The seeds of the restored gospel were planted in the 1830s and took root over the next 70 years in New York, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, and finally the Rocky Mountains. In a sense the Church did not begin to blossom until the last years of the 19th century. Under the inspired leadership of Presidents Lorenzo Snow, Joseph F. Smith, Heber J. Grant, George Albert Smith, and David O. McKay, the Church grew to over 2,800,000 members and 500 stakes by 1970. Progress has been gradual but steady, like a blooming flower. During these times the Church endured storms of persecution and misunderstanding, which gradually gave way to the sunshine of public fair-mindedness and temporal and spiritual prosperity.
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