Posts Tagged ‘Williamsburgh’

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:


Mourning in New York City – 1844

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

When news of the martyrdom of Joseph Smith reached New York City and was published in the major New York newspapers on July 8th, Church members in the city were initially cautious about the news. Reports of Joseph Smith’s death or some other tragedy had appeared before and turned out to be incorrect.

The Latter Day Saint newspaper in New York, The Prophet, had already cautioned members on June 29th (probably because of the scandalous news reports similar to what was published in the Nauvoo Expositor, which were then reaching New York City) “not to credit the many tales afloat respecting our people, we have had no intelligence of trouble, and doubt very much the truth of these statements.”

But church members received confirmation of the martyrdom by July 20th, which  left them wondering how to mourn for the fallen prophet.