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THIS WEEK IN CHURCH HISTORY

50 years ago

In February 1938, a Salt Lake Liberty Stake reunion brought together missionary companions who hadn't seen each other for nearly 70 years.

In 1869, Elder Willard B. Richards of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Elder Christian Willie, a native of Bern, Switzerland, served together in Switzerland. Elder Richards couldn't speak German and Elder Willie didn't know English. But they communicated as best they could. Three years later, Elder Willie immigrated to Utah.

At the reunion, 69 years later, Richards, 91, and Willie, 94, discovered they had lived close to each other for decades without knowing it. Richards was a son of President Willard Richards, a counselor to Brigham Young.

Quotes from the past

"The Lord has told us what is good for us to eat and to drink and what is pernicious. But some of our wise philosophers . . . pay no regard to it; they think it too little, too foolish for wise men to regard.

"Where is their wisdom, philosophy and intelligence? From whence did they obtain their superior light? Their capacity and their power of reasoning was given them by the great Jehovah. If they have any wisdom, they obtained it from Him, and have grown so much wiser than God that they are going to instruct him in the path of duty, and to tell Him what is wise and what is foolish. . . Oh shame! Let it not be heard among the Saints. Let the man who inculcates such principles hide his face." - Hyrum Smith on the Word of Wisdom, Times and Seasons, June 5, 1842