B[ear] H[unter] Roberts

Most of us probably remember B.H. Roberts best as a scholar – perhaps you imagine him in the Church Historian’s Office poring over old documents, or in his study penning manuscripts, or behind the speaker’s podium at either General Conference or a political rally. Or maybe you think of him as the older man who accompanied his Mormon troops to France during World War I, ministering to their spiritual needs and comforting them when their friends died of the flu.

Betcha don’t think of him as a 20-year-old outdoorsman, building the health and stamina that helped him keep up with his troops when he was a man of 60.

Roberts was apprenticed to a Centerville, Utah blacksmith when he was a teenager, and he spent three years tending the forge, pounding iron, and developing his massive upper body strength. He hated the work, though, and couldn’t wait until his commitment was filled so that he could move on to try something else. That day finally came in the spring of 1877 just after he had turned 20.

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