Friday, January 15, 2016

Arias G Belnap Finishes in Tennessee What He Started in Germany

Arias Guy Belnap did not expect that when he began his mission to Germany that he would end up in Southern States Mission. But as World War I swept through Europe, missionaries from the LDS Church found themselves reassigned in October of 1914. For Elder Belnap his service in his new mission area began on November 7th 1914.

He started out in Buchanan, Georgia, teaching at the Church owned school, but within a few months (April 30, 1915) he was reassigned to the Mission office in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Every indication was that his reassignment was because Elder Belnap was doing such a good job.

While in the Office Elder Belnap found the time to preach in East Tennessee with Elder Washburn and in Atlanta, Georgia. As for what he specifically did in the mission office the record is more vague. One fellow office missionary wrote "Elder Belnap was a zealous and capable worker and his efficient labors in the office have been much appreciated by his companions." (J H Jensen)

Elder Belnap returned home to Ogden Utah where he married Mabel Harris in September of 1916. The two had at least five children. His draft card (June 5, 1917) shows that he had a back injury, which may have directed his choice of career. He worked as a bookkeeper for his father's lumber company and later as the  Executive Treasurer for the Weber County Treasurers Office.

There is no single way to evaluate his church service after his mission. Particularly if there are no published biographies. But he does appear in photographs with other "former Bishops of the 20th Ogden Ward" suggesting that his church activity continued for the rest of his life.

Arias G Belnap died on February 25th 1974 in Ogden Utah and was buried in the Ogden City Cemetery.

Arias G Belnap: Photograph dated 1914. Courtesy Wikipedia.
(I have been corrected, there is a biography on Wikipedia which you can check out here. The Belnap family website has a biography here. And Andrew Jenson wrote about him in the LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, vol. IV, pp. 558-59. Dang public figures!! -bcrow)

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