The snows of February chilled the Saints to the bone. The lumbering wagon train of bedraggled pioneers jolted across rough icy roads, along with their cattle and other animals, only to find conditions worsen as the weather warmed. Sleet and hail turned to rain in March and April. Slogging through mud, the soaking-wet Saints dug their wagons out of the mire and trudged on. May brought relief with warmer weather and drier trails.
John received word that the dedication of the Nauvoo Temple was scheduled for the first three days of May. Most of the Saints had already received the temple blessings and now traveled west. But John knew that before they could leave the temple in the hands of God, they must dedicate it to Him.
He left his family traveling across the plains and returned to Nauvoo by carriage for the meetings. “My feelings were very peculiar while standing in the font . . . and passing through the rooms, when I thought how the Saints had labored and strove to complete this building, and then be forced to leave it . . . in the hands of their enemies.”6 The temple was a gift and testimony of faith from the Saints to their God. After the dedication, John hurried to rejoin his family on the plains.