This is a music video from a movie (Ephraim’s Rescue) coming out in the US, about the experiences of a group of “Mormon” (LDS) pioneers caught in a terrible winter, almost at the end of their journey but needing rescue. Rescue came, and courageous men and women gave what they could to help – in the end, some gave their health and/or their lives. It’s a story that never fails to move me. The music for this movie was composed by one of my favourite composers and arrangers of contemporary piano and arranged hymns, Paul Cardall. As I watched this montage, I was again moved by the awful difficulties these men and women had to face, and their courage. I felt a desire to share a poem I once wrote, part of which acknowledges their legacy. It is about journeys – of ancient prophets, of pioneers, and our own from here to our heavenly Home. Tonight, it’s my tribute to these pioneers and their rescuers.
From Egypt to Canaan
Walked the Israelites of old –
God journeyed with them there,
Performing miracles untold.
Lehi and Sariah followed God;
They trusted Him to lead them
To a land of promise
O’er ocean and mountainous rim.
He tested their love and devotion,
So far across the world from home,
To know if they would worship HIm
Where’er they might roam,
No matter the trials they faced.
With promises great, God told them
to follow His word at all times;
Then He would protect them from evil
And ever make mighty their race.
But pride and lust, their enemies,
First place in the hearts would take
Of generations yet to come,
And their God they would forsake;
While those who trusted in God’s word
Were faithful to the end
And looking forward with eyes of hope,
Eternity in God’s presence would spend.
When pioneers in distant lands
Were converted to the Truth,
Their hearts were changed
And they followed their God,
Finding strength like unto Ruth.
Their sacrifice was mighty:
Such heartache, such loss was shared!
But suffering showed
Their unwavering faith –
A testimony uncompared.
Now I am called in these latter days
My journey also to make;
Through mists and valleys
I find myself led by a Father / Who will not forsake.
Though seas are rough
And mountains rise forth,
He is there by my side at all times.
Obstacles become blessings,
Showing me weakness or strength.
With the grace of Christ, sufficient,
I will overcome all, through faith.
Often it seems that the Promised Land
Is far and will never be reached,
But I, too, must trust in the miracles
Of the God whose presence I seek.
As I follow His word here below
With courage and a faithful heart,
He will protect me and lead me
Home, never again to depart.
(© 2012 T Hann)