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Mission History, 1949: Latin America

By: Ardis E. Parshall - June 28, 2013

A short lesson in the history of LDS missions in Latin America, presented to the children of the Church in 1949:

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9 Comments »

  1. OK. Points given for Brazil and Uruguay from personal experience a bit later. I even interviewed a “basketball convert” for baptism down on the Brasil/Uguguai border. He passed mainly because when I asked him about the Holy Ghost he said he wanted to hear and speak the “Tongue of Angels.” So apparently he had read 2 Nephi 32.

    It was also good to point out that “Spanish Americans” was a preferred term for Hispanic residents of the US Southwest. They really don’t consider themselves “from” Mexico as their ancestors only lived under Mexican rule from 1822-1848 (well, 1846 in some parts) They do consider themselves Castillians, Spanish or NEW Mexican, which was a province of Spanish Mexico and briefly of the Republic of Mexico on paper until the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, 1850 – which also paved the way for the Territory of Utah.

    And El Paso still should be part of New Mexico. (Don’t get me started on Texas boundary issues.)

    Comment by Grant — June 28, 2013 @ 8:43 am

  2. Oops. 1848 for the Treaty. 1850 was the Act of Congress establishing the Territories of Utah and New Mexico and finally settling the western and southern boundaries of Texas.

    Comment by Grant — June 28, 2013 @ 8:47 am

  3. Interesting, this. Although a history lesson, to me, the commentary has a subtle persuasive tone, as if to convince the reader that missionary work has progressed and adapted in the best possible way in Latin America. No surprise there — if the Church magazines don’t “promote” the Church’s efforts, who will, right?

    [Aside: The “Elder Daniel Jones” mentioned above who was sent to Mexico in the 1875 can’t be the same Daniel Jones as the “uber-missionary to Wales Dan Jones,” right?]

    Comment by David Y. — June 28, 2013 @ 8:48 am

  4. Different men, David — Dan Jones was the Welsh missionary; Daniel Webster Jones was an American-born missionary to Mexico (he’d also been involved in the Martin-Willie handcart rescue).

    Grant, I’m not sure what the state of these missions was in 1949. There may have been some cheerleading — which, if premature, seems to have eventually become valid, no? (But I didn’t know German was the language of Argentina…)

    The fifth panel mentions early baptisms in Buenos Aires. One of those baptized was the young girl Herta Kullick.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — June 28, 2013 @ 10:04 am

  5. There is a huge German population in Argentina. My height and blond hair weren’t much of an oddity when I was there. Most are mixed in with the other Argentines now. Once a woman on the sidewalk heard my accent and asked, “Sprechen sie Deutch?” I answered, “Nein.”

    Comment by Carol — June 28, 2013 @ 2:57 pm

  6. I think that Daniel Webster Jones might be an ancestor of Christopher over at JI–maybe we should ask him to come over and tell the rest of the story.

    Comment by Mark B. — June 28, 2013 @ 5:21 pm

  7. LaMond Tullis has an article that gives a pretty good outline of the first Mexican Mission that Jones, Anthony Ivins, and others went on.

    https://byustudies.byu.edu/showTitle.aspx?title=5535

    Comment by Jared T. — June 28, 2013 @ 5:56 pm

  8. What a fascinating find, Ardis (at least for the DWJ descendant*)!

    I’m always fascinated, though not terribly surprised, by the lack of actual converts mentioned in this stories. I understand that history (especially of the faith promoting sort) has primarily been told as the story of white, male leaders, and I realize that this was a story of Latin American missions, so it makes some sense that it would be told in a series of vignettes about the missionaries. But that’s also why I appreciate the research you do, and more importantly, the research you share, here at Keepa, Ardis. Because otherwise, I would be left with a mere critique instead of a link to the story of one of those converts (as you provide in comment 4).

    __________________

    *I don’t know that a blog comment is the appropriate place to tell “the rest of the story” about DWJ and his missions, but briefly after this mission Jones was called on a mission to settle the Salt River Valley in 1876. That settlement, called Jonesville, grew to become what is now Mesa, Arizona. And to connect it back to the point of this post, it was there that the “Lamanite Temple” was built, intended in part to provide the increasing numbers of converts in Latin America with a temple to receive their own endowments. At least one line of the Jones family ended up back in Mexico, and one of DWJ’s descendants served as the first Mormon senator in Mexico.

    Comment by Christopher — June 28, 2013 @ 6:31 pm

  9. Daniel W. Jones wrote an autobiography “40 Years Among the Indians” that’s now back in print and is a facinating read. (I rank it right up there with PPPratt’s autobiography) That’s the place to go for the full back story.

    Interesting that there is no mention of the Mormon colonies.

    Comment by The Other Clark — July 1, 2013 @ 12:22 pm

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