140 years ago today - Jul 3, 1880
Apostle Wilford Woodruff preaches: "When we came here thirty-three years ago we found this place a barren desert. There was no mark of the white man here- It was a desert indeed, hardly a green thing to meet the eye." However his diary entry for Jul 24, 1847 describes the Salt Lake Valley: "We gazed with wonder and admiration upon the vast rich fertile valley which lay for about 25 miles in length & 16 miles in width Clothed with the Heaviest garb of green vegetation . . . [a] glorious valley abounding with the best fresh water springs rivlets creeks & Brooks & Rivers of various sizes all of which gave animation to the sporting trout & other fish while the waters were wending there way into the great Salt lake." Woodruff continues his sermon: "Joseph and Hyrum, it is true, were called to lay down their lives. Why? I believe myself it was necessary to seal a dispensation of this almighty magnitude with the blood of the testator for one thing, and for another thing the people were worthy that put, him to death, and will have the bill to pay as the Jews had to pay for the blood of the Messiah."