'We'll Find the Place' is an insightful look at the Mormon pioneer exodus

Published: Saturday, Feb. 5 2011 8:00 a.m. MST

WE’LL FIND THE PLACE: THE MORMON EXODUS, 1847-1848,” by Richard E. Bennett, University of Oklahoma Press, 448 pages, $21.95

The familiar words of William Clayton’s powerful hymn “Come Come Ye Saints” resonate in the ears of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints everywhere.

In his book “We’ll Find the Place: The Mormon Exodus, 1847-1848,” Richard E. Bennett brings those words to life for general readers and scholars alike. Bennett’s book provides great insight into one of the most amazing journeys in American history and helps readers understand the toil and strife a wounded people went through to find peace.

“We’ll Find the Place” provides a unique perspective through Bennett’s dedication to using first-hand accounts from those who participated in the great pioneer emigration to the West. Bennett’s book follows the original pioneer team, led by LDS Church leader Brigham Young, from Nauvoo, Ill., all the way to the valley by the Great Salt Lake.

Through the journey, we learn of the many struggles the pioneers went through to find their place of peace and freedom. The reader learns of the difficult trials the pioneers overcame, their numerous run-ins with Indians and the constant fear of attack, of hunger and thirst, and probably most importantly, the reader gets a sense of the great faith the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had in their Lord and their God.

Here is one example of the personal accounts shared: “The great cause of Zion, taken en masse, swallows up all minor or personal considerations, and wife and children and relatives appear lost, as it were, and we are obliged to forsake them all to build up the Kingdom of God and bring about a reign of peace upon the earth.”

“We’ll Find the Place: The Mormon Exodus, 1847-1848,” helps share the powerful story of the Mormon pioneer emigration and show the sacrifice that occurred to find the place, as William Clayton wrote, “which God for (them) prepared.”

Jordan Morrow resides in Bountiful, Utah, and is an avid student of LDS Church history.

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