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Some 500 members, missionaries, and visitors walked the Trail of Hope on Saturday, February 3, commemorating the exodus of the pioneers from this city 172 years ago.

Temperatures were dauntingly cold—near freezing, accompanied by a brisk wind—and served as reminders of the conditions faced by the Latter-day Saints when their exodus began on February 4, 1846.

Flags snapped loudly in the breeze. A few of the marchers stepped carefully out on the ice at the edge of the Mississippi River and gazed across at Iowa as they thought about the trials that lay ahead of their ancestors who came to this crossing.

Those who marched in this year’s pioneer exodus reenactment pinned to their coats badges with the names of people who had lived in Nauvoo. Many marchers wore more than one ancestor’s name; some of these ancestral connections had only been discovered in recent weeks as they prepared for the exodus commemoration by doing family history research.

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