Archive for February, 2013

Sacrament Meeting, Brooklyn, 1873

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Some elements of our every day lives are so mundane, that we never think to record anything about them. How many of us burden our diaries and journals with the details of our daily commute? Which route we took, whether the light at a particular street was red or green that day and what car we owned at the time just don’t seem like important details. But more than 100 years later these details sometimes make a lot of difference in how we understand the past.

Do you record the details of sacrament meetings in your journal? Has it ever occurred to you that 100 years in the future sacrament meeting might be somewhat different? Fortunately, outsiders sometimes see the mundane of our lives with different eyes, and their accounts of what is mundane to us and unusual to them are, 100 years later, insightful accounts of important parts of every day lives.

Sacrament meeting is a good example, in this case. In 1873 a reporter for the Brooklyn Eagle published an account of a Brooklyn sacrament meeting, leaving us what is, I think, an interesting outsider’s view of the “mundane” of Mormonism:


First Regular New York City Meeting Place

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Where were Mormon meetings first held in New York City? It depends a lot on what you mean by meetings. Do we count meetings held before the congregation was organized? Should we include the homes and private rooms of members? or only places meant for large groups? Do we include where members met privately? or only meetings open to the public?


What Happened to the Hornerstown Mormons?

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Today, LDS congregations in New York City experience a lot of turnover. People move in and out of LDS congregations frequently, driven by education and economic considerations. And we may not imagine that Mormon congregations in the area experienced the same kind of change over 150 years ago.

An 1856 newspaper story about the Hornerstown, New Jersey congregation gives an impression of a group in similar flux, although one that is slowly declining instead of increasing as most Mormon congregations in the area today.