“It is by giving our whole hearts to the Master and keeping His commandments that we come to know Him.”
—Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Rise to Your Call,” Ensign, Nov. 2002, 75.
From 22 to 24 July 1847, the first Latter-day Saint pioneers came into the Salt Lake Valley looking for a land where they could worship God free of persecution. These pioneers and those who followed built up the Church in the American West, and the gospel has continued to go forth among all the nations of the earth. Here are a few ways you can remember the sacrifices of the pioneers and learn more about them this month:
If you have pioneer ancestry, read their histories. Their lives have many lessons we can learn from.
Learn about the first members to be baptized in your family or country. They are also pioneers.
Memorize a hymn that celebrates the pioneers or the Restoration, such as “They, the Builders of the Nation” or “The Spirit of God” (Hymns, nos. 36, 2).
See what you can do to become more self-reliant. You could try learning first aid, growing your own garden, or learning to sew.
Volunteer to help clean up a local historical site with a group of youth from your ward or branch for a Duty to God or Personal Progress project.
Begin today to write in your journal on a regular basis so your posterity can learn about your life and your faith in God.
“We must be sure that the legacy of faith received from [the pioneers who came before us] is never lost. Let their heroic lives touch our hearts, and especially the hearts of our youth, so the fire of true testimony and unwavering love for the Lord and His Church will blaze brightly within each one of us as it did in our faithful pioneers.”
—Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Faith in Every Footstep,” Ensign, Nov. 1996, 25.
Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to be on the trail with the pioneers? Take the journey with them online.
You can start the trail right from the beginning in Nauvoo, Illinois, or go to one of 39 locations along the way, where you can read pioneers’ own accounts of what happened there. Like this one:
Scotts Bluff, Nebraska
Distance: 738 miles from Nauvoo
“Some Indians came to our camp and my husband in a joking way told one of the Indians, that he would trade me for a pony; he thought no more of it, but the Indian came with the pony and it was no joke to him.”
—Priscilla Merriman Evans
At www.lds.org go to the Gospel Library and click on The Pioneer Story.
The Norwich England Stake decided to depart from their usual routine for their annual youth conference. After their Saturday activity, the youth came back to the Lowestoft Ward meetinghouse to find that some of their leaders had organized a “quilt factory” and chosen some team leaders and a factory manager from among the youth. Stations were set up for cutting, pinning, sewing, and tying, and dinner was served in shifts. After watching a Church-produced video about humanitarian aid, the youth got to work.
Their goal was to make 100 quilts from scratch. Three and a half hours later, they had completed 106 quilts, ready to be donated. The Norwich youth had a great time and felt the Spirit as they partook of the atmosphere of service at their youth conference.
The New Era is accepting submissions of original gospel-related songs and hymns. If you have written a song you think would bless the lives of the youth of the Church, send your submission to:
New Era, Room 2420
50 E. North Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84150