In 1830, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was established in Palmyra, New York. But within a few short years, persecution had driven the Saints away from the Church's birthplace. For many decades, northwestern New York was a hostile place for a Mormon. However, in 1915, President Joseph F. Smith felt impressed the time had come for the Church to again have a presence there. He called Willard and Rebecca Bean to return to Palmyra.
As a former prizefighter, Willard had the temperament to withstand the unkind words and harsh treatment they received from their neighbors, while Rebecca's kind demeanor served to create friends out of former enemies. As the couple's initial five-year calling stretched on for many years, they were instrumental in many key events, such as the acquisition of the Hill Cumorah and other prominent sites. Most importantly, their sacrifices and faithfulness opened the way for thousands of Saints to visit Palmyra in later years and partake of the Spirit of the Lord that is there.
This is their story.