“Like the pioneers of 1847 who ventured west along a trail that kept them relatively close to life-sustaining fresh water from rivers, … we need to follow and partake of the Living Water of Christ to refresh our faith and sustain our efforts as we travel the road through mortality.” Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “‘You Have Nothing to Fear from the Journey,’” Ensign, May 1997, 61.
Nauvoo Brass Band
The road to the Salt Lake Valley was not all tears and hardship. The Saints were a joyful people despite their circumstances, and they managed to sing and dance on many occasions during the journey westward.
Beginning in 1842 the Nauvoo Brass Band, led by William Pitt, accompanied the Nauvoo Legion during its drills and also played for special occasions. When the Saints left Nauvoo, the band provided entertainment along the way. As the Saints journeyed through Iowa, the brass band also performed for local settlers, and in this way band members earned money and supplies for the needy. During the westward journey, the band members began to go their separate ways, but the Nauvoo Brass Band later reunited in Utah and performed together for some time.
“Come, Come, Ye Saints”
Most of us probably think of the hymn “Come, Come, Ye Saints” as an anthem for the pioneers. And it was written by a member of the first company of pioneers to leave Nauvoo in 1846.
William Clayton was worried about his wife; he had to leave her in Nauvoo because she was pregnant and not yet able to travel. When he wrote “Come, Come, Ye Saints,” he had just received the news of his son’s birth, and he knew his family would soon be together again. He actually wrote new words to an old tune. Those new words quickly became popular with the traveling Saints, who were in need of uplifting music to help them through the trials of their journey.
Many pioneers died before their journey was through, but their faithfulness has brought us a happy day. It is our responsibility to carry on their legacy of faithfulness and to declare, “All is well! All is well!” (Hymns, no. 30).
Test Your Knowledge
When the Saints left Winter Quarters (see D&C 136), President Brigham Young organized them into companies of hundreds, fifties, and tens, with captains for each company. What was the name of the main body of Saints presided over by President Young? a. Brigham’s Pioneers b. Zion’s Camp c. Camp of Israel
How long would it take you to drive a car from Winter Quarters, Nebraska, to the Salt Lake Valley? a. About 8 hours b. About 15 hours c. About 34 hours
How long did it take President Young and his company to travel from Winter Quarters to the Salt Lake Valley? a. About 3 months b. About 5 months c. About 8 months