At the conclusion of the Nauvoo Illinois Temple dedication in 2002, President Gordon B. Hinckley requested that those attending take a “walk down Parley Street to the waterfront,” to the landing on the Mississippi River where the Saints crossed into Iowa and began their westward trek.
According to the LDS Church News, President Hinckley “asked members to leave behind the comfort of their air-conditioned cars, to walk and take time to read plaques along what is designated as the Trail of Hope … and read of those who left behind the beautiful temple.”
“’Look across the Iowa,’ President Hinckley said, inviting the members to ponder those past events,” the article said. “He asked that they imagine that it wasn’t a hot day in June, but a day of bitter cold in February, the month when the first company of Saints left Nauvoo under dire circumstances.”
Following the dedication, thousands crowded onto Parley Street to take the somber stroll and capture the spirit of the pioneers' winter exodus.