They left all that they had come to know and love. They suffered long months of death, pain, heat, freezing cold, crossing rivers, small food rations, Indians, wolves, and so much more. They had to have a ton of faith to put themselves through that suffering. In addition to these, the pioneers did not have electricity, telephones, heaters, microwaves, toasters, ovens, televisions, phones, tablets, iPods, or computers.
I could never begin to imagine what exactly the pioneers went through, but this past November I was able to go on a state Youth Pioneer Trek. It was the absolute best experience of my life and changed me forever. I can't go into too much detail because words cannot do the experience justice. The Spirit I felt the entire time was amazing. We crossed a few creeks/rivers, ate more Bisquick than I had eaten in the rest of my life combined, slept under tarps, told stories around the campfire, laid under the stars, had a very humble sacrament meeting on blankets on the hillside, were delivered letters from our parents through the "Pony Express", sang songs while we pushed and pulled and pushed and pulled, and in all had an unbelievable time. It really is something you have to experience for yourself.
My heart will always be grateful for the pioneers, especially those women and children who were left to take the journey without their husbands/fathers. Their sacrifices never cease to amaze me. There was a song played at the Nashville Tribute Band concert last night that fits with this perfectly. It is called One Who Understands, and although it is written about the pioneers, it can be true for all of us. There is always One who understands exactly what we are going through and that is our Savior, Jesus Christ. I love Him with all of my heart.