Come, Come Ye Saints: A Birth Metaphor

Elizabeth Horrocks Jackson

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.


8 thoughts on “Come, Come Ye Saints: A Birth Metaphor”

  1. What a great hymn to connect with birth. I love that you have those words from your ancestor to inspire you.

  2. William Clayton wrote Come Come Ye Saints after learning about the birth of a son. He had already started West and his wife stayed behind because of her pregnancy. He mentions it in his journal he kept (he was in the first company that went with Brigham Young).

    1. Michelle, thank you for sharing that. I did not know that. It makes sense doesn’t it?

    1. Elizabeth’s particular story was not highlighted in the movie. Her story was highlighted in the Savior of the World pageant that played at the Conference Center during the Olympics. Watching 17 Miracles definitely makes her plight more real even though they did not include it.

  3. Nancy Marshall

    I am also an ancestor of Elizabeth Horrocks Jackson Kingsford. She’s my 3rd great grandmother. If you have any more info on her I’d love it. I saw a pencil/ink drawing that I thought was her, but not sure.

  4. Nancy Marshall

    I am also a descendant of Elizabeth Horrocks Jackson Kingsford. I love her story and would love any more information that you may have. The picture that looks like pencil/ink I thought was her, but am not sure. Can you verify if it is?

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