In 1837, two years after being ordained an Apostle, Elder Heber C. Kimball was sitting in the Kirtland Temple when the Prophet Joseph Smith whispered to him that the Lord wanted him to go on a mission to England. He would be the first missionary sent outside North America.
“The idea of such a mission was almost more than I could bear up under. I was almost ready to sink under the burden which was placed upon me,” Elder Kimball said. But he accepted the call and went to England—even leaping from the boat upon his arrival in Liverpool. “The moment I understood the will of my heavenly Father, I felt a determination to go at all hazards, believing that He would support me by His almighty power, and endow me with every qualification that I needed” (see History of the Church, 2:489–90).
Elder Kimball’s mission opened the door to much success in England over the next several years, as thousands of people accepted the gospel and became a great strength to the Church.
Following are a few significant events that happened in Church history during the months of July and August.
3 July 1835: Michael H. Chandler arrived in Kirtland, Ohio, to exhibit some Egyptian mummies and scrolls of papyrus. The Prophet Joseph Smith translated the scrolls; his translation became the book of Abraham, now included in the Pearl of Great Price.
30 July 1837: Nine people were baptized in Preston, England—the first converts to the Church in Great Britain.
6 August 1842: The Prophet Joseph Smith prophesied that the Saints would settle in the Rocky Mountains.
22–24 July 1847: The first pioneers completed the 1,000 mile (1,600 kilometer) trek to the Salt Lake Valley.
29 August 1877: President Brigham Young died at his home in Salt Lake City at age 76. He had served as Church President for nearly 30 years.
No matter what your Church calling may be, the Lord has promised to help you. President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency, said: “‘The greatest force in this world today is the power of God as it works through man.’ If we are on the Lord’s errand, we are entitled to the Lord’s help. That divine help, however, is predicated upon our worthiness. … Through humble prayer, diligent preparation, and faithful service, we can succeed in our sacred callings” (“Your Eternal Voyage,” Liahona, July 2000, 56, 59).