I spent the last week driving across the country, and ended up at a place that is incredibly special to me. After driving through Nebraska, which is a total chore, and a big time snore (that rhymes), I ended up at Winter Quarters.
The first time I visited Winter Quarters, I was 17 years old and it left a particularly strong impression on me for a couple of reasons. For any of you who don’t know me personally, here is a bit of information about me, besides that fact that I love traveling. I am a Mormon. Yep, you heard it right…a Mormon…aka…a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The reason why Winter Quarters is so special to me is because I come from a long line of Mormons, dating back to the pioneers. I think it’s always touching to learn about my ancestors and to understand how I came to be born into a Mormon family in Salt Lake City, UT.
Winter Quarters represents a place of dedication and faith that I greatly admire and appreciate. Many of my ancestors faithfully left their homes, possessions, and comforts of every day life all in pursuit of their religious convictions. Winter Quarters was where many of the pioneers built a temporary residence to wait out the winter till the weather permitted to them move forward to their final destination — Salt Lake City. They built small homes, some of them encased in the mountains, and suffered many hardships.
I am definitely a faithful person, have a testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ, believe in modern-day revelation and the truthfulness of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but I can’t imagine having the strength, fortitude and faith to leave literally everything behind to settle in a desert and rebuild an entire community from scratch.
Regardless of what anyone believes religiously, I think that kind of fortitude shows faith, humility, patience, hard work and diligence–all qualities that I am proud are deeply rooted in my pioneer heritage.
God bless the pioneers. May we always remember them as we walk the streets of beautiful Salt Lake City, or travel across the plains in our air conditioned cars.