Yesterday morning was one of the most exhausting mornings of my life! It was also very eye-opening and spiritually enriching. I had the opportunity, along with the members of my family's ward, to walk from the Jordan River Temple to the Salt Lake Temple, a distance of approximately 19 miles. I have hiked nearly that far before and didn't think it would be too difficult, but it proved to be a lot more difficult than I had expected. This is probably because I'm a hiker, and walking on flat ground requires the use of different muscle groups than hiking, so my body wasn't accustomed to walking 20 miles on flat, hard, unchanging terrain. And it didn't help that we had to get up at 3:00 in the morning to do it! Whatever the reason, it certainly was harder than I expected it to be. However, I'm actually glad it was.
Our purpose in participating in this walk was to commemorate the pioneers, particularly John Moyle, the man who walked from Alpine to Salt Lake twice a week to work on the Salt Lake Temple. I feel that this walk gave me a greater appreciation of what the pioneers went through in crossing the plains. Sure, I had a difficult time walking 19 miles, but I chose to do it, and I was able to go home afterward and rest and know that I would never have to do it again. Imagine having to walk 20 or more miles day after day, week after week, never knowing when you would finally reach your destination. Thinking about that has given me a greater understanding of and gratitude for the incredible sacrifices the pioneers made. Though I will likely never have to push a handcart to show my devotion to the Lord, I hope that I can live up to the legacy of the pioneers. I hope I can always stand up for what I believe in and be the best person I can be.