This is a marvelous book that shares the story of one of Relief Society's finest. I am certain that those who are interested in the history of hymns will enjoy this book as much as I have. Along with the historian, this is a book that will appeal to a wide range of readers.
Debbie Christensen has written this in such a way that even younger readers will be able to read and enjoy this history of three great women and the impact that they continue to have. "As Sisters in Zion" is a book that should find a home with many, as it has with me.
—Association for Mormon Letters
In 1852, two sisters in a small village in England responded to the message of Mormon missionaries and joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Julia Hill was nineteen years old, and her sister, Emily, was only sixteen. After working and saving their money for four more years, they made their way to America and joined the Willie handcart company for the arduous journey to the Salt Lake Valley. Faced with exhaustion, starvation, exposure, and even death, they strengthened one another and intensified their resolve. Alone they would fail, but together they could succeed and live.
Emily later wrote a poem about her experience, which has been set to music and sung by Relief Society sisters all over the world. But the story of that hymn, "As Sisters in Zion," is more than the experience of two sisters. Behind this well-known song lies a fascinating, little-known story of the sisters, personal call to "comfort the weary and strengthen the weak."
I couldn't put it down! It's a short read but very inspiring! I'm ordering it for Christmas for others I loved it so much!
I had gotten this book for my mother but thought I'd take a glance at it before she read it. Of course I read the whole thing. I was very touched by this story. It never dawned on me that single sisters braved the trek west. What I loved is that they bonded together and helped each other. It makes singing the song all the sweeter.
Walking to work from the parking garage on cold winter mornings I sometimes reflect on the saints who walked across the country to settle in the Salt Lake Valley. They were so strong and brave in so many ways! I am grateful for their sacrifices and example to never give up.
This is a story I had not heard and is so inspiring. It shows how there are opportunities to help others, even when our circumstances seem overwhelming. I love the messages of service, love, community, and family the story tells.
Definitely worth reading and sharing...
Debbie, As a desentant of Martha Campkin I would love to thank you for so honoring these women. They do have an encredible story. Emily not only wrote the words to our favorite hymn but she and her sister lived them. Love the book and bought copies for all my daughters. Favorite line in the book was - "and they settled in Perry, UT where members of the family still reside." Yes, we are still here. Teresa Young Glover