As a follow up to my remark, after researching the Wood family, I discovered that she married and moved to Provo,attending the Provo 2nd Ward in 1880. She died and was buried in our cemetery, where my husband is and i will be.
I telling this to my home teachers, I found out that the wife is related to many Wood's and places flowers on Electa's grave every year! Small world and full of miracles.
I just read this article. I joined the church in 1976 In my late 30's and am now 75. Living in Provo, now, I am surrounded by people whose ancestors walked across the plains to the Salt Lake Valley. Never in my membership in this church did I think I had pioneer ancestors.But, like many other people on Pioneer Day, I was stunned to find out that I did. Family Search sent me 18 names, but now that I have started researching, there are many more than 18- was the tip of the iceberg.
I have been so excited that I can barely think of anything else. Not only do I want to learn about them, but I want to know who I might now be related to in the church!
A friend said to me, that she always thought there was a reason that I had accepted everything so easily and was such a strong member.
Since these names come from my blood father's problematic line, I have to rethink they real reasons that my parents had to get married and were soon divorced. This has been one of the most life changing events I have ever experienced and I have lots to process in my mind and heart. Thank you for explaining the real reason that they came, as I had never seen that quote before despite the fact that I read quite a bit. I did not know the real reason, but it has been in my heart as a member prior to this new information I received.. .
Another reason for this movement west is cited in the Doctrine and Covenants several times, and that was the Civil War looming upon the nation due to the citizens of this Covenant Land not keeping God as a priority. The citizens killed the prophet and burned the temple, and the Saints were blessed to leave the horrors of war, and move into a territory. And Zion could not be a place in the early and mid 1800's in America because the temple and prophet could not exist due to the evil of men and the government.
I loved this story..so well told. I have many ancestors who were pioneers. Joseph Davis Mathews was a stone mason on the Salt Temple for 30 years.
My great-grandmother, Agnes Allison, a young widow came from Scotland in 1849 to New Orleans, then up the Mississippi River by boat with her small son, but she didn't make it all the way to Salt Lake,.She died on the steamboat and another family raised her small son, George Davie who became my fraternal grandfather..
Had to smile when I first read the lead in title, "The Real Reasons the Pioneers Came West" and then linked to the article to have the sentence completed to read, "To sign up for Meridian's Free Newsletter..."
That is some foresight by our ancestors. :)
I'm surprised that you would list the article as the "Real Reason" they came west, as though we did not already know. They came because they were converted by the Spirit just as all of us are. That is not a surprise. The only surprise is that some LDS don't understand that.
My heart is touched by you reminding us of the sacrifices made to "Come to Zion." Ancestors buried somewhere out there on the trek to Zion awaiting a glorious resurrection reminds me "til me meet at Jesus feet."
As quoted in Philippians 1:3 "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you (them)." I look forward to the day of meeting all those,past and present who have sacrificed for the Glory of God.
Maurine, this is such a beautiful read for the weekend. Thank you so much. Your Gathering book is sitting on our coffee table. I leafed through it with Sami the other night and told her stories. I read it initially on my mission and seemed to catch that same fire of gathering in my heart then. "When everything else is stripped away, Zion is the pure in heart." So important to remember. Thank you for this. Love you!!!
I was particularly impressed with this statement:
"At some future time, there will be another coming out of Babylon, which is the world, to build Zion. In every case the promised land is reached only after the tedious and difficult journey, and the heart is transformed in the process."
I believe the Apostle John spoke of this in Revelation 18:4.
"Come out of her my people that ye be not partakers of her sins, (spiritual coming out of Babylon) and that ye receive not of her plagues (physical coming out of Babylon.)"
It seems to me John is speaking about the plagues that surely will come upon us during the tribulations of the last days before Christ comes again. It further seems that to "receive not of her plagues" the faithful Saints will have to be separated from the places where the plagues are being spread like wildfire. I'm pretty sure this "coming out of Babylon" will require a " tedious and difficult journey, [where] the heart is transformed in the process." It will be as hard for us as it was for the pioneers but it will be necessary to become a Zion people.
They were also escaping the restrictions of European society which did not in many cases allow them the freedom to achieve upwards mobility.
Thank you for getting to the heart of what drove them. I can feel it in the blood passed down to me by ancestors who crossed the plains.
The spirit of gathering to build Zion is wonderful to lean about. I believe Joseph Smith said something like the reason for gathering in every dispensation of time is to build temples to our God. By implication, for us to be able to receive our temple endowments and receive exalting ordinances.
It is interesting that the call to gather to the center stakes of Zion ended when stakes spread throughout the world making it possible to build temples within their boundaries. Now we gather to build Zion to the stakes of Zion and can go to a nearby temple to make our covenants.
Your insight and the Holy Ghost's guidance have given me a greater knowledge of Zion. Why these early Saints would drop all in order to seek Zion at all costs. Sometimes I think we don't fully understand the "why" of what these early Saints did ... what they accomplished by giving their all.
I'm grateful this morning to have found this inspiring reminder of our pioneer forerunners' zeal for Zion and their greatest legacy -- a spiritual one. A much-needed boost after a discouraging week looking on the temporal scene. Thank you.
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