Traveling the Mormon Trail:
Take a tour of the Mormon trail by following this map of The Pioneer Story. The trail runs from Nauvoo, Illinois to the Great Salt Lake Valley. The story has great details of each stop along the way including excellent journal entries from actual pioneers.
Death and Hardship on the Mormon Trail:
Pioneers Arrive in Salt Lake Valley:
From 1847 to 1868 about 60,000-70,000 pioneers traveled from Europe and the Eastern US to join the Saints in the Great Salt Lake Valley, which later became part of the state of Utah.
The West Was Settled:
Under Brigham Young's direction over 360 settlements were established by the Mormon pioneers throughout Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming, and California.4 Eventually the pioneers also settled in Mexico, Canada, Hawaii, New Mexico, Colorado, Montana, Texas, and Wyoming.5
Of the Mormon pioneers President Gordon B. Hinckley said:
"Those pioneers who broke the sunbaked soil of the Mountain West valleys came for one reason only—'to find,' as Brigham Young is reported to have said, 'a place where the devil can't come and dig us out.' They found it, and against almost overwhelming adversities they subdued it. They cultivated and beautified it for themselves. And with inspired vision they planned and built a foundation that blesses members throughout the world today."6
Led By God:
Elder Russel M. Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said:
"President Joseph F. Smith, who walked the pioneer trail to Utah as a nine-year-old boy, said in the April 1904 general conference, 'I firmly believe [that] the divine approval, blessing and favor of Almighty God... has guided the destiny of His people from the organization of the Church until the present... and guided us in our footsteps and in our journeyings into the tops of these mountains.' Our pioneer ancestors sacrificed virtually all they had, including their lives in many cases, to follow a prophet of God to this chosen valley."7
The pioneers were a people dedicated to the Lord. They suffered, worked hard, and even when under severe persecution, difficulty, and hardship they never gave up.
1 James E. Faust, "A Priceless Heritagep," Ensign, Jul 2002, 2–6.
2 Robert L. Backman, "Faith in Every Footstep," Ensign, Jan 1997, 7.
3 See Profile of Brigham Young
4 Glen M. Leonard, "Westward the Saints: The Nineteenth-Century Mormon Migration," Ensign, Jan 1980, 7.
5 The Pioneer Story: Trail Location Great Salt Lake Valley- Emigration Square
6 "The Faith of the Pioneers," Ensign, Jul 1984, 3.
7 M. Russell Ballard, "Faith in Every Footstep," Ensign, Nov 1996, 23.