On the 24th of July we will celebrate Pioneer Days in Utah. It is a State Holiday. On this day we commemorate the arrival of the first Mormon Pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley on July 24th, 1847; 166 years ago. These hardy pioneers had traveled a long distance from Nauvoo, Illinois and other eastern cities to come to the Salt Lake Valley. They had been forced out of their beloved city of Nauvoo and left to flea to Winter Quarters, Nebraska. Here during winter condition they regrouped and prepared for the long difficult journey to Salt Lake. The history and stories of the Pioneers are inspiring and heartfelt
These pioneer were faithful to their God and suffered many trying circumstances for their beliefs. Here is a short message on the Pioneer Trek. Read the following story of the Trail of Hope.
I thought I would share today one of our notable and remarkable Pioneer Stories -
Meet William Henry Earl and Sarah Syphers Earl
the Great Great Great Grandparents of my husband; Roger Lee Williams~
The Prophet Joseph Smith called a meeting of the Priesthood to come to the Nauvoo Temple to a special meeting. After the prayer Joseph arose and said, "Brethren, I suppose that you are surprised and want to know why I have called this meeting. It is for a very special reason. I need $500.00 to pay for printing the Book of Mormon and I have no part of that amount." A hush came over the audience and no one seemed to have anything to say. Grandpa William Earl was seated in the back of the room. After a moment or two he arose held up his hand and said, "I have it, Prophet Joseph, I have just sold property for that amount and you shall have it." He walked up the isle to the pulpit and handed Joseph the $500--all that he had in the world. Joseph accepted the money. He was so touched that tears came to his eyes. They both stood there speechless. Finally thinking he had done all he could Grandpa Earl turned to walk back to his seat. He got only a few steps when Joseph said, "Brother Earl, come back, come back." Grandpa turned and walked back. Joseph reached, got a chair nearby and sat it down in front of him and said, "Brother Earl, sit down here." Grandpa sat down on the chair and Joseph laid his hands on his head and gave him a blessing, which was so impressive that Grandpa said he never forgot it.
Part of his prayer follows, "Brother Earl, in the name of Israel's God and by the authority of the Holy Priesthood which I hold I lay my hands upon your head and give you a blessings." He blessed him for giving all that he had to the Church for the printing of the Book of Mormon and said, "for your great gift you shall be blessed with every blessing you desire in righteousness. I bless you that you shall never want for the comforts of life as long as you live and I bless you that your flocks and herds shall increase. I bless you that none of your posterity shall leave the Church. I bless you with health in your body that no disease shall ever have power over you. You shall be able to minister unto the sick and you shall live as long as you desire. When the time comes for your passing, it shall be sweet and you shall never know the sorrow or the pains of death, for you shall go as in the twinkling of an eye. I bless you Brother Earl, that you shall live to do much good in this world and that you shall live to see the fifth generation of your posterity before you are called home."
In 1850 William Earl and his family came to Utah. They first settled in Ogden and later in Logan. William Earl's oldest child, Charlotte, married Charles McGary. The McGary's first child, Eleanor married Casey Potter Bowen. Their first child, Charlotte married William Boatright. The Boatright's first child, born in 1873 at Corrine, Utah and was named James Potter Boatright.
Great Grandfather William Earl hearing of the birth of the baby, said, "I am going over to see that baby for he is my fifth generation. He hitched up his oxen and drove over the mountain road to Corrine, went into the house where he found the mother and baby still in bed. He leaned over and kissed the mother and then took the baby into his arms and kissed him and loved him and then stood there and cried for quite a while. Then he said to those present, "I'm ready to die now. Every word that the Prophet Joseph told me has come to pass and I have now lived to see the fifth generation of my posterity. Grandma said he drenched the baby in tears. He then put the baby in Grandma's arms and left to return home
After he arrive home he sent word to all of his children and his posterity to come home that he wanted to see them before he died. My father said, "so many people came that it filled the lot with their wagons." When they all arrived Grandfather, Williams Earl, shook hands with all of the boys and kissed the women and the children, for he was a very loveable character. He visited with them, called them into the house, and said, "I want to relate some things to you." Then he told, in his own words, the story I have related. Among other things he said, "Every promise Joseph, the Prophet, made to me has been fulfilled. I have never wanted for the comforts of life. I have had good health and I have been blessed with money miraculously. I have had the blessing of a large posterity and none that I know of has left the Church. I have lived to see the fifth generation of my posterity and now I am ready to die." He went into the bedroom where he had a large one-post bedstead secured to the wall at the head and reaching out to one post in the floor. The springs for that bed, Grandma said, "were made of rope stretched from the wall out to the post and laced back and forth." On these ropes there was a straw tick. When Grandpa reached the bedroom there were many little children on the bed playing. Grandpa said to the children, "Come on kiddies, you'll have to get off now, Grandpa's going to lay down, I'm going to die." He helped them off the bed, straightened out the quilts and his pillow and laid down. He looked up and a sweet smile came over his face as he said, "they are here for me now," he smiled, and shut his eyes and was gone in an instant.
"I testify to you that this story is true. To all who hear or read it may the spirit and power of this testimony rest upon you. My prayer is that other blessings of our Father in Heaven will be with you....
Story given by Hubert Bowen on Sept. 21st, 1965.
Here is a short video message~
Here is a short video message~