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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

4th Day of Pioneer Trek Journal by Brady

Other links to this Pioneer Trek Journal here:
Leaving for Pioneer Trek
Pioneer Story of our Heritage, Peter Maughan
Returning from Pioneer Trek
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

And below is Day 4 Journal, enjoy!

Saturday, July 16, 2011
I was very proud of myself during breakfast this morning. This is the first time I have ever finished a whole package of oatmeal. I think what helped me was that I piled on the fruit and the texture wasn't as bad because it was freshly mixed with water and not sitting in a big warm pot and getting extra sticky and gooey. 

We took down camp and went in the front of the wagon train. We had our pictures taken in front of our handcart as a family. Someone, I think Lisa said something like, "Why couldn't we get our pictures taken at the beginning of the trek when we were all clean? Why are they taking it at the end when were all dirty and ugly?" I liked it, for it was a very true question.
We had about 3 miles left in our journey and we stopped at the last mile or so and had a spiritual lesson about this woman who came across the plains barefoot. When she was at Salt Lake, she saved up her pennies for eight years in order to get a pair of shoes. Well some of the other saints were coming in very late in the season, during the winter. They really needed supplies to help aid the saints coming in if they were to make it. The woman in the story gave her new shoes to help the needy pioneer Saints coming into Salt Lake City. 

When the handcarts came in, the people in the city would come out to welcome the Saints. Everyone except her were looking at the faces of the Saints. She was looking at their feet. When she saw her shoes, she recognized the owner, who was an old friend from the country from which the woman came from. 

We were then asked if we wanted to take off our shoes and do the last mile barefoot. 
Going barefoot in silence was the most spiritual part of the whole trek for me. The pioneers averaged probably 14 - 16 miles a day. On our hardest day we did about 10 miles. Now that I feel the pain in bare feet for 1 mile, I realize how strong the testimonies of the pioneers would have been to start, carry on, and strive to join the Saints in Salt Lake. 

You cannot accomplish this thing merely on a hunch that the church was true, you would have to have knowledge of the truth. I have yet to hear of a stronger test of faith in current day religions then what the pioneers faced.

People on the trail died for this church, and you cannot do that because a prophet asked you to ... unless you KNOW it is true.

Now the trek is over and after we welcomed the Martin Company, we took off to return back to all these great and wonderful things we have today ....  like toilets, showers, ice, electronics, cars and all of the other things our current day society has. 

Update: I was asked for the story our stake gave about the girl who saved her pennies for a pair of shoes. Here is the story if you are interested:

The story you are looking for lists the following footnote: Gerald N. Lund, Selected Writings of Gerald n Lund: Gospel Scholars Series, 319-321. Here is the story as told to the youth of our stake:

One of my favorite stories is about a woman named Ellen Breakell Neibaur. She was in English girl. She married a German, Alexander Neibaur, who had come to England to study dentistry. They were in Preston, England, when Heber C. Kimball went on his first English mission. Ellen and Alexander were converted. Eventually they came to America and settled in Nauvoo. When it came time to leave on the westward journey, the Neibaurs were extremely poor. It took all of their money to buy a team and wagon and enough supplies to get them through. She didn't even have enough money to buy a pair of shoes, so she wrapped her feet in rags and came all the way across the plains barefoot. After they reached Salt Lake, traveling in the second company with Brigham Young in 1848, her husband became a teacher. She took in laundry. For the next eight years, any time she could save a penny or two, she put it aside. After eight long years, she finally had reached the point where she could buy a pair of commercially made shoes from a mail order house. She ordered a pair of high-top patent leather button shoes. They arrived sometime in September 1856.

Just a few days later, on October 4, a company led by Franklin D. Richards of the Quorum of the Twelve rode into Salt Lake with some very disturbing news. They said, "President Young, we have two more handcart companies stranded out on the plains, with over a thousand people." Brigham young was stunned; three companies had already come in safely, and he assumed that was it for the season. He had no idea there were more, so he had called all the supply wagons back to Salt Lake. The news reached him on Saturday afternoon, October 4. In General Conference on the next day, October 5, Brigham Young stood up and said, "I will now give this people the subject and the text for the elders who may speak to-day and during the conference. It is this. On the 5th day of October, 1856, many of our brethren and sisters are on the plains with handcarts, and probably many are now seven hundred miles from this place, and they must be brought here, we must send assistance to them. The text will be, "to get them here." President Young then called for teams, wagons, food, and clothing to help those who were stranded. And Ellen Neibaur, after eight years of waiting, had not lost sight of what the covenant was and what mattered. She took that brand-new pair of shoes down to the wagon team and gave them to the rescue effort. It was customary, when a new company came into the Valley, for all the Saints to go out and line the streets and greet them. When this particular company came in, everyone went out to greet them, because this was the first of the two besieged handcart companies to be rescued. Ellen Neibaur went out. Normally the Saints watched the faces of the people coming in to see who they were. What do you think Ellen Neibaur was watching that day? She wasn't looking at faces. She was looking at feet. She wanted to know who had gotten her shoes.

Now, here comes the beautiful end to this true story, a great example of faith and covenant, and an example of the power that follows. When Ellen Neibaur saw her shoes, she looked up and, to her absolute amazement, wearing them was an old friend from Preston England, who had joined the Church since Ellen had left England! Ellen's sacrifice had helped to save her friend's life and had helped her come to the Valley safely. That is the lesson we can learn from this wonderful, wonderful people. Gerald N. Lund, Selected Writings of Gerald N. Lund: Gospel Scholars Series, 319-321.


Valerie said...

Wow! What powerful thoughts he has. I heard that pioneer story again recently and think of how little I've sacrificed for others compared to her. So grateful Brady kept a journal for you and that you shared it with us.

Garden of Egan said...

I loved that post. It is wonderful that he shared his journal and has such a strong testimony.

Zoey said...

What happened to their rice baby??? Did it live? Did it die? Tell Brady to help fill in the gaps for us!!!


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