Ammon M. Tenney

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Ammon Meshach Tenney[1] (November 16, 1844 – October 28, 1925)[2] was an American Mormon missionary and colonizer in Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico, who taught the message of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) to peoples of the Zuni and the Isleta Pueblos, baptizing hundreds. He also was the first president of the Mexican Mission after it was reorganized in 1901.

Biography[edit]

Tenney was born in 1844 in Lee County, Iowa. He came to Utah in 1848 and later moved with his parents to San Bernardino County, California. It was in San Bernardino that Tenney first learned Spanish. In 1858 the Tenneys moved to Utah, settling in Grafton, Utah in 1859.[3] Starting about this time Tenney worked closely with Jacob Hamblin in missionary work among the Hopi, Kaibab and other Native American groups.

In 1876 Tenney was among the first seven LDS missionaries called to go to Mexico.

In 1879 Tenney bought the land rights for St. Johns, Arizona from the Barth brothers and began the Mormon settlement of that city.[4]

In 1887–1889 Tenney again served in the Mexican Mission, this time heading missionary efforts in Northern Mexico. Tenney started with a group of four other elders. However the first on this mission went to the vicinity of Mesa, Arizona and rebaptized Encarnacion Valenzuela, a Papago who had been a member of the LDS Church for some years. This rebaptism was to symbolize Valenzuela's new commitment as a missionary and not due to any lack of current standing in the church on his part. Valenzuela and Cheroquis, another Papago Latter-day Saint, who had been sealed to his wife in the St. George Temple by Wilford Woodruff joined Tenney and his associates. Then went south preaching to the Pima in Arizona and the Yaquis in Mexico. To do baptisms Tenney, Valenzuela and their associates dug holes that filled with well water.[5]

Among those Tenney baptized when he presided over the newly reopened Mexican mission starting in 1901 was Fidencia Garcia de Rojas, then age 18, who was still alive to see the organization of the hundredth LDS stake in Mexico in 1989.[6]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "History of the Mexico Mexican Mission: 1879 to the Present", The Life, Times & Family of Orson Pratt Brown, OrsonPrattBrown.com (Orson Pratt Brown Family Organization), archived from the original on 2010-03-10, retrieved 2013-02-11 [unreliable source?]
  2. ^ Jenson, Andrew (1936). "TENNEY, Ammon M.". Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia 4. Salt Lake City: Andrew Jenson Memorial Association. p. 348. Retrieved 2013-02-11. 
  3. ^ Payne, Craig, "Nathan Cram Tenney", Profiles, TenneyFamily.org (The Tenney Family Association), archived from the original on 2010-08-25  - a history of Ammon's father Nathan[unreliable source?]
  4. ^ Jensen, Andrew, "Saint Johns Ward", Encyclopedic History of the Church, Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press 1941, pp. 732– 732, retrieved 2013-02-11 
  5. ^ Tullis, F. LaMond (1987), Mormons in Mexico: the dynamics of faith and culture, Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press, pp. 65–75, ISBN 0874211301, OCLC 16004548 
  6. ^ Santos, Agustin Rojas (February 1991), Fidencia Garcia de Rojas: Life of a Mexican Pioneer, Ensign: 28, retrieved 2013-02-11 

References[edit]