"I’ve often thought, and I’ve said to my own children, that those parents who kept going past Chimney Rock and past Martin’s Cove (and sometimes didn’t get farther than that) and those little graves that are dotted all across the historic landscape of this Church—they didn’t do that for a program, they didn’t do it for a social, they did it because the faith of the gospel of Jesus Christ was in their soul, it was in the marrow of their bones. That’s the only way those mothers could bury that baby in a breadbox and move on and say, “The promised land is out there somewhere. We’re going to make it to the valley.”
Well, that’s because of covenants and doctrine and faith and revelation and spirit. If we can keep that in our families and in the Church, maybe a lot of other things start to take care of themselves. Maybe a lot of other things sort of fall off the wagon. I’m told those handcarts could only take so much. They had to choose what they took. And maybe the 21st century will drive us to decide, “What can we put on this handcart?” It’s the substance of our soul; it’s the stuff right down in the marrow of our bones. We’ll have blessed family and Church if we can cling to the revelations."
Worldwide Leadership Conference, February, 2008
I was talking to a girl last year who was here doing research at the Library of Congress as part of her PhD program at the University of Chicago. She was studying American History, and particularly the founding of the American West. When I told her I was Mormon, she began telling me how completely impressed she was with the early saints. She said something to the effect that no one would ever think that such a (seemingly) ragtag group of people would be able to make it across the plains, let alone successfully settle and flourish in the desert. She praised their hard work and all that the pioneers had done to settle the American West. Then she tried to find one word to describe the pioneer settlers, but couldn't find the right one. I then told her that the word was 'industrious', and she couldn't agree more.
I wonder if I've made enough forward motion in my life to mirror the efforts of the pioneers. While our physical tasks are different, I think that in spirit they are the same. I could be doing more to bring the kingdom forward. I could be sacrificing more and focusing more on the faith. Thankfully, that doesn't mean that I've given up, but that I'm still on the road. If there ever isn't more to do, it means I've given up.