Stories

Story : Mary Goble Pay

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Mary Goble Pay—Hunt Wagon Company

Mary Goble Pay is the grandmother of Marjorie Hinckley (wife of President Hinckley)

“When I was in my twelfth year, my parents joined the Latter-day Saints. On November 5th I was baptized. The following May we started for Utah. We left our home May 1856. We came to London the first day, the next day came to Liverpool and [then] West on board the ship, Horizon. It was a sailing vessel and there were nearly 900 souls on board. We sailed on the 25th. I well remember how we watched old England fade from sight. We sang “Farewell Our Native Land, Farewell.”

“When we were a few days out, a large shark followed the big vessel. One of the saints died and he was buried at sea. We never saw the shark any more. After we got over our seasickness, we had a nice time. Would play games, and sing songs of Zion. We held meetings and the time passed happily.

“When we were sailing through the banks of Newfoundland, we were in a dense fog for several days. The sailors were kept busy night and day ringing bells and blowing fog horns. One day I was on deck with my father, when I saw a mountain of ice in the sea close to the ship. I said, “Look, Father, look.” He went pale as a ghost and said, “Oh, my girl.” At that moment the fog parted, the sun shone bright till the ship was out of danger, then the fog closed on us again. We were on the sea six weeks.

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Story : John Jaques

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John Jaques—Martin Handcart Company

Friday, October 17, 1856 • “Traveled about 5 miles and camped on Deer Creek. Washing done. Luggage reduced. Owing to the growing weakness of emigrants and teams, the baggage including bedding and cooking utensils, was reduced to 10 pounds per head, children under 8 years, 5 pounds. Good blankets and other bedding and clothing were burned as they could not be carried further, though needed more badly than ever, for there was yet 400 miles of winter to go.”

Sunday, October 19, 1856  • “The company crossed the Platte River for the last time. That was a bitter cold day. Winter came on all at once. The river was wide, the current strong, the water exceedingly cold and up to the wagon beds in the deepest parts, and the bed of the river was covered with cobble stones. Some of the men carried some of the women over on their backs or in their arms, but others of the women tied up their skirts and waded through, like heroines as they were, and as they had done through many other rivers and creeks. The company was barely over when snow, hail and sleet began to fall, accompanied by piercing north wind.

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Story : John Bond

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John Bond—Hodgett Wagon Company

“All at once, Sister Scott sprang to her feet in the wagon and screamed out at the top of her voice; “I see them coming! I see them coming! Surely they are angels from heaven!” At such a thing being said I looked the way she was looking but could not see anything.

“All kept looking to the westward for the moving objects, when all commenced to see in the distance at the curve of the hill, what Sister Scott saw, appearing to be three men on horses, driving another slowly in the deep crusted snow, as the wolves howled from all directions. As the moving objects could be seen distinctly, a general cry rent the air. Hurrah! Hurrah! Some of the voices choked with laughter and falling tears. They were tickled to know that they were to be saved and delivered from the fears of an ignominious death. When Sister Scott waved her shawl calling, “We are saved!” It was so loud that all the camp could hear her, and [they cried], “It is! It is surely the relief party from Utah.”

“Joseph A. Young, Daniel W. Jones and Abraham Garr came into camp with a small dun colored pack mule packed with supplies which caused much rejoicing throughout the camp with Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah! again and again. The broken hearted mothers ran, clasping their emaciated arms around the necks of the relief party, kissing them time and time again as do the brethren also, rushing up in groups to fall on their necks, the tears falling from their eyes in profusion. They are overjoyed to think that all were soon to have relief and care for the living and sick, [and] burial for the dead. [The cry] “God bless Brigham Young and the rescuing parties sent out to help all to the valleys over the snowclad Rocky Mountains,” was heard all over the camp.”

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Story : Elizabeth Horrocks Jackson Kingsford

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Elizabeth Horrocks Jackson Kingsford–Martin Handcart Company

“It will be readily perceived that under such adverse circumstances I had become despondent. I was six or seven thousand miles from my native land, in a wild, rocky, mountain country, in a destitute condition, the ground covered with snow, the waters covered with ice, and I with three fatherless children with scarcely nothing to protect them from the merciless storms. When I retired to bed that night, being the 27th of October, I had a stunning revelation. In my dream, my husband stood by me and said— “Cheer up, Elizabeth, deliverance is at hand.” The dream was fulfilled.

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Story : John Chislett

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John Chislett—Willie Handcart Company

“As we traveled along, we presented a singular, and sometimes an affecting appearance. The young and strong went along gaily with their carts but the old people and little children were to be seen straggling a long distance in the rear. Sometimes, when the little folks had walked as far as they could, their fathers would take them on their carts, and thus increase the load that was already becoming too heavy as the day advanced. But what will parents not do to benefit their children in time of trouble? The most affecting scene, however, was to see a mother carrying her child mile after mile, until nearly exhausted. The heat was intense, and the dust suffocating, which rendered our daily journeys toilsome in the extreme.”

Story: The Willie Handcart Company

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The Willie Handcart Company of 1856 began their journey from Florence, Nebraska, around August 18. The members of the party were given a pound of flour per day, fresh beef occasionally, and each ‘hundred’ members of the party shared three or four milk cows.

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Story: Why Remember the Pioneers?

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President Kimball teaches that one of the most important words in the Book of Mormon is “remember”—it appears some 300 times. One of many accounts which admonishes remembrance of God’s great mercy and power in our lives is in Alma 36: Alma testified, “I have been supported under trials and troubles of every kind, yea, and in all manner of afflictions; yea, God has delivered me from prison, and from bonds, and from death; yea, and I do put my trust in him, and he will still deliver me.

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