Elder Ballard dedicates Mormon Battalion plaza

by | Aug. 23, 2010

News from Utah

Brigham Young pledged that the Mormon Battalion would be held "in honorable remembrance to the latest generation." Now, those 500 Mormons who enlisted in 1846 as U.S. Army soldiers in the war with Mexico are honored at This Is the Place Heritage Park, the Emigration Canyon location where the LDS Church president himself led his pioneer followers into the Salt Lake Valley.

Before several hundred spectators, Elder M. Russell Ballard of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Quorum of the Twelve on Saturday dedicated a new plaza near the park entrance. It features bronze statuary and bas-relief sculpture honoring the sacrifice and dedication of the battalion volunteers, who left their exiled families on the Iowa-Nebraska border. They did so at the behest of their country and of Brigham Young himself, who saw the enlistment as a way to demonstrate the patriotism of the Mormons and to help pay the cost of the westward trek to their Great Basin refuge from religious persecution.

Two heroic-size sculptures by Steven L. Neal, a Pendleton, Ore., plastic surgeon, dominate the plaza.

"Duty Calls" depicts Brigham Young with his hand on the shoulder of a departing enlistee stooped down to receive the embrace of his young daughter, his arm around his wife who, with tears in her eyes, holds an infant.

Read the rest of this story at deseret.com
Comments and feedback can be sent to feedback@ldsliving.com