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100 years ago

Writing from Hamilton, Marion County, Ala., Elder George W. Baker Jr., reported that nine LDS missionaries were proselyting in this Southern state and 22 people had been baptized in the last six months.

"Several new fields recently have been opened that are proving much more successful than older fields," he said in a letter to the Deseret News.

Elder Baker said the missionaries are generally well-treated by the people. The elders' friends, for the most part, used their influence to stop those who would harm the elders. For example, he said, he and Elder Amasa M. Rich were staying at a friend's house when they were awakened by gun shots. Outside a mob demanded the lights be kindled and doors be opened to allow the house to be searched for "Mormons."

But the elders' host went out, confronted the armed men, whose faces were blackened, and refused their demands. The mob withdrew without violence.

Today, the Church has six stakes in Alabama with about 20,000 members.

Quotes from the past

"Every authority in this Church, however high or however low, or whatever the nature of the callings might be, whatever the duties of the callings, God has introduced that authority. We have no record, no minutes in our Church, where there have been Apostles called and ordained in this kingdom, by man's authority. Anything else than this would not be ascribed to the kingdom of God." - Elder Orson Pratt of the Council of the Twelve in the Tabernacle, his last discourse, Sept. 18, 1881