On this date in history in 1846, the first Latter-day Saints to leave Nauvoo came to the end of Parley Street and prepared to cross the Mississippi River in the dead of winter.
“The Saints who gathered here to depart would’ve felt a collision of emotions—some sadness, apprehension, some anxiety, but also faith and determination [and] optimism to follow their leaders,” President J. Stephen Rizley, who presides over Historic Nauvoo, says in a video celebrating the 175th anniversary of the Nauvoo exodus.
The Latter-day Saints began settling what would later become Nauvoo with log cabins, but “their goal was to build homes of brick. They wanted to build a city that was permanent,” President Rizley says.
These early Church members knew they wouldn’t be there forever, but they wanted to create something lasting. Why was creating something lasting so important to them?
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“They experienced a permanence of covenants. They had made covenants in the waters of baptism, and near the end of their time in Nauvoo, before the temple had been finished completely, they received additional covenants to add permanence to their families. And this allowed them to go forward, despite having to leave temporal things behind. These buildings that we see now in Nauvoo are a testament to that sense of permanence,” President Rizley says.
February 4, 2021, marks the 175th anniversary of the Nauvoo exodus and beautifully shot drone footage reminds us that the pioneers were successful in creating something lasting. What is the lasting permanent legacy you are leaving in your tracks?
“We can build our own foundations on something permanent. Faith, hope, charity—these things are permanent. Our covenants that bind our families together are permanent. Jesus Christ, our Savior, is permanent. When we build on that foundation as the pioneers [have] done, then we can withstand the things that are unfair [and] unexpected in life today as they did.”
Watch the video here.