Rising in the west behind Plymouth Rock is Cole’s Hill where during that first terrible winter in 1620–21 the Pilgrims buried nearly half their number. In the spring those graves were leveled and sowed to grain, “lest the Indians know how many were the graves.” Plymouth Rock was identified as such in 1741 and became a symbol of freedom in 1774 during pre-Revolutionary agitation in the colonies. The city of Plymouth was founded by those we now call the Pilgrims, who in the early days left England for Holland and then came to the New World to find religious freedom and new opportunity in a new land.
The hearty pioneering spirit of these first settlers in the new world is reflected in the lives of the people who live in the Cape Cod area of New England and especially in the lives of young Latter-day Saints who share in common with these early fathers a love of freedom and a firm conviction and belief in God. Today this area of North America is rich with history of the “old comers” who helped build the traditions of freedom and religious conviction that prepared the way for the restoration of the gospel in this the land of promise.
As those early Pilgrims were pioneers in a new, strange, and wonderful land, so in a sense are the young people of the Church pioneers for the gospel in this grand part of New England. Young members of the Cape Cod Branch are seen here visiting some of the famous historical sites that are next door, and in their own backyards—sites that include much of the history that was instrumental to the founding of this land—the land of the restoration of the gospel.
The young people of the Cape Cod Branch enjoy the same things that young people all over the Church enjoy. The Aaronic Priesthood young men like to fish and spend time exploring their seashore but are also intent on improving their basketball skills. The young women are going to dances, riding horses, planning activities like the upcoming youth conference to be held in Boston and the special service project designed to bring some joy and happiness into the lives of older members of the Cape Cod community.
And so a worldwide church comes to the streets of Plymouth town through these young pilgrims who are meeting new friends and exploring new ideas in the midst of the past.
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