Rediscovering the Sites of the Restoration

The 1888 Travel Writings of Mormon Historian Andrew Jenson, Edward Stevenson, and Joseph S. Black

Edited by Reid L. Neilson, Justin R. Bray and Alan D. Johnson

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On September 6, 1888, three Church history missionaries—Andrew Jenson, Edward Stevenson, and Joseph S. Black—left on a fact-finding mission to the Church’s historic sites in Missouri, Illinois, New York, Ohio, and Iowa, spending a majority of their time visiting the sacred sights of the Restoration. The observations they made were the subjects of a lengthy correspondence to the Deseret News. These letters were later compiled into a pamphlet entitled The Infancy of the Church. Their writings allowed the Saints in the west to vicariously experience the early days of the Restoration and reconnect with their pioneer ancestry. Some notable historical themes from their observations include a desire for the establishment and redemption of Zion and the promise that righteous Saints would be restored to their lands to build up Zion.