“Let us never forget that we have a marvelous heritage received from great and courageous people who endured unimaginable suffering and demonstrated unbelievable courage for the cause they loved. You and I know what we should do. God help us to do it when it needs to be done.” President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Our Mission of Saving,” Ensign, Nov. 1991, 59.
Tamara and I just got back from Wyoming last week where we participated in “trek” with our two older boys. For those that aren’t familiar with the term “trek,” Latter-day Saint congregations around the world have an opportunity of participating in a reenactment of the early pioneer's exodus that began the year of 1846 in Nauvoo, Illinois due to religious persecution and ended in the Salt Lake Valley. Both Tamara and I have ancestors that crossed the plains during this time period which makes it all the more personal. We happen to live in close enough proximity that our trek was on the actual trail of those early pioneers - including Martin's Cove, 6th Crossing (of Sweet Water), Rocky Ridge and Rock Creek Hollow.
It was during the year of 1856 that the Willie & Martin handcart companies became stranded by early winter storms, leaving them desolate and without shelter & food. When word reached SLC that both companies were stranded somewhere in what is now the state of Wyoming, Brigham Young, the current prophet of the time, organized a rescue party to bring relief and supplies to the stranded saints. The rescue has been called “one of the greatest tales of the West and of America.”
We had such a great experience and perhaps someday can provide more detail with you all. We had ~280 youth and ~80 adults participate. Since I was asked to document the trip along with Tamara and one other committee member, I was able to capture a lot of pictures over the 4 days (some 1500). Here are some of my favorites that I have come across, but still sifting through my SD card.