Date: March 12, 2018 09:54PM
It's a very nice story about the seagulls saving the second year in Zion's harvest, such that it could be taken as a miracle and a statue commissioned.
But no one in the church ever discusses 1855 in Deseret... It was quite harrowing, as you can read. The seagulls let the saints down.
Here's an excerpt from what I think is a reliable source:
"The first pioneers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints settled in present day Utah in July of 1847. In 1855, a series of natural disasters created conditions leading to a widespread famine for the first settlers of Utah. Most significantly, swarms of grasshoppers had destroyed the previous year’s crops, leaving many settlers without adequate food in early 1855. Food supplies and agricultural productivity became dire as a hot dry summer and light runoff from the mountains caused a severe drought. That summer, grasshoppers again ‘devoured every living thing in sight’ leaving the pioneers with a depleted crop and no grass for cattle.
"According to the Daily National Intelligencer, ‘Mormons, in their colony far remote from the markets of the East and the West alike, may be reduced to a famine by the swarms of grasshoppers’.11 Most residents did not have sufficient grain to last the whole winter and many lacked enough grain to last just one month.12 An influx of immigrants in 1855 made a desperate situation worse.
The winter of 1855–1856 was the most severe winter experienced by these early settlers. In February of 1856, Heber C. Kimball, an official of the Church, wrote that there was ‘scarcely any grain in the country, and there are thousands that have none at all’ and that the food shortage was ‘universal through all the settlements’. The loss of an estimated 50% to 80% of the settlers’ cattle made the food shortage problem all the more catastrophic. Households were placed on a ration of one-half pound of breadstuff per day by the Church leadership, and any surplus was to be donated to individuals who were without any food.12 Journal excerpts detail ways in which mothers attempted to provide sustenance for their children. One mother tried to enhance her ‘meager supply of flour by mixing it with sawdust – a failure it turned out’. Individuals living near Utah Lake were able to supplement their diet with fish, but most settlers subsisted on a food supply so inadequate that they were driven to eat roots and thistles."https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5532803/
The except above is from a paper studying the effects of famine 'in utero'.