Saturday, August 21, 2010


Posted by Carolyn J. Christensen
Carolyn - Doris Johnson - Sarah Kirkham - Edward Charles Wrigley -
Adah Luch Steel md. Robert Stoddart

Robert Stoddart
(See other posts for history)

To Zion!
              (In memory of Robert Stoddart, in the first handcart company)

I was in the first group -
The great experiment
To bring the poor
To Zion!
The trial of our faith, we were told.
It hadn’t been done before –walking all that way, pulling our belongings
To Zion!
We needed Courage, Determination – we were told.
I was 17 - and came in my family of nine.
I pulled…and got strong,
Saw great bison herds…and was amazed,
Reveled with my peers…and gained lifelong friends,
Danced at night fires, galloped vast prairies of tall grass,
Splashed thru refreshing streams, forded daunting rivers,
And learned love for my companion travelers.
We did have Courage, Determination.
We learned to face adversity – we realized we shouldn’t give up,
We found we could rely on God.
We arrived in Salt Lake – exhilarated –
To the sound of bands and welcoming shouts from crowds of waving
We had grown strong in our beliefs.
The great experiment was a success – a new way to come
To Zion!
Our faith was rewarded – we were told.

But then, it was late – too late in the season.
I, already a 17 year old trail made man, went back to help them,
To dig their freezing, starving bodies (those that lived) from the snow.
They, too, were pulling their belongings
To Zion!
Part of the great experiment!
Did the great experiment fail? Did it die with those dead of exposure?
Survivors arrived in Salt Lake City – almost dead –
To Brigham mandated pudding and tender care.
To murmurs and tears of sympathy.
They exceeded Courage, Determination.
They lived adversity. They did not give up.
They gave themselves to God.
They, (along with their dead), arrived
In Zion –
Walking with angels.

CJ Christensen

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