Sunday, July 24, 2011

July Issue: Faith to Answer

"Faith to Answer the Call" by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland is a beautiful article with some incredible stories of faith filled pioneers. Today is one of my favorite days of the year - Pioneer Day. The pioneers have a special place in my heart. I truly honor, respect, and admire their faith, courage, and determination. I never tire of hearing their stories filled with trial, tribulation, and triumph.

Elder Holland teaches, "Little wonder that faith always has been and always will be the first and abiding principle of the gospel and of our work. I don't know how else mothers and fathers could leave those babies in those makeshift graves on the plains and then, with one last look, weep their way forward toward Zion. I don't know how else a woman like Belle Smith could set her children at the edge of a cliff and muscle her wagon down the perilous incline. I don't know how else Samuel Claridge could sell all he owned and head off to build Zion in the desolate Muddy Mission. The fundamental driving force in these stories is faith - rock-ribbed, furnace refined, event-filled, spiritually girded faith that is the very Church and kingdom of God and that when you are called, you go." He concludes with this, "We must have faith in this work - faith in what all believers are called to do, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in our Father in Heaven. We need to conform our will to Theirs and then make that will rock-ribbed and pioneer strong indeed."

To learn more about the stories referenced above, and to honor the pioneers today, read Elder Holland's article and several others in the July issue of the Ensign.