by Faith St. Clair
I had been wandering in the woods for two days after spending a day and a night with my butchered husband, finding the strength to bury him and then spending a few more hours unable to leave him. If it wasn't for the hunger, lack of provisions or shelter, the fear that the Indians would return, and a two-month old infant to care for, I might have laid right down next to him and waited for the good Lord to take me from my suffering.
But a voice spoke to me and told me to gather my legs beneath me and walk. "You are saved as a beacon to your posterity. March on, Faith, to the place in the West that I have prepared for you and your family. March on toward truth."
So it was that I began wandering, not knowing which way was West, but hoping to find fellow Saints, before long, that could help me. And they did.
There was a Smithson handcart company of 14 families, 250 souls in all, that I saw traversing in the distance. I made haste, as best I could, to catch up with them. I told them of my struggles - that I had been in the woods caring for my infant when the Indians murdered my husband and took our wagon and provisions, leaving me alone and with nothing to secure my survival.
The Wylie family, with 11 children, took me in. Even though I had nothing to offer them, they said I could journey with them to the Salt Lake Valley and counted me as one of their own. I became their "Aunt Faith".
The journey was hard. My feet hurt and blisters and sprains surmounted almost past my ability to overcome them. And although the Wylies took me in, I felt like a burden. I couldn't do enough to repay them. I couldn't give enough to replace their kindnesses. The children took care of my little Celeste on days and moments that surpassed my abilities to do so. There were people parishing all around us - babies, Pa's and Ma's and strong youthful boys. Burials happened on an almost daily basis. But we were spared.
We made it to the Salt Lake Valley. We survived! Our struggles, however large they seemed at the time, appear as small mites compared to the spreading of this true gospel for which we did suffer. It has been revealed that this work will go throughout every land and every ear shall hear that Christ's restored gospel is here on this earth in its fullness.
I had better gird up my weary loins and start with my 2008 pioneer experience by knocking on my neighbor's door and letting them know of this great news!