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Don Searle, Courtesy Illinois Nauvoo Mission.
Missionaries and members in Nauvoo speak on behalf of their ancestors during exodus commemoration program in visitors' center Jan. 28. Sister Shiralayne Corder is at the microphone, with Sister Venice Finlinson, Elder Kliff Bramwell and Sister Marillyn Gibson in the background.

NAUVOO, ILL. – Missionaries and members from the surrounding area honored the Pioneers who traveled west from Nauvoo in a special program at the Nauvoo Visitors Center Sunday night, January 28. Descendants of some of those Pioneers spoke for their ancestors as they gave brief summaries of lives spent in following faith.

The program was the prelude to the 2018 commemoration of the Pioneer exodus from Nauvoo, which began February 4, 1846. The beginning of that exodus will be recognized on Saturday, February 3. Members and missionaries dressed as pioneers and bearing the names of ancestors will march through the center of old Nauvoo and down Parley Street to the ferry landing where Pioneers crossed the Mississippi as they left the City of Joseph. The march will begin at 10:00 a.m. Nauvoo historical sites will open after the march is finished.

For the Sunday program, senior missionaries serving in Nauvoo submitted more than 50 brief stories of their ancestors who had lived in the city. Nine of these stories of the early Saints were selected for presentation in the program. Presenters read the stories against a backdrop of items and scenes symbolic of the struggles and journey of the Pioneers.

The program included stories of William Maddison Wall, Susannah Ogden Bigler, Benjamin Brown, Simpson David Huffaker, Louisa Barnes Pratt, Julia Raymond McKee, Lois Smith Winegar, William Cornwall Patten and Lindsay Anderson Brady.

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