Wednesday, October 07, 2015

October 2015 General Conference

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Second Counseler in the First Presidency

The sessions of October 2015 General Conference are now on line.  Video, audio, and text available for online use or downloading.

Links here

Sunday, October 04, 2015

New York Rochester Mission

New York Rochester Mission Home Address

460 Kreag Rd
Pittsford, NY 14534
(585) 223-3440

Pittsford is about 8 miles southeast of Rochester.  Described as an "affluent suburb", it has a population of about 27 thousand.

The Rochester population is describe as about 45% white, 40% black, and several other ethnic and racial mixtures.  Very diverse.

Two major cities are within the mission, Buffalo and Rochester.  Together they comprise a population of about 2 million.

Buffalo is at the western end of the mission, located at the east end of Lake Erie.  As of 2014, Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state after New York City with 258,703 residents, and the metropolitan area is the 45th largest in the United States.
Buffalo experienced significant growth in the 19th and 20th centuries as a direct result of the Erie Canal, railroads and Lake Erie, providing an abundance of fresh water and an ample trade route to the Midwestern United States, while grooming its economy for the grain, steel and automobile industries during the 20th century. Since experiencing an economic downturn in the latter half of the 20th century, Buffalo's economy has transitioned to sectors that include financial services, technology, biomedical and education.
Residents of Buffalo are called "Buffalonians". Nicknames for the city of Buffalo include "The Queen City", "The Nickel City", "The City of Good Neighbors", and less commonly, the "City of Light".

Buffalo has an ethnically diverse population with about 50% white, 38% black, and 10% Hispanic.

Rochester is located on the southern shore of Lake Ontario.

Rochester's city population according to the 2010 census is approximately 210,565, making it New York's third most populous city after New York City and Buffalo. It is at the center of a larger metropolitan area which encompasses and extends beyond Monroe County and includes Genesee County, Livingston County, Ontario County, Orleans County and Wayne County. This area, which is part of the Western New York region, had a population of 1,079,671 people at the time of the 2010 Census. As of July 1, 2012 estimates indicated that this population rose to 1,082,284. Rochester was one of America's first "boomtowns" and rose to prominence initially as the site of many flour mills located on the Genesee River, then as a major manufacturing hub. Rochester is now an international center of higher education, as well as medical and technological development. The region is known for many acclaimed universities, and several of them (notably the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology) are nationally renowned for their research programs. In addition, Rochester has been and continues to be the site of many important inventions and innovations in consumer products. The Rochester area is the birthplace to corporations such as Kodak, Bausch & Lomb and Xerox that conduct extensive research and manufacturing in the fields of industrial and consumer products. Until 2010, the Rochester metropolitan area was the second largest regional economy in New York State according to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, after the New York City metropolitan area. Rochester's GMP has since ranked just below that of Buffalo, New York, while still exceeding it in per-capita income.

Rochester was ranked as the "most livable city" among 379 U.S. metropolitan areas in the 25th edition (2007) of the Places Rated Almanac.  In 2010 Forbes rated Rochester as the third best place to raise a family.[8] In 2012 Kiplinger rated Rochester as the fifth best city for families, citing low cost of living, top public schools, and a low jobless rate.

According to Zillow, the median house price in Rochester is $62,600 there, compared to the state's median housing price of $254,200

Friday, September 18, 2015

Fiji Suva Mission

The Fiji Islands are comprised of more than 300 islands and more than 500 islets in the South Pacific, about 1100 miles northeast of New Zealand.  The islands were generally formed by volcanic activity during an earlier geologic era.  None of the volcanoes is currently active.

The combined population of the Fiji Islands is about 850 thousand.

The principal islands are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.  The capitol city of Fiji is Suva.

Address of the Fiji Suva Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Fiji Suva Mission
GPO Box 215 (16 Berry Road)
Suva, Fiji

The language of this mission is Fijian.  Fijian (Na Vosa Vakaviti) is an Austronesian language of the Malayo-Polynesian family spoken in Fiji. It has 450,000 first-language speakers, which is more than half the population of Fiji, but another 200,000 speak it as a second language. The 1997 Constitution established Fijian as an official language of Fiji, along with English and Hindustani, and there is discussion about establishing it as the "national language", though English and Hindustani would remain official. Fijian is a VOS language.  In linguistic typology, a verb–object–subject language is one in which the most-typical sentences arrange their elements in that order: "Ate oranges Sam."

Suva Fiji Temple

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Phillipines Iloilo Mission

The Phillipines Iloilo Mission is one of 21 LDS Missions currently designated in the islands of the Phillipines.  The Phillipines Iloilo Mission encompasses Panay Island and the island of Guimaras immediately to the south, as well as several smaller island to the north.

Philippines Iloilo Mission

Osmena St Arevalo
5000 Iloilo Philippines
Phone Number: 63-33-336-9369
Mission President: President Jaime R. Aquino

The Philippines is an archipelago of 7,107 islands with a total land area, including inland bodies of water, of approximately 300,000 square kilometers (115,831 sq mi). Its 36,289 kilometers (22,549 mi) of coastline makes it the country with the 5th longest coastline in the world. It is located between 116° 40', and 126° 34' E longitude and 4° 40' and 21° 10' N latitude and is bordered by the Philippine Sea and Guam to the east, the South China Sea and Vietnam to the west, and the Celebes Sea and Indonesia to the south, with New Guinea and Australia a bit beyond.

