From an October 2004 general conference address.
Faith in Every Footstep26968_000_003
Photograph by Busath Photography
President Faust teach us to exercise fatih as we are tested.
Each of us needs to have our own storehouse of faith to help us rise above the troubles that are part of this mortal life.
Thomas Giles, a Welsh convert who joined the Church in 1844, suffered much in his lifetime. He was a miner, and while he was digging coal in the mine, a large piece of coal hit him on the head and made a wound nine inches (23 cm) long. The doctor who examined him said the injured man would not live longer than 24 hours. But then the elders came and blessed him. He was promised that he would get well and that “even if he would never see again, he would live to do much good in the Church.” Brother Giles did indeed live but was blind the rest of his life.
In 1856 Brother Giles and his family moved to Utah, but before he left his homeland, the Welsh Saints presented him with a harp, which he learned to play well. At Council Bluffs, Iowa, he joined a handcart company and headed west. “Though blind he pulled a handcart from Council Bluffs to Salt Lake City.” While crossing the plains his wife and two children died. “His sorrow was great and his heart almost broken, but his faith did not fail him.” When Brother Giles arrived in Salt Lake City, President Brigham Young, who had heard his story, loaned Brother Giles a valuable harp until his own arrived from Wales. Brother Giles “traveled from settlement to settlement in Utah, … gladdening the hearts of the people with his sweet music.” 1
We all face trials. Members in the early days of the Church were tested and refined when they had to decide if they had the faith, like Brother Giles, to put their belongings in a wagon or a pioneer handcart and travel across the American plains. Some did not have the faith. Those who did traveled “with faith in every footstep.”
In our time we are going through an increasingly difficult time of refining and testing. None of us knows the wisdom of the Lord. We do not know in advance exactly how He will get us from where we are to where we need to be. We encounter many bumps, bends, and forks in the road of life that leads to the eternities.
As we live on earth we must walk in faith, nothing doubting. We have much reason to hope. Joy can be ours if we are willing to sacrifice all for the Lord. Then we can look forward to the priceless possibility of overcoming all the challenges of this life. Then we will be with the Savior forever.
See Andrew Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 4 vols. (1901–36), 2:507–8.