Well, it’s only been about 4 years since my last post, but in that time I’ve had tens of thousands of downloads of my Wide Margin Edition of the Book of Mormon PDF. This blog was never really meant to be a regular update of my life, but rather just a place to post resources that I’ve found or created that have helped me or might help others.

With that in mind, I recently had someone write to me and ask me to create a wide margin edition of “Come Follow Me—For Individuals and Families,” the manual for home study for 2019. This is a little bit of a different request; the scriptures are on a smaller page, so adding a wider margin and placing it on an 8.5×11 page isn’t too difficult. Doing this with “Come Follow Me” means that we have to shrink the existing type. This makes the resource a little more difficult to read, but it does free up some margin space for notes.

I’ve created the following PDF by shrinking the existing text by about 20%. Hopefully that gives the note-takers a little more space, while leaving the text readable.

Come Follow Me, For Individuals and Families (2019) Wide Margin Edition

You may also consider using the Wide Margin Edition of the New Testament, and keeping your notes in there. Here’s a link to that PDF.

New Testament – Wide Margin Edition

If you click on the links above, it may open the PDF in your browser. If you would like to instead download the file to your computer, simply right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

Happy studying!

I posted a sped-up version of the Book of Mormon more than a year ago and have had many people download it and comment about how much it improved their listening experience. After many requests, I’m also posting the faster New Testament, Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrine & Covenants.

You’ll have to be a very active listener, but the faster speed means that you won’t be falling asleep listening to these scriptures! These are all mp3 files in a zipped folder, so you’ll have to download them and extract the mp3s from the folder to listen to them.

Of course, you can speed up any audio while using VLC media player and other mp3 software, but this might make it easier for some of you, so I’ll post them here.

Faster Doctrine & Covenants.zip

Faster New Testament.zip

Faster Pearl of Great Price.zip

Okay, this is the last Levi Jackman post for a while, I promise. In the Church History Library’s online collections is a photo of my ancestor, Levi Jackman. It’s higher quality than anything I’ve seen before, but not the resolution I really would have liked. Oh well. So after having attempted some minor photo colorization projects in the past for books I’ve published, I decided to get serious. I watched several tutorials and read several pages that gave instructions on how to properly colorize a black and white photo to make it appear lifelike. The following image is my first attempt, but I think it turned out well enough that I will keep working on it. We’ll see. It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough to help me feel like I know him a little bit better.

Each picture can be viewed in full size by clicking on the image. The images can be downloaded by right clicking and selecting “Save as.”

Original Black and White Image

Levi Jackman B&W


Colorized Version

Levi Jackman Colorized


Closeup of his face

Levi Jackman Colorized Bust

As you can see, I’ve been on a Levi Jackman kick lately. While I was at the Church History Library, I discovered a journal under the call# MS6807 which contained some notes from his time working as treasurer for the Salt Lake School District No. 16. After the school notes, however, was another few pages that were written as part of his life sketch, but were not found by whoever transcribed the original document. The life sketch is posted hosted many places online, including The Book of Abraham Project, a BYU site. The sketch is the first document on that page, followed by an incomplete attempt to pen an autobiogrpahy. The sketch ends in March of 1848 when they were in the middle of their first winter in Utah. Here are the last few entries:

On the 12th of March, a company of seven men started for Winter Quarters with the mail. Ammi was one of them. It was a hard and hazardous undertaking. Over one thousand miles to go at this season of the year, without an inhabitant only at Bridger and Laramie, liable to lose their way in the mountains or on the plains or to be killed by the Indians. But the mail must go. I felt bad for him under such circumstances but I believed the Lord would preserve them although they might have to suffer much.

Both did take place. They narrowly escaped death by the Indians, by freezing, and by starvation; yet they got through alive and were joyfully received by the Presidency and all the saints; I felt rather lonely for a while not having any connections within 1000 miles. Yet in the main I enjoyed myself well.

The sketch abruptly ends here, though the document I found continues the story for a few months.  I will post the pertinent part of the document here, and exclude the school notes. The images will be available for download soon.

