego. Greg is president of the Mormon Battalion Association. (Intellectual Reserve, Inc.) Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles greets a boy at the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park in San Diego, California, on Saturday, January 29, 2022. (Intellectual Reserve, Inc.) Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles poses for a photo with missionaries serving at the Mormon Battalion Historic Site at San Diego on Saturday, January 29, 2022. (Intellectual Reserve, Inc.) Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles judges a Dutch-oven cookoff at the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park in San Diego, California, on Saturday, January 29, 2022. (Intellectual Reserve, Inc.) At the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park in San Diego, California, on Saturday, January 29, 2022, many gather to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Mormon Battalion’s arrival in the city. (Intellectual Reserve, Inc.)

“They had challenges that we can barely comprehend — physical challenges and some spiritual, I’m sure. But they handled them. They didn’t complain. They went to work. And to me that’s something we need very much in this day and time,” he said.

“We need to work through a lot of things. Each one has his or her own challenges and opportunities to face. But they did. Theirs were mostly physical, overcoming a wilderness and carving a road out of the wilderness. But they didn’t give up. They didn’t stop. They found a way.”

Speakers also included J. Clifford Wallace, a Latter-day Saint and senior judge on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh, a member of the Church and the California State Senate, and Barbara McKinney, the widow of the late Bishop George Dallas McKinney of the nearby Church of God in Christ.

At one point during the celebration, California state leaders presented Christofferson with a resolution, honoring the arrival of the Mormon Battalion on Jan. 29, 1847.

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Church leader honors Mormon Battalion on 175th anniversary