Monday, February 4, 2013

History of Mormonism: Lorenzo Snow

Born on April 3, 1814, Lorenzo Snow was the fifth president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the last one of the 19th century. He was a great contributor to the History of Mormonism.
Lorenzo had six siblings, one of them was well known Eliza R. Snow, who was nick-named the "prophetess." Lorenzo was educated, receiving his final year at Oberlin College, which was founded by two Presbyterian Ministers. He made a living as a teacher before he knew about the Church.
In 1831, Joseph Smith moved to Hiram, Ohio; about four miles from the Snow farm. Lorenzo hear about Joseph soon after, and wanted to know more about the Book of Mormon and the Church. By 1835, his mother and one of his sisters was baptized into the church. By 1836, he was baptized as well.
In 1837, Joseph asked Lorenzo and some other elders to serve a mission. He served a short mission in Ohio without "purse or script" and had to rely on the generosity of others.
When he returned in 1838, he found the saints in turmoil and rebelliousness over the failure of the Kirkland Safety Society. The Snow family moved to Far West Missouri to avoid trouble. he suffered a severe illness there and for the next few weeks, his sister Eliza Snow nursed him back to health.
After getting better, he served a second mission to Illinois and Kentucky. In 1839, he heard of the saints being driven from Missouri, and he traveled back home to his family, where he again fell ill, where he was treated by church members. He soon was back on his feet, preaching in Ohio, then teaching during the school year. He sent money to his family who settled in Nauvoo, Illinois.
Lorenzo served a third mission, this time in Britain. He met with some of the Apostles that started the mission before him in 1839. After serving for a couple of years, Parley Pratt released him. Lorenzo returned home with 250 converted British converts.
Lorenzo left with the saints to the Salt Lake Valley after Joseph's death in Carthage Jail. After Brigham Young was sustained president, he ordained Lorenzo to be an Apostle.
Lorenzo Snow worked hard, serving with Brigham Young, John Taylor, and Wilford Woodruff. When Lorenzo was sustained as president, it was 1890. The Church was in financial turmoil. They were 2 million dollars in debt, and the saints crops were dying because it has not rained in a long time. Lorenzo received guidance from the Lord, and addressed to the saints about tithing. Tithing was introduced during Joseph's time, but was not upheld well. Lorenzo promised the saints that if they paid an honest tithe, (10% of their income) the Lord will bless them with rain. The saints had faith and paid an honest tithe, and a month later, the Lord blessed them with rain. In turn, the Church's debt was lowered to a manageable level.
Lorenzo Snow was loved by the saints, and he worked very hard his entire life. He died of pneumonia on October 10, 1901.

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