George Cannon accompanied the Taylors to Winter Quarters in 1846, and arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in October 1847. Two years later, he accompanied Charles C. Rich on a church mission to the California gold mines and then continued on to the Sandwich Islands with nine other missionaries.
Cannon quickly mastered the Hawaiian language and proselytized for four years among the island peoples. Upon his return to Utah, he was sent to California on another mission--to assist Parley P. Pratt in a newspaper venture. When George reached San Francisco, Pratt was preparing to return to Utah, but stopped long enough to set Cannon apart to preside over the California and Oregon missions. While in California, George published the first edition of the Book of Mormon in the Hawaiian language. He also established the Western Standard, a newspaper intended to defend the Mormon Church and spread its gospel. When word reached California of a possible war in Utah, Cannon returned to Salt Lake City and was given responsibility of the Deseret News publishing enterprise and commissioned an adjutant general in the Nauvoo Legion.