Lost Pages of Levi Jackman’s Life Sketch

I have heard of men in the Revolutionary war who were so reduced by hunger that they often thought of the swill pail they left at home and wished that they would have the privilege of taking the crusts of bread and potato skins then it contained and with it fill their empty stomach. I remember having feeling of pity for them, but I can say that many a times I should have been glad of that chance but could not have it, and so it was with many others. The entrails of the cattle that were killed were eagerly sought for to eat, I have taken cattle feet and after burning off the hair I would boil them with the skins on as well as I could and was glad to get such to eat. Others would kill wolves and eat them. Some became so weak they could hardly walk. On March 14th Brother Robert Pierce invited me to board with him for a while, which offer I gladly embraced, and may God bless them for their kindness to me. Plowing had been done every month this winter.

March 24th This morning a snow storm commenced from the north, it was not cold and melted considerably yet it lay 6 or 8 inches deep.

March 25th The council repealed the Price Law finding that some were not willing to be restrained while others would do any thing that became duty for them

April 2nd A skeptical council was called to take in to consideration the situation of the destitute for many had nothing to eat. The calls on the council and Bishops were many and pressing. Some that could part with a little was unwilling to because of the imprudence of some that were destitute. For some it was said did not take enough when they started, as much as they were required to. Some traded their flour to the Indians for robes, deer skins, etc. Some, as long as they had any thing, would make feasts, have parties, etc. and others were very wasteful. Those that acted wisely and prudently did not feel hardly willing to divide their living with those that had acted so unwisely, yet there were those of the Battalion and a part of the pioneers that were destitute and were not to blame. Yet it would not do to let any starve while anything remained to eat.

It was finally decided that Bishop Hunter and Lewis receive all the property that those that made application had that was not strictly necessary for their immediate use and furnish provision with it for them, and if that plan should prove insufficient then another means must be resorted to, and by this means some provisions were obtained.

The storm above alluded to continued some 6 ody (?) days either in snow or rain. Our roofs being flat and covered with poles and dirt, it was but a poor shelter in a long storm, they soon began to leak badly. On the 2nd night of the storm the most of the people had to sit up the most of the night and shelter themselves and children the best way they could. The next morning the beds and other things perfectly wet and the ground floors were a bed of mud, a number of the houses on the low land gave way and fell, yet little complaining was heard from anyone. The weather soon became and the mud dried up and we began to feel as though we should live again.

April 8th In the morning a heavy snow commenced from the North, it snowed nearly all day though not cold and soon cleaned off storm.

April 19th Brother Pierce and I started to go to Provo, a distance of some fifty miles south, to get some fish. We passed through some fine country, and some that did not appear to be worth much. We did not succeed in getting any fish. Our carriage turned over twice. The first time was in going up and I lamed my foot. The next time was in a creek on our return. I got thoroughly wet and took a bad cold. We got back the third day.

On the day that we started Brother Grant and Carrington and four others took a small boat made for that purpose and went down Jordan River to the Salt Lake on an exploring campaign. They returned after an absence of six and reported that there was no timber on the Island, and no fish in the lake. The deepest water they found was 13 feet, but mostly very shoal, they had to drag the boat in many places on sand for lack of water.

The Indians brought in some roots called segoes, and exchanged for some things they wanted. The roots were about as large as the end of the finger and are good eating and healthy.

Up to Apr 20th we have had sufficient rain to keep the ground moist and crops took well. Much anxiety was felt for the return of the company that went to Call, they having been expelled six weeks ago and no word from them.

May 8th Snow storm today, frosty morning from the first to the tenth.

On the 10th, a part of the Call [California] company arrived, the remainder came in about ten days after. They had had a hard time, they had killed and eat some of their horses before they got through to Call [California]. They had brought two hundred cows on the credit of the Church and gave their obligation for 930, so payable in one year from date. They lost more than half of them before they got back here. Many of their horses were killed by the Indians which prevented getting many of the packs through, consequently the most of the of the seeds were lost.

May 18th. The teams commenced to start back to meet the emigration. They started at different times as they could get ready. Our crops now looked fine and we looked forward to a day not far distant when we could gather and eat our fill, but oh how uncertain all things in this life. While we were full of hope and expectation, the crickets like a mighty hoard (?) came down from the mountains and spread themselves over all the land and commenced a work of general destruction. We strove to drive or kill them but all in vain. But like a powerful army they went from conquering unto conquer. They would cut the corn as a very small thing, and while we’re struggling for life another calamity if passable came upon us.

