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The Miracle of the Reed Family in the Donner Party Tragedy

Most of us are familiar with the Donner/Reed expedition to California by a small group of pioneers in 1847. After many delays, the group was caught in a snowstorm just shy of the peak of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The snow was relentless, and the snow was soon so deep, there was little hope of continuing the journey for some time.

They built shanties for protection. They began killing their livestock for food. It was a desperate situation, and before the first group of rescuers arrived in February of 1848, the lack of food had driven many to cannibalism of those that had died.

James and Margaret Reed

James Reed had been expelled from the wagon train prior to the great snowstorms. His wife, Margaret, and their four small children suffered through that terrible winter. Margaret showed such incredible strength and courage in the face of dire circumstances. Her Christian faith motivated her to a rock solid determination that neither she or her children would eat human flash, no matter the cost.

The hunger they suffered was beyond description, but that decision was made and kept. That decision, based upon a moral compass few have, did not go unnoticed by the God of all. Only the family of Ulster-born James Reed came through without losing a family member and without ever succumbing to cannibalism.

The Reed family lived their Christianity in a way few ever have, to their very extremities, while resisting the path chosen by the rest. The Lord blessed them in a remarkable way, by preserving every member in their family. It is truly a miracle from heaven that deserves to be known.

Thank God we have all got through and the only family that did not eat human flesh,’ 13-year-old Virginia Reed wrote to a cousin back in Illinois.

Why “Our Lady of Fatima” and 3 Portuguese Children Matter Today, 105 Years Later

Throughout the history of time, we have seen God working through children to bring to pass amazing things in the world. David, the shepherd, took a small stone and a sling, and conquered a giant. Samuel heard the voice of God call him in the night. Daniel was kidnapped as a child, as were Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They asked for different food than the rest of the boys. We also see God’s blessings on Esther, Joan of Arc, and countless others. It is easy to discern that God performs miracles with children.

One particularly fascinating example of this, is the 1917 account of three youngsters who were tending sheep in Fatima, Portugal. A heavenly woman came down in a cloud and instructed Lúcia dos Santos and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto. They were told to come every month, for six months, on the same day and at the same time, where she would meet them and teach them what she would have them do. Their story became big news, and soon tens of thousands of people joined them at the meeting place. They were also persecuted greatly by unbelievers, in spite of their tender years.

The children plead with the Lady to manifest herself to the crowds, so that they would be believed. They were told that would happen at the meeting in October. On that day, 10s of thousands gathered around the hill where the meeting would take place. What happened next, became front page news around the world. The massive crowd witnessed the sun turning different colors, and then falling from the sky toward them, before rising back to its rightful place.

Was this the purpose of those monthly visits? No. The children were given three secrets to share later, which would help change the world for the better. Two were shared soon after. The third was to be read to the world by the 1960 Pope. The children were warned, that if that particular Pope did not read that message there would be great trouble. The Lady said, “If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”

The Pope refused to read the third message in 1960. But, eventually at least a portion was published by the Vatican in June 2020.

The third part of the secret revealed at the Cova da Iria-Fátima, on 13 July 1917.
I write in obedience to you, my God, who command me to do so through his Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and through your Most Holy Mother and mine.
After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!’. And we saw in an immense light that is God, something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it, a Bishop dressed in White. We had the impression that it was the Holy Father. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.

Because of the failure of the Pope, in 1960, we have seen much trouble with Russia since that time. Russia was not converted, and there wasn’t peace. The Russian bear spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. We are still seeing the unfolding of this prophecy in our day. Because Russia was not warned by the Pope, and did not convert, The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. Only after all that death and suffering, will we be blessed by deliverance from God, and enjoy peace once more.

It is an incredible story that needs to be shared. I invite you to watch the 1952 movie about their experience and the miracles that occurred.

Rainbow Promises Hidden: The Rest of Story of What God Told Noah After the Flood

Every Christian child is taught the story of the great flood, with Noah and his ark. The story captured the imaginations of millions of children, down through time, as they learned that God covenanted with Noah that He would not flood the earth again. The icing on the cake was the sign in the heavens promised. Whenever a believer sees a rainbow in the sky, it is likely that promise comes to mind. It is also taught that in the year the rainbow didn’t appear, God would come again. The King James version describes it in this way:

Genesis 9 12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13 I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.

For eons of time, that is all we knew of the story. So, when I came upon additional revelation regarding God’s promise related to the rainbow, I was excited to share. It comes from Joseph Smith’s 1833 translation of the Bible. And is found at

JST, Genesis 9:21–25.
God sets the rainbow in heaven as a reminder of His covenant to Enoch and to Noah. In the last days the general assembly of the Church of the Firstborn will join the righteous on earth.
21 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant, which I made unto thy father Enoch; that, when men should keep all my commandments, Zion should again come on the earth, the city of Enoch which I have caught up unto myself.
22 And this is mine everlasting covenant, that when thy posterity shall embrace the truth, and look upward, then shall Zion look downward, and all the heavens shall shake with gladness, and the earth shall tremble with joy;
23 And the general assembly of the church of the firstborn shall come down out of heaven, and possess the earth, and shall have place until the end come. And this is mine everlasting covenant, which I made with thy father Enoch.
24 And the bow shall be in the cloud, and I will establish my covenant unto thee, which I have made between me and thee, for every living creature of all flesh that shall be upon the earth.
25 And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant which I have established between me and thee; for all flesh that shall be upon the earth.

In the Joseph Smith Papers, we find the heading of this chapter describes the content as “the covenant which God made to Noah & when the City of Enoch should come down out of Heaven, &c. &c.”

I love that this prophecy declares that when we keep of of God’s commandments, Zion will come again upon the earth. It is magnificent that there will soon be a people who embrace the truth and look upward, while Zion looks down, and the heavens will shake with gladness, while the joyful earth trembles!

To me, the glorious additions, written by the Prophet of the Restoration, should be taught far and wide. Share the good news!