In Every Footstep, Part Two: Miracle on the Plains


Sarah Ann hovers between life and death on the trail.

In Part 1, Sarah Ann describes how her family traveled to the United States from Norway. She hears Mormon missionaries preach and knows what they say is true. Sarah Ann is baptized and promises the Lord that she will always do whatever He asks her to do.

Chardon Point, Iowa, 1849

Sarah Ann was too weak to open her eyes, but as she listened to the crickets chirping nearby she remembered where she was—in a covered wagon camped near a creek in Iowa. Despite painful muscle cramps, Sarah Ann smiled softly, grateful to still be alive.

The crickets were interrupted by the sound of two people talking quietly outside the wagon. Sarah Ann tried to hear what was being said.

“How is she today, Anna?” asked a man with a Norwegian accent.

“I am afraid she isn’t doing well,” Anna said. “Nothing is working. She has a very bad case of cholera.”

Sarah Ann recognized their voices. The man was Canute Peterson. Sarah Ann had known him since she was a young girl. When Canute’s parents died, Mother had welcomed him into their home as though he had been part of the family. The woman, Anna, was Sarah Ann’s nurse.

“I wish that something could be done,” Canute said.

“I do too. Sarah Ann is such a wonderful young woman.”

Sarah Ann let out a cry. The pain was almost more than she could bear. Sarah Ann thought about the events that had led her to where she was now. When she was baptized, she had promised the Lord to do whatever He asked her to do. A short time after that, the prophet Brigham Young told the Saints to gather in the West. Sarah Ann packed a few belongings and joined a wagon team of other Saints. They had traveled 200 miles (322 km) when Sarah Ann became sick with cholera.

A tear rolled down Sarah Ann’s cheek. “I want to live to see the place that the Lord has prepared for the Saints,” she thought.

Meanwhile, Canute walked along the edge of a nearby creek in the woods. As he walked, he felt a gentle prompting from the Holy Ghost to pray for Sarah Ann. He knelt down and prayed that Sarah Ann’s pain would lessen. As he prayed, Canute felt the Spirit tell him what he should do.

“I know that if I give Sarah Ann a priesthood blessing, she will be healed,” he thought.

As Canute returned to the wagon, he could hear Sarah Ann groaning. Anna and the other nurses filled the wagon, making it difficult for him to get close.

Putting all of his faith in the Lord, Canute went to the side of the wagon, put his hands under the wagon cover, laid them on Sarah Ann’s head, and gave her a blessing.

As soon as Sarah Ann felt the hands on her head, she knew whose hands they were even though she couldn’t see Canute.

When the blessing ended, Sarah Ann’s pain immediately stopped.

“I am healed!” Sarah Ann exclaimed.

“You are not in any pain?” Canute asked.

“None at all. It’s a miracle! Thank you for giving me a blessing, Canute. I know that God has healed me through the priesthood power you hold.”

Within an hour, Sarah Ann was up and trying to help others who were sick.

The wagon company was soon able to continue the journey. Sarah Ann felt closer to Canute than she ever had before. As they traveled, the two of them spent a lot of time together. They soon began to fall in love.

(To be continued.)