May 21 and 22 we had a little frost, in the morning of the 28th we found the frost this morning had killed nearly all the beans and vines and most of the corn that the crickets had not yet destroyed. This was a time to try men’s faith. The prospect of raising a crop was now very small. To think of returning to the states was out of the question, for we had not one quarter of teams enough left to go with and not one quarter enough provisions to last through and in fact we had “No skill to fly, no power to save.” God only could protect us and we put our trust in Him, and we felt safe. About one week after the crickets commenced their work of destruction, the Lord sent, as it were, clouds of seagulls from the Lake and they went direct to the place where the crickets were and [commenced] a war of extermination. They would fill their [throats] and then heave them up, then fill and empty again and would continue till a little before sunset. They then went to the Lake. In the morning they would return again, and so they continued until the crickets were destroyed.

Some corn and beans being left of our seed, it was put in, and with what there was left of the first crop we began to hope it was enough to sustain life to another harvest.

Although hundreds of acres of grain was destroyed, yet some remained. I had six acres put in but all was lost. Brother Pierce’s provisions began to get scarce and I concluded not to burden him any longer, so I went by myself again. I got some beef and lived on that for a while. Soon after this, Brother Love let me have the use of a cow that gave about three quarts of milk per day which was of great use to me. I have worked many days having only three drinks of porridge per day. The (?) having dried up considerably. Bread was almost out of the question with many of us. About the eighth of June, Capt. D. D. Davis [D. C. Davis} arrived from Call [California] with twenty two of the battalion men.

We had some frosts at different times until the middle of June. July 1st we began to have some green peas and to cut some wheat which was much needed. Brother Love, Chery, Roundy, and some five others had all the time dealt out to the destitute as long as they had any, on the principle of saints, while some few others were of a little different turn. These were days well calculated to draw out men’s disposition. By the middle of July we began to have considerable bread which gave all much joy who had been without for some months, as well as others in this place.

August 6th. About 10am, messengers arrived from the east bringing letters and documents from the camp on the road. This gave joy to us all. They informed us that the camp will arrive about the middle of September and that the saints in them had been highly blessed.

I got no letters which was quite a disappointment to be but I consoled myself by thinking that my letters would come with the camp.

August 10th. This day was set apart to have a harvest feast. A large commodious bowery was erected for that and other meetings. Everyone brought something of such as they had to make the dinner which was accomplished in good style, much of which was of the first fruits of the valley. It exceeded anything could have been thought passable in this desert and far-off land.

We had a fine liberty pole raised with a flag at the top, next below was a bundle of wheat, next a bundle of barley, then a bundle of oats, all of which was raised amid the roar of Canaan and the shouts of the people with vocal and instrumental music.

Our flag was not stained with any national device, but it was pure and white, and proudly floated in the pure, clean, healthy northern breeze, while tears of joy filled the eyes of the beholder. The people then assembled in the bowery and the following song was sung which was composed by P. P. Pratt for the occasion.

 Called the Harvest Song

1. Let us join in the dance, let us join in the song

To the Jehovah the praises belong.

All honor all glory we render to thee

Thy cause in triumphant, thy people are free

2. The Gentiles oppressed us the heathens with rage

Combined all their forces our hosts to engage

They plundered and scattered and drove us away

They killed their chief shepherd, the sheep went astray

3. Full long in the desert and mountains to roam

Without any harvest without any home

They’re hungry and thirsty and wary and worn

They seemed quite forsaken and left for to roam.

4. But lo in the mountains new sheep folds appear

And a harvest of plenty our spirits to cheer

This beautiful valley is a refuge from woe

A retreat for the saints when the scourges o’erflow.

5. The States of Columbia to atoms may rend

And mobs all triumphant bring peace to an end

The star spangled banner forever be furled

And the chains of a tyrant encircle the world

6. The storms of commotion distress every realm

And dear revolution the nations o’erwhelm

Though Babylon trembles and thrones cast down be

Yet here in the mountains the righteous are free.

 After singing and prayer and appropriate speeches were made and dinner over the tables cleared off and benches removed, dancing commenced. About fifty couples could got on at a time, and this continued the remainder of the day. They gray-headed, the middle aged, and the youth all in one common course of rejoicing and pleasure. This day will never be forgotten by those that were there while life remains with them.

