Page 10 The Ogden Valley news Volume XIV Issue XVI June 1, 2007 Reflections on the Mormon Battalion Persecuted for their beliefs and driven from “History may be searched in vain for an equal march of infantry. With crowbar and pick and ax in hand we have worked our way over mountains which seemed to defy aught save the wild goat . . . . Thus, marching half naked and half fed, and living upon wild animals, we have discovered and made a road of great value to our country.” Thus read Order Number I written by Lieutenant Colonel Phillip St. George Cooke upon the arrival of his rag-tag band of volunteer soldiers now known as the Mormon Battalion. The date was January 30, 1847 and the small mission they helped establish is now the sprawling metropolis of San Diego, California. “While the soldiers displayed incredible loyalty to their adopted country, it was really their loyalty to their prophet, Brigham Young, that caused over 500 men to depart from their wives and children at Winter Quarters at Council Bluffs Iowa for the year-long enlistment,” said Trace Skeen. “The real story of the Battalion is one of incredible devotion between the men and the women they chose to leave behind in the hands of a harsh wilderness.” Brief History of the U.S. Mormon Battalion The need to assist the U.S. Army in the Mexican war was urgent . President James K. Polk instructed the Secretary of War, William L. March, to authorize Col. (later General) Stephen W. Kearney, Commander of the Army of the West, to enlist a battalion of 500 Mormons for this purpose. Captain James Allen was ordered to proceed to the Mormon Camps in Iowa to recruit five companies of 75 to 100 men each. The Mormons had many reasons to be reluctant to enlist: They had received no protection from persecution and mob action in Missouri and Illinois; their families were destitute and spread over a wide area; they had hundreds of miles of hostile Indian territory to cross; they worried how their families would suffer in the bitter plains winter; and, of course, the Mormons had particularly close family ties and were concerned about protection for their families located on the western frontier. However, President Brigham Young and the the Mormon Battalion, has such a passion governing Council of the L.D.S. Church urged the for the story that he has written a musical men to enlist, telling them it was their patriotic production about it, which he hopes will be duty to join. Five companies totaling over 500 staged here in Ogden Valley next summer. men were mustered in at Council Bluffs, Iowa on BATTALION cont. on page 19 July 16, 1846. There were 32 women, of which their homes, the Latter-day Saints set out from Nauvoo, Illinois in 1846. They were seeking Zion—a place where they could worship as they pleased. Their destination was Utah’s Salt Lake Valley. Thousands of Saints crossed Iowa and encamped on both sides of the Missouri River, including the site of Winter Quarters, where they constructed hundreds of shelters. These temporary towns became safe havens for the Saints—a place to gather strength before resuming the trek west. It was at such a site that hundreds of men were asked to leave their families and journey on to join the U.S. government as soldiers in the Mexican War. They were the only religious “unit” in American military history to serve in the war. Skeen, who lives in Liberty and is a descendant of one of the men of Company E from 20 were laundresses hired at private’s pay, that left with the Battalion. They made the longest march in military history consisting of 2,000 miles from Council Bluffs, Iowa to San Diego, California. President Brigham Young told them: “Brethren, you will be blessed, if you will live for those blessings which you have been taught to live for. The Mormon Battalion will be held in honorable remembrance to the latest generation; and I will prophesy that the children of those who have been in the army, in defense of their country, will grow up and bless their fathers for what they did at that time. And men and nations will rise up and bless the men who went in that Battalion. These are my feelings in brief respecting the company of men known as the Mormon Battalion. When you consider the blessings that are laid upon you, will you not live for them? As the Lord lives, if you will but live up to your privileges, you will never be forgotten, without end, but you will be had in honorable remembrance, for ever and ever.” In addition to the 500 men, some of the BATTALION HISTORY cont. on page 19 Community Outreach Programs Offered in June “Turn It Around Compliment Bound” is a compliment outreach program created by Marlene M. Harper. The program has used positive language to build self-esteem in schools— mostly junior high schools—since 1995. Harper recently changed the name to “UBU Bound Youth Empowerment” encouraging youth to be their best selves. The new name better explains the organizations purpose. “Our ‘compliment bound’ programs give youth coping skills. Experiences, even bad situations, can be ‘turned around,’ then we can progress,” said Harper. Harper has recently teamed up with Sally The Kindergarten Graduation ceremony at the Old Fire House Learning Academy. From left to right front: Hudson Schenck, Paige Sunderland, Austin Schoolcraft, Allie Erickson, and Tess Sackett. Back row: Brayden Iverson, Savanna Poulson, Brennon Stevenson, and Mykaya Clark. Farrell who works to rehabilitate birds in the New Orleans area. Farrell has 15 raptors she works with. Harper traveled to Louisiana to help present the “Wind In My Feathers” program with Farrell. The program is especially helpful due to the difficulties created in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and more recent tornadoes. With birds like Anaya, a three-foot tall Eurasian eagle owl with a wing-span of over six feet (the largest of owl species in the world), the scene is set. “Anaya can raise youth to a high level of curiosity,” Harper explains. “That makes it is easier to teach scientific concepts, and to relate them to environmental impacts.” The birds Farrell has will never be able to be returned to the wild because of human imprinting or injuries. “The raptors are ideal because youth who see them are immediately awed by these magnificent birds,” Harper added. Harper’s program, “UBU Bound Youth Empowerment” and “Wind In My Feathers” will bring two weeks of programs to Northern Utah in June. Certified graphologist Polly Cady of Colorado will present a week long graphology certification class to help participants learn to read hidden codes in handwriting. This skill is helpful for leaders to prevent tragedies like the recent event at Virginia Tech. Those who complete the workshop June 4-8 can become handwriting analysts. Cady will be assisted by local graphologist Judy Porter. The class will be held at Crystal Inn, 480 Westland Drive, Brigham City from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The cost is $650. (Discounts available for bringing associates.) Changing a person’s handwriting to change their life is the topic of a one-day seminar presented by Cady on Saturday, June 9 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., which will also be held at Crystal Inn. The cost is $75 per adult or $50 per child. A presentation of “Wind In My Feathers” is coming up Thursday, June 14 from 9:00 a.m. to noon at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, which is located one block west of I –15, exit 363. Dr. Marie Green will talk about eating right to take flight. Dalyn Erickson, a wildlife specialist from the Ogden Nature Center will make a presentation with Buz Marthler. They will have live birds for the event; Chitters—a great horned owl, Sampson—a red tailed hawk, and Des Ta Te—a bald eagle. The cost is $6 and group rates can be arranged. An overnight campout is planned as a follow up on Friday, June 15 from noon to 1:00 p.m. and on Saturday, June 16 at Pelican Beach at Willard Bay. The event is geared for both individuals and families. The cost is $25 per person and includes breakfast, plus lunch or dinner. Group rates can be arranged. Jim Phillips, world-class sub-zero survival guru, famed for his expeditions to the magnetic North Pole and Arctic Circle, will be on hand to teach survival techniques and give an extreme temperature clothing construction demonstration. Popular Science Magazine honored Phillips with an award for the “Best of What’s New, 1989’s Greatest Achievements In Science and Technology” for his clothing technology designs. In conjunction with “Wind In My Feathers,” a “For the Birds” contest is being sponsored for art, music, photography, compliments, essays, and poetry for all ages. Entries can be taken to the Bird Refuge Education Center on the morning of June 14, or emailed to Judy Porter at firstname.lastname@example.org or to Marlene Harper at <email@example.com> Winners will be announced at noon on June 16. For more information or to RSVP for any of these events, call Harper at 801-791-7630 or 435-723-2987, or Porter at 801-603-5109 or 801-782-3426.