No Toil Nor Labor Fear…All Is Well
Today marks the 160th anniversary of the day when Brigham Young led a rag tag bunch of weary pioneers down Emigration Canyon and boldly proclaimed the Valley of the Great Salt Lake to be "The Right Place". One can only imagine what went through the minds of those in his wagon train. 1847 was long before Mormon settlers learned how to irrigate the valley and make it blossom as a rose.
The valley was a dusty desert with a huge salt water lake. Brother Brigham was suffering from Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever at the time, but those brave souls followed him down the mountain and built a city which is among the world's best planned metro areas. They sacrificed much to go west with Brigham. Some sacrificed everything.
To read the accounts of the trials endured by these pioneers as they crossed the plains – some in covered wagons, some with handcarts, and still others on foot – is to stand in amazement of what one person can do in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. If you're searching for inspiration, go read the story of the Martin Handcart company and the story of the three young men who ferried the entire company across an ice filled river. Truer acts of heroism have seldom been seen.
Through it all, their anthem of Come, Come, Ye Saints echoed across the plains from Winter Quarters to Salt Lake City. They feared no toil nor labor and went their way with joy. They did this with the hope that future generations would benefit from their sacrifices. They are my forbearers, and I'm proud of them. I hope they are of me too.
Here endeth the lesson.