Church leader honors Mormon Battalion on 175th anniversary
Jan 30, 2022, 6:26 PM
(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.
“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.