If you haven't seen this amazing film yet, I strongly recommend it. The plot of the movie is the story of the Mormon Willie/Martin handcart companies and their journey to the Salt Lake Valley and the struggles that they faced. It is truly inspiring and it really made me grateful for all that I have been blessed with in my life. I realized as I watched this movie, if it weren't for the Mormon pioneers and their incredible faith, I would not be living the life that I am now. I wouldn't have a testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel, or maybe even a knowledge of it all. I owe so much to the many saints that gave up everything they had, some even gave their lives, to find and settle Zion. I am eternally grateful for the sacrifices that they made and hope that I may always keep their memories with me. And, in times of trial, I hope that I can look back on their example and remember, that "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13) and that miracles have not ceased to exist.
The thing that amazed me most about these saints and their stories was their incredible faith in prayer and also the results that that faith, and God's love and mercy, brought about. Time after time, when under horrible circumstances, someone would kneel in humble prayer and ask God for protection and aid and it was almost always given. Their prayers brought them food when there was none, healed their sick, protected them from danger, and gave them the strength to carry on and eventually make it to the Salt Lake Valley. One miracle was always followed by another. I hope that someday, I can have faith as strong as those saints of the Martin/Willie handcart companies.
"What a glorious legacy of faith, courage, and ingenuity those noble early Mormon pioneers have left for us to build upon. My admiration for them deepens the longer I live."
--L. Tom Perry
"You are familiar with their story. You are the fruit of all of their planning and of all of their labors. Whether you have pioneer ancestry or came into the Church only yesterday, you are part of this whole grand picture of which those men and women dreamed."
--Gordon B. Hinckley
"Of all the stories of American pioneers and settlers, none is more inspiring than the Mormon trail... Let us remember that the Mormons of a century ago were a persecuted and prosecuted minority... While today, in the short space of 100 years, their faith and works are known and respected around the world."
--President John F. Kennedy