Since 2006, Justin has had the unique opportunity to explore several Latin American countries, including Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru. These extensive trips instilled a deep-rooted attachment to the people, places, and cultures of Latin America. The lasting impression from those southward journeys has also been a driving force behind the publication of Andrew Jenson’s letters from Central and South America.
We are grateful for the support of the executive leadership of the LDS Church History Department, including Elder Steven E. Snow, Elder Marcus B. Nash, and Richard E. Turley Jr. During 2012 and 2013, Reid traveled in the company of these good brethren to many of the cities and locations in Latin America that Andrew Jenson and Thomas Page visited during their 1923 tour.
Like our Church Historian’s Office predecessors, we attempted to fill the scriptural mandate originally given to Church Historian John Whitmer in 1831, which encouraged him to “travel many times from place to place, and from church to church, that he may the more easily obtain knowledge—preaching and expounding, writing, copying, selecting, and obtaining all things which shall be for the good of the church, and for the rising generations that shall grow up on the land of Zion” (Doctrine and Covenants 69:7–8).
We thank the presidencies of the South America Northwest, Chile, and South America South Areas, who generously gave of their time and shared their expertise on how best to collect, preserve, and share Church history in Latin America. This book was conceived of during one of those trips.
Many thanks are to be given to Kelley Konzak, Elizabeth Pinborough, and Mitchell K. Schaffer, as well as Sister Silvia Ghosh, who completed the document transcription, transcription verification, source checking, and editorial guidelines for the volume. We would also like to thank Trevan Hatch for his able assistance in acquiring photographs as well as Tom Child for producing a quality map of Jenson’s north-south journey.
The librarians and professional staff members of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections; the Utah Valley Regional Family History Center and the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University–Provo; the Church History Library and the Family History Library at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; the Special Collections at the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah; the Special Collections and Archives at Utah State University; the Napa County Library; the Riverton Historical Society; and the Doe Memorial Library and Moffit Library at the University of California, Berkeley, all provided helpful guidance and access to needed primary source documents and secondary research along the way. And Carlyn Curtis and Sherry Curtis helped us gather materials on their ancestor Thomas P. Page, Andrew Jenson’s traveling companion and financial patron while in Latin America.
To the highest degree, we appreciate the professional assistance of the Religious Studies Center staff at Brigham Young University, including Thomas A. Wayment, Brent R. Nordgren, Joany O. Pinegar, Devan Jensen, Aleesha Bass, Austin Ballard, Shanna Clayton, Juliana Cox, and Rachel Ishoy. They were a joy to work with from start to finish.
Finally, our families deserve great praise for supporting us in this historical endeavor. We especially thank our wives, who listened to our latest discoveries and ongoing progress with patience and kindness. We dedicate this volume to them and their goodness.