{A&E} Listen to This: Video/Song Tribute to the Pioneers

Most of us have heard the story of the rescuers who carried beleaguered handcart Saints across the Sweetwater River. It’s a beautiful story. It has been a favorite of general authorities for years. This video shares that story with a song complementing it (sung by LDS artist Wayne Burton, with Rebecca Lopez, and orchestrated by Kenneth Cope). The song really is beautiful. It’s perfect for this time of year when we remember the pioneers and their examples.

I’d like to make a note about the story, which some of you may know isn’t historically accurate: First of all, I love reading about Mormon Myths. I recently got to indulge my interest when I wrote on the topic for the July/August issue (see articles here and here). Some of these stories may not have actually happened, but they are still important because they are true to our culture’s values. They illustrate things we believe deeply—that good will be rewarded and evil will be punished, that God is watching out for us, that the unexplainable can be explained. So, when I ran across this beautiful video and heard the story at the beginning, I felt that familiar interest again.

The Sweetwater Rescue as many of us have heard it is not strictly true—among other things, more than just three braved the waters. (Click here to read an excellent article on the subject.) And while they didn’t carry every member of the company across, the heroism is not diminished, and the familiar story we share still communicates an important lesson: when we lose ourselves in the service of our fellow beings, we find all the life and blessings we could ever desire.

I love the way this video communicates that. So, in this season where we traditionally turn our hearts to pioneers, I hope you enjoy what this video says about selflessness and love.
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