OAKLAND, Calif. A crowd of descendants, well wishers and history buffs gathered at the Oakland California Temple grounds Oct. 26 as Elder R. Randall Huff, Area Authority Seventy, dedicated a long-awaited plaque commemorating the arrival in 1846 of 240 pioneer saints on the ship Brooklyn.
Simple in design and secured of granite from the location of the stone for the Salt Lake Temple, the monument was placed in a setting offering a spectacular view of the San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge.
Elder Huff reminded all of the tremendous sacrifices, faith and courage of these pioneers. Continuing, he referred to teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, who said, "A religion that doesn't require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation. For it is by the medium of this sacrifice, and this alone, that a person knows that a course of life he or she is pursuing is according to the will of God."
Oakland's afternoon program began with a presentation by the Santa Rosa California Stake choir, under the direction of Melva Wheelwright, chronicling through original songs and music the Brooklyn's voyage.
Jack Marshall, president of the Brooklyn Association, Bay Area Chapter, added to the musical history with added notes of interest and facts about the voyage. He also praised the many who had contributed so much time, energy and financial support to bringing about the completion of the monument, adding that if those sea-going pioneers could do what they did, this generation could do as much.
Bother Marshall then counseled the audience, "Remember the past with appreciation. Live the present with responsibility, and plan for the future with hope."
A reception was held at the visitors center where the Santa Rosa Califonia Stake choir presented more of the Brooklyn's history, and the documentary film "Forgotten Voyage" was shown.