“President Hinckley, President Faust Honor Pioneers,” Ensign, Aug. 2001, 72–73
During a program in Salt Lake City on 12 May, President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated as a memorial a restored pioneer cabin. On the same day, President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, spoke during a program in Wyoming honoring Church members who had helped memorialize the sacrifices of Latter-day Saint pioneers in that state.
President Hinckley spoke at the dedication of the Richard and Mary Goble Pay cabin at This Is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City. The cabin once belonged to the Pays, who were grandparents of Marjorie Pay Hinckley, the President’s wife. Originally located in central Utah, the cabin was restored by Pay family members and donated to the park.
Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles also attended the dedication.
In his dedicatory prayer, President Hinckley referred to the sufferings of the group of pioneers, including Mary Goble’s and Richard Pay’s families, who were part of a wagon train company that traveled and suffered with the Willie and Martin handcart companies. These westwardbound pioneers were stalled by early snowstorms in Wyoming in 1856. Many of that group died before rescuers sent by President Brigham Young arrived.
“All who are the posterity of the pioneers of that generation today accept this restored cabin as a reminder of a great and unequaled heritage,” President Hinckley said in the prayer. “As their vision was large, may our vision be large; as their faith was strong, may ours also be strong.”
In remarks during a program in Wyoming, President Faust spoke of the two rescues of the Willie and Martin pioneer group. First, many of them were rescued from death in 1856. The second rescue came in the 1990s, when saving ordinances of the temple were performed for many of them and the monuments to their sacrifice were erected at historic sites.
President Faust was the keynote speaker for a program honoring Scott and Dee Lorimer. While president of the Riverton Wyoming Stake, Scott Lorimer and his wife, Dee, led efforts to bring out of obscurity the historic sites where monuments and visitors’ centers have now been developed. Because of their efforts, the Wyoming State Legislature declared 12 May 2001 “Scott and Dee Lorimer Day.” The program honoring them was held at Central Wyoming College in Riverton.
President Faust spoke of the “terrible price in the agony and suffering for the faith” paid by the Willie and Martin companies. “We wonder why a kind and merciful God did not temper the elements to spare them from their profound agony. I think I have found the answer to my own satisfaction. I may be wrong, but I believe their lives were consecrated to a higher purpose through their suffering and their example. Their love for the Savior was burned deep into their souls and into the souls of their children and their children’s children, and it will be so forever.”
Elder Donald L. Staheli of the Seventy, President of the North America Central Area, attended the program, as did state governmental leaders and the current president of the Riverton stake, Lloyd Larsen.