About the first of September a few of the saints arrived and much anxiety was felt for the safe arrival of the remainder.

As provisions were sure to be scarce for the next season, and as I had nothing, nothing but corn to depend on for food, I thought I would go on to the Indian camp some 25 miles distance and swap some green corn for some sarvis berries. Brother Huntington and his son and I took pack horses and loaded them with green corn and started on. Went about ten miles and camped. A negro man who had been living a long time in the mountains, and who had been in this place a few weeks, had agreed to go with us, but he not being quite ready, we started on. Next morning we found that he had gone by us [at] night. We concluded that he intended to slip in ahead of us and get the trade. We went on and when we came to the Indian camp we found that they had gone. We found the negro’s horse standing in the tall grass and we supposed that he was sleeping near them, he having traveled all night. We saw that he had failed in his plan, and being willing that he should sleep on, we went ahead and left him sleeping. Feeling a little poetical, I composed the following lines.

 1. O Niggi are you sleeping yet

Tis time to be awakening

Or we will all slip by you quick

The plums we will be taking

2. O Niggi did you drive all night

The hours were long and dreary

Sleep on and take your needed rest

While we go on so cheerily

3. O Niggi we are wide awake

We took out time for snoozing

We do not wish for you to wake

We have no time for loosing

4. When we get to the Indian camp

and buy them out all empty

We’ll tell them Nigg is on his way

With good green corn a plenty

 About dark we came to the Indian Camp. They were very friendly. The chief took us into lodge and treated us kindly. The next morning we traded our corn for dried sarvis berries. Perfect order prevailed while trading. No one crowded one another till he was through his trade. When all was done the Indians started on and we started for home. Our berries turned to good account to us for food.

And here once again the sketch ends abruptly. I still have about 15 documents in the Church History Library’s archives to review. Keep your fingers crossed that we find even more of Levi’s life story!

When I was at the Church History Library I discovered a journal by Levi Jackman that I had not heard of before, one that documented two of his missions. The first was from Missouri to Kirtland in 1835, the second was from Nauvoo to the Alton, Illinois, area in 1844. The second mission was cut short by the death of Joseph and Hyrum. The events of the journals had been condensed by Levi Jackman and included in his first attempt at an autobiography, titled “A Short Sketch of the Life of Levi Jackman.” However, as I compared the two, I realized that there were many interesting and historical details that were included in the Journal but left out of the autobiographical sketch. I scanned the microfilm images, transcribed the 100+ pages of his journal, and set it side-by-side with his autobiographical sketch.

This treatment of my ancestor’s journal and autobiography won’t be of much interest to most people, and probably not even most descendants, but for a few, it may prove enlightening and helpful. The following PDF files contain the side-by-side comparison and the original document images, hosted in two places (some have had trouble in the past downloading from this site).

PDF files hosted on bradjackman.com:

Levi Jackman Journal Comparison

Levi Jackman Journal Images

Hosted through Google Drive:

Two PDFs and separate JPGs


For the benefit of those who may be searching for information on Google, I’ll include the entire text of the journal below, so Google can index it and provide information in search results.

Levi Jackman Journal, MS 8362

Read the rest of this entry »

This is the second letter preserved in the Church History Library from Levi Jackman to his family (from the same manuscript and microfilm: MS 4453). The first letter was dated July 27th, 1835. In Levi’s autobiography, he marks the following day with this entry:

Tuesday, July 28 – (My birthday) I commenced work on the temple, and worked 194 days. The House was dedicated on Sunday, March 27, 1836. During my stay in this place I boarded with Elder Runals Cahoon. It was a fine family and enjoyed myself in their society. All the important circumstances that took place in these days are recorded in history. I would only say that I believe that as great things were heard and felt and seen as there was on the day of Pentecost with the apostles.

Depending upon how he counted (days of the calendar, work days?), this would conclude his his construction efforts on the Kirtland temple around February 7th, 1836. This second letter is dated February 26th, 1836,right around the time that his work on the temple had concluded. In his letter, he makes mention that the lower room is in the hands of the painters. As Levi was a carpenter, this would have meant that his work there would have been done, though there is no word on whether he continued to work on other portions until it’s dedication nearly a month later in March. Meetings were being held in the building before the dedication, so Levi’s work was probably wrapping up, and his homesickness is evidenced in this letter:

Kirtland, Feb 26th 1836

Beloved wife and family,

I again sit down to write a few lines to you. I sent a letter last week and at that time I could not get any money and I thought it doubtful when I should get any, but very luckily and equally unexpected, Brother Cahoon got some and let me have five dollars this week and I improve the first opportunity to send it. The mail goes West tomorrow P.M. and it will not likely reach you the last of March. That will be some time from this time when I am writing it, and for the very cause that the distance is so great.

