IIRACHEL RIDGEWAY IVINS GRANT 1821-1909
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Rachel Ridgeway Ivins Grant
Rachel Ridgeway Ivins is the daughter of Caleb Ivins, Jr. and Edith Ridgeway Ivins. Her father died when she was six years old in 1827, and her mother died when she was nine years old in 1830. As a young woman she began to search for a religion that could make her happy. In 1840, Rachel listened to Mormon Elders and accepted their challenge of baptism. She joined the Saints in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois, where on October 15, 1843 she was given her patriarchal blessing.
Rachel wrote an account of her earliest history, including the incidents that led to her conversion and her fervent testimony of the gospel. Her conversion story begins with the influence of her grandparents' "silent worship," and ends with the happiness she found within the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
"My grandparents on both sides were Quakers, consequently I was brought up under that influence. But the silent worship of the Friends did not satisfy the cravings of my soul. I longed to hear the beautiful hymns that my mother taught to her little children even in our tender years, and the spirit often moved me to burst out in songs of praise, and it was with difficulty that I could refrain from doing so.
At the age of sixteen years with the consent of my relatives, I joined the Baptist Church. The singing pleased me and the prayers were somewhat inspiring, but the sermons were not much more satisfactory than the none-at-all of the Quakers. I was religiously inclined but not of the long-faced variety. I thought religion ought to make people happier and that was the kind of religion I was looking for.
About this time we heard of some strange preachers called "Mormons" who had come to our neighborhood. I concluded they were some of the false prophets that the Bible speaks of and I had no desire to see or hear them....
I went to the meeting on Saturday but when she [her sister, Anna Lowrie Ivins] asked me to go on Sunday I did not know whether I ought to break the Sabbath day by going to hear them or not. But I finally went. Upon returning home I went to my room, knelt down and asked the Lord to forgive me for thus breaking the Sabbath day.
I attended some more meetings and commenced reading the "Book of Mormon," "Voice of Warning" and other works, and was soon convinced that they were true. A new light seemed to break upon me. The scriptures were plainer to my mind, and the light of the everlasting gospel began to illumine my soul. While thus investigating, a little child died whose mother had joined the Latter-day Saints. The Baptist minister took occasion to refer to the death of the little one, regretting that its parents had neglected to have it baptized, and that thereby it was lost and could not have salvation. I afterwards heard Elder Orson Hyde preach the funeral sermon. He portrayed the glories of our Father's kingdom and the saved condition of the little innocent ones who died before they came to years of accountability- "For of such is the Kingdom of Heaven."
The contrast was very great, showing one to be false and the other true. I was steadily being drawn to the gospel net. One day while attending the Baptist prayer meeting our pastor admonished me for the course I was taking and said if I did not stop going to the Mormon meetings I could not hold my seat in the Baptist Church, and they would be obliged to disfellowship me for listening to false doctrines.
I soon handed in my name for baptism and rendered willing obedience to the first four requirements of the gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed through the Prophet Joseph in the last dispensation of the fulness of times. And oh, what joy filled my being! I could sing all the day long and rejoice in the glorious promises of the Gospel."
Rachel met Jedediah Morgan Grant (18161856) (commonly known as Jedediah M. Grant) was a leader in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was member of the First Council of the Seventy from 1845 to 1854. He also served in the First Presidency under President Brigham Young from 1854 to 1856. He is known for his fiery speeches during the Reformation of 1856, earning the nickname, "Brigham's Sledgehammer". Among his children, most notable is Heber J. Grant, who served as President of the Church.
Jedediah M. Grant was born February 21, 1816 to Joshua Grant and Athalia Howard Grant in Windsor, New York. He joined the church early in his life. By the age of 18 he had participated in Zion's Camp, marching from Kirtland, Ohio to Missouri under the direction of Joseph Smith, Jr.. Though the physical objectives of the march weren't met, many members later became leaders of the church. Jedediah's close relationship with these men from such an early age would last the rest of his life.
