Sunday, March 14, 2010

Martin Harris Gravesite

Location: Clarkston, Utah
Address: Clarkston Cemetary
GPS Coords: 41°55'52.08"N ;112° 2'24.74"W

Martin Harris was one of the Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, he rejoined with the LDS saints in Utah from Kirkland, Ohio in 1870. Martin was at the age of 87. He settled in Cache Valley, Utah, where he died just 4 and a half years later on July 10, 1875. Although Martin left the LDS Church for a time, he returned to full fellowship and was re-baptized before passing away in Clarkston, Utah.

Upon his death, Martin was placed in his casket with a copy of the Book of Mormon in his right hand and a copy of the Doctrine & Covenants in the left to represent his role in financing the publication of the first editions of these two books of Latter-day Saint scripture.

His grave was originally marked with a wooden headboard and a raised mound of earth. On July 10, 1925, the 50th anniversary of Martin Harris' death, LDS Church President Heber J. Grant dedicated a large granite monument on the gravesite with an inscription telling of Harris' role as a special witness and his testimony of the Book of Mormon. Also, a copper box containing a Book of Mormon, a Doctrine & Covenants, and testimonies of many of the people who had known Martin and heard his testimony was placed at the base of the monument.

In the 1980s, an amphitheater was built near Martin's grave. It was dedicated on August 3, 1983 by President Ezra Taft Benson, and each year in August a historical musical play titled 'Martin Harris, the Man Who Knew' is performed before thousands of people. In so doing, the people of Clarkston carry on Martin Harris' charge to tell the world his story and testimony of the restored gospel.

If you happen to have the GPS location for this gravesite please send it my way.