By: Kade Kleinman
Hello everyone. My name is Kade Kleinman. I am 17 years old and I love to mountain bike and rock climb. Three years ago I had the opportunity to go on Ranger Trek for our scout High Adventure camp. It was a fifty mile backpacking trip up in the Uintah Mountains and I had an amazing time! I went with some of the scouts and leaders in my ward and had experiences I will never forget. I learned many skills up in those mountains that have helped me in my life and it was great to see some of God’s beautiful creations.
Lately, I have been comparing my fifty mile hike to what the pioneers had to travel. It’s crazy to think that most of them walked a distance of over 1000 miles to get to the Salt Lake Valley, depending on where they left from. My backpacking blisters are nothing compared to the trek that those pioneers took, especially after taking into consideration the conditions they went through like blizzards, starvation, and traversing mountains with their handcarts and ragged clothing. It makes me wonder how they pushed through these challenges and continued onward. The answer to why they would continue to push forward and deal with everything is explained in the scripture 2 Nephi:31 verse 19 and 20, which reads: “And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save. Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.” The devotion that these saints had to get to Zion is incredible and truly inspiring and I hope to one day become as strong in my faith of Jesus Christ as were those pioneers.
My fourth great grandpa was Conrad Kleinman. He was born in Germany and when he was 16 his family immigrated to the United States. Not long after, he and his step brother were baptized on August 26, 1844. He built a home in Nauvoo, was active in the Church and suffered much persecution for the gospel. Many of their crops were destroyed, cattle shot and even his home torn down. Finally, Brigham Young decided to take a group of 143 people and travel west to Zion. Conrad was chosen to be part of the Vanguard Company. He was with Brigham Young when Brigham declared, “This is the right place”. Not long after getting settled in Salt Lake he was called to go to what is now Lehi and help establish a settlement. He was then called south to Arizona and helped establish Mesa. Toward the end of his life he lived in St. George and worked as an ordinance worker in the recently finished St. George Temple. Conrad left a legacy of sacrifice and dedication that I hope I can emulate. I am glad to know that he was a faithful member of the church and fulfilled his purpose to live and be a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I know that Heavenly Father has a divine purpose for us and loves us. I like to think that for each generation, he knew all of our qualities and where we would fit and be able to do our best for his church. He put us where he knew we would have the good and the bad and learn to overcome the worldly temptations that are unique for each generation. He keeps track of us individually and checks on us constantly through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Ghost is like our best friend and he helps us to return and live with him once again. Heavenly Father is our coach and as we play this game of life, I know that we must do what is right, press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, and follow in righteousness until the end of the line. Because of this knowledge, I know that I can pass all my trials and tribulations that I have, just like my pioneer ancestors.