With conductors Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy, organist Richard Elliott, and Lloyd Newell as announcer.
Opening Credits (0:00)
1) The Handcart Song (1:09)
John Daniel Thompson McAllister; arranged by Sam Cardon; new verse by Lucile Cardon Reading
2) Panis angelicus, w/ Sissel (3:50)
César Franck; arranged by Mack Wilberg
3) Improvisation on /”Hymn to Joy/” (Organ Solo) (8:09)
Ludwig van Beethoven; arranged by Richard Elliott
4) How Great Thou Art, with Sissel, (10:54)
Swedish folk melody; arranged by Håkon Iversen; lyrics by Stuart K. Hine
5) A Step of Faith (Spoken Word) (14:49)
6) Faith in Every Footstep (17:40)
K. Newell Dayley
7) Thou Gracious God, Whose Mercy Lends, with Sissel (22:23)
English folk tune; arranged by Mack Wilberg; lyrics by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
A Step of Faith
Recorded in Copenhagen, Denmark, on October 24, 2019
By Lloyd D. Newell
From here in Copenhagen, Denmark, between 1850 and 1900, nearly 20,000 Danes set out across the ocean. Their final destination was Utah Territory in the western United States. Their purpose was to gather with fellow believers. They were pioneers of faith. Along with thousands more across Scandinavia and tens of thousands from other parts of Europe, they traveled to Liverpool, England, to cross the Atlantic and then make their way by foot, wagon, and handcart to the Salt Lake Valley.
This is the waterfront in Copenhagen where their courageous journey began, and to commemorate that journey, a bronze sculpture titled Kristina stands overlooking the harbor. Surrounding the base of the sculpture are cobblestones bearing the names of the Danish emigrants, their hometown, and the year of their departure—information provided generations later by their grateful descendants.
Kristina was created by Dennis Smith, himself a descendant of those hardy pioneers. In fact, the statue represents his great-grandmother who, at age 17, emigrated to America with her family in 1868. There is a steadfast look in Kristina’s countenance as she looks out across the sea. Her hair is blown straight back by the unrelenting icy wind of the sea, but she stands tall and resolute. This wasn’t to be a pleasure cruise, and there would be many stiff winds to come, but Kristina seems ready.
Of Kristina, the sculptor said: “She is an embodiment of all immigrants who have ever been torn between homeland and a better life in a new home. I tried to capture her in that moment we all experience of committing ourselves to our hopes for the future, knowing that we must say goodbye to what we have known before.”
It’s not easy to leave behind what we know and travel into the unknown, but it’s a step we all must take at some point in our lives. How did these Danish pioneers do it? The answer is the fire of faith that burned in their hearts. So when the time comes for us to cross our own ocean, to find our own “place which God for us prepared,” perhaps we can remember Kristina, and others like her, whose every step was a step of faith.
Pioneer Day Special Episode aired July 25, 2021, Broadcast Number 4793.
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