Watch a touching segment from the video, “Handcart Pioneers” and discuss the courage we need today to follow the Savior. Print out and play the “Handcart” game and follow the pioneer trail. Make Pioneer Muffins and enjoy them while you watch a video clip from “Handcart Pioneers.”
If you wish to print sheet music or have an online music file to accompany you click on the song link to visit: http://www.lds.org/churchmusic
Doctrine &Covenants 128:22
22. Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into bsinging. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained, before the world was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prison; for the prisoners shall go free.
Watch chapter 21 from The Docudrama of the Restoration "Handcart Pioneers" DVD or CLICK FOR CLIP
For younger children, it may be helpful to summarize the following ideas:
Courage is a virtue that calls us to move forward with faith.
“In addition to the legacy of faith bequeathed by those who crossed the plains, they also left a great heritage of love—love of God and love of mankind. It is an inheritance of sobriety, independence, hard work, high moral values, and fellowship. It is a birthright of obedience to the commandments of God and loyalty to those whom God has called to lead this people. It is a legacy of forsaking evil.”
“Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval.
Courage becomes a living and an attractive virtue when it is regarded not only as a willingness to die manfully, but as the determination to live decently. A moral coward is one who is afraid to do what he thinks is right because others will disapprove or laugh. Remember that all men have their fears, but those who face their fears with dignity have courage as well.”
Do you, like the pioneers, have the courage and the consistency to be true to the faith?
“It is not enough to study or reenact the accomplishments of our pioneers. We need to identify the great, eternal principles they applied to achieve all they achieved for our benefit and then apply those principles to the challenges of our day. In that way we honor their pioneering efforts, and we also reaffirm our heritage and strengthen its capacity to bless our own posterity....We are all pioneers in doing so.”
What can we do to help others find the courage they need to follow the Savior?
“We can reach out to strengthen those who wallow in the mire of pornography, gross immorality, and drugs....They can be salvaged and saved....Let us never forget that we have a marvelous heritage received from great and courageous people who endured unimaginable suffering and demonstrated unbelievable courage for the cause they loved...You and I know what we should do.”
After the last of the supplies were loaded into the handcart Aaron closed the door of their home. “The rest of our belongings will soon be in the hands of our enemies,” he sighed.
Margaret walked to the handcart and exclaimed, “The gospel and our family are all that we need Aaron!”
Aaron lifted the handcart’s handle and with their heads held high the family joined the rest of the company to begin the trek to Zion. Some of the women in the company weren’t as willing to leave so much behind and had put on several layers of clothing and tied teapots and other cooking utensils to their waists, but Margaret and Aaron had packed only the items allowed.
“The Lord will bless us for our obedience. If not in this life, then in the next,” Margaret had told Aaron.
Aaron lovingly looked at his wife. He knew how much courage it had taken for her to leave behind the baby cradle her father had built for her when Nicholas was born. He remembered her hugging him and weeping for joy, “Oh Papa it’s beautiful. I will cherish it for the rest of my life.”
The trail that had started off hot and dusty, turned wet and muddy, and then hard and freezing. The company had started late and were now caught in a blizzard. Despite the extreme cold Aaron was burning up with fever. Margaret wrapped baby Ruth in a blanket and placed her next to her husband in the makeshift shelter. “Nicky, be a brave boy while Mommy’s gone. I need to find the Elders to come and administer to Papa.”
There was an eerie sound as the wind and mourners wailed in unison. Tears froze to Margaret’s cheeks as she prayed for strength. Trudging through the snow Margaret tripped over something. A weak cry came from the snow covered mound. Digging frantically Margaret uncovered the small body. She gathered up the child in her arms, quickly carried it to the shelter, and began to massage the listless body.
“Father, please help me save the life of this child!” she prayed. Pink slowly replaced the blue hue of the child’s body and the cry became stronger. Weeping for joy, Margaret thanked the Lord for this miracle.
A small hand touched Margaret’s shoulder, “Momma. Papa won’t open his eyes. I begged and begged him to, but he won’t,” whispered Nicholas as his body shook with suppressed sobs.
Margaret gently laid the child down and knelt next to her husband. Lovingly caressing his face, with all the courage she could muster, Margaret said goodbye to her eternal companion. “This isn’t the end Aaron. The Lord has blessed us and we’ll be together again, forever!”
2 1/3 Cups Bran (we used 1 1/3 Cups All Bran Cereal and 1 Cup Raisin Bran Cereal)
1/2 Cup chopped walnuts, 1/3 Cup chopped dried fruit of your choice
Serve muffins warm with butter, honey butter, or fresh jam.
Younger children will need help from an older sibling or parent.
1. Each player picks a handcart (up to 10 players). Then rolls the die. The player with the highest number goes first. Line up your handcarts with the first player on start and the other players (clockwise) following on the game board.
2. Player rolls the die to see how many spaces to move. Follow directions on the space landed on. If sent to jail, wait until your next turn, roll die and then began moving from that space.
Example: You are sent to Liberty Jail. On your next turn you roll a 3. You can move 3 purple spaces to “Take a shortcut” or 3 spaces back to the main trail. If you are sent to Carthage Jail, on your next turn you roll a 1. You move to start.
3. If you land on “Have a handcart race,” 1st player (the handcart) lays on the floor face down. 2nd player (the pioneer) holds their feet (facing away from 1st player). 1st player walks on their hands as the 2nd player pulls them (this is like a wheelbarrow race, but pulling instead of pushing).
4. The first player to reach the Salt Lake Valley wins.
What you need:
A copy of the of the “Handcart” game (art work included with this lesson), scissors, tape and tooth picks. Optional: poster board and glue.
If we never forget the marvelous heritage we received from the pioneers who courageously suffered
unimaginable trials and sometimes death for the gospel we can find the courage to we need today to be courageous in always choosing what is right, even when others might laugh and scorn you.
“Remember that all men have their fears, but those who face their fears with dignity have courage as well.”