I closed my eyes completely expecting to go to the beach but surprisingly, I found myself running South on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail that overlooks Cache Valley in Logan, UT. My mind was clear, I was running fast, and I felt strong, fearless, and calm. As I effortlessly ran up and down the windy path, my eyes were fixed on the breathtaking view of Cache Valley and on my two favorite and personally significant landmarks - Old Main and the Logan Temple. I looked beyond Old Main and the Logan Temple and as I gazed upon the majestic Wellsville Mountains, I thought of someone else who once viewed those exact same mountains - my ancestor, Peter Maughan, who was called by Brigham Young to settle Cache Valley.
Peter Maughan was born in England and after he joined the church he moved to America; first to Ohio, then Illinois, then Wisconsin, then Salt Lake City, then Tooele and finally to Cache Valley. I wondered when he reached Cache Valley and viewed the beautiful but desolate valley if he thought, "This is the place? This is my final destination?" Was there more fear or relief in his heart? Did he know how he was going to feed his family, build shelter, take care of his people, establish a church and deal with the very harsh winters ahead? Did he ever miss England or feel guilt for leaving behind his first wife who he had just buried two months before he left with his children for America?
I began "thinking" to my faithful, courageous, and most likely fearful grandfather who just reached the valley. Peter! There is happiness ahead! A temple will be built! A university will be established! Your religion will flourish here! Many people will settle here! In fact, one day, a cute little brick house with orange carpeted kitchen floors will stand at the mouth of Logan Canyon. My great-grandparents will live there, my mom will live there, and I will eventually live there. I will live there when I meet my husband and when we live together as newlyweds and when we bring our sweet first born son into the world. We will pray there and worry there and laugh there and rejoice together there, all because of your faith and courage. You will love Cache Valley and so will your posterity!
As I continued to run, I wondered what Peter Maughan would "think" to me today. I am certain he would want me to know that there is happiness ahead, no matter where God wants us.