They that go down to the sea . . . these see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. . . . Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! —Psalm 107:23-24, 31
Many pioneers' journey began long before the trail across the plains. Brigham Young University professor Fred Woods' quest to learn more of these unheralded "sail before the trail" travels unearthed the little-known story of the Julia Ann, which shipwrecked in 1855. A group of Australian saints en route to the Salt Lake Valley was on board the Julia Ann that fateful night, ending with the survivors stranded on a desert island with little food and water.
In Divine Providence, Woods unveils the story of these forgotten immigrants, who were involved in the only documented seafaring crash involving Mormon immigrants that resulted in the loss of human life. Their story will reveal the power of God in the preservation of these saints' lives and will instill a sense of admiration for their perseverance along the unheralded pathways to Zion.