And while I am running my pen along over the paper, I reflect and say is possible that I am at so great a distance from my family, is it a fact that eight or ten hundred miles lays stretched along between me and the wife of my bosom, the choice of my youth, and with her our children, the pledge of our love, the gift of Heaven, and not only so, but an aged mother who has been a partner with us through prosperity and adversity, whose prayers, together with the rest of my family, daily are sent to God for my welfare. And that is not all, with them are brethren and sisters with whom I have passed through seasons of joy and sorrow, seasons of prosperity and adversity, yea, as it were all things but death itself, who still love God and pray for me as I do for them. Yes, I have left them all and many and wide are the prairies, and many the widespread valleys of timber, and many and deep are the rivers that separate us, many has been the day since we parted, and many suns will set behind the southern skies before, before we shall enjoy each other’s society again. Many a songster of the grass will warble forth his note of gratitude to God from the widespread branches of the sturdy oak, and mingle their voices with their kindred songsters who choose a humbler seat amidst the violets and on the green shady willows beside the murmuring stream before we shall join our voices in praise to God in that place where you are which is so far from this.

Why have I made so great a sacrifice? Why have I torn myself from such a society? Was it for honor or riches or ease or pleasure or a good name among the world? This could not have been the object, but it was for the salvation of souls. This being the case, have I in any degree accomplished the business for which I started? I think I have.

I frequently receive letters from that little band in Illinois which were introduced into the Kingdom by Brother Baldwin and myself. They still remain steadfast and have eight or ten more added to their number and they say they thank the Lord that they ever heard our voices. They are getting ready to move on next summer, so I think that I have not left all for naught, for I think that when we and they shall meet together in our Father’s Kingdom and join with angels and the hosts of Heaven to sing praises to God and the Lamb, I think that our moment of this employment in the company in such a place would sink into everlasting forgetfulness [and] all that we have sacrificed to fetch it about, when we realize that through our suffering they [are] saved and crowned with us in the Kingdom of God.

Then let us be patient and not think that we are called to do hard things, even if we do have to be parted for a little season, it is all working for our happiness and for the happiness of others. I am sensible that you have many trials to pass through, having the charge of a family and in low circumstances of life and health, not having any land, neither home that you can call your own, living as pilgrims and strangers in a strange land and deprived of my company, having large boys to manage, and I do not know how they behave. I am sensible that you have trials which [are] grate and unavoidable, but one thing I do know, that is God is our friend and he will fetch things round for the good of his people in the end.

I do desire that the children would live in love and in obedience because such will be saved and well with Christ in heaven.

As it respects means, I have but little, we have had a good chain of winter, a few days ago[it] thawed some, but since that time we have had a real storm and it is now very cold.

The lower room is in the hands of the painters and I think in about three weeks it will be ready for meetings, ant it is likely the whole house will be done in April.

I suppose that you have heard that the second seventy have been chosen and Brother Follett is one of them.

It is a general time of health. The Hebrew scholars are mostly doing well. I informed you in my last letter that I was paying some attention to it, but for want of books, etc., I have deferred it until we get one established in Zion when I can attend to it [with] better advantages. Brother Phelps and many others can translate very well. A great many of the apostates have come back by the door. William Bunch has not come yet but he feels very bad many times.

I do not know of anything more of news at this time but I desire that meetings should be kept up that you all may be strengthened one of another. Tell the brethren from me to be faithful to watch and not faint for the day of redemption draws near and I hope that you all will be ready that there may not be anything to prevent the cause of God from moving on when it starts. Tell my brethren and sisters that I remember them all in my prayers and I want they should remember me. May God bless you all, amen.

Levi Jackman

(Exterior is addressed to:)

Paid 25

Angaline Jackman

Liberty, Clay County, Missouri

Levi’s eloquent and gentle words about his wife and his family have touched me, and brought the man to life. What a treat to have such a personal and intimate look at one of our ancestors!

