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LaMond Tullis and his wife Eileen Roundy sit on their porch overlooking their property just east of Spring City.

Author has passion

for Mormonism impact

on Latin America

 

By Robert Green

Staff writer

Apr. 26, 2018

 

Spring City—As a young man serving an LDS mission in Guatemala, F. LaMond Tullis’ eyes popped open as he watched the economic and political class struggle of an impoverished people.

He couldn’t help but wonder how the conversion of a new faith would change the plight of these families?

The answers to this question so intrigued him that he began a life-long journey observing, studying and writing about the history of Mormonism in Latin America.

Tullis has written over a dozen books on the subject and continues to publish new books at his scenic ranch overlooking Sanpete Valley.

His new book, Martyrs in Mexico—available in midMay—explores the founding of the LDS Church in a small village in Hidalgo during the Mexican Revolution of 1910-17. The book chronicles the families of two young Mormon leaders— martyrs—who were shot while refusing to repudiate their faith and how the Church survived the war.

Tullis has been working on this book since 1975, when he and son Michael traveled to the region and spent a week doing interviews. He became fascinated by the events and decided to write about it.

In 2011, he continued gathering material for the book when he and his wife Eileen Roundy Tullis went to Mexico on a research mission for the Church. During this time, they discovered an interesting story about a group of families that were converting to Mormonism. “The events unfolded in great detail and specificity because one of the martyr’s sisters kept a meticulous diary,” Tullis said.

Tullis has noticed parallels between the modern-day political and economic struggles of Latinos to the early Latter Day Saints. “Political struggles never cease to exist,” he said. “They keep repeating.”

Today, Tullis spends his time in Spring City tending to his ranch and writing his books. This divides his time pretty evenly. “A little more ranching in the spring and summer and a bit more writing in the fall and winter,” he said. “I like to split the day with my hands in the soil and my mind in the computer.”

Tullis purchased the ranch in 1996 with his first wife Marta—who passed away in 2007— as a way to get back to his agrarian roots. After growing up on a sheep ranch in Vernal, Tullis always thought he would return to ranching. He also wanted a peaceful place to write his books. Marta told him that she had just found 160 beautiful acres of land on the foothills above Spring City and asked if they could buy it.

They lived in a recreational vehicle the first year and set out to clear the land. They started by giving shovels to their children and clearing the weeds, calling the chore the “thistle brigade.”

Eventually, the family built a beautiful log house and added a library. They raised cattle, horses and llamas. Through the years, Tullis and his six children—one has since died—enjoyed taking the horses and llamas camping in the mountains.

Although ranch-life isn’t as busy as it once was, Tullis likes to keep it economically viable. He raises about ten llamas and grows alfalfa. He prefers llamas because they are both browsers and grazers, meaning they keep both the fields and the surrounding hills free of weeds, thus helping to prevent wildfires.

He loves his ranch for the solitude, tranquility and cycle of seasons. He gets to enjoy it every day. He considers himself a little odd. “But people have accepted me,” Tullis said. “I have made a great many friends here.”

Tullis has 17 grandchildren and 16 great-grand children. He can be found on his ranch working on his next book: Mexican Mormons: Historical Sketches and Pioneer Stories.