Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Trail of Hope

The Trail of hope is at the end of Parley Street. It was once named "The Street of Tears". The new title reflects the hope with which the saints left in following a prophet of the living God. Wrote William Clayton later, "We'll find the place, which God for us prepared, far away in the west, where none shall come to hurt of make afraid, there the Saints will be blessed." That reflects the kind of hope the Saints had as they left behind that beautiful temple and that magnificent city where they had lived, and laughed and loved, where they had walked with a prophet of God, and where they buried that prophet, and moved on with faith in God, and at the direction of a newly called prophet. Jane Johnston Black, a midwife, who delivered nine babies on the first night after the Saints were driven from Nauvoo. She was called to the bedside of John Taylor before he would let any doctors see him. When she asked him why, he explained, "You are the right one for the job, and you are to stand and testify on the morning of the resurrection against the assasins who murdered the prophet and his brother, Hyrum." She had been called by the prophet, Joseph Smith to "give aid and comfort to those who were ill" and she was often the only woman on the scene of battle during the Battle of Nauvoo. (I'm sure the real Jane was a lot thinner than the one standing in this picture.)
Martha Ann Smith was a young girl here in Nauvoo who later wrote of her trials and remembrances of her exodus from Nauvoo.

George Q. Cannon immigrated from England, as a small boy. His mother died on the ship on the way here and was buried in a watery grave. Shortly after arriving his father died, so this young boy was taken under the personal tutelage of John Taylor, who taught him the printing business. He later became a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Mary Field Garner, the last leaf, as she was the last living person to have personally known the prophet, Joseph Smith. She was about 10 years of age as they began the exodus. She told of her mother not having time to finish the bread she had started, so she put it in a pot, hung it along side the wagon and started on the journey. When they stopped for the night, then she baked the bread. My cousins are related to this remarkable woman of faith. I remember clearly the stories told about her trek west.

Bathsheba W. Smith was the wife of George A. Smith, grandmother of George Albert, later president of the Church. She also was one of the original sisters during the organization of the Relief Society. She later became the General President of the Relief Society, along with serving as a counselor to Eliza R. Snow. She recorded in her journal as she left Nauvoo, "My last act was to tidy the room, sweep the floor, and set the broom behind the door in its accustomed place. Then with emotions in my heart, I closed the door and faced an unknown future."

Hosea Stout was one of the "Captain of the Guard" of the Nauvoo Legion. He was also a police officer here in early Nauvoo. Some of his ancestors have returned to Nauvoo to keep the legacy of faith alive.

Wilford Woodruff served seven missions for the Church in addition to serving often as the scribe for Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. He also served as fourth president of the Church. When he left Nauvoo, he recorded in his journal,"I was in Nauvoo on the 26th of May in 1846, for the last time and left the city of Saints feeling that most likely I was taking a final farewll of Nauvoo for this life. I looked upon the temple and City as they reced from view and asked the Lord to remember the sacrifices of his saints." That prayer has been answered with the restoration of this magnificient city and especially with the restoration of the beautiful Nauvoo Temple.

Sarah Leavitt-- They made the trip as far as Bonaparte, Iowa, and her husband fell sick. He wanted a hymn sung by his daughter as he died, "Come let us anew our journey pursue". As she sang, he passed to the other side of the veil, "Oh that each from his Lord, may receive the glad word, 'well and faithfully done, enter into my joy and sit down on my throne, enter into my joy and sit down on my throne'." That is my desire.


Bressler Bunch said...

I have often felt that the early saints must have gathered in great numbered when the Nauvoo temple was rebuilt and dedicated. What a joyful occasion for those who were driven out and had to leave that temple behind.

Mr C said...

That was my favorite tour when we were there for the pageant. You all look so "in character", or at least you look like characters! Thanks for all the reminders. Love ya.