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I recently made a trip down to the Church History Library in Salt Lake City, to try to gather some documents pertaining to my ancestor Levi Jackman. While some of the documents have been copied and distributed for many years, other documents seem to just be cropping up in the catalog, and don’t seem to have been distributed among family members, at least not among my branch of the family.

After following the slow and somewhat tedious policies of the Church History Library’s reading room, I was able to copy about 50 pages of documents. I’ll post them here as I get a chance to review them and transcribe them. There are still many documents that need to be copied, if anyone is familiar with scanning microfilm (very similar to the process at the Family History Library) and would like to go make some more copies, I’d love to have your help.

Anyway, here is my first transcription. It comes from a collection titled Levi Jackman Papers, under the call number MS 4453. I have standardized most of the spelling, and added punctuation for readability. There are a few words I could not figure out, if you know what they are, please make a note in the comments and I’ll correct it.

Kirtland, Ohio,

July 27 1835

Beloved wife and family, I suppose that you are waiting for a letter and think the time long since you received a letter from me. I have over run my time six or eight days on account of getting through and I got here yesterday morning.

Brother Baldwin sent a letter the day before we left our place of labor on Clear Crick, Ill., He did not say when we should start for we did not know but something might hinder us – but so it was that we started the next day. We baptized two that night and one the next morning, making in the whole at that place twenty three and they lay near our hearts. We left them in a flood of tears but thanks be to God they are strong in the faith and I hope to meet many of them where parting tears will not be known.

It is true I loved brethren before with great love, but I find that a greater degree is to be enjoyed after spiritually begetting them in to the kingdom after much labor in the spirit by night and day for a long time. Some of them would burst into tears when we spake of leaving them for some days before we left them, and I believe that many of them would been willing to shed their blood for our safety. But we left them and traveled the National road the most of the way to Columbus, Ohio, however we stopped at the place where Brother West baptized two when he went down and then in a prospect that some more will obey in that place, we found the people through Indiana to be a hard, blind, and wicked bit. They did not want to hear the gospel. None feed them that preached it, only for their money and if we had not had any money with us which we got by subscribers for paper, I do not know how we should lived. But the Lord knows how to ____ all things before ____ for his people.

We preached but once in Indiana and once in Ohio. Last Thursday we reached Head Portage on the canal. We found a fine church in that place. We met with them in afternoon, had a good time. We found Brother P. Pratt’s wife living with his mother. She has joined the church again but she is still out of health. We went to Sister Siddy’s sister. She is well and as nigh as I even learn she will go to that country as soon as Brother Cr. Coalts gets big enough. She informed me that sister Siddey was married. I acknowledge I was astonished beyond measure but I had to sit it down among the curiosity of the latter days.

We got a chance to ride as far as Aurora and from there I went to Hiram. I was informed that there was a church of about twenty members in Sholersville.

I got into the edge of Hiram about sunset. It would be in vain for me to describe my feelings while passing over the ground I once so frequently traveled and as I came to the place where we, with many others, obeyed the gospel, I stopped on a log which lay over the little stream on the upper side of the road. There I reflected on the times we so frequently resorted there to witness the solemn ordinance there administered. But great in the change, no prayer to be heard, no sweet singing to enliven and charm the soul, but there only remains the green grass on which we used to kneel and the little clean stream which glides along, making its way to the basin of the great deep. My mind still pursued the subject of the great fall of the once beloved Harvey, the changes of times and different scenes which we have passed through, etc. The whole scene was rendered solemn on the account that night was spreading its dark mantle and the bustle of the day was rushed to silence and I passed on, thanking God that my eyes had ever beheld the place and that I there obeyed the gospel.

I forbear dwelling on this subject. I went to Sister Hinkey’s. They was very glad to see me but the old man left the shores of time on the third of last May. The old lady and Sophronia is strong in the faith but Eber is rather  ____. The people in that place are all well. I was in a hurry to get through and started next morning. They send their love to you all. They are coming out as soon as they get their things ready. Brother Hamman came out here about four weeks ago and they (as I am informed) concluded to go to the Michigan. Daniel sold his farm, got two hundred dollars in cash, so Benjamin took Daniel’s family and went on as Daniel went back after Benjamin’s family. Platt is about as he ever was and went with them.

