The story of the Willie and Martin handcart pioneers--two pioneer companies that desperately wanted to get to the Salt Lake basin--is among the most compelling in the history of America's western migration. Though tragic, it is also a story of triumph that scarcely has an equal. It is one of history's great witnesses of the power of faith and sacrifice.
story is one of the most frequently told of all Mormon pioneer
accounts, it is also among the least understood. This book provides the
most comprehensive and accessible account of these pioneers' epic 1856
journey. In addition to painting a broad perspective of the trek, it
includes dozens of personal stories from the pioneers themselves. Woven
into the larger story of the journey west, these stories inspire, build
faith, recount miracles, and reveal how these pioneers were able to
endure such adversity. The book also includes chapters on the lives of
many of these pioneers after the handcart trek.
"For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30"
Stories of the handcart pioneers make me cry, especially those of the Willie and Martin handcart companies. I'm always amazed and grateful for the examples of the pioneers who listened to the prophets voice and walked thousands of miles to find a safe haven.
I had a relative in the Willie handcart company; Susanna Stone Lloyd. She traveled by herself and was only 25. This is one of her quotes:
"I am thankful that I was counted worthy to be a pioneer and a handcart girl. It prepared me to endure hard times in my future life. I often think of the songs we sang to encourage us on our toilsome journey. It was hard to endure, but the Lord gave s strength and courage..."
This is a good book to read for history on these two companies. It's broken into two parts, one for each handcart company, with an index for easy searching.
Many of the stories and quotes made me cry again even though I've heard or read them. It's good to have these stories, to bolster faith. What would I do to prove my faith in my Heavenly Father? What sacrifice would I make now?