Youth re-enact pioneer trek of ancestors

Wednesday, August 4, 2021
Members of the Monett Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints push a wooden handcart across a creek during a re-enactment honoring the westward trek of pioneers to the Great Salt Lake Valley. Contributed photo

Almost 200 area teens and adults from the Monett Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints re-enacted the westward trek of handcart pioneers June 24 through 26.

Each youth was assigned to a family consisting of a “Ma and Pa” and approximately six to eight youth. For three days, they helped push wooden handcarts with their belongings over various terrains – camping for two nights.

“This is to simulate the handcart companies who journeyed from around the world to the Great Salt Lake valley in the 1850s and 1860s,” said Donald Walker, president of the Stake Presidency. “Their journey started in Iowa and ended at the Salt Lake Valley. These pioneers faced many difficult challenges on their trek but were supported by their vision of a better life where they could worship their Savior, Jesus Christ freely.”

A dance is held during a re-enactment honoring handcart pioneers. Contributed photo

The trek also included pioneer stories, spiritual devotionals, fellowship, river swimming and a dance.

“Our youth faced challenges and, hopefully, increased their testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to have more confidence in their abilities to overcome life’s many challenges,” said Walker. “Our hope is our youth ended the trek spiritually strengthened and inspired to do better.”

The Monett Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints includes residents from Monett, Stockton, Carthage, Cassville, Lamar, Granby and other surrounding areas.

Wooden handcarts are pushed through the forest by members f the Monett Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Contributed photo