But as I before said, yesterday morning I got to this place. The Brethren are all well and engaged in the cause of the Lord. You will learn by the papers that the house is covered and the steeple nearly done. The prospect is that next season will fetch things for our joy if are faithful.

I intend write more on this subject in my next. I have not room to right in this but a few of the many things that I want to. I expected to have got a letter from you here but there is none. Fruit is very plenty. Brother Borsh (?) the head mason on the house has withdrawn from the church. I expect to work on the house for a spell and I shall send something for your help as soon as I can get a chance.

Brother Baldwin is well and will send a letter next week. We have finished our journey together in unity and peace. He has shone himself ______ as a preacher of the gospel on all accounts. He is a worthy brother.

I must conclude by exhorting you to be faithful. I am sensible that you are lonesome without me, but remember, dear wife and children and mother, that we are to receive the great blessings of the kingdom by sacrifice, and if you are willing to give me up to the Lord for a season, it is a sacrifice which is pleasing to the Lord and the Lord will give unto you the reward, and in the name of Jesus I exhort you all to be faithful and patient and as the Lord liveth, the day of your rejoicing is near at hand, for all heaven is engaged in it and the servant of the Lord are laboring night and day to fetch about the glorious day.

I exhort the children to obey your mother in all things and do it willingly, and pray much for yourselves and for me and for the redemption of Zion and for the day of rest for the people of God.

So I must conclude, remember my love to all the faithful brethren and sisters and may God bless you all, amen.

Levi Jackman


(Exterior is addressed to:)

Wife of Levi Jackman, Liberty, Clay County, Missouri. Paid, 25.

Below are the scans of the microfilm from which this letter was transcribed. Click on each to see the full image, then from that page you can right-click and save the image to your computer.


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As part of my work in genealogy, I often created high-quality large-format pedigree charts for clients or relatives. These charts measured 18×24 inches, and featured seven generations of ancestors. They’re not the colorful fan charts, or the data-heavy wall charts you see elsewhere. These are simple but classy charts to be framed and hung on the wall for many years.

For the last several years, I’ve had requests from many friends and family to share the file with them so they could create their own charts for themselves or others. Unfortunately, my base file was created in Illustrator, and most people don’t have that on their computers, so either my wife or I ended up typing in all the names, which takes about 45 minutes to an hour. Ufda.

So, now I’ve tried to build the poster as a customizable PDF form. Anyone is free to use this form to create their own seven generation charts for themselves or their family (if it works). Here are some things you may want to be aware of:

  1. Because of the font used for the names, you will need to enter either one or two spaces at the BEGINNING of the name field to get it to line up right. This is because Acrobat cuts off the left side of the font’s flourishes.
  2. The birth, marriage, or death fields can be erased if needed, for instance, if someone has not died.
  3. The font will shrink if you type in text that extends beyond the field. It is recommended for uniformity that you abbreviate middle names or shorten names when possible to provide a clean appearance. This chart is more about a clean presentation than full genealogical completeness.
  4. There are some examples of how the dates and places COULD be written. This is the format I have used, and it has suited me fine. Do whatever you would like.
  5. There are several different versions. The primary version begins with one person and traces their ancestry. The other versions show two or more children of a couple, and are intended to display the ancestry of a family. Use whichever suits you.
  6. You SHOULD be able to save the forms and continue where you left off. SHOULD is the operative word here. Some systems, particularly Acrobat Reader 8 and below, will not be able to have this functionality. Use caution, and maybe do a little testing before you try this out to make sure it saves correctly on your system.
  7. The forms come with no guarantees. These may not work on your system. I’m offering them for free here, and you get what you pay for! If something isn’t working, let me know and I’ll try to fix it, but I’m no PDF-form-making wizard, I just learned this stuff yesterday (and I’m not joking!).

If you see this and think to yourself, “Man this looks great, but I would like a different background, or a little adjustment here or there,” no fear, I DO have the ability to change some of this stuff, and could do so for a small donation if you felt so inclined. I also provide genealogical services through Shoebox Genealogy, and could do a little research for you to try to help verify or expand your data.


Each of these files is about 26 megabytes, and is available for download through google drive. I would not recommend OPENING them in your browser, DOWNLOAD them to a location on your computer, then edit them from there. It’s a little safer and easier that way and it ensures that you’ll have full functionality from Adobe Reader. Oh, and by the way, you’ll need Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader installed to use these.

