Where I come from: Martha and my Pioneer Dilema

I, like many in the church, have a pioneer heritage. However, I have never gotten into it much because while my ancestors on mom's side were handcart pioneers none of them, that I was aware of, stayed faithful members upon their arrival in Utah. I hear stories of sacrifice and faith and think "how come my family made all these same sacrifices to travel from Europe, walk to Utah, and then couldn't remain faithful upon their arrival?"

I had forgotten about Martha. On Memorial day we stopped to put flowers on mom's grave. She is buried in Peterson, UT right next to her great grandma Martha. Peterson cemetery is in a beautiful location in the foothills.
 The only thing visible from the cemetery is horses and mountains. I really really love it there. While there I was reminded of her story so I googled her online this morning. I didn't think I would find anything, but her and her husband Peter are listed in the Encyclopedia of Famous Mormons.

ANDERSON, Martha Hansen, wife of Peter Anderson, was born Feb. 27, 1829, at Elverom, Osterdalen, Norway, the daughter of Breda Hansen and Ingeborg Hansen. Becoming a convert to "Mormonism" she was baptized August 5, 1860, by Peter Olsen and immigrated with her husband Peter, to America in 1861 on the ship "Monarch of the sea." She crossed the plains in Samuel A. Woolley's Handcart Company, which departed Omaha and arrived in Salt Lake City on Sept. 22m 1861. She walked and carried a baby(My G-Gpa) in her arms the entire way. While crossing one of the rivers, where the water was very deep, she had to hold the baby (G-Gpa) above her head, the water reaching to her shoulders. As the stream was about to carry her and the baby away, a man by the name of Olsen jumped in the water from the opposite bank and saved them both. Sister Anderson became the mother of nine children, five boys and four girls (2 girls passing in infancy); she presided over the Ward Relief Society at Peterson about six years. She was a remarkable woman of very strong character, and in early days was often termed the "Good Samaritan," as her house was always open to hungry and weary emigrants or travelers. Her house was a typical country hotel, except that she never was known to make any charge. And when the appreciative traveler, whether stranger or acquaintance, would ask what the bill was for such royal good treatment, she would invariably answer with a pleasing and welcome smile, Always care for those in need as I have cared for you and thus your bill will be paid in full." Sister Anderson died April 15, 1901. 
So she sounds pretty great right? Well she was, and she was faithful her whole life. To me this becomes even more significant when you consider another part of her story. Her husband Peter served a mission to Norway from1882-1884. While there he married Dorthea Maria Gulbrandsen, without permission from Martha, and as far as I know without her knowledge. So Martha raised all 7 children who lived past infancy alone. In a time when many were illiterate, she taught them to read and write and many of her children became well known for their writings. Including Nephi Anderson who wrote Added Upon as well as a few LDS fiction novels.

So my pioneer dilemma has been solved. I do have an ancestor who joined the church, crossed the Atlantic, walked to Zion, and no matter what life threw at her, remained faithful.

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