Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » President Uchtdorf, Elder Benson, and Keepa

President Uchtdorf, Elder Benson, and Keepa

By: Ardis E. Parshall - June 04, 2009

News media are reporting that President Uchtdorf and Elder Anderson, in Moscow, “visited a historic Baptist church where Ezra Taft Benson — then the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and later the LDS Church president — spoke a half-century earlier in what was then the Soviet Union.”

To read a contemporary account of then-Elder Benson’s visit and his moving blessing on the people of Russia, see Keepa’s post from last July 3: An Apostle’s Testimony in Soviet Russia, 1959.



  1. It’s nice to know where the GAs get to, isn’t it? President Uchtdorf and Elder Anderson are due in London this weekend to conduct a satellite broadcast to all the stakes in the British Isles.

    Comment by Alison — June 5, 2009 @ 4:39 am

  2. Alison, if you hear something light-hearted about their visit that isn’t apt to be picked up by the media, let us know, will you?

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — June 5, 2009 @ 7:26 am

  3. My mind’s boggling already…! 😉

    Comment by Alison — June 5, 2009 @ 8:34 am

  4. Just finished reading the old post about the ’59 visit and comments. I believe the Church sent missionaries to Russia (St. Petersburg) prior to the Bolshevik revolution, although they may have just been passing through, not a permanent assignment.

    If memory serves me right, one of them was Jacob Spori, who also went to Turkey and Palestine (the latter were both part of the Ottoman Empire at the time). Does anyone have a source, or am I dreaming this whole thing? Somebody reading this blog has a definitive answer, I’m sure.

    Comment by Clark — June 5, 2009 @ 10:27 am

  5. Clark, I remembered the name of Jacob Spori from an old Ensign article, which can be found at

    Comment by Alison — June 5, 2009 @ 10:57 am

  6. A.J. Hoglund visited Russia for a short time in the 1890s and baptized a Swedish family in St. Petersburg. M. Markow, who was baptized by Spori, also served a very brief mission to Russia (Latvia) in 1903.

    Comment by Justin — June 5, 2009 @ 1:38 pm

  7. The family that August Höglund baptized in 1895 were actually Finns, not Swedes. Some other missionaries to visit Russia (mainly the St. Petersburg area) briefly were Erick Gillén and Alonzo Irvine in 1896 and later Carl Ahlquist and Norman Lee in 1897. Apostle Francis Lyman visited St. Petersburg with Joseph Cannon in August 1903 and dedicated Russia for the preaching of Mormonism. Two other missionaries were there during the Lyman/Cannon visis as well.

    Comment by Kim Östman — June 5, 2009 @ 3:30 pm

  8. Yikes. My error.

    Comment by Justin — June 5, 2009 @ 4:35 pm

  9. Brigham Young, Jr. visited both Moscow and St. Petersburg in 1866, traveling safely between Russia and Prussia although the Prussian-Austrian war made traveling tense.

    If J. Paul happens to see this, he might also be willing to share a few words about a project of his that involves the death of a Utah circus performer in St. Petersburg in the late 1860s. (You couldn’t invent some of this, I swear!)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — June 5, 2009 @ 5:33 pm

Leave a comment

RSS feed for comments on this post.
TrackBack URI