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ADDITIONAL BISHOPS CALLED TO SERVE

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This is another in a weekly series of day-by-day summaries of what transpired 150 years ago during the Saints' 1846-47 trek from Nauvoo, Ill., to the Salt Lake Valley. The compiler, David R. Crockett, is a member of the Church Pioneer Sesquicentennial Committee.

Sunday, Nov. 22, 1846:

The Mormon Battalion marched 18 miles in present-day southwest New Mexico. The guides were having a difficult time finding water, and the men had to camp without it that night. Henry W. Bigler wrote: "I ate some fruit that grew on a weed, it tasted like dried apples. I soon became very thirsty and, oh, how sorry I was to learn there was no water in camp and every canteen empty."

Monday, Nov. 23:

Brigham Young met with several members of the high council to discuss their duties regarding bearing the burdens of the Church and taking care of the poor. President Young prophesied "that if we follow council it will not be long before we will have no poor among us and there would be thousands and tens of thousands to write, preach the gospel & build temples."

The Mormon Battalion marched on in a desperate search for water. Battalion members were fooled by a desert mirage that looked like "a vast luminous sea, or lake," Their guides found Leroux's Water Hole in the Little Hatchet Mountains, but there was only enough water for a few men. Soldiers used their spoons to get precious drops of water between the rocks. Their march continued across a dry lake bed. After 40 miles and two days without water, the parched battalion reached a spring with plenty of water.

Tuesday, Nov. 24:

Two experienced trappers called upon Brigham Young. They shared with him information about the Rocky Mountains, including an interesting description of the region near Yellowstone. They encouraged Brigham Young to consider taking a northern route through present-day Montana.

Elder Orson Spencer met with Thomas L. Kane in Philadelphia. Col. Kane told Elder Spencer about his efforts in seeking official permission for the Saints to stay on Omaha Indian lands. He continued to work to see that the Church was treated fairly by the government. He told Elder Spencer that many in the Congress still feared that the Saints would "loiter near the bluffs and not go over the Mountains at all." Elder Spencer assured him that they would go over the mountains as soon as possible.

Wednesday, Nov. 25:

The weather was turning cold at the Missouri River. Ice was spotted flowing on the river this day. Hosea Stout observed: "Today I sat most of the day shivering over the fire burning and freezing in the house & a hard howling North wind blowing all day." Eliza R. Snow, staying with the Stephen Markham family, recorded: "br[other]. M[arkham]. topp'd the chimney as high as the roof & finish'd chinking the house which prov'd very fortunate for our comfort as the weather . . . became very cold and blustering towards night & is piercingly cold today."

In the evening, Brigham Young and Orson Pratt met with the Winter Quarters High Council. Also in attendance were all the bishops. President Young recognized that the city wards were too large. He proposed that the wards be divided and additional bishops be called to serve. It was also decided that the brethren in Winter Quarters would be asked to tithe their labor. One day in 10 would be to benefit the poor.

Thursday, Nov. 26:

Brigham Young and Willard Richards met with the Winter Quarters High Council. President Young ordained several men to serve as bishops. The boundaries for 22 wards were discussed. The bishops were counseled to try to keep a given city block within a ward.

Friday, Nov. 27:

Orville M. Allen's company of "poor Saints" from Nauvoo arrived at Council Bluffs after a long 50-day journey across Iowa. Thomas Bullock wrote: "The boys ran a race to the top of a hill in order to get a peep at the Missouri River . . . where we had a splendid view . . . my soul rejoiced exceedingly in the prospect of my soon arriving at home."

Saturday, Nov. 28:

Mary Richards learned that Elder Ezra T. Benson returned to the Missouri River the night before from his mission to the Eastern States. She went to visit the Bensons, hoping to hear news about her husband, Samuel W. Richards, who had traveled to the East before sailing to his mission in England. She was delighted to receive from Elder Benson a package of gifts from her husband, including two letters. She recorded: "It was indeed a day of rejoicing to me to hear of the prosperity and wellbeing of my dear companion. May heavens ritchest blessing attend him weree're he romes & retorn him in safty to my bosem."

Sources: Manuscript History of Brigham Young, pp. 462-65; Wilford Woodruff's Journal 3:96; The Diary of Hosea Stout 1:212-14; Journals of John D. Lee, 1846-47 and 1859, pp. 17-22; The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, p. 146; Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, p. 87, 99-100; Thomas Bullock Poor Camp Journal; Exploring Southwestern Trails 1846-1854, pp. 109-19; "Journal Extracts of Henry W. Bigler," Utah Historical Quarterly 5:2:45-6; Life of a Pioneer, 49-50; A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, p. 192; "The Journal of Robert S. Bliss," Utah Historical Quarterly 4:78; Richard E. Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri, 1846-1852: "And Should We Die . . ." p. 108; Orson Spencer letter, Nov. 27, 1846, to Brigham Young, Brigham Young Papers, Church Historical Department.