Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th! trek day 2 with music video

The morning of the second day, we were woken up by the crow of the rooster, 3 or 4 times!  I always  thought that would be more fun that an alarm clock, but after sleeping (or not) on hard ground next to one of the Pa's that snored really loud, it wasn't so charming.  Nonetheless, we all arose (some not so quickly), had morning devotional with our family, breakfast, and pushed onward.
After walking for awhile, we stopped for some pioneer type activities.  Our families rotated through: hatchet throwing, medicinal plants, rope making, archery (note Ma and Pa above), dance etiquette (boy, the kids could use that one), two man saw, throwing a lasso and lessons from a mountain man.

At one point in the day, we were told that the other stake behind us was having difficulty and needed our help.  The Ma's and Pa's took the carts alone for a bit, while the kids went back to help.  Whether it was planned  or not, it was a good experience for service.  We adults enjoyed hanging out together too.

The Pioneers would often have to cross rivers and streams.  Our reenactment was of the crossing at the Sweet Water.  The Saints had been caught in an early winter and needed to be rescued.  Among those that came were three 18-yr-old boys that came from Salt Lake to help.  They carried nearly all weak and tired Saints across an ice filled river.  Although they lived, each of those boys later died from the affects of the ice cold water.  Thankfully, we didn't have to do it in ice.  Everyone was a little reluctant at first, but once we got in, each caught the spirit of the work.

Above you can see me hiking up my skirts to jump on Joseph's back.  He was a real trooper and stayed in the water to see if the girls needed him.  They of course wanted to go on the back of a young man, who kindly obliged.   No one fell in except a Ma who slipped on the mud on the bank.  She wore the dress covered in dried mud the rest of the day without complaint.

I found this music video using an EFY song to tell the story of the rescue.  A must watch!

We had many good men and women come all 3 days and help us live the story.

  • The man in the black hat read a letter for us to gather and travel to the West for our safety. 
  •  The man in the white pants (can't remember their names) was the pioneer that stood in a Sunday school class telling the people to stop blaming and arguing about what went wrong with their trek West.  He had been there and said that not one person that was a part of the Martin Handcart company complained because they had come close to God. 
  • Joseph Smith (the LDS actor had been doing this for 20 yrs) spoke to us about listening to the Spirit He picked me out of the crowd, asked how many children I had then asked what I would do if an angry mob came looking for my child. I could feel the mother bear in me rise up, so I told him that I would try and fight them off.  He then told of how his mother Lucy was ready to defend her son but listened to the Spirit and instead introduced her son to the mob.  Those men soon dropped their cause and became true supporters of Joseph. Impressive!  Hopefully I can be that in tune.
  • Mary Fielding Smith told us how after her husband Hyrum Smith was martyrd she led her family and many others across the plains with determination and miracles sent from God.  
  • The pioneers hired mountain men to help them, so we had a mountain man show us what he does.  
  • Then there is Brigham Young guarded by Porter Rockwell  They were asking for 500 men and boys to join the battalion to fight for America.  Members of the congregation actually argued that it didn't make sense for them to leave their families after all they had been through and that they still needed them.  It became almost real to me.  I could sense what the pioneers might have felt.  Then finally the captain asked Brigham Young to help him convince the people.  He gave a rousing speech that often what God asks us to do doesn't make sense (the parting of the Red Sea, fire coming from heaven to lick up water around an altar, 200 years building the ark, etc).  But everything makes sense to God.  Will we be willing to live for our covenant and possibly die for it?  Yes!
There were others that came and bore testimony and guided us along our path but I didn't get their pictures.  I'm so grateful for these wonderful people, some of which were not Mormons (mountain man for one), who brought their own testimony of God to light.  They truly made it a moving experience.

On this, the 4th of July, it seems fitting to celebrate those that have come before us to pave the way for our freedom.  If the Pioneers hadn't braved the long journey, the story of Mormonism would be much different today.

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