The Word of God

By Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

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(Adapted from an April 1997 general conference address. See Ensign, May 1997, pages 24–26.)Come, listen to a prophet’s voice, And hear the word of God (Hymns, no. 21).

The Savior has always been the protector of those who would accept His protection. His authorized servants, the prophets, are always charged with warning the people, telling them the way to safety. Every time that I have listened to the counsel of prophets, felt it confirmed in prayer, and then followed it, I have found that God [has] led me to safety.

God offers us counsel not just for our own safety, but for the safety of His other children. An example from Church history is that of Reddick Newton Allred. He was one of the rescue party sent out by Brigham Young to bring in the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies. When a terrible storm hit, Captain Grant, captain of the rescue party, decided to leave some of the wagons by the Sweetwater River as he pressed ahead to find the handcart companies. With the blizzards howling and the weather becoming life-threatening, two of the men left behind at the river decided that it was foolish to stay. They thought that the handcart companies had either wintered over somewhere or had perished. They decided to return to the Salt Lake Valley and tried to persuade everyone else to do the same.

Reddick Allred refused to budge. Brigham had sent them out, and his priesthood leader had told him to wait there. The others took several wagons, all filled with needed supplies, and started back. Even more tragic, each wagon they met coming out from Salt Lake they turned back as well. They turned back seventy-seven wagons, which returned all the way to Little Mountain, where President Young learned what was happening and turned them around again. When the Willie Company was finally found and made that heartrending pull up and over Rocky Ridge, it was Reddick Allred and his wagons that waited for them.

While the record does not prove it, I am confident that Brother Allred prayed while he waited. I am confident that his prayers were answered. He then knew that the counsel to stand fast was from God. We must pray to know that. I promise you answers to such prayers of faith.

Painting by Glen S. Hopkinson