John Moyle Stone Cutter Story
From the Primary Manual #5 Lesson #44:
"John Moyle was one of the stonemasons who worked on the temple. Every Monday morning he walked twenty miles from his home to the temple site. He worked on the temple all week, and then on Friday he walked twenty miles home to take care of his farm. Brother Moyle was injured in an accident and his leg had to be removed, but he made himself a wooden leg. He practiced walking on the leg until he could endure the pain it caused. Then he walked on his wooden leg to Salt Lake City to continue working on the temple. He carved the words on the east side of the temple." (Underlines and highlighting added)
There is no question that John Moyle was a valiant pioneer, a hard worker and a gifted stone cutter.
The problem I have is that the LDS Church cannot help but twist a great story and make into a lie. Either that, or they need to check their facts.
20 Miles or 26.3 Miles?
The lesson says that Moyle walked 20 miles to get to the temple. Walking 20 minutes / mile that would take 6 hours. OK Maybe.
A Deseret News Article says Moyle walked 22 miles, leaving at 2:00 AM to arrive at work at 8:00 AM. If it is 22 miles in 6 hours that is about 16 minutes and 20 seconds per mile. OK.... Walking pace for someone super fit.
But the 22 miles is "As the Crow Flies". The reality is that using today's roads, the shortest distance to the Salt Lake Temple it is 26.3 miles. Just more than a marathon. When you look at the photo above showing the Draper Temple, you realize why you can't to a straight path. Alpine is on the back side of that mountain. The area is super mountainous, and today is a mountain biking haven. See image at the bottom.
So why does the lesson manual say 20 miles when it's really 26.3 miles? 20 miles is perhaps digestible over mountain roads, across creeks, over dusty paths, but 26.3 miles is not. They are avoiding investigation. 26.3 miles in 6 hours would be 13 minutes 30 seconds / mile. This for a 50 - 70 year old, who then would work a very physical 8 hour day.
Wooden Leg Story
Edit: The Wheat and Tares site did some additional research on this work and for the most part confirmed my conclusions. You can read their work here.
From Their Work:
That Utah Enquirer blurb about him crushing his leg with a log was published June 12, 1888. The Deseret News article was published June 27, 1888.Unless this guy had a habit of crushing his legs, he wouldn’t have started wearing a prosthetic limb until much later in life, at the age of 80. And since he passed away in February 1889, he only got to wear that wooden leg a maximum of 8 months. Not a lot of time to recover and make a whole bunch of weekly trips to Salt Lake.
At the time the “Holiness to the Lord” inscription was installed, Moyle was still about three years away from losing his leg. (In case you’re wondering, the completion date was engraved on the inscription stone just prior to the dedication in 1893, four years after Moyle died.)
-Wheat and Tares
Great - Grandson - Henry D. Moyle
Deseret News - John Moyle
Primary Lesson # 44 - S.L. Temple
Trail Map Between Draper and Alpine
LDS.org - Temple Walk Challenge
Great Story - Wise Question