Sacred Ground

Shortly after I met my husband he invited me to go with him to a family reunion.  Because I had to work, I agreed to meet him there.  

He called the reunion "the desert trip".  I'm not entirely sure what I expected, but since we were currently living in the middle of the Mojave desert, I wasn't to concerned one way or the other.

As I left I-15 and headed out onto an unknown road with no cell phone coverage I started to become concerned.  I started to look around, and wonder why of all the places a family could gather they would choose this one.  (These pictures are the view from two of the sides of our camp.)
When I arrived there was my husband, and just over a hundred of his relatives.  I was really startled!  There were tents and trailers, trucks and cars, and it looked like someone had opened up a used four wheeler lot.   There were so many people!  Why were they here?!  

I remember my sweet sister Crystal coming over and giving me a huge hug and telling me how glad she was that I had come.  Looking back, I think she knew I was going to be her sister.  I remember being scared my sister Jessie wouldn't like me.  She and my husband are so close, that I knew she would make sure I was good enough for her brother.

That was eight years ago, and every year my sweet husband's family returns to this place.  I no longer wonder why we go.  I know this that is a sacred and special place.  I know this is one of the reasons I married my husband.  

Family is so important that they gather to this place to remember their ancestors who settled this area.  This is where our sweet grandma Julia was born.  The place is called Whitney Pockets after our family.  

We also gather to remember how important their faith was to them.  We hold a testimony meeting one evening while we are there.  (This is a meeting where we share our belief in Jesus Christ and His church.)  We hear the stories about how Great grandpa Whitney would leave his family in the evening and travel in the cool of the night, all night, to attend church meetings for two or three days, then travel all night home just to begin caring for the farm again.  Here we follow Christ's admonition when he came to the America's, and turn "the hearts of the children to their fathers".  (3 Nephi 25:6)  

We are surrounded by the beauty of our Father's creations, and we unite together.  I am so grateful to be a part of a family that holds their history and ancestors in such high esteem.  I am grateful for the chance to walk away from the things of the world and focus on what is really important, our family.  I am grateful for the chance to teach my children how important our family is, and what a heritage of faith they come from.  I am grateful we return to this place that is so special and hallowed. 

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