One of my pioneer ancestors was Charlotte Luticia Folkhard. Many people say that she was member of the royal family, but my grandmother has not been able to find any solid proof of this. She was disowned when she married her husband, who was a commoner. They joined the church together in England. They saved money for passage to America to join the saints.
Once they saved the money they bought passage to America, shortly before the boat was depart Charlotte fell sick. She sent her family on ahead. She stayed behind with her six-week old baby. Both died shortly after the boat left. Charlotte’s sacrifice has always touched me. She must have known that she would most likely never see her family again, but she sent them on, because she knew that this was the right thing to do. She wanted them to be with the Saints.
Mary Ann Folkhard was a daughter of Charlotte’s. She accompanied her father across the plains and into the Salt Lake Valley. The journey was not easy, but the sacrifice to be with the saints was worth it. She met and married Samuel Leaver.
My pioneer ancestors, and the sacrifices that they made in order to have the gospel become a part of their lives have always impressed me. Many made the choice to join the church and were rejected by their families, others left families behind to go and join the saints. Today others are faced with the same decisions as they join the church. Sacrifices are still made in order to live the gospel to the fullest extent. The blessings still come to those that are earnestly trying to do the right. I am grateful for the heritage that each of us has. I hope you will honor the pioneers, both those of the past, and those around us today.