I said, "Maybe a moderately high mountain."
We went up behind our house and we walked and talked. (I don't know, have I mentioned how much I love being with that kid?) We were talking about the hard and seemingly endless things that life hands us sometimes. Sometimes life doesn't make sense or seem fair.
Braeden brought up the Mormon pioneers and how they were forced to leave their homes. That probably didn't feel fair or make sense to them.
"But now look," he said, gesturing across the valley. "There's a temple (Mt. Timpanogos) and there's a temple (Payson) and there are two temples (Provo and Provo) and there's going to be a temple there (Saratoga Springs)."
I grew up in the Great Basin, a child of pioneer ancestry. I learned all the pioneer songs. I celebrated the 24th of July (the day the first Mormon pioneers made it to the Salt Lake Valley). Still, I think I had never fully considered it all. It was hard. Of course it was hard. I've always known it was hard physically. I guess I hadn't appreciated how hard it must have been mentally. I'm sure they felt like it was unfair and didn't make sense. They were U.S. citizens in a country founded on constitutional rights including freedom of religion and they were being driven from their homes for their religion.
If that had been me would I have groused the entire way across Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming about how unfair it was? Would I have spent the time trying to devise a strategy of escape and just wanting to "fix" it all somehow? Because those are usually my coping strategies.
As a child I learned this song:
When pioneers moved to the West,
With courage strong they met the test
They pushed their handcarts all day long,
And as they pushed they sang this song:
For some must push and some must pull,
As we go marching up the hill;
So merrily on our way we go
Until we reach the Valley-o.
The song made it sound to my ears like a party. Merrily on our way we go until we reach the valley-o. It wasn't a party. I'm guessing it was even more mentally taxing than it was physically taxing.
They didn't see that someday there would be a valley dotted with churches and soon to be five temples. They saw mile after mile of barren and inhospitable desert.
The lesson for me is to keep pushing and pulling, with courage strong to meet the test.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.