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Fire of the Covenant: The Story of the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies
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Fire of the Covenant: The Story of the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies

4.56 of 5 stars 4.56  ·  rating details  ·  6,215 ratings  ·  861 reviews
The author of the acclaimed historical fiction series The Work and the Glory brings another dramatich chapter in Church history to life in Fire of the Covenant, a novel about the 1856 Willie and Martin Handcart Companies. Elder Lund weaves his fictional characters into the tapestry of actual historical events, helping us feel a part of the companies who set out for Zion la ...more
Hardcover, 764 pages
Published 1999 by Bookcraft
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Mommywest
When Justin and I and our little family lived in Student Family Housing at BYU at the "turn of the century" :), we would often spend Sunday afternoons (and sometimes evenings) or vacation days reading LDS Church-themed/related books together. We took turns reading to each other, but usually I ended up reading the most. We read the entire Work and the Glory series and Children of the Promise series that way. After we finished those, we read this book together. By the time we started this book, Ju ...more
Tanja
"Come, come, ye saints" This song has been going through my head for the last week. I started this book forever ago (about 5 months). I will be honest and say it took me about 100 pages to get into the story. Then I was hooked. And all I have done for the last week is read this 760 page book. I know a bit about the martin and willie handcart companies. I have ancestors that were apart of both companies and survived. I have read their journals and been to martin's cove. This only added to my expe ...more
Janette
I reluctantly read this book before going on the 2007 pioneer trek to Martin's Cove. I was really worried that it would be extremely sad, and I didn't want to hear a lot of details about the suffering and death that I knew occurred. However, I was pleasantly surprised that the author was able to tell this story accurately, (using actual people and events, as well as fictional characters)… yet inspiringly. I’ll admit, It took about half of the book for me to really get into the story, but once I ...more
Serena
I'm really enjoying this book and trying brace myself for a good cry. I know how this story ends. It has been so good to hear the details of the preparation of these saints and to better understand their story.
Gwenda
I haven't found much LDS fiction that I enjoyed, but this book was an absolute delight. As historical fiction, it used a lot of real people and settings. Guess what? I found several references to my great-great-grandfather Redick Newton Allred in this book! His nickname was "the bulldog" because he was tenacious about doing what the prophet asked him to do. He headed up the supply wagons that went out to rescue the two handcart companies in desperate situations. Since his provision wagons were l ...more
Nicole Edwards
The actual events and historical accounts were very interesting. I would rather have read a compilation of journals and factual information on the subject, akin to something Laura Hillenbrand would have written. Instead Lund created fictional characters and wove them into the story. While interesting, it was so cheesy that it was hard to take seriously. My favorite bad line of the book: "Dan Jones, cook for the company, provided excellent meals every day, but guilt was the sauce that flavored th ...more
Brynn Albrecht
Fire of the Covenant is a book about the Martin and Willie handcart companies. Written as if they had walked together at the same time towards Zion, it shares details of the average “new converts” life. In some instances, the choice to leave a fiance, best friend, or even family members behind had to be made. Once decided, those who went made the tough journey. It often involved many weeks on a boat and months spent shivering. Sacrifices were, at times, extreme. The ultimate testing of faith hap ...more
Tami
This is a remarkable story! I must admit, I, myself, went through the accusations and questions of where was God in all this and why did these captains leave so late in the year, but Lund does a fantastic job helping the reader understand they had no choice in the matter and that God was with them all along the way. It deepens my respect and admiration for our early pioneers who sacrificed literally EVERYTHING for religious freedom and obedience to God's commands.

