This week in Church history

50 years ago

According to the Jan. 17, 1948, Church News, the finishing touches were being placed on an exhibit prepared by the Church for the California Centennial Celebration.

The exhibit consisted of a log cabin and three dioramas that were constructed to commemorate the effort of Mormon Battalion members during the discovery of gold at the old Sutter mill on the American River, about 45 miles from Sacramento.

The discovery of gold at Sutter mill began California's gold rush fever. The cabin was representative of the type built by the gold seekers at the time and was planned to be part of a three building display in the Gold Discovery Park.

History records that six members of the Mormon Battalion hired out to build the Sutter sawmill. These men played a prominent role in the discovery of gold. They panned for gold during their off hours. But when they had fulfilled their contracts with Capt. Sutter, with no interest in striking it rich, they returned to their families in Salt Lake where they lived the hard life of the pioneer.

Quote from the past

"The volcano is a destroyer - the river a builder.

"I find that men are like rivers and volcanoes. They construct, and they destroy; they purify and inspire, and they defile and mystify; they give life, and they bring about death. Recently, I had a visit from a handsome youth, the product of a builder. His eyes were bright; his step was light; he walked with calm assurance. Here were courage, optimism, and positiveness. He was clean." - Elder Spencer W. Kimball from a address given during the April 1948 general conference

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