Most of the mountainous islands are covered in tropical rainforest and volcanic in origin.  Nearly 90% of the flat plain and coastal areas of Panay Island are dedicated to farming, producing rice (palay), corn, coconut, abaca, coffee, peanuts, sweet potato, garlic, banana, mango, cashew, cut flowers, pineapple, cassava, tobacco, watermelon, and other legumes, various vegetables and rootcrops.

The web site featuures a nice new mapping facility.  You will need an LDS member account to log in.  View a very nice interactive map of the Phillipines Iloilo Mission.

Some other links of interest.

Panay Island spans an area roughly 100 miles across.

Iloilo is a province of the Philippines located in the Western Visayas region. Iloilo occupies the southeast portion of Panay Island and is bordered by province of Antique to the west and province of Capiz and the Jintotolo Channel to the north. Just off Iloilo's southeast coast is the island province Guimaras, once part of Iloilo but now an independent province.

Iloilo's capital is Iloilo City though the city itself is independent and not governed by the provincial government of Iloilo.

According to the 2010 national census, the population of province excluding Iloilo City is 1,805,576. If Iloilo City is included, the population is 2,230,195.

Hiligaynon (informally referred to as Ilonggo) is an Austronesian language spoken in Western Visayas in the Philippines.  Hiligaynon is concentrated in the city of Iloilo. It is also spoken in the other provinces in Panay island.

Majority (72 percent) of the household population in Iloilo classified themselves as Hiligaynon/Ilonggo. About 14.8 percent considered themselves as Karay-a and 11.3 percent as Kiniray-a. Other ethnic groups included Kankanai/Kankaney/Kankanaey (0.19 percent) and Cebuano (0.18 percent).

Heavily populated areas on Panay tend to be islands and low lying flat coastal plains. The interior of the western region of Antique province is mountainous and less populated.

Iloilo is predominately Catholic, comprising about 90% of the population of the province.

Siopao is a favorite food local to iloilo.

In 2013 Typhoon Haiyan crossed the northern end of Panay, causing extensive damage.

Update: My nephew's son Ammon gave the obligatory missionary "farewell" talk today at thier home ward in Morgan.  Farewells are supposed to be done away with, but generally it seems that departing young men are still invited to speak in Sacrament meeting before they go off into the MTC.

Ammon's talk was excellent, and we spent a few minutes visiting with family members after the Sacrament meeting.  Obviously a good start to some outstanding missionary service.

I know Ammon will do well.  :-)

Church to Go Forward with Scouting Program

The Church of Jesus Christ has chartered BSA Troops in every Church Unit across the US for a hundred years, with the understanding of shared moral values across the two organizations.

Recently the BSA Executive Committee voted to allow homosexual leaders into the Scout groups following another vote to lift restriction on troop members who declare themselves to be homosexual.

BSA executives faced a dilemma.  In our contentious society, homosexual activists have demonstrated the will to resort to litigation to force their agenda.  The BSA resisted for a time, but finally capitulated.  The revised policy throws the burden of maintaining moral standards back at the charter organization, with the provisio that they are free to choose their own standard for recruitment or leadership.  The BSA Committee essentially picked discretion over valor, leaving the charter members open to bear the burden of defending morality - in Scout Troops and in court.

At this point LDS Church leaders threatened to divorce the BSA program.  But the LDS leaders  deliberated further, and announced their temporary commitment to stay with the BSA program, at least for now.  The official news release gives the full rationale.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Early History of Mormons in Utah

When the Mormons settled in the Great Basin in 1847, the territory they proposed as the "State of Deseret" was a substantial claim.

Following the Mexican-American War, the Treaty of Hidalgo was ratified by the United States Senate on March 10, 1848, annexing land originally claimed by Mexico.

The proposed State of Deseret included what now comprises Utah and most of Nevada, pieces of Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico and California, and bits lapping over into Oregon, Idaho, and Wyoming.

Utah was eventually designated as a US Territory in 1850, with substantially reduced area.

 In 1857, President James Buchanan sent troops on the Utah expedition to bring order to the lawless Mormons and to replace Brigham Young as territorial governor with his political appointee, Alfred Cumming.

Cumming had prior political experience as the former Mayor of Augusta GA.

In response to the troop advancement, Brigham Young ordered all residents of Salt Lake City and neighboring communities to prepare their homes for burning and evacuate southward to Utah Valley and southern Utah.  Some of my ancestors wrote about filling their Salt Lake home with straw, and moving to Provo to escape from the encroachment of Johnston's Army.

Young also sent out a few units of the Utah militia to delay and harass the army. The majority he sent into the mountains to prepare defenses, or south to prepare for a scorched earth retreat.

Army wagon supply trains were captured and burned and herds or army horses and cattle run off, but no serious fighting ever occurred.

