Please tell me you've done that too.
Well, today I finished the book. I decided I was being silly, and that it was okay to cry in public.
Fire of the Covenant, by Gerald N. Lund, was captivating, moving, and inspiring. It gave me a renewed appreciation for the early members of my church. And I felt so grateful, so in awe of the sacrifices given by these humble converts.
The novel tells the story of several families, some fictional some not, who travelled from various places in England and Europe in a great exodus to the great Salt Lake Valley in the 1850s as part of two particular companies of handcarts. One led by James G. Willie; the other by Edward Martin.
Their leader and prophet commanded it, and so they went.
In 1856, before their story begins, three handcart companies were outfitted and sent west from Iowa to the valley. Their trip went well, and all supply wagons stationed along the way were ordered back home to the valley.
The Willie and Martin handcart companies, however, left much later in the season, and without the knowledge of church leaders in Utah. No one was prepared for another migration that season. By the time these handcart companies left Florence, Nebraska - the last main town on the frontier with adequate supplies - it was almost September. Winter was coming. A bad winter. And they had over one thousand miles to walk (1,300 miles to walk in total).
And yet, they walked. And walked. And walked.