Second Rescue History
During the spring of 1991 the Stake Presidency of the Riverton, Wyoming Stake received the inspiration that much of the temple work for the Willie and Martin Handcart Pioneers needed to be researched and completed. During a stake meeting, all members were asked to participate in the spiritual rescue of these pioneers who died within the boundaries of the Riverton Wyoming Stake.
President Gordon B. Hinckley asked President Scott Lorimer why the work had not previously been done for the pioneers who perished on high plains of Wyoming and told him "President, don't you stop till it's finished".
The summer of 1992, Elder James E. Faust visited the youth pioneer trek over the rough handcart trail. He told the youth and their leaders about Francis Webster. He paused in the middle and proceeded to give everyone present a blessing. Few have had the opportunity of hearing anyone bear witness of the Savior the way Elder Faust did at Radium Springs.
All through the summer the people of the Riverton Wyoming Stake researched the names of the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies. Members spent hours in the church library using the new computers, secured by President McKinnon, to find names and dates to be used in the temple work.
After hundreds of hours of research, more then 4,000 ordinances were performed in the Ogden Temple by many youth and adults. Temple trips became common, especially for the youth 12 and up. The Bishoprics spent many long hours driving to and from Wyoming to Ogden Utah where they assisted in the temple work. One Bishop related "Words cannot express the feelings and Spirit felt while the youth were being baptized. That day I gained a sure knowledge of life after death and just how thin the veil can be at times".
Along with the temple work being done, members of the Stake wanted to create a memorial to the pioneers they came to know and love. The Stake Presidency asked the Priesthood of the Stake to construct a monument in Martin's Cove. The idea was expanded to construct two additional monuments at Willie Rescue Site and the other on Rocky Ridge. President Lorimer told members he hoped that everything to do with the monuments could be done within the Stake. This request stretched the Stake to the limit but enthusiasm never waned.
At the conclusion of the Second Rescue three monuments were dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, on August 15, 1992. The monuments were at Rocky Ridge, the Willie Rescue Site , and Martin's Cove.