Title: Follow Me To Zion
Authors: Andrew D. Olsen, Jolene Spendlove Allphin, Julie Boswell Rogers
Publisher: Deseret Book
Year Published: 2013
James G. Willie knew the trek would be arduous when he left Iowa City in July 1856, leading 500 handcart pioneers on a 1,300-mile journey across the plains. But he could not have known that his people would run out of food while still hundreds of miles from Salt Lake City nor that the winter of 1856 would begin in the middle of October with prolonged, severe storms. Sixty-nine members of his company would die along the way. Yet from this tragedy emerged triumphant stories of personal endurance, courage, heroism, and unwavering faith.
Follow Me To Zion is a touching book that recounts 20 compelling stories of members of the Willie handcart company and their rescuers. Dozens of full-color images by artist Julie Rogers enrich this keepsake volume, which pays tribute to the men, women, and children who have become enduring witnesses of the power of faith and sacrifice. Follow Me To Zion goes beyond the known stories, to what happened to some of these pioneers afterwards as well as reflections of some of their descendants.
Here you will find excerpts from their own accounts of the journey, learn what those faithful pioneers did after reaching the Salt Lake Valley, and read reflections on their lives by descendants.
The simple words “Follow Me to Zion,” cross-stitched onto small pieces of fabric kept in the journal of a handcart pioneer, are an invitation that still calls to us today.
The stories and paintings in this beautiful volume can inspire us to live true to our faith and reach out to help others do likewise.
I think most people who group up in the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) have heard the stories of the Wille Handcart Company. I knew my pioneer ancestors had been part of the group that involved with it, but I wasn’t sure all the details. It was a humbling experience to read this book, see the beautiful artwork, and to read my ancestors names in the list of people printed in the back of the book. Follow Me To Zion is such a beautiful book, I plan on getting another copy for my grandparents.