Ensign Peak

Maid Appleton @ Ensign Peak, Utah




“Ensign Peak Nature Park”





































“Elevation 5,416 Feet ~ The elevation of Ensign Peak is 5,416 feet. This is 1,085 feet above the southeast corner of the temple block where the Salt Lake Baseline and Meridian were established on August 2, 1847 while Orson Pratt was laying out the city. At that point, the city is 4,331 feet above sea level.”




“No 43 – Erected July 26, 1934 ~ Ensign Peak ~ July 26, 1847, two days after the Mormon pioneers entered this valley Brigham Young and party climbed to this point and with the aid of field glasses made a careful survey of the mountains, canyons and streams. In the group were Heber C. Kimball, Wilford Woodruff, George A. Smith, Ezra T. Benson, WIllard Richards, Albert Carrington and William Clayton. Wilford Woodruff, first to ascend the peak, suggested it as a fitting place to ‘set up an ensign’ (Isaiah 11:12). It was then named Ensign Peak. Subsequently the Stars and Stripes were raised here. – Ensign Stake Mutual Improvement Associations and Utah Pioneer Trails and Landmarks Association”










“Ensign Peak Memorial Garden”




“A Hallowed Place ~ From the arrival here of Brigham Young, Mormon pioneers regarded this peak as a symbol of the latter-day gathering of Israel. In August 1847 they raised an American flag upon it to demonstrate support for the mandate given through Isaiah to ‘lift ye up a banner upon the …mountain’ as a sign of Israel’s gathering (Isaiah 13:2). On Saturday, 21 July 1849, President Young and others climbed the hill and consecrated it as a place to raise a standard and as a place of prayer. In pioneer times, Church and community leaders periodically hiked to its summit for prayer and ceremonial observances. In recent years it has served youth groups and others as a place of inspirational grandeur for spiritual harmony and meditation. On many occasions flags have flown on this hill. In the early days it was sometimes a blue and white ‘Flag of Deseret’ representing the gathering of Israel and of the Saints. Commonly it has been the Stars and Stripes, often with Utah’s state flag. To Latter-day Saints, a flag flying here signifies the belief expressed in a poem written in 1853 by Joel H. Johnson and later set to music by Ebenezer Beesley: High on the mountain top |A banner is unfurled | Ye nations now look up; | It waves to all the world. | In Deseret’s sweet, peaceful land, | On Zion’s mount behold it stand! (‘High on the Mountain Top,” Hymns, no. 5).”




“Gathering to Zion ~ ‘We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and…that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent’ (Pearl of Great Price, Articles of Faith 1:10). Joseph Smith’s prophetic statement set out the Latter-day Saint view on the fulfillment of events foreseen in ancient times. ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the tops of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it’ (Isaiah 2:2). We have come, as prophets predicted. The 1880 census shows that two-thirds of the people then in Utah were born outside the United States. Today in the valley below, various congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speak more than a dozen languages. They are told, ‘Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God’ (Ephesians 2:19). When dedicating the city park that includes the peak and its trail, President Gordon B. Hinckley said in July 1996, ‘We pray that through the years to come, many thousands of people of all faiths and all denominations, people of this nation and of other nations, may come here to reflect on the history and the efforts of those who pioneered this area. May this be a place of pondering, a place of remembrance, a place of thoughtful gratitude, a place of purposeful resolution.”




“The Call to Zion ~ ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you’ (Matthew 28:19-20). ‘And this gospel….shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come’ (Matthew 24:14). ‘How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that published salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!’ (Isaiah 52:7). About proclaiming the gospel, modern-day Apostle Bruce R. McConkie wrote: ‘The everlasting covenant is the latter-day messenger before the Lord. It is the ancient standard raised anew. It is an ensign upon Mount Zion around which the honest in heart from all nations may rally.”




“An Ensign to the Nations ~ ‘And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth…Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain’ (Isaiah11:12, 13:2). Long before the Mormon pioneers came to the Salt Lake Valley, the Prophet Joseph Smith spoke of relocating the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the West. He stated that it would be in the Rocky Mountains. Shortly before his death in 1844, he ordered that a flag of distinctive design be made to represent all nations and thus literally fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy. The gathering of Israel was a doctrine of particular urgency to Joseph Smith, and after him to Brigham Young. These religious leaders felt the responsibility to cultivate a community of Latter-day Saints that would truly be Zion. ‘And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them’ (Pearl of Great Price, Moses 7:18). A banner raised on a hill would be the emblem of that gathering.”




“A Prophetic Mandate ~ President Gordon B. Hinckley has spoken of the mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members, which is symbolized by Ensign Peak: ‘This great pioneering movement of more than a century ago goes forward with latter-day pioneers. Today pioneer blood flows in our veins just as it did with those who walked west. It’s the essence of our courage to face modern-day mountains and our commitment to carry on. The faith of those early pioneers burns still, and nations are being blessed by latter-day pioneers who possess a clear vision of this work of the Lord. The footsteps that made such a deep impression over the heartland of America make similar impressions in countries across the world…Step by faithful step, we walk together toward a glorious destiny, building the kingdom of God on earth and preparing the minds and hearts of people everywhere to come unto Christ, the Redeemer and Savior of the world.”




“The Chosen Place ~ Brigham Young knew when he saw Ensign Peak that this marked the right place for the center of the new Zion. He said, ‘I want to go there,’ sensing that at the top he might gain some insight about the future city. Ascending the hill with other Church leaders on 26 July 1847, President Young named the peak and led the group in prayer. Looking down from its summit, he perceived how the city should be laid out. Starting with the main street which would run north and south directly below the peak, the pattern would follow Joseph Smith’s plan for the “City of Zion”: a grid of ten-acre square blocks with wide streets and channels of water. Just at the edge of the valley floor he designated exactly where the temple should be built. President Gordon B. Hinckley has said: ‘I marvel at the foresight of that little group. It was both audacious and bold…They spoke out of a prophetic view of the marvelous destiny of this cause. They came down from the peak that day and went to work to bring reality to their dream.”




“This is the Place ~ When Brigham Young first looked over the valley from the area of the This Is the Place Monument, five miles southeast of here, he saw Ensign Peak and knew that it marked the right place for the gathering of the Latter-day Saints. Before leaving Nauvoo, Illinois, President Young had prayed to know to where he should lead the Saints. He envisioned Joseph Smith, who showed him this peak with a flag upon it, saying that it overlooked the place for the new city. Long after, Wilford Woodruff wrote: ‘Forty-one years ago this day I passed through Immigration Canyon with President Brigham Young. He was taken sick on East Canyon Creek, and I made a bed for him in my carriage. When we came upon the bench…, I turned the side of the vehicle to the west, so that he could obtain a fair view of the valley. President Young arose from his bed and took a survey of the country before him for several minutes. He then said to me, ‘Drive on down into the valley; this is our abiding place. I have seen it before in vision. In this valley will be built the City of the Saints and the Temple of our God.’ (Millenial Star, 50:561). This would be the center place of Zion, where Latter-day Saints could be free to develop their distinctive community.”













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