In his Pioneer day talk at Sacrament Meeting at the Holladay Second Ward this afternoon, our great stake president Richard S. Boyer shared a modern day handcart experience. We were all spiritually fed with a story that can be credited to a Riverton Wyoming Stake President Scott Lorimar. He often spoke to the youth groups who came throughout the summer to reinact the handcart "pull" over rocky ridge on the Martin Handcart Company trail in his area.
One of the stories he tells the groups of eager "Trekkers" concerns a young man who really didn't want to go on "Trekk" but his mother and his bishop prevailed and he ended up on the trail pulling a handcart by himself up a long hill--and hating it.
One of the techniques that leaders use to help their youth feel the effects of the "real" pioneer experience ivolves tapping a young man or woman on the shoulder to signify that they are "dead" They may continue walking with their group but they cannot pull or speak encouragement.
The young man in the story. was alone in the front, but many of his team had been tapped out. A slender young woman, age 12, was the only other one on the cart and she was pushing from behind. The young man couldn't have been more upset. At first he strongly considered just lifting up "the ring" of the cart and letting it roll back down the hill, but he knew that display of temper and frustration would result in the cart rolling over his only other team mate and cause her serious injury. His only other choice was to bow his head as he strained at the handcart and pray.
He did pray--silently to himself, begging his Father in Heaven to get him some help. As he said a quiet amen, he noticed an older man, very tanned, in trail worn clothes slipping under the double tongue of his handcart. Softly, the man who seemed to come out of nowhere whispered to him, "I've had a lot of experience with this--let me help you."
After the modern day story of handcarts, our speaker quoted a well known journal of a member of the Willey Handcart Company who said he knew that there were times when he could go no further and he could sense angels pushing his handcart--and the cart pushing him.
Food for thought, yes?