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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

This blog is a record of events in the life of Joseph Taggart and his family since his spinal cord injury while body surfing in Guatemala in January 2006.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Heroic Service 10/8/06

This is the 150th anniversary of the rescue of the Martin and Willey Handcart Companies. We heard of those whose service saved them in the 176th Semiannual General Conference. We live in a place and time where service is still the rule rather than the exception. In our family, we still marvel at our own continued "rescue". This week the neighboring Westlake 9th Ward continued their service project on our back yard, bringing trees, shrubs and flowers ready to be planted and delivering a load of mulch for the new flowerbeds. They finished their job with smiles on their faces even as the rain made most people in the valley grumble and mutter. Later they came back to mark outlines for the sprinkler system they will begin to install this week.
Our stake had the blessing of serving once again at the LDS Humanitarian Center doing Hurricane Cleanup Kits. Hard work is fun when you do it together and you are serving others. With hundreds of hours committed over the week, tens of thousands of kits were produced to bless the lives of many in far away places.

Here is a great story of exemplary service from Pres. Hinckley:

Teen-age Rescue

"I should like to tell you of three eighteen-year-old boys. In 1856 more than a thousand of our people, some of them perhaps your forebears, found themselves in serious trouble while crossing the plains to this valley. Because of a series of unfortunate circumstances, they were late in getting started. They ran into snow and bitter cold in the highlands of Wyoming. Their situation was desperate, with deaths occurring every day.

President Young learned of their condition as the October general conference was about to begin. He immediately called for teams, wagons, drivers, and supplies to leave to rescue the bereft Saints. When the first rescue team reached the Martin Company, there were too few wagons to carry the suffering people. The rescuers had to insist that the carts keep moving.

When they reached the Sweetwater River on November 3, chunks of ice were floating in the freezing water. After all these people had been through, and in their weakened condition, that river seemed impossible to cross. It looked like stepping into death itself to move into the freezing stream. Men who once had been strong sat on the frozen ground and wept, as did the women and children. Many simply could not face that ordeal.

And now I quote from the record: "Three eighteen-year-old boys belonging to the relief party came to the rescue, and to the astonishment of all who saw, carried nearly every member of the illfated handcart company across the snowbound stream. The strain was so terrible, and the exposure so great, that in later years all the boys died from the effects of it. When President Brigham Young heard of this heroic act, he wept like a child, and later declared publicly, `that act alone will ensure C. Allen Huntington, George W. Grant, and David P. Kimball an everlasting salvation in the Celestial Kingdom of God, worlds without end.'" (Solomon F. Kimball, Improvement Era, Feb. 1914, p. 288.)"

Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, November 1981, p. 42.

The spirit of those great young men is the same as we see in the youth of our day in our own back yard. The Church is in good hands for the future. . . hands that know how to serve.


Blogger Gym Rat said...

Yes, you guys have been the recipients of many hundreds of hours of service. What a blessing it is to know that so many people love and support you from around the WORLD! Wow! You are turly and examle to many.

Oct 9, 2006, 5:52:00 AM  

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