"It was Sunday, October 5, 1856. On Saturday, the day before, a small group of missionaries returning from England arrived in the valley. They had been able to make relatively good time because their teams were strong and their wagons light. Franklin D. Richards was their leader. They immediately sought out President Brigham Young. They told him that hundreds of men, women, and children were scattered along the trail that led from the Missouri River to the Salt Lake Valley. Most of them were pulling handcarts, two companies of these, with two smaller companies following behind with ox teams and wagons. The first group was probably at this time in the area of Scotts Bluff, more than four hundred miles from their destination, with the others behind them. It was October, and they would be trapped in the snows of winter and perish unless help was sent."Brigham Young had known nothing of this. There was, of course, at that time no rapid means of communication. . . . The next morning, the Sabbath, he stood before the people in the Tabernacle and said:" 'I will now give this people the subject and the text for the Elders who may speak. . . . It is this. On the 5th day of October, 1856, many of our brethren and sisters are on the plains with handcarts, and probably many are now seven hundred miles from this place, and they must be brought here, we must send assistance to them. The text will be, "to get them here." . . . " 'That is my religion; that is the dictation of the Holy Ghost that I possess. It is to save the people.' "
Gordon B. Hinckley, "Our Mission of Saving," Ensign, Nov. 1991, 52
Topics: Sustaining Leaders, Pioneers
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