Light in the Wilderness – Joan Losee Hardman

Joan spent part of her 1977 summer working at Flaming Gorge, and the Uintah’s. “One evening I was happy to receive the assignment to take mail and supplies to trail workers a few miles up the mountain. After I made the delivery, the sun began to set. I walked quickly to get down the mountain, but soon the skies began to dim and the shadows darkened. At times I could hear wildlife noises in the mountain forest and it became very difficult to see the trail. My flashlight helped significantly, but as full darkness came on, it became difficult to distinguish what was the path and what were small clearings leading off into thick forest. Fortunately the trail had been blazed. Every few hundred feet there would be a pine tree with hatchet markings, the outer bark had been removed exposing a section of inner tree. These round white signs on the trees let me know that I was on the right trail. At one point I turned off my flashlight, I was surrounded in darkness, impossible to continue on. I looked straight up above the tall pines and gazed at the thick Milky Way galaxy. At that moment a scripture entered my mind, ‘And I will also be your light in the wilderness; and I will prepare the way before you…’ I was filled with happiness as I received this personal message from God! The task of getting down the mountain became joyous as I thought on the similarities of this experience to my life and my own mission on earth. Staying on the trail was like keeping the commandments, my steps took faith and effort, but I was determined to not get lost. I felt the Savior’s love as I considered that he walked this path before me. The flashlight was like the gift of the Holy Ghost. The hatchet markings were like personal revelations. I was confident that whatever way I was caused to turn, it would eventually lead home. There was an added joy when I approached the lights of my home camp. I had returned successfully as I hope to return successfully from my mortal mission. Before I went to bed, I opened the Book of Mormon to find the scripture I had heard up on the mountain. With it came this echoing confirmation, ‘Wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land; and ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led.’ (1 Nephi 17:30)”


About Kenneth Richard Hardman

AncestorClips are very short stories about very real people. Each clip nurtures awareness of a time, a place, and the character of a man or woman who cultivated a path for our life. The reader feels the good, the obstacles, the happiness, the sadness, and the overcoming. They cheer us, make us resilient when challenged, give us purpose, and connect us to our multi-generational family. Each story is followed by reflections from the author and readers sharing how the story strengthened or inspired them. Ken Hardman is a son, a brother, a grandson, a great-grandson… He is also a husband, father and grand-father. Ken is a professional engineer, engineering mentor, technical writer, and associate technical fellow at a major aerospace company. He is a writer of engineering and family history stories. Please join Ken in reading, reflecting upon, or writing #AncestorClips
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