Building Faith Through Church History

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Season 2 Episode 24 Sailing to Zion Part 2 Life at Sea


The story of life at sea on an immigrant ship.


Life at sea for the saints was generally most positive, with music, dancing, and general amusements. They did crafts and heard preaching. Storms were common at sea and were often described as the most terrifying experiences of the pioneer’s lives. The Ship Olympus was one of the more memorable voyages of the saints. Many of the crew were baptized as a result of  the miracles manifest. Between 1847 and 1853, 59 merchant ships were lost at sea, while among the Latter-day Saints not one ship went down in the Atlantic. The Julia Ann was the only emigrant ship carrying Latter-day Saints that went down in the Pacific. Across the span of emigrant voyages some 500 Latter-day Saints died at sea. In 1867 ships began to ply the seas under steam power, thus shortening the time of the voyage.


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