A Prophet’s Pledge

From an April 2008 general conference address.


Thomas S. Monson

In the spring of 1848, my great-great-grandparents, Charles Stewart Miller and Mary McGowan Miller, left their home in Scotland and journeyed to St. Louis, Missouri, with a group of Saints, arriving there in 1849.

While the family was in St. Louis working to earn enough money to complete their journey to the Salt Lake Valley, a plague of cholera swept through the area. In the space of two weeks, four of the family members succumbed. The children who survived were left orphans, including my great-grandmother Margaret, who was 13 years old at the time.

The nine remaining Miller children continued to work and save for that journey their parents and brothers would never make. They left St. Louis in the spring of 1850 with four oxen and one wagon, arriving finally in the Salt Lake Valley that same year.

Others of my ancestors faced similar hardships. Through it all, however, their testimonies remained steadfast and firm. From all of them I received a legacy of total dedication to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

With all my heart and the fervency of my soul, I declare that God does live. Jesus is His Son, the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh. He is our Redeemer; He is our Mediator with the Father. He loves us with a love we cannot fully comprehend, and because He loves us, He gave His life for us. My gratitude to Him is beyond expression.

I pledge my life, my strength in serving Him and in directing the affairs of His Church in accordance with His will and by His inspiration.

A Legacy of Faith

A legacy is a valuable gift that we inherit from our ancestors. President Monson’s great-great-grandparents, Charles and Mary Miller, gave him a legacy of faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Fill in the blanks with words from their story.

The Miller family started their long trek in _______________.

They worked in St. _______________ to earn money to finish their journey.

A _______________ of _______________ killed many people.

After their parents and two brothers died, the _______________ Miller children traveled on.

They had _______________ oxen and _______________ covered wagon.

President Monson’s great-grandmother Margaret was _______________ years old.

They went from St. Louis, _______________, to the Salt Lake _______________.

President Monson said, “I pledge my _______________, my strength in serving [Jesus Christ].”

A Pioneer Today

Pioneer Today activity(click to view larger)

Illustrations by Maryn Roos

A pioneer is someone who goes somewhere or does something first and shows others the way to follow. Draw a picture of someone you know about or someone in your family who is a pioneer today.

You don’t have to push a handcart,
Leave your fam’ly dear,
Or walk a thousand miles or more
To be a pioneer!
You do need to have great courage,
Faith to conquer fear,
And work with might for a cause that’s right
To be a pioneer!

(“To Be a Pioneer,” Children’s Songbook, 218–19)

Illustrations by Maryn Roos