I think often of my ancestor, Elizabeth Horrocks Jackson, who left England and crossed the plains with the Martin Handcart Company. Elizabeth was widowed as she crossed the plains with her three young children. In such dire circumstances she carried on, pushed forward, endured to the end. She is one of my heroes. Her words echo in my mind and are often shared in General Conference talks. When I was choosing birth affirmations I told my husband all he had to do was to say her name to me. I knew being reminded of her plight would fill me with determination. She wrote these words to her posterity, to me:
“I have a desire to leave a record of those scenes and events, through which I have passed, that my children, down to my latest posterity may read what their ancestors were willing to suffer and did suffer, patiently for the Gospel’s sake . . . I hope too, that it will inspire my posterity with fortitude to stand firm and faithful to the truth, and be willing to suffer, and sacrifice all things they may be required to pass through for the kingdom of God’s sake.” (written in her journals and also posted in the Martin’s Cove, WY Visitor’s Center)
I look forward to meeting her someday. I am here because of her, because she endured, she did not give up, and neither will I. If you have not yet seen 17 Miracles, I highly recommend it. And because I relate everything to birth, as I reviewed the hymn, “Come, Come Ye Saints,” I thought of how it could be a laboring mother’s hymn of faith:
Come, Come ye [mothers],
No toil nor labor fear;
But with joy wend your way.
Though hard to you
This journey may appear,
Grace shall be as your day.
Tis’ better far for us to strive
Our useless care from us to drive;
Do this and joy
Your hearts will swell
All is well!
All is well!
In the end after our toil and labor, all will be well, because we are in His capable and loving hands. I enjoyed this version of “Come, Come Ye Saints” by the cello guy who plays for the Piano Guys. I hope you will too.