In one of the great moments of pioneer history, one by one the company took the wagons down the treacherous precipice. When, miracle of miracles, they reached the canyon floor, they eagerly started to ferry across the river with a flatbed boat they had fashioned for that purpose. As it turned out, the Joseph Stanford Smith family was the last wagon to descend that day.
Stanford Smith had systematically helped the preceding wagons down, but somehow in their one-by-one success and consequent disappearance, the others apparently forgot that
Brother Smith's family would still need help as the tail enders. Deeply disturbed that he and his family seemed abandoned,... (Stanford) stood for a moment and looked down the treacherous "Hole."
(He) turned to his wife and said, "Belle, I am afraid we can't make it."
"We must make it," she replied.
"If we only had a few men to hold the wagon back we might make it," he said.
"I'll do the holding back. We will make it," she said.
Positioning herself behind the wagon, Belle Smith grasped the reins of the horse hitched to the back of the rig.
Stanford started the team down the "Hole." The wagon lurched downward. With the first jolt the rear horse and Sister Smith were literally catapulted into the air. Recovering, she hung back, pulling on the lines with all her strength and courage. A jagged rock cut a cruel gash in her leg from heel to hip. The horse behind the wagon fell to his haunches. The half-dead animal was literally dragged most of the way down the incline. That gallant woman, clothes torn, with a grievous wound, hung on to those lines with all her might and faith, and with her husband muscled that wagon the full length of the incline all the way to the river's edge.
On reaching the bottom, and almost in disbelief at their accomplishment, Stanford immediately raced (1,300) feet back up to the top of the cliff fearful for the welfare of the children. When he climbed over the rim, he saw his three children literally unmoved from the position their mother had placed them in.
Carrying the baby, with the other two children clinging to him and to each other, he led them down the rocky (path) to their anxious mother below. At that point, in the distance they saw five men moving toward them carrying chains and ropes.
The Smiths had been missed from the larger party. Realizing the plight they were in, these men were coming to help.
Stanford called out, "Forget it fellows ... (Belle) here is all the help a (man) needs (to make this journey)."
Elder Holland, “When the Call Comes”, address given at a 2007 eastern and southern Utah stake conference. ---Elder Holland's account was adapted from David E. Miller, "Hole-in-the-Rock: An Epic in the Colonization of the Great American West," 1959.
I can't even imagine trying that, let alone succeeding, especially after having climbed the mountains last week. She left her small children there where they easily could have wandered off or fallen down great depths and then she made her way down with all that weight. While I am sure she had some heavenly help, she first had to show her determination and faith and then secondly she had to work and suffer. Our Heavenly Father is there helping us through everything, but He doesn't always take away the need for us to suffer and to put forth effort.