After the prophet's death, Jedediah was called to serve as a President of the Seventy. As a seventy, he helped with the trek westwards and the settling of the Great Basin. He would later become the first mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah, serving in that position from 1851 until his death.
In 1854, Jedediah M. Grant was ordained an apostle, but not a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He was simultaneously called to the First Presidency as Second Counselor, to fill the vacancy left by Willard Richards' death.
In 1856, President Grant was called upon by President Brigham Young to tour the northern sections of Utah, calling them to repentance. In the Mormon Reformation of 1856, he toured according to his assignment, delivering fiery speeches condemning all forms of sin and demanding perfection. He issued a call for rebaptism of all the members of the area. The effects of his speeches were felt almost immediately; members throughout the area, as well as in distant parts, were rebaptized to signify their commitment to renew their commitments to the church and the gospel. Several of these speeches are recorded in Journal of Discourses.
On July 2, 1844 Jedediah M. Grant married Carolina Van Dyke in Nauvoo, Illinois. They had two children, Caroline Grant died at eighteen years 1845-1863 and Margaret Grant died at 3+ months in September 1847.
There followed (2) Rosetta Robinson -two children 1849, (3) Susan Fairchild Noble - five children 1849, (4) Louise Maria Golay - one son 1849, (5) Sarah Ann Thurston - seven children 1853, (6) Maryette Kesler -one son 1855.
On Novermber 29, 1845 Jedediah M. Grant married Rachel Ridgeway Ivins, his seventh and last wife, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
President Jedidiah Morgan Grant contracted pneumonia after his vigorous tour. On December 1, 1856, he passed away, just nine days after his son, Heber Jeddy Grant was born to his wife Rachel Ridgeway Ivins Grant.
Prim and reserved, Rachel became the paramount influence in Heber's life. After Jedediah's death, diminished means eventually forced Rachel and her son to move from the substantial Grant home on Main Street to a "widow's cabin" several blocks away. The change was wrenching. Declining the proffer of Church aid, Rachel supported the family by sewing and taking in boarders. Young Heber sat on the floor many an evening and pumped the sewing machine treadle to relieve his weary mother.
The location of the Grants' new home placed them within the Salt Lake Thirteenth Ward, one of the largest and most culturally diverse LDS congregations in the territory, and so Heber enjoyed the best of frontier Mormonism. He was one of the few youths of the city to serve as a "block teacher," and at the unusually young age of fifteen he was ordained to the office of seventy in the priesthood. Rachel serves as the president of the Salt Lake City Thirteenth Ward Relief Society for thirthy-five years.
In the absence of public schools, Rachel found the means to enroll her son in good private schools, beginning with Brigham Young's school at State and South Temple streets. Following frontier practice, his class experience was limited; he left school at the age of sixteen.e was ordained to the office of seventy in the priesthood.
Twice he proselytized among the dangerous Yaqui Indians in Mexico, and his many tours to the Southwest earned him the title "the Arizona Apostle. It was during his visits to the Mormon Colonies in Mexico that he was introduced, and became well acqainted, to by his cousin Anthony W. Ivins.
Heber J. Grant eventually married three wives, who bore him twelve children. In addition to Lucy Stringham,1877, he entered into plural marriage in 1884 with Huldah Augusta Winters and Emily Wells. The three Grant wives were similar in many ways. Well educated for the times, all had taught school, and each descended from old pioneer families. "One's wealth consists in those whom he loves and serves and who love and serve him in return," he often said. Incessant travel took him away from the family, an absence he bridged by his long and sensitive personal letters. More than 50,000 letters are preserved in the Church archives, many of them to his children and grandchildren.
In 1916 his seniority brought him to the presidency of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles. Two years later, Church President Joseph F. Smith, on his deathbed, took Grant's hand and said, "The Lord bless you, my boy, the Lord bless you. You have got a great responsibility. Always remember that this is the Lord's work and not man's. The Lord is greater than any man. He knows whom he wants to lead his Church and never makes any mistake. The Lord bless you" (CR, Apr. 1941).
On November 23, 1918, Heber J. Grant was sustained as President of the Church.