7 Generations – One person in primary position

7 Generations – 2 kids

7 Generations – 3 kids

7 Generations – 4 kids

7 Generations – 5 kids

7 Generations – 6 kids


Okay, so you have your data now. It’s saved in your file. You’re ready to print. There are a few ways to do this.

  1. The first way is to take your saved PDF file to a local printer, where they should be able to print directly from the PDF without any issues. All the fonts and the background image are embedded in the file, so the printer should do just fine. I used FedEx for years, and it was about $25-$30 to print one chart. Since then, I’ve discovered that most Costco photo centers can print these for about $5-$10, and the quality is better. BUT, I haven’t tried taking them the PDF. You’ll need to call ahead to make sure they can accept the PDF format for printing.
  2. The second way is to “print” the PDF form to another PDF. This locks in all the data, and essentially provides a more standard document to print from. BUT, you’ll need a quality PDF printer installed on your computer, and you’ll need to adjust the paper size, so it doesn’t try to give you six letter sized pages with a part of the image. This can be a little tricky if you’re not computer savvy, so try the first method instead.
  3. For optimum compatibility, save the form as a JPG file using the full Adobe Acrobat software, use an online PDF to JPG converter (there are dozens, just google the term), or convert it using Photoshop or another image editing software. Try to get around 300dpi, and keep it at the native 18×24 inch size. The file will likely be big, but this is the easiest format for most untrained print-center employees to work with.

Well, there you go. Head out to Walmart and buy a simple little frame and hang it on your wall. Once it’s printed, send me a photo so I can see how it turned out. Good luck!

Alright, alright, so there’s been THOUSANDS of you who have tried to download the LDS Audio files I have uploaded here, and a large portion of you are now getting errors with the zip files. It seems the hosting service or the download process is corrupting the file. Not cool.  Don’t worry though, I think I’ve fixed the problem. I hope.

I have now uploaded all the files to Google Drive and made the files public. You can now download only the specific episodes you want, or the whole folder, or portions of a folder, or even just listen to them online without downloading them. Google is cool like that. There’s two ways to do it:

  1. If you have a google account, click on the links below to bring up the folder containing all the files. Add the folders to your google drive by clicking the “Add to Drive” button (if you’re already logged in). After they’re added to your drive, you can easily download them in groups, batches, or singly, then either leave them in the drive or remove them, your choice.
  2. If you don’t have a google account or don’t want to add them to your google drive, you can still download each file singly or listen to them online.

So here are the links to the folders on Google drive. Please let me know if you still have problems downloading the files:


Roundtable Discussions

Discussions on the Old Testament

Discussions on Isaiah (Insights into Isaiah)

Discussions on Our Savior in the Gospels

Discussions on Acts to Revelation

Discussions on the Book of Mormon

Discussions on the Doctrine and Covenants

Discussions on the Pearl of Great Price

Sped Up Scripture MP3s

Sped Up Book of Mormon

I hope you all enjoy these as much as I have. So far I’ve been able to listen to the discussions on the BoM, PoGP, and D&C, and the Sped Up BoM. I’m almost through with “Our Savior in the Gospels,” and will hit the “Acts to Revelation” section next. I’m definitely learning something new each day on my commute, which is more than I could say when I was just listening to the radio!

I’ve also added the PDF files for the scriptures that I’ve also posted on this site. Here’s the link to that directory:

Wide Margin Scriptures PDFs

Happy studying!

JAN 2014 EDIT: These links will still work for some of you, but to resolve many of the issues people were having with downloading these, I have uploaded them to Google Drive. See the new links HERE.

So there’s been hundreds of you who have downloaded the BYU Roundtable Discussions, a massive file including almost 5 gigabytes of MP3 audio files.  I’ve loved listening to them, but some of you have been unable to download such large files.  So I’ve made several smaller files that will allow you to download just the files you want.

(If they try to open and won’t download, right click on the following links and select “Save As” to save them to your hard drive)

Discussions on the Book of Mormon

Discussions on the D&C

Discussions on the Old Testament

Our Savior in the Gospels

Discussions on Acts to Revelation

Discussions on the PoGP

Hopefully these work better for some of you. We’ll see!