Margaret Blair Young
One More River to Cross
In One More River to Cross, Margaret Young and Darius Gray have
created a haunting, beautifully written, carefully documented story
that describes the lives of black saints in the early history of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Pioneer stories often neglect these saints of color. This novel
reminds us of their presence and prominence among the early saints,
including close association with the Prophet Joseph Smith and his
family. Many black saints had only recently attained their freedom,
and they found some relief in the company of the saints. We would
hope that the early saints had treated all men as equals, but we learn
that-like today-prejudice often appears even among people who should
In the fine people of One More River to Cross, you find a
strength and an integrity that served them well in their long trek
across the nation -- escaping from slavery in Maryland, joining the
Saints in Illinois, and traveling across the plains to the Mountains
of Zion. You'll likewise find a deep humanity that extended beyond
the boundaries of their own culture to those around them, setting an
example for our growing, multicultural church today.
One More River to Cross is an important addition to both Mormon
and African-American literature, with the story of a people who
learned to reach deeply within themselves to find a sense of purpose,
a sense of worth, that only the gospel of Jesus Christ can bring.