Quail and Civil War

“Moses and Brigham Young had much in common. . . .”Both groups [the Israelites and the Saints] shared many miracles that are memorialized annually. The celebration of Passover relates to the travels of the ancient Israelites. And each July we repeat legendary stories of our pioneers. Both groups traversed deserts, mountains, and valleys of untamed wilderness. Ancient Israelites left Egypt via the parted waters of the Red Sea ‘as by dry land’ (Heb. 11:29). The pioneers left the United States crossing the wide waters of the Mississippi River—frozen to become a highway of ice.”The book of Exodus reports that quail were miraculously provided to feed the hungry people of ancient Israel (see Ex. 16:13; Num. 11:32; Ps. 105:40). The pioneers had an equivalent experience. After the last of them had been driven out of Nauvoo, many were sick and some had died. Their provisions were meager. On the river bottoms near Montrose, Iowa, on 9 October 1846, many quail miraculously flew into camp. The quail were cooked and fed to some 640 destitute people (see Stanley B. Kimball, “Nauvoo West: The Mormons of the Iowa Shore,” BYU Studies, winter 1978, 142).”It was also miraculous that a permanent settlement survived in the valley of the Great Salt Lake. Seagulls that saved the crops were part of that miracle.”God preserved ancient Israel from plagues sent upon Egypt (see Ex. 15:26). Similarly, God preserved the Saints from the plague of the United States Civil War, which caused more American deaths than any other war.”

Russell M. Nelson, “The Exodus Repeated,” Ensign, July 1999, 9

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