Written By Linda Clyde
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Pioneer heritage doesn’t begin and end with a single celebrated group of people. The dictionary defines “pioneer” as “one who goes before, showing others the way to follow.” Early Latter-day Saints fit the bill, and modern converts to the Church are proof that pioneering is still underway. Many are still trail blazing paths of faith for their posterity.
No matter your country of origin, your native language, or your culture, as a Latter-day Saint, you have inherited a heritage—it’s a spiritual heritage that bonds modern Latter-day Saints to early Latter-day Saints through common faith. The flame of faith that burned in the hearts of early Saints is the very same faith that lights up and burns brightly in the hearts of Latter-day Saints today.
Early Latter-day Saints are celebrated for their faith, which sustained them through extreme difficulty. Modern challenges don’t usually require crossing an ocean, packing up our belongings and moving each time a mob strikes, or pushing a handcart over hundreds of miles of wilderness. But they are significant in their own right, and modern Saints can draw strength, wisdom, and courage from the example set by early Latter-day Saints.
Modern Latter-day Saints are traversing a very different kind of frontier, a world of technology, knowledge, travel, convenience, and consumerism. All of the change that has occurred in the last 175 years or so has dramatically changed the society in which we live. With all of the wonderful advancements have also come challenges never before faced by humankind. What would early Saints think about the problem of texting while driving, traditional family disintegration, identity theft, or pornography addiction? These are only a few of the possible challenges faced by modern Saints—but can the challenges of today be battled with the same faith employed by early Saints? The answer is a resounding yes!
Think of the song “Come, Come Ye Saints” sung by early and modern Saints alike that is so rich in faith and courage. Below are lyrics from the second verse:
Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?
’Tis not so; all is right.
Why should we think to earn a great reward,
If we now shun the fight?
Gird up your loins; fresh courage take.
Our God will never us forsake;
And soon we’ll have this tale to tell—
All is well! All is well!
Mormon Tabernacle Choir Performance of Come, Come Ye Saints
This is the inherited heritage of all Latter-day Saints—utilizing faith, hope, strength, courage, optimism, dedication, and perseverance, among many others, in the face of adversity. The blood of early Saints does not need to run through your veins to claim this rich spiritual heritage—because it is born of the same faith, in the same God, who truly will never forsake you.
You are a modern pioneer who may someday be considered an early pioneer to your descendants. You can leave the same spiritual legacy that has been left for you by keeping the common faith burning bright and using it to press forward with optimism and trust in our Savior Jesus Christ. With this knowledge, you too can live even the most challenging life with the peaceful assurance that “all is well.”
Share your legacy at FamilySearch.org.
President Uchtdorf speaks of claiming Mormon pioneer heritage as his own.