Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Gordon Bitner Hinkley


What can be said about Gordon B. Hinkley? The 15th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Hinkley was beloved by millions of people across the globe. His influence among Mormons and non-Mormons alike is a testament to the character and beliefs of this great man.

Normally, I'd include a brief biological sketch of this great man, but I will defer the reader to Grandpa Bill's General Authority website.

Instead, I'd prefer to honor the man by including a bit of his testimony of his Lord and Savior.

"Jesus was in very deed the great Jehovah of the Old Testament, who left His Father’s royal courts on high and condescended to come to earth as a babe born in the most humble of circumstances. His birth was foretold centuries earlier by Isaiah, who declared prophetically, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6).

This Jesus Christ of whom we solemnly testify is, as John the Revelator declared, “the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth.” He “loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever” (Rev. 1:5–6)."
(Gordon B. Hinckley, “A Testimony of the Son of God,” Ensign, Dec 2002, 2–5)

President Hinkley is buried with his wife, Marjorie.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Alexander Neibaur

Alexander Neibaur was the first Jewish man to join the newly founded LDS faith and became a good friend of the Prophet Joseph Smith. He even assisted in teaching Hebrew to the young Prophet. Neibaur reportedly wrote one of the eight early published accounts of Joseph Smith's First Vision of the Father and the Son.

A firm believer in the Prophet, Neibaur wrote the following lamentation on the martyrdom of the Prophet.
All this heaviness has reached us;
Can any one ne formed to declare
What has befallen us?
All this we bear, and the name of our God
We will not forget, nor deny,
The 'Hebrews' God' he is called,
Thou art clothed with righteousness,
But we are vile.
(History of the Church, Volume 7, p. 192)

Neibaur also composed the hymn "Come Thou Glorious Day of Promise".

Neibaur's daughter Rebecca married prominent LDS author Charles W. Nibley. This makes Neibaur the great-grandfather of famous LDS scholar Hugh W. Nibley.

Alexander Neibaur is buried in H-3 in the Salt Lake City Cemetery, just east of the offices.

For more information, see his Find A Grave memorial as well as his Wikipedia entry.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Thomas Battersby Child, Jr.


Thomas Battersby Child (5/6/1888-11/03/1963) was an architect and stone mason. Mr. Child designed and assisted in building some of the LDS ward houses in the Salt Lake Valley. He also served as Bishop in his local ward.

Perhaps he is best known for designing and constructing a giant esoteric diarama in his back yard. He began his work in 1945. This park, named Gilgal Gardens is a popular attraction for those who know where to find it. He envisioned a quiet place of solitude to meditate on the mysterious of the gospel of Jesus Christ. His plans for the garden included 12 large stone sculptures and displays. Surrounding these, he planned for 70 stepping stones engraved with scriptures and inspirational thoughts. Unfortunately, Mr. Child died before the garden was finished, but the organization Friends of Gilgal has stepped up to complete the garden.

For more information, please visit:

Those wishing to pay respects to Mr. Child can do so at the coordinates below.

See also his entry at

Latitude: 40°46'48.15"N
Longitude: 111°51'46.37"W

Family may also wish to visit his parents here while visiting the Salt Lake City Cemetery


Some time ago I moved near the Salt Lake City Cemetery. As it lies between my home and my job, I walk past it frequently. And as a Mormon, I was already familiar with the cemetery as many of the past leaders of my faith are buried there.

Earlier this year, I was walking past it when what can be best described as a 'star map' of the cemetery blew across the ground and landed at my feet. This map had remained practically unchanged from when I had first seen it as a high-schooler. In 20 years, the same map has been in circulation with just a few new names penciled in. I started to wonder if there was a better way.

It is the purpose of this blog to provide a more comprehensive look at some of the more interesting residents of the SLC Cemetery. This blog will not only focus on the Prophets and Presidents of the LDS Church and the members of the Quorum of the Twelve that are buried there, but others of interest as well. Architects, authors, songwriters amd composers, Govenors, mayors and senators, pioneers, educators and physicians will all be profiled. In addition to a biographical sketch, this blog will feature, when available, pictures of the profiled, a photo of their headstone and directions to the gravesite. If I can master the technology, I'll provide GPS coordinates as well. I will also be providing new maps as well.

Note that this blog is for informational purposes only and is not for profit. It is the intent of this blog to honor the lives of those that lived with and served with my ancestors. Please make any visits to the cemetery as a respectful pilgrimage to honor the dead.

If you have any information to contribute or would like to see someone profiled on this blog, please feel free to contact me.

That said, I hope you visit often and learn about all those that came before.

As a starter, here is the original map that started this whole mess.