Posted by StanN ( Ingargiola ) on 18 SEP 2012 18:32:46
( Verification of the below can be found through various LDS Church documents
on the Internet )
first Mormon Church member, his church to a good degree owes its very existance
to the generosity of a humble vegetable seller of direct Ustica descent. Some
Mormon websites actually describe him as a " hero" .
Efisio Taranto, although Mormon leader Brigham Young himself renamed him " Joseph
Toronto" and it is by this name that LDS Church history most often identifies
Ustica in 1778, the grandson of one of the original land-grant colonists that
settled Ustica in 1763, Felice Angelo Taranto ( born Nov 27,1709 on Alicudi
Island and died on Ustica June 18, 1777 husband of Luciana Virgona, born on
Alicudi in 1717 and dying on Ustica August 5 1796 ).
available for free cultivation on the Sardinian coastal island of Santo Antochio
in 1803, Guiseppe's father and his Palermo born wife, Angela Maria Fazio, relocated
there. On June 25, 1816, Guiseppe was born in the Sardinian port city of Cagliari.
As a young man, Guiseppe was a merchant seaman and he records that he settled in New Orleans in 1838, making him one of the earliest known Usticesi in both that city and possibly the United States. lived in New York City for a short time and that he was then living in Boston in 1843 when Mormon missionaries converted him to the fledging religion. When the religion's founder, Joseph Smith, was murdered in New York State in 1844, Guiseppe was urged by other church members to move to the church's new headquarters in Nauvoo, Illinois. But Guiseppe declined, not wanting to give up his living selling vegetables from his small boat to merchant seamen on their ships moored dockside in Boston harbor. When his boat was capsized in an accident in the harbor in Spring 1845 and Guiseppe almost drowned, he apparently took this as a sign that he indeed should join his Mormon bretheren and he relocated to Nauvoo. religion by many people, the sect, under the leadership of Brigham Young, was doing poorly, especially in its finances. A temple that had begun construction in Nauvoo was unable to be further worked on because funds for survival itself had beset the religion. 1845, he heard of this situation. Mormon historians cite the recount of a church member who was present when Guiseppe was admitted to a small meeting being held by Young. The Italian said he wanted to donate what money he had been saving since arriving in America that he had in a moneybelt around his waist. The meeting participant wrote an account of this sacrifice. Guiseppe's donation was counted out on a table...it was exactly $2599 in gold pieces, an astonishing amount of money in 1845. that the church would survive and ordered the resumption of construction on the temple. he would look after him as if he was a family member. He renamed Guiseppe " Joseph Toronto " and slowly advanced him in the new faith. among non-Mormons beginning to manifest itself as it had against Joseph Smith, Young decided to seek haven for the remaining sect in the West. In 1846 the Mormons travelled to a new home in what is now Salt Lake City, Utah. Joseph accompanied Young as a member of the first party to seek a new home for the church. Joseph was given control of the livestock at the new site as well as advanced in church status..Young sent Joseph to Italy with fellow missionaries in 1850 to try to convert fellow Italians to the new religion. This journey took him back to New Orleans, where he recounted to his fellow travelers of his living for a while in the city circa 1838. Salt Lake City some of his mother's Palermo relatives and the Toronto's prospered. Brigham Young picked out the first of Joseph's three polgymous wives and his decendents are noted members of the administration of the University of Utah.
Whether the Church of Latter Day Saints would have survived the difficulties besetting it in the mid 1840's and ultimately have one of it's member's in 2012 standing for presidential election can not be determined. you research Guiseppe Efisio Taranto and Joseph Toronto on the Internet, you will find Mormon historians referring to him as a "hero" and that books and a film about him can also be found because of his financial help to the church when it needed that kind of help desparately. opinion of the Mormon Church, it's interesting to know a son of Ustica blood may have saved Mitt Romney's religion so many years ago. A on second page of www.josephtoronto.org for more if interested ) under appendix A