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Elder Uchtdorf Visits a Ghost Town in Utah Named After Joseph F. Smith

Elder Uchtdorf Visits a Ghost Town in Utah Named After Joseph F. Smith

This post was shared by Dieter F. Uchtdorf on his Facebook page.

During our summers in Utah, Harriet and I always enjoyed celebrating Pioneer Day and the legacy of the early Saints. This year there were no parades, no rodeos, no concerts.

We found ourselves in Skull Valley, Utah, in a ghost town called Iosepa. We like to explore historic places related to the early pioneers.

After reading again the first and second volumes of “Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days,” we were fascinated by the story of a special group who settled the town of Iosepa.

It was around 1885 that a group of faithful Latter-day Saints from Hawaii gathered to Utah to be able to receive the blessings and ordinances of the temple of God. They came to Skull Valley and built a beautiful oasis in the desert—Iosepa.

Only, in 1915, when the Laie Hawaii Temple was announced, many of the same people went back to Hawaii to enjoy the blessings of the temple in their home country.

That is how Iosepa became a ghost town with only the cemetery, which you can see in these photos, and many wonderful memories that are reflected there.

We could sense the wonderful spirit of these dedicated pioneers as we wandered among the graves of the few who were buried there.

Iosepa and its people represent the same pioneer legacy built by so many members of the Church all around the globe today. God’s children hear about the gospel and the Church from missionaries or members, and the Spirit leads them to follow the Savior.

Now, in 2020, we are all pioneers in one way or another. We are adjusting to new circumstances in uncertain times. We may not be able to attend church or the temple as we were used to, but we may claim the blessings of the gospel and temple by living faithfully to our covenants.

Living the gospel of Jesus Christ in uncertain times brings hope, peace, and confidence in our daily lives. We can trust in God’s plan for us and know that there is a glorious future ahead.