In June 2017 the youth of my stake in Provo, Utah will participate in a handcart trek at Mosida, located about thirty or forty minutes the southwest of Provo.
This Saturday I will join a group of adult leaders for training at Mosida.
In preparation for Saturday, this evening I am reading materials from the “Pioneer Treks” webpage on lds.org, including materials specific to Mosida, such as “Handcart Trek
Reenactments: Guidelines for Leaders.” It was in the latter source that I came upon this picture from a hand cart trek being held in Argentina, where I served my mission. That is really inspiring!
The guidelines document includes this statement about the purpose of these treks: “From 1856 to 1860, about 3,000 Latter-day Saints pulled handcarts across the American plains to gather in the Salt Lake Valley. These pioneers trekked more than a thousand miles through heat and cold; through mud, sand, and sometimes snow; and through rivers and over mountains. They faced trials that required great faith and perseverance. To help youth learn from the experiences of the handcart pioneers, stakes and wards may choose to plan handcart trek reenactments for youth conferences. Treks provide powerful opportunities to strengthen testimonies, build unity, do family history, and learn core gospel principles. Treks can also help youth learn about who they are and what they may become.”
I believe some of my ancestors were members of these handcart companies, and I have extra motivation to prioritize learning about them.