Sunday, April 15, 2007


When the Mormon pioneers came across the plains, they were called upon to endure unspeakable suffering. At one point there was a company of people who pushed their belongings in a handcart only taking one personal item of their own…something special to them. The rest would be their provisions for protection and survival. I can't imagine the inner strength they must have had and their mighty courage.

Through this journey through dry deserts, hills, and plains, they lost loved ones to starvation and many of them froze to death. They lost their children, and many lost parents and dear friends. I cannot begin to know the depths of the path they trod. I think it is best said by Heber McBride;

"No tongue nor pen could NEVER describe the sorrow"

My older sister and I visited "Martins Cove" a couple of years ago. It was a very special experience for both of us. That ground is so sacred that I felt I should not speak above a whisper at times. They had indomitable courage and unconquerable faith. I love them beyond words.

There is so much more to this story…but over the last year I have learned a valuable lesson. While we reflect upon the life stories of our ancestors and the many people who have gone before us and helped to pave our paths, and we also reflect on the suffering of those around us today…I believe we should never compare handcarts. By this I mean, that each man and woman sent to this earth has their own Gethsemane that they will walk through and endure. It is their own. It is easy to look to both the left and the right of those who are around us and say, "I could never endure their trials", "I don't have that kind of strength," "Their lot is harder than mine". "Their handcart is far heavier than mine" Perhaps in many respects that is true. Maybe you couldn't…but most likely they could not endure yours. It's my personal opinion that there is no need or room for these thoughts. I am not encouraging that we say of our struggles "Whoa is me", and dwell heavily upon our own pain. But we should not dismiss it either. The Lord knows what you can and cannot handle. He has promised that "He will never give us more than we can handle. (I have to admit, to put it mildly, that I often raise my eyebrows at thisJ)

One thing we can do…is to draw courage from each other. To remember the lives of others and to show reverence and respect for the things they go through. We can love each other and help to ease pain, burdens, and sorrow. We can show those who came before us and those around us that we honor them. We can help push their handcarts when we can spare one of our own hands.

There is another thought I wish to point out. It was Elder Neal A. Maxwell who was quoted in saying "Some handcarts are invisible to eye". It is so easy to think that someone around you has no trials and tribulations, no pain nor suffering. We sadly find a bit of resentment in this. Not that we want them to suffer but we feel it is "unfair". "Why is everything so easy for them?" I have found myself saying this a lot. But when I take time to think it through I am reminded of what Brother Maxwell said. I have also thought of this line from a song I love; "And the world thought she had it all". This has been something that I have personally gone through. If I were at a masquerade ball, it would be very hard for others to know who was behind the mask. My mask has a smile on it and its bright colors are deceptive. I think I have been known and are still known as one with an invisible handcart. We all must be careful to not judge so quickly the life of another.

It's my belief that each of our lives are recorded in heaven. That in that moment of being reunited with our Heavenly Father and Savior that our hand carts will NOT be compared to anyone else's in any way shape or form. We might be surprised to find that each moment and sacrifice was observed "with unwavering attention" each tear counted, each head crowned with the rewards of their PERSONAL journey.

*K.C. April 2007*

(As with all things I write...I respect different perceptions and opinions. That is the beauty of "Freedom of speech", but please be mindful that my blogs are not up for debate. Please respect my feelings on that.)