“An old man in the corner … sat silent and listened [to a Sunday School class criticize the Martin Handcart Company] as long as he could stand it, then he arose and said things that no person who heard him will ever forget. His face was white with emotion, yet he spoke calmly, deliberately, but with great earnestness and sincerity.
“In substance [he] said, ‘I ask you to stop this criticism. You are discussing a matter you know nothing about. Cold historic facts mean nothing here, for they give no proper interpretation of the questions involved. Mistake to send the Handcart Company out so late in the season? Yes. But I was in that company and my wife was in it and Sister Nellie Unthank whom you have cited was there, too. We suffered beyond anything you can imagine and many died of exposure and starvation, but did you ever hear a survivor of that company utter a word of criticism? Not one of that company ever apostatized or left the Church, because everyone of us came through with the absolute knowledge that God lives-for we became acquainted with him in our extremities.
“‘I have pulled my handcart when I was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. I have looked ahead and seen a patch of sand or a hill slope and I have said, I can go only that far and there I must give up, for I cannot pull the load through it.’” He continues: “‘I have gone on to that sand and when I reached it, the cart began pushing me. I have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart, but my eyes saw no one. I knew then that the angels of God were there.
“‘Was I sorry that I chose to come by handcart? No. Neither then nor any minute of my life since. The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay, and I am thankful that I was privileged to come in the Martin Handcart Company.’” (Relief Society Magazine, Jan. 1948, p. 8.) (The Refiner’s Fire)
Christ encouraged us to: “Matt 5:48 aBe ye therefore bperfect, even as your cFather which is in heaven is dperfect.” The Greek translation where it says, perfect, means to be complete, finished, and fully developed. I am a work in progress, as are you. I’m grateful that my Heavenly Father is taking the time and effort to complete the work that He started when He created me (and believe me, it’s a LOT of effort!). I wanted to write a blog about something else today, but I felt very strongly that I should use this topic. So, somebody needs to hear this message today- whether it’s you, or someone you’re going to share it with 🙂