Building Faith Through Church History

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Season 1 Episode 22 The Donner Party Part 2


The story of the tragedy of the Donner Party.


In our last episode of History of the Saints we told of the journey of the Donner\Reed party in 1846 from Independence, Missouri to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake. One year later Brigham Young and the Vanguard company would enter the Valley on the very trail blazed by the Donners. However, the Donner Party was bound for California. Keep in mind that two groups of LDS were already in California before the Donner party arrived—the Saints from the ship Brooklyn and the men of the Mormon Battalion. Both of these in a measure would later prove a blessing to the Donners when they became trapped in the mountains. I’m standing on the Salt Flats near Pilot Butte, it was across this deadly terrain that the Donner Party was sorely tried on their way to California.


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