April 27, 1997
Location: Columbus, Nebraska - Location: 41:25:47N 97:22:05W Elevation: 1441 feet
Summary: The Sabbath - a day of rest.
Journal entry: I write this on Sunday afternoon. Sunday is a gift. After walking for six days, Sunday is a blessing for all of us. It is a time to mend broken wheels, to let aching muscles recuperate, to let blistered feet rest, and to worship the Lord in church.
We filled half the convention center with people attending church. The Columbus Branch of the Omaha Stake conducted the meeting. The sacrament was administered by the priesthood members. They efficiently served many of us. The first speaker was Rigel Henry. He appeared to be about 10 years old and gave an excellent talk on basic doctrine of the church. You did a great job, Rigel. This evening we had a lovely fireside, presented by many members of the branch and a lot of Mormon missionaries who are presently serving missions in this area.
They gave tribute in word and song to the Pioneers of old and new times. We are pioneers in many ways today in the things we learn and how we conduct our lives. The music and word were inspirational. They especially thrilled the audience with the song oFaith in Every Footstep". At the end, the missionaries demonstrated their love of the gospel with oAsk About Nebraska!" a rousing song composed by the mission president about the Nebraska mission. Thanks for a great program, Columbus Branch!
The Mormon Trek is a moving community. We have wagons and horses, mules, and handcarts, and all the people associated with that. We also have horse trailers and people trailers, and cars. The LDS (Mormon) church has two trailers. One is a concession stand. They sell Mormon Trek souvenirs. The other trailer is for public relations and media people. We have TV cameras and reporters frequently around. Mormon missionaries help dispense information from the media trailer, although older couples have been called and assigned. Larry England, a dedicated Western history buff from Iowa, also has a concession stand.
Our overall goal each day is to arrive in town, set up our community for their community, run an exhibition for a day, take everything down, and move on to the next town. In the meantime, the community greets us, feeds us, entertains us, and helps us move on. The people are friendly and hospitable. They help us with our parade through town, and our stay. We have been welcome in every location. The newspapers run front page articles and pictures. It is an interesting way to see mid America.
We have a wide variety of folks assembled together for many different reasons. We are not all Mormons, although we are in the majority. When I ask people why they are here, they have many answers. Many are interested in history and want to participate in the making of history. This may never happen again. Many love to ride wagons and horses. Many are just curious. Most of us have ancestors who traveled the Mormon Trail either by wagon, horseback, handcart or walking. I hear stories of faith and courage, of love of God and religion, of the values that built America from a wild wilderness to a world power.
I am proud to be a descendant of the Mormon Pioneers. I am proud to say these hardy, God-fearing men and women are my ancestors. I am proud to follow their righteous examples and love the Lord, Jesus Christ. This is my reason for coming...to honor my ancestors...to love Christ.