During his time as president, he dedicated three new temples: Laie, Hawaii (1919), Cardston, Canada (1923), and Mesa, Arizona (1927). Several hundred chapels were constructed, many in areas outside the Utah heartland. The Washington, D.C., chapel, dedicated in 1933, symbolized Church growth nationally.
Many of the characteristics of the Church in the twentieth century came into focus during President Grant's administration. Religious education received new emphasis with the establishment of an extensive seminary and institute program to provide a spiritual dimension in the education of the youth. Under his direction, Church leaders stressed Sacrament meeting attendance, temple activity, observance of the Word of Wisdom, family-history research, and monthly visits to Church members in their homes. To cope with the expansion of the Church, he called a new group of General Authorities, Assistants to the Twelve Apostles.
Near the end of his life and under his direction, the First Presidency addressed the moral perplexities of war. A statement issued at the beginning of World War II said, "The Church…cannot regard war as a righteous means of settling international disputes." Yet the statement urged allegiance to "constitutional law" and acceptance of national military service, whatever the nationality of Church members (IE 45 [May 1942]:348-49). The scrupulously neutral statement reflected President Grant's own reservations about American entrance into the conflict and his growing personal pacifism.
Members came to love President Grant's expansive ways. Until mounting burdens and declining health intervened, his office door was open to General Authorities, stake and local leaders, and even to members troubled with problems. He traveled widely throughout America and in 1937 heralded the Church's European centennial by touring the missions of Great Britain and western Europe, the second LDS President to venture across the Atlantic Ocean while in office. Seeking to personalize his presidency, he distributed thousands of homiletic books, personally autographing each and sometimes marking passages for emphasis. Recalling his mother's struggles, he freely gave of his personal means, particularly to widows, and established a missionary fund for his increasing progeny.
His mother, Rachel Ridgeway Ivins Grant died on 27 January 1909 in Salt Lake City at the age of eighty-eight.
In 1940, while visiting Southern California, he suffered a series of strokes that slowed his pace and forced him to delegate active administration of the Church, relying primarily on J. Reuben Clark, Jr., his first counselor. President Heber J. Grant died on May 14, 1945, at Salt Lake City.
PAF - Archer files = Israel Ivins + Anna Lowrie Ivins Ivins > Anthony Woodward Ivins + Elizabeth Ashby Snow > Anthony Ridgeway Ivins + Vilate Ellen Romney (daughter of Orson Douglas Romney + Emma Frances Phillips < George Romney + Vilate Ellen Douglas < Miles Romney + Elizabeth Gaskill > Miles Park Romney + Carrie Lambourne > Martha Diana Romney + Orson Pratt Brown.
Rachel Ridgeway Ivins Grant is the sister of Anna Lowrie Ivins Ivins.
"Rachel Ridgway Ivins Grant", by Mary Grant Judd. Relief Society Magazine 30 on April 1943: 227-231, 297.
No modern, full-scale biography of Heber J. Grant exists. For admiring surveys, see Bryant S. Hinckley, Heber J. Grant: Highlights in the Life of a Great Leader (Salt Lake City, 1951); Francis M. Gibbons, Heber J. Grant: Man of Steel, Prophet of God (Salt Lake City, 1979); and Ronald W. Walker, "Heber J. Grant," in The Presidents of the Church, ed. Leonard J. Arrington (Salt Lake City, 1986).
For accounts of various events of Grant's life, see Ronald W. Walker, "Crisis in Zion: Heber J. Grant and the Panic of 1893," Arizona and the West 21 (Autumn 1979):257-78, reprinted in Sunstone 5 (Jan.-Feb. 1980):26-34; "Heber J. Grant and the Utah Loan and Trust Company," Journal of Mormon History 8 (1981):21-36; "Young Heber J. Grant: Entrepreneur Extraordinary," The Twentieth Century American West, Charles Redd Monographs in Western History, (1983):85-119; and "Young Heber J. Grant's Years of Passage," BYU Studies 24 (Spring 1984):131-49. (http://www.lightplanet.com/mormons/daily/history/people/grant_heber_j_eom.htm)
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