Church News - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Pioneer moment: `Glad news'

Published: Saturday, May 24, 1997

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Peter and Ann Ranck joined the Church April 20, 1846, in Lancaster, Pa. They had heard Church members speak and knew that baptism was the right thing to do.

William I. Appleby baptized them in a river covered with ice, which had to be cut away.Their families were very upset and disowned them for joining the Church. But their desire to live the gospel was so strong that they left their home, friends and families and traveled to Nauvoo to be with the main body of Saints.

In the spring of 1852, Peter, Ann and their children - Robert Byers, 11, Margaret Elizabeth, 8, Joseph Gibson, 4, Sarah Jane, 2, and Lydia Ann, 3 months - joined a pioneer company moving west to the territory of Deseret. They had one wagon, one ox and one cow.

The older children walked behind the huge wagon, loaded with food and belongings. Sarah Jane was permitted to ride inside. One afternoon as the large wagon was pulled along a rough trail, she fell out of the wagon. Both wheels of the huge wagon rolled over her small legs, just above the knees.

This buried her legs deep in the earth, which was reduced to a very fine dust because of the many wheels and hoofs that had passed over the trail before them.

Immediately Captain Isaac Steward, leader of the company, called a halt and ordered the camp to form for the rest of the day and night.

Sarah's father and other elders administered to her and when the company's physician examined the little girl, he could find nothing wrong with her.

After the glad news came to the distraught parents, Sarah Jane was allowed to get up and play with the other children.

The Ranck family arrived in the valley Sept. 20, 1852, and settled in East Millcreek, living in a log room.

Sarah Jane married Charles Capson in 1885. (Source: History of Sarah Jane Ranck, Daughter of Utah Pioneer Archives, written by Claire Hixson Smith. Also found in histories about Peter and Ann Ranck.)