Illinois Saints Honor Pioneer Ancestors’ Exodus from Nauvoo

Contributed By Elder Don Searle, Church News contributor

  • 31 January 2018

Missionaries and members in Nauvoo speak on behalf of their ancestors during an exodus commemoration program in the Nauvoo Visitors’ Center January 28. Sister Marilyn Gibson, at the microphone, talks about her ancestor. In the background are Sister Venice Finlinson, left, Sister Shirlayne Corder, and Elder Kliff Bramwell.  Photo courtesy of Illinois Nauvoo Mission.

Article Highlights

  • Members, bearing the names of ancestors, told pioneer stories of faith.
  • Members in Nauvoo will commemorate the 1846 exodus on February 3.

NAUVOO, ILLINOIS

Missionaries and members from the surrounding area honored the pioneers who traveled west from Nauvoo in a special program at the Nauvoo Visitors’ Center Sunday night, January 28. Descendants of some of those pioneers spoke for their ancestors as they gave brief summaries of lives spent in following faith.

The program was the prelude to the 2018 commemoration of the pioneer exodus from Nauvoo, which began February 4, 1846. The beginning of that exodus will be recognized on Saturday, February 3. Members and missionaries dressed as pioneers and bearing the names of ancestors will march through the center of old Nauvoo and down Parley Street to the ferry landing where pioneers crossed the Mississippi as they left the City of Joseph. The march will begin at 10:00 a.m. Nauvoo historical sites will open after the march is finished.

For the Sunday program, senior missionaries serving in Nauvoo submitted more than 50 brief stories of their ancestors who had lived in the city. Nine of these stories of the early Saints were selected for presentation in the program. Presenters read the stories against a backdrop of items and scenes symbolic of the struggles and journey of the pioneers.

The program included stories of William Maddison Wall, Susannah Ogden Bigler, Benjamin Brown, Simpson David Huffaker, Louisa Barnes Pratt, Julia Raymond McKee, Lois Smith Winegar, William Cornwall Patten, and Lindsay Anderson Brady.

Missionaries and members in Nauvoo speak on behalf of their ancestors during an exodus commemoration program in the Nauvoo Visitors’ Center January 28. Sister Shirlayne Corder is at the microphone, with Sister Venice Finlinson, Elder Kliff Bramwell, and Sister Marilyn Gibson in the background. Photo courtesy of Illinois Nauvoo Mission.

Missionaries and members in Nauvoo speak on behalf of their ancestors during an exodus commemoration program in the Nauvoo Visitors’ Center January 28. Elder Ben Hall is at the microphone with Sister Janece Hughes, Sister Marla McLeod, and Sister Clara McNeil seen behind him. (Elder Dale Huffaker is blocked from view.) Photo by R. Scott Lloyd.