Brigham Young realized that many of the saints would not make their journey to the Salt Lake Valley early enough.
Many saints went ahead to prepare a place for those who would come amid adverse weather and challenging conditions .
Prepare for those to follow
Brigham Young realized that many of the saints would not make their journey to the Salt Lake Valley early enough, so in the spring of 1846, many saints went ahead to prepare a place for those who would come amid adverse weather and challenging conditions. They built nearly seven hundred homes ranging from log cabins to dugouts, planting and fencing crops, and building bridges. Winter Quarters, as its name reflects, was an important stop on the path for the saints who traveled during the migration to Zion. Those who came through sleet, mud, and hail were eternally grateful and many lives were spared because of the sacrifice, kindness, and love given by those who came before.
Pioneers of a different kind
While we may not be pioneering across the land in our day, we are pioneers of a different kind. There has never been a time on the earth like today. We live in the winding up scenes before the Lord Jesus Christ returns. We enjoy a fullness of His gospel and the blessings of the holy priesthood. In that sense, we are pioneering for our future generations.
I was touched as I watched the funeral services for President Thomas S. Monson. His daughter, Sister Ann M. Dibb, spoke with love and admiration for her dear father. She said, “My father left a legacy of love and service.”
As members and associates of our dear prophet, we were witnesses to many of his kind actions. He was always concerned about the one and went out of his way to bless them. After an overdue visit to a long-time friend, she and President Monson walked back to their car. On the way, her father turned to her and said, “I feel we’ve done some good today.” That was one of the rules he lived his life by; going about doing good.
How can we do good on behalf of those who will come after? We can leave a testimony of faith and love of Christ. Our actions more than our words will teach those around us and those who will only get to know us through our journals and histories. If we live a life filled with love for our Savior and selfless love for others, then we will have left a legacy to follow.
Leave a Harvest
We can leave a harvest of good works for our posterity by being anxiously engaged in a good cause with our families and by earnestly creating fulfilling relationships based on the principles of the gospel. We can be faithful in our family prayers, scripture studies and family home evenings. We can be an example of faith when our challenges seem to thwart hope. We can serve in our callings to the best of our abilities and serve those around us who need love and kindness. Mostly, we can use our divine gifts and strengths to bless those around us.
President Henry B. Eyring spoke about leaving a legacy of testimony. He said “What we can do to create and transmit that legacy comes from an understanding of how testimony is instilled in our hearts. Since it is the Holy Ghost who testifies of sacred truth, we can do at least three things to make that experience more likely for our families. First, we can teach some sacred truth. Then we can testify that we know what we have taught is true. And then we must act so that those who hear our testimony see that our actions conform with what we said was true. The Holy Ghost will then confirm to them the truth of what we said and that we knew it to be true. That is how a legacy of testimony is created, preserved, and transmitted in a family. It isn’t easy, but ordinary people have done it.”
For those whose family members reject that testimony, he says, “That is why we must not despair. As we offer the legacy of testimony to our families, some may not receive it. It may even seem to skip over generations. But God will reach out to offer the legacy again and again. More than we can imagine, our faithful effort to offer to our family the testimony we have of the truth will be multiplied in power and extended in time.” 1
May each of us strive to do our best as we leave an eternal harvest for our families.
1 “A Legacy of Testimony”, Elder Henry B. Eyring, General Conference, April 1996.