The Mormon Battalion:

A March of Faith

Brandon J. Metcalf


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About the Lecture

Metcalf offers a glimpse into numerous accounts of Mormon Battalion members to illustrate the sacrifice, faith, and perseverance shown during and after their year of military service. About Brigham Young’s call for recruitment in July 1846, Metcalf comments, “Despite their distrust of the federal government and anxiety over engaging in combat, these individuals enlisted and served in the face of adversity. Pushing wagons through deep sand, crossing mountains, enduring a shortage of rations, and marching days without water pushed the men to their physical and emotional limits.”

Metcalf confirms that blessings were found in the midst of battalion members’ trials, “The pay received by the battalion from the U.S. government helped finance the move west, and Brigham Young stated that they were the ‘temporal salvation’ of the Church. Aside from the immediate benefits to the Saints, the collective experience and maturity gained by these individuals during their service blessed the Church for many years.” 

Metcalf earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in public history, with an emphasis in archives and manuscripts, from California State University, Sacramento. He is currently employed as an archivist for the Church History Department and is a member of several historical and archival organizations. Metcalf coauthored History of the Saints: The Remarkable Journey of the Mormon Battalion (2012)

This event was part of the 2014 Men and Women of Faith lecture series sponsored by the Church History Library. Lectures are held on the second Thursday of every month at 7:00 p.m. in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square, 50 North West Temple. 

For more information, please visit the 2014 Lecture Series web page, or call 1-801-240-2272.

Download the July Poster