At Heaven’s Door, Volume III of the Barrington Family Saga
Last week I told you the story behind the dedication I put at the beginning of volume two of this series. This week I want to mention the dedication of this book, as well. I mentioned that researching this story made me more aware of my own ancestors, and their place in church history. The dedication specifically mentions them, with the concluding statement: “Because of them and many others, the spirit of Elijah has led me to Nauvoo. And there I find my greatest legacy.” I’d never physically been to Nauvoo at the time I wrote this story, but I’ve been since, and it was a remarkable experience!
On to the story . . .
In this third volume, James has finally embraced the gospel, and church history is evolving. The Saints have now evacuated Nauvoo, and word comes that the dear friends of James and Eleanore are on their way to Winter Quarters, after having been driven out of Nauvoo under deplorable circumstances. James and Frederick load wagons with supplies and head out to make a treacherous journey to try and give a little bit of relief to the people there. The experiences they report upon their return are life-altering, and James brings back an orphaned boy who is a representation of the sacrifices of the Saints, having lost family members through many stages of hardship and persecution.
Through this story James and Eleanore continue to wonder why their prayers in regard to joining the Saints are always met with the same answer, that they need to stay in Iowa. While they are grateful to be in their comfortable home and spared the horrors that are taking place, they wonder why they would be spared, and their hearts long to be with the Saints, in spite of the struggles.
With the passing of time and the deepening of their convictions, the answer finally presents itself in a way that ties into a significant point of church history. Eventually, the Saints come to them and are in need of their help. I’ll leave it at that.
The important point to this story is that we often don’t understand why our circumstances might be a certain way, or a certain struggle doesn’t make sense. In time, the hand of the Lord always presents itself and things make sense, as long as we keep pressing forward and trusting in Him. Sometimes the answers can take years, but the answers always come.