To the uninformed bystander, the vessel, newly arrived from New York, was no different from any other, but among the weary passengers were seven men whose presence made the Garrick far from insignificant—men whose simple but provocative message was soon to send thousands of English men, women, and children from their homes in the British Isles, thousands of miles to a new home in the United States of America.
The first missionaries arrived in Liverpool in July 1837 and within a week baptised nine converts. Before a year had passed, membership had grown to 1,327. Over the next decade no other British religion matched the church’s growth which by 1851 had already emigrated 7,800 members and still had 34,000 living in Britain. At the same time the Headquarters of the church in Utah had only 12,000 members. Hundreds of thousands of modern-day American and Canadian Latter-day Saints trace their heritage to these early British converts.