Oh! How lovely was the morning!

In the spring of 1820, the humble pleadings of a simple farm boy were answered with such magnificence and glory, that the course of his life, and the lives of every individual in each generation that followed have been eternally blessed. Truth has been restored, and lives are changed forever!

From the simplicity and of heavenly ministerings in upstate New York, until the Saints left the beauty of a thriving Nauvoo, the early members of the Church of Jesus Christ were afforded opportunities to gain testimonies of truthfulness of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They gained hope that they too could be active participants in this beautiful eternal plan, and become a covenant-keeping people. Then, at times they were called upon to exercise faith - even when it meant enduring unexpected hard things. To help our youth learn from these early church member, the Meridian South Stake has planned a pioneer handcart trek in July 2021. We will celebrate the sacrifice and devotion of the early Saints, and build youth as the spiritual pioneers in our days.

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Youth participating in the Meridian South Stake Trek this summer, will have the unique opportunity to learn about the trials and experiences of the early Saints, from the Upstate New York, through Kirtland and Jackson County, and finally through the beautiful city of Nauvoo. Much like these early Saint, youth participating will be presented with opportunities to learn that this trek experience is symbolic of our individual willingness to participate in our real life trek in mortality called the Covenant Pathway.

The Meridian South Stake Trek is an exciting three day hands-on youth conference for young men and young women who will turn 14 years of age on or before December 31st, and until they are 18 years of age. Youth will be placed in a Trek Family with a Ma and Pa and several other youth. These families will travel together across the hills and meadows of a high ranch in western Idaho. In preparation, we invite all youth to prayerfully consider what lessons the Lord would have them learn through this trek experience.

The theme for our 2021 trek experience is “Truth Restored: Gaining Hope - Building Faith”

With life seemingly disrupted over the past year due to the global pandemic, it might have been easy to dim our light, or even hide it in a self-imposed spiritual quarantine. As youth in the Meridian South Stake, we have a unique opportunity to recognize the hand of a loving Heavenly Father in our individual life’s. Our theme is a foundation for you to start, nourish, and grow your spiritual connection to a loving Heavenly Father.

Truth Restored

The fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored, with eternal covenants and blessings, in these the latter days. As members of His church, we have an opportunity to gain and strengthen our individual testimonies about the restoration of the Gospel. Not only can we gain a testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the experiences of early Saints, but you can gain a testimony about how you are a living witness to the restoration of truth as you hear and follow prophetic counsel revealed in our day, seek for and follow the promptings of daily revelation, and more fully participate in the work of salvation through your inspired youth goals by joining in the Lord’s Youth Battalion.

Gaining Hope

When things don’t work out according to our plan, it may be easy to feel low. With certainty the lives of the early Saints didn’t quite go according to their plan. They were forced from their homes, they lost loved ones along the path, and yet they were able to gain hope in their challenges. We learn in “True to the Faith” that when we have hope, we trust God’s promises. We have a quiet assurance that if we do “the works of righteousness,” we “shall receive [our] reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come” (D&C 59:23). Through this trek experience, your eternal perspective will be enlarged, and you will gain more hope in His plan.

Building Faith

Whether you are working on lighting your candle of faith, or if you are seeking to feed the flames of your campfire of faith to grow it into a mighty bonfire, by participating in this trek experience, you will receive opportunities to see the work of a loving Heavenly Father in your life. Additionally, by seeing and hearing the stories of the early Saints, and their challenges of faith, the pattern of growing faith will become evident, and can be more closely applied in your life.

It is our hope and prayer that participants in this youth trek experience will strengthen their testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel, and recognize that the Lord does speak to his prophets and to individuals in these the latter days. Further that we can have hope in this beautiful plan and that we are actually already on His Covenant Path. Finally, we hope that our youth will come to know that no matter how weak or strong our faith is, it’s never too late to make our light shine brighter. For each of us has a loving Heavenly Father, and he wants us to continue on our trek in life until we meet again in the glory of His presence.

Are you ready to begin your trek?