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Incredible Feat by Incredible Feet!

They did it! Here are Nauvoo Discovery Program Participants at Historic Carthage Jail after a full day’s journey on the Martyrdom Trail. Beginning at 8 AM on a very windy Thursday morning on February 8, 2024, 14 participants walked the roughly 22-mile trail from Nauvoo, Illinois to Carthage, Illinois, all arriving by or before 6:25 PM, about a 10 1/2 hour trek. The purpose of the trek was to honor and remember the martyrs Joseph and Hyrum Smith and have a personal/group spiritual experience. Each participant received a commemorative coin of choice after the journey.

Here are some feelings from those who made the journey:

“I really enjoyed spending time with my peers as we encouraged and shared our testimonies with each other along the road.” “I loved having time to think and ponder spirituality.”-Hanieh Malcolm

“I loved how beautiful everything was! It was so fun to walk and challenge myself, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.”-Rachel Clayton

“I loved the reminder to be humble and rely on those around me and my Savior.”-Lance Zabriskie

“I enjoyed hiking alongside my dearest friends on this challenging and spiritual trail while building a testimony of friendship, physical ability, and the restoration of the Gospel.” Mary also reported that if she didn’t have her group of friends she would not have finished as easily. The group effort provided motivation. -Mary Roberts

“Experiences like that are the kind that show a person's character. They show what you’re made of. They show if you're willing to look around to help those around you.”-Shauna Spencer

“I was able to spend some time by myself and the Lord in nature as I haven’t been able to do that in a while.”-Eleanor Solstad

“I couldn’t help but think of Joseph and others who rode this very same trail. It was humbling.”-Janine Green

“I enjoyed talking one-on-one with others and learning more about who they are. It created a stronger relationship between us, which I am thankful for.”-Mielee Prettyman

“During my walk to Carthage, I enjoyed getting to connect with others while experiencing the sweet spirit of one of the most important roads in the world. I Loved listening to Saints Chapter 44 while walking, it was such a spiritual experience.”-Wesley Graham

“Carthage trek was a good time to get to know people better and think about the significance of Nauvoo and Joseph and Hyrum's sacrifice.”-Brandon Colvin

“It brightened my spirit when I saw the people I love pushing past their limits, always taking one more step. I can only imagine that Joseph and Hyrum Smith were smiling watching us complete this journey.” On the walk, Tommy listened to Chapter 44 from Volume One of The Saints. It was a favorite part of the journey for him, along with singing quietly to himself “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief.” The quote when Joseph mentions “I am leaving like a lamb to the slaughter calm as a summer’s morning” was calming. “It’s not something you do every day or every week,” Tommy said. -Thomas Sheeran.

“Walking in the beautiful nature helped me visualize what the ride to Carthage was like for Joseph and Hyrum. It made my love for them and my appreciation for their sacrifices even greater than before!”-Jacquelyn Garfield

“Experiences like these are exactly why I decided to be in this program. I came to a greater understanding of the earlier saints and their struggles. It really strengthened my testimony of sacrifice and the gospel in general.”-Maelyn Shepherd

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