Second Rescue

In 1992, several members of the Riverton, Wyo., stake of the LDS Church reminded the church leaders in Utah that many essential church rituals had never been performed for the people who had perished in the Willie and Martin companies. In Mormon doctrine, these ceremonies, including baptism and so-called sealings of departed souls to those of a spouse, or to ancestors or descendants, can be performed at any time. They must be performed in a Mormon temple, however, and the nearest temple to Riverton at the time was in Ogden, Utah, a six-hour drive away.

Volunteers traveled from Riverton to the Ogden temple for the ceremonies. The new interest came to be called the Second Rescue, and stories about it began appearing in the Deseret News and other church publications.