Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord

William James Jones has been called to serve a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ ofLatter-day Saints in the New York Rochester Mission from November 2012 to November 2014.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Gatekeepers of the Restoration
Newest Addition

Thursday, 29 November 2012

My address is 12100 Countyline Rd. E-19 Arcade, NY 14009.  I am serving in Freedom, New York.  It’s talked about in D & C 106.   

with President and Sister Christensen
of the New York Rochester Mission

Life - Provo MTC-style!

I'm here!  Elder William James Jones

Elders Walker, Farnsworth, [unidentified], Weicks, Jones, and Wood

Reporting for Duty

6 November 2012

After an overnight stay with family in Mapleton and following lunch on Tuesday with Uncle Bryan, William is delivered to the MTC  to begin his missionary training on Tuesday, November 6.  His MTC "host" met him at the curb and guided him in to where he needed to go.  He hadn't put on a suit coat that morning, so when he got there and they asked him to put on his coat he had to fish one out of his luggage.  As you can see it didn't match, but they assured him that as soon as he got to his residence he'd have some time to change before the rest of the afternoon's training and dinner.


Mission Bound

5 November 2012

The newly-set apart Elder William James Jones left Richmond International Airport bound for Salt Lake City and the Provo Missionary Training Center.


Temple Blessings

25 October 2012

As part of his missionary preparation, William received his temple endowment in the Washington DC Temple in Kensington, Maryland.

William James Jones

New York Rochester Mission

Cradle of the Restoration

Elder William James Jones 
Dillwyn, Virginia

The stage was set for New York's role in the restoration when Joseph and Lucy Mack Smith moved from Vermont to the Palmyra-Manchester area in 1816, and the Church of Christ, as it was then known, was organized on 6 April 1830.
     The first missionary of the newly-restored gospel was the Prophet Joseph Smith's younger brother Samuel.   Within a year, more than 100 individuals had been baptized in the state.  When Joseph moved the Church's headquarters to Kirtland, Ohio in 1831, most of the New York members followed him.  Missionaries crisscrossed the state during the next decade and a half, preaching to relatives and acquaintances and in public gatherings.
     In July 1837, Parley P. Pratt of the Quorum of the Twelves Apostles arrived in New York City to begin preaching the gospel in that area.  Elder Pratt spent six months preaching with very little result, baptizing six and organizing a branch that met in lower Manhattan.  The discouraged apostle, reflecting "Of all the places in which the English language is spoken, I found the city of New York to be the most difficult as to access to the minds or attention of the people", was ready to leave the city when a revelation told him to remain because "the Lord had many people in that city."  Within three weeks he and his companion Elijah Fordham had established 15 meeting places, all of them "filled to overflowing" and baptizing "almost daily."
     In May 1839, the Prophet Joseph Smith appointed the first president of the newly-formed Eastern States Mission.  During the next several years, with missionary work concentrated in the British Isles, only a limited number of elders were assigned to America's Eastern Seaboard.  New York City quickly became the principal port of entry for Latter-Day Saint emigration from Europe, with the first company of 41 arriving from Liverpool, England in July 1840.  Over the next half century, dozens of companies with newly-baptized members arrived.  The majority of the companies journeyed on to Nauvoo and then on to Utah.
     The outbreak of the Utah War in 1857 led to the withdrawal of missionaries from the Eastern Seaboard and the suspension of the Church's European emigration program.  There was little missionary activity in the state during the next three decades.  When New York became part of the Northern States Mission in 1889, missionaries sought to determine whether or not any Latter-Day Saints still lived in the area.  By 1900, there were 975 members of the Church in the several states that made up the mission, and over the course of the next 50 years, Church growth in New York was slow but steady.  
     The number of members outside the New York metropolitan area doubled during the following decade - but, even so, Rochester, the largest of the 22 branches in upstate New York , had only 83 members in 1940.  Many branches were much smaller and nearly a third of the Saints were "outlying" members who lived too far away to belong to an organized branch.
     Meanwhile, General Church leaders' interest in the area's history contributed to the growth of one branch in western New York.  In 1907, Elder George Albert Smith of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, under the direction of the First Presidency, purchased the Joseph Smith, Sr. farm property in Manchester.  Eight years later, President  Joseph F. Smith called Utah residents Willard W. and Rebecca P. Bean to oversee the farm and re-establish a Latter-Day Saint presence in the Palmyra area.  During the next quarter century, the Beans helped break down prejudice and improve the Church's image in Palmyra as well as assisting in the conversion of local residents.  In 1925, a branch was organized that 15 years later had 50 members.  In the meantime, the Hill Cumorah, the Peter Whitmer farm, and the Martin Harris farm were purchased, with the presentation of the Hill Cumorah Pageant beginning shortly thereafter.
     By 2004, the Church in upstate New York had grown from the fifteen congregations operating in 1950 to 77 wards and branches.
     The New York Rochester Mission was organized 20 June 1974.