I posted this on my family blog, but am including it here as it applies the pioneer spirit that our ancestors had, to our day. I like that.
I found links in two parts to this movie on Facebook. I have a copy from the distribution center at home, and it is part of the "Church History: Home and Family Collection". It was originally shown in conference April, 6, 1997 to commemorate the 150 years of the pioneers. It is narrated by the first presidence at the time. Gordon B. Hinckley, Thomas S. Monson and James E. Faust. It follows the trek of the first company, while also talking of the handcart companies.
James E. Faust narrated the part about the handcarts, and made this analogy for our day. He said, "In the heroic effort of the handcart pioneers we learn a great tuth. All must pass through a refiner's fire. And the insignificant and unimportant in our lives would melt away like dross and make our faith bright and tacked and strong. There seems to be a full measure of anguish, sorrow and often heartbreak for everyone, including those who seek to do right and be faithful, yet this is part of the purging to become 'acquainted with God.'"
It was Frances Webster who used those words initially. He and his wife chose to go by handcarts, so the money they saved could help others. He suffered from hunger, overwork and cold. Yet he did not become bitter, but was thankful he could become acquainted with God in this way. He knew there were angels helping him along.
President Hinckley concludes the movie, talking about Ensign Peak. "Rising above the Salt Lake Valley is a come shaped peak. Brigham Young saw it in a vision before the Saints left Nauvoo. He saw an ensign descend upon the hill and heard the voice of Joseph Smith say, 'Build under that point and you will prosper and have peace.'" President Hinckley then explained how the leadership of the church climbed the peak a couple days after arriving in the valley. Brigham said, " This is where we will plant the soles of our feet, and where the Lord will place his name amongst his people."
President Hinckley smoke of the millennial vision as quoted in Isaiah, "And he shall set up an aensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth."
President Hinckley then concluded with this statement, talking of the pioneer blood which flows in our veins, "It's the essence of our courage to face modern day mountains and our commitment to carry on. The faith of those early pioneers burns still, and nations are being blessed by latter-day pioneers who possess a clear vision of this work of the Lord. The footsteps that made such a deep impression over the heartland of America, makes similar impressions in countries across the world... Step by faithful step we walk together to a glorious destiny, building the Kingdom of God on Earth, and preparing the hearts and minds of people everywhere to come unto Christ, the Redeemer and Savior of the World."
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