Yesterday I wrote about sacrifice. I'd like to continue that theme today with another story from Mormon history.
Faithful members of the church in the mid 19th century followed the direction of Prophet Brigham Young to leave their homes and migrate to the Salt Lake Valley in Utah. Many families could not afford to travel in the relative luxury of a covered wagon and pulled handcarts instead.
The Martin and Willie Companies left late in the season. When they reached Wyoming, they encountered bitter cold and snow. Men, women, and children suffered from the freezing temperatures, lack of food, and exhaustion. Upon hearing of their plight, President Young sent a rescue team.
They found the people starving, too weak to cross the Sweetwater River. Grown men and women sat down on the banks of the half-frozen river and cried. Three young men carried dozens of people through chunks of ice to the opposite bank. These valiant men made countless trips, enduring the freezing water again and again.
Most of us will not be called upon to make the kind of sacrifice these men made. Our sacrifices may be more subtle. Are we asked to forgive a spouse who hurt us? Are we asked to stay at home with children who need us? Are we asked to give of our means to help someone else who isn't as fortunate?
Sacrifices come in all shapes and sizes. What may be a sacrifice for one person may not be for the next. Only one thing is certain: we will all be required to sacrifice for the Lord, to give Him a broken heart and contrite spirit. For me, that means letting go of pride.
So, for today, I am grateful for the example of the young men who sacrificed everything to save others.