Starting late and short on supplies, the United States Army camped during the bitter winter of 1857 near Fort Bridger in Wyoming. Through the negotiations between emissary Thomas L. Kane, Young, Cumming and Johnston, control of Utah territory was peacefully transferred to Cumming, who entered an eerily vacant Salt Lake City in the spring of 1858.

By agreement with Young, Johnston's troops marched on through Salt Lake City and established a military encampment at Fort Floyd, a remote location in the hills to the southeast.

In 1862,The Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act (37th United States Congress) was a federal enactment of the United States Congress, banning bigamy and confiscating church and non-profit property in any territory of the United States over $50,000.

The act was exclusively targeted at Mormon plural marriage and the property dominance of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Utah Territory.  Lincoln chose to ignore the Morrill Act in exchange for Utah not choosing sides in the Civil War.

The Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act was amended in 1882 by the Edmunds Act, and then again in 1887 by the Edmunds–Tucker Act.

Congress passed the Edmunds act  into law on March 23, 1882, signed by president Chester A. Arthur, declaring polygamy a felony.  The Edmunds Act also prohibited "bigamous" or "unlawful cohabitation", so there was no need to prove that actual marriages had occurred before punishing these dangerous felons.

It was passed in a fit of Victorian-era reaction to the perceived immorality of polygamy, which was often compared to slavery.

Some of the provisions of the anti-Mormon legislation: 
  • Disincorporated the LDS Church and the Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company, with assets to be used for public schools in the Territory.
  • Required an anti-polygamy oath for prospective voters, jurors and public officials (in direct violation of Article VI of the US Constitution).
  • Annulled territorial laws allowing illegitimate children to inherit (thus disallowing inheritance by children of polygamous marriage).
  • Required civil marriage licenses to facilitate prosecution of polygamy.
  • Abrogated the common law spousal privilege for polygamists, thus requiring wives to testify against their husbands.
  • Disenfranchised Utah women voters, who had been enfranchised by the Territorial legislature in 1870.
  • Replaced local judges (including the previously powerful Probate Court judges) with federally appointed judges.
  • Abolished the office of Territorial superintendent of district schools, granting the Supreme Court of the Territory of Utah the right to appoint a commissioner of schools (along with other related Byzantine rules that amounted to book-burning).
Following the service of Cumming at Territorial Governor, John W. Dawson was appointed.  Dawson fled the territory and his post as governor after only three weeks, after he purportedly made "grossly improper proposals" to the Mormon widow Albina Merrill Williams, who promptly responded by thrashing him with a fire shovel.

Federal Marshals in the Utah Territory then took license to become roving polygamy hunters.

A number of these dangerous convicted felons were imprisoned in the newly constructed Utah State Penitentiary at Sugarhouse, including Mormon leader George Q. Cannon.

In February, 1889, my ancestor Peter Barton was sentenced to fifteen months' imprisonment for "unlawful cohabitation," but before having served his full term, he was pardoned, being the first "Mormon" ever pardoned by Pres. Benjamin Harrison.  My suspicion is that Barton may have been released because he was inciting to organize a Church unit among the inmates.  Barton served as Bishop of the Kaysville Ward for more than 30 years.  He also held a number of civil positions, such as justice of the peace, city recorder of Kaysville, etc. He served two terms in the Utah legislature.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Utah Places: Tushar Mountains

One of the destinations I have neglected to mention is the Tushar Mountains of central Utah.  Perhaps the most attractive feature this area offers is that it seems to be far less popular than Wasatch or Uinta, though the Tushars have many beautiful places.

The highest point is Delano Peak.  Mount Belknap is the other notable destination high point. 

Many of the canyons in the Tushars have been the site for gold mining, and evidence of the mining activity remains.

Bullion Canyon above Marysvale is one such site.

I don't know how much gold was ever extracted, but the miners were certainly ambitious enough in their pursuit.

Delano Peak is home to a substantial Mountain Goat population, and they can often be seen above the tree line.

When I was young, my Dad and his brothers often visited the canyon north of Marysvale for their annual deer hunt.  Some of their adventures in the canyon are nothing less than legendary.  We sometimes stopped at Hoover's Cafe at the mouth of the canyon by the river.

Also just north of the canyon is an area of some geological interest called Big Rock Candy Mountain.  Yes, the Burl Ives song inspired the name, and the silly lyrics adapted by locals to tell all about the curious features.  It really is a geological oddity.  Today the area is a small developed resort, and I tend to avoid such places.  If you have an interest in such amenities they are readily available, also nearby in Beaver, Marysvale, and other local towns.

The Sevier River that flows through the canyon also has some nice trails for biking or hiking.  Some touristy place or other hosts float trips, but the river is pretty placid.  An old innertube would work fine.

I have also visited the area that has previously been the old Elk Meadows and Mt. Holly resort.  The drive up from the Circleville side is a spectacular mountain road climb from the valley into lush green mountain meadows teeming with wildlife.  The roads above the abandoned resort provide good access to Mount Delano.  Apparently the resort has been reopened as a new development called Eagle Point, so I'm not certain of the status of roads that go through private land. 

A beautiful mountain destination, whether you approach from Beaver, Marysvale, or Circleville.