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“My people shall become a numerous and mighty host in the vastness of the Rocky Mountains.” – Joseph Smith

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Mormon Migration to the Rocky Mountains

Many saints were privileged to hear Joseph Smith’s prophecies pertaining to the exodus from Missouri.  As a followup to Joseph Smith Jr & Brigham Young descendants gathering at Martin’s Cove this article highlights a few quotes from those who heard Joseph Smith speak to them directly about the new life that awaits the Saints out west:

“The prophet came to our home and stopped in our carpenters shop and I got my map for him.  He said, ‘I will show you the travels of this people.’  He then showed our travels through Iowa and said, ‘Here you will make a place for the winter and her you will travel west until you come to the valley of the Great Salt Lake.  You will build cities to the north and to the south and to the east and to the west and you will become a great and wealthy people in that land.'”  – Mosiah Hancock

“Joseph Smith, just before he was killed, made a sketch of the future home of the Saints in the Rocky Mountains and their route … to that country as he had seen it in a vision.  Levi Hancock drew a copy of that map … and told them that there were 4 copies of that map taken; one of which Brigham Young kept and one that was carried by the Mormon Battalion by which they knew where to find the Church and Salt Lake Valley.”  – Oliver Huntington

“…while he [Joseph Smith] was talking his countenance changed to white; … a living, brilliant white.  He seemed absorbed in gazing at something at a great distance, and said: ‘I am gazing upon the valleys of those mountains … Oh the beauty of those snow-capped mountains!  The cool refreshing streams that are running down through those mountain gorges.’  Then gazing in another direction, as if there was a change in locality [Joseph said] ‘Oh the scenes that this people will pass through!'”  -Anson Call.

The first wagons left Nauvoo on February 4, 1846.  This early departure, brought on by increased mobocracy subjected them to gale-force winds, torrential rain, snow, subfreezing temperatures and axle-deep mud.  Most of the Saints were poorly prepared for this epic journey.  Many were city dwellers from the eastern United States and England, skilled in many crafts, but unaccustomed to the feeding and harnessing of horses, oxen, and mules, driving wagons and herding livestock.  Through much work, sacrifice and prayer and under the inspiration of Heaven, and their inspired leaders, these faithful Saints completed their journey west and arrived in Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847.