I liked this book better than Lu
...more
Cristina
It took me a little while to get into this book most likely because the size of the book deterred me just a bit; however, I ended up enjoying this book so much! Written about the Martin and Willie Handcart companies; the early pioneers (1856) and their struggles coming across the plains to the Salt Lake Valley. It gave me much appreciation for not only what I have been blessed with in my life but also for the sacrifices that these people made to come to Zion. I originally began reading the book ...more
Brittany
This book was absolutely wonderful. Fictional families take you along the journey with them as they trek west from different parts of Europe. There are good times and bad times. There is laughter and sadness, romance and friendships. This book was amazing. I couldn't hardly put it down. Much of the descriptions of the times and trials come from real journal entries. The detail used enlightened me so much as to how this journey must have been. I love this book and would recommend it to everyone. ...more
Clint
Gerald Lund isn't a masterful writer but his excellent and extensive knowledge of Church history paired with his basically good writing makes this series an enjoyable read. The greatest value in these books are how they allow you to experience the Martin & Willey handcart treks through the eyewitness account of a fictional family. Obviously some artistic license is taken when historical characters interact with fictional characters, but I think Mr. Lund did a great job of staying true to cha ...more
Lauren
An amazing book. Follow fictional characters from various countries as they join the Martin & Willey Handcart Companies in their trek across the plains to Salt Lake City with the Mormon pioneers. You get a closer look at how these people survived the ordeal of being stuck in the snow in Wyoming after an early winter sets in. The survivors of these companies are honored for their Faith in God that made them keep going to be with the saints in Salt Lake City.
Bonnie
I might be late to this bandwagon as an LDS member, however... I finally started to read this copy I've had on my bookshelf forever and found that I could not put it down. It was written so well and told the story so profoundly. It struck close to home for me as my family and I are about to embark on our own "trek" across the country. It is very humbling to read their trials and know what they sacrificed to make it to Salt Lake City, whereas I get to drive in my air conditioned car and eat fast ...more
Mashell
Just as good the second time through!!! I picked it up again because I felt the need for an inspirational read. It gave me exactly what I was hoping for. I couldn't put it down and found myself in awe at the commitment and sacrifice the early saints offered. I laughed and cried (many times)as I thought of my own ancesters crossing the plains and the determination they had to follow the counsel they were given. This is one of my all-time favorite books.
Chrystal
Incredible journey! The faith and perseverance of the pioneers is so incredible to me! I cried a lot while reading this book - despite it being fictional - there was a lot of TRUE stories included and I can't imagine going through what they did. This book is truly awesome. I loved it! I'm inspired by all the sacrifice and suffering and enduring faith of these stalwart people. I am so happy to know I come from faithful pioneer heritage.
Camille
I originally read this book about seven years ago. Since I recently purchased it to add to my library, I decided to read it again. I was not disappointed! This book is about the Martin and Willie handcart companies. It has the ability to evoke several different emotions in the span of just a few pages. This book is worth reading over and over to help remind us what these people went through for religious freedom.
Connie
This is the second time reading this book. It just touches my heart each time I read it. I can't imagine the pain these early Latter Day Saints when though as they lost children, parents, siblings and friends along the trail. The story goes into great detail and I could feel their loss. Most of all, I could feel their strength. The determination to do what is right at all cost. These families and individuals gave up everything they possessed to go to a land they had never been. They struggles th ...more
Jerri Gibson
I read this book when it first came out. I always knew the Willie and Martin Handcart companies had a tough time coming across the plains, but this book made me feel like I was there! I have a great-aunt that was part of the trek and hearing her story told in this book was heart wrenching to feel what those people went through.
Megan
I generally have a hard time getting into these books but this has always been one of my favorites. It makes you so appreciative of the hardcart companies and the hardships they faced. Plus has a great story intertwined in the history. A MUST READ..
Jessica
This is the only book to dehydrate me. I cried so much throughout reading it that I had to take a few days off to recuperate before finishing.
Haley
This is my favorite book ever! (tayli- it is even better than twilight so you should read it)
Carly
Although it took me half the book to really get into the story (and that's no small feat considering the book is 800 pages), it's worth it. You may have to skim through those initial chapters to get to the good stuff- the chapter notes where the facts are stated at the end of each chapter.

As I read the past two weeks, anytime I ran into a challenge or felt discouraged, I was reminded how small-scale it really was in comparison to those that have gone before me to build up the kingdom. What dedic
...more
Alison
Excellent! Touching and inspiring.
Bobbie
Finished. I have to say that I think the first 350 pages, could have been summarized into about 50-75 pages. WAY too much usless information. I know he is building a 'story' but it seemed to drone on and on. The other thing I didn't like was Lund tends to over describe. It feels like it's written for 5th graders. I guess if you are not able to remember when he remarked about the old woman on the boat with the walker, then maybe you needed the exact same detailed clarifying description 50 pages l ...more
Cory Thompson
I was given this book as a gift. A parent of a friend found it used and bought it for me, knowing I like reading. I'm not even sure I knew it existed prior to that; nevertheless, I started reading it immediately.

Fire of the Covenant is a historical fiction in the same vein as The Work and the Glory. It follows a fictional family from Scotland as they make the decision to move to Utah in the middle of the nineteenth century. Through literary devices of the author, they meet and mingle with histor
...more
Melinda
I read this to better prepare myself for an upcoming pioneer trek with the youth at church and found this to be an extremely worthwhile and helpful for putting the Martin & Willie handcart company story into the right perspective. The narrative behind the facts, both the fictitious and real characters, told repeatedly trying experiences of unwaivering faith, desperate hope, and true compassion that made such sense to me - my heart ached for these overly weary and deprived people as they stru ...more
Tonya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Megan
Great book. I like reading historical fiction like this because it sort of forces me to learn history. And when it's church history it's even better. I always feel guilty for not knowing enough about church history but I can never bring myself to reading word for word. So having a fictional story along with the history makes it really interesting and when I am studying church history it sinks in a lot better because it seems more alive. this book was very long, but I learned a lot more about spe ...more
Laura Davis
Before read: This book's 760 pages is a little overwhelming, but seems an easy read. I strongly related to the introduction of Lund's wondering how any survived. My question was similar as I spent some time studying the handcart pioneers this summer. I wondered how so many survived. There are now first hand accounts on the church website--Levi Savage's was particularly meaningful to me. He kept a daily account unitl my ggmother was orphaned (mentioned family by name) and then updated weeks later ...more
Tonya
I would mainly recommend this book to anyone planning to go on an LDS Youth Trek. My husband and I were called to go on one and I had a REALLY hard time getting into any of the historical aspects/biographies we were supposed to learn and memorize UNTIL I read this book. Lund does a great job of bringing a lot of the well-known stories of actual handcart company members into the storyline. It made it so easy for me to keep them straight, and I really ended up feeling so attached to the families i ...more
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Fire of the covenant 1 34 Nov 01, 2008 10:41AM  
  • When We Meet Again (Children of the Promise, #4)
  • Prelude to Glory, Vol. 1: Our Sacred Honor
  • Faith of Our Fathers: Through the Perilous Fight (Volume Three)
  • The Golden Crown (Tennis Shoes, #7)
Pillar of Light (The Work and the Glory, #1) Like a Fire Burning (The Work and the Glory, #2) Truth Will Prevail (The Work and the Glory, #3) Thy Gold to Refine (The Work and the Glory, #4) A Season of Joy (The Work and the Glory, #5)

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