Gerald Lund tells the little known history of the Hole-In-the-Rock pioneers

It is surprising how many people in Utah know very little about one of the great stories from Utah history -- the story of the Hole-In-the-Rock pioneers.

One hundred and thirty years ago this October, some 250 undaunted Utahns answered a call and with faith set out on an "impossible journey" that took them through some of the most desolate and rough terrain on the North American continent.

The Hole-In-the-Rock expedition, or San Juan Mission, as it came to be known, is the story of Mormon pioneers who answered a call to go to the Four Corners area of southern Utah to serve as a buffer between lawlessness and civilization. They settled Bluff and other surrounding communities in what is now San Juan County. An influx of white men -- cattlemen looking for grazing land, miners from boomtowns in southern Colorado, lawless elements seeking a place outside the grasp of the law -- threatened to clash with the Native Americans in the area and engulf the whole southern part of the territory in another Indian war.

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