Sunday, July 13, 2008

Birthday Trek

What's a great way to spend a 44th birthday?
Go hiking!
I spent my birthday weekend with my husband and four of our children going on a pioneer trek up to Martin's Cove in Wyoming. The sixteen mile hike really stretched my endurance level and I arrived home exhausted, but it was truly a great experience. Walking the trail of the Martin handcart company where so many men and women lost their lives was spiritual and surreal, and I will never forget what I felt there.

Thinking about the Mormon pioneers brings thoughts of my own ancestors. They may have come from Africa, Fiji, Jamaica, or the Bahamas. I don't know at the moment. Regardless of where they came from, I am truly grateful they were brought to this country. Yes, they were most likely slaves, and yes, they probably suffered a hard life, but they overcame, and had they not come here, I would not be blessed with the life I have. I would not be in this great state of Utah living among the saints. For these reasons I consider my ancestors true pioneers as well.

President Gordon B. Hinckley said that we are all pioneers in our lives and in our family. I know this to be true. Having broken the chains of a tragic upbringing after being blessed with the gospel of Jesus Christ and striving to raise a righteous family, I hope that my posterity will pass down the stories of my life and remember me as a wife, mother, grandmother (someday) and daughter of God who did her best to do what is right.
Thought For The Week

Life is short, so live it!

Suggested Reading

Book: Heaven Scent
Author: Rebecca Cornish Talley
Publisher: Bonneville Books

She'd wanted her father to pay more attention to her, and she'd wanted her family to be like it used to be. She hadn't wanted everything to change so drastically that she may not even survive it.

As Liza proves herself a basketball star, everyone - from college basketball recruiters to the gorgeous Kyle Reynolds - seems to take note of her. Everyone, that is, except her own father. While her father is busy at his law practice, Liza learns about a strange new religion from Kyle. Could Kyle's religion help her family? Or is it already too late for her father to make amends?

When yet another broken promise finally leads to tragedy, Liza doesn't know if she will ever be able to forgive her father. It will take a good friend, a new belief, and a miracle straight from heaven to help Liza see that she still has a choice. The compelling story of a high school basketball star, this is a novel every girl will want, and none will be able to put down!

Great Book. Your teen will love it. Heaven Scent can be purchased by logging on to

Also, order your copy of The Journey by logging on to


Stephanie Abney said...

Nice post, Jewel~

It's true... everyone is a pioneer for themselves and their family even if they are life-long members of the church.

We went to Martin's Cove on a family reunion about 6 years ago and I got permission from the sweet little missionary couple up at the top, where you stop and sit down to hear some of the stories to play "Come, Come, Ye Saints" on my Native American Flute. You could hear it echo all over Martin's Cove. Very special (no, I'm not Native American... just love and play the flute).

Happy Birthday!!
Stephanie in Mesa, AZ

Rebecca Talley said...

Wow, thank you, Jewel.

Sounds like you had a fabulous birthday. We've had a pioneer trek twice in our stake. We were asked to go the last time, but I was pregnant so we didn't get to go. My kids have had amazing experiences on the treks. Sounds like you did, too.

Jewel's Gems said...

Thanks, ladies for your comments. It really was great. I think everyone came away with renewed gratitude for the pioneers and the sacrifices they made. I hope I get the opportunity to go back.