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FHE: Pioneers

Conference Talk:
For more information on this topic read “Our Very Survival,” by Kevin R. Duncan, Ensign, Nov 2010, 34.

Thought:
With frozen feet and a barren wasteland, those early Saints surely needed faith to trust their prophet. Their very survival and lives were at stake. Yet the Lord rewarded their obedience and blessed and prospered those who followed His mouthpiece. (Kevin R. Duncan, “Our Very Survival,” Ensign, Nov 2010, 34.)

Song:
“Whenever I Think about Pioneers,” Children’s Songbook, p. 222.

Scripture:
Let every man use all his influence and property to remove this people to the place where the Lord shall locate a stake of Zion. And if ye do this with a pure heart, in all faithfulness, ye shall be blessed; you shall be blessed in your flocks, and in your herds, and in your fields, and in your houses, and in your families. (Doctrine and Covenants 136:10-11)

Lesson:
Have family members turn to their Doctrine and Covenants maps and locate Winter Quarters and the Salt Lake Valley. Have them identify how far the journey was. Talk briefly about how difficult it would be for the pioneers to travel west to the Salt Lake Valley, especially under their difficult circumstances.

Read D&C 136:2 aloud to your family and explain that the commandments given on this journey would also help “all the people of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” on another journey. That journey is the journey through mortality as we seek to return to live with our Heavenly Father someday.

Have family members take turns reading D&C 136:1–42. After many or most of the verses, stop and have a family discussion. In your discussion, identify answers to the following questions:

1. What instruction did the Lord give the early Saints in this verse?
2. How would this instruction help them in their particular journey?
3. How could we apply this instruction to our lives today?
4. How would that counsel help us in our journey back to Heavenly Father?

As an example, consider answers to the questions above for verses 3 and 9: D&C 136:3

1. The Lord instructed the Saints to be organized in companies with captains for each.
2. This would help the people be watched over and cared for by others.
3. We are organized with leaders in stakes, wards, quorums, and families.
4. Our stake, ward, and quorum members help us in our challenges.

D&C 136:9

1. The pioneers were to build homes and raise food to assist others who would travel  later.
2. This would help the poor Saints to survive. Serving others would also bring blessings.
3. We should use our resources to help make the world a better place for those who are yet to be born.
4. Worrying about others and helping meet their needs is critical to helping fulfill Heavenly Father’s plan for His children.

(Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The Doctrine and Covenants, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2004], p. 307.)

Story:
by Lucina Mecham (Boren)

In the spring of 1853 [when I was 12 years old] we started for Utah. We went a long way on a raft. I was always afraid of water. We crossed the Missouri River on a ferry boat, which frightened me very much, as the water was very high.

We left the Missouri River July 18th. My father started with two wagons, one yoke of oxen, two yoke of unbroken steers, and four cows. The man that sold Father the oxen had stolen them, and the man that he had stolen them from came and took them from us, so we only had one wagon and the cows.

The Indians were on the warpath, so we all had to travel together for safety. We were stopped once by the Indians. I thought there were one thousand of them! They could easily have killed us all, but we gave them provisions by robbing ourselves and then suffering from want of food.

We children had to walk most of the way. We stopped one day each week for washday, and we were always allowed time to keep ourselves clean. When we camped at night, the first wagon would stop. The next wagon would stop at his side, and so on, till they were all in a circle making a corral of the wagons and we would stay inside for safety. After supper and the animals were taken care of, we would sit around the fire, sing songs, tell stories, and those that were not too tired would dance. One brother had a violin, and he was very good at it for dancing.

My sister Sarah and I stopped to rest one day, and the wagons passed us. Sarah said she was not going any farther. I begged her to come with me, but she said she would rather be eaten by wolves than go on. She tried to get me to go and catch the wagons, but I told her I would not leave her. Then she said, “I will not see the wolves get you, so come on, let us go to camp.”

When we were three days from Salt Lake, my cousin Daniel Mecham met us with a load of food, flour, meat, and vegetables. And what a godsend it was, for we were out of food. The next day Brother Allen I. Stout, a friend of ours, came with another load of food. We all rode in the extra wagons to Salt Lake. We arrived October 16, 1853.

(Susan Arrington Madsen, I Walked to Zion: True Stories of Young Pioneers on the Mormon Trail, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1994].)

Activity:
Seat the family in a row. Give the first player a large handerchief. At the signal he ties it with one hand around the left arm of the next player, between the elbow and shoulder. The second player unties it with his right hand and then with one hand ties it on the arm of the third player, and so on. The last player runs with the handkerchief and tie it on the first player to end the relay.

(Alma Heaton, The LDS Game Book, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1968], p. 196.)

Refreshment:
White Raspberry Cake
12-14 servings

1 package white cake mix
1 (16-ounce) can raspberry filling
1 cup fresh raspberries, for garnish

Whipped Cream Frosting:
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Raspberry Sauce:
½ cup raspberry jam
1 tablespoon warm water

For the cake: Prepare and bake cake following the package directions for two 9-inch round cakes. Cool and cut each cake layer into two layers so that you have four layers. Spread raspberry filling evenly between the four layers and chill for 30 minutes.

For the frosting: In a mixing bowl, whip cream, sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks form and hold their shape.

For the sauce: Combine raspberry jam with warm water and mix well. Frost the sides of the cake with frosting. Drizzle sauce over top and garnish with fresh raspberries.

(Recipes from the Roof, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2011] p. 112.)

*For a